Whinging about the state of NJ today:

I am registering as a business so that I can pay sales taxes. (There's no other way.) Fortunately, I can do this online. I filled out the form to register, very, very carefully. I even looked up the codes that define the business I'm in. (Thank God I made a note of those codes.) After careful proofreading, I submitted the form. It was rejected for errors: I had coded the initial date of the business as the "1" of the month, not the "01" of the month.

Returning to the form, I discovered that almost all the info I had entered had been wiped. (Not all of it, just to prove that I was being unnecessarily punished; just most of it.) Thanks very much, IT department of New Jersey.


Pennies for Raven’s Gift:

There are several different ways to buy my novel, and my earnings vary a lot. You can buy direct from me, hand to hand; I make about $7, minus NJ sales tax. You can buy from Amazon, and I make $3. Or you can buy via a variety of distributors that serve schools, libraries and independent book sellers. For some reason, CreatSpace’s costs are higher in this last category; or perhaps they have to offer discounts. I set my purchase price just high enough so that I could sell through these channels. When these entities order my book, I earn one cent per copy.

I’m proud to announce that one of these transactions has just occurred, a multiple purchase netting me three cents (and more important: three more readers).

The Mets are Looking Good.

After sweeping two series on the road, the Mets are looking like a fine, competitive team. Their road record is not so bad. They are fighting for first place in their division. And rumors say that Beltran is truly going to return. It’s beginning to look as if my plan for this season, to root for a miserable team, has been foiled.

But let’s not count our chickens yet. The Mets just played a pair of awful teams away from home. Baltimore is pitiful, and Cleveland is a “Can’t anybody play this game” kind of team. Cleveland’s fielding was so poor that the Mets got credit for seven doubles in one game.

I am looking forward to some good, competitive play from the Mets, but not a sustained pennant race. Their closer is not consistent enough to nail down game after game; their senior pitcher, Santana, is not as overpowering as he used to be; and some of those Met bats may just be on a hot streak. Let’s see if they can win their next series, against the Yankees.


Mets at (yet another) Crossroads:

It's unfortunate but understandable that the Mets lost a series in Milwaukee. That left them having to win a series on the coast to have a .500 road trip, something they desperately need. Remarkably -- they traditionally play poorly out west -- the Mets have a chance today. After that, they come home to fool us into thinking they're a good team again. Way to go, David Wright!