Monthly Archives: November 2013

Gobble, Gobble; Cluck, Cluck; Quack, Quack. Doesn’t Matter as Long as It’s Good

A Thanksgiving survivor

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, cranberry sauce, family, friends and football.  Put these together and what do you have… a 4th of July picnic, correct?

 No, of course not, it’s a super bowl party… I think I’m wrong again.

 I’ll refrain from this silliness. We all know I am speaking of Thanksgiving–that time of year when families come together to eat themselves into a class A-1 stupor.

 Needless to say, this post has nothing to do with writing other than I’m writing this post.

 More importantly, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for the things in our lives that make us truly thankful for what we have.

 In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and since that time I have realized so many blessings they’re impossible to count.

 To begin, our church built a ramp and a roll-in shower at no cost to us.  I’m on a special diet and one of the ladies from the church cooks all my meals and another friend cuts our grass.

 Friends visit, call and build things that I come up with to make life easier or to assist with exercising.

 My mother and sister are down each week to help any way they can.  My son works but takes a day to spend with me so my wife can go into work; other days we are blessed that she is able to work at home.  I have an aunt that comes down to type for me and an uncle that sleeps while she does so …. and makes hot tea.  My step-daughter used to type until another little blessing began to take up too much of her time.  That little blessing would be my grandson (and I say this with no bias) he is the cutest and most adorable child in the entire known world.  My stepson works constantly but will always take time to help us out if we need him. Even my in-laws who live five hours away have made it a point to help.

 I myself have found that a person who was full of pride and thought he carried no baggage happened to turn around and notice the three mile long train full of baggage he had been pulling all these many years.  I always thought of myself as a totally self-sufficient human being. What  a rude awakening when I could no longer make it on my own.  It was then that the pride began to fall away.

 Now my wife:  What can I say about a woman who has stuck beside me when many would have run.  She treats me with unbelievable kindness and patience.   She works normally seven days a week.  Takes care of me twenty-four seven.  Sacrifices sleep and any time for relaxation and yet greets me with a smile and a kiss throughout the day.  I certainly don’t know what I did to deserve such an angel but I thank God every day for this blessing.

 What better way to summarize than to tell you where all these blessings have come from.  I am so thankful I have a God who loves me enough that He would take the time to correct me as a good father corrects his children and I am floored to think He would send His Son to die in such a horrible way so that I might spend eternity with Him.

 This makes me think of my son and I know deep within my heart that I could not sacrifice him for anything.

 So enjoy that turkey leg and especially your family but don’t forget where they all came from.

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Daydream Believer

Daydream

Daydream (Photo credit: kudumomo)

Have you ever sat just daydreaming? Possibly about your past, your childhood, your dreams, or what you hoped to be when you reach adulthood?

Perhaps your present situation comes to mind–marriage to the love of your life; your offspring and the worries that just being a parent bring.

 One undisputed fact is that we are constantly facing the future. What wonders will it bring? Disappointment or a long time dream realized?

 As usual, my daydreams are reserved… maybe that’s the wrong word. Not so much reserved as they tend to pop up when I’m writing but what I’m writing about doesn’t necessarily dictate the content of the daydream itself. There are many lulls as I search my mind for just the right words to complete the particular paragraph I’m working on.

Occasionally while searching for an idea to continue my storyline, I’ll stumble upon a daydream door. Well now, how can I help but turn the knob and enter?

 Now, firmly entrenched in my world within a world, I am a small fellow with a towel tied around his neck, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, out racing speeding bullets, and just downright  saving the world.

 I have an uncle who’s name to the majority of the family is Larry; I call him Wayne. We were quite the pair (him being 13 years my elder) when we were coming up, especially after I reached my mid-teens. Nuff said! What the family don’t know; won’t hurt’em.

 Simply because of its comedic value, I think often of a story my uncle relayed to me. It seems that when he was but a wee lad, during a “reach for the sky,” gun-slinging incident, he backed off the tool-shed roof allowing the dirty hombres to escape!

 For the most part, daydreams can be a welcome respite from the daily grind; however, there are instances when slipping into that midday coma is not recommended.

 Case in point:

 I recall one particular day during my eighth grade math class. If memory serves me correctly, I entered the classroom with my usual eagerness to learn, just brimming with excitement. I made my way to my desk, giddy with the thought of mathematical equations I would soon be able to solve.

 Readying myself for the start of class, I snuggled into my desk to become as comfortable as possible in order to be receptive to the magical problems the teacher would bring that day. To make a long story short, the teacher’s soothing words on such an interesting topic pushed me past the daydream state directly into a sound sleep. The next thing I knew; I was having a rude awakening by way of my snoring. The class was chuckling as the teacher made her way toward my well rested body with flames of passion in her eyes. Needless to say, I still retain the same love for mathematics as I did then.  Please pardon me while I yawn…

In conclusion, enjoy your daydreams. They’re just another way to embrace pleasant memories of your past and create, of a virtual nature, pleasant memories yet to come.

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What Do Mail Trucks and Tornadoes Have in Common?…Right Off Hand; I Can’t Think of a Thing

Mail

(Photo credit: Pacdog)

I have a resilient character who against all odds receives redemption in the face of certain annihilation.  Had the same scenario occurred in a real life situation, our hero would certainly have died and this blog would be over.  However, being that there is a fine line between my creative genius and inept ramblings, we shall continue.

This character brought about thoughts of services we depend on daily but are convinced will not work to our satisfaction. In fact, they have acquired, and undeservedly so, a negative stigma.

Case in point:  The United States Postal Service

We tend to complain about the cost of stamps, lost mail, late and damaged packages; when, in reality, it’s amazing we manage to receive any mail at all. The USPS processes 554 million pieces of mail each day.  That equates to 6,400 pieces a second.  Postal workers drive 1.2 billion miles a year to deliver our mail and they do it all with zero tax dollars.  Their operating income stems solely from the sale of stamps. Thankfully, the postal service is not run by the government or I’d be expecting to pick someone else’s mail out of my gutters. The way I see it they do an unbelievable job, delivering so many pieces of mail to millions of customers and I salute their achievements.

And next in line is…the dastardly weatherman

What other human being on the face of the earth has caught more flack for trying to be helpful than our friend the weatherman?  It’s almost as if we blame him personally for rain, heat waves, snow, sleet, hail, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami’s and all  other natural disasters.  In fact, if you think about the vast troposphere that a meteorologist has to work with, I am astounded and amazed that they are able to say anything other than “duh.”  Look at what they must deal with just preparing a single daily forecast?  Humidity, barometric pressure, wind velocities from the ground to the cloud tops, warm fronts, cold fronts, stationery and occluded fronts, dew points, heat and/or cold, dry lines, wind shear and I’m surely leaving out many more variables since what I know about meteorology wouldn’t fill my right ear canal.  Then there are times they are called in to save lives predicting catastrophic events such as hurricanes and tornadoes.  I shudder to think what we would do without them.  Yet we gripe when they miss a forecast and our picnic gets rained out.  The irony in that is that we’ll tune in for the next day’s forecast.  Once again I salute their efforts to inform and keep us safe.

The next time you’re disgruntled with a late package or a rainy day that wasn’t supposed to be, think about how difficult these jobs are to perform and be thankful that we have them working for us even if they do make an occasional mistake…because that merely makes them human just like us!

I’m starting a grassroots campaign to bring attention to my novel, “Rising Tide.” It’s available everywhere online including on Kindle and Nook. So pick up a couple hundred copies and spread the word!

This has been a public service announcement from the “Lynn Boy Foundation.”

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At the Risk of Sounding Arrogant, It’s a Fact….I’m Hot Stuff

When I first began writing I exclusively penned short stories simply because I didn’t have the patience to write for months in order to finish a novel. I

Super Peppers

(Photo credit: edenpictures)

remember that one of my first attempts at literary prose was an autobiography of my childhood. This in turn rekindled fond memories of my first love affair.

I was somewhere around 4 or 5 years old.  How can a 5-year-old become tangled in an affair at such an early age, you ask?  Well, please allow me to explain.

She was a hot little number named capsaicin.  Sitting on the table at my grandfather’s house was that sleek ripe sexy little thing, the love of my young life, the cayenne pepper.  Now being the curious lad that I was known to be at that time (and remain to this day, sometimes to a fault), I lifted the curious object from the table and unceremoniously crammed it into my tender little mouth.

Hot peppers aside from having different levels of heat also sneak up on you at different times during mastication.  For instance, the habanero and jalapeno, being at opposite ends of the heat spectrum, both tend to lull you in to a false sense of security before slamming your taste buds into submission; whereas, the cayenne lays it all out up front.

Now picture a respectable young fellow reduced to a flaming madman gulping water, milk, and chewing ice.  As near as I can remember the pepper didn’t stop burning until I reached my twelfth birthday.

This is a love affair that has continued to this day.  Capsaicin (the oil that gives the pepper it’s heat) releases endorphins in the brain which produces that “hurts so good feeling.”  The heat of any particular pepper is measured in “scoville units.” This test was devised by pharmacist Wilbur Scoville in 1912. A solution of capsaicin was incrementally diluted with a solution of sugar-water until a minute amount of heat remained. The number of sugar-water units it took to achieve this was the number given to that particular pepper.

For example a jalapeno tops out at 5,000.

The cayenne around 30,000.

The habanero up to 300,000.

A sneaky little bugger called a ghost pepper can run as high as 1 million.

The hottest pepper is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. This little devil can reach a sizzling 2 million.

And with the work they’re doing concentrating this volatile oil to produce searing hot sauces, I’ve seen a few drops turn a harmless chicken leg into a 14 million scoville unit ball of napalm.

Kinda makes me wonder would a romance novel about two hot peppers from different families  falling in love and eloping sell?…I could call it Jalapeno and Cayennette .

There is one pepper I failed to mention, mainly because it scares me. It’s used to deter elephants from damaging fence lines in Africa.

Now that’s a spicy fence post!

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