Category Archives: On writing

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I’ll Have to Admit That Food is my Achilles Heel.

I’ve written several times about what we shove into our mouths to fuel our bodies, better known as food. I’ll have to admit that food is my Achilles heel. We should enjoy what we eat; however, ensure our high performance biological machines are given the optimum octane fuel it needs to run efficiently.

I was blessed as a youngster, and into my thirties, enjoying a grandmother who could cook nearly as well, as she spread love.

She masterfully fried chicken beyond compare, turned a plethora of different beans and black eyed peas into a meal to satisfy the most discerning gourmet. Mashed potatoes with gravy smooth as silk. Not to mention collard greens, kale, fresh snaps, butter beans, corn on the cob, and the list goes on and on. She also had an ace in the hole. During her young years, she lived on coastal North Carolina. Her family caught shrimp, fish, oysters, crabs (hard and soft), clams, etc., for a living.

This smorgasbord of seafood was a large part of my young life. Not only were we able to obtain fresh ocean edibles, my grandmother with great skill would prepare these delicacies.

Changing the subject to who cooked what, I segue to my father who had a taste for some of the finer foods to be had. He loved lobster and even though this dish was seldom had, when that rare occasion came, it was a taste sensation to behold. We each would receive a mug of butter, a lobster tail, home cut French fries and long sesame rolls. The bread was meant to dip in the sauce created by the melding of butter and lobster. Dad was also a steak lover. When we dined on beef, we ate Delmonico’s. In today’s vernacular, Ribeye’s, and always eaten rare by my father . . . me, I’m more of a medium rare kind of guy.

One meal I recall with great fondness was pizza prepared by my father on Sunday nights.

A Chef Boyardee cheese pizza covered with a pound of sausage. I can smell and taste that boxed delight even now as I write. My father passed when I was 22, but I’ve had the great blessing of passing this tradition down to my son. We would dine on this very same recipe when he was but a lad.

Food holds such memories that take us back to wonderful times, enhancing the memories we cherish.

I hope your week brings many blessings, through the love of our God. I’ll be a speakin’ at ya next week. Until then, be safe and whip up something to eat . . . who knows, you may be creating a memory, you’ll look back on years from now.

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To Get Where I Am Today Employment Wise, I’ve Certainly Taken The Long Way Around

To get where I am today, employment wise, I’ve certainly taken the long way around and invested in different career paths–mainly construction.

Within the field of construction, in some cases much to my wonder, I have completed tasks I felt were above my training. Case in point: I worked with the same project manager on different jobs with different companies in several different types of construction projects for numerous years. Now it bears saying this project manager thought I could do any and everything.

One job in particular required the removal of high-strength, concrete panels loaded with rebar. After attempting everything but dynamite, I suggested a jack hammer mounted on a backhoe. When the backhoe arrived on the job site, it didn’t come complete with an operator, but with a seat for me to park my behind. Fortunately, I had experienced a minimum number of hours on one of these machines, when I worked on the railroad minus the jackhammer attachment. The job actually went much smoother than I’d expected and turned out to be a unique experience.

Another instance, I was the superintendent on several smaller jobs on a military complex. I required a section of metal steps to be removed, making room for duct work. Once again I received a cutting torch and tanks, but no welder. In the past, I’d used a cutting torch just enough to be dangerous. This too ended with no explosions, deaths, or injuries and was one of my last jobs in the field of construction before delving into the world of writing.

It’s amazing to see how we are led through different paths until finding our way home.

Have a spectacular week, may God bless and if you get bored, build something.

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There Are Many Different Foods To Be Had Throughout The Galaxy

There are many different foods to be had throughout the galaxy, according to the science fiction/fantasy novels I pen. Some so richly decadent only a few morsels can be consumed at any one setting, while others so disgusting, the mere sight of them will induce one’s gag reflex.     

Back on earth, we have many delicious options from which to choose. These may range from the gourmet to what some would term as simple food.

Personally, I have a taste for both. Something as wonderful as a properly cooked Beef Wellington with a side of asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce will tantalize the taste buds; however, if I had my druthers, I believe I would sink to the lower side of the food scale and opt for a slice of pizza.

The range of ingredients and flavors you can place on this simple disc of dough are infinite. Some of my preferences include the all popular pepperoni, green peppers, onions, sausage, olives, and cheese, which almost goes without saying, along with others too numerous to name.  I believe one of my favorite pizzas would simply include pepperoni, bacon, and green peppers.

If you ever make it to Chicago, do yourself a favor and dive into one of their deep dish offerings. Believe you me, it’s worth the trip.

I think the oddest pizza I have ever ordered and consumed on my own, consisted of anchovies and jalapenos.

Have a fantastic week, may God bless, and yes, I adore anchovies, even if they taste like salty fish (which they are) and resemble a house centipede . . . google the insect, you’ve probably seen one scampering across your walls.

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Boy Am I Glad That Time Travel Doesn’t Exist

My latest novel centers around time travel. There are countless ways a story line can travel when encased in such a vast subject. After penning this manuscript, I came to many conclusions; the most important of which was how happy I am that time travel does not exist. Boy am I glad that time travel doesn’t exist.

Einstein postulated that time was relative and not constant. By my way of thinking, neither one is possible. The problem you run into by traveling temporally are the endless timelines which could contain an endless supply of the same individual seconds apart heading in the same direction.

Add this to the timelines traveling in different directions and you end up with an infinite number of travelers, travel ways all co-existing in a mish-mash so cluttered with stuff it would seem impossible to move.

This in turn would lead to such a temporal traffic jam, the likes of which have never been seen nor ever will be due to the influx of new temporal travelers.

Since this explanation is so tiring, I’ll leave it there and return to my own safe timeline.

The next time you hear the word “time travel,” run! Don’t stop and ponder how interesting a trip through time may be, just do yourself a favor and run!

Have a great week. Don’t plan  any unusual trips and may God bless you richly.

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I Acquired my Love for Hot Peppers from My Grandfather

We are approaching the time to begin planting our summer vegetable gardens. I remember as a young fella spending summers in the dirt with my grandfather. We would plant everything from Asparagus to Zucchini to Hot Peppers.

As a matter of fact, I acquired my love for Hot Peppers from my Grandfather. Every year we had a bumper crop of Cayenne Peppers, which is still my favorite Pepper today. Coming in at 30,000 Scoville units, they’re about as hot as I want to get.

How I came to love the oil that gave Hot Peppers their sting (capsaicin) is a funny but painful story. When but a toddler, during a cookout, I happened to notice a bright red long thing sitting among the food. It looked pretty good to me, so it was an easy matter to grab and insert it into my mouth. The next ten or so minutes were excruciating for a little one such as I. Once the pain subsided, my love affair with “hurts so good” had begun. It seems eating hot peppers releases endorphins in the brain which is why pepper lovers seem a bit masochistic

After us men had toiled for months to produce the crop, my grandmother would work her fingers to the bone canning the summer’s harvest producing numerous jars of vegetables. The one thing I still cannot understand, is why do we put vegetables in jars and then call them canned?

Something to think about while you plan your Pepper crop.

Have a fantastic week, and may God bless!

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Being An Author, Along with Two Dollars, Will Buy Me a Cup of Coffee, Depending on Where I Go

I’ve made mention more than once that I am an author. Well, I came to the conclusion some time ago that being an author, along with two dollars, will buy me a cup of coffee, depending on where I go.

What I’m getting to, and pardon this around your elbow to get to your thumb segue, is no matter your occupation be it a doctor, carpenter, retail worker, or pipe fitter, we are all appreciative of indoor plumbing.

I know we’ve all had the pleasure of using a port-a-potty during outdoor events, and what a sheer delight during the summer at a crowded venue.

Just think, not so many years ago an outhouse was the norm. I’ve never lived in a home without plumbing; however, have been to those who were without. Not optimal conditions to relieve oneself, but folks do with what they have. As a matter of fact, the outhouse came with its share of danger. Case in point: my grandfather was bit in his derriere by a black widow spider, proving that even going to the bathroom can be deadly. FYI, he made a total recovery.

I can’t resist finishing this post with a little slice of heaven I saw as a child. To keep from having to wander into the backyard at night, especially during the winter, a device referred to as a slop-jar would be incorporated. This bucket of (use your imagination) would be emptied each morning.

Please don’t take this as a slight to anyone who grew up without indoor plumbing . . . it’s just the way things were.

Have a wonderful week, may God bless, and thank goodness for innovations that make our lives better.

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What Could Be Better Than Using Your Imagination to Invent a Menagerie of Never Before Seen Creatures?

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy. One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing in this genre are the varied types of monsters, beasts, beings, and assorted creepy crawlies I have the opportunity to bring to life. What could be better than using your imagination to invent a menagerie of never before seen creatures?

The different attributes each demon entails run the gambit from A to Z. One that comes to mind is hair. Now, when I say the word hair, I can equate this keratin derivative not only to every galactic inhabitant, but also, animals and humans alike on our own planet, Earth. This in turn brings me back to the curly red mess on top of my head. When I was but a young lad in my mid to late teens, I attempted to grow a head-full of long hair. Needless-to-say, I looked like an orangutan that was struck by lightning multiple times.

I kept this hair style through high school, though I cannot understand why. When I look at photos from those days, I’m surprised people weren’t throwing rocks and running away in fear.

It is utterly amazing how our tastes can change from one generation to the next. I was not a, “Wow, get a load of him” . . . I was a, “Hey, look at that!”

Have one fantastic week. May God continually bless you and yours, and let’s do it again next week.

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I Guess Being a Human Being Makes Me a Prime Candidate for the Human Condition

I’ve been writing this blog for quite a few years. No doubt over the course of those years, I have repeated the subject matter more than once. Not to say there is a lack of fodder, just that I am unable to keep up with the hundreds of my previous posts. I guess being a human being makes me a prime candidate for the human condition.

Some of my best entries have been those grounded in the simple everyday happenings we all experience frequently.

I lean towards humor and shy away from the woes of today. One thing I cannot tolerate concerning the press is their long held mantra, “if it bleeds it leads.” This world has its problems, but that type of thinking is too archaic for all the good that thrives around us today.

I get a kick out of exploring the technological advances of our time. For instance: with the multitude of signals traveling through the airways, be it cell phone, television in its many different arrays, radio, garage door openers, and the different appliances that operate on wireless technology, including the internet. How do the transmission waves keep from becoming intertwined? And what if these signals were visible? Kind of a whole new ballgame, don’t you think?

Or just for the purpose of supposing, how did people in the 19th century stand one another in the summertime, wearing woolen clothing?

Just a few interesting tidbits to think about. My aim is to bring a smile to someone’s face. For what can be better than passing on that contagious piece of grace at the beginning of each week.

Make it a great one and may God bless!

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My Last Year of Elementary School was Spent in the Sixth Grade. It was the Worst of Times, It was the Worst of Times.

My last year of elementary school was spent in the sixth grade. It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times.

That chapter of my life I wrote in the 1970’s. I adorned myself in the most horrendous fashion, namely striped bell-bottomed pants. My hairstyle was that of an orangutan holding two high tension wires. I was a redhead with hair poking out of my head seventeen ways to Sunday.

The one thing I avoided like the plague (and I consider this the most important even today) was  disco.

It is difficult to understand why I shied away from such classic hits as: Shake Your Booty, Shake Your Groove Thing, Everybody Dance Now, and (who could forget?) Kung Fu Fighting.

That part of my life was certainly a unique time to grow, especially once I passed through the mid-70s and began to drive.

Even though I made it through the worse fashion created, alongside the worst hairstyles a comb dare run through and the most unlistenable music ever written; I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience and wouldn’t give you a nickel for another just like it.

Have an uneventful week, may God bless you richly, and please . . . I’m begging ya, if you hear the Bee Gee’s squeaking about someone having a fever and a particular day of the week . . . I believe it was Saturday. . . plug your ears and run!

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As a Young Lad, I Could Not Recall a Time Without a Television in the House.

As a young lad, I could not recall a time without a television in the house. Our first set was on the order of a twenty-five inch Zenith black and white floor model. At that time, only four stations aired: NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS.

 My favorite superhero was the one and only Superman.  On the big screen that sat in the living room, I watched George Reeves fly around Metropolis doing good to all he met. Copying my hero, this translated to me running around the yard with a towel wrapped around my neck and my arms out front pretending to be flying. Though created before my time, through this show I gazed at this amazing flying man in syndication.

Gilligan’s Island was another favorite. With each episode, I just knew they would get off of the island until Gilligan bungled another rescue attempt. It seemed I watched the majority of my favorite programs in syndication; shows like Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, and Hogan’s Heroes, just to name a few. Each season, stations offered new programs to watch in the fall.  If these new series were popular, they ran most of the year and we watched them again as summer reruns. New shows of the same series premiered in the fall, returned as summer reruns, and so the cycle began.

At that time, producers filmed thirty or more episodes every year, for each series; something you don’t see today. In this day and age, reruns are much more prevalent than in years past. As usual, the consumer seems to get less and less for their money, and I find myself watching more and more of the old shows that have morals and, in most cases, a valuable message.

I guess it’s true; the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Have a great week, God bless, and do yourself a favor by watching a sitcom dated pre-1970.

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