Does Smaller Really Translate to Better?

Not so many years ago, even as recently as the early nineties, land lines connected to home-bound telephones were the norm. When the cell phone made its appearance, they were huge and looked ridiculous.

Since then, these so-called cell phones have morphed into small rectangular devices that appear to be not much thicker than a piece of paper. You can take pictures, watch movies, enjoy concerts, and engage in a plethora of events that are difficult to see.

One of the unique things I have found in these communication devices are the sounds they emit. They use every note or group of notes from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to “The Star Spangled Banner” and every song in between.

The ringtones emit the same song depending on your carrier. It’s not unusual to hear the same ringtone on your phone that plays on your friend’s phone and causes you to do a double take when you hear the same on a television phone. Frankly, it’s all a bit much for me.

The phone was created to circumnavigate the extended letter writing process of contacting another, not to check weather, see the latest movie release or anything else but to place a phone call. Now wouldn’t life be much simpler if we used the phone for what it was intended? . . . nuff said, even if I do text a picture or two now and again.

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Alex Lifeson One of the Best

From the time, I heard that first power cord from the electric guitar I knew I wanted to be a rock star. I began to learn the guitar when I was eleven years old. I picked up my dad’s 1958 Gretsch. He had a small amplifier, which sounded terrific. I had to have it rebuilt since then, but it still has that warm tube sound.

Once I had played a few years, I did the norm and started a band. If I could have bought our band (which was named Horizon) for what we were worth, and sold us for what we thought we were worth, I would never had to work a day in my life.

By this time, in my quest, I had purchased a black Les Paul custom. Wow! Talk about being ready for fortune and fame, baby I was there.

Since I refuse to use the word “gig,” I’ll say it like this. We began to pick up jobs each weekend and sometimes on the road. They weren’t always the best paying jobs, in fact our bar tab was usually about the same as our paycheck. You’d think they would offer the band free beer, but I guess they wanted to make money also.

I wrote my share of songs and visited my share of recording studios, but as you can see, I’m writing about playing in a band, instead of playing in a band. I decided to hang it up several months before my son was born. Overall, it was an experience I wouldn’t trade for a million dollars and wouldn’t give you a nickel for another just like it.

How’d you like the way I spit those numbers out at the beginning and end of this blog? Pretty impressive huh? . . . Doesn’t bode so well for me. Just another mediocre thing I’m good at other than playing music.

So you see this blog doesn’t turn out bad at all. At least when I strive for mediocrity, I’m right there on top . . . and the beat goes on!    

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Whether Here or Weather There Weather’s Whether Everywhere

I’ve lived my entire life in the state of Virginia which in and of itself gives me amble fodder for the novels I write. Thankfully, we are blessed with weather that leans normally toward the tranquil side. Now, that’s not to say we don’t receive a portion of the bad stuff.

We live about ninety miles from the east coast, and from time to time, will have a hurricane pay a visit. These visits (although nice to be considered by the blow hard system) can be harrowing to say the least. What makes these rotating monsters so nice to encounter are the lovely names they are labeled with once they reach Tropical Storm status.

Another unwelcome phenomenon which usually stops by to say, “Hello,” in the spring and summer is our old friend, “the Tornado.” These twisters can wreak havoc in a short amount of time and over a surprisingly large area.

Our other friend visited this past weekend as a sky full of white fluffy stuff that made its way to the ground. Kids love this icy weather for it means no school. I’ll have to admit, it is pretty but I prefer the type of storm where the temperature rises and the roads are clear by the afternoon.

Let us not forget that each form of weather has its good and bad. Seldom, but frequently enough for me, are the winter storms that drop eighteen (and in some isolated areas) up to thirty inches.

I guess you could wrap up the atmospheric conditions in our area by saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait twenty minutes and it’ll change.”

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Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Never Know

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like to live back in the days of the old west?” In my younger years, I’ll have to admit it seemed like a desirable experience; however, when I give that notion more consideration, it tends to take a different route.

First, I’d have to weigh the romanticized version of the west we see on television, against common sense.

It would be pretty cool to carry a gun strapped to my side, a rifle in my saddle holster and saddle bags full of everything from necessities to gold.

During cold weather, I’d wear a long black oil skin coat. Of course, I would never be caught without my leather chaps, cowboy boots and Stetson hat (or something equivalent).

My horse would be my best friend, and I would ride the range, sleeping under the stars, and cooking what I shot for dinner over an honest to goodness fire I made with my own two hands.

Occasionally, I would venture into town for a few shots of the ore red-eye and maybe some female companionship.

Then, I shift my thoughts to instances as simple as a toothache. What would be a painless procedure in this day and time, one hundred fifty years ago, would require and overabundance of whiskey and several men to hold the patient down while the barber/dentist removed the offending enamel object.

If I were not to mention sanitation, rotten meat, simple wounds becoming infected and the deadly diseases that are easily curable today, I would be remiss not to declare the lack of hygiene that getting close to anyone, (especially intimately) would likely result in bringing about a puke fest.

As an author, I cannot imagine performing edits and rewrites on an archaic typewriter. My latest novel includes time travel, boy am I glad it’s just Science Fiction!

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Have a

HAPPY NEW YEAR

AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU IN 2019

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same . . . I Think

As a child, I remember Christmas was my favorite time of year. Weeks before December 25th were filled with the hustle and bustle that Christmas ultimately brings. I loved being in the middle of the crowds when shopping, sitting on Santa’s knee, gazing in wonder at decorations all over the city and setting up the Christmas tree at home.

It truly was, as the song goes, “The most magical time of the year.” Christmas Eve was spent at my paternal grandparents, then it was home for a long night. Getting ready for bed was the most difficult time. Once my sister and I finally fell asleep, there was no guarantee we would stay asleep. Usually we were up around 5:30 then had to wait for my maternal grandparents who lived next door.

After an assault on the pile of gifts, it was next door to my grandparents for a breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, a meal fit for a king. This was followed by another round of gifts, then a long wait for Christmas dinner. Once the dinner bell rang, it was Thanksgiving all over again.

Of course, Christmas has changed quite a bit since those days. It’s still centered around family. Some have gone to be with our eternal Father while the family has grown with an influx of children and grandchildren.

I guess the largest changes have come in the form of a brown UPS truck filling in for Santa and the largest shopping store resides somewhere in the jungle; it’s called Amazon.

Merry Christmas and may God Bless!

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Do Chipmunks Scheme About Hassling Hounds?

Anthropomorphism (giving human characteristics to an animal) was probably solidified in this day and age by Walt Disney. That’s just my opinion, but given that and $3.00, you could come away with a decent cup of coffee.

I find myself guilty of this many times over. Not just people talk in my novels, but the majority of creatures with a heartbeat tend to spew out conversational pieces better than most Americans. Of course, American English being what it is, speaking it in some form is not a difficult feat.

The all-time voice of voices was Mel Blanc. Able to stream the dialogue from every character in a single cartoon, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and everyone in between, was absolutely amazing.

Fortunately, as I write I am able to see and hear my characters as I create them. Even the ambient noise comes to life as I pen each novel. I am so appreciative to God for giving me the ability to place my imagination on paper. Now it’s up to me not to blow it!

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