Tag Archives: humor

Jelly, Jam, Preserves, Marmalade . . . Palatable With Peanut Butter, Not So Much With Traffic

I can’t recall if I have an asphalt road in any of my novels. If they do exist, you can bet they are few and far between. I’m more of a woodsy kind of guy. If it’s not dirt, sand, stone, grass or any number of natural elements, including water; then, it more than likely doesn’t exist in my written world.

When I think about it, it’s probably a good thing. Who wants all the pollution, expense, aggravation and high blood pressure that goes along with a nicely paved road? . . .Well, evidently we do. There are approximately 263 million cars in the United States. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked fellow motorists were rude and getting worse by the day.

Why do we have such a love affair with a mechanical beast that releases our aggressive nature, makes us late more often than not and ties us into knots with the appearance of a tiny scratch? Been in a traffic jam lately? You have to admit it’s a fun time. I can’t think of too many things I’d rather do, other than get mauled by a bear or set my head on fire. If you want to see a real traffic jam, then check out southern California most anytime of the day or night. That’ll get your blood flowing!

All in all, people like their rides. I’ve said this for years and still maintain this position. My favorite thing about an automobile is, “paid for!”

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Mosquitoes, Vacations, Heat Waves, Meat on the Grill, Tornadoes, Swimming…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Summer Has it All!

I’m sure you already know summer’s back in town. It goes without saying, this particular season of heat comes around each year. I think what we all take for granted are the creature comforts that not so long ago was unavailable to the average homeowner. Air conditioning makes life bearable, especially for those who live in our southern cities from one end of the country to the other.

I can’t imagine writing on an ancient typewriter instead of the modern computer I’m able to use as I pen this blog.

Simple things like indoor plumbing allow us to take frequent showers so that others can stand to be around us. When I watch television and a show I have chosen is a western or something from an earlier time period, I often wonder about the odor in a room full of unbathed people dressed in wool clothing in the middle of the summer; not to mention the saloon girls engaging in their chosen profession. Kind of makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

The season we will officially embark upon June 21st is the summer solstice. It’s the time of year when kids are out of school, vacations begin, fresh vegetables grace our tables and grills throughout the neighborhood pummel our senses with enticing aromas.  All in all, summer is a wonderful time of year; just don’t forget to indulge in indoor water and a bar of Irish Spring.

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Burn Baby Burn!

I live in Virginia where our growing season runs from April to October. I’ve already enjoyed a bounty of spinach, kale, beets, onions and hot peppers. Soon my favorites will ripen, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green peppers and melons of all types. I am telling you this because my passion as an author is equal to my passion for food.

One vegetable I am particularly partial to is the hot pepper. I’m not into the melt-your-face type such as the ghost or Carolina Reaper which edges out The Trinidad Scorpion as the hottest pepper in the world. I’m more suited for the Cayenne which I can happily munch away on while eating lunch or supper. I will admit that I want my eyes to water, my nose to run and my forehead to sweat whilst I’m masticating these capsaicin packed capsules.

In case you’re wondering why an individual will put themselves through such a painful experience just to ingest a small explosive vegetable, allow me to tell you as I understand it. When we eat the active ingredient in a hot pepper (capsaicin), it releases endorphins. This release gives us a sense of well-being. It’s one of those cases of “hurts so good.” So my suggestion to you would be start with a pepper low in Scoville units (which is the scale used to measure the heat in a pepper) such as a Jalapeno. Take a bite and enjoy the burn!

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Too Much Time, Not Enough Time, Time After Time, Time And Time Again, C’mon Makeup Your Mind

I am working diligently on my latest manuscript. I write mainly in the science fiction and fantasy genres; however, this is the first time I have delved into the concept of time travel. Now, there’s a lot of things one can do bouncing from this time to that time, time after time. I suppose one could smack one’s own self upside the head if one had a notion to do so.  

My manuscript, I must admit, has a tendency to drive me a bit crazy. If there were only a few characters  this would not be the case, but keeping even a moderate amount of imaginary actors in their correct timelines can be a daunting task. It’s extremely easy to add another layer of difficulty to the mix when you write as I do. Some authors outline their entire book chapter by chapter before they begin writing. Me, I fly by the seat of my pants. It gives me more freedom to take off on an undetermined tangent which brings my book to life. In this way, along with my help, the book writes itself. So the next time you look at your watch, wall clock or sun-dial, imagine yourself in a different time setting even if it’s just relaxing in front of the television later that night. Me, I just may end up on a peaceful island reeling in a plethora of exotic fish. We never have enough time so use it wisely.

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Ah Yes, It’s a Dog’s Life For Me

As a boy and a young man, I always owned a loyal canine. I guess through the years of losing four-legged friends and not wanting the responsibility of taking care of another living creature, I decided no more after my last pooch passed. I was still fond of the noble creature but found that fondness drifting to being fond of what I coined “OPD’s” or other people’s dogs. It’s kind of like the grandchildren of the canine world. You pet them for a while then back to their owners they go.

I’m the opposite of my personal assistant, and yes, I need an assistant because of this guy in a white lab coat who jabbed me in the back with a needle  I could’a spit an olive pit through, then shoved me into a tube two sizes too small that commenced to sounding like someone was pounding on a pipe with sledge hammers, cinder blocks and jack hammers. Then he had the nerve to tell me I had multiple sclerosis. This made my fingers hopping mad, so they went on strike… but I digress.

My assistant owns four dogs. Each one visits their veterinarian more than most children visit their pediatricians. They eat special food and have luxury accommodations for napping. These animals are considered special-needs, four-legged children. One has colitis and the other is a diabetic. She’s still typing, but giving me the “stink eye,” so nuff said.

I remember as a child our dogs would receive no more medical treatment than a rabies vaccination and live a long healthy life well into their teens.

It’s a good example of “the more things change, the more they stay changed.” Not to be confused with “the more they stay the same.”

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Be it Old or be it New, Everything Starts With an Upside That Eventually Turns Woefully Obsolete

I’m looking at my HP processor, ergonomic keyboard and wireless mouse. This takes me back to the first computer I purchased. In fact, I still own that magical scientific appliance today. This PC was none other than a Packard Bell with just over 570 MB of storage capacity. This marvelous machine held a massive 8 MB of RAM expandable to an unbelievable 16 MB. The futuristic remote storage system (known as a floppy disk) allowed the user to store and transport 1.44 MB at will.

What more could you possibly want? You could give this PC a command and have time to pull a drink from the refrigerator and be back to your seat before the command was fulfilled. To keep the fact that I was working to be a writer away from prying eyes, I used this computer, being as it was stored in a remote part of the house. I didn’t have WORD on this computer, so I wrote in Note Pad. The real trick to operating this piece of retro gold, was trying to transfer media from a floppy disk to a CPU that used USB ports and flash drives for storage.

You know, all in all, I don’t guess it was so bad. If I think back to the days of H.G. Wells, I can’t imagine typing on an actual typewriter and doing edits and re-writes on such an archaic device. I’m sure I complained back in the day, when the Packard Bell was the computer to end all computers, simply because of the lack of processing speed, but then again, isn’t everything relative?   

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Squirt, Sniff, Blow, Wipe . . . Repeat . . . Squirt, Sniff, Blow, Wipe . . . Repeat

I posted a blog not too long ago about the return of spring. I wrote this aforementioned blog remembering the many springs I had experienced throughout my years on this planet. One of the mainstays in the previous article was the effect of pollen wiggling its way into the human condition.

Now that the green-dust-that-covers-all is back, I am able to record it live instead of write about it from memory. I hear fellow human-beings say, “Oh, look at the beautiful flowers. The dogwoods are beginning to bloom. I just love the apple blossoms.”

I’m glad you’re enjoying the beautiful floral show. I’d enjoy it along with you if my itchy eyes weren’t dumping juice by the quart. And, why stop there? My snot locker is so full that the mucus doesn’t know which way to go. Half of it runs out of my nose and the other half down my throat. This allows me to enjoy it later, coughing it up in the form of phlegm balls. Spring is a beautiful time of year, as are all of God’s seasons, but alas, the beauty is lost on me as my senses during the months of April, May and June are clogged, dull, runny or stuffed. Just wait til summer hits, with its 98° temperatures and 98% humidity . . .yeah, I know, whine, whine, whine, whine. Well, somebody’s got to do it; so it might just as well be me.

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