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The Season Of The Nut Job

Well, it’s that time of year again, and I’m not talking about fall, even though we are in the middle of autumn. Where I live, we have a season within a season and we call it, “The Season of The Nut Job.” Let me explain.

In my front yard grows an abundance of oak trees. Beginning in October, acorns start to fall. Now, when I say acorns start to fall, I’m sure you immediately think, “What’s the big deal about a tiny nut such as an acorn dropping from a tree?” What you don’t understand is these nuts have a mind of their own. They don’t drop one here, one there, plink, plink, plink. No, they drop by the bucketful.

It honestly sounds like foot-falls across our roof. Park a car in this danger zone, and it will remind you of someone playing a desperately out-of-tune xylophone.

A hard-hat is required to stroll through the front yard without receiving head trauma. Once you acquire your cranial protection to move through this area with reasonable safety, you must prepare to walk as if you were stepping on marbles. If by the end of your jaunt you have made it safely (side stepping bodies of the unlucky ones) to the mailbox and back to the front porch with minimal damage, you may count yourself among the fortunate.

The squirrels, of course, love the deluge of protein sent their way to enjoy during the upcoming cold winter months. If you take a notion to find out what an acorn tastes like, and it doesn’t kill you, please let me know. I’d have enough food to last me till the cows come home . . . of course, that’s another blog.

Have a great week and may God bless!

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During My Drinking Days, I Suppose, “Pass Out,” Would Have Stood In For, “Sleep”

Ever slept out under the stars? Ever slept in a tent? Ever slept out of doors in any fashion just to get back to nature? I’d have to say, “yes,” to all three. Of course, as much as I hate to admit it, during my drinking days, I suppose, “pass out,” would have stood in for, “sleep,” under whatever was overhead when I decided to nap.

Some of the worst night’s sleep I ever experienced happened during the summer in a tent. As a teenager, several of us got together to participate in a night of camping. All we had was an old canvas tent, the operative word being old. As it is frequently wanton to do on hot summer nights, the rain began to fall. Not a gentle steady rain, but an out-an-out gully-washer.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of spending a night in a canvas tent during a rain, but let me assure you, all is well as long as you don’t touch the ceiling of the tent.

On this particular night as we scrambled into our canvas abode and zipped the doorway shut, at least a generation of mosquitoes beat us to the punch. We grabbed our flashlights and began poking the blood sucking insects that landed on the ceiling.

The rest of the night was spent swatting mosquitoes and dodging drips that turned into rivers and ran through the floor of the tent.

Every time I attempted to sleep in a tent, rainy summer nights turned into muggy summer days. I finally realized that a camping trip for me equated to a hotel room with an easily accessible thermostat. So, happy camping, and I’ll leave the light on for me. Have a great week!

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Talk About Being in the Right Place at the Right Time . . . “Burp!”

I caught the cooking bug a few years back and dove head first into the world of gourmet food. I became a foodie and followed that trail for quite a few years. The job I had at the time fell in place with fine wine and dining. Talk about being in the right place at the right time . . . “burp!”`

I found myself able to travel the country sampling exceptional eats and drink.

One of my earlier novels contained several large banquets of exotic fare due to a post-apocalyptic earth. I received several reviews that thought the book needed to reduce the time characters spent sitting around a table shoving their faces full of food.`

I still enjoy fine dining occasionally, but my pallet thankfully has reverted to enjoying simpler fare. Give me a well-dressed hot dog or brat. If not a dog, then a perfectly grilled burger, toppings unlimited.

 I do have to draw the line at certain fast food. If the material used to prepare my meal is shipped by tractor trailer, frozen and ready to drop into hot grease, it’s probably not for me. If the burger whinnies and the chicken’s . . . well, not really chicken beyond a reasonable doubt, I’d probably pass it by.

If I’m in the mood for a pizza and the eateries offering more resembles or worse tastes like Bisquick and Ketchup, I’ll make a B-line to an Italian restaurant where English is a foreign language.

I grew up on grandma’s fried chicken. What I find most ironic in this day and age is your average person either cannot or will not attempt to fry a piece of chicken. This usually arises for fear of overcooking the outside and the inside remaining underdone.

Here’s where I pile kudos on top of the fried chicken, fast food industry. They have cooking chicken down to such a science; a high school student can fry a perfect batch without fail. Come to think of it, I’m getting a taste for something crunchy like, with a good bit of spice . . . gotta go, have a great week!

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I See Our Country As Having The Greatest Government In The World. The Problem Comes When You Throw Human Beings Into The Mix

I don’t care much for politics. In fact, it would be a pretty safe bet to place stating I despise the very word. It’s not to say I don’t approve of our democracy or for the sake of accuracy, constitutional republic, because I do. I see our country as having the greatest government in the world. The problem comes when you throw human beings into the mix.

 Now, in this mix, you end up with money grubbing, power hungry, kittens in a pile of sand-sized clay particles trying to cover one another, like turds in a litter box.

I live within a couple of hours of downtown Washington, DC and can feel my IQ dropping the closer I get to this political haven.

It would be great to see these boys and girls playing nice for a change, instead of day after day inventing new episodes of “Romper Room Gone Wild.”

Oh well, I suppose you can’t ask for any more than your given, although it would be nice to incorporate a little civility. Even if I have a hard time assimilating the notion of a political climate, I watch the news every day for that very reason. I may not like it but I need to know what’s going on. I’ve given you enough to think about for the upcoming week.

Have a great one!


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Boy, Tell Me This Post Doesn’t Have Disaster Written All Over It

Have you ever rewritten a book report, thesis, or dissertation? In the case of a writer, and depending on the type of writer, have you considered rewriting a high school, college, or major metropolitan newspaper article, magazine piece, or performed the edits and rewrites necessary for the completion of an author’s latest novel. Boy, tell me this post doesn’t have disaster written all over it.

I can relate to a few of these; however, now I have embarked on rewrites of a larger scale. I have a series of books; that began a handful of years ago. Right now, the series numbers three and will soon grow to four. Having not a clue where it will end, I have decided to rewrite the flagship novel in order to add a bit more excitement to the collection.

Like you, I would have thought this task to be doable, a bit time consuming but nothing that comes close to the realm of overwhelming. Well, here comes that poetic quote, “think again.”

Even though the book is written, if you happen to drop a change anywhere within the preordained pages, it may have a profound affect elsewhere in the novel, throwing the story line slightly or unrecognizably askew. Thankfully, my rewrites are close to completion . . . I think, of course, there’s always room for a slight catastrophe. Here’s a little food for thought, if you decide to make changes to one of your babies, all I ask is you give it a second thought before proceeding down a road seldom traveled . . . just sayin’.

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8 Tracks, CD’s, Vinyl, or Carrier Pigeon. Don’t Much Care How I Get The Music, As Long As It Keeps On Comin’!

My “go to” for music in my younger years was cassettes. However, 8 tracks, CD’s, vinyl, or carrier pigeon-don’t much care how I get the music as long as it keeps on comin’. I do remember 8 track tapes, as my father frequently used that media to play his country favorites. Vinyl albums were still the crème de la crème of audio; however, nothing could beat the portability of the pocket sized cassette. As time progressed, the hardware for playing these miniature marvels excelled in quality until they matched everything the turntable could do without the bulk and the fear of scratches.

It was somewhere during this journey, long before I considered becoming an author, my goal was to be a rock star. This culminated after years of playing bars, hotels, roadhouses and every other dive in between, with having my first child and deciding I’d listen to music in lieu of playing said tunes. As my son grew, I had the great blessing of teaching him to play the bass guitar, and we went on to serve together in our church praise band.

Back to the world of audio media, the cassette became obsolete shortly after the CD was introduced. The compact disc would cure all ills present in the world of ear candy to date. Storage problems, superior distortion free sound, constructed from materials that would last, along with numerous other advantages.

Who knows what they will come up with next. The CD gave birth to the DVD, Blue ray disc, and beyond that I’m in the dark.

Oh well, I’ve ridden about as far as I care to on the technology train. Guess I’ll be getting off at the next stop . . . then again, maybe not.

Have a great week, and God Bless!

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I Spend a Lot of Time Writing. I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking. I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About Writing.

I spend a lot of time writing. I spend a lot of time thinking. I spend a lot of time thinking about writing. And finally, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to be writing. This usually equates to the situations my characters find themselves having to endure and what unearthly creatures they must face within these situations.

Concocting these story lines in unique places, with unique characters, and then pitting their intellect and strength against unique creatures, provides a challenge and a lot of enjoyment for me as an author.

When it comes to thought, I’ve reiterated, abundantly, how I utilize this notion. In fact, I would say over abundantly is more than likely an understatement. I guess I would like to convey that I think about other things . . . things like . . . oh, I don’t know . . . how about socks.

That’s it, socks. What type of socks do you wear? As a kid, I remember the elastic left a lot to be desired in my everyday white socks.

As the years passed, tube socks became the “go to.” You could buy a package of a dozen socks that would fit any size from 9 – 13. Of course, for dress wear there were always colored socks that were more like hosiery.

Nowadays, and probably for the last ten years, I have worn toe socks. You may think it odd that a man would cotton to such footwear; however, even though they take a little getting used to, do yourself a favor and give the five-toed wonders a try. It’ll either be the most comfortable fabric you’ve pulled over your feet or horrendously annoying if you can’t stand things between your toes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this odd jaunt and equally unusual segue from writing and thinking to the world of socks.

Have a great week and a safe holiday!

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Creation In And Of Itself Is A Miracle, But Boy It Can Sure Be Ugly

As a science fiction writer, and I’m sure I have said this before, I enjoy devising outlandish beasts and creatures that could only exist in one’s mind. On the other hand, creation in and of itself is a miracle, but, boy, it can sure be ugly.

Occasionally, the critters that I concoct are of the tiny flesh gnawing variety. This makes me stop and think of the wonders in nature. How amazing are the insects that avoid our glance because of their diminutive size. These beings have a brain, nervous system, and circulatory system to digest their food, which frequently comes in the form of human juice.

How about the bumble bee? They’re big, bulbous, possess undersized wings, totally lack any form of aerodynamics, and yet, they perform the impossible, by flying and executing the deed flawlessly.

We, also, see God’s sense of humor in the duck-billed platypus, blob fish (seen above), narwhal, and a plethora of odd creatures.

If we sit in our backyards, especially during the summer months, but to an extent all year long, we will see the miracle of creation. 

And, what a miracle, it is!

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Conservatory Methods May Not Be Necessary Nor Work On All Of Our Natural Resources

I believe conservation is vital (recycling being one of the most important), but is it possible that conservatory methods may not be necessary nor work on all of our natural resources?

Now, I say this tongue-n-cheek, so please take it in the humorous spirit for which it is meant. The resource, of which I speak, is water. If you think about the water cycle, there is really no place for water to go.

Each ounce we use, whether to drink, bathe, or water our lawn, stays on earth. It sinks into the ground, runs into a stream then enters a tributary that leads to larger bodies of water. This water is evaporated by the sun, condensed into clouds, which then falls back to the earth as rain.

Water that seeps into the ground makes its way through the topsoil, subsoil, layers of rock and stone which filter impurities. This ground water eventually makes its way into aquifers placed at different levels. Some can be reached with shallow wells no more than fifty feet deep. Others are at depths two to three hundred feet below the surface and require a deep well. When the aquifer is deep enough that ground pressure pushes water to the surface once the aquifer is tapped, it is referred to as an artesian well.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me, whenever there’s a drought in one location, there are flood waters in another.

Our water supply is constantly cycling throughout the troposphere and underneath the earth’s surface. With our planet’s weather in constant motion, systems have no choice but to also be in constant motion which keeps the water on the move.

Just a thought from a science fiction novelist, taking a break from edits and rewrites. Enjoy your day and have a big bottle of cold water on me.

Post script: Did you know that 40% of all bottled water comes from a tap . . . just sayin.’  

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Toss Me In The Water, Suds My Hide Up Proper, And Beat Me Against A Rock . . . Don’t Care How You Do It, Just Get Me Clean

In this day and age there are so many things with which we take issue. For instance, what is your favorite style BBQ? Beef brisket, North Carolina pulled pork or Memphis with a red sauce.

How do you like your steak? Rare, medium rare, medium or well done.

And, one of the all-time questions posed to man, do you prefer a bath or shower?

Now me, I usually take a shower. Not just any shower, but a hot shower, and I mean a hot shower. There’s nothing better than the water streaming through my hair and coursing down my body. I’ll admit I spend an overabundance of time under the spray; however, it is one of my self-indulgences.

I will have to concede that occasionally I also enjoy sliding into a nice hot bath. I have heard folks protest that taking a bath is nothing more than stewing in your own filth. One could argue that since the filth is my own, no harm no foul, and being  the bath was around long before the shower, I figure if it was good enough for my distant ancestors then it ought to be good enough for me.

The real question comes with shampoo–wash, rinse, repeat …when does it ever end!

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