Archive for September, 2008

I thought it went pretty well. It was funny how Jim Lehrer tried to get the candidates to address one another directly and Obama did, but McCain refused to look at Barrack. McCain seemed like he knew a lot about foreign policy and he could back it up by saying how he had been to all those different countries but he still didn’t get it. I was waiting for someone to mention it but only Barrack brought it up. The United States’ reputation in the world had been badly damaged by the current administration and we need to take steps to change how others view us. How are we ever going to solve things if we refuse to speak to anyone?

Obama also made a good point about Afghanistan and Iraq. About which one is really important. And I loved the little bracelet exchange. McCain has a bracelet with the name of a dead soldier whose mom said to not let her son’s sacrifice be in vain and that he should make sure we “win” in Iraq. Obama said he also had a bracelet and that that mother said for him to make sure another mother never has to go what she went through again.

I hope that the American people will see sense and not allow McCain to take office in January.

I went to my creative writing class last night and found that the first thing we would be doing would be reading the first chapter of my story aloud. My professor said that if this had crossed a desk at Tor or Del-Rey the person reading it would say, “This guy’s a pro.” He said it was really good and professionally done. He also said that while some peoples’ work might be a car that needs breaks and had some rusting bodywork, my writing was a finely tuned sports car. All it needed was a little polish to make it look great. Even other students said they liked how it jumped right into the action and made them want to read more. My use of imagery and world description was also well liked because I didn’t give away too much too soon, but what I did give, made them really see it.  Here are two sentences they liked:

She whipped around the corner and, using her targeting reticle that she projected temporarily on her retina, blasted three quick shots at the spidery robot that scurried towards her from the other end of the hall.

He thought about how the windows would light up with nature’s own fireworks display as all the creatures from the deep exploded the darkness with bioluminescence.

Of course, in the context of the story they fit better but I guess I just wanted to share some good praise I received. I was pleasantly surprised. Not to say that there wasn’t criticism as well, but it wasn’t bad, just constructive.

Goodbye Papa

Posted: September 24, 2008 in Family, Home
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Right now, my grandfather is up in and ICU with a machine hooked to his face that forces air into his lungs. He is too weak to breathe on his own and his heart wouldn’t oxygenate his blood effectively anyway. He might die today or in a few days. I got out of work early yesterday to go see him and say my last goodbyes. He was alert but could not answer me.

I told him how I remembered all of the trips we took when I was younger and visited them in Oklahoma. How we went to go see the Prairie Dog town in Texas and how we fished for crawdads off a bridge with bits of bacon tied to a string. They would grab the bacon in their pincers and we just lifted them up. When they were all boiled, they looked like little lobsters and I lined them up with the biggest one facing all the rest like he was a General inspecting the troops. I told him I remembered our train ride together and our camping trip in his old VW bus. How it got so cold that I had to climb up with him.

I told him that I was glad that for the past year, they had moved back to the East coast so my wife could meet them and that it was really cool that he got to see his great grandson Andrew. I recounted the many BBQs we had gone to this summer and that we would miss him. Then I said goodbye and walked out of that beeping room. Goodbye Papa. I’m happy to say that I will see you again in a much better place.

So I totally forgot that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day until just now. Arggg! Now I really have to swab the decks an’ sing shanties wi’ the best o’ them. Do ye know “Spanish Ladies?” Fare well and adieu to you Spanish Ladies. Sing wi’ me now! What? I’ll run ya through for talkin’ to cookie like that! He whips up the best plum duff this side o’ the Spanish Main. I’ll hang you from the mizzen mast by your thumbs and use you for musket practise you scurvy son of a bilge rat! I’ll keelhaul ya until yav only got barnacles fer eyes and crabs fer hands ya lilly livered sea swine. Ya don’t know yer Jib from yermain top gallant sails. yer guts rotten wi grog and ye got land legs worse than me grandmother, rest her seafaring soul.

I believe that if we instituted a mandatory wait of one month after birth before an abortion could take place, it would drastically reduce the number of babies slaughtered each year. If the mother was required to swing the machete or scalpel, there would be almost zero abortions a year. No mother with a shred of human feelings could hack her own baby to pieces. Call me what you like but I think abortion is wrong, no matter what the situation. So a woman gets raped, that is a horrible tradegy, but don’t go and make it worse and kill the innocent child too. Besides, the vast majority of abortions are not because of rape or incest, they are convenience killings. “Oh, I don’t feel like having a baby right now.” Well, maybe you should have thought about that before having sex.

However, as strong as my feelings for this issue are, I refuse to let this one issue decide the election for me. I believe the Republicans will do much more damage than good, in almost all areas of policy. Eight years ago, I would have voted for McCain and I said McCain in 08? Yeah. But not so much now. He will get us into more war (Iran) and stay in Iraq 100 years!? (his words, not mine). No please. We need to take care of America where we need it most, in America.

Well this week is my 24th week commuting by bike this year. Last year I rode 29 weeks so this year I should be able to ride right up until December to make 34 weeks. I love it. It gets me energized for the days work, and sweaty and sexy for the ride home uphill so when I walk in the door, I have my business shirt all unbuttoned like Superman. Plus I estimate I’m saving 384 miles on my car, or $76.80 on gas so far this year. That may not seem like a lot because work is only two miles away from home. I planned it that way when I bought my house. But every little bit helps when you have a baby. Plus I get exercise everyday. It’s a good deal all around. I suggest you try it. I have another post that explains it a little more. Cheers for now.

Busy

Posted: September 16, 2008 in Uncategorized
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I have been a little lax about writing lately because I have been writing other places. Like I mentioned before, I am working on a novella for a creative writing class. My story is coming along well. I am also going to school three nights a week and working full time. We also have a three and a half month old who wakes up VERY early. I was up at 3:11 am, 4:44 am, 5:30 am, and 6:00 am this morning. So I am a little TIRED.  It is hard to leave my wife with the baby in the evenings especially since she has been with him all day too. There are days I only see her 1-2 hours in a whole day. It is tough but we will get through it. It makes me wonder if I should just stop and be satisfied with an Associates Degree instead of a BA or Masters. Is it worth the time away? I don’t know.

I have been working on short stories for a creative writing class. Boy it is hard! I have three viable options but I think at least two of them could be expanded to novella or even novel length. Planning out the plot is okay but coming up with characters is difficult. How do you do it?

I asked my Prof what he thinks. This is what he said: “Read them over carefully, and like all of them. I’d prefer the second one, but that’s less that I think it’s better than the others than that I love ‘near-future’ scifi. Go with your gut.”

 

What’s that supposed to mean! Which one is the best or has the best potential. What format should it be? Arghh. Ambiguous feedback is sometimes worse than no feedback.

Paintball

Posted: September 7, 2008 in Sports
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Yeah I went paintballing yesterday. In the Rain. It was a lot of fun, except you couldn’t see anything out of the goggles because they got so foggy from the moisture and breathing. I always enjoy playing paintball. It makes me feel like I’m eleven again, running through the woods yelling Bang! Bang! Except this time, I have a gun that shoots real projectiles. (more…)

Trip to Australia & New Zealand

with People to People. July 1998

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Trip to Germany 2005 Journal

Posted: September 3, 2008 in Travel
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Trip to Germany 2005

With Lydia & Hans Heinz Würslin

Day 1 1/5/05 We are waiting in Hancock Airport ready to go to Atlanta GA & then to Zurich, Switzerland. I have been learning snatches of German so I can have some idea of what’s going on. I can’t wait to drive on the Autobahn & see the mountains!

Day 2 1/6/05 The hours passed quickly flying East so it was the next day in no time as evidenced by the announcement right after we boarded that we would be arriving in Zurich shortly. Yeah, 9 hours of shortly. (more…)

Things I would like/ need to do: (more…)

Earlier today, snipers shot at the new Prime Minister of Pakistan’s car in an attempt to kill him. The thing is, HE WASN’T IN THE CAR. Next time you try to wipe out a head of state, make sure to read the itinerary. The car was on the way to the airport to pick up the Prime Minister when it was hit. If they were ON THE WAY to pick him up, it means that you have to wait until they are COMING BACK for it to work. Maybe they should lay off drinking out of their juice boxes and eating Little Debbie cakes. They were too hopped up on sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup to think clearly.

 “On Wednesday afternoon, plainclothes police with a dog searched for clues on a small hill from which they believed the shots were fired at the premier’s car. They gathered snack wrappers and juice cartons and took them away from beneath a huge portrait of Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which greets travelers arriving in the capital.” AP

You know, maybe we should be looking for kindergardeners toting black market M-40A1s instead of grown men. They are probably napping after their big sniper excursion.

Hey Blogoshpere! I am taking a creative writing/ fiction class and I need to decide what type of project to do for the semester. Any ideas? It could be a series of short stories, a novella, a play, a screenplay, a graphic novel, etc. What do you think? Topics?

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