Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Many Thanks...

Wow, I have been honored. I mean, I am truly honored. Red (true she is my cousin-in-law but she wasn’t coerced into doing it) has written a post about my websites that left me speechless (yes, I obviously recovered a bit). She writes about them as though she actually enjoys reading my posts. It makes a person feel good to have someone do something like this out of the blue for them (about them?). By way of thanks, I would like to ask anyone who reads this to stop by and give her a warm hello. Who knows, you may even want to add her to your daily reading line-up. She has a great blog with new posts nearly everyday. Thanks again, Red. You have made my day.

And they said it couldn't be done...

Teresa Nielsen Hayden has managed to do something that some have said was utterly impossible. Oh, you mean you want me to tell you what it is? Why didn’t you just follow the link? Fine…She managed to write a poem that poetry.com not only didn’t say qualified her to be “The Poet of the Year for 2005” (with probably close to 5,000 other hopefuls), but they actually rejected it (I have misspoken here. She didn’t actually receive a reject. See her comments below). Yes, it was a brilliant piece. To read it in its entirety, please visit Making Light. I know…I know, you want me to wet your appetite a bit, don’t you? Well let’s just say pitted one form of scam artist against another. Don’t forget to scroll through her comments; I was nearly in tears after reading some of her commentor’s variations.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Listen up! I am giving you pearls over here...

Update: It turns out that this is just another urban legend. This really sucks, because it would be a really good speech to give to graduating high school students.

I received the following in my email this morning and thought I would pass it along. Ol’ Bill has some very good points here.

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! To anyone
with kids of any age, here's some advice.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did
not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically
correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and
how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.


Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect
you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You
won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents
had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about
your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.
They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and l
istening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the
rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the
closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS
NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give
you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the
slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and
very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on
your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to
leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on.
If you can read this - Thank a teacher!
If you are reading it in English -Thank a soldier!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

100 WAYS TO ORDER A PIZZA!

1.If using a touch-tone, press random numbers while ordering. Ask the person taking the order to stop doing that.
2.Make up a charge-card name. Ask if they accept it.
3.Use CB lingo where applicable.
4.Order a Big Mac Extra Value Meal.
5.Terminate the call with, "Remember, we never had this conversation."
6.Tell the order taker a rival pizza place is on the other line and you're going with the lowest bidder.
7.Give them your address, exclaim "Oh, just surprise me!" and hang up.
8.Answer their questions with questions.
9.In your breathiest voice, tell them to cut the crap about nutrition and ask if they have something outlandishly sinful.
10.Use these bonus words in the conversation: ROBUST FREE-SPIRITEDCOST-EFFICIENT UKRAINIAN PUCE.
11.Tell them to put the crust on top this time.
12.Sing the order to the tune of your favorite song from Metallica's "Master of Puppets" CD.
13.Do not name the toppings you want. Rather, spell them out.
14.Put an extra edge in your voice when you say "crazy bread."
15.Stutter on the letter "p."
16.Ask for a deal available somewhere else.
17.Ask what the order taker is wearing.
18.Crack your knuckles into the receiver.
19.Say hello, act stunned for five seconds, then behave as if they called you.
20.Rattle off your order with a determined air. If they ask if you would like drinks with that, panic and become disoriented.
21.Tell the order taker you're depressed. Get him/her to cheer you up.
22.Make a list of exotic cuisine's. Order them as toppings.
23.Change your accent every three seconds.
24.Order 52 pepperoni slices prepared in a fractal pattern as follows from an equation you are about to dictate. Ask if they need paper.
25.Act like you know the order taker from somewhere. Say "Bed-Wetters'Camp, right?"
26.Start your order with "I'd like. . . ". A little later, slap yourself and say "No, I don't."
27.If they repeat the order to make sure they have it right, say "OK. That'll be $10.99; please pull up to the first window."
28.Rent a pizza.
29.Order while using an electric knife sharpener.
30.Ask if you get to keep the pizza box. When they say yes, heave a sigh of relief.
31.Put the accent on the last syllable of "pepperoni." Use the long "i" sound.
32.Have your pizza "shaken, not stirred."
33.Say "Are you sure this is (Pizza Place)? When they say yes, say "Well, so is this! You've got some explaining to do!" When they finally offer proof that it is, in fact, (Pizza Place), start to cry and ask, "Do you know what it's like to be lied to?"
34.Move the mouthpiece farther and farther from your lips as you speak. When the call ends, jerk the mouthpiece back into place and scream goodbye at the top of your lungs.
35.Tell them to double-check to make sure your pizza is, in fact, dead.
36.Imitate the order taker's voice.
37.Eliminate verbs from your speech.
38.When they say "What would you like?" say, "Huh? Oh, you mean now."
39.Play a sitar in the background.
40.Say it's your anniversary and you'd appreciate if the deliverer hide behind some furniture waiting for your spouse to arrive so you can surprise him/her.
41.Amuse the order taker with little-known facts about country music.
42.Ask to see a menu.
43.Quote Newt Gingrich.
44.Say you'll be able to pay for this when the movie people call back.
45.Ask if they have any idea what is at stake with this pizza.
46.Ask what topping goes best with well-aged Chardonnay.
47.Belch directly into the mouthpiece; then tell your dog it should be ashamed.
48.Order a slice, not a whole pizza.
49.Shout "I'm through with men/women! Send me a dozen of your best, Gaston!"
50.Doze off in the middle of the order, catch yourself, and say "Where was I? Who are you?"
51.Psychoanalyze the order taker.
52.Ask what their phone number is. Hang up, call them, and ask again.
53.Order two toppings, then say, "No, they'll start fighting."
54.Learn to properly pronounce the ingredients of a Twinkie. Ask that these be included in the pizza. 55.Call to complain about service. Later, call to say you were drunk and didn't mean it.
56.Tell the order taker to tell the manager to tell his supervisor he's fired.
57.Report a petty theft to the order taker.
58.Use expletives like "Great Caesar's Ghost"
59.Ask for the guy who took your order last time.
60.If he/she suggests anything, adamantly declare, "I shall not be swayed by your sweet words."
61. Wonder aloud if you should trim those nose hairs.
62.Start the conversation with "My Call to (Pizza Place), Take1, and. . . action!"
63.Ask if the pizza is organically grown.
64.Ask about pizza maintenance and repair.
65.Be vague in your order.
66.When they repeat your order, say "Again, with a little more OOMPH this time."
67.If using a touch-tone press 9-1-1 every 5 seconds throughout the order.
68.After ordering, say "I wonder what THIS button on the phone does." Simulate a cutoff.
69.Start the conversation by reciting today's date and saying, "This may be my last entry."
70.State your order and say that's as far as this relationship is going to get.
71.Ask if they're familiar with the term "spanking a pizza. "Make up a description to go with the term. Ask that this be done to your pizza.
72.Say "Kssssssssssssssht" rather loudly into the phone. Ask if they felt that.
73.Detect the order taker's psychic aura. Use it to your advantage.
74.When listing toppings you want on your pizza, include another pizza.
75.Learn to play a blues riff on the harmonica. Stop talking at regular intervals to play it.
76.Ask if they would like to sample your pizza. Suggest an even trade.
77.Perfect a celebrity's voice. Stress that you won't take any crap from some two-bit can't-hack-it pimple-faced gofer.
78.Put them on hold.
79.Teach the order taker a secret code. Use the code on all subsequent orders.
80.Mumble, "There's a bomb under your seat." When asked to repeat that, say "I said 'sauce smothered with meat'."
81.Make the first topping you order mushrooms. Make the last thing you say "No mushrooms, please." Hang up before they have a chance to respond.
82.When the order is repeated, change it slightly. When it is repeated again, change it again. On the third time, say "You just don't get it, do you?"
83.When you're given the price, say "Ooooooo, that sounds complicated. I hate math."
84.Haggle.
85.Order a one-inch pizza.
86.Order term life insurance.
87.When they say "Will that be all?", snicker and say "We'll find out, won't we?"
88.Order with a Speak-n-Spell where applicable.
89.Ask how many dolphins were killed to make that pizza.
91.Engage in some serious swapping.
92.Dance all around the word "pizza." Avoid saying it at all costs. If he/she says it, say "Please don't mention that word."
93.Have a movie with a good car chase scene playing loudly in the background. Yell "OW!" when a bullet is fired.
94.If he/she suggests a side order, ask why he/she is punishing you.
95.Ask if the pizza has had its shots.
96. Order a steamed pizza.
97.Get taker's name. Later, call exactly on the hour to say, "This is your (time of day) wake-up call, So-and-so." Hang up.
98.Offer to pay for the pizza with a public flogging. If any of the above practices are rejected by the order taker,
99.Say, in your best pouty voice, "You let me last time."
100. Try to talk while drinking something.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Computer Geek Invades Biker Rally.

The mission: Infiltrate biker rally without exposing myself as the geek that I truly am.
Hey, I’ve seen The Wild One and Marlon Brando, I am not.
“Perhaps if you buy a T-shirt with some sort of motor cycle logo on it,” my wife suggested.
“Oh, I could dress up like a cowboy…”
“What?
“You know like that guy in Easy Rider.”
“It’s going to be 100 degrees out there; you will want to be dressed as cool as possible.”
“So, something like this:


“Oh, I want to go to,” my son says.
“but you are too small:



so you will have to spend the day with Mema.”

We get to the rally and there are bikes everywhere.




It is really quite impressive. By 10 a.m. there are over 7,000 visitors.

It was incredibly hot, so we decided to partake of some frosty beverages.




My wife snapped a shot of some painted people laughing at me. “Your husband is kind of a geek, huh?”



“Damn, maybe if I buy one of those head wraps, it will help me blend in.”


“It’s still a little dorky, but at least your head won’t get burned,” my wife dutifully informed me.


Of course, she looked smoking hot as always. There is no chance of her ever being exposed as a geek.

“Whoa, are those guys pushing kegs with their bikes?”




“Yeah, it’s called a keg race. They have to be the first one to push the keg over the finish line with out it shooting out to either side.”
“We need volunteers for the keg toss,” a voice called out over the PA system.
“Oh, you should try that,” my wife urged.
“Uh, sure.”



I didn’t win, but I did toss it far enough that the Mrs. was quite impressed.

Everything was going pretty smooth, when out of no where Tony makes a rather bold announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that a geek has infiltrated out cool brotherhood. Be on the lookout for a bumbling idiot in a white T-shirt and a grey skull cap that is trying to pass himself off as the real deal.”

So, he had some of his bodyguards stand on the stage and scour the crowd to find me.



“We should probably get you a different shirt,” my wife suggested. She is obviously much smarter than I am.
We quickly found a new shirt and I donned it before anyone was able to ID me.
“How do I look?”
“Like a dork in a tank top, but I love you anyways.” My wife gave me her best patient smile.



It was blast, an experience that I would recommend that everyone have at least once in their lives.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Making Sparks

Well, things are going to be a little dead here until Sunday. I am going to my first ever Bike Rally. It is being held in Central Oklahoma and is touted to be the Sturgis of the Midwest. It should be a weekend filled with lots of bikes, lots of games and lots of fun. Maybe, I will see some of you there.

I will give everyone a proper report when I return. Who knows…I may even have a few pictures to post. I still have quite a bit of preparing to do, so I will leave it at that for now. Remember, keep the wind in your hair, the bugs away from your teeth and at least one wheel on the road. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

It takes a brave man...

A CEO (and member of Forbes 400!) throwing a party takes his executives on a tour of his opulent mansion. In the back of the property, the CEO has the largest swimming pool any of them has ever seen. The huge pool, however, is filled with hungry alligators. The CEO says to his executives "I think an executive should be measured by courage. Courage is what made me CEO. Therefore, this is my challenge to each of you: if anyone has enough courage to dive into the pool, swim through those alligators, and make it to the other side, I will give that person anything they desire. My job, my money, my house, anything!"
Everyone laughs at the outrageous offer and proceeds to follow the CEO on the tour of the estate. Suddenly, they hear a loud splash. Everyone turns around and sees the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) in the pool, swimming for his life. He dodges the alligators left and right and makes it to the edge of the pool with seconds to spare. He pulls himself out just as a huge alligator snaps at his shoes. The flabbergasted CEO approaches the CFO and says, "You are amazing. I've never seen anything like it in my life. You are brave beyond measure and anything I own is yours. Tell me what I can do for you."
The CFO, panting for breath, looks up and says, "You can tell me who the hell pushed me in the pool!!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How I get my Kicks...

Ouch…it is indeed the morning after and I am so sore that I can barely type. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but I am pretty darned sore. Why, you ask? What sort of self torture has he put himself through this time? Was it the Wake-Board? Perhaps, it was the flat tube launching him twelve feet in the air. Did he push himself too hard training for the next 5K race? No, it was none of these things that put me in this condition. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to make a triumphant return to the world of Martial Arts.

I signed my son up for lessons at Apollo’s Karate. He is about the same age that I was when I was first introduced to the sport. While I was there, I discovered that by signing him up, I could get a month of adult classes for free. The adult curriculum isn’t confined to traditional Karate. Though it is still a major part of what they teach, Mike Collins also teaches a mix of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“You have trained in Martial Arts before?” Mr. Collins asked during our orientation.
“Yes, I have trained in Karate, Tae Kwan Do, but I have also had a little training in ninjitsu and Capoeira while I was in the military along with the standard hand to hand training I received.”
“What belt…”
“No, no. It has been so long, I want to start over. Sign me up as a beginner and I will work my way up like the rest.”
“How long has it been?”
“It’s been about 12 years since I set foot in a dojo.”
“Oh…”

So, I had my first session last night. It went really well (quite a bit of my old training came back to me), but I could tell that I need a lot of work. My balance and focus have gone to crap and I have muscles screaming at me that I forgot even existed. I am sure that it is a temporary condition that will be rectified in the coming weeks.

If you live in Oklahoma and are looking for a good place to learn Karate, I highly recommend that you contact Mike Collins at Apollo’s Karate. Be sure to tell him that I sent you his way.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Raising Awareness

Next week the PBS series "P.O.V." will present the Sundance Film Festival Award-Winning documentary called The Education of Shelby Knox.

Here is an excerpt from the website:

The Education of Shelby Knox is a coming of age
story about a teenage girl who joins a campaign for comprehensive sex education in the high schools of Lubbock, Texas.

As Shelby is swept into the fight, she begins to question her deeply conservative Southern Baptist upbringing; when the campaign broadens to include a fight for a gay-straight alliance, Shelby confronts her family and her pastor, in the end declaring herself a feminist and a liberal Christian.

I would love to say more, but I think Mike over at The Corpuscle has done such an eloquent write-up, that anything I could say about this and also young Zach’s situation would pale in comparison. So, please visit his site for more information.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dog Humor...arf, arf

The following is borrowed with thanks from Brad Sinor:

How Many Dogs Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

Golden Retriever
The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?
Border Collie
Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
Dachshund
You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!
Rottweiler
Make me.
Boxer
Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.
Lab
Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!
German Shepherd
I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.
Jack Russell Terrier
I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.
English Sheep Dog
Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb...
Cocker Spaniel
Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
Chihuahua
Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or "We don't need no stinking light bulb."
Greyhound
It isn't moving. Who cares?
Australian Cattle Dog
First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...
Poodle
I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.
The Cat
Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: "How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?"


ALL OF WHICH PROVES, ONCE AGAIN,
THAT WHILE DOGS HAVE MASTERS, CATS HAVE STAFF!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Horror Genre Exposed

Joe Nassise, over at Shades of Reality, has just announced the launching of a new blog. It features columns written by some the greatest names in Horror and Dark Fantasy. The blog will provide insights into the genre and the business of getting it published. I will be following this one with great interest as it appeals to me on a personal level. The blog is called Storytellers Unplugged and the posts are…well why should I explain it when you can go there and see for yourself. The columnists include:

Kelley Armstrong
Janet Berliner
Gary Braunbeck
Kealan Patrick Burke
Douglas Clegg
Richard Dansky
Laura Anne Gilman
Sephera Giron
Brian Keene
Brian Knight
Michael Laimo
Tim Lebbon
Deborah LeBlanc
Jeff Mariotte
Elizabeth Massie
Jon Merz
James Moore
Joseph Nassise
Scott Nicholson
Terese Pampellone
John Pelan
Sarah Pinborough
Steve Saville
Matt Schwartz
Jeffrey Thomas
Bev Vincent
David Niall Wilson

So, pop on over and give them a heartfelt hello and a grand welcome to the blogosphere.

Book news and a sigh for all of humanity

Ok, I just wanted to give a quick update on my book (the one that is coming out this year, of course). I have been in contact with my publisher a couple of times since the original acceptance. We still haven’t finalized the contract, but that portion should be wrapped up in the next week or two. I had the distinct impression that he was proceeding with this project even before, the contracts are signed as we are looking at such an early release date (August?). Well, that and the fact that he already has an artist working on my cover. I get chills just thinking about it; my first book is coming out this year.

Below is a little teaser to wet your appetite. Let me know what you think.

A small community in Southern Oklahoma is rocked by a savage murder and the disappearance of six seniors at Castleton High School. Only a few members of a tribe that lives on the Red River Reservation know what really happened that night. A group of spirit warriors known as the Nunne’hi has avenged the death of Carl Redoak, putting a new twist on an old-fashioned ghost story. The bodies of the missing boys slowly turn up…in pieces. Tensions rise between the Res and their neighbors in Castleton as the accusations fly. When the truth is revealed, will anyone believe it? Will the bloodshed continue? Will Michael “Big hand touches little hand” Jackson ever go to jail for being a F#$%ed in the head child molester (and no, this doesn’t really have anything at all to do with my book. I just thought I would sneak it in.)?

Ok, I’m off to work. Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Is that a fin in the water?

You see one of the perils of posting your poems, stories, etc. online is that you occasionally pickup the odd con. Now, wait that isn’t entirely fair, poetry.com will publish my poetry in an anthology and it will be read (by other suckers…er, I mean poets that have purchased a copy because their poem was “selected” as well). Of course, I didn’t realize that they think I am Poet of the Year material. Oh, and as you will read below, they are going to give me a bowl for my accomplishments. Well, I had an entire post dedicated to vanity presses disguised as contests, but I decided it might be more fun to let you read the actual email and open up the floor to discussion. Maybe I am being overly skeptical and this is a fully legit opportunity that I am about to pass on, but I seriously doubt it.

Enjoy:

Ladies and gentlemen, and fellow poets . . . It's now time to declare the winner of the largest cash prize ever awarded to an amateur poet . . . Our Poet of the Year for 2005 . . . and Grand Prize winner of $20,000 is . . .

James Goodman!

We're familiar with your work, James, and you know . . .
it could happen just that way!

Dear James,
I would like to inform you of your nomination as Poet of the Year for 2005, and to personally invite you to read your poetry at the single largest gathering of poets in history, where you will be formally inducted as an International Poet of Merit and Honored Member of our Society for 2005-2006.
Your induction will take place Friday evening, August 19th, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, during the International Society of Poets Summer 2005 Convention and Symposium.

You will also be honored with two separate and very special awards for your poetic achievement at special ceremonies throughout the weekend.

First, to honor and commemorate your poetic accomplishments, after you present your poetry in front of fellow poets from around the world, amidst the applause from the audience, you will be presented with your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Bowl. The Award is a magnificent work of art in itself ($200.00 value), uniquely engraved and mounted on a cherry-wood base (see it here). This impressive award is so large and heavy, you may need an extra suitcase just to carry it home!

And James . . . there's much more . . .
In recognition of your poetry presentation at this prestigious International Symposium, we will also create and present to you a beautiful and colorful Commemorative Award Medallion to honor your poetic dedication and achievements.

36 POETS WILL SHARE $74,000.00 TOTAL IN PRIZES--INCLUDING
THE SINGLE LARGEST POETRY CASH PRIZE EVER AWARDED--$20,000.00!

And don't forget the most lucrative amateur poetry contest ever! Your contest entry poem can be written in any style, on any subject . . . and can be up to 40 lines long.
Just think . . . for this poem alone, you will have the opportunity to win one of 36 cash and gift prizes to be awarded at the Symposium . . . including a Grand Prize of $20,000.00--the largest cash prize ever awarded in an amateur poetry competition. There's also a Second Prize of $5,000.00, two Third Prizes of all-expenses paid vacations for two, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Cancun, Mexico, a Fourth Prize of $1,000.00, and six other cash prizes of $500.00 each. World-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, W.D.Snodgrass, and Academy of American Poets Past Chancellor, David Wagoner, will be with us to congratulate poets and present the Grand Prize.

Your society is also encouraging today's youth to develop and utilize their poetic talents in a positive manner. This year we will award five $1,000.00 cash scholarships to talented young poets attending the Symposium.

Our editors and professors will also be searching for new poetic talent. Twenty poets will be "discovered" in the contest reading sessions. These winners will be awarded publishing or recording contracts that will generate international exposure for their poetic artistry.

In all, $74,000.00 in cash and prizes will be awarded at this single event!

LIGHTS . . . CAMERA . . . ACTION!

And that's still just the beginning . . . we've got three very special days planned for you . . . ones you'll never forget!

**You will be officially inducted as an honorary "International Poet of Merit" for 2005-2006.

**You and your poetic achievements will be honored at two Gala Banquets and Award Ceremonies.

**You will be thrilled by a special command performance by Grammy winner Tony Orlando.

**You will enjoy dazzling world class entertainment created especially for you featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members the Drifters. You will be up close and personal when the Drifters thrill us with their classic hits including "Under the Boardwalk" and "Up On the Roof". These special command performances will delight you. There will also be many other Las Vegas Headliners and Midnight Dance Parties on both Friday and Saturday nights!

**You will learn more about your craft in seminars, reading rooms, rap sessions, and workshops, where you can read and discuss your poetry in informal settings with other poets from all over the world. Back by popular demand are the ISP rap rooms, our famous sunrise poetry readings, the ISP Coffee House, the ISP Open Microphone Rooms, and workshops on how to fine-tune your poetic talents.

**You will have the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W. D. Snodgrass, Academy of American Poets Past Chancellor David Wagoner, Dr. Len Roberts, Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, and other poetry celebrities who will be in attendance.

**You will attend a VIP reception where you can take pictures, get autographs, and personally meet all of the celebrity poets in attendance.

**You will participate in a fantastic international poetry competition featuring 36 prizes totaling $74,000.00. A Grand Prize of $20,000.00, two all-expenses paid vacations for two, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Cancun, Mexico, 8 other cash prizes totaling $9,000.00, 10 poetry recording contracts, 10 book publishing contracts, and 5 $1,000.00 Young Poets Scholarship prizes will be awarded at this single event.

**You and your guests will also be eligible to win one of many door prizes, valued at over $6,000.00.

**You will make friendships that will last a lifetime and will return home with wonderful memories, your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Bowl, your Commemorative Award Medallion, and lots of other special gifts.

DON'T BE LEFT OUT

Don't miss this opportunity. Space is limited, and our Conventions routinely sell out. Plan to join your fellow poets at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, August 19-21, 2005, for the poetic event of the year! I am also looking forward to meeting you and celebrating the power and beauty of poets and poetry!

Sincerely,
Mr. X
International Society of Poets
Convention Chairperson
Click here for more information.
Click here to Register Now, or go to
https://www.poetry.com/poetscorner/register.asp?VIP=P6440453&SC=T149
poetry.com * One Poetry Plaza * Owings Mills, MD 21117

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Few Laughs

What’s that you say? Yeah, it has been a long time since I posted any groaners. I guess I will just have to rectify that situation. Ok, so it has been less than two weeks, but it feels longer.

Now, let’s see…oh, yes here are some I heard on vacation:

Three buddies decided to take their wives on vacation for a week in Las Vegas.
The week flew by and they all had a great time.
After they returned home and the men went back to work, they sat around at break and discussed their vacation.
The first guy says "I don't think I'll ever do that again! Ever since we got back, my old lady flings her arms and hollers, "7 come 11" all night and I haven't had a wink of sleep!"
The second guy says "I know what you mean... my old lady played black jack the whole time we were there and she slaps the bed all night and hollers "hit me light or hit me hard", and I haven't had a wink of sleep either!"
The third guy says "You guys think you have it bad! My old lady played the slots the whole time we were there and I wake up each morning with a sore schlong and an ass full of quarters."

A man rushes into his house and yells to his wife, "Martha, pack up your things. I just won the California lottery!"
Martha replies, "Shall I pack for warm weather or cold?"
The man responds, "I don't care. Just so long as you're out of the house by noon!"

Lady: “My husband’s going to a casino in Central Asia.”
Guy next to her: “Tibet?”
Lady: “Of course, why else would he go?”

Two bored dealers are waiting around for someone to walk up and try their luck at the craps table. A very attractive lady comes in and wants to bet twenty-thousand dollars on a single roll of the dice. The dealers agree.
She says, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm half naked." With that she strips naked from the waist down, and rolls the dice while yelling, "Momma needs a new pair of pants!" She then begins jumping up and down and hugging each of the dealers.
"YES! I WIN! I WIN!" With that she picks up her money and clothes and quickly leaves.
The dealers just stare at each other dumbfounded. Finally one of them asks, "What did she roll anyway?" The other answers, "I don't know. I thought YOU were watching the dice!"

And my personal favorite:

A little old lady goes into the Chase Manhattan Bank, and says she wants to open a savings account. The accounts person asks her how much she would like to deposit to open the account and the little old lady says, "Three million dollars."
The accounts person is startled, and says, "In what form?" and the little old lady says, "Cash. I've got it here in this bag..." and the accounts person looks and, sure enough, the lady has a big grocery bag just chock full of green stuff with big denominations.
This is a highly unusual event, and the accounts person excuses herself to get the president of the bank to handle this one. He arrives, and escorts the little old lady to his office to handle it personally.
Once in his office, he asks the little old lady where she got so much money.
She says, "Gambling."
"Gambling?", he says. "What sort of gambling?"
"Oh, I make bets with people on all sorts of things, and I usually win. For example, I've got $100,000 right here that says that by noon tomorrow your balls will be square, and I'll even give you 4:1 odds. You got $25,000 you'd be willing to wager on that?"
The bank president is shocked at this sort of thing coming from a sweet little old lady, but he didn't get to be the president of the Chase Manhattan Bank without knowing something about money. "I suppose I could come up with enough to cover that sort of wager, but I wouldn't feel right taking it from you...there's no way you can win a bet like that!"
The little old lady just shook the bag, and said, "I know what I'm doing...and I can afford to lose, though I'm not going to. Is it a bet?"
"Ok, have it your way", said the president, and they shook hands on it.
"See you at 11:55 tomorrow morning", said the little old lady, and with that she left.
Next morning at 11:55 the little old lady arrives with a younger man in a three-piece suit, and is escorted to the bank president's office. The president is a nervous wreck, though a happy one. He'd gotten almost no sleep the night before, waking every few minutes to feel his balls to check for impending squareness, but nothing happened all night. He had checked hundreds of times that morning, but still nothing; perfectly normal.
When the little old lady arrived he started to relax, knowing he had won.
"Come in, please have a seat! Who might this gentleman be?" said the president.
"He's my lawyer. For a bet of this size I want to have a witness. Any objections?"
"No, perfectly understandable", said the president. "Well, it's now noon, and I'm still unchanged, so I guess I win!" he said happily.
"Not so fast!" said the little old lady. "For a hundred grand I want to verify things personally! Please drop your pants."
The bank president is a bit flustered, but agrees that in her position he'd want proof as well, so he drops his pants. The little old lady goes over to him and reaches out to feel the organs in question.
"Ok, you win, here's your $100,000," says the little old lady, handing over a bag of bills. As she does so, her lawyer starts banging his head against the wall and moaning.
"What's wrong with him?" asks the bank president.
"Oh, he's just upset. Poor loser if you ask me. You see, I had a bet for $1,000,000 with him that I would have the President of the Chase Manhattan Bank by the balls by noon today."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

There's no place like home...

I’m back!!!! Wouldn’t you know it…I won ten million dollars on a $1 slot machine and turned it into another 5 million dollars on the Black Jack tables. Now I can quit my day job and devote all of my time to writing. Ah…if only that were true. As luck would have it, I came back a little lighter in the pockets than when I left. I had a wonderful time losing it though.

I met a ton of interesting people and saw things that made my head spin. We had dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere. The view from there is nothing short of amazing. The entire restaurant was encased in glass and the tables rotated at just the right speed to allow its patrons to have a 360 degree view every 20 minutes. The service was exceptional and the food divine. It is a must do if you are ever on the strip.

We saw a great show called Bite. It was full of pointed teeth, acrobatics and classic rock. I have never seen a vampire musical before, but I would be willing to bet that this is one of the best ones ever.

We met some people that recently moved to Vegas from Ohio. Howdy, friends (I would call you by name, but I am not sure if you want me to). They helped us keep the excitement rolling on the tables until the wee hours of the morning. We also met a man that invented a new type of gold prospecting pan. Travis (As I am sure, that you won’t mind having your name used here), was very excited about the direction his new business was going and I can see why. Then there was our favorite dealers Jim and Alvin, both of which served up Black Jacks at very opportune times.

Kim and Matt (our friends that went with us) had some great luck as well. Matt took first place in a Texas Hold ’em tournament the first day and 2nd place on the last. We had a lot of laughs along the way.

The wedding was beautiful. Dan and his beautiful new wife K’Lyn made a striking couple. Many were the oo's and ah's that reverberated in the chapel. I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

I would love to tell you more, but you know what they say…what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. You know, except for the gazillion cameras that are posted over every square inch of the city. Anyhoo, it’s good to be home. So, what did I miss?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

One more post before I leave

I know I said things were going to be quiet around here, but Mike the Corpsy has tagged me with the Book Meme.

So without further ado...

Total number of books owned:

I went through a major book cleansing a year or so ago. I now only have about 300 books in my collection.

Last book bought:

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I bought it shortly after Angels & Demons was introduced into our collection.

Last book read:

AGYAR by Steven Brust. Oh, but I am a sucker for a good vampire story and this definitely qualifies as one of those. This book was, incidentally, signed by Steve at a conference in Dallas earlier this year. I had the fortune of spending a little time with him between panels. He is a great guy as well as a great writer.

Five books that mean a lot to you:

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. It was after standing in line for hours to have one these books signed, that I decided to embark on my own writing career.

The Myth Books by Robert Asprin. I began reading these books at a time when I could totally relate to the often bumbling but trying to hold it all together Skeeve.

For number three, I must bend the rules abit and choose two for the same reason. When I was given my first command position in the Army, my sergeant gave me two books with the following advice. Read them both, apply a little of each, but never all of both and you will do just fine. They were The Prince by Machiavelli and How to win friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

The gazillion books that comprise the Gor series by John Norman. My dad and I shared a love for these books and I am sure that we read everyone of them at least twice. It would provide us hours of subject matter to discuss in a time when it is hard for any father and son to discuss much of anything. This may seem like a strange statement, but if you knew my dad you would realize the importance of this.

The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffery. I love these books for kindling my love for dragons and err…telepaths.

Tag five people to continue this meme:
I will go with Red, Aka_Monty, Cory, Daniel Hoffman-Gill, and Robin Grantham. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoy it. 

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Weekend Update

Friday night was the 20th Annual Kidney Klassic 5K run. My wife and I, along with Kathy Bigger, Brad Bunch and Kim Swineheart represented our company in the corporate 5K relay race. We took 3rd place out of 9 teams. It was a great time and a good run for a good cause. I want to thank all of my teammates for making such a great effort. Hopefully, I will be completely over my pertussis by the time we try this again and I will be able to do a little more to help the team out. Oh, and thanks to whichever one of you picked my lung up off the track for me.

Well, I realize this is a short post, but I am in the process of putting things in order for my trip next week. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am going to Vegas, baby…yeah! (Imagine the last bit said in my best Austin Powers imitation). So, the blog will be very quiet next week as I am not planning on touching a computer for the entire vacation (gasp…oh, the horror). Don’t worry, I will be back in full swing on the following week.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A time to laugh and a time to groan

A hippie gets onto a bus and sits next to a nun in the front seat. The hippie looks over and asks the nun if she would have sex with him.

The nun, surprised by the question, politely declines and gets off at the next stop. When the bus starts again, the bus driver says to the hippie, "If you want, I can tell you how you can get that nun to have sex with you."

The hippie of course says that he'd love to know, so the bus driver tells him that every Tuesday evening at midnight the nun goes to the cemetery to pray to the lord. "If you went dressed in robes and some glowing powder," says the bus driver, "You could tell her you were God and command her to have sex with you."

The hippie decides to try this out. That Tuesday, he goes to the cemetery and waits for the nun. Right on schedule, the nun shows up. While she's in the middle of praying, the hippie walks out from hiding, in robes and glowing with a mask of god. "I am God, I have heard your prayers and I will answer them but you must have sex with me first," he says.

The nun agrees but asks for anal sex so she might keep her virginity. The hippie agrees to this and quickly sets about having sex with the nun.

After the hippie finishes, he rips off his mask and shouts out, "Ha ha, I'm the hippie! "

The nun replies by whipping off her mask and shouting, "Ha ha, I'm the bus driver!"



>
A kilted Scotsman was walking down a country path after finishing off a large amount of whisky at a local pub. He felt quite sleepy and decided to nap against a tree.

As he slept, two female tourists heard his loud snoring. When they found him, one said, "I've always wondered what a Scotsman wears under his kilt."

She boldly walked over to the sleeper, raised his kilt, and saw that he wore nothing at all. Her friend said, "Well, the mystery is solved! Let's thank him for sharing!"

She took off her pretty blue hair ribbon and gently tied it around the Scotsman's endowment. A while later, the Scotsman was awakened by the call of nature. He raised his kilt and was bewildered at the sight of the neatly tied blue ribbon. He stared for a minute, then said, "I don't know where y'been laddie... but it's nice ta see you won firrrst prrrize!"


>
A farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer, who had never been on an airplane, was fascinated by a stunt plane and asked the pilot how much a ride would cost.

"$20 for 3 minutes." the pilot replied.

"That's too much." said the farmer.

The pilot thought for a second and then said, "I'll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make any sound at all, you'll have to pay me the $20."

The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a thrilling ride. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, "I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man." "Maybe so," said the farmer, "but I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out!"


>
A blonde was walking along, when she looked up to observe a bird flying overhead. Suddenly, the bird drops a load when it was directly over her.
The blonde says, "Good thing I had my mouth open, or that would've hit me right in the face!!!"

All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was in charge.

The brain said: "I should be in charge, because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."

"I should be in charge," said the heart, "because I pump the blood and circulate oxygen all over the body, so without me you'd all waste away."

"I should be in charge," said the stomach, "because I process food and give all of you energy."

"I should be in charge," said the rectum, "because I'm responsible for waste removal."

All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight. Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, and the blood was toxic. Eventually the other organs gave in. They all agreed that the rectum should be the boss.

The moral of the story?

You don't have to be smart or important to be in charge... just an asshole.

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