Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(26 February 2007, California) 29-year-old Oscar was driving on Highway 99 near Yuba City, when his Honda Accord crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a Hummer. The occupants of the Hummer were not seriously injured. California Highway Patrol officers found Oscar's laptop still running, and plugged into the car's cigarette lighter. Investigators believe that he was using it when his car crossed the center line.

"Driving is not a time to be practicing your multitasking skills," remarked CHP spokesman Tom Marshall.
Oscar is not alone. Last year, 510 California drivers were charged with reckless driving because they were using a TV, video, or computer monitor. A 2001 CHP study cites cell phone use as the top cause of crashes involving distracted drivers, followed by fiddling with music. "Anything that distracts you can kill you, whether it's eating lunch or working on a computer," an AAA spokesman said.

Oscar was a computer tutor. Hopefully his fatal lesson will teach others to surf on the information superhighway, not the asphalt superhighway.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Recap

We had a lot to be thankful for over the holiday weekend. The most important celebration worthy (not to be confused with sponge worthy) fact was that we lived for another year. Life is so fleeting it seems, at times anyways. At the very least it is as fragile as we let it be. Maybe it’s just a product of the aging process, but it also seems that the more we become aware of its tenuous grip, the more slippery that hold becomes. Enough about that for now, perhaps I’ll touch on it again later, but it’s a bit early in the day to be so morose.

The day of the feast(s) was all I had hoped for and then some. We had a record breaking crowd (for recent memory anyway) out at my mom’s house this year. There was laughter, family, food, football and the pitter patter of little feet zipping this way and that. It was indeed a joyous time.

I felt a bit like I was the stuffed turkey by the time we got to my wife’s parents house, but I still managed to indulge once again. How could I not, the smell of holiday fare definitely brings out my inner glutton. Again, the walls reverberated with the sounds of celebration. It was well past my bedtime before we stumbled home.

I feared Friday would find me with a turkey hangover, but luckily I woke up without any symptoms. This was a relief as I had a rather long jaunt to make that morning. Being a holiday weekend, my son went to spend a few days with his biological mother and her family. Yep, he got to have yet another thanksgiving meal.

With a few of days all to ourselves we did what any self-respecting couple would do in our situation: We barricaded ourselves in, turned off the computers, unplugged the phone and only left the house when it was an absolute necessity. Everyone needs to have a totally isolated weekend every once in a while.

We picked up my son yesterday after noon and spent the rest of the evening watching the titanic struggle between the Philadelphia Eagles and my New England Patriots. The Eagles put up the best fight I’ve seen so far this year, but thankfully the Pats squeaked through and are now 11-0. The Pats may well be the greatest football team ever.

So, what all did you do over the long weekend?

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Day in the Life

First let me apologize for my sudden disappearance. I’ve been a bit snowed under trying to tie up loose ends so I could finally come back home. It’s official, I’m once again an Oklahoman. My project in Denver went quite well, it grew, morphed and exploded into an animal completely different than the one I was introduced to, but sometimes that’s just the nature of the beast.

I’m now in the throes of catching up on all of the things which fell by the wayside during my Mile High months. It’s getting close, but I will not likely start blogging again on a regular basis until after Thanksgiving. You know I love you guys, but a man has to have his priorities.

If I don’t sneak back here before then, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be spent with family, friends, loved ones or at the very least someone who will put a smile on your face.

Until then…

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. Susie is the one that started it all, so be sure to drop by her site as well.

The aroma of Listerine and dime-store aftershave barely covers the smell of Black Velvet. A gnarled hand touches my shoulder, a nod, a smile, a hint of mischief in his eye. He leans back in the chair, knee proffered. It’s story time. I gladly accept. I wake before the tale begins. I miss my grandfather.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.
(1 January 2002, Brazil) The game of Russian Roulette, long a breeding ground for natural selection, was improved upon by two men with a unique approach to self-destruction.

On New Year's Eve, Antonio and his friend were befogged by Pinga, a traditional Brazilian liquor, when they began playing a Russian Roulette variant using holiday fireworks. Their version of the game consisted of placing fireworks in their mouths, then lighting the fuses and competing to see who would delay longest before spitting out the firework.

The man, dare we call him "winner," who discarded the explosive closest to the point of detonation was the victor of this battle of wills.

Their blatant disregard for personal safety was matched only by their foolish bravery. Antonio was our winner, holding one of the fireworks in his mouth a bit too long, and thereby earning praise for his "courage" at his funeral.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Weekend Recap

It was a good weekend. We laughed, we played, we loved and we lived in the moment.
I’m nearing the end of my Denver project. Yes, I’ll be home again soon. I can’t wait. I know I get to see my wife and son every weekend, but it’s just not the same. I miss the day to day interaction. I miss helping my son with his homework. I miss moment’s of silence just holding my wife’s hand. Some moments need no words, but the do require proximity. The end is near and I’ve never been happier.

We had a bit of an impromptu family get together to celebrate both my brother and his wife’s birthdays. That was a good time. If you thought I don’t get to see my immediate family very often, imagine how rare an opportunity it is that I get to spend the bulk of a day with my mom, brother, grandmother, aunt and uncle. In a better world, we’d get together like that at least once a month.

How often do you have the “big” family get togethers? I’m sure most of us are bound to attend the annual family reunion where the in-laws and outlaws come out in droves and of course the holidays (which are just around the corner again, are they not?), but I’m speaking of the massive family dinners from days of yore (at least in my hazy memory). The Sundays spent with the extended family. Adults trading stories and children running amok in the other room. The aroma of the day’s meal permeating every thought until it is served and lingering at the back of your mind as you drive home. We used to have these on a regular basis. Things change. Lives spread. Time dwindles and is the enemy of all.

We spent Sunday evening watching football and thinking of the future. Change is in the wind and we still haven’t decided whether or not this is a good or bad thing. Not that it matters, change is inevitable. It’s how you react when faced with it that defines the kind of life you will lead.

So, how did you spend your weekend?


Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday 55

Alright folks, I hadn’t participated in a Friday 55 in quite some time. I’m overdue, but I’m also pounding the keys on my latest novel, so I’m recycling offering up the little morsel below.

Want to play along? Let me know if you do so that I can come read your entries.

Eyes so big, they seem out of place on something so small. The mother watches her, heart torn, mind conflicted. How doe she explain? Helpless, she pulls the child close. “You can’t bring him back, baby”. The child’s body shudders under the weight of sobs. “Why did you take your brother out on the ice?”


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