Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

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

Monday, September 22, 2008

Down with the Sickness

Well, my wife and I have both been sick since last weekend. We’ve had some horrible little bug that has attacked our sinuses and worked its way down into the chest. It seems to have set up shop there and refuses to vacate no matter what we throw at it.

I’ve been working on a couple of major deals for the day job, but it has been a struggle with my head feeling like a tethered balloon. I hope to have some rather exciting news in that sector sometime over the next month or so.

I have to fly to New Orleans this week to finish up one of the two projects I’d been working down there. I’m nearly done and to tell the truth, I can’t wait to have that whole ordeal behind me.

Ok, so back to the sickness. What is the best way to relieve severe chest congestion (if not out right eliminate it)?


Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.

Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Days blur into weeks. Where did the time go? At least I had my weekends, my family and enough fun to make it all worthwhile. When will the ride finally slow enough for me to see the scenery? Soon, unless I do something as foolish as volunteer to rescue another project.

Don’t forget to stop by Oh, Get a Grip! today. I’m introducing the group to the wondrous world of Friday 55 today and there will be another offering there as well.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ol' Blue

Ol' Blue

A young cowboy from Western Oklahoma goes off to college at OSU, but half way through the semester, he has foolishly squandered all his money.
He calls home. 'Dad,' he says, 'You won't believe what modern education is developing! They actually have a program here in Stillwater that will teach our dog, Ol' Blue how to talk!'
'That's amazing,' his Dad says. 'How do I get Ol' Blue in that program?'
'Just send him down here with $1,000' the young cowboy says. 'I'll get him in the course.'
So, his father sends the dog and $1,000.

About two-thirds through the semester, the money again runs out. The boy calls home. 'So how's Ol' Blue doing son,' his father asks.
'Awesome, Dad, he's talking up a storm,' he says, 'but you just won't believe this - they've had such good results they have started to teach the animals how to read!'
'Read!' says his father, 'No kidding! How do we get Blue in that program?'
Just send $2,500, I'll get him in the class.'
The money promptly arrives.

But our hero has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog can neither talk, nor read.
So he shoots the dog!
When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father is all excited. 'Where's Ol' Blue? I just can't wait to see him read something and talk!'

'Dad,' the boy says, 'I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ol' Blue was in the living room, kicked back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal, like he usually does.
Then he turned to me and asked, 'So, is your daddy still messing' around with that little redhead who lives in town?'
The father exclaimed, 'I hope you shot that lyin' SOB before he talks to your Mother!'
'I sure did, Dad!'
'That's my boy!'

The kid became a successful Defense Attorney ... and then he went on to become a politician.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(July 16, 2008, Italy) Ivece Plattner, 68, was queued at a traffic light in his Porsche Cayenne sportscar. Before one reaches the light, there is a railroad crossing. As you might imagine, given Murphy's law, a train was coming.

The man did not let the queue progress forward far enough before he crossed the railroad. The safety bars came down, leaving the Porsche trapped on the rails. It took the driver awhile to realize he was stuck, according to witnesses. Finally, he jumped from the car and started to run -- toward the oncoming train, waving his arms in an attempt to save his car!

The attempt was successful. The car received less damage than its owner. He was pushed hard enough to land 30 meters away, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Book Review: Courage in Patience

Courage in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum is a heart-wrenching, yet compelling tale of sexual abuse, child abuse, racism and even religious dogma taken to the extreme. The story takes place in small-town Texas, but could really happen anywhere.

Yes, the subject matter is heavy and at times infuriating (I couldn’t help but be angry as I read about the horrific conditions and environment the protagonist was subjected to), but this is really a story of hope.

No child should have to endure such pain and sorrow, but this book shows us that with timely intervention and the support of people who care, the child can not only overcome these hardships, but flourish and become a beacon of hope for others.

I highly recommend this book not only for people who’ve suffered abuse (in any form), and also for those who haven’t known such horrors, but would like to make a difference in the life of someone who has.

This book is suitable for classroom study and contains no graphic content.


Desperate to escape from her stepfather, fifteen-year-old Ashley Asher finally finds the courage to confront her mother with the painful details of six years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. To her horror, Ashley’s mother turns her back on her. Only a teacher at her school offers any support. A touching story focused on the themes of abuse, social injustice, racism, peer pressure, bullying, parental responsibility, fear, forgiveness, love, acceptance and hope, which will inspire the millions of abuse victims in America, young and old alike.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Monday, September 08, 2008

Rockin' Weekend

It’s been a wild few days of music, food and fun. All of which, seem to culminate in the realization that I need a weekend to recoup from my weekends. Maybe someday…

Friday, of course, started off with a bang. I met some friends for lunch at McNellie’s . Through the course of meal, I put into motion a pretty exciting deal as pertains to my day job, got invited to small concert, and had one helluva great time to boot.

So, that evening I show up at Cain’s Ballroom to watch Don Henley play not only several of my favorite Eagles songs, but also his renditions of several other wonderful hits by various artists, such as Paul Simon, Tears for Fears and many more. I was so close to the stage, I had to dodge beads of perspiration when they turned the spotlight on him. It was a truly amazing experience.

Saturday we attended an intimate cultural event showcasing the foods and beverages of Germany specifically as pertains to the seasonal offerings of Oktoberfest. It was several hours of good company, good food and good beer. It was as enlightening as it was entertaining and I thank the hosts greatly for having us and even bigger thanks goes to my friend Steve for inviting us to take part of the festivities.

Saturday night, we attended a benefit concert for Safari Sanctuary , featuring Hollywood Harlot , Zendozer , and the greatest KISS cover band ever, Dressed to Kill . All three bands wer absolutely outstanding and rocked out like there was no tomorrow. My son was so impressed he asked for autographs from all of them. I highly recommend checking out any one of these bands if you get a chance.

And yesterday, well… we relaxed as much as possible, watched a few football games and just hung out.

So, how was your weekend?

Oh, and see the post below for some exciting news.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Coming Attractions

Coming soon from Resplendence Publishing

Tuttle’s House of Horror

Here is a blurb:

Tyler Duke has a plan. With the help of his closest friends, he will open the doors to the infamous Tuttle House on Halloween and provide a weekend of thrills and chills for curiosity seekers. Why is the house infamous? It was the sight of the largest mass murder in the history of Northeastern Oklahoma.

If all goes well, they’ll earn enough money to spend spring break in Cancun, but unbeknownst to them, someone has taken up residence in the old mansion and he has a plan of his own. Bobo hopes the weekend brings people in droves. Nothing would make this twisted clown happier than to put gaping smiles under the faces of the house’s patrons. If he can just maintain control of his inner demon until the grand opening, it will be his greatest achievement, a night so brutal even the Fallen will take notice.

Will Tyler and his friends discover the killer in their midst before it’s too late or will they become the main attraction in Tuttle’s House of Horror.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.

Sand burns my eyes, but I don’t dare blink. They’re close, sounds like three of them. My rifle’s useless, a bullet smashed through its chamber in the ambush. The rest of my squad have fallen. The enemy still searchs. I grip a blade in each hand and spring from my hole. No one lives forever.

Don’t forget to stop by Oh, Get a Grip! today. This week we are discussing the pros and cons of series books.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS, President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

On March 23,1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to that effect, indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the descender was aware that a safety net had been installed just below at the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

"Ordinarily," Dr. Mills continued, "a person who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide."

That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands. The room on the ninth floor, whence the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both adamant. They both said they thought the shotgun was unloaded. Thed old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weekend Recap

New Orleans was a great if not short trip this time around. We arrived on Friday, socialized with several wonderful writers and even a couple of editors, caught up with old friends and made a few new ones, danced, sang, partied until the wee hours of the morning, and then were promptly told to evacuate. Fearing the evacuation was immanent, I had reserved a rental car to carry us out of the city.

We wound up driving all day and all night, arriving home at about 5:30 in the morning on Sunday. We stopped at nearly every city along the way, looking for a hotel, but none were to be had.

Sunday, we did very little, needing the day to recoup from the crazy trip back. It was nice to have absolutely nothing to do but eat and rest.

Monday, we had a cook out at my SILs house where we swam, and played various card games. It was another wonderfully relaxing day.

Other than that, the weekend was fairly quiet.

So, how did you spend your time?


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