Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tis the Season

I have not been around very much.

Obviously! You say.

I have been up and down with my passion for this 'blogging' thing. Mostly down, of late.

My passion can change on a whim though...so if anyone out there does stop in from time to time, I still plan to post on occasion...

Happy Holidays to anyone out there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have been away from work for just about two weeks now. Away from work in a physical way because I have had to remotely access the server once to fix an issue, coordinate for some meetings via email, and lend guidance to a few coworkers via phone and email. Still, all of that only wasted about an hour of my life.

Without work, what does a Parabolist do?

God only knows. There has been a LOT of driving. We (24Crayons, Mr. T, and myself) drove to Dallas, where we spent a few days 'relaxing' with Crayons' family.

My 27th birthday happened to fall within that stretch of a few days. They, along with the aid of Crayons' grandmother and a friend of theirs, set up a wonderful birthday for me. The day began with a powerful massage (that masseuse's hands could apply enough pressure to bend steel, I'm sure).

After the massage, we snacked and rushed about to make it to the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum's major exhibit right now is the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs. It was an impressive exhibit which, sadly, denied photography.

Once we had wandered through the exhibit and perused the gift shop, we dove head first into Dallas commuter traffic to get all gussied up for dinner. They had reserved a table for us at Nana's, a swanky restaurant on the top of the Anatole. The food was delicious and the apple martini's were loaded.

We collapsed shortly after dinner, knowing that the next part of our journey (another drive!) would begin the next morning.

We raced from Dallas to Searcy, Arkansas for the wedding of one very wonderful cosmopolitan, small town girl. Crayons was a bridesmaid and so was very busy with all those things bridesmaids do that men can never know about. Mr. T and I, in the meantime, hung out with the groom and his men.

It was a great ceremony--all the groomsmen were dressed in kilts. The bagpiper was absolutely amazing and everything went off without a hitch (which is as it should be). I wish the best to both of them.

We left the morning after the ceremony to return home. That's where I am now, stretched out on a couch, trying to enjoy the rest of my time off and just relax. Work begins again soon and it'll be the busiest its been all year due to a very large project resting solely on my shoulders.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Company of the Burning Stag


Hi.  My name is Ron and I'm a gamer.  It has been twenty hours and thirty eight minutes since my last game (as of writing this particular sentence...make that thirty nine minutes). 


By gamer, I am not referring to those MMORPGs.  I have never managed to maintain much enthusiasm for those games (I grow bored with computer and console games LOOOOOOONG before I ever finish them).  No, when I call myself a gamer, I am referring to pencil and paper role-playing games.


Anyway, it doesn't really matter what I like to do with my spare time.  The whole setup is to explain that the image I'm linking is actually for my gaming group.  I created it, from scratch, for them.  Partially, I created it because I wanted to test out some new software that I may end up using for other creative endeavors.


The characters of my player are in a party they have named The Company of the Burning Stag.  This is their standard:

Standard for the Company of the Burning Stag:  A fiery stag on a field of red and blue.  Their Motto: Aut Viam Invenium Aut Faciam.

I am very proud of the way it turned out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Early Bird...

Been up since 4:30 am. I twisted, turned, somersaulted, and did all I could but no comfort was to be had in my bed.

So, I decided to give myself a morning. I drove out for breakfast, nowhere special, just some place with coffee, peace, and enough space to write a bit.

I hand jotted about two pages which is a lot for me to handwrite.

Leaving the diner, I was struck by the empty parking lot of the mall. The sun was just beginning to come up and it was as if the world had been scoured clean. A profound sense of emptiness hit me and I was reminded of all those zombie movies I've ever seen.

Anyway, I've a couple other things to do before I subject myself to "working".

Good morning, world!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Warm up: Cat Lady

“Susie? Susie?! Where are you, darling?!” Mrs. Stengel squeaked, her left hand groping about in the darkness. A tumultuous bellow of thunder slammed into the side of the house shaking picture frames and inciting knick-knacks to dance. She steadied herself with one gnarled hand.

Lightning erupted, illuminating the living room ahead of her. Susie was pawing again at the front door. Every time she slipped out of her cage, it was the same thing. She always charged for the front door, always tried to pry it open. Curiosity would certainly kill that cat if she made it outside. That was why Mrs. Stengel had installed a padlock to the inside of the door. Susie had somehow manipulated her way past the deadbolt and the chain last time! No repeats of past mistakes.

“You’re just frightened by the storm, honey,” Mrs. Stengel soothed.

Susie wasn’t buying it. Her head jerked right and left, searching for an avenue of escape.

Mrs. Stengel’s right hand tightened on the metal shaft behind her. “Come on, dear. It’ll all be okay. We’ll just return you to your home downstairs where you’ll be kept safe and sound away from that storm. It certainly is a doozy!” The thunder boomed again, emphasizing the old woman’s words. Her old arm snapped out, bringing the net down around Susie’s head.

Susie whined and mewed as Mrs. Stengel cautiously lifted the net and clamped two fingers tightly on her ear. More mewing. Mrs. Stengel pinched tighter, tossing the net to the side entirely. “Now we’ll just take you back downstairs. You’ll see. It’ll all be better downstairs. You can play with the boys until this nasty storm passes.”

Susie kicked and whined and clawed but Mrs. Stengel’s grip was unbreakable. The door to the basement slammed shut with finality as they descended the staircase. Frustrated minutes passed as the old woman slowly descended the staircase.

The boys were huddled in their own cages, faces turned away. Susie cried out as the door swung open and she was shoved again into the cell. Taking no chances this time, Mrs. Stengel wrapped a chain around the bars and the door and applied a heavy duty lock. “That should keep. No more running away, Susie.” She turned and murmured, “the things I endure for taking in the neighborhood strays.” Mrs. Stengel hobbled up the stairs.

From above, another booming sound shook the house. Once the basement door shut again, Susie burst into tears.

“Don’t worry,” one of the boys—Sammy, she thought his name was—whispered. “Our parents are coming for us. Soon yours will, too. I just know it.”

Monday, August 4, 2008

Warm-up: You Cannot Run

Only two feet away, rain drizzled into the alley, bombs bursting against the cracked asphalt, scouring the city of its filth. Axe was lost in that photo again, dreaming of that picturesque Hallmark life, that sort of life so few ever attain. Framed in front of a grandiose manse, three beautiful faces stared out of the photograph, a happy husband and wife and their smiling daughter.

Perfection, or at least, damn near it. Better than this place, he knew. The cost was high—it always was. That is exactly why so few could reach that dream.

Axe rubbed his grubby finger along the daughter’s jaw line. He cursed as a smear of grime was left in the wake. He searched for a bit of newspaper, something not smelling of piss or excrement or booze, and scrubbed at the image. Some of the color rubbed off. A tear tugged at the corner of his eye.

Delicately, he gave the picture a kiss and slid it back into the newspaper padding beneath his shirt.

Winters were harder here. Everything was harder here. There was no roof above his head save for the corrugated cardboard box. That roof would melt through tonight because of the rain, he knew. Tomorrow would be spent scavenging for a new home or some temporary fix. Maybe he could beg for a box from the soup kitchen.

Beg. Once, such a low act would have made him cringe. Once. Now, times were different. They said you cannot run from your past. He had to, though. Anonymity became necessity. Axe cursed his fate.

“What do they know anyway?” he questioned the night or the storm. “I’ll do what I want, when I want. Yes, I will.”

A torrent of water suddenly ripped through Axe’s cardboard roof. Startled, he leapt out of the box, slipping on his newspapers and blankets.

Thunder silenced his groans and curses as he crawled to his feet in the alley. A bolt of lightning illuminated his home and the enormous rip in its center.


Axe straightened; the hairs on his neck immediately erect. Cautiously, he turned his head, casting a glance at the entrance of the alley. A shadow hovered at its edge. “No,” he hissed, spinning. Axe—Alex backpedaled. The shadow stepped forward.

“You cannot run, Alex.”

“I—I—I,” he stammered, still edging backward.

“You gave us quite a bit of trouble. Who could have guessed you, so lazy and glutted on the wealth and perfect life you once craved so desperately, would give us so many problems.” Alex could hear the smile on the man’s face. “Two years! By God, you survived on the street alone and unseen! Tenacity! That sort of tenacity will make you a wonderful addition.”

“M—M—Madeline and Joanna? What about Madeline and Joanna?”

The shadow paused its pacing and held its hands down and out to its sides in a strange manner. “They will live out their lives mostly unmolested, unless they should seek us out as you did. Our dealings are with you and you alone, right now, Alex. You knew the price when you signed. Now, it is time for us to collect.”

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Warm-up: Wordy monologue

“I’ve always loved words—always. There’s a beauty there and a rhythm and, gods, do I love rhythm. Listen to them! See them! If you can, feel them. There is nothing—almost nothing—like their caress.

“Words dance around and around, a wild movement filled with vivid color and razor-edged shape. Description, that’s where it all is. Description is what it is.

“Some people like math but I’m a words person. Words are description! Math is explanation. Math speaks one language—and it’s a beautiful language in its own right because it is universal but math rarely, if ever, describes. Math explains. Math is the musty, monotone teacher at the head of the classroom.

“Words are alive. They’re breathing and showing and telling, too, but more often they’re just out there living and doing and being. It’s so hard to just be, at times. But words do that.”

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warm-up: Flik's Fall

Just a little warm-up writing (so to speak)...

He patted the beads of sweat from his forehead and reached for the water skin. The march could not stop here; not beneath the boughs of eternal fire in this damned forest. On all sides the withering branches burned ceaselessly. Curiously, the bard began to compare the blistering, black branches to a child’s stick-drawings. This artist had smeared reds and oranges and yellows across the image.

Another bead of sweat collected on Flik’s brow. They would not stop here, in the thick choking smoke, in the withering heat. There must be a clearing.

The gnome gulped down a mouthful of water. Around him, the weary faces of his companions were cast in a lurid light by the tunnel of fire. He listened closely to the cadence in their unique rhythms and mannerisms, observing and collecting each quarter beat and each beautiful melody. Exquisite music hid even within the ragged bickering between the Ragesians and Councilman Bower.

A haunting tune tugged at the bard’s senses. He snapped his eyes to the molten path ahead. Through the haze, he could make out a patch of light—a clearing. With a whoop, and a half-leap, Flik sprang ahead as quickly as his little feet could carry him. The rest were not long to follow.

The clearing was not much, just enough. A chasm stretched across the old road, its rim lined by the ever-burning forest. Still, the hole in the earth was large enough to pull the trees back and open the fiery tunnel. Fresh air flowed into the clearing along with a bit of that haunting melody.

Intent on deciding the path forward, no one else seemed to notice the tune. Flik focused on the sad key of its notes. It was incomplete, some notes lost on the wind, but whole in its own right. Something primal stirred within the chords, something that stoked the heart of this burning forest. He shuddered.

“It doesn’t look safe,” advised the councilman.

The Shahalesti elf took a long glance at the edge of the canyon. “The burning brush hugs too tightly to the edge. This bridge is the safest way to pass."

Councilman Bower sighed and set his jaw with a grim determination. “Fine. We’ll take it slowly, though. The cracks—"

“There are cracks in the bridge!” Flik chimed in. “This will make a great tale! Chased into the ever-burning forest of Innenotdar by the cruel fist of the Ragesian Army, the valiant heroes and heroines survived the heat and smothering smoke to find a chasm passable only via a crumbling bridge!"

“It’s not exactly crumbling,” corrected the elf.

“Are we done standing around?” demanded the Ragesian woman. She moved past the councilman, stepping onto the bridge. Everyone watched as she walked across, edging around a sizable hole.

“Me next!” Flik shouted. He ran out onto the stone, his friend Arc only a few steps behind. The view was incredible, stretching off hundreds of feet in either direction. Eighty feet below, fires burned in the scrub brush. The cliffs were stark, sandwiched between the oranges and reds of the flames.

The hole in the center was large, easily large enough for a man to fall through. Being smaller than a man, Flik clung to the railing as he passed. His eyes searched downward, noticing a few spots that were devoid of the flames. One of those spots was filled with water and what looked to be a broken carriage.

The haunting tune magnified in Flik’s ears when he stared down. He released the railing of the bridge to cover his ears. Flapping, flickering lights poured from beneath the bridge.

“Bats!” the bard shrieked. “Fiery bats,” he spit as bile rose from his stomach. Like everything else in the forest, the bats wore a skin of eternal flame. Blisters boiled upon the gnome’s flesh as he released his ears and swatted.

More and more of the beasts poured up from beneath the bridge, engulfing his body. Spinning, the world lurched in Flik’s mind.

He stepped off the bridge, into the hole.

The bats fell away quickly, so far above. Hanging between the bridge and the burning brush beneath, Flik could hear that strange melody beckoning to him with its primal energies just as the earth below called him to its bosom.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pure Evel - Explained

I tried to fit way too much story into two few words. My original draft was five hundred words long and I had to cut it in half for submission.

When I first saw the picture of the motorcycle, my mind leaped instantly to daredevils and specifically Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel. I'm not an Evel Knievel or a daredevil expert at all. I did some quick internet research to give myself some basis to churn out a story.

I decided to eulogize Evel, who passed away last year, with my story. The best way I could do that was to imagine what his arrival in heaven would be like. If I were Evel, what would I want eternity to be? Daredevil jumps, of course!

So, I decided it would be perfect if, in heaven, God (or the boss) set aside a 'customized 'little piece of heaven' for every deserving soul. Then, he'd commission a few archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael) to design and build upon that piece of heaven.

All that was left was for the boss to do a final inspection and for St. Peter to bring the new arrival in.

I thought it was a fitting eulogy. Having to cut the entry down to 250 words removed a lot of the subtle hints I gave regarding the setting. Ultimately, I feared many people would not pick up on what I was saying.

Still, I really enjoyed entering and I had fun working past the block that has been plaguing my writing. It was definitely a fun learning experience.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pure Evel (Clarity of Night)

The following was my entry for the Clarity of Night competition. Sadly, I didn't place this time but there's always next time. Ultimately, I think I tried to just cram too much into too few (250!) words. In a couple days, maybe I'll explain what I was trying to do with this story.


The boss shifted, his clear blue eyes taking full measure of the new highway. Contrasting the flat, scrub horizon in either direction, the asphalt arched high into the air before plummeting like a rock cast into a chasm. At a nearly impossible angle, the stretch of road fell nearly vertically before wrenching upward to end at a drop. A flashing sawhorse barricade blinked repetitively at that precipice.

He strolled to the barrier where Mike, Yuri, Ralph, and Gabe waited patiently for praise or criticism of their work. Beyond the barricade was nothing short of a slice of heaven. “You couldn’t find any helicopters for the jump?” he teased.

Mike chuckled. “We figured some rattlesnakes and cougars would be nostalgic for his first jump.”

“Besides, we don’t want him to bore too easily,” Gabe interjected. “There’ll be more shows. We’ll use helicopters then.”

“It’s well done, boys,” the boss drawled. “A bit too much light, though.”

Yuri chimed in, “I’ll kill the lights soon as the star arrives.”

“Perfect.” The boss glanced at his watch. “Pete will be here with the new guy soon. Usher the fans in, kill the lights, and fire up those flaming hoops.”

“It’s your show,” Pete cheerily chimed as he handed over the helmet. Robert Craig mounted the machine, its carburetors growled beneath him. Rings of fire flared to life. Fans erupted in cheers. Craig spurred the Harley into motion, the front wheel screamed in the air as he raced toward eternity.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clarity of Night

Hi all. I hope all is well.

I submitted my entry for the Clarity of Night short fiction contest a moment ago. Hopefully, it'll be up by tomorrow (it is titled: Pure Evel).

Everything else is still ... going. Finished up another big project at work and I'm looking forward to the next week or two of refocusing on my "real" job. Still P90X-ing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

P90X: So Sore...

SO damn sore.

Last night was Legs and Back X followed by a round of Ab-ripper X (339 ab reps spread across 11 exercises). This morning, I woke early, set up the living room and did P90 Fat Burner (not a regular part of the P90x Lean routine) and followed it up with Kenpo X (the normal part of the routine).

The legs and butt are soooo sore. Thankfully, tomorrow's a day off.

Today is a game day...

Monday, June 9, 2008


His name was Garrison. I didn't think about it at the time but, looking back, it was exceedingly apt.  He was six-foot-six or so and easily three-hundred pounds of nearly solid muscle.  He had played football in high school and college. Garrison had worked as a prison guard at a state penitentiary but decided, ultimately, upon a safer career in education when his first daughter was born.


You wouldn't have imagined it by looking at him--or even dared to think it--but he was my cheerleader.


It was nearly a decade ago that I was suffering through basic training.  I'm only five-foot-ten, maybe five-foot-eleven on a day of light gravity when I'm blessed with a bouncy spirit.  Then, I was still a very overweight two-hundred-and-fifty pounds.  I had somehow survived my freshman year.  Everyone else packed on fifteen.  I packed on fifty and picked up smoking.


Basic was trying, to say the least, and I'm not certain I could have made it through without the support of Garrison.


He was my cheerleader.  He knew what to say to drive me on, whether it was a simple, "Pick up the pace!" or the more wily ego-challenge, "You gonna let the drill sergeants beat you?!" 


He'd fall back when I slowed because I was losing my breath--because I felt like I was suffering too much, for too little.  When I fell asleep in class and lost my hat, he dropped and did the push-up punishment with me.  On fire-patrol, he always had my back.


He was a true, great friend.  Sadly, I only knew him for those three months.  Wherever he is, I wish him well.


This post is for all of the cheerleaders out there.  Those people dear to us that have helped us or spurred us to accomplish the difficult.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Arms, Shoulders & Ab-Ripper X: P90X - Day 3


Arms and shoulders are dead.  Abs are tight.


Day three was absolutely harsh.  I could barely lift my arms afterward to wash my hair. 


Helluva work out.  An hour of arms/shoulders/mainly tricep work and then we rolled over to struggle through the ab workout which was at an insane, heart-pumping rate.


I'll be so sore tomorrow.  I'm sure its worth it though.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

P90X - Day Two

Day 2 kicked off with nearly an hour of high-impact cardio training combining a bunch of fun exercises.  Fun not necessarily for the people doing it so much as for anyone that happens to pass by unexpectedly. 


I had fun though.  More flashbacks to the Army, particularly with the Superman/Bananas.  Those memories only intensified afterward when I refused to wait for the shower to heat up and dove into the cold water.


Way, way back in basic training, the water-heater for our barracks broke two weeks into the three (or so) month training.  Our assumption at the time was that it was another part of the training (read as: hazing).


Two weeks past and finally we said something to the Drill Sergeants. They told us to, "Suck it up!  You don't need hot water!"  We had no hot water for the remainder of the training--not until the head Drill Sergeant found out what was happening. 


I believe they fixed the water heater the day of graduation.


Fun memories.


Now, I'm done rambling. This is the site of the friend that recommended the P90X workout.  I'll add it to the 'Looking Glass' links on the side as well.

Monday, June 2, 2008

P90X - The Workout of Workouts

Wow.  Just, wow. 


Started the P90x workout routine tonight and it was very difficult and very fun.  I had a blast despite feeling as if I could only accomplish 75% of the workout. 


It triggered a bunch of great memories from the Army. 


Of course, I may be weird for enjoying all the manual labor and training they force a person through.  Maybe I'm just an endorphine addict? 


Tomorrow's Day 2 of the routine.  Can't wait to see what's in store.


Oh, and on a completely unrelated note:  Venture Brothers:  Season Three just kicked off.  Amazing and funny stuff. 


Its an awesome week.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Estates at Elk Run, Section 1

Today, the construction plan and profiles drawing set for the Estates at Elk Run, Section 1, was approved.

This was the first project the company completed utilizing Autodesk's Civil 3d. It was the pilot project. It was a major reason as to why I raked in over four hundred hours of overtime last work year. It was the project that I used as a training experience to craft the company's design standards from.

I am so glad its over!

(Of course, its never really over. Such is life.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Down with the Sickness

I think its just a cold with a bit of sore throat. Fun (with a capital 'F')!

I've also decided NOT to work on the project I need to for work. There's always tomorrow (when I'm actually at work). As a result, my productivity for this weekend is down a bit but I can live with it this time. I spent the last couple days with my son and that is always totally worth it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last sleep cycle's nightmare snapped me from unreality and into the world of consciousness, long before I would have chosen to rise.

Along the coast, near a beach that kissed the edge of an endless ocean, I was a passenger in a car. The driver and I were exploring the nooks, crannies, and hidden beauties in this city on the edge of the world. A beautiful azure sky drifted above, calming the scene as the bright rays of daylight crafted halos around the white puffy clouds and the sleek, building-full skyline.

It was absolutely gorgeous.

The car raced along the vacant streets, sliding hither and fro. It careened around a corner and accelerated toward a bridge rising into the sky, over the ocean. The bridge spread itself before the car, all six of its lanes devoid of traffic.


Two eighteen-wheelers pinned the car, pulling alongside and swerving in to sandwich the machine. Revving, the pedal of the car pushed hard against the floorboard, the car lurched ahead, leaving the massive trucks behind.

The final exit off the bridge swirled past, disappearing with the wind. Up and up the car charged; the ocean fell farther and farther away. A blanket of clouds wrapped around the car, choking vision.

Two, three, ten tense seconds ticked away.

The car roared again as it kicked itself beyond the choking clouds. The world opened up wide and blue. The sun shimmered on the ocean, hundreds of feet below.

The sky opened its maw at the sudden end of the bridge.

No signs of street work. No warnings. Just two seconds of not being in the blinding clouds before the car leaped into the gulf. Everything was whistling and emptiness. The car's nose tipped forward, my stomach lurched into my throat.

Gravity grasped the car, tugging us toward the ocean.

Everything was screaming and terror.

The car smashed into the ocean, unstoppable force shattering the windshield. As the glass exploded, the world of dream gave way to darkness and wakefulness.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


First, my random thought for today:

If LIFE is what happens when you're making plans, does that mean that refusing to make plans is a refusal to LIVE?

Now for the only tangentially connected topic of today's blog: I'm a nerd.

When I say nerd, I don't mean the classic thick glasses wearing, smarter-than-thou pencil-necked, gawky kid that is the archetypal nerd. Of course, I do wear glasses. Also, I may be smarter than a few people out there. Still, I don't have pencil neck and I'm not gawky (anymore).

What I mean is I am absolutely in love with school. I love going. I love learning things.

Tonight was the first night of my summer course. Its just an accounting course, nothing major. Still, I had fun.

This is a course that I attempted to take last fall. Then, however, I was stricken with an impacted wisdom tooth and missed nearly a month of work and school. I dropped my classes that semester.

Now, I'm attempting to finish the same accounting course with the same instructor. I showed up a little early to class, fully prepared to get the semester underway.

There must be something in those fickle universal cards, though. The instructor never made it because of a medical emergency. The substitute (another accounting instructor) informed us that the university may choose to cancel the course.

Now is the part of my post were I shake my fist idly at the heavens. Someone up there is trying to deny the full enjoyment of my nerdiness.

Le sigh.

Hope all is well out there in reader-land.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


To anyone out there reading, I'm trying to get back into writing more constantly. I plan on posting sequential snippets of writings (every two or three days), just to try to find my groove again.

Feel free to comment. I won't mind any criticism.


Edgar fired up the cigarette. His lungs sizzled with relief. With the back of his trembling, meaty hand, he mopped a layer of sweat from his brow.

The crowd traipsed before his beady eyes, cockroaches scrabbling across the streets. They moved against the neon tapestry of the city, hustling between clubs, casinos, and strip-shows. A rapid tribal drumming clashed against heavy guitar wailing, giving life to the macabre dance.

The stink of sweating flesh suffocated Edgar. A few raindrops splattered atop his head.

His eyes locked on an aberration in the crowd. A shadow stood unwavering against the sea of bodies passing both around and through it.

Edgar gulped. He stepped back slowly. It mimicked his movement. The neon lighting tugged at its edges unnaturally.

Faster, Edgar spun on his heel. He crashed into a line of kids. The cigarette slipped from his lip, dying in a puddle on the sidewalk. He spat an apology and glanced back.

The shadow slid closer. A cold chill lanced his spine.

Edgar shoved the kids aside. He darted down the congested street.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Whisper to me...

Recently, I threw my hat in the ring with the Whispers short fiction writing contest. My entry is
Beneath the Ash (Entry 35). If you have a moment, pop over there and read a few of the stories.

I've been jotting a bunch of ideas down for my writing recently, so hopefully I'll put my fingers to type and pop out a few stories soon.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Busy Month

I feel that this entire month is just speeding past. It has been packed with illnesses, chaos at work, Aidan's third birthday, exhaustion, and finally goodbyes to one vehicle and hello to another.

Life is rocking along at an incredible pace. (Speaking of rocking, I have mastered Guitar Hero I & II on medium and am about halfway through conquering Part III)


Illnesses - Somehow, I've managed to avoid it all. Its cycling around and around and around here. Each pass, I miss it, somehow. I'll credit the glass of whiskey that I have on occasion but seriously, I haven't had that supposed immune-boosting glass in over a week. Maybe I should just accept my immune system is on overdrive.

Chaos at Work - Not the typical chaos either. Additional Chaos stacked on top of the Standard Chaos. I had to fill in as an IT Guy for the last half of this past week. We upgraded our computers to handle our software. Unfortunately, I am more trusted with the desktop machines than the IT Guy, which means all of the work fell on my shoulders.

Still, I managed to have everything switched over and fixed quickly enough (although not quickly enough to avoid some overtime).

Aidan's Third Birthday - Was fun (to the left is a photo from his Birthday Eve with Ely poking her head in to make sure she was included). We chose not to take on anything too trying this year--a good choice for my sanity. It was a simple night at home with dinner, cake, ice cream, gift opening and fun! He loved his presents, ice cream, cake, and not so much the dinner but I believe that is to be expected of a three year old.

Recently, he's also taken to potty-training like a champ. He's only had one accident in the last couple months. AND, he's conquered the very first trial of growing into a young man--that event that is sure to annoy bathroom-cleaners, mothers or maids everywhere--the ability that all women* long for in the wintry season: The act of peeing while standing.

Yes, my son is now a "real" boy. If only I could make sure he never lies...

Exhaustion - A staple of my chaotic and filled existence. Still, I'm feeling it more right now than usual (or at least it seems that way). I think that may just be because my body is fighting off the illness referenced above.

Goodbyes and Hellos - I have had a couple of these in the last month. The most recent would be the trading of my current vehicle for a brand-spanking-new Scion. The clutch had gone in the old car, the timing belt was not keeping the best of time, so, sadly, I had to say goodbye to her. I spent most of yesterday at the dealer (with Aidan in tow) working out the paperwork for a Scion which will hopefully perform very well over the next few years.

As for more personal Goodbyes and Hellos, I caught up recently with my first "real" girlfriend from high school. She and I met up for some coffee a couple weekends back to reminisce and see how each other were doing. It was nice knowing that she's doing well.

It was also interesting to observe the changes between us. We're definitely not the people we were all those years ago; I consider that a very, very good thing.


I believe that brings us fairly current with my crazy life. Hope all is well out there in the really, real world . . .

* - I do not really believe that all women desire the ability to pee standing up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rock Out!

She batted those long, undeniable black lashes, blue eyes shining in the early morning sun. "Um," she cautiously stalked into the question, one foot twisting in a small circle against the carpeted floor, "later today could I rock out?"

She (Crayons' and Mr. T's daughter) was referring to Guitar Hero, which has only recently become a part of the household but it already holds a coveted place. The advertising for the game should go something like this (maybe):

Want to be the coolest middle-aged person on your block? Run out today to your nearest Gamestop and pick up GUITAR HERO! Go now! Get the band back together!

Guitar Hero is much more challenging than I expected. I actually found myself getting into it, believe it or not, and I'm not big on video games.

The callouses I once had when I used to attempt to play guitar (yes--"attempt"--I'll not delude myself about that) are suddenly all back. Didn't even need real strings for that. Even my forearm was a little tender for a day or so.

So, if you're looking for one of those "active" video games, get the band back together.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I ran a mile and a half tonight to help stretch my body out (on top of my normal stretching) so that I could venture into the complex world of Bellydancing.

Yes, you read that word correctly. Bellydancing.

As a man, I'm socially trained to believe that the "love-handle" is the most hideous spot of the male body (despite the ugliness of some...ahem...other body parts). Whether or not my Handles of Love are nearly as bad as I imagine them to be, they certainly felt as if they were getting in the way tonight.

Bellydancing grabbed my Handles of Love by the hair and showed them who the real man of the house was.

Now, my abdomen is crying out in sweet, sweet pain for more. My arms want to dance like silky serpents through the air. My hips demand that I move in sexy ways (if I were proficient, that is) that they've never wanted to before.

I just wonder if this feeling will pass before I go to work tomorrow. Otherwise, I may be shaking my ass, hips, or many other body parts as I undulate up and down the walkways tomorrow. I'll let you know if I receive any harassment claims.

Oh, and sorry, no pics ;)

Until next time...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Missed it!

Well, I missed the HNT this week so you'll just have to forgive it. I'm not much in the mood to recycle a picture in an attempt to post this week. I'd rather give you something...original.

So, here we are with a few rambling words from yours truly, instead.

Too much time working this week. Large project has to go out (how often do I find myself saying that anymore. Note to self: Need new catch phrase).

So much time working, in fact, that Mr. T nearly brought dinner to me because he and Crayons thought I wouldn't be home until late-late again. Instead, I gave up work (trying to kick that habit) and set it aside finally at six pm and headed home for dinner.

I also haven't been very thorough with the workout this week. That's something that should improve. It always seems as if Life is getting in the way of "the routine" but perhaps its just an example of my being a gentleman, opening the door for Life, which then distracts from "the routine".

*Sigh* The pains of being human.

At least there's that wonderful excuse of everyone being sick this week (almost deathly ill in a few instances) to toss into that mix. Still, I've managed to slide by the illness this time, it seems. Yes, yes, that sound you just heard was yours truly knocking on wood. ;)

Alright, I fear this is where the rambling ends for the night. There's not a lot interesting going on in my world at the moment (unless you count that looming Shopping Center I'm working on--and I try not to). Hope everything is well out there in ReaderLand.

Until we next meet...

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Long Weekend...

In some manner, utilizing some abnormal definition, this past weekend was a four day weekend for yours truly. I did not technically go to work on Friday. I did not technically go to work today. Instead, I utilized my personal back door to work from home.

Friday, I had to meet with "the competition" and provide my taxi services to Crayons, who needed to drop the kid-mobile off at the dealer for standard scheduled work. So, I provided a vehicle by which Ely could attend school and Crayons could drop off and pick up her vehicle. In that busiest of days, I also spent an hour, maybe two, answering a rash of emails that erupted in my mailbox when something went wrong at work and later making a phone call to assure myself that all had been righted.

The meeting with "the competition" was not anything treacherous, believe it or not. While I am not the most satisfied individual with my career (I do work too much for what I'm paid), I was not looking to backstab my employer. No, instead, I was searched out by these two individuals for another company. Two individuals that, combined, do two-thirds of my current job. They were looking for advice on transferring to a program with which I am unnaturally fluent.

I provided my advice for the low-low cost of lunch at a pleasant, upscale restaurant and we parted ways--with ideas of organizing a get-together for ALL the companies in our area to discuss these same topics. It really would be easier to have everyone on the same page, after all, even though, technically, we're in competition.

Saturday belonged to our bi-weekly [b]Game Day.[/b] My gaming group (who have temporarily, at least, decided to call themselves the "Order of the Burning Stag") rocked the city of Seaquen, hard. Right now, we are playing through the War of the Burning Sky campaign, ran by yours truly, and I'm having a blast. They're an awesome bunch of fun (and perverted) individuals.

Sunday was a day of rest which boiled down to a pursuit of knowledge in the financial realms (particularly regarding my son's financial future and the balancing of current account ledgers), the finishing of Greg Keyes' The Charnel Prince, and a healthy dose of Baldur's Gate II, which Crayons and I play together. Altogether, a good, relaxing day.

Monday was blessed with the appearance by my son, who is just amazing as far as I'm concerned. His daycare provider had taken the day off, so, he spent the day with myself and the T. Clan, running his cars across the floor, practicing his sign language and talking back a little (which ended with both time-outs and spankings, go figure). The child is stubborn--which definitely has been inherited from this Parabolist.

Fast-forward to this afternoon, another Gameday! We picked up right where we left off on Saturday with the group chasing after a hurricane summoning druid/monk. Twice, I worried about a TPK (Total Party Kill), but they managed to pull the rug out from underneath their foes. We finished up book three of the campaign: Shelter from the Storm and they delved headlong into adventure four. Fun!

I've also worked fourteen hours and have managed to read half of Beowulf. It's been a very busy, but awesome, weekend. I hope you've all had the same!

Goodnight...and until next time!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

HNT...the Good ol' days

And here we have a photo cut from the history books. I guess I was about 3.5-4 years old at this point. We had "professional" family portraits done because my brother was finally old enough for it at 1-1.5 years old.

Happy HNT.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I'm not sure what exactly is up with today but I've been unable to wake up all day long. I just had dinner a little while ago and it seems to have helped a bit but I didn't skip any meals today so I'm not sure what that means.

I can assume that its just normal exhaustion. Perhaps, there is a larger explanation. Was anyone else out there unable to wake up today?

I'm hoping now that my run in twenty minutes or so will finish kick-starting my mind. It is hard walking around in a haze all the time.

Monday, January 14, 2008


You look away for two seconds and all of a sudden two months have leapt off that horizon we call possibility and into that shifty textbook we call the past.

Where does it go?

Like so much sand, it just slips through our fingers. I'm not trying to be sad or emo here. Really, if it didn't slip through our fingers so quickly, we'd never have those moments that we cling to which we appreciate, so much.

Well, Happy New Year out there to all of you. Maybe I'll do a bit better with updating this year...or, maybe I'll use the excuse of being too busy again to avoid consistency. Either way, I hope a few of you hang around.

Forgive the sudden change of background. I'm actually working on a new layout for this place, but for the time being, I just grabbed one of the standard layouts.

See you sometime.