Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Minimum qualifications

We all do things at some time in our lives that require a special skill to accomplish. These could be mundane up to highly specific skills or knowledge to do the job, and do it correctly. I understand not everyone can do everything. That is why people specialize in work, hobbies, sports and more.

Some skills require years and years of study, some, not so much. Doctors and plumbers have skills that are essential to their work; you have a doctor and likely a plumber, although they are both a necessity they are hardly interchangeable. The trick is, the average person can't perform either of these jobs with a reasonable amount of success. Then there is the entry level positions that, believe it or not still require knowledge to do the job. We've all been the victim of cashiers who can't count your change back to you, waiters/waitresses that can't figure out your bill or even the painter's helper who can't paint.

This brings me to the point of the story. My Beloved was visiting my Dear Daughter in the hospital. Due to the construction around this particular venue, she had the valet park the car. (It was also cold outside). I don't think there is a hospital in my area that doesn't have huge construction cranes parked all over the place. That however is the subject of a ramble for a different day. When she arrived at the room and I was leaving she asked if I would get her phone as she left it in the car. Being the devoted husband, I complied and dutifully stopped by the valet station. This particular young lady was besieged by those dropping off vehicles. As the hubbub subsided, one last gentleman dropped off his pickup to have parked. The young lady handed him his ticket and jumped behind the wheel...

Wouldn't you think someone hired for a valet service could DRIVE A STICK-SHIFT?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Java mocha joe

Have you ever noticed how things change over time? Sometimes they are innocuous, subtle, sometimes overt. Trends develop over time and fade again to what they once were.

It all started with the percolator. Yep, it's coffee time. Who remembers the days of a tin pot sitting on the stove, the heat boiling the water deep inside? I would watch the top just to see the brown liquid squirting into the glass top. I don't know why. It interested me for some strange reason. At some point my parents graduated to the electric coffee pot. I think at that time it ceased to be a percolator and became the coffee pot. Since then, that name has mostly stuck. It wasn't until later that they grudgingly switch to the fabulous Mr Coffee brewer.

Coffee has been in my home at some level all my life. My sainted parents drank it constantly as long as I can remember; breakfast, lunch, dinner and lastly at about eight p.m. Today one would receive all the warnings about the caffeine keeping one awake at night. It never seemed to bother Esteemed Father. I know because he snored like a camel (not that I've ever heard a camel snore). He was just very loud.

It sometimes seems today's generations think they invented the stuff, or have improved it in some way. There are entire aisles in the grocery store of brand after brand; roasted and decaf, whole bean and half, French roast and, well, I can hardly count the styles. Coffee seems to have followed in the footsteps of the wine industry with all manner of groups, magazines and with the advent of the Keurig machine, it has evolved to nearly cult status. It seems to be the logical step from the Starbucks revolution.

Unfortunately, even with all the hoopla, the whipped cream and the nuts, the cold and the ice, mochas and cappuccinos, no one has improved on the basic, simple cup of joe. You can keep all your foo-foo blends, give me mine straight up, black, no sugar, no cream. Smooth on a cold winters day.

My Beloved hates even the smell of it, she's heathen, as is North. I feel sorry for them.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday morning book tour

So, you say you're not sure how good the books I pass along really are? This next author is a mystery and paranormal writer, Shirley Bourget. She is an award winning author and freelance writer. It is more than time and talent that makes a good writer, it's also dedication and a love for what you are doing.

Enjoy the read....


Blood (Ancestral Skin)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
buy the second chapter I didn't want to put it down! I didnt want to do anything else. very good read!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book December 1, 2012
By roland
Format:Kindle Edition
Great writing, story and imagery. Enjoyed all the detail and visualization while reading. Loved this book, could not put it down once I started reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read!! November 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
A friend suggested this book to me to break up my usual reading. After a few pages, I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. It is a great mixture of history, fantasy, romance and mystery. The imagery in this book was so vivid, I actually felt like I was in the middle of the action! Mrs. Bourget embraces a type of lyrical wordplay that is a welcome change from most of the other books I have recently read.

This book has a little something for everyone. I strongly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys a fantastic read that is guaranteed to keep your attention until the very last word.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Author roadshow

Gone (A Science Fiction Mystery) (The Tangle Saga)

This wonderful Saturday morning we have another author look-see. Meet Traci Tyne Hilton, a best-selling Amazon author. Her talents let her cross genres and with her new release of 'Gone', the first book in her 'Tangle' series, she struts her stuff in the world of sci-fi.


One woman, heir to a throne back on Earth, found life on a remote space station a comfortable way to avoid responsibilities waiting back on her home planet.

But when her rebellious teenaged brother and sister disappear her responsibilities catch up with her.

Thousands of lives hang in the balance--including her own--as she digs into the darkest corners in space. Can she find the missing kids before their rebellion sets off a chain of violence no one can stop?

(I have it on good authority that she posed for the cover).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A free short story

Last year I stepped outside of my comfort zone as it pertains to my writing. Although I am partial to fantasy novels, I penned a short story written in first person, a point of view I have never tried. Please enjoy the following excerpt from 'Lily'.   

    The pounding startled me, the echo like thunder booming down the length of Jeshion Hall, the hall of my prison. The doors tall and thick as much a prison door to me as any gated rail. The wood, carved from times long past and aged beyond memory are my bane, the shield of my overlord. The echo announces the coming of the king, my captor, my jailor, my undertaker.
     He arrives late in the day, not his usual pattern by any means. My captor does keep as close to a regular schedule as possible. As Jeshion Hall is by its nature a formal seat, it has its own traditions in spite of the whims of the throne’s current occupant who has been my jailor for my embalmed eternity. The sun’s arc has long since passed its apogee as I am rewarded with a glimpse of his robes, flowing and distinct as the stillness of the airs are marred by his movement.
     I can tell he is tired by the withering lines of his face. He looks far older now as sleep eludes him. It is a long war he has presided over; the ravages of time and the death of his son have muffled his roar. Is the Lion losing a step? How much does he have left to protect his pride? His walk once powerful and steady now hesitates. Will his eyes find me this day? Will his troubled heart reach out and suffer upon me?
     “How does this day treat you, mongrel?” His steps soft cover the last tiles as he approaches the dais. His voice belies his steps; strong for his years.
     I nod as I cover my legs with my arms hiding the dirt that covers me. My feet hit the chipped edge of the large slab that rises slightly giving me traction to push my body against the stone wall. Its coolness radiates through my thin rags against my skin. I have not addressed him in five years to the day, the day before the Heustrol, the day his son was lost in battle. His tears fell to my skin as he whipped me in his furor. I cover the scars in his presence.

     “What say you, chieftain?” His lordship turns and spreads his robes as they fall across the arms of the gilded chair perched high on the marble slab. My lord is quickly seated as his gaze stares down the length of the hall.
     “I bring tidings of battle on this festive day.”
     “It is no day for celebration to me.”
     “We are in Heustral, my lord.”
     My ears turn to the sounds of the new voice and the gathering of sounds that now permeate throughout Jeshion Hall. An instant before my eyes fall upon his crimson robes the memory I have pushed to the back of my mind explodes into view. I cannot hide deep enough in the shadows of my corner to escape his cruelty. His eyes find mine hidden in the darkness as he throws a glancing sneer toward me before addressing the king. His retinue surrounds his person as warrants to his importance. His robes though lightly soiled from the fields of war pale only in comparison to those of his lord.

Lily is free to download for your Kindle reader or tablet Friday 1/18 and Saturday 1/19. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The sports cross

 I heard a comment on my sport-talk radio this morning that sort of of irked me. When at home during the day I turn on the radio and shuffle about the house doing odds and ends; generally trying to be productive. One of the shows I tune into is Colin Cowheard on ESPN radio. Now, I know many don't like him and I don't always agree with him but he does give me comments to think about, and sometimes they aren't about sports. This one, is sort of a blend of sports and non-sports.

He was discussing Lance Armstrong and his decision to 'come out' and admit to doping activities during his career. The topic translated to athletes as sports heroes. I am of the opinion that athletes shouldn't be heroes to anyone other than their own children. Those personalities are driven where most others can't go. By having the type of personality they do, many have skeletons in their closets. We as consumers of that product only want to see the good and not see them as real people with faults. To many, they are almost gods.

These athletes must also market themselves and must have a public profile. Often it involves making the sign of the cross after they score a touchdown, before they get to the plate or begin a run down the track. Cowheard called it the Catholic sign. Now, as many might know from previous posts, I am a Catholic. I often want to throw a brick at the television every time I see an athlete make that gesture during a game or competition. What are they thinking? Did God value his participation more than the other guy? Is God more of a fan of his team than the other? I know many will say, "I succeeded or didn't get hurt." Let me tell you, God had nothing to do with your success or failure on any given play or any sports event. He might have smiled down on you and blessed you with skills that you must take advantage of through hard work and perseverance, but because you just scored a touchdown? Please. It's time to leave the religious paraphernalia at the door or on the sidelines. On the field it has no place.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday morning author

Another Saturday morning is on the horizon and I will be off to work. Before I make the trek my author spotlight this morning is on Brandon Hale, another fantastic writer.

What do you read? Do you plod through the same old, same old? Do you crave action and adventure? If so a trilogy by Brandon titled Day Soldiers could be your next favorite series.
Book One in the Day Soldiers Trilogy.

A legion of vampires and werewolves has declared war on the human race.

For ten years now, humanity has been at war with the creatures of darkness. The war has changed the world. The day now belongs to humanity and the night belongs to things once thought to exist only in myths and legends... but there is hope. This new enemy has united humanity and an army has stepped forward to protect the light from the darkness. An army of heroes.


There's just nothing like saving the world from vampires and werewolves.
Brandon also has a blog where he covers a wide range of topics with a sense of humor. I urge you all to check him out.



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Author update #2

When an armored car hijacking leaves two men dead, Arizona Sheriff Jim Weber takes the crime personally, because one of the dead men is his brother-in-law. His hunt for the killers leads him into a world of sordid sex, deceit, and violence, with a suspect list that includes jilted women, a family of anti-government survivalists, and the beautiful wife of the richest man in town.

With a plot that has more twists and turns than an Arizona mountain road, a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, and a shocking ending that shakes the town of Big Lake to its very foundation, this first book in the Big Lake series will keep you turning pages to the very end!

One reviewer has referred to the Big Lake mystery series as “Mayberry Meets Twin Peaks." It’s a combination of humor and intrigue that launched author Nick Russell’s first Big Lake book into Amazon’s 100 Top Paid Kindle books for over 78 days!

Sounds like one hell-of-a-book!

Meet mystery writer Nick Russell. His Big Lake series is a best seller on the Amazon listings for mystery writers, so if you're looking for a new book with a few twists, this is your story.

One of the fun things about being a writer is meeting other writers. Nick is a rabid RVer, living on the road. He keeps a blog journal as well that you might want to check out if you love the open road.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

A little author intro

Today and tomorrow I will be letting all you wonderful readers of this blog in on a couple of secrets. They are both fellow authors who are striving to bring wonderful stories and adventures to the reading public. Each weekend I will post a brief blurb on Saturday and another on Sunday. Each will feature a different author who writes in differing genres. Some write in mystery, some romance and others sci-fi, fantasy (as do I) and just about all genres. I hope everyone finds something they like in the authors I will be spotlighting.

Image of Anna J McIntyre

Our first author this morning is Bobbi Johnson-Holmes who writes under the pen name of  Anna J McIntyre. She is a wonderful author of romance books including the titles:

Lessons: The Coulson Series: http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Anna-J-McIntyre/dp/0964995638

After Sundown: www.amazon.com/After-Sundown-Anna-J-McIntyre/dp/0964995654

She has also penned a very interesting work that I had the privilege to read titled American Bondage. It is not a romance novel but is an intriguing concept concerning pregnancy and a woman's right to chose her fate. It is a great read.

She writes a blog of her own that I also tap into on occasion: annajmcintyre.blogspot.com
This blog truly shows off her abilities as the talented writer she is.

I hope you enjoy this series of spotlights and find something you would like to read in the coming weeks. Tomorrow's author: Nick Russell

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hail 2013

Hello 2013.

Once again a new year enters into the picture for us all. For many it is a time of choosing ones destiny for the coming 365 and making their life better. Others view the new year as nothing special with no reason to look forward to the coming year. I don't think there is anything wrong with looking ahead with a little inward introspection. Our best quality as a people is the ability to look past problems and overcome obstacles that have been placed before us. Just as those who have faced the impossible; natural disasters such a Katrina, Sandy and the yearly plague of tornadoes in the plains states and have overcome life-changing circumstances, we strive to succeed. Where some crumble, others stand up and place one foot in front of the other and start their rebuilding process all over again. It is human nature. It is why we are special.

With that in mind, here are my new years resolutions both personal and professional for the coming 365:

Personal: 1) Buy My Beloved flowers once each month. Now, don't anyone tell her this. She likes to tell me she reads this blog on occasion. We'll see about that. 2) Re-grout the kitchen floor (OK, that's not a fun one but it needs done. 3) Get the small projects done around the house; one a month; closet shelving, outdoor speakers on the pool, things like that. 4) Take My Beloved to the movies every two months (see disclaimer on #1; don't tell her).

Professional: 1) Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Keep work at work and give 100% but don't take work home with me. 2) Finish my two "works in progress" by June. One is the first of an untitled sci-fi series, book one titled Star Eagle Six; the other is the first of a fantasy series, The Last Elf. Book one is currently untitled. 3) Spend less unproductive time on the internet. I can't completely ditch it as I need it for writing and marketing. That being said, 4) Add 'booksfromhale.com to my favorites list. It's author, Brandon Hale is an independent author (and a funny guy). He's a good read.

That's it for now, sports fans. I'll see what else comes down the pipe in the coming year. Hello 2013, and goodbye 2012 cause you weren't the best friend I've had.

Oh, and sell more books!