Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And Happy New Year, Too!

May this year bring you love, joy, health, happiness, prosperity, and an awesome writing muse.

All the very best to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hard to believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Seems like only yesterday when I was complaining about Christmas and Halloween decorations on opposite sides of the isle. Now… wow, the time sure flew.

To Everyone: May you have a wonderful holiday season filled with love and good cheer.

Blessings to you and yours,

Update On My Old Post - Writing Forums dot com Is (Not) Down

Of course Writing Forums dot com (www.writingforums.com) is not down. She changed servers several months ago and is up, stronger, and better than ever. In fact, Writing Forums dot com is (IMO) one of the best writing sites/forums on the internet, bar none.

So if you're a writer or poet and are looking for a quality forum where you can Workshop (protect your first rights) and get critiques and help on your work from the burgeoning to the professional, as well as discuss writing and find info on publishing, then look no further than Writing Forums dot com (www.writingforums.com). I highly recommend it.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Writing Forums .com - Writing Forums, Workshops and Help for Writers

“Writing is a solo, lonely act.”

That’s so true… or at least the actual writing part is. But with the invention of the internet and writing forums, writers don’t have to feel so alone anymore.

If you’re looking for an excellent writing forum, might I suggest Writingforums.com (Writing Forums, Workshops and Help for Writers—Writing Forums.

Unlike many forums out there, WF.com has been around for years (since 23-Sep-2002), and, like its home page says, is one of the fastest growing writing communities (and I do mean communities in the best sense of the word) on the web. By joining their free community you will be able to talk with other writers, get feedback on your work to improve your writing skills, discuss ideas, share tips & tricks, network and make friends!

Check out the impressive numbers as of this moment. Threads: 77,355, Posts: 948,010, Members: 29,798

If reading original works from the up-and-coming to the professional is what you're after, then WF.com (www.writingforums.com) is the place to find them. If you’re a writer or poet and a Writers’ Workshop or Poets’ Workshop to protect your first rights while improving your work is your focus, then you’ll find them there, too. They also have writing and poetry discussions, challenges galore, and enough forums to satisfy every taste (aside from Fanfiction, of course). There is even the hot Debate and the much calmer Lounge sections, where one can either go head to head with the best debaters around, or unwind and talk about your day or poignant topics. And let's not forget the Writing/Publishing Advice, and so much more.

And since registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, that only leaves one question: What are you waiting for? Go to Writing Forums and join the community today! And tell 'em Hawke sent you. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Present From The Oddville Press

Check it out!

Dear Readers, Writers, Poets and Artists:

Issue Two of The Oddville Press online magazine is now available - FREE!

Go to our nifty Download Page and get your very own shiny copy today!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Cake

(Click on pic for larger view.)

And while you're cookin', here's a little tune to rock out on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Help with Boston History - 1930's-40's

Photo Courtesy of the "Internet"

News photo, dated on back Jan 8 1934. Shown: Lt Martin W Joyce, Mass State Police; Lt Wm M Donahue and Supt Martin King, Boston Police Dept.

Hey all,

I’m looking for information on Boston history, 1930’s - 1940’s, specifically about the following:

Mike Rocco (or Roco) Lived with his wife and family on Thurston Street - Boston
Louie Rocco (or Roco) - Mike’s brother
The Monte - nightclub/restaurant in Boston
Jimmy (or Jim or James) Diorio (or Di Orio) - owner of The Monte
The Pompeii - nightclub/restaurant - Boston
Katie Leonardi

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

People Doing Terrible Things

"It is a man's sympathy with all creatures that truly makes him a man. Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace." ~ Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

I happened upon an excellent and truly wonderful site this morning called Bear Valley Rescue (added to 'My Must Reads'). There, I spotted 'About Horse Slaughter' in their navigation bar (fourth down under General) and, against my better judgment (I’m an animal lover), clicked it.

Now don’t get me wrong—I know it happens (I’m not delusional yet). I just don’t get how people can do terrible things to animals and I likely never will. But I digress. I suggest you read it (The End Doesn’t Justify The Means, Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, and don’t forget to read the true and heartwarming story of Charlie the blind pony while you’re there) for yourself. And watch the video, too. The only way we can prevent those terrible things from happening is to know as much as we can about them. Knowledge is power, and all that. Just be warned: the video is graphic and not for the faint of heart or iffy stomach.

Just to say. I own two wonderful quarter horses—Bear and Joe. Both excelled in the show ring, both are intelligent and as sweet as all-get-out, and both are currently enjoying their well deserved and royal-treatment retirement. More importantly, both are my family, my loves, my friends. When their time comes, they will be buried on the property with dignity, respect and love.

As for Bear Valley Rescue itself. Huge kudos and blessings to them for the work they do.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Somewhere Between Windstorms And Merry-Go-Rounds

The term “batten down the hatches” never seemed so right to this land-lubber as right now, the wind gusts powerful enough to bend the heritage tree in the back yard. Ah, but I’m more excited than scared, the skin on my arms tingling and a giggle popping out when a branch hit’s the side of the house. And stranger still, I've got this crazy desire to stand in the back yard and watch it happen. To be in the middle of it. To experience the power up close and personal.

I used to live in the country back home, and the twenty-minute drive on the paved secondary road between my home and my job had been exactly long enough to leave one behind and gear up (or down) for the other. In the middle was a long looping S curve, and for whatever reason, I started driving bits and pieces of it with my eyes closed. Naturally, the duration of keeping my eyes closed kept lengthening until one day I drove the whole thing completely by the sound of my tires on the asphalt and the slow tilt of my SUV. (Before you ask, yes, I always checked the entire S for oncoming traffic before closing my eyes.)

Why did I do it? Well, it wasn't completely to be reckless. I did it because it invigorated me. Energized me. Made be feel, even for a little while, that I was in another world—one I controlled. Kind of like a kid standing in the middle of a spinning merry-go-round with their head tipped back and their arms extended. Or standing outside in a windstorm.

Ah, the merry-go-round. Do you remember holding on for dear life, laughing yourself silly as the world blurred? Brave kids on the outer edge tried to stand but were quickly knocked off their feet, heads smacking into each other, the floor, the metal bars. Smaller kids quickly swept to the outside by the force of inertia clung to bars until they could hold on no more and then flung into the stratosphere. The very unlucky kid was crushed underneath it. And some stood in the middle of it all, God-like in their mini universe. Oh the carnage! Oh the good times.

Recently I found a road similar to the long looping S curve of my past... with one difference: This one’s maximum speed is faster by twenty clicks an hour.

I’m not advocating driving dangerously by any means—I most certainly am not. I’m not even advocating standing outside in a windstorm. But sometimes—just sometimes—you want to be that kid on the merry-go-round. You want to feel alive.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Love this.

I defy you to sing the following song and not at least grin a tiny bit.

Oh come on, you know you want to.

I Love the Whole World

Astronaut 1: It never gets old, huh?
Astronaut 2: Nope. It kinda makes you want to…
Astronaut 1: Break into song?
Astronaut 2: Yup

I love the mountains, I love the clear blue skies
I love big bridges, I love when great whites fly
I love the whole world, and all its sights and sounds
Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda
I love the oceans, I love real dirty things
I love to go fast, I love egyptian kings
I love the whole world, and all its craziness
Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda
I love tornadoes, I love arach-a-nids
I love hot magma, I love the giant squids
I love the whole world, its such a brilliant place
Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda
Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda, Boom De Yadda...

Sing it with me now...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Oddville Press—Success!

I couldn’t be more pleased to say The Oddville Press' first publication exceeded expectations. There are already more subscribers to TOP (The Oddville Press) than many long established online magazines, the caliber and number of submissions outstanding and pleasantly stunning, making for happy readers, happy submitters, and happy staff.

I'd definitely call that a success!

And now, a few thank-you’s:

To the staff of The Oddville Press, who are the hardest working and most talented people I know. When something needs to be done, you do it with passion and pride; when life gets in the way, you support each other. To the authors and artists, who allow us to share your voices and have a small part in your dreams. And last but certainly not least, to you, Dear Reader, to whom this magazine is dedicated. Thank you all.

The Oddville Press is dedicated to bringing high quality Fiction, Poetry and Artwork to the forefront, and our mission is to promote today’s geniuses and tomorrow’s giants.

To download your free PDF copy of The Oddville Press online magazine, please see:
The Oddville Press - Issue 1

Calling all Authors and Artists
We are currently taking submissions for Issue 2.
For details, as well as submission information, please visit us at:
The Oddville Press

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Okay, so I gave the Twilight series some more thought, have come to my senses, and am radically editing my post. My sincere apologies for the earlier review.

Some interesting points were brought up recently, ones I’d of course noticed while reading, but for some reason completely forgot about later (I blame it on the meds I was taking when I threw my back out).

Let's start with the kissing scene with Jacob. Hello, can you say ‘sexual assault‘? And speaking of Jacob… imprinting on a child of the woman he loves? And baby, no less? That’s just wrong on so many levels. Not to mention the completely unrealistic character named Bella—a girl who didn’t want kids; who is barely out of high school herself; who spent months pining nearly to insanity for a guy who walked out on her (never mind why—it doesn’t matter, and wouldn’t to most real people, male modelesque or not); who went all but suicidal for the delusion of Edward’s voice; who got married for sex. She’s mother material? Oh please. And there’s Edward, who’s not only a stalker, but a control freak with anger issues. For the record, stalking and controlling and anger are NOT love. I can see it now, all the teen girls saying, "If I could only meet an Edward..." Yeah. If you met an Edward, hon, you'd more than likely end up dead, and I'm not talking about him being a vampire, either. That's abuse, dear. Run, don't walk, from someone like that. But the author portrays these traits as desirable. Lovely. And let’s not forget Charlie, who takes it all in stride and doesn’t even pull his gun on Edward or anything. Yeah, that’s realistic, too.

Yes, life is just peachy-keen in Forks, isn’t it? Everything works out perfectly, and of course it does—the author can do that under the guise of “fantasy.” Bella never grows as a person, never matures, always relies on others. Heck, the grand total of her life experiences are her parents divorce and a few part-time jobs. Then voila, she’s suddenly this big super vampire/super hero/super savior/super wife/Mother of the Year. Bella gets everything, and everything works out just perfectly because that’s the way real life is (not). No need to worry about the wrong message this series sent.

Of course, the above gripes are smallish potatoes, I suppose. But not when adding them to breaking all the major rules of grammar and spelling and, the most important of all, the inconsistencies and the breaking of canon rules she (Stephenie Meyer) set up for her own previous novels. She constructed a world that she did not stay true to. (One example among too many is the explanation of Esme’s roundness the result of having been turned so quickly after her pregnancy. With that in mind, it should only follow that Bella also have her post pregnancy figure. But of course she doesn’t. Bella has the perfect model’s body. Why?) Of course the editors and publishers of this series must share in the blame, and of course they do; they dropped the ball. To them, I say: guess money was more important than the work in this instance or there would have been a painstaking revision before it went to press. Way to fail your author... unless this is a marketing strategy—a little controversy adding to talk/hype/sales. Hmm. But I digress.

Unrealistic, inconsistent, and completely the wrong message to send today’s youth. Sadly, it's selling like crazy.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Reality Checking The Fonda Phenomenon

So you wanna be an “Easy Rider,” huh? To feel the wind in your hair, the bugs in your teeth, the throb of horsepower between your legs. To be that great Lone Wolf, Peter Fonda—a former clubber turned independent who blazes his own trail and doesn’t try to be cool because he just is. Biker, baby. Freedom. The want for the open road and the “Live to ride and ride to live" motto or, as I call it, "The Fonda Phenomenon." (By the way, no one is Peter Fonda. Most are one or more Wild Hogs, with only a few craving attention and wondering what their idols would have done.)

Or maybe you’re a car driver (cager) who, because of stereotypical beliefs, has a problem with motorcyclists and perhaps likes to mess with 'em once in a while in order to “take them down a peg or two.“ Or even worse, maybe you don’t notice them at all.

Well, here's a bit of a reality check for you both.

Do you remember the CHP's famous "Red Asphalt" video which largely shocked driving students into submission? Well, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) released an educational video called, "Thrill or Buzz Kill?" It's not quite the same as the CHP's famous, "Red Asphalt.” Instead, it's more of a testimonial video, that has various CHP officers, and accident victims, to warn people that no one is invincible.

A word of caution: it uses some gory photos and videos of actual accident scenes.

Here’s the link...


Both motorcyclists and car drivers need to be aware of each other and the danger they're in, because at the end of the day everyone just wants to get home alive.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thursday Giggles

Now that I’ve stopped laughing and can type again, I thought I’d share these with you. Enjoy!

The Biker and the Farmer

While riding one day, a lone Biker met a Farmer riding a horse with a dog and a sheep alongside.
The biker began a conversation . . . .
Biker: "Hey, cool dog you got there. Mind if I speak to him?"
Farmer: "Dogs don’t talk."
Biker: "Hey dog, how's it going?"
Dog: "Doin' alright."
Farmer: Look of shock.
Biker: "Is this your owner?" pointing at the Farmer.
Dog: "Yep."
Biker: "How does he treat you?"
Dog: "Really well. He walks me twice a day, feeds me great food, and takes me to the river once a week to play."
Farmer: Look of total disbelief.
Biker: "Mind if I talk to your horse?"
Farmer: "Horses don’t talk."
Biker: "Hey horse, how's it going?"
Horse: "Cool."
Farmer: Extreme look of shock.
Biker: "Is this your owner? " pointing at the Farmer.
Horse: "Yessiree Bob."
Biker: "How's he treating you?"
Horse: "Pretty good, and thanks for asking. He rides me regularly, brushes me down often, and keeps me in a shed to protect me."
Farmer: Total look of utter amazement.
Biker: "Mind if I talk to your sheep?"
Farmer: "The sheep is a liar."



A rookie police officer pulled a biker over for speeding and had the following exchange:
Officer: May I see your driver's license?
Biker: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle?
Biker: It's not my bike. I stole it.
Officer: The motorcycle is stolen?
Biker: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the tool bag when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There's a gun in the tool bag?
Biker: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the dude who owns this bike and stuffed his dope in the saddle bags.
Officer: There's drugs in the saddle bags too?!?!?
Biker: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the rookie immediately called his captain. The biker was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the biker to handle the tense situation:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license?
Biker: Sure. Here it is.
It was valid.
Captain: Who's motorcycle is this?
Biker: It's mine, officer. Here's the registration.
Captain: Could you slowly open your tool bag so I can see if there's a gun in it?
Biker: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it.
Sure enough, there was nothing in the tool bag.
Captain: Would you mind opening your saddle bags? I was told you said there's drugs in them.
Biker: No problem.
The saddle bags were opened; no drugs.
Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole this motorcycle, had a gun in the tool bag, and that there were drugs in the saddle bags.
Biker: Yeah, I'll bet he told you I was speeding, too.


Why lawyers should never ask a witness a question if they aren't prepared for the answer:

In a trial, a Southern small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand -- a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me.
You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them
Behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains
to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him."

The defense attorney almost died. The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice, he said, "If either of you bastards asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt."


A Man At the Pearly Gates

A man dies and goes to Heaven. At the pearly gates he meets St. Peter. St. Peter is looking over the mans folder and says to the man, "I can't let you in because your records show that you have done nothing to help your fellow man. But if you can think of one thing that you did to help, I'll let you in."

The man thinks for a minute and says, "There was this one time I was driving down this dark, deserted road one night when I came upon a bunch of bikers in the middle of the road. They had this young lady there and each biker was taking his turn with her. I got my tire iron from my trunk and walked into the middle of them, picked out the biggest, ugliest one of them and hit him in back of the head. As he lay on the ground the rest of the bikers surrounded me. I slapped my tire iron in my hand and said, 'Which one of sons-of-bitches is next?'"

St. Peter looked at the man and asked, "When did this happen?"

The man replied while looking at his watch, "About ten minutes ago."


(Caution - Strong Language)

Date: Sat Mar 27 15:36:01 2004

Yes — you, you sick fucker. On Wednesday morning I emerged from my girlfriend's building by U.N. Plaza to find that you had sawed the tops off both the sparkplugs on my motorcycle. At the time, I had no idea why anyone would do that. Other than the sparkplugs, the bike was untouched. Some kind of bizarre vandalism? A fraternity prank gone awry? I had no idea. All I knew is that I looked like a huge douchebag riding the Muni to work in a padded motorcycle jacket and helmet. Because the bike was immobilized I got a $35 street sweeping ticket that night. Thursday I had it towed to the shop ($45) where they replaced the sparkplugs and the boots ($50 including labor). They explained to me that "people" - I use the term loosely here - like you break off the tops of spark plugs and use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack. As an engineer and former MacGyver fan, in a way I think this is kind of cool. But then I remember that I just paid $100 for YOUR crackpipes, and I get angry again.

Crackhead, it was really good to have my bike back though. I rode home from the shop with a couple of spare sparkplugs and a smile on my face. I figured the next time I parked at my girlfriend's place overnight I would have to buy some crackpipes and tape them to my bike as a peace offering. Overall, I wasn't that upset. Despite having to ride the bus for three days and dropping a hundred bones at the shop, I had gained some fascinating knowledge, a new set of spark plugs, and a pretty funny anecdote about how fucked up you are, and how our paths once crossed briefly in the night.

But you couldn't just let sleeping dogs lie, could you, Crackhead? You couldn't just stay in on Friday, watch Letterman through the window of a home electronics store and then call it a night. You couldn't rest on your laurels. Two porcelain sparkplug crackpipes just wasn't enough for you, was it Crackhead? You just had to come back for more. This morning, a scant fifteen hours after I rode it out of the shop, I found my motorcycle violated once again. This time you only took the right one - maybe you were having an off night. At least this time I had a spare sparkplug and the tools to fix it - or so I thought - having ordered a 73-piece toolset from SEARS.com last week. But no, the sparkplug socket in my new toolset was for American sparkplugs. So I had to go down to the neighborhood Ace hardware. They had an 18mm socket that would fit over my sparkplug, but it was for a 1/2" drive ratchet. My toolkit only has 1/4" and 3/8" ratchets. So I had to buy a 1/2" ratchet along with the socket. Even though the clerk took pity on me and gave me the senior citizen discount (I'm 25) it still cost me $22 all told.

Now, you might say that I should have just gotten a 3/8"-to-1/2" drive adaptor instead of springing for the whole ratchet. And to that I say "Shut the hell up, Crackhead, I'm not finished. And besides, I was eventually going to buy a 1/2" ratchet anyway so it's probably not worth it to take it back now."OK, now I'm rambling. But the point is, Crackhead, that you have done me wrong. Now, I get that you love crack. That is totally understandable. I've heard it is really fun, at first, and quite addictive. What I don't understand is...


I am an engineer. Do you ever see me shaking down bums in the Loin for a calculator and sliderule? No, you don't. Because engineering is the main thing I do, I went and bought myself a calculator. The main thing you do is crack. How do you get by without a crackpipe? The other crackheads must clown on you non-stop. I mean, the fucking saw you used to saw off my sparkplugs is probably worth five or ten bucks. Why not sell or trade it for a crackpipe? You really haven't put much thought into this, have you? Please, Crackhead, please don't tell me you sold your crackpipe to buy crack. Even a stupid crackhead such as yourself couldn't possibly be that stupid. I've decided that taping crackpipes to my motorcycle would be tantamount to appeasement.

You have crossed a line, Crackhead - specifically California Street. You have come onto my own street and you have desecrated that which I hold dear. You have stolen from me, and you have caused me to spend the last half hour writing this post instead of engineering shit, and it is conceivable, if not likely, that my boss could find out about this and fire me. I am hella pissed at you dude.

Here are my options as I see them:

1. Write a note saying that I have coated both of my sparkplugs in rat poison and tape it to my bike at night. You can thank Tim for that one, it was his idea.

2. Don't write a note, but just coat both sparkplugs in rat poison. This is probably closer to a punishment that would fit your despicable crime. I'm sure this is super illegal and SHIT, but it's not like anyone is going to miss you, Crackhead. Don't fool yourself.

3. Wait in an alley near my bike armed with my new stainless steel mirror-finish Ace Professional brand 1/2" drive socket wrench, my 18mm sparkplug socket, and my searing rage. It's pretty heavy and well balanced. I am not a large man, but I am angry.

In conclusion, Crackhead, why don't you just do both of us a favor and buy yourself a crackpipe? It will both enhance your crack smoking experience and save me a lot of time and felony assault charges. Think about it.

Bike Owner

*** If you are not the Crackhead that took my sparkplugs, please
disregard this posting ***

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Post Olympic Blues

What Am I Gonna Watch Now?

Seems to me the modern Olympics were created for one purpose: to establish an audience, specifically a TV audience. Take me, for example. But for the very odd or seasonal times, the amount of television I normally watch would give programming execs nightmares (not to worry, I’m not part of some new trend… or am I?) and at the same time make being a Nielsen rater the cushiest job, ever; House being the only show I’m a patron of, and even that’s hit and miss at best. Ah, but then along comes the Olympics and I suddenly turn into a constant viewer, watching what I normally wouldn’t walk across the street to see much less plan a day around, and with all the zeal and voracity of a true armchair athlete, too. Crazier still, I miss them (dammit!) when they’re over, the what I refer to as “Olympic Phenomenon” working perfectly once again, no weaning off period or anything, leaving those of us in the habit of tuning in suddenly without anything worth tuning in to.

Hmm. Maybe I’ve just never been in the TV loop. I mean, folks love it, stare at it, spend all night ignoring family in the same room with it and calling that 'quality time,' take it with them, tape it, burn it, use it as a quasi babysitter/entertainment/life what with palm-sized TVs, micro and widescreen, DLP, LCD, PDP, flat-paneled plasmas, front projectors and rear projectors and “Where the hell is the remote?” with cable and satellite and hundreds of channels and tons of packages and hold the onions… so they have to be watching something, right?

Right. But, what?

Well, there’s always American Gladiators. Or one of the CSI spin-offs. And let’s not forget the paranormal shows like Rescue Mediums and Ghost Hunters. Or any one of a bazillion reality shows (how ironic that they called television “The Boob Tube” at a time of decent programming, but now that the term is completely appropriate, they’ve dropped it). And if that’s not enough, there’re murmurs that Stag Beetle tournament fights (yes, it’s real) could be the next big thing.

On second thought, I think I’ll go back to reading.

Friday, August 08, 2008

29th Olympiad


Best of luck to all the athletes!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

All Those Cautions

So who knew the new girl would bite ten minutes after she was delivered?

As previously mentioned, we have a new baby in the family, namely a 526 lb. (dry and bare weight) Suzuki VL Volusia with all the aftermarket bells and whistles. Studded Mustang seats with matching sissy bar, luggage rack, windshield, running boards, leather saddle bags, leather tank bib with sunglass case, leather conchoed tool pouch and chrome out the wazoo, including diamond grips, a screaming eagle head fender ornament and Cobra pipes… and it had been one of the pipes that “bit” bad enough to make a trip to the doctor for a huge third-degree burn, because about the only thing the new baby doesn't have are heat shields.

Caution: Bare legs and hot pipes don’t mix.

Speaking of cautions... I dislike overly dramatic “angsty” folks who view life as a bottomless pit of despair. Who no one understands. Who no one gets. Whose world is measured in the three foot radius of themselves. Who truly believe the butterfly in Central Park flaps its wings with the soul purpose of ruining their life. But that’s not me. Nope, I’m not generally like that. But I can do some pretty heavy soul-searching every once in a while. (Surprise—I know, what with me supposedly being a “writer” and all.) Like today. So if you’re interested (and I certainly don’t blame you if you aren’t) here’s a little something about me: there are very few people who know the real me. If you’re one of those who fall into the "don't" category, don’t worry—you aren’t missing anything.

I’m not a very good person, as is obvious by the amount of real life friends (none) and internet friends (few) I have, and worse, by the amount longer than a short while—a short while being anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.

Ah now, I already know what you’re thinking: Who’s the common denominator?

Well gosh-darnnit, that would be me!-wouldn’t it. And that brings me full circle, right back to the “not a very good person” part. I guess I change in that time. Or maybe life changes its course and I miss the detour. Relegated to the category of nonexistent. A mist. A specter. A nonentity. So it goes, again... still. I guess I do a lot wrong, and of course I do; I’m the common denominator—remember?

Maybe I'd better start looking harder for the signs. (EDIT: Scratch that. I'm done with signs altogether.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's A Girl!

Adopted: 08/01/08

Ain't she sweet.

Monday, July 14, 2008


A Bag of Hammers

Unbeknownst to me until recently, three WestJet airline tickets have been purchased to Ontario. Specifically, to Hamilton airport in early September. The plan (apparently) is a sort of double holiday: my mother and eldest sister to get reacquainted at my sister’s home in Oakville, and the other two to go straight on to Ottawa for a few days, toodle around the Great Lakes on the way back to Oakville, and afterward, whatever. And all this in one week.

I’ve decided to pass and make a plan of my own: to stay here, hopefully writing and enjoying the peace and quiet of solitude. No doubt that’ll go over like a bag of hammers. So it goes.

Update (08/07): The tickets were changed and, oddly enough, everyone was fine with it. Ahh...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Write, Read, Subscribe for free! The Oddville Press


The Oddville Press isn't just for writers, but for readers as well.

You can now subscribe online and get a nice shiny new copy delivered to your mailbox on the day of publication... for free!

Subscribe Today!


It's Share a Song Day

This song was playing on the radio today while I was driving and I thought I'd share.

Love Jann Arden's stuff.

Jann Arden - Insensitive - Jann Arden

I'm not at all keen on this song's video, but for those who prefer them, here it is.

And the one I'm currently obsessed with (do yourself a favor and crank up the sound on your speakers before playing - it's that good):

Friday, May 16, 2008

Want Published? The Oddville Press (online Magazine)

My apologies for my absence to date, Dear Reader, but I have a very good reason. For the last little while I have been working on something near and dear to my heart. To that end, it has been my privilege and honor to work with some of the most talented, hardest working folks on the internet, watching a kernel of an idea grow into something truly lovely, truly tangible, truly amazing. Now that we're ready to rock, I'm very excited and anxious to tell you all about it. So I will.

It's my sincere pleasure to introduce you to The Oddville Press.

Artwork courtesy of Clara Natoli. Please do not copy without her permission. To see more of her Clara's wonderful work, visit her "new blog."

The Oddville Press is an online non-profit magazine dedicated to bringing high quality Fiction, Poetry and Artwork to the forefront and whose mission is to promote today’s geniuses and tomorrow’s giants. The Oddville Press will consider material submitted by any writer, established or not. Our guidelines are simple: submissions must be original, well written, creative and compelling. Serious, thoughtful, yet accessible high-quality fiction, poetry and artwork will constitute the majority of our acceptances, and of course humour is most welcome.

"So, why the name 'The Oddville Press'?" you ask.

Simply put, the word "odd" is something all writers know very well, the first twinge experienced the first time someone asks us what we do. Yes, writers are odd. We know it. And the looks on the faces of the folks we tell says they know it too. So, why not embrace it? The "ville" part is the sense of community we writers gravitate toward. Writing is very much a solo act, and though being unique is kind of cool in itself, being lonely is a real killer. So we tend to group up on writing forums, writing work shops and creative writing classes, in real life and in internet life, helping ourselves by helping each other. Hence, the name The Oddville Press.

Ah, but this magazine is unquestionably for you, Dear Reader. We bring quality Fiction, Poetry and Artwork from around the world to the public by respecting the minds of those we are invited into, publishing the professional and the burgeoning—today’s geniuses and tomorrow’s giants.

So if you're a writer, poet or artist, why are you still here reading this? Give us your weird and wonderful. Give us something "odd." Get yourself over to The Oddville Press, see the Submission Guidelines, then submit. Your public awaits!

We look forward to reading you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Romantic Song

Here's a little ditty for you to help you get through the day. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Time To Get Clued In

Another school shooting on a growing list of school shootings, and as I’ve said before (and I’ll say again): I believe the fault lies with everyone, and the key to stopping it is everyone.

Now hear me out.

We are a self-centered, don’t-want-to-get-involved, “me” society, where we see things going on around us—everything from the huge and obvious to the “just a little off”—and let it go. Because we let it go, we are enablers (and accomplices, I might add) by not getting involved. Because we don’t get involved, the fault lies with us. We. We’ve dropped the ball, people. The old and true saying “It takes a community to raise a child” isn’t happening in this society, and that’s a damn shame.

Off the top of my head. This sort of thing can be (most times) be prevented. With that in mind, I have to ask: Where were the parents in all of this? Where were the kid’s friends? The teachers? Even the casual observer who lives down the hall and has a gut feeling that the guy is “weird” and/or may be going off his nut? They (we, in fact) are busy being enablers (and accomplices—I can’t stress that word enough), that’s where. People say afterward (why is it always afterward?) things like, “He stopped his meds and was getting more and more erratic” or “He was bullied,” etc., etc. So why didn’t anyone speak up before? Were they afraid? And if so, of what? If they’re wrong, great! If they’re right, it might save lives.

As for the bullies. Why weren’t they put to the mat when they first started bullying? Our school board here has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy on bullying, whereby, if warranted, the offender will do their schooling off grounds via the Outreach Program, where they can’t hurt anyone. It’s not the end-all / be-all answer, but it helps. Of course, if the offender decides to retaliate off school grounds, the retaliatee’s parents can always make use of the legal system (assault, uttering threats, etc., etc.).

And speaking of parents. If you’d stop touting your kid’s right to privacy and start getting your butt into their bedroom, you might be able to prevent some of these terrible things from happening and save your own kid in the process. Ah, I know what you’re thinking: I’ll break the trust. Well here's a reality check for you: It could cost them their lives if you don't. But just to make you feel better, let's try looking at this another way. If you thought for one second there was something in that room which could cost your kid their life, wouldn't you be in there in a heartbeat? Sure you would; I guarantee you would. I can also guarantee that no where on your apartment lease or deed of your house will you find is your kid’s name. That makes it your house, not your kid’s. It's time to get clued in.

In all honesty, the “it’s none of my business” mentality has got to go. Instead, what we need to do is to get involved because only through it will we have a hope in hell of stopping this.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

writingforums.com (Writing Forums)

Since Writing Forums dot com (WF.com) is down again, and since there are thousands of us displaced WFers looking for a place to hang out, get information, set up a second (third, forth, twelfth) home...

Now you know I don’t usually recommend writing forums on The View (I‘ve only ever recommended one thus far), but the potential of this months-old forum makes it another exception and definitely one worth checking out. Introducing:

Writing Discussions: Forums for Writers is a friendly and new kind of writing forum made by writers, for writers. Just a few of its super features include:

* An excellent, experienced and very approachable staff.

* Talented members from beginners to the published.

* Enough forums for writers of all walks, tastes and genres, including five viewable by members only Writing Workshops in the categories of Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Scripts, Other Writing (meaning first rights are protected in all five Workshop forums).

* The Hothouse—another first rights protected forum, The Hothouse is a new concept in writers' forums. It's a private, invitation only and first rights protected area devoted solely to the 'hothousing' of writers and their work in preparation for publication.

* Writing Exercises and Challenges forum—a place to flex your writing muscles. Join a challenge or create your own and challenge your friends.

* NaShoStoMo Forums. Think you’ve got what it takes?

* Member Blogs. Yes, you heard that right. As a member, you can create your own member Blog. They come complete with a Calendar, Archives, Categories and all the extras.

And if that’s not enough, then hang on to your goodies, folks, because they aren’t done adding yet. Have a suggestion or a feature you'd like to see? Let them know and they'll see what they can do. (Yes, there’s even a forum for that.) This place aims to please.

So if you write or are an avid reader and haven’t yet checked out Writing Discussions: Forums for Writers, I urge you to do so. And tell ‘em Hawke sent you.
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