Monday, January 30, 2012

Lucky Number 13


I believe in it.

Sure we often manufacture our own luck by being prepared. Knowledgeable. Smart in how we approach matters.

But sometimes luck shines upon us. Even when we are unprepared. Stupid. Ignorant in our actions.

Today I'm going to share a story of great luck.

Now most stories that involve trips to the Emergency Room are not about luck at all.

I'm proud to say this is not most stories.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Selling Sex ... The Old-Fashioned Way

Working at the post office as I do I have seen lots of magazines come through over the years. Certainly enough to realize the cover designers of the world are big believers in the old adage SEX SELLS.  And not only in magazines marketed for men. Here are a few samples from magazines with a variety of intended audiences to prove my point.

I find it odd that many of these designers seem to think a woman has to be naked or at least topless for the cover to be sexy.

Other than fitness and muscle magazines it is fairly rare for men to be nearly nude or even topless on magazine covers. and even more rare for celebrity males to appear in that form unless they are MMA fighters or boxers and on occasion other pro athletes but almost never actors.

Though I did find this shot of the Bieb revealing some skin in some kind of funky fish net type shirt . I only have one word for that -- disturbing.

Most leading men appear on magazines with their best swarthy expression and it is simply inferred they are the manliest Y chromosomes on the block.

Now don't get me wrong. I am as big a fan of the female body as anyone, but frankly these so-called provocative shots are anything but for me. They are too revealing. Now I'm not saying that from a moral standpoint. That is another issue altogether and one I don't care to discuss on this blog. I get the the whole subjective women angle too but I'm looking at this post from a pure hedonistic point of view.

And for my money the pin up girl poses of old are far sexier and provocative than the skinfest of today's covers.

I am a sucker for a pin up girl whether it be of the actual picture variety ...

or the illustrated versions ...

So I say, come on cover designers give me less (skin) to give me more. I am after all a writer so I have a good imagination. My mind can fill in where in needs to.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'cause The Sandman Wants To Know

Not long ago I left a comment of this guy's post about dreams. I trotted out the theory that we writers tend to have more graphic dreams and later recall those dreams than non-writers. I say this because after years of reading blogs and talking to writers I hear them report strange, weird and extremely graphic dreams way more often than I do from my non writing friends.

Today I offer up a trio of my recent nocturnal illusions as further proof of my theory.

Dream #1 Mary Lou Retton, resplendent in her patriotic leotard was teaching me how to pole vault. I stood there listening intently as she gave me instructions on how to do pole vault and I distinctly remember her saying, "I still have lots of contacts on the Olympic committee so you are a shoo-in to make the team.

Dream #2 My wife woke me up to inform me I was whistling a tune in my sleep. It was at that point I realized I'd been dreaming about a clay animation form of myself standing on the stage of the Jerry Springer show singing a song. I only wish I could recall the tune I was singing.

Dream #3 This was the most graphic and vivid dream of the three. I had a raw, festered splinter in either my hand or arm. I had a pocketknife and was trying to remove said splinter but with each attempt I cut a huge chuck of my flesh away. i remember the quarter sized pieces falling away and me nonchalantly going back to work on the splinter which remained untouched at the center of an ever growing and bloody crevice in my body.

I am lucky to have an eclectic group of readers so I'm going to take an informal poll. Please weigh in with your answer.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thy River Runs Red

There are rights in this world ...

and there are wrongs ...

And we can't fix everything, so sometimes we remain silent despite our inclination to speak up.

But some issues arises that force us the speak up. The climb to the highest peak around and shout at the top of our lungs.

Here is one such issue ...

Come on Man. The words PHILLY CHEESE STEAK should never I repeat NEVER follow the word chicken.

Chickens have breasts, legs, thighs, gizzards, feet, necks, and even giblets, but there ain't a single steak anywhere to be found anywhere on a yard bird my friends. Don't let this happen. Don't let the health nuts muddy the blood red waters of Steak River.

Stand with me on this and boycott anything called a chicken steak. If you ask me this so called Philly is nothing but a glorified panini and in case you wonder how I feel about that horrendous moniker check out this post.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Haley Update

A couple of weeks back I posted a video of a local man, a friend that was looking for his daughter. Many of y'all shared that video on both your blogs and facebook pages, as did hundred if not thousands of people all over the world. Well, the creator of that video, Ray Wilson recently posted a blog post of his own. Check it out if you want a few more details about the story.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Will Work For Food

My buddy Alex Keto sent me this story along with a note that it reminded him of my feeding the chickens story in THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES.

A Los Angeles woman was arrested after she offered sexual favors in exchange for chicken McNuggets, Burbank police said.
Khadijah Baseer of Los Angeles reportedly opened customers’ car doors in the drive-thru of McDonald’s on the 1700 block of Olive Avenue about 11 p.m. Wednesday, asking for free chicken McNuggets in exchange for sexual favors, Officer Joshua Kendrick said.

 A man told police Baseer approached him but he refused the offer.

 Baseer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of prostitution.
I've seen enough crazy things to realize there are a lot of folks with shaky morals in this world but MgNuggets? Really? Sexual favors for mechanically separated chicken bits? Come on Khadijah, at least sell yourself for a Big Mac.


Yes, my beloved New Orleans Saints went down in a turnover filled thriller, but I'll have all of y'all know my 9 year old son has avenged that defeat by repeatedly beating those damn Forty-Niners on EA Sports Madden Football game. So take that San Francisco.


Anybody else heard that Rihanna song ... We Found Love? You know the one where she goes on and on about finding love in a homeless place. My wife swears she says hopeless place but my ears hear homeless place and if Ms. Baseer can find love in a Micky D's drive-thru than I reckon Rihanna can find it down at the Salvation Army. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Racing Ahead

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or twitter have already know some of this but I know some of you don't so I want to share some potentially exciting news with y'all.

But I wouldn't be a very good writer if I hopped straight to the exciting part so let me give you the whole story.

Three or four weeks back, I got wind of a casting call for a new reality television show. The producers of this show were looking for 12 unique romance writers and 12 avid romance readers. The casting call had a list of 5 or 6 questions so I answered them and emailed in my response.

A few days later I hear from the producer. She wants me to expound upon a few of my original answers.

A couple of emails followed. Then a phone conversation.

A phone conversation that was went very well and has me very excited about my chances. I wish I could share more but I can't at this point but man am I stoked about the possibilities before me.


In other news I recently read a fantastic YA book called The Scorpio Races. I'd heard plenty about the talents of the author, Maggie Stiefvater but still I was surprised by the quality of the prose. Here is the blurb as it appears on Amazon.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger comes a brand new, heartstopping novel.

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. 

Some riders live.

Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.



And for you poetry fans out there please take a moment and check out this blog written by my good friend Adam. Adam is an extraordinary young man of 23 that is wise beyond his years. He is a seminarian from my church and I can't wait until he is a full-fledged priest because he will writing some spectacular homilies.

Truth be told I'm not a huge poetry guy. I do not always connect with the words of poets but there are few whose prose speaks to me. And as I write this I think the quality that make me connect with these few is TRUTH. The Walking Man who often frequents this blog and Adam write is such a way that it makes me feel as if I am peering into their soul seeing not what they want to show me but he truth hidden in the shadows. I like that as the that often leads to me discovering something about myself I'd never thought of or at least never admitted.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holy Pigskins

It all started with a pinky toe.

You see I am frugal, or as my wife likes to call me a tightwad.

My old pair of athletic shoes were just fine. Yes the pinky toe of my right foot was visible but so what? like 98% of the shoe was still intact. But no, my wife made me go buy a new pair last week.

Like I said I;m frugal so when I spotted these bad boys on sale for half price I jumped.

I don't usually go for such flashy footwear but at half price I couldn't go wrong. Or so I thought.

As any longtime reader of this blog knows I am a diehard New Orleans saints fan. Last night the saints battled the Detroit Lions in the wildcard round of the NFC playoffs.

You might notice the colors on that Lion helmet nearly match those on my footwear.

Call me superstitious if you will but when the score was 14-7 Lions I ripped those damn blue shoes off my feet and flung them across the room. From that point on my beloved Saints dominated and eventually came away with a 45-28 victory.

My apologies to Drew Brees and the other members of the Saints organization for letting my frugality damage the cosmic Karma of the WHO DAT universe. And don't worry I will not wear so much as a single red item this week as you prepare to take down the San Francisco 49ers next weekend.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Come Show Me What You Got

A thought occurred to me today while telling a story to the guys at work. I've lived but three places in my adult life. And despite the fact I consider myself an okay guy, a sociable sort of fellow who is easy to get along, in every single place I've ever lived one of my neighbors has hated me.

Funny thing is it's never been my fault. At least not directly.

Let me explain.

House #1 was a dumpy joint out in the country. despite being out of the city limits I lived in a cluster of other houses. Some on wheels. Some not.

I owned a red-ticked coonhound named Rufus.

Rufus was a wandering soul that simply could not be penned. He was also a kleptomaniac. Inn the years i owned him he brought me an assortment of pilfered goods that I had no idea where he stole. A pocketknife, opened up. My guess is someone flung it at him trying to carve out his pillaging eye. Numerous articles of clothing, including lingerie which I presume he plucked off other people's clothes line. Lots of beer bottles, newspapers, doormats, water sprinklers, and anything else left outside.

But the worst was the day my neighbor across the road called to tell me Rufus had jumped up and stolen the shoe right off his granddaughters shoe as he was carrying her inside. He claimed Rufus had absconded with he baby shoe and was now hiding beneath my house. And he was sure enough correct. It sure was embarrassing to crawl under there and back out while my neighbor stood and huffed in my yard. Later the man never would talk to me much.

House #2 was was farther out in the country. it was the place Jennifer and I bought when we got married. We lived there until the joint burned down to the ground three years ago. Again my neighbor trouble stemmed from a canine.

When I said I do I not only said I do to Jennifer I said it to an ancient and grouchy Siamese cat and a slobbering, 100 pound bloodhound, named Bart.

 Bart was good and stayed home unless he caught sent of a female in heat and then he was off to have him some fun. Not long after Jennifer and i settled in a friend got divorced and decided to move down to Corpus Christi. Somehow I got possession of his Chesapeake Bay Retriever Rosey in the deal and man did she love the water. Especially the warm water of my closest neighbor's hot tub. Bart didn't care for the water much but he got excited to see Rosey swim around. And when he got excited he drooled even more.

My neighbor quit talking to me before I had the chance to ask him what bothered him more. A fat Chessie taking laps in the hot tub, or Bart dripping slobber into the water while he watched.

That brings us to House #3 my current abode. These days I live int he city. I have neighbors all around me and mostly they like me just fine, except the one across the street. And nope, this time a dog is not to blame. nor any animal. it's all Nacho Libre's fault.

Let's take a look at Halloween 2009.

Here is one of my buddies in his costume that year.

As tends to happen at parties the house grew warm so Mr. Nacho-for-a-night stepped outside to cool down. I live on a somewhat busy street so 3,4, maybe 5 cars spotted Nacho and honked. My neighbor across the street came outside, yelled at Nacho and another guy dressed as a beer keg and then went back in his own house.

I wandered outside to cool off just after this event and met Nacho and Keg boy on their way inside. They told me about the neighbor and how he yelled at them for keeping his kids awake. Now mind you this was a Friday night and this guys kids were a freshman in college and a high school junior. I doubted seriously either was in bed and as I explained this to my friends another car, or maybe two drove by and honked at the three of us. I was dressed as a magician.

My neighbor came outside at this point and yelled, "Be warned! I know Judo!"
Without skipping a beet Nacho leaped forward about six feet and assumed a wrestling posture as he said, "Well come show me what you got big boy."

My neighbor disappeared into his house and has not spoken to me since. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hard To Swallow

Here are a couple of strange news stories I have gathered in recent weeks.

Swallowed pen still works 25 years later

The gist of this story is a woman was poking at her sore tonsils with a felt tip marker when she lsot her balance and fell, swallowing the pen in the process. Doctors spotted it in a recent when she was having some unrelated trouble. They decided to remove the pen and despite having spent all that time in her gut the think still had usable ink and could write. I've written a few gut wrneching stories but this tale trumps me by a long shot.

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Officials at the Bennett Martin Library in Lincoln have removed and destroyed about 150 books after someone urinated on the biographies bookshelf.
The Lincoln Journal Star says Monday that officials don't know when it happened, why it happened or who did it, but the smell left no question. A police report puts the loss at $3,900.
Tammy Teasley of Lincoln City Libraries says she was removing older, outdated books from circulation on Nov. 28 when she detected the odor on the shelves on the second floor in a corner of the building.

Teasley says the person was likely intoxicated and found a secluded spot in the library. She says the remaining books on those shelves will be moved elsewhere.

What kind of fiend pisses on books? Especially biographies. And who gets drunk and goes to library?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Odd Is The End

I have good news to share. My friend Ray, the father who made the video in the last post has found his daughter after police in Carlsbad, California pulled her over. As I type this he is en route in his flight to go out and talk to her. Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word and I hope they are able to have a productive talk and come away with a  healthy resolve for their entire family.


My publisher is pleased with sales of THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES and discussion of a second book for them have began. Possibly based upon my days as a second rate mall Santa. I'll keep y'all posted.


I too am pleased by THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES sales but even more so by the reviews. Thanks to those of you who have left me a review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and anywhere else you may have left one. Word of mouth is about all I have to help spread the word so thanks to those who have recommended my book to others. I've started to get emails and comments on twitter from people I have not had previous contact with and it is great to hear they too are enjoying the book.


My beloved New Orleans Saints have me excited for the NFL playoffs just in time to ease the pain of Nebraska's disappointing first season of Big 10 football. And in an era of highly publicized bad behaving athletes i gotta say is there a better team player and all around decent human out there than Drew Brees? I think not.


Despite being only a  few day into 2012 I've already finished reading two books. 

NUMB by Sean Ferrell

The beauty of this book is in the prose. Mr. Ferrell tackled a difficult task, writing a first person narrative of a man who is unable to feel physical pain, and gave us a book that a reader feels with every word. Numb, the title character, is a troubled man and while his flesh is incapable of feeling, both his soul and psyche ache with alarming clarity. A great read worthy of your time and money.

The second book i read was written by longtime friend and commenter of this blog Charles Gramlich.

Days of Beer: A Memoir of a Beer Drinkin' Man -- 

Days of Beer is a humorous look at one young man’s adventures with beer drinking as he grows up in the south. Good beers, bad beers, the worst of beers. They’re all here. Includes such episodes as “Postholes and Pilsner,” “The Tuborg Sanction,” “The Watermelon Incident,” and “Possum Night.”

Here is the official review I left Charles ...

A quick, enjoyable read as tasty as a cold one on a hot summer day. Reading this book is like sitting down with great friends on a Friday night. The stories will make you smile, reminisce, and forget all about the hangovers that went along with them.

And last but not least I will be placing the porder for the Feedstore shirts a week from today. Shirts have printing on front and back. You can pay via paypal no later than January 9th to order yours. $22 for sizes up to XL and $24 for XXL and XXXL. Send payments to


I hope all of you have a blessed 2012 and thanks for making my 2011 a whole lot brighter by visiting this past year.