Sunday, July 29, 2018

Crescent Moon...

...Paradise...my next novella...got a pretty good start on it this weekend....and as always when I start a new story, I'm excited about the potential...we'll see how I feel as I get further into it.

One of the things I'm looking forward to writing is the road trip along Route 66...
...the Mother Road as John Steinbeck named it in his classic, The Grapes of Wrath.

Now mostly just a memory, during the '30's, '40's and '50's...
...Route 66 was "the main street of America", a series of roads linking small towns and providing a commercial route for farmers and industry to get goods to market all across the nation.

All kinds of motels and tourist attractions sprung up along its snaking route from Chicago to Santa Monica, and some remain even today.

Most however met their end with the creation of the interstate highway systems.  Like plants deprived of water when a river dries up, they closed up shop and disappeared.

But they'll live again in Crescent Moon Paradise...don't miss it while you can.

Got on the links this morning...
no, I did not create all those divots...
...and enjoyed a pretty good round...one par, some bogeys, a couple of double bogeys, and even scored a birdie on the short par 4 #6...
...long putt for a birdie, proof that miracles still do happen even in this cynical age.

Of course I spent a little more time practicing in my back yard this past week...

cool shorts, hey?
...and consequently hit my cleek a little better...when I can get 170 to 180 yards out of a shot it shortens the hole a bit.  Big fun.

Here's a shock...Karen turned on the Senior Open Golf championship being played over in Scotland...was probably hoping to catch a glimpse of Jamie from Outlander...
...pretty sure he wasn't playing today...

...but while she had it on I happened to see the eventual winner, Miguel Jimenez

When asked what the secret is to his many years of excellence on the golf course, he replied:  There is no secret...it's good food, good wine, good cigars, and some exercise...
...now there's a man after my own heart (assuming you substitute "whiskey" for "wine"...)

Got a pic of life on the road, so it  must be time for another edition of...

Rodger's Ramblings...
...that's the man himself standing beside his trusty steed, a 2018 Kenworth, somewhere just over the Wisconsin line, parked at a TA Truck stop...
...not all bad, right?

Well...with the trucking industry the way it is today, there are strict regulations about how many hours drivers can log before they have mandatory layovers of 36 hours.

Yep...that's 36 hours, as in a day and a half...and with everything being computerized today, they can't start and move the truck during that time without it being recorded.

So what do you do for a day and a half when your "house" is the cab of your truck?  There are only so many hours you can sleep, so many meals you can eat...and while today's truck stops have many more amenities than in days gone by, it's still a very long time to be forced into idleness when you're by yourself on the road, away from home, and itching to get back at it.

No one wants sleep starved drivers racing to make unreasonable deadlines in massive big rigs...
...but it seems like pendulum may have swung a little too far the other way on this subject.

Rodger is currently "enjoying" sitting in his truck today, waiting for 9 am tomorrow when he's able to get back to work.

Tough way to go if you ask me...

This weekend Karen and I watched a sobering retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbor that took place on December 7th, 1941...
...the 1970 movie told from both the Japanese and American perspective, and claiming complete historical accuracy.

The title was the Japanese signal to begin the attack...Tora means "tiger", and like an enraged tiger they ripped the US Navy to shreds that day.

And the movie pulls no punches on how unprepared the Navy was, and how we had no excuse...we were intercepting the Japanese transmissions and so had warning something was brewing...but it was a case of not being able to believe the obvious...that they really were ready, willing and able to launch a devastating attack on the most powerful nation in the world.

The movie is methodical, even plodding at times, but the subject matter makes it riveting...and the attack itself is stunning...no cgi magic here...when you see planes exploding and men running from the deadly flames, that's really happening...the movie recreation of that awful day is amazingly realistic.

Should be required viewing for every American, but especially for today's millenials who are as detached from actual reality as any group of people I've ever seen.  Hey look!  There goes a legendary Pokemon!

Last night we took a break from harsh reality and sat outside by the fire for awhile...
...and gave thanks for the safety and security of our current estate due to the sacrifice and bravery of generations who have gone before.

God bless America, y'all...

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

What A Miserable Morning...

...for golf...humidity was 90% and not a breath of air moving...consequently I was swarmed by mosquitoes, gnats and flies for the entire round.

Whatever communication system the local insects have to spread the word about an available blood meal, it was in good working order today.  I have never swatted at so many bugs while trying to swing a golf club in my life.  My Panama Jack was more of a flyswatter than a hat today.

Almost didn't bother with the last two holes bc the 8th green and 9th tee are both set into the woods.

But fools rush in where angels are just too smart to tread and so I got what I deserved.  Very annoying round today.

Of course once I got home I had to get into my backyard - Orkin sprays our place for mosquitoes with some effectiveness - and when I'm back there I birdie every hole...just haven't figured out how to translate that to the golf course yet.

Moving on...

Our hibiscus are starting to bloom...
...very beautiful.

And when it rains as it has this weekend, I notice our Tree Creature has a well defined outline...
...now that's one good looking Tree Creature...
...Karen is really glad I summoned him from the arboreal nether regions...at least I assume she is.

If you're looking for a great movie to watch, don't bother with The Revenant...
...the main message is "life in the wilderness sucks", so by reading my blog I've just spared you 2 and a half hours of grim savagery and depressing hardship.

Revenant means "one who returns, especially from the dead" and the story is supposedly based on a real life incident in the 1820s.

John Glass is attacked by a grizzly bear...

...and his two partners assume - reasonably so - that he's a goner.  To be fair, Glass assumes that, too...and so when they take his rifle and leave him to die, he thinks to himself he would have done the same thing if it had been one of them.

But by some miracle he survives, and eventually he tracks down his former partners and demands his rifle back, which they sullenly surrender to its rightful owner.

That's the real story.

But not in the movie...for the sake of drama, the movie makers conjure a non-existent Pawnee wife for Glass who is slaughtered by white men and a son who travels with his Pa...and when Glass is attacked by the CGI bear, his partner (a thoroughly despicable Tom Hardy) kills his son and leaves Glass to die.

So now the story becomes one of revenge, complete with bloody climax and pseudo spiritual ending as Glass sees his wife hovering from the beyond, beckoning to him.

Cue swelling music, fade to black, rinse your eyes out in a vain attempt to cleanse them of that with which you just polluted them.

Of course there were Oscars involved since we've dumbed down every major award in recent years (Gore, Oscar for his fantasy flick about global warming; Obama, Nobel Peace prize for being elected president).

Using these examples as criteria for worthiness, I fully expect a Pulitzer Prize...
...any day now for writing this faskinatin' blog.

Speaking of writing, I have re-published both TAT and Loved Of My Father now and am much happier with both of them in their current form.

And due to the nearly equal mix of popular demand (1%) and delusional obsession with futility (99%), I'm mentally prepping my next novella.

Not positive how I'll get Timmy out of the well just yet, but this one will be set in the late 1930's and involve a Route 66 road trip to some classic icons...
...and culminate in a trip on the Hawaii Clipper...
...and a stay in the beautiful Royal Hawaiian Hotel...
...in the days before all the crowds and condos.

Can't wait to dig in to this one.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, July 20, 2018

The Tools...

...of my ignorance...were on full display this morning...rough outing.  Didn't help that the guy mowing parked behind the 1st tee and waited for me to tee off.

Now there have been times when people stood behind me waiting for me to tee off and I've done just fine...but usually that's been later in my round, like on the 6th or 7th hole after I'm warmed up a bit...but at 7:30 in the morning on the 1st tee...well all bets are off, and today was just one of those days.

To be fair the whole round wasn't a complete disaster...I did par #5 and had a couple of bogeys along the way...and on #8 my 2nd shot was probably the best fairway cleek shot I've ever hit...170 yards right down the pike which left me with a short niblick to the green.

But overall it was a frustrating round...
...and it's probably a good thing I didn't have a small caliber handgun with me today.  I thought about throwing my clubs into the water hazard on #7 but they're a lot better than I am and if one of us has to go, by rights it should be me, not them.

On the plus side it was a gorgeous morning...this was my view on the way to course...
...should have grabbed a cup of coffee and enjoyed the vista for awhile and then turned around and headed back home.

Got a few pics from life on the road which means it's time for another edition of...

Rodger's Ramblings...

...and recent travels took him through the great state of Utah...

...and right alongside the Bonneville Salt Flats...

...by the Morton Salt processing plant...

...and in keeping with our theme of common table condiments, the Great Salt Lake.
anyone up for a float?
Naturally occurring salt is one of the things Utah is known for, but right on its heels and closely related to that, oddly enough, is the land world speed record.

Ever since the early 1900's people have been traveling to the Bonneville Salt Flats and setting world records for driving very fast on the wide open salt plains there.

Perhaps one of the most famous in this long line of these death defying daredevils is Art Arfons and his Green Monster:
Back in 1964 and 1965 he set the world record in his unique creation (above).

Powered by an F-104 Starfighter Jet Engine he rebuilt himself - her purchased it as scrap for $600 because it had fins damaged by a bolt and he replaced 60 of them - he managed to crank it all the way up to 576 mph.

In 1966 he maxed out at 610 mph but then a wheel bearing froze and he couldn't sustain that speed long enough to make it official and top the 606 mph attained by Craig Breedlove in his Spirit of America car.

As far as I know Rodger did not attempt a world land speed record in his rig, but he did deliver the goods and help keep the economy rolling along, for which all of us should be grateful.

Here's a project I recently completed all by myself:
Pretty impressive, right?

My grandson Marcellus won't believe it, and with just cause...mainly bc it's not true...first, it was a kit we bought at Walmart, and 2nd bc Karen was right there with me helping...she did allow me to lift all the wood pieces, drill holes and screw things together, but she read the directions and held things in place for me.

So if I may amend my previous bald faced lie...there's a project Walmart, Karen and I recently completed.

It's surprisingly sturdy and comfortable and we enjoy sitting there in the shade in the afternoons.

And on my way out the door, allow me to grace you with a picture I took of a ferocious man eater at the risk of my very life:
I coulda been kilt, I tell ya...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Don't Look Now...

...but it's officially time to panic...we've now passed the midpoint of "traditional" summer...i.e., June-July-August.

What this means to you: winter and all its diabolical trappings (snow and ice and ice and snow) are currently sneaking up on us, even as I write this.

There!  Behind you!
No...no, sorry...that was a train...my mistake...but that doesn't change the fact that summer is retreating like a coward before the schoolyard bully of Ol' Man Winter.

What you should do about it:  well, as indicated above, panicking is always the first order of business during any crisis.

Right after that little bit of ugliness is out of the way, you need to make a solemn vow that you will not go silently into the cold, dark night of winter!
...well, that doesn't seem so bad...but the problem is, once Christmas is over, Winter just doesn't know when to leave...he's like that drunken house guest that won't take the hint that the party's over...
...and eventually you have to call the cops and have him forcibly removed.

I mean this year he hung around until mid-April for crying out loud...how rude...

Now I can't speak for you (well, actually I can if you'll send me your power of attorney, your social security number and a valid credit card number) but in my world this vow includes, but is not limited to...

...hickory golf...

...campfires...



...enjoying the beauty of nature in all its summer glory all around us...

...visiting exotic tropical islands on beer bottles...and leave us not forget...

...cigars and whiskey...

Ok, not strictly a summer thing but much more enjoyable then bc you can sit outside and luxuriate in the warmth of summer...

What's on your list?  Beaching, boating, hiking, biking, baseball, motorcycling...whatever it is, get after it now...don't wait...sieze the summer day my friends...

The sermon has ended...let us go now and live the truth...
[translation: I'm done preachin' at ya...get off your butt and go do somethin'...]

On the writing front, I just re-edited TAT and turned it into a novella, around 35,000 words now, down from 58,000.

Did the same thing with Loved Of My Father, but technically it still qualifies as a novel.  I cut it to around 57,000 words, down from over 85,000.

I've republished TAT...
...but not LOMF yet...
...will do so by the weekend if all goes well.

Personally I think they're tighter stories now and much improved, especially LOMF.

There's a story of how it grew to be 85,000 words originally, and it involves trying to please an agent who ended up taking a pass on it anyway.

At that point I was too exhausted to mess with it, so I put it aside and eventually self-published it on Amazon "as is".

Was never really satisfied with how it ended up, but now that I managed to get Timmy out of the well,  I like it a lot better.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here: