Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy Flag Day...

...June 14th...established on this day in 1777 during the American Revolution.

The Continental Congress adopted a resolution that our flag would be 13 alternate stripes, red and white, and the Union would be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.

Did you fly your flag today?

God bless America, y'all...
To paraphrase Commander Oliver Hazard Perry, I have met the enemy...
...and he is me.

Of course Commander Perry had a considerably bigger task than I - namely defeating the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in September of 1813 as part of the War of 1812 - and his actual phrase after he defeated the Brits was "We have met the enemy and they are ours."

In my case, I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to pretty much everything, including golf.
'Twas a gorgeous morning for a round of 9 and I actually did ok...not great, but certainly not terrible...and yet I allowed a lousy attitude to rob my enjoyment of what should have been a pleasant stroll through the country.

As the great Bobby Jones said, golf is played on a course that's 5" wide...the space between your ears.

Life is played there, too.
Saw this guy grazing in our yard this week...
...a young spiker...he wandered a bit, played chicken with the turkeys, sniffed a rabbit and in general had a little fun.

Hope he comes back when he grows a rack.
So after golf and a workout this morning, Karen felt like taking a road trip, so we spent about 3 hours at places like Countryside Greenhouse, Tractor Supply, JW Greenhouse, and here...
...Crisp Country Acres, a little farm produce store along 120th Avenue.  It's attached to a working farm which is I'm sure their main focus, but they've done a nice job with this little retail operation...fresh produce, meats and dairy products, and a few farm oriented wooden toys.  Cool place.
I'm in the homestretch now...
...31,000 words, probably headed for 37,000 or 38,000...just under the wire where I can still label it a novella.

Still liking this story and feel like it's some of my better stuff...excited to get it published so millions of people can start ignoring it.
And now night is falling and Karen is beckoning for me to join her at the Wild_Hare Cinematheque...
our beloved founder of the WHC

...a wholly owned subsidiary of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

At WHC we only show first rate cinematic fare...except when the occasional stinker slips in (Eat Pray Love, anyone?)

gotta love film noir

Last week it was The King's Decision; tonight's feature will be Casablanca, The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon...

...later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here:

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A Soggy Morning... the Lagoon...just what we need, more rain.
Friday was nice enough, and I got out on the links on my 1st vacation day of the summer...
...but to be honest, it wasn't very enjoyable.

Actually did ok...if I can be on the green with a chance to 1 putt for par, generally I'm happy...and 5 holes out of 9 that was the case.

But part way through the 2nd hole the owner drove up on a golf cart and proceeded to bend my ear for the next 10 minutes, telling me basically he hates his customers.

He's been doing this for 28 years and they steal golf balls from the range, tear up the course with golf carts, destroy the tees by hitting mulligan after mulligan, etc, and he knows they do bc he has cameras all over the course so he can watch them.


I was just about suggest it was way past time to sell the place to someone who wouldn't see it as a form of punishment when he said "Thanks for coming out today...have a great round."

I kid you not.

So now I'm faced with the choice of being ripped to shreds by Killer the Junkyard Dog at one course or being surveilled by The Spymaster Who Hates His Customers at the other.

Might be time to switch to bowling.
I'm on work release during the week, but on the weekends it's back to serving my sentence of hard labor on the rock pile of landscaping duties...but I have to admit we're gradually whipping the place into summer shape...
a 10 year old fountain Karen repurposed as a planter
flower pots along the bedroom patio wall...
...and adorning the back patio...
...a southwest hardscape scene in the front yard...

...and a view of the lagoon from the front yard.
So after a couple of tough days digging in the dirt we treated ourselves with a visit to the new HopCat's here in Holland...
...where we enjoyed a good meal and the chance to do something that didn't require a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
Continuing to make good progress on my latest novella that is now threatening to turn into a novel...I'm at 26,000 words but I think I can wrap it up in another 10,000 words or less.
And that, kind readers, is going to have to do for this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

I'm whipped.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

June 6th, 1944...

We Pause To Remember...


...and give thanks for the heroes who gave their lives in the fight for freedom.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

It's June...

...and still we're "enjoying" early morning least Sir Kitschalot doesn't freeze at night...but I'm starting to wonder if summer is planning on making an appearance this year.
The cool wet weather did not keep me off the links this weekend...
...but I did trek over to Marne and play Sand Creek rather than my usual trip around Pheasant Run in Borculo.

An unfortunate incident with Killer the Junkyard Dog...
...who apparently slipped the gossamer strands of the invisible fence that's supposed to keep the slavering beast restrained, convinced me a change of venue would be good for my health.

And so I revisited my old stomping grounds from a couple of years ago...
...and enjoyed a quick 9...
...had legitimate chances to 1 putt for par on the first 2 holes, but just missed in both cases...left it an inch short on the 1st hole and actually bounced my 1st putt off the flag on the 2nd hole.

But starting with 2 bogeys is just fine for me and on the 3rd hole...
...I actually chipped in for birdie from here.

The rest of the round was my usual mixed bag...sprinkled some good shots in with some not so good, but did snag another par on #8.

I've had better rounds, but I've had worse, too.

All in all a pleasant stroll through the country...and no wild animals charging me, so that's a plus.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Karen continues to work me like a borrowed mule with landscaping projects...yesterday I was shoveling and hauling rocks for a southwest style hardscape she's creating in our front yard.
...the most fun was arranging the 5 boulders she chose...

"How about over here?, that won't work...let's try over there..."

Another poignant reminder that time and tide wait for no man and I'm not the young buck I used to be.

My achin' back...

Not done yet, but getting there...we chose hardscape bc that part of the yard dries out during the summer...very sandy soil there, and without bringing in loads of topsoil it's never going to support a lush, green lawn...and the hardscape when complete will complement the big stone wall in front of our home...more to come.
17,000 words into "7 Fridays" now...
...and have hit my first roadblock...pausing for some more research and to check my bearings.

I really want to write the book I originally envisioned, not one that emerges from following spur of the moment creative impulses.

Sometimes those can lead you away from rather than toward the goal.

An incident added or left out; a scene allowed to segue into unplanned dialog; these can change a character and modify a story line and before you know it you're writing something completely different than planned.

That may or may not be ok; but in any event it should be a conscious choice.

As with life, so with the creative've got to pilot the boat, not drift with the tide.

We soldier on...
Got this from Larry, my coworker and MORA racing friend... can see the track they were on was wet, but he reports it was still a blast...a bumpy ride for sure.
Actually seeing some sunshine out there on this pleasant Sunday, so it's time to try and find a good hidey hole that Karen doesn't know about, else it's back to the rock pile for me...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

On This Weekend...

...We Honor Those Who Gave The Ultimate defense of our great country.

And we thank those who served...
my son Benjamin in Afghanistan...
my granddaughter Tionna in Washington.
Got on the links for an enjoyable 9...
...even though the course is wetter than I've ever seen it...and they're actually letting carts drive on it now, probably bc they have to for the sake of their business.

Paddle boats would have been more appropriate today...
Nevertheless I did alright...actually hitting my cleek pretty well, both from the tees and from the fairway.

Parred a couple, bogeyed a few, and in general soaked up the ambiance of my stroll through the countryside, both emotionally as well as literally.

And on #9 I had a shot at being on the green in 3 so I could attempt a 1 putt for par...but pulled my niblick approach shot a little left...which means I'd have to chip in from here... make par...and that little dot just in front of the flag is how close I came...about 6 inches from the cup.

Tapped in for bogey and strolled off the course, ready to face the rest of the day.
Finally got that knockoff DC-3 lamp modified to resemble the 1930's Ray Schober DC-3 lamp, made for the 1939 World's Fair.

Here's an original Schober lamp:
...that will run you somewhere north of $600...

...and here's my inexpensive DC-3 lamp:
...that costs a fraction of that price.

Karen has been too busy working on all the outdoor stuff we have going on here, so that's actually my handiwork, which explains a lot.

Oh well...mostly I wanted to suggest an art deco vibe, which when photographed with a 1936 Sparton Bluebird radio, emphasizes that point.

It's not great art, but it's close enough for government work.
Making good progress on my new novella, 7 Fridays...
...and really liking this story, which as I've man-splained before (sorry, it's a gender problem) really has no meaning at this point in the process.

It's possible it's crap, but I kinda don't think so...and in any event, I'm definitely enjoying pushing Timmy into the well so I can pull the little bugger back out of it again.

Hey, someone's gotta do it...might as well be me.

I'm 10,000 words into it, probably headed for 30,000 or so.

Stay tuned...
This is shaping up to be "home improvement project" summer...we've got at least 3 projects either scheduled or nearly scheduled.

The granddaddy of them all is a complete roof replacement (insert inhuman wailing sound here).
Working through 3 quotes and trying to decide if I want to pay both an arm and a leg, or if I can get away with just a kneecap and three toes.

The other projects aren't as painful, but will be big improvements.

#4 son is going to redo our back patio...cement is cracked and sinking in spots so having that fixed will be great.
And we're having the windows in the bonus room replaced...should make it easier to both heat and cool that room, especially once the roof has been replaced which will include more insulation overhead.

Boring, I know...but such is the stuff of home ownership.
And now, for my grand finale, I've decided to fire myself out of a cannon...
...while simultaneously drinking whiskey, smoking a cigar and contemplating deep mysteries of the human condition.

No...wait...hold the phone...this note just handed me by my beautiful assistant...
...turns out we had to sell the cannon to pay for the roof.

Oh well...guess I'll hafta sign off as usual.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here: