Saturday, June 22, 2019

First Day...

...of summer...so naturally I had to kick it old school with my hickories and walk a round of 9...
the ball is top left in the shade...2 putt for par on #3...
...and really I have nothing to complain about...'twas a beautiful 1st day of summer and I had a pretty good stroll through the countryside...
a 1 putt would have been par...don't ask...
...had mostly bogeys today, a couple of pars, and actually birdied #8...
1 putt for birdie here...
...and my last 3 holes were bogey, birdie, par, so when I walked off #9 I was at one with the universe, or at least that tiny little portion of it that I occupy.
Finished "7 Fridays" and am currently in the process of publishing it...
...the e-book is actually live now...it will take another day for the paperback version to come on line.

I like this story, but it's possible I could be slightly biased...so I turned to a veteran of the book publishing wars, a literary glitterati, the esteemed critic, Biff Bifflemeyer.
Caught up with him at a recent wine tasting.  He was lying under one of the tables picking lint out of his bellybutton, so I asked him what he thought about my newest novella, "7 Fridays"...

"A marvelous blend of intelligent ventilation points and tailored darts specifically designed to accommodate the biodynamics of the shoulder.  I highly recommend it!"

"Are you talking about my book, 7 Fridays?" I asked him.

"Book?" he sputtered.  "What book?  I thought you were asking about my new dress shirt.

"But don't worry, I know your new book can't be worse than the last one.

"Now, bring me another bottle of whatever it is we're drinking tonight..."

So there you have it, folks.  That's the kind of ringing endorsement you can take to the bank.

Read this book; it's possible you won't hate it.

But wait 'til Monday...there's a 5 day "free e-book" promotion running, where you can download it at no cost.

As part of our 1st day of summer celebration, Karen and I visited Hopcats here in Holland...
...and they've got pretty cool decor...some Shag art on the walls...
...def a mid century modern vibe going on...and pretty good food, too...their Cosmic Fries with cheese sauce are addictive.
Speaking of mcm, came across some old Charles Schridde prints...
...he was an artist employed by Motorola in the late 50's / early 60's to help promote their futuristic ideas...and notice every illustration included a TV or stereo...Motorola, of course...


...these "houses of the future" were quintessential mid century modern designs...very cool.
And finally, the promised update on my grandson, Isaac...he boxed tonight in the Meijer Games...138 lb junior novice division.

Here he is before the bout began...
...that's his dad / coach to the left and his trainer to the right.

And here he is after the bout...
It was a tough fight against a game opponent who's a couple of years older than him, but Isaac was victorious...very proud of him for his courage and hard work.

And make no mistake, it definitely is a lot of hard work, physically exhausting.  There's nothing quite like taking one on the chin or in the gut to help you learn what you're made of.

In Isaac's case, whenever he got tagged his natural reaction was to return the favor 3 fold.  He has this built in, auto response system that kicks into high gear if he gets hit, and I'm sure that's what won the day for him.

His dad and I agreed both of us are now officially 10 years older...I'm sure we were 100x more nervous about the fight than Isaac was.

We were talking about that afterward...I commented that I was sweating buckets and all I was doing was just sitting there.

His dad noted that boxing is very primal - two athletes engaged in one of the most basic activities known to man: fighting.

I think he nailed it.

Congrats, Isaac.  You done good.
later, mcm fans...


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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.
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...


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Sunday, June 9, 2019

A Soggy Morning...

...at 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.

Creepy.

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 *

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

June 6th, 1944...

We Pause To Remember...

                D-Day

...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 fires...at 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?  No...no, 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 process...you've got to pilot the boat, not drift with the tide.

We soldier on...
Got this from Larry, my coworker and MORA racing friend...
...you 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 Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here: