Friday, June 28, 2019

Gotta Love...

...warm summer nights...I live for this time of year...so pretty and so relaxing.

Hard to believe we've already passed the summer solstice and are tracking toward fall with decreasing daylight...but for now, it's still summer, glorious summer...and we will do our level best to enjoy every second of it while it's within our grasp.
Would you believe me if I told you "7 Fridays" has become a bestseller in the first week of its release?
If you would, you're just my kind of dinner companion, gullible in the extreme and probably amenable to picking up the tab for my culinary excesses.  Was that 3 bottles of Mitolo GAM I drank, or was it 4?

Sadly, 7 Fridays has not hit the bestseller list...but I have managed to get it into the hands - or at least onto the kindle's - of several dozen people...however, to accomplish that I had to run a "free e-book" promotion.

That's right, I've been reduced to the digital equivalent of tossing copies of my work to anonymous passersby...
that's NOT me in the picture...
... in the vain hope they'll give it a read, like it, and sometime in the future be willing to pay actual money! for other copies of my work.

Ah, the glamorous life of a literary bottom feeder...
So this is the kind of day it was on the links...
...I've said before if I can be on the green with a chance to 1 putt for par I'm a happy man...well, the above is my "1 putt for par" position on the 5th green today...
...and that's where I left it...thought about getting down on all fours and blowing on it, but I was too busy laughing...because that was the 3rd time I'd done the same thing...and I did it once more before the round was over.

So not as good as last week, but still quite enjoyable...
It was a beautiful day for strolling through the countryside, and most of the time I was in and around the fairways...
...while managing to find the greens within shouting distance of par more times than not.

I've had worse rounds for sure.
Charles de Gaulle was quoted as saying "the graveyards are filled with indispensable people".

He meant of course none of us mere mortals are irreplaceable.

I'm here to report on an exception to the good General's otherwise ironclad rule:
This week John Van Dyke retired after 42 years, and there's no replacing him.

John, along with the owner, Herb Lantinga...
the Dynamic Duo...
...were the 2 overwhelming reasons Herb's company succeeded as it did over the decades.

The rest of us were fortunate to be able to follow their leads to success, and with John's retirement there's a hole in the company that can't be filled.

Oh, we'll work around it; what choice do we have?  We have to...but his tireless energy, wisdom and leadership will be deeply missed.

God's richest blessings to you and yours, John, as you embark on this next phase of your life.

Proverbs 27:17
Finally, have to share a beautiful midcentury modern gem I purchased from a very cool website, RetroLifestyleCompany :
One of the reasons we love this gorgeous print by Diane Dempsey is all the stone and glass reminds Karen and me of home.

Plus, the colors of this print absolutely pop...my cell phone pic above doesn't come close to doing it justice...it's vibrant, just a beautiful piece of midcentury modern art.
We aren't positive exactly where it will end up yet - just got it this afternoon - but we think it really needs to be up against the stone to do it justice.

Anyway, if you're an mcm aficionado, visit RetroLifestyleCompany and have a look around at all the uber cool mcm art and items they have there.
And that, mcm fans, is a wrap on this issue of the Atomic Monster Cafe...we thank you for stopping by and expanding your cultural horizons.

If you didn't expand them, well what the heck, don't blame us...we're chock full of all kinds of horizon expanding material here...
actual picture of Karen and me plotting our next horizon expansion activity
For the love of chicken gravy, it's time you take some responsibility for yourself, don't you think?

Now, where was I?

oh yeah...

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:



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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...


* 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:


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...


* 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: