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Showing posts from 2012

Mayans and Liberals Got it Wrong?

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Well, here it is. December 22nd, 2012 and we're all catching another sunrise. But for centuries, people all over the world lived their lives with that little thought poking through the backs of their minds that asked, "What if the Mayans were right?"

The Mayans were right. The Mayan calendar factually represented a phase of time in the course of the history of our civilization. Our sun was at the high point of an eleven-year cycle of solar activity (read MSE or Mass Solar Ejection) and, at some point during the day of the twenty-first, the sun was aligned along the galactic center. This is something that happens only once every twenty-six thousand years, so it was quite a special event.

My personal belief? The Mayan people, for the most part, went extinct before they started another calendar. And why would they continue the calendar they made. They did not make a calendar to cover the millions of years before their civilization came into being. They did the same thing m…

A Winter Garden

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My Grand kids loved their little raised gardens so much this year that we decided to extend the fun and plant a winter garden. Problem is, we just had a bit of a cold spell here in Southeast Alabama. I know, all my relatives from up North are probably laughing at me right now. After all, When I say "cold spell" it's relative to our usual climate.




Well, in a desperate attempt to save the onions, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and beans planted in our four little raised beds, I decided to build a greenhouse. So here it is. My first foray into self-sufficiency posted here for all to see.

I'm a cheap bastard so I attempted to build the greenhouse using as much salvaged lumber as possible. My list of materials consisted of a ten by twenty-five foot roll of clear plastic, ten (ten foot) lengths of one-half inch PVC pipe, six T-fittings, six cross fittings, and lots and lots of staples!


My afternoon project turned into a two day project as I had to sacrifice more of my old woo…

Scary Political Season

With the last debate behind us, we're in the home stretch to to election day. Our political candidates have put themselves into overdrive, crisscrossing the nation, trying to hit all those states in question and answer to the lies put forth by whoever was there before them.

I almost became politically active this year. I say "almost" because I find it hard to make a choice when I'm so disappointed all the political rhetoric lately. Each candidate is guilty of not telling the truth about their own beliefs and giving a clear plan. And, I guess the real bottom line is that I agree with certain aspects of each side of our political system while vehemently disagreeing with others. I find myself conservative on some issues while liberal on others.

I hope there are many others falling into my category of thought. I remember a time when our two political parties would fight and argue, filibuster and stall; but in the end, things would get done for the good of our nation. Com…

Old and New

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Yay, it's finally here! I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Yes folks, my new (old) typewriter arrived today via UPS. I am now the proud owner of a 1952 Smith-Corona Sterling model portable typewriter. It is funny that back in the day, this was considered portable when the shipping weight was just under twenty pounds.

I first learned to type in high school back in ... well, we'll just call it back in the day. We started out on manual typewriters and I later found the transition to an electric typewriter difficult. I do remember that I did not do well in typing class. I'm pretty sure I signed up for the class for the same reason I attempted home-ec class--girls.

Back then, I wrote most of my work out longhand, mostly because most of my writing back then was four line limericks designed to draw attention from all my immature friends. I still have the first short story I wrote for an actual grade. It weighed in at a whopping three thousand words. While the page had relat…

Just a Few Thoughts

Today I was surfing around the Interwebs in the few spare moments I stole between playing kickball with the grandson, flushing the shower pipes with Drano (don't ask) and spending that nine or so hours in that ether of my full-time job. Lo and behold, I just happened upon my own blog and realized I've not been tending it well over the last month.

Did I mention that I also planted the winter garden only to find animals of some kind (probably cats) ate up all my beans and spinach as soon as they sprouted? Well, there it is, but I've still got onions, lettuce, and broccoli left. I've also got a big ol' box of pellets for my pellet gun.

Anyway, I've realized that I need to get back to my roots. I've spent the last year working and writing "other" stories instead of my beloved speculative fiction, mystery, and adventure stories. I did manage to complete a novel under my pen name. And no, it's not porn. It just happens to be paranormal romantic susp…

Bear Attack!

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Night before last, as I attended a local writer's group meeting (kind of like AA except none of us can agree on the twelves steps we must follow to become better writers) and listened to one of our members explain a poem she wrote, a memory flashed across my mind. That's how memories work for me these days; they run across my mind like a bolt of lightning in a stormy night sky. If I do not immediately stop what I'm doing and write the information down, it is lost forever. It's like trying to catch the lightning with a flyswatter, while it's fun to watch someone else try, it remains rather difficult when attempting it myself. (Adjectives added for Karen who, I know, loves them.)

What caused this sudden flash of memory was when she explained how she could become like a protective mama bear when needed.
Mama bear. Bear.
Memories of a childhood camping trip flooded my mind. The memory came back to me like an epiphany, immensely powerful and equally fleeting. So, I'…

Back to School

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The time is upon us. Time is at hand! Battle stations, everyone! It's time for the kids to go back to school.

I'll keep this post short in support of those running around making last-minute preparations, search every store from her to the Jersey shore for that Justin Bieber lunch box their child simply must have.

Even though my own children are all grown and on their own now, I feel your pain. Our Grandson was accepted into a pre-K program at the school my wife works at - in another county! This means that, in order to accommodate his enrollment, we must provide transportation to said school in another county.

So, we will be taking in another resident to our house for the school year. My grandson will be living with us about four days a week so we can wake him at the crack of dawn. Of course, would could not just buy a new bed and make him up a room. We also have a Granddaughter that would be awfully upset if we did not invite her over as well. So, it looks like bunk beds.

I …

Note to Local Politicians

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Just wanted to put this out there. Driving back and forth along the highway into our little town, I'm constantly reminded of our upcoming local election. This year, the good citizens of my little burg will decide whether they want to keep our current mayor for another term, or elect someone new. Also up for grabs are five city council seats.

The other thing I cannot help but notice is the one or two candidates that feel they absolutely must use their nickname enclosed in parentheses within the small space provided on their roadside campaign signs.

Just a word. The first thing that comes to mind as I read your campaign sign that says Billy Joe "Bubba" Jones, I cannot help but wonder if you realize you are no longer sitting in high school gym class, slapping your buddy's ass and talking about how far you got with your girlfriend this weekend.

Running our city is serious business, and I simply refuse to speak of serious matters with a city council person that prefers I…

Help a Starving Artist

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Okay, so I'm not much of an artist and anyone who's seen me lately can attest to the fact that I am anything but starving.

Well, maybe starving for attention, fortune and fame, and all the problems that come with it. I'm a firm believer that, even though lottery winners and the like talk about all the problems associated with their wealth, I'd still like to discover for myself whether these are really problems.

With that said, I'd like to formally announce the release of a new Paranormal Romantic Suspense Novel that I'm sure you'll love (because it was written by my alter ego) and ask for your support in viewing the pages, buying, reading, reviewing, or even something so small as 'liking' the appropriate sales page.

Come on, Show some love!

Anyway, I'm really excited about this release and cannot wait to hear back from those reading the story. If you are a reviewer, and would like to receive a review copy, please email: author.ellison.james@gma…

Still Hanging in There

Don't worry folks, I haven't sailed over the edge of our flat Earth or won the State Lottery and forgotten my former life (that's right, my state doesn't have a lottery) and am still alive and kicking.

Lately, I've been rather preoccupied with finishing the draft of a new novel. It was written under my pen name but don't worry Grandma, this one is not erotica. I will sell this book in the paranormal romantic suspense genre. Why yes, of course it has werewolves. Would you expect me to write anything else? I save the science fiction and mystery for my real name.

Anyway, I'm back now, and with this being an election year AND an Olympics year, I'm sure I will have much to opine.

10 Things to Remember if You Want to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

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Lately, there's been much talk about the coming zombie apocalypse. Movies and television are all over the subject, depicting how life might be after the apocalypse in nearly every conceivable way. Some of the media do a decent job of depicting how society might act in the name of survival after the event but others are misleading at best. So, to ensure you have the best chance of survival after the zombie apocalypse, I've made a list of ten things you will need to understand if you hope to live longer than twelve hours after you realize your aunt Mable and uncle Frank have transformed into flesh-eating monsters.

1. Friends?
You have no friends - Don't think you're going be meeting any new friends after the zombie apocalypse. Most anybody you meet will be looking out for themselves and/or their immediate families. You'd be surprised just how far a person is willing to go, or who they're willing to kill (zombie or not) to protect themselves and their loved ones. …

Tom Cruise and The End of the World

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It's official. Tom Cruise is set to trumpet in the end of the world. That is, if you believe in that sort of thing. How is it that Tom Cruise can have anything to do with the end of the world, you might ask? To answer, I must digress just a little, and fill you in on some background.

Le'me esplain.

I'm a big fan of the Jack Reacher series, written by Lee Child. I've read every one his books have since grown to love the predictable yet always entertaining characters.
Jack Reacher is a mountain of a man, former military, and now professional badass, he travels America on his debit card and finds himself in a new town on occasion. Wherever he lands though, he always seems to find trouble, or at the very least, injustice. He stands nearly six foot five inches tall, weights over two hundred-twenty pounds and has hands like a catcher's mitt. Basically, he's like an over sized James Bond without the refinement--my kind of person.
Not unlike other successful books,…

Crazy Friends in my Head

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. I've known her for awhile now, although she just recently moved here from New York, where her short-lived college education preceded an equally short-lived career as a model.

Her family lives in Dothan Alabama, and that's why she's here-It's hard to live in New York with no job and no money, so she moved back to her home town to get her feet back on the ground. Her family is rather peculiar, being of Irish descent and a prior military family. Her father settled in the local area after his military career where he completed a second career as a local police officer and detective. Her mother has worked on and off over the years whenever need but mostly just spends her time supporting the local Catholic Church and perfecting her superpower.

What's her superpower, you ask? She has the uncanny ability to bring guilt into the mind and body of every person coming within twenty feet of her.

My friend's name is Katherine Mary M…

Blogging Newby

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Lately, I've seen many of my blogging friends posting at other blogs, or participating in blog hops. I must now ask, What the heck is a blog hop?

I now understand, more than ever, what a complete blogging newb I am. I don't really understand what a blog hop, blog tour, blog challenge, guest blog, or any of these things are.

Can someone please shed some light on how all this stuff works? If you would like, I would even let you post an article here as a guest blogger.

All these things never really made an appearance on my radar until just yesterday when I read an article on promoting your written work and building an audience. One of the key items mentioned was participating in a blog tour/guest blog.

So, here it is, my rant for the day. Okay, not a rant, really. More a plea for help or a teacher to enlighten me on all things blog.

Comments welcome.

Common Decency

Some may find the title to this post a little disheartening. Some may find it a little misleading.

Yes, the title is somewhat of an oxymoron since decency is not so common nowadays. Oh how I remember those days long ago when one would naturally open a door for someone, man or woman, as they entered a building. Gone are the days when a person would actually look down at the paper wrapper they just dropped on the floor. Ancient are the days when that person would actually consider picking it up and putting it into a local trash can.

I don't know what happened to this trait so many desired in the past. It almost seems people go out of their way to "get what's theirs" despite how it might affect others. And, this attitude has seeped through out American culture, rising all the way to the top of our government. Or, could it have started and the top and trickled down? I think it could be a little of both.

A prime example of this can be found in the current argument between…

Slapped in the Face with Technology

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Last night, I finally made my entrance into this new high-tech world of ours.

I walked into my local Verizon store, and told the first sales representative I saw that I was ready to buy a smart phone.

Yes folks, it true. I've been holding onto what I once thought was a smart phone for years now. Except, I guess my old phone was long ago demoted to "Multimedia" phone.

Of course, not really knowing what I needed, and motivated by jealousy, since the oldest person in the office where I work finally got a smart phone of his own leaving me the only person still clinging hopelessly to the twentieth century, I allowed the salesperson to talk me into the latest high-tech gadget - the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx!

It's really more of a computer than a phone. I'm still contemplating bringing it back and getting something ... simpler. To make matters worse, I couldn't figure out how to get the contacts from my old phone into the dad blasted thing. Then, my daughter came to…

Zombie Apocalypse Survival

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I wanted to create a huge post to serve as a guide for surviving the coming zombie apocalypse, but that would've taken a long time to develop.
Frankly, we don't have that kind of time!
So, instead, I'll post thoughts in a series of small sections, each one covering a specific subject.
For this post, I'll talk about the most basic of needs (outside of a good supply of soft, yet strong toilette paper) during the zombie apocalypse - weapons. I'll evaluate several weapons by comparing them to those found on the AMC television series, The Walking Dead.
Yes, I'm one of THOSE people. I've recently become a fan of the show. I even stay up extra late and watch the after show, The Talking Dead.
Onward ... to the weaponry!

In the show, Daryl carries a crossbow. He also keeps a handgun in the side pouch of his motorcycle when Rick's son hasn't stolen it from him.
While a crossbow is certainly effective at close range, it's major downfall is limited ammo. For thos…

Directions by Patavinity

It is amazing how one can receive different directions by as many people and one might think to ask, for one place.

I'm not from the South but I am from the country. I don't know if this is a Southern thing or a country thing but I've seen it so much since I've lived in the South, it scares me.

Someone walked into my office today asking directions to a local restaurant. He was hit with a barrage of instructions; none of which would have sufficed to actually help him arrive at his requested destination. You see, this person was not from the South, he was from Southern California. After watching him struggle, and try to comprehend and repeat each set of instructions, I finally had to step in and give him the directions in his native tongue--West Coast.

I find it hilarious that some people attempt to help others find their way to a location by telling them of landmarks they should look for to tell them they've gone beyond the location they originally asked directions…

John Carter: Movie Review

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I went to an advance screening of the new Disney movie, "John Carter of Mars" this weekend, so I thought I would post an advance review.
See the movie trailer here:


Overall, I give the movie a rating of seven on a scale of one to ten. The special effects in the movie were outstanding and the action was great, but I must say, the storyline became confusing at times.

This movie begins with the apparent death of John Carter, a wealthy explorer. His nephew, oddly enough, named Edgar Rice Burroughs, is summoned, and when he arrives at the Carter mansion, read the last will of John Carter with instructions. The boy is given a journal and told that only he can read it, and this is where the action begins.
As he begins to read the journal, the real story develops. John Carter, a fresh veteran from the Civil War, is prospecting for gold, and is chased into a cave by Indians. A series of events leads him deep into the cave where he discovers a strange medallion that, when taken, transpo…

A Book and its Cover

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Over the past few weeks, I've spent my time finding ways to avoid stuffing my hindquarters into a chair and writing. I'm approaching the end of a first draft for a novel project. This always seems to happen when I'm approaching the end of a writing project. My last few chapters seem to take me forever to finish.
From a psychological (did I spell that right?) perspective, I suppose my subconscious does not want to let go, or let the story end. But end, it must, because I must then conquer the dreaded editing process where other people tell me where I screwed up the story.

Well, for a wonderful new pasttime, I've been creating some book covers for a few authors. I do this free, of course, because I'm no professional. I do enjoy the process though, and try to treat each cover as if I were doing it for money. Here's what I've done lately:

The above cover is my latest work. I'm most proud of this one because it was a collaboration between the author, an illust…