Feeds:
Posts
Comments

So, yesterday at like two in the afternoon I am going about my normal routine. Right about then it involved giving my daughter a ride to work. We run through the thunderstorm to get to my Cherokee, jump in and… squish.

Wait a minute, why does it feel like I just sat on a wet sponge?

Oh, thats just the seat.

Look at all the windows, nothing left down. That when the first of many drips bounced off my steering column and all over my lap.

Wonderful. My windshield seal looks to be leaking.

So I give my lovely wife a call and ask her to have folks to clear the driveway so I can pull into the garage. Then I stop at the store and grab some sealant, and head back to the house.

So much for my relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Once I get it home and get the trim pulled I get to cleaning. That when I get my brilliant idea.

You see, when I bought my Cherokee it already had a bit of rust on the roof, just back from the windshield. Nothing that looked too horrible mind you, just three or four patches the size of my palm that were rusted with no paint, and a couple even smaller ones where the paint had bubbled up.

In my infinate wisdom I decided that since I would already have the trim off, and already be cleaning up the area for putting down the sealer, I would go ahead and wire wheel the majority of the rust off, prime it, and paint it with some rustoleum, just to keep it from getting any worse ’till I could get time to sand it back off and do it right.

Really, it’s a good thing I did.

Remember those two bubbled up patches?

Well, there wasn’t a damn thing there but blistered paint and powdered rust. Two holes in my roof, each about the size of a quarter.

Just what everyone wants to see on a rainy Sunday afternoon right?

So, looking at the clock and knowing I had all of about 13 hours before I had to be driving it to work I kinda cheated.

I blasted everything clean with electronics cleaner, since it evaporates crazy fast. Then I filled the holes.

With Great Stuff.

Waited a while for that to dry, then cut it off flush with a knife.

Once that was done I hit it with a thin layer of bondo to seal in the great stuff, a couple coats of primer, and a couple coats of paint.

In the end it still needs work, but looks a damn sight better than the rust patches I set out to fix in the first place.

Not to mention, it won’t be raining inside the Jeep next time it’s raining outside.

Don’t read this post

Seriously, don’t read this.

I am about to violate my own long standing rule of keeping politics the hell off my blog.

Simply put, I am mad as hell. Writing is how I vent and that is exactly what I plan to do. Do I plan to publish it? Who knows, not me I can tell you that.

.

This is your last warning, beyond here there be monsters.

Bad words and thoughts even.

Read at your own risk.

.

I am, by all accounts, a very middle of the road person as far as politics goes. I don’t think I have ever voted a straight party ticket in my life.

I quite honestly could care less what party a person is affiliated with, I vote for whomever I think will do the best job.

There are a few things that irk the hell out of me right now.

.

For all intents and purposes there are two political parties in this country.

Both seem fixated on winning elections, they appear to care less about the business of actually running a healthy functioning government.

Think I’m wrong? watch any election coverage. People posting numbers on a blue and red map of my country like it’s a goddamn game of Risk.

If the two of parties would spend a quarter of the time on actually trying to fix the country’s problems that they spend jockeying for position amongst each other we would not be in this mess we are in right now.

.

I am sick to death of watching them try to paint the other guy as worse instead of themselves as better.

I am sick to death of hearing less about what they will do for us, than about what the other guy will do to us.

I am sick of choosing the lesser of two evils at the ballot box.

I am sick to death of the mudslinging, truth twisting,  holier than thou bullshit that I see on the campaign trail.

I am sick to death of watching my elected officials spend more time worrying about the next election cycle than they do about doing the job in front of them.

I am sick to death of watching friends and family members turn on each other over this crap.

Simply put, I am sick to death of politics.

.

For those of you who don’t already know this, I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan. It is nearing completion now, as Brandon Sanderson has stepped up to finishe the series. (He also co-hosts a writers podcast called Writing Excuses, take a listen if you have some time.)

If you havn’t read the series this post will mean very little to you, so go read up and come back when you are done… likely about six months from now.

.

Once upon a time, before I began my own journey as a writer, I picked up the first book in the series. I have always loved fantasy stories, and needed a good hefty book to get me through a trip I was about to take. A friend at work reccomended the series, so I picked up the first book.

It was amazing.

As I worked my way through the series one of my best friends did as well, generally staying at about the same point as myself. We spent many hours discussing what had come before in the tale, and where we saw it going. In fact, we likely spent more time on theory-crafting what might come to pass than we did on actually reading the books.

We caught a lot of the little things, nuances, forshadowed events. Like the players of another wheel, the Wheel of Fortune, we were good at solving puzzles with only half the pieces.

In fact, if the two of us get together and watch any type of mystery on television our wives would leave the room, because we tended to spoil things for them by figuring out who did it before the heroes did.

.

Years later, and many re-reads later I now see the story differently.

It’s still epicly awesome, at a level I don’t even aspire to in my own writing. The difference is that now I see more than just the story itself, I see the craftsmanship that went into it. I can see underneath the surface to the framework that it was built on.

All my plotlines are but houses of cards by comparison.

.

Alrighty then enough mooning over the story.

Im not here for that, I’m here to make some predictions about how the story will unfold.

.

You see, I started a complete reread of the series today, and I saw something that simply clicked.

I know now that the good guys will win.

What make me so certain you ask?

Simple. There is a passage in the prelude to the first book that tells you.

.

And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised one be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the prince of the morning sing to the land that green things will grow and valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. 

(from Charal Drinnan te Calamon, the Cycle of the Dragon, author unknown, the Fourth Age.”

.

Thats part of the prolog, before the maps and such, in the beginnig of the first book in the series. This next bit is literally the next paragraph of text, though it is several pages of artwork later.

.

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, and Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning, there are neither Beginnings nor endings to the turning of The Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”

.

Those two paragraphs speak volumes once you have read the tale. We learn a lot as we go.

We know that one of the main characters of our tale is the Dragon Reborn. We become familliar with the prophecies that ere mentioned in the first paragraph. We see many of those events unfold. Actually I believe we have seen everything other than the Prince of the Morning singing to the land, though he is closely intertwined with it, even to the point of having a bubble of good weather and bountiful crops follow where he goes.

The most telling part of the passage is this. It was written in the Fourth Age.

It history, already happened, perhaps on it’s way to fading into legend by the time of the quote.

The Dragon Reborn, the Lord of the Morning, is referred to as the hero in that little snippet.

The winners write the history books.

.

I could get a lot more into it, and likely will as my re-read continues, but for now I can read through knowing that the good guys will come out on top in the end.

So who wants to re-read with me?

Come on, its an excellent series, and the last book should be out later this year.

.

Everyone’s OK

This just in, winter can officially go &$@&$@ itself.

.

Wednesday Weigh In

I know it’s been a really long time since I posted things about what this blog was started for, tracking my journey of weight loss.

It was easy to come on and say the right things when I was doing the right things. When my willpower flagged, my focus drifted, and I didn’t make any progress it was easier just to stay away.

Like my mom always told me, If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.

As good as that advice usually holds it won’t work here.

This is about accountability, not about sparing someones feelings.

Not even my own.

.

Lets be frank. (actually i’ll be Brad and you be whomever you are, but you get the point)

I fell off the wagon… hard.

Like  flaming asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs hard.

.

Well, I have gotten back on the wagon, so to speak.

At least I am holding onto the side trying to pull myself back in, we shall see.

.

I have been going back to the Gym.

I have been eating at least a slight bit healthier.

I am getting back into the swing of things.

.

Today I am 253 pounds even.

Thats going to change.

It has to, or I won’t be around to spoil my hypothetical future grandkids.

.

 ps. I know it’s Thursday, but I didn’t want to put this off till next week. I need to get back into the swing of things now.

Hiysa folks!

*blows dust off blog*

Some time ago I started this blog, mostly to track my adventures in weight loss.

Well, as you can probably tell, the adventure does not always go well.

I gave up.

I am starting over.

I will be posting again, at least once a week, with a new series I shall call the Wednesday Weigh-In.

.

In other news, I wrote here over time about the loss of both of my dogs. One to complications from Diabetes and the other from Cancer, both in less than a year.

Soon, within the next few weeks, our family will be adopting a wonderful little puppy.

A gift to my family from the same family that gave us one of the others in years past.

I both dread it and look forward to it. We shall see how it goes.

In leiu of anything else today I will show you a puppy picture. The lighter tan one is coming to live with us, her sister in the same picture will be living with friends a few blocks away.

Hope you all had a great holiday season, and I look forward to spending more time here in the new year.

~Brad

NaNoWriMo 2010 thoughts

Like a wave ebbing after crashing upon the shoreline a wave of quiet circled the earth last night.

As the clock struck midnight in each time zone across the world thousands of keyboards fell silent.

For better or for worse NaNoWriMo 2010 had come to a close.

.

Some had reached their goals, some had not.

I would like to congratulate those that did.

.

For those like myself that simply did not reach the 50K word count goal I would like to offer a story, possibly with a side order of wisdom trapped inside it.

.

Once upon a time, in the land of Brad’s childhood (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) my family and I would take road trips. We  took them not as a means to an end, but as the vacation itself.

I remember one time that we were driving through the great smokey mountains and happened across a rest stop. A beautiful fast-moving stream was flowing along the side of whatever state highway we were traveling, and this was at a bridge where it crossed under.

We pulled into a little two or three car parking area covered in gravel next to a little grassy area about the size of my yard. It was empty and quiet. Not much traffic on the old roads these days, everyone takes the interstate. They need to get where they are going, forgetting everything in between.

As I got out of the mustard yellow Grand Torino and looked around I also saw one of those grill-on-a-pole things that parks have, a fire ring that looked like a tire rim buried in the ground, a garbage can, and a pair of weathered grey picnic tables.

What at first looked like a fine place to pull out the cooler and have a spot of lunch ended up becoming much more. It turned out to be the highlight of the trip.

As we sat there munching on our bologna sandwiches one of us had a thought. “I wonder how the fishing would be here?” said one of us, I honestly can’t remember who. Instead of leaving it at that and hustling along to whatever theme park may have been the destination we kinda shrugged and said “I don’t know, lets find out.”

Dad and I rooted about in the back  of the car, finally coming out with a pair of battered old fishing poles and a small tackle box. Nothing we had packed for the trip, just something still in the trunk under the travel worn suitcases. Leftovers from some trip to the local pond.

Mom pulled out a lounge chair and Dad and I proceeded to answering the question.

The fishing was great.

.

So great in fact that we spent the entire rest of the day there relaxing and having fun. That evening we built a small campfire from dry wood we gathered in the treeline. Then we used a couple of metal marshmallow sticks we had also found in the trunk to cook our fish over it.

That was one of the best dinners I have ever had on the road, fish cooked on a stick over a fire and eaten out of metal pie plates. It’s honestly one of the fondest memories I have of traveling.

.

Later that evening when the fire had burned down we cleaned up our mess and got back in the car, driving off into the night.

I don’t remember what the destination was even supposed to be, or even if we had one.

I don’t remember what we were doing before, or after.

In fact, I don’t remember anything else about that trip.

But I remember that day, chilling by the side of the road, living in the moment with people I cared about.

.

Like my dad always used to tell me, and showed me that day, It’s not about the destination.

It’s about the journey.

.

I looked back on that as I sat at my keyboard last night, trying to hammer out words into a story I have come to despise.

I was looking at the word count as a destination, a finish line. Something that must be reached, come hell or high water. 

I was looking at writing as a means to an end, like those sad souls that never leave the interstate I had forgotten what really matters.

.

The Journey.

What NaNo was teaching me about myself.

.

I learned quite a bit actually, now that I sit back and look at it. Things that I am going to have to let percolate in what passes for my brain for a while before I am ready to talk about them.

.

I just wanted to come on today to congratulate those that participated. Win, lose, or draw, we are all better for having taken the ride.

NaNo is not so much about what you are going to write as it is about learning about yourself as a writer.

It truly is not about the destination, but about the journey.

.

Thanks to my friends (particularly the Saucy Wenches forums writing group) for taking this road trip with me. Without the company of friends I would never have gotten to where I am now.

Oh, and I am a man of my word.

.

.

I am enjoying my new hairdo, it is so much easier to take care of in the morning, though it is a bit chilly.

.