Monday, December 31, 2012


It was an interesting year.  Time for another one though.  Time to forget and write 2012 as the year for a few weeks.  I do catch on eventually.

We are safely arrived in Oklahoma.  Getting into the RV spot was probably one of my top 3-4 driving accomplishments ever.  We currently have electricity and water.  No sewer yet, I guess that is a problem for next year. 

I will be writing a bit more of a report, but not now.  We are trying to do the whole New Year thing and probably will fail miserably.  I just can't get excited anymore about the prospect of staying up til midnight for no good reason.  HEY YOU KIDS!!!  GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

Sorry.  Showing my age a bit there. 

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  I hope the good is better than the bad and the balance finds you well. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


The kids made us work for it today. Everything was tears and resistance. Somehow we managed to get everything on the must do list done if we didn't get everything on the whole list done. 

Two work days left.  That's it. 

I wrote this whole beautiful, and long, post tonight.

Then the connection went kaput and froze the page.  I lost it.


Let's try again.

This is an interesting something that I came across today.  It is reinforcing all the other information that I have seen about writing.  Talent doesn't do it.  Work does.  I think I may finally be getting that message. I've been writing this blog for two plus years now.  If you look at my post count, I am vastly improved.  I'm hoping that means that the posts are easier because the conduit between head and page is cleaner and better.  There is still a lot of work to do.

I'm writing for AFO.  I will get a story for this month and hope I will continue to do so.  Not sure how that will work on a cruise ship with unknown Internet access, but I will try. While I am out to sea I may try to nominate Michelle as Grand High Overlord of the forums if she will accept the job.  If she won't then it will be me and whoever else I can convince to do the job.   

I am also 87 pages into the Adventure Nickel book first draft.  I hope to have something ready for Amazon by March.  Initially I had hoped to give a second draft to Sarah for Christmas, but it was harder than I expected.  I am probably optimistic about March too, but I have to set goals.  So, I am trying to hone the craft somewhat.  After this, I have a fiction idea I want to get out. 

It snowed here for Christmas.  It was the only White Christmas in the memory of anyone I know in Tyler.  Sarah and I also saw two white Christmas's while in Houston.  What are the odds. 

Enough jabber, on with the pictures.

Michael practicing his whistling in the snow.  His perfect pursed lip pose reminds me of a Peanuts character.  And yes, Dad, I have used the line, "You can stay, but the whistle has to go."

They seem pretty excited about the whole snow thing.

We even got a little accumulation.

If I calculate my launch trajectory correctly...

Monday, December 24, 2012


The promised pictures. 

Since everybody else was doing it today. 

Merry Christmas. 

The kids pounced like leopards onto their presents.  I actually think I head one of them growl. 

I think the expressions speak for themselves. 

I had to include this one just for the remarkable bed head Max was sportin'.  Way to go kid.  Chip off the old block. 

You have to imagine the rocket noise of Jango Fett's rocket pack here.

Michael found a new toy!

 Our old tree in our old house.

 I was hoping for a candid shot, instead Max sensed the camera.

 Hard at work again.

 Checking out the results of their labors.

Hope yours goes as well as ours did.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


We had Christmas today.  Woke up this morning and the kids came down to open the presents we gave them and their stockings.  It was the full Christmas experience, just a few days early.  The kids let us sleep until 7 am, which was nice.  After some much needed coffee, we changed clothes and headed out to Matt and Jenny's house, which used to be ours. 

It was strange, because all of the signals had been Christmas morning.  Then we went outside and the normal Christmas lull wasn't there.  Usually, when you go out on Christmas, there are only a few people driving and some folks outside playing with their new belongings.  They wear that dumb smile on their face that communicates they are really pretty happy.  None of that.  Instead we met heavy traffic and people wearing the grim countenance of last minute holiday shoppers.  So, we battled our way over and made it to our old house.

I like what Matt and Jenny have done with the place. 

When we left, we left a lot of stuff behind.  Our living room furniture, the guest room furniture, lawn care tools, appliances, tables and chairs, patio furniture, all still there.  Heck, even the Christmas tree was the one we left behind. 

After some breakfast, we eventually opened presents.  All of the gits were great and everyone had a nice time.  I think everyone was happy. 

After presents, we had lunch.  We got to see our old cat that stayed behind with the house.  We went for a walk through the old neighborhood, just like old times.  We talked to our old neighbors, it was neat. 

Both Sarah and I were struck by something.  Nothing much had changed.  When we left, we felt like we weren't going anywhere, just spinning our wheels.  We came back to find that most things were just like we left them.  Kids were older, adults were older.  People had different cars and some people had moved.  But really, it was all the same.  We however, had changed quite a bit.  We had been places, and seen things. We had discovered things about ourselves by being in unusual places and circumstances.  The same lawn had been mowed, the same commute driven, the same television shows watched. 

All this same happened while we were out doing different. It made both of us happier with our lives.  I think that is the best holiday gift so far.

Pictures will be posted once we make it back to the house.  I forgot to bring the cable that connects the camera to the computer.  Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Well, the world ended and apparently no one noticed. 

I hate it when that happens.  They threw an apocalypse and nobody came. 

I choose to look at it like the world did end and now we have a brand new shiny one to work with.  Let's try not to screw it up too badly please.

We drove back to Houston today...again.  Since I work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we are having Christmas tomorrow.  SO we drove here and plan on having our festivities in our old house, now the residence of Sarah's brother.  Should be kind of neat and kind of weird and fun all at the same time. 

Being the busy people we are, we also fit a doctor's visit and a visit to the optometrist into the day.  We are finishing up some of the paper work for the cruise ship job.  Hard to believe, but two weeks from today I am scheduled to be on board the Eurodam.  Wow, that is pretty soon. 

Oh well, I can't write too much tonight because I have to go play Santa Clause. 

Merry Christmas everyone. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012


2000 words. 

I read another writer's blog, it was about working and learning a craft, and she brought up Stephen king's 2000 words a day edict.  He stated in his book, On Writing, that he wrote at least 200o words a day, every day.  Yep, even on those days when 200 feels like an accomplishment.  It is the work needed to hone your abilities into something good. 

I am writing a book about our adventures, the page count stands at 78 right now.  I try to write something for the AFO challenge every month. I have an idea for his month, but haven't put it to paper yet.  Sigh.   I am trying to keep my daily word count up.  One, two, three, do those count?  How about these:


Good words.  I think that will about do it for today.  BTW, those words were some of the ones I chose for the word of the day at work.  I do try to keep my co-workers entertained. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


OK..I'm here. 

You can make me show up, but you can't make me do anything. 

I'm tired.  A trip to Houston with a visit from the in-laws following, then three pretty busy days at work.  Mix in another head cold and you have the recipe for a tired blogger. 

Last night I got home and the kitchen sink was dripping.  Sarah's dad had looked at it and said something to her about needing to replace some part inside the handle.  I was so tired I was just going to ignore it, but the dripping noise achieved a certain cinematic tell tale heart quality in my brain and I decided to try to fix it. 

Probably not the brightest idea under the circumstances. 

I found the part that needed replacing.  I also managed to change the drip into a torrent and that led us to turning off the water for the night. So, first thing this morning, I was up and out to the hardware store for a tiny little rubber piece.  Got it, got it home and installed and we had water again.  Somewhere in there, another piece broke.  Now, the handle turns the water off, but instead of turning 90 degrees, it turns all the way around.  Something more to fix.

At work, I recently started a word of the day.  Somehow.  Not sure how that happened really.  One of the recent words came in to play with this incident and I will share it with you now.


Go ahead and look it up.  The more you know...

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Went to the zoo today with our crew plus Sarah's parents.  Every time I go to a zoo I always feel like I should be apologizing to the animals.  "Sorry guys.  I see that your normal range is around 50-60 miles.  It says so right here on the sign.  We've got you cooped up in a 75 by 50 foot pen."  People suck.  Then there is the conservationist part of me that thinks, "Maybe people seeing the animals helps by making them think of the wild open spaces where these animals live free."  The cynic answers, "Or they think, who cares about the wide open wild spaces.  We've got those at home in the zoo." 


It would be much easier if I could just look and think, "What pretty animals." Nope. 

Then we got home and I decided to update the forum software for the AFO writing group.  Instead, I knocked the whole thing offline for a few hours while I struggled to figure out how to fix it. 

I did manage to get it back up though.  A small victory.

The kids were playing with Ned yesterday and came up with this. 

Apparently the Storm Troopers and Sand People want Dragon Rides.  :-)

On to the zoo. 

We grew tired of the facile entertainment of our portable electronic devices.  

There...real, live things.

including a Max in his natural habitat.  

Sorry Mister Elephant.  Enjoy your hay.

Probably the most fun I had was playing with the African Grays.  We whistled and bounced and 'talked' to each other for a while as everyone else watched penguin feeding. 

Something particularly sadistic about this zoo.  They will put the predator enclosures right next to the prey enclosures and ensure that the predators can see and smell, but not reach, the prey.  Evil bastards.  

Even the snakes.  There was one snake that ate other snakes that shared a cracked glass wall with other snakes.  Not this one though, he was pretty chill. 

That's a freaking big spider. 

 Here we get to the most exciting part of the day.  We checked out the white tigers.  Get right up close.

Now the ears are back.  Of course, our hapless photographer doesn't notice this.  Nope...too busy clicking away.

Then there is this white blur and a roar followed by a scream.  The tiger got pissed, rose up on her hind legs and roared while swatting the glass right in front of my head.  That will get your heart going.  

The male was much more relaxed.  

We brought our own monkeys.

Time to relax before heading home for the day to ruin your writing forums.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Been too long without posting.  I know.  Not enough writing of any sort going on right now. 

Too much driving and too much work.  Can't be helped. 

We drove down to Houston...again. It was good visiting though.  We did the Christmas at the B&B ranch.  Then we left the kids with the Grandparents until they came back today.  Got some things done around the house and got to experience cold again. Not brutal cold, but below freezing.  Time to get used to that again.

Talked to Michelle and the RV at her place isn't quite as slam dunk as we had hoped.  I am going to drive up there on Monday and see if we can do a workable something just to get us in there.  If not, then it is a scramble for a contingency plan.  We are nothing if not adaptable. 

The Bumfuzzle crew and a friend wrote a book on investing and how they finance their adventure lives.  I bought it yesterday and am reading it as fast as time allows.  If I can find a way to unhook from the wage slave game, I'm in.  You can check it all out at:

I wish them the best of luck and hope their book benefits me and many others. 

I had the camera with us the whole time, but didn't take any pictures.  Shame on me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I'm washing dishes and Michael is in his room quizzing me about animals.  He has found some sheet from one of his books with trivia questions about various animals.

Earlier in the day I had told him I was going to get him a book or magazine and he would have to read it and then he could either take a test I made or write something about what he had learned.  While he was asking me these questions, I had an idea.

When he was done I suggested, "Maybe when I have you read those books I was talking about, instead of taking a test, you could write one for me."

"Yeah," he replied, "That would be kind of fun."

"Fun and learning together?  That's just gross."  I say.

There is a pause before he replies.

"You have a strange sense of humor."

My kids. 

And a few of the pictures mentioned yesterday.

The kids found these leaves and decided they made great hats.  Satchel is unimpressed.

Just what every parent dreams about.  A tiger hungrily eyeing your kid.  

Michael is checking out the penguin chicks.

Max is checking out some other chicks.

Michael took this picture of Mommy and Max.  Nice shot kid.

Then he discovered the game of pretending to be smashed against the windshield.  

The truck looked to be a big hit. 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Hello December. 

Took the day off today.  kind of.  Tried to get started on my Oklahoma nursing license and forgot just how big a pain in the butt boards like this can be.  They all seem to have the attitude that since you need them so much, they have no obligation to be nice or pay even lip service to customer service. 


No one answers their phone. 

Oh well, if awesome were easy, everyone would do it. 

Went for a run today for the first time in a long time.  Probably overdid it. I felt good and pressed further than I should.  5.2 miles.  The Vibrams weren't working today.  I have to hot spots.  One on each foot.  I'll heal. 

The weather here sucks for December, it was 79 degrees today. 

Bitch, bitch, bitch moan.

OK, I'll stop. 

I bought a new toy for cruising.  I got an HP touchpad and bluetooth keyboard.  That way I can keep writing while aboard.  I might not be able to upload blog posts as often, but I will still write them.  Then maybe a mass upload when I return to shore.

Sarah took the kids to the local zoo.  There are pictures, but I haven't uploaded them. Maybe tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I didn't do squat today. 

Good day. 

Oh, I fiddled about with a few things.  Mostly hung out with the kids and took it easy.  Watched Sarah work on paperwork for the cruise thing, try to figure out luggage and packing, worry worry worry.  I love her to death.  I would help her, but I have found that frequently leads to disagreement in the way we each approach problems.  So, I took the kids and left. 

We went to WalMart and checked out the stuff the kids want for Christmas.  Then we came home and I tried taking a few pictures. 

Max was playing outside with his little guys and a horse barn he got from Sylvia.

Michael was inside reading a book.  

They seemed to have a nice day too. 

Now I am back to work for three days and then..who knows.  Well, I guess Sarah does.  I should check with her.