Daydreams of: Hollow

A couple stood in the middle of a magnificent room.  Statues and tapestries surrounded them, each telling their tale of courage and valor.  The woman, dressed in regal splendor, leaned towards the man and beseeched him.

“You don’t have to worry. Everything’s going to be ok.  I’ve sent my personal guard to protect your family. They will be safe.”

Arms crossed, the man stood stone.  He words entered his ears as tinny and hollow as the false promise they formed.  Gently he thumbed the ring on his finger until a poisoned barb pulled free.

“Aye Milady, I understand.”  He said in politeness while extending his hand.  “Shake on your word.”

For the Trifecta Challenge.

Thoughts of: Christmas ideas.

With Christmas shopping in full swing I figured I’d throw out a few items that have inspired me or helped me on my adventures.

First is the Earthsea novels by Ursula K. LeGuin.  Puffin books takes the first four books and puts them in one binding to bring you the meat of the series. Adventure, growth, pain, understanding, knowledge, love, it’s all there.  This is a great series to get your adventure juices flowing.

My second book choice is “Wind Drinker” by Jefferson Spivey.  It’s an autobiography about his idea, and then adventure, of crossing the United States from L.A. to New York on a borrowed horse.

If you’re looking for adventure mixed in with hilarity, check out “Florida Cow Hunter:  The Life and Times of Bone Mizell”.  The book is crammed with unbelievable and outrageous adventures of a cattleman in the wilds of South West… Florida.

Looking for something a little more modern?  Follow Gary and Monica Wescott as they discover Iceland in their modified Ford pickup truck.  Having just finished a winter’s expedition through Siberia, this DVD gives you a great adventure presented in the old National Geographic style.

The last item on my list is Road Runner magazine.  It’s a motorcycle touring magazine, but it is so full of useful information and great destinations that anyone who has the itch to travel needs to look at it.  Every article has all the travel research done for you.  Where to go; what to do, what to see; and where to stay.  There’s even maps on the back and GPS coordinates to make your trip even easier.

So her are some suggestions for you to think about.  I own every one listed nd enjoy them.  If they interest you, great!  Click on the picture and it will send you to their website or Amazon so you can order it.  If you don’t like them, that’s ok.  I’ll be back to my regular posts tomorrow.  Also, don’t think I’m doing this for profit.  I have no monetary gains in this.  There is no affiliate link or any other kickback.  These are just items that I enjoy and felt you might be interested in.  Well all have that someone who is hard to shop for.  Maybe one of these items will be a good choice.






Thoughts of: Tradition

“Where is it?” She cried, struggling to keep her focus on the road.

“I’m looking for it.”  I replied as I turned the knob up and down the dial.

My wife and I were en route to her parents for Thanksgiving but an important piece of the holiday was missing.

“Did you try both bands?”  She asked as she turned down the next street.

“Yes.” I answered.  “You’d think it’d be on NPR.”  Frustrated I kept searching.

BZZT!  The Phone range.

“Hello?”  Answered my wife.  “Yes.  We can’t find it anywhere!  They’re playing it where you are?  We have it on CD but the player is broken on my radio and Gene can’t find it.”

Carol pulled the phone from her face and spoke to me.  “Brian’s singing it over the phone.”

Scanning the radio for the third time, I give up.  “I can’t find it.”

My mind recoils at the disappointment.  Like the Macy’s Day Parade and Lions football there has always been a special part of Thanksgiving for me and my family.  It was a real treat to find out my wife held the same tradition too.  But here we were on Thanksgiving and we were missing that important piece of tradition.  It was as bad as finding out that the turkey was replaced by sushi.  The disappointment was palpable.

“Well don’t play it later.”  Carol told me, after hanging up the phone.  “It’ll be too late in the day.”

We never did find it, that special part of our Thanksgiving tradition.  We didn’t even bother on the ride home.  But for all of you and the joy you’ve given me through the year, I offer now to you that missing part of our family tradition.

Happy Thanksgiving.  🙂

Ketchup with us

A while back Michele and Mel invited me to join in their writing challenge called “Ketchup with us”.  It’s a bimonthly challenge and I’ve finally had the energy to Ketchup to them.  (Although, I am a wee bit late.  Huff-huff.)

The challenge this time is to rant about something I could do without. Hmm.  so many things here.

Ok M&M,here’s my rant:

I could so do without the entire skipping of Thanksgiving when it comes to the freaking department stores!  I mean, really!  Did you notice it?  They went straight from Halloween right to Christmas!  Ugh!  What the hey?  This is America’s holiday.  Let’s do something about it.  You need an excuse to sell stuff?  How about a Thanksgiving sale?  You could make a pilgrimage to the store for the annual turkey shoot of low-priced DVDs, CDs, sweaters, and other stuff.

How about a big sale on boats?  Sure everything is icing over up north, but here’s the chance to get some real good deals on you very own May Flower.  Or, even better, do a cruise!

Kids could go crazy with an airsoft sale.  Not only are the prices lower, but each airsoft sold comes with a free turkey spinner target.

Cartoon network could play Charlie Browns Thanksgiving over and over again for the entire day.

Thanksgiving is a worthwhile Holiday.  Let’s not trip over it on the way to “Black Friday”.

Thanks for the rant M&M.  Nest time I’ll try to keep in the word count limit.

Thoughts of: Questions

On the way to Englewood Beach, my wife and I stopped at a McDonalds for a quick snack.  In the parking lot was an 80’s vintage Dodge Aries K-Car in fairly decent shape.  On the side window it said, “I’m cool” and there was a waxed mustache symbol on the back window.

A single thought hounded me that day.  “K-Cars are cool?”

I owned a K-Car back in the day.  In fact it was my very first car.  It was a 1983 Dodge Aries station wagon.  Silver with red interior.  To make it even more rare, it has a stick shift, not automatic.  That wagon was many things for me.  Freedom, privacy, adventure, transport, moving van, and mechanical school.  It was all that, but I have to admit that in my era it was never considered “cool”.  In fact, I can honestly say that I never had a girl look at it and say, “Nice ride!”

I also wore squarish, plastic framed glasses back then.  While they did have some “style” to them, like the K-Car, they were picked because of economy instead of fashion.

Same for my clothing.  I never bought $100 jeans.  Hell, I thought $25 Levis to be outrageous.  Rustler’s worked fine for me.

So I had to wonder, was I a Hipster before my time?

I did have one jazz album on cassette.  Vital Information – Global Beat if you must know.

Steve Smith, the drummer from Journey was a forming member of the band and I had to have everything that was musically related to Journey at the time.

Thinking about it, I believe that having a “Mullet” haircut probably disqualifies me from the group.  It is funny though to look back and see how many things I had are now considered trendy in a way.

I did have a 1968 VW Beetle.  These are cool on different levels.  Just the age alone now-days makes them classic.  Then there is the whole “Herbie” factor.  (One guy even begged his wife to stop and rent “The Love Bug” after seeing my car.)

Then there was the time I worked at Saturn.  (I sold the SL, SC, and L models; that’s small sedans, small coupes in 2000.) These seem to be hipster cars too now.

Flannel plaid shirts seem to always be in fashion and Journey has ridden its x-number wave of popularity.  (Steve Perry is working on a new album too!)

So the question remains: does this random act of convergence mean anything subliminally and should I even care?

I never tried to be trendy.  If anything I tried to present myself as independent.  I preferred trails in the parks and woods over the bars and cafés.  I always picked clothing on if I thought it looked nice, and not if it was in a magazine or opposite of it.

I will concede the haircut.  I got that because Steve Perry had one in the “Raised on Radio” era.  It just had to be done.

In the end, the answer seems to be, So what.

So what if some things I did might seem trendy now.  So what it they didn’t.  It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now. The only thing that matters it that I enjoyed the time as I was in it.  A trend here and there adds to the spice of your life, but doesn’t rule it.  Do what you want and don’t worry about what other’s think.  Now or in the future.  Who knows what the next trend will be.  Maybe you’ll visit that old ghost from your past.  Go up to it and shake hands.  Then go right on and look to the future.  Because as well all know, that’s where the really great adventures lie.

Thoughts: Lost in the Amazon and Boot Hill

Amazon is a dangerous thing.

If you go there you will find yourself lost in a time-displacement continuum searching for some lost relic of the past.

That’s where I found myself over the weekend.  With the flip of the calendar, I found myself only two months left on the dreaded Christmas list.  My list was small. I hadn’t edited it since June and even then, I just had a smattering of things on it.

So I looked to bulk it up.

I threw a few magazine subscriptions in; roughly five movies on DVD; a calendar; some guitar stuff I might use once and forget about; a couple books; and a bunch of music downloads. (Did you know that Minnie Driver made an album and is a good singer?)

That being done, I started to browse.  I don’t know about you, but I have this little evil side of me that loves to look for outrageously priced things to throw on my wish list just to shock the heck out of anyone looking at it.  (Plus, someone might be drunk enough to actually buy it for me. –Nah.) So I immediately went to Overland Journal.  It’s a five or six issue subscription to a travel magazine that costs $100. I don’t know about you, but $5 to $20 for a magazine seems outrageous to me.  Then I looked for a few DVDs that weren’t listed on Amazon.  (Got to go to their own website to order them.  Not good when you want to list them.)

And then I fell into the black hole.

I tripped into my past and looked up Boot Hill by TSR.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Boot Hill is a role playing game (RPG) made in the 80’s.  Think Dungeons & Dragons but with cowboys and outlaws instead of knights and orcs.  I’ve seen used versions go for $70 which is why I wanted to put it on the list.  That would send the viewer’s reeling.  But then I got hit with the shock instead.  Along with the used and collectable versions listed, there was one marked new. The person or company owning it is asking $1,255.58!  Let me say that again they are asking One Thousand, Two Hundred, Fifty Five Dollars and Fifty Eight cents; not counting tax; for a game that cost $20 when it came out!  The damn thing wasn’t even that good.  TSR made roughly five or ten modules or adventures for the damn thing.  It was a huge flop in the RPG world.  Hell, even Gamma World was more popular that it.

My mind triggered, I had to go in search of a more reasonable replacement.  I know for a fact that other companies made what I call pocket RPGs, minor games that came in a plastic case roughly the size of a novel so you could take them with you.  Well, not knowing the company that made them, I stated my search engines.  Before I knew it, I was linking through all sorts of unfamiliar websites in a search to find any pocket RPG that I remembered.  Hours later, I was fruitless in my search.  I did find some full sized western games, but they were also no longer in print, leaving me to think that there must be a curse on all western games.

Frustrated, there was only one thing left to do.  My mind set on the path to make its own.  I have no idea why.  It’s not like I would actually play the thing. Everyone I played with decades ago now live in various states, scattered across the country.  All I knew is that I had to do this.  My mind was so focused on it that I had to force myself to go to sleep that night. Rest offered no reprieve though. The very next morning I was up and writing down the basics of the game. It was all too familiar.  The stats, the classes, the roles, the movements, the abilities, the options.  It all flowed from my pen so easy.  Four hours later, I had eleven pages down and a good framework started and multiple ideas for various adventures.  The purge helped.  After writing  all that, my mind started to notice my surroundings again.  I could once more go on my way and enjoy the rest of my weekend.

I don’t know if I’ll jump back to my game building again, or get caught up in its web once more, but be warned!  Stay away from Amazon as long as you can, for you too could find yourself caught in its gravitational pull of curiosities and forgotten memories; losing time in hour long chunks.

Tread carefully!