Yeah…been a long time. A long long time since my last post. Been very busy. I was working on a project and was unhappy how it was going. I was approximately a third of the way through this wonderful project when I decided that I needed a new introduction. Something brief. Maybe 2-3,000 words. Yeah. That didn’t work. Approximately a month and 30,000 words later the “brief” introduction had grown into a book of its own. Good news is that now I have a starting point that I am happy with. Bad news is that I really didn’t like the 25K worth of words I had put together for the original project so I’m keeping the larger idea and most of the idea behind the Unnamed Project #2 but I’m tossing most of the writing. I should be able to get the drafts for project 1 and 2 over the next two months and then off to revision land and the outline for project 3 which will complete the first trilogy of what will be a much larger universe of continuing stories. Been busy…but just not busy updating this blog.
This isn’t quite a review as this post is categorized. I think it is important however that any further posts in the review section by me have a baseline for what I feel is a great film. The following three films I give an “11.” Why not make 10 the highest number? I won’t get into that. The highest number is 11. If you don’t get that reference then you shouldn’t be reading this blog.
Top 3 Films:
2: Fight Club
I will let the few that view this blog think about those three for a bit. Perhaps stew as to why someone would rank them as their top three. Later I will come back to this post and argue why but until then, cheers!
Is it really “homeschooling” if it is held in a school? I wonder sometimes if these things are thought through entirely. So, if you are against sending your kids to public school, and I have absolutely NO problem with that, why are people OK with sending them to what is in fact a public school? Is it because the program will start operation at the start of summer vacation and the thought is that it isn’t a public school then? Is it because it is in a closed building that was a school for years but now by calling it a “home-school-school” changes that? If it is in a school building, funded by public funds, and curriculum is developed and supervised by a principal it is NOT home-school. It is public school. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig, right? Maybe folks feel better about it because it is a prettier pig.
Link to story:
So how much will the first lawsuit payout be for a death caused by a drone colliding with a passenger jet? I’m trying to picture the line of lawyers chomping at the bit to take that case. Well, no I’m not really picturing a line of lawyers as that would make me nervous. Lawyers are scarier than the throngs of the undead feasting on brains (would that leave lawyers untouched I wonder – wait zombies are after brains not hearts!). SO in March a drone almost collided with a passenger jet. Do drones have to file flight plans? Do all operators of drones have to go through flight schools like pilots of passenger craft? Do drones have to have lights, transponders, black boxes, mandatory maintenance and all the other safety features required so that those suckers don’t fall from the skies to crush soccer moms in their SUVs on the way to Chucky Cheese? This will be a very interesting topic that will continue to develop through the years. By the way, I love the Colorado town that allows you to hunts drones with a license. Well done!
Link to story on near collision with drone:
Link to story on hunting drones in Colorado:
The Therapy of Writing
I am a Grumpy Gus. A sometimes Bitchy Betty. A regular Thundercloud Tim. I know this. I accept this. I have not always been like this though. The stress of my everyday workload has transformed me and not for the good. However, over the past 7-days, since I truly devoted myself to writing, I have found my stress has all but evaporated. Oh sure, it still exists between the working hours of my regular trying (every)day but, when I clock out the crushing weight lifts from my shoulders and I count down the hours until 5am when I rise to put in a couple hours of keyboard time and create my own world. The therapy of writing has been both surprising and life changing in just this short period of time.
Is it scarier that chemical weapons are apparently still being used in Syria, either in the field or as leverage, or should the world be more afraid that Ukrainian military helicopters are being swatted from the skies by man-portable shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles in an ever escalating state of affairs? Both carry pretty serious short term and long term concerns. Just what are the options before the world? Do they sit back and continue to do little about both hotbeds of conflict? How about more useless sanctions so that the world can feel better about itself in that they are doing something? It is important to build international self-esteem afterall.
Resolving the conflict in the Ukraine in the traditional manner of “boots on the ground” is extremely dangerous as it would only exacerbate the situation beneath the nuclear umbrella of Russia. Would “boots on the ground” in Syria stop the threat of the continued use of chemical weapons in that conflict? Sure, most likely it would, but the Syrian conflict is so muddled that knowing who is right and who is wrong is a particular challenge. Deciding who is right and who is wrong in that conflict depends on the day of the week as both sides are apparently committing some pretty heinous acts as they strive for victory. It does not appear the “rebels” are the ones using the chemical weapons but it needs to be known that they are no innocent angels.
Regardless of the outcome in either theatre, it should be well known at this point in history that the United States will attempt to solve these and future issues by throwing US tax-payer money at the situation. I wonder where the billion dollars that Secretary of State Kerry gave the Ukraine two months ago really goes. Does it go to feeding starving children and building schools or does it go to the folks at the top to buy shiny new cars and retreats in other countries so they have a place to go in their shiny new cars when the Ukraine inevitably falls? The way the federal government gives tax dollars away it is a good thing they are tax exempt because one day they would have to draw money from their own coffers and not from the pockets of the rest of the country.
So when do you jump on the bandwagon for the Seattle Mariners? Is it now when the are .500 at the 30-game point? Is it when they are in the playoffs (sorry I just blacked out for a second there)? Or is it if they are relevant after the All-Star Break (or as I like to call it The Professional Popularity Contest: July Edition)? This is the year pitchers are going down left and right. The Mariners have suffered through this malady to start the year but so has just about every other team in baseball. Perhaps the Mariners can take advantage of the walking wounded plague, eh? Let’s wait and see. In my opinion it will be the Mariners offense, and not their pitching, that will be the deciding factor this year. I know that isn’t a crazy notion as they have had the WORST offense in baseball (historically so) over the last couple years but yeah…that is all for now regarding the offense issue. I’m solidly on the bandwagon but only because I have been duct taped too it by my own stubborn self.
UPDATE – See bottom of post.
Driving home from work today I noticed a critter stumbling across the road. I couldn’t tell if it was a coyote pup or what but I missed the little fella. I got down the road about a mile and re-ran what I saw in my brain. I paused the cerebral DVR and zoomed in. It appears it was a Chihuahua (OMG I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try – no red underline on the spell-check!). I pulled a u-turn and headed back down the road. This road is particularly busy with heavy traffic this time of day. Lots of school buses on routes and semi and dump trucks heading to or from the nearby industrial site. I parked on the shoulder of the road near where I spotted the helpless little dog. I could see him hunkered down in the nearby tall grass. He was shivering when I approached but he was in no condition to scamper away. He was in BAD shape. Both hind legs were completely emaciated and his nails were so long on each paw that he could barely shuffle along. How he had avoided getting hit on the busy road, coyotes, and red-tailed hawks nearby I do not know. I spoke to him softly and reassuringly. Probably the first such words he has heard in a long long time. I grabbed a box I had in the back of my car and my work gloves and coaxed him in to climbing into the box. I ran a search on my phone for the nearest humane society and I was in luck that there was an open location about 15-minutes away. I drove carefully to the shelter while chatting to this Chihuahua I named “Buster.” He was pretty excited to be in a car with someone that seemed “OK.” The whole way to the shelter he rubbed on my gloved hand. I was concerned he would hurt himself because I could feel just how week and brittle he was. Got him to the shelter and checked in. Emptied my wallet for a donation I only wish could be more and then I headed home. I’m not sure if he is going to make it (they said he was in pretty rough shape and about 12+ years old) but at least he has a warm place tonight and some soft food. I was writing about an hour earlier about a dog in my current writing project. The dog in the story was very very sick. Strange that I would come across a similar situation not a mile from work.
UPDATED 5/10/14 – I called to check on the little guy yesterday. The Burlington Humane Society tells me that he is much much better. His feet and nails have been worked on and he is getting a couple hours of walks and play time a day now. One of his hind legs (both were emaciated) sustained an injury before I found him so he’s not as spry as he may have once been but he’s moving better as he gains weight and strength. Someone should look at giving him a nice home so he can live with folks that will love, feed, play with, and protect him. I would take him in (and I still REALLY want to) but my lease only allows two dogs and the inn is full. Here is where you can go if you are interested in contacting for an adoption or if you want to make a donation to help him and others like him.
Link: Burlington, WA Humane Society
This is my morning writing exercise . The idea is to shake the cobwebs out of my brain before I actually attempt to get some semi-coherent and pointed stuff written down. The goal for the day is 1,000 words. Anything more than that is gravy.
I’m excited about some conversations I had last night with a talented artist who I plan to collaborate. He will turn my stick figures and scribbles into some actual cover art. Excited! Maybe I can help color the artwork. I excel at staying inside the lines. We even planned to explore the idea of doing some graphic novels.
Coffee is brewing. Need coffee.
Notes have been hastily collected from the night before after the exhausting sleep I had. Yeah, when your brain is firing out ideas for a writing project it can be tiring being awake and even more so being asleep because I dream up these “great” ideas and try to will my brain to remember it all. I wake up with a memory hangover trying to hold onto the ideas rattling around my brain.
Also I promise to get some work done on this website and blog. The background is pretty stock and there are no links to anything special. Work in progress!
Had to share this…May the 4th be with you! Ha!
UPDATE: Got my 1000 words in. Yay for me. Now to watch the Mariners get spanked by the Astros. How can the worst team in baseball keep beating the Mariners??? Oh, maybe that makes the Mariners the worst team in baseball!
So how does one start their very first blog? How about an introduction to what they are blogging and the reason why others should care. Sounds like a plan, eh?
This blog will be multifaceted. I will scribe notes, observations, roadblocks, and successes in regards to my writing and story telling as I move forward with projects big and small. It is my hope and desire to publish works in the e-book realm soon (think Amazon Kindle etc.)
I am also interested in history, politics, and the world around me so be prepared for my observations on those topics. Understand that my views are my own and are not meant to be offensive. If they are offensive please remember that you are a human being capable of independent thought. If the stove is hot, don’t touch it. If the post is offensive, don’t read that post (but please read some of my others!). Also know that Jack W. Kurtz is a pseudonym. This pseudonym is in use not because I am afraid to stand behind my personal views rather it is to make my day job survivable…the bills are currently paid with my work as a teacher and thinking outside the establishment in that profession is dangerous. Dangerous indeed!