Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sad Story Of Max Josephs...A Short Story

Car and Mountain big

Wednesday Weekly Writing Prompt

Last's week's picture for the weekly writing prompt was great. And so is this week's. Thanks to the great gals for hosting yet another wonderful opportunity to be creative!

Once again, here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog with via the inLinkz linky on the following sites: HERE, and HERE.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
Required Words:

Here goes! Enjoy!


It took Sara 30 minutes of searching to find the picture. "I swear, there's a picture," Sara's mother told her daughter too many times to count. "It's of my grandfather when he worked for the park's department back in the 20's. It's a famous photograph--I think it was in LOOK Magazine. I wish I had the original."
 Sara googled LOOK Magazine and Park Service...nothing. She entered other key words to find the famous photo of her relative with similar results. Nothing seemed to help. After a moment a thought came to her and she tried National magazines U.S. 1920's. Once she saw that TIME Magazine was on the list she thought she had something, and after a few more queries her finger hit Enter a final time and the famous picture shown before her.

"Suspected Killer Hides Out in God's Backyard," Sara mouthed the title to the article. Under the picture were the words: U.S. Park Ranger Dean Stockard Surveys Forest Service Lands Below Mt. Hood In Oregon Where Max Josephs Is Believed Hiding.

Armed with information Sara continued searching. MAX JOSEPHS and KILLER. Google spit out thousands of results. She read and the information fascinated the college student. Max Josephs, a local auto mechanic robbed the town's only restaurant after his wife moved out taking their two-year old daughter with her. When the restaurant's cook confronted Max, he shot him, killing the father of five in cold blood. A manhunt followed. Max eluded capture for several months. The story made front page news across the entire country. Soon people began to wonder if Max would ever be found.

Sara read on, amazed a family member lived through such an interesting chapter in American history. The story concluded. Mr. Josephs, starving and desperate, eventually hiked out of the forest and was shot and killed by police when he resisted arrest. The story's final paragraph struck Sara deeply. "The sad story of Max Josephs should be a lesson for us all. The shedding of many tears could have easily been prevented had only Mr. Josephs followed the Golden Rule. May God have mercy on his soul." 

Yes, mom, Sara thought. Not only is there a famous photo of her great-grandfather, but a pretty good story to boot.

Word Count: 382

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Night, Two Run Throughs--Well, Almost...

Call time is in roughly 1/2 hour. We're running the show twice tonight. It's the last time we have a chance to tweak the show before it's put in front of a real audience, so repetition is not unwanted--dare I say, needed.

I've never been in a show where we've run it twice in one night for a rehearsal...probably because the show is so short. Running the show once can be stressful, especially when things aren't habit.

I'm not home. It's not quite midnight (but it's close...). This week has been something else. Tomorrow's Thursday, my last work day of the week. Only one more 10-hour shift and then, I can finally rest. Goodnight all!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Skiing With My Son...

When I was my son's age I used to go skiing almost every weekend. It was part of our culture. We went to high school, we went to football games in the fall and we skied in the winter. Of course, back then a lift ticket costs around $10, $20 + for the more expensive resorts. All my friends skied. It's what we did. 

In the past 20 years I've skied (counting today...) three times, twice last year and today. I have the opportunity to go skiing with my son. He's gone three times (twice last year and today...) in his entire life. My son's lived a different childhood than the mine. He didn't attend high school. He didn't go to high school football games on Friday nights and he didn't go skiing every weekend.

As I rode up the lift at Snowbasin, I remembered when I first learned to ski. It was on the same run, riding the same lift. I pointed out the "tougher" runs and how we thought we had really made it wen we could ski those tougher runs. It brought back so many memories. But for all the time I spent skiing with friends, for all of my mother's money I spent on lift tickets, I think I'd give it all up to spend the day on the slopes making turns of freshly groomed runs watching my oldest learn how to ski. What a great day!

Monday, February 25, 2013

First Dress Rehearsal...

We just got home. It was a long night. And there are some killer costume changes. But,'s why we do shows.

In a few hours I'll be up in the mountains helping to promote a charity event for scouts. It's a great cause. My day was filled with picking up a large inflatable Yeti, grocery shopping, buying ski equipment, watching some serious traffic and getting home at midnight from the rehearsal, which included a rolled ankle and other surprises.

Good thing I took the day off...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Wonder Of White Chocolate...

Unlike Sheldon Cooper, I do not have an eidetic memory. I can't remember when I first ate white chocolate, but I think I remember that it might have been the best thing I ever tasted--to that point--in my life. Regular chocolate we ate a lot. White was a rare treat.

My father brought home white chocolate for us kids, at least I think it was him. Some of my earliest remembrances are of him working on base. He was a civilian engineer and remained so until he passed away. I remember the base being a big mysterious place for me, the few times I went there as a child. He would bring interesting things home from the base. Was white chocolate one of those interesting things? Probably not, but I'd like to think so.

Today my son gave me a couple of Lindor's chocolates. I tried the first--regular chocolate. It was good, but the gold wrapper contained white chocolate. For an instant I was transported back to when I was about five years old (maybe younger...) and experienced that incredible taste for the first time. And in that moment, I thought of my dad. Funny how memories work...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Decision For Peter...A Short Story

Houston Skyline, from Old MKT Railroad Trestle over White Oak Bayou, near Studemont & I-10, Houston, Texas 0330090947BW

The Weekly Writing Prompt
I loved this week's writing prompt picture, even though I don't feel I did it justice. It's got so much character. If you'd like to participate in the writing prompt, it has a few rules. Here they are:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Wednesday to link up your post.
4) Link up your story at these websites: Carrie's Site, Nicole's Site, and Leanne's Site.
5) Have fun, don't stress, let those creative juices flow.
This week's five words are:
Pocket Watch 


A Decision For Peter

In the white light of morning Peter woke and looked east, toward the source of his pain. He fetched his pocket watch and checked the time. Late again.

He rose, showered, dressed and set out on his quest for validation. Maybe today will be the day where he exercised the ghosts of his past and set events in motion to hopefully secure success in the future. However, cosmic influences plagued Peter before. He expected their return.

Peter left his apartment and walked the four blocks to Chester Square where both train and bus allowed him access to the metropolis where a millions of dreams lived and died at any given moment. Should he take the train? Should he take a bus, or even hail a cab?

The man pondered the question. Like a vegetable he remained at the transportation hub...train? Bus? Train? Bus? Cab? Train? Train? Without inspiration the solitary man turned and walked the four long blocks back to his apartment where he entered and slept for the rest of the day.

Word Count: 177

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Son's Latest...Chapter One

I read the beginning of my son's story and I liked it so I asked him if I could include it for my blog post. He said sure.

Chapter One
A Voice In The Night

“Admiral Noki’s request for surrender was denied, of course,” Sifu Lee said, “And the war raged on for eight more months.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought. Denied surrender, eight months, blah, blah, blah, we get it. I glanced at the clock. The class had started when the big hand reached the Jungle of Six and ended when it reached Twelve Summit. Right now, the big hand was just entering the Valley of Seven. It’s really only been four minutes? I leaned my head on the back of my chair and moaned. I’m never going to make it through this. 

“Pupil Aang?

I shot up. “Yes, Sifu?” 

“Dozing, are we?” 

“Nah, just him,” Sokka said from the back of the room.
“Extra homework. Read chapters one and two of The Soggy Revolution; the Revolution of
the Northern Water Tribe, and brush up on the Fire Stones, we’ll have a test tomorrow.”
Everyone in the class groaned. I was going to get some looks in the cafeteria.

“Okay, if you’ve had your beauty sleep, we’ll continue with the lesson. Now then,
three weeks after the war ended, Ji Long invented the ji-Tone and programmed the ji-Tones
Cyber-market all by him—”

I tuned him out and fished my buzzing sky-blue phone out of my pocket.

            Zu-Zu: How’s sixth period history?
Master Arrowhead: Slower than a snail-mouse.

  Zu-Zu: Can’t be worse than Headmaster Kai’s The World Through Mario cart7 The Paintbrush.

 Master Arrowhead: I don’t doubt it.
 Ty Lee: Sifu Tsu gives us a five minute Webscroll break                                                every day. That gives cheerleading a plus.

Mai: Lucky.
Zu-Zu: Hey, you got a profile Mai?

Mai: Yeah, finally.

Katara: Congratulations.

Headmaster Jeong Jeong: Are you on Webscroll during school hours,                                             students?
Master Arrowhead: Sorry, headmaster.

I stuffed my phone back in my pocket. I wasn’t going to get detention today. I had plans to go to the Ember Island Players with Katara and Sokka.

“And in a manner of three months,” Sifu Lee continued. “Everyone in the Earth kingdom had bought a ji-Talk.”

The lunch bell rang and everyone got up and grabbed their backpacks..

“Huh?” I said, looking at the clock again. 12:00. Time flies when you’re on Webscroll, I guess. I stood up and gathered my things.

“Remember, class, thanks to sleepyhead here, we’ll be having a test on the War of the Fire Stones tomorrow.”

Everyone grumbled and walked out the door.

As I was walking out, someone pulled on the back of my shirt. I fell on my back and papers flew everywhere. Sifu Lee leaned over his desk. “Is there a problem, pupil Aang?”

Giggles rang through the hall. I sat up and looked behind me. “Hey,” I said. “What’s the matter with—” I stopped. There weren’t any feet. No one was standing there. “—Nobody.”

“Is there a problem, pupil Aang?” Sifu Lee asked again. “Is your head alright?” “Yeah,” I managed. “Yeah, I’m fine.
“Okay, off to lunch with you then.”
I stood up, picked up my papers and walked to the cafeteria.

Lu dropped a glop of scrambled Turtle-duck eggs on my tray. No, they didn’t taste any better than the janitor’s favorite floor wax, but anything was better than roasted Eel-hound.

As I walked to my table, a green blur thwacked my right leg. I turned and saw the school bullies, Chit Sang and Jet, each holding a light green ball.

“No!” Lu screamed. “My cabbages!”

“Thugs,” I said, putting my tray down on the nearest table. Turning toward the bullies, I flicked my wrist up and bent the ground underneath them just enough throw them off balance and send falling to the floor. Their faces landed in their food. I smirked, picked up my tray, and walked to my table.

“Mmm,” Ty Lee said, snarfing down her Eel-hound. “I feel bad for you, Aang.” “Why?” I asked, sitting at the edge of the table next to Zuko.
“You’re a vegetarian. You can’t eat this stuff.”
“Well,” I took a bite of eggs. “I can, I just choose not to.”

“Yeah, okay.”
“Hey, Aang?” Sokka asked, walking over to the table. “What was that back in history? “I don’t know, something grabbed the back of my shirt.”
“What? What happened?” Katara asked

Sokka gestured to me with his head. “He fell down on the way out of class.”
“You okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine, I just-something grabbed the back of my shirt.” I took another bite of my

eggs. “You exited for the Ember Island Players tonight?” “Oh yeah.”

“What?” Zuko asked. “I thought you hated them.” “I do, but they’re fun to make fun of.”

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some Downtown Art...

On a break today I took a little walk. Actually I was looking for a place that would sell a cheaper hot chocolate than the one I bought at a place I visited the first day at the new job. I walked around the block in search of cheap hot chocolate and found...not one. 

Of course, I didn't actually go into any of the eateries that were on my walking tour, so they may have served hot chocolate. Maybe one day I'll find out.


I did see several painted walls. There are many closed shops around where I work and the local artists have put their talents to good use. I liked this one--the family tree. Some of the drawings were really cool.

Maybe next time I'll take more pictures of the other painted walls. I guess I'll need to take more walking breaks...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Those Funny I/M's...

I keep things. It's a good thing we have a small house because I'd probably just cram it full of stuff. Like my e-mail mailbox (or boxes...). They're quite full. I really should go through and delete most of them, but I keep thinking I'll need to re-read them at some point in the future--even though I know I won't.

Getting to the point...I keep my phone I/M's too. I thought I'd just include portions of some of the I/M conversations over the past couple of months. I've tried to hide the names, but you may be able to figure out who I/M'd.

I sure hope you can figure out who sent me this one!

Who knows? Maybe I'll do this again sometime...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In One Week...

Frederick Douglass

In One Week You Can Help Change Lives

I know I've written several blog posts for the Vertical Challenge that takes place one week from today, but this one meant a lot to me. The quote by Frederick Douglass is so appropriate and I'm so honored to be associated with such a noble activity. The people behind the challenge are truly doing it for others. Here's the latest post on the Vertical Challenge.

Frederick Douglass

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men, Frederick Douglass

We may never know the impact we have on others. A seemingly inconsequential action could forever change the life of someone else, someone we may never meet. Greater still is the impact we can have in the lives of children--be they ours or others. On Tuesday, February 26, 2013 you have an opportunity to do just that. You can help change a child's life.

In one week Bob's Vertical Challenge will return again to Snowbasin Ski Resort for its 6th anniversary. All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to ScoutReach, the charity arm for the Trapper Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

In the previous five years, Bob's Vertical Challenge has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to benefit children who would otherwise be denied life-changing experiences.

The Vertical Challenge is just that--an attempt for a team of four skiers/snowboarders to complete the assigned runs. Once completed, your team will have skied/snowboarded over 100,000 vertical feet! Don't stop there! After you've conquered the challenge, see how many vertical feet your team can reach. Each team participant will be equipped with a GPS unit compliments of Flaik and results are tabulated in real time! Please join us Tuesday, February 26 at Snowbasin Ski Resort for a great day on the slopes with your friends, family, and co-workers. Registration is easy. Just go to our REGISTER page and sign up a team today!

Each year events come and go--events to support one cause or another. On February 26 you'll have a chance to really make a difference in the life of a child. For additional details and sponsorship information, please contact Andrea at: or call Knox Capital Group at: 801.447.4200. See you there!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A New Blog And Everything...

It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but I could never really justify it. I know they say if you want to be a real writer, you should get your domain name secured and create a website. Today was the day I made mine. Here's the link: Not the most original thing, but, the goal is to direct people to you via the web.

It's amazing how easy it is to create a website. I've created several free ones (this one on Blogger and two others on WordPress...). I'm using Fat Cow to host and WordPress to build the blog.

There's not much on the new site--mostly links to my other blogs. However, don't let the lack of heft on this site deter you from visiting! You know you want to check it out! So do!

This is another step I'm taking on my quest to sit on my tail all day and write for myself (as opposed to sitting on my tail all day on the computer for someone else...). I know I share this dream with literally  millions of other people. Today, I'm just a little bit closer.

You gone there yet? Just trying to help, that's all...

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Friday morning I had an I/M conversation with my editor. It went something like this...

"Have you thought about _______?"

"I've considered several things."

"May I suggest ______."

"Wow! I hadn't considered ______, but I can see where making those changes will make _____ and ______ and it will add more to the story and make more sense."

So, after many more I/M's...

"Good, so when can you get those changes to me?"


Sure...Monday morning sounds great."

Couple of things...first--I'm still geeking out that I'm able to write the following sentence. "Friday morning I had an I/M conversation with my editor..." I've never had an editor before.

And second, I had only part of Friday and part of Saturday to do some major editing. I stayed up last night working on the story. Once the clock struck midnight I stopped. I made a decision back in grad school that I wouldn't do any writing (for profit or potential profit...) or homework on Sundays. The process has served me well so far.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up early...or I might stay up late and do some editing after midnight tonight...and work on my project. I hope I'm making progress.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Utah Fan Is He...

I've got one week under my belt at my new job and I've notice some things. Some things are subtle, but some are not. In the cubicle next to mine sit a University of Utah fan. He's not subtle.

How can I tell? It's pretty obvious, really. It's like the University of Utah threw up on his cubicle. He's got the usual things, posters from the football team, the gymnastics team, the women's basketball team. He's also got miniature figurines of both the Huntsman Center where the Utes play basketball and the Rice-Eccles Stadium where the Utes play football.

In addition, he's got a red skull...not sure if that's connected to the school (other than its color...). Also, he has signed posters from at lest one of the Ute's teams and another signed photo from the football coach. It's quite impressive.

Unless you're not a Utah fan. My former supervisor is one such person. He roots for another team, a team with colors very much opposite of red (or crimson...). He roots for the other team, the blue team. In the week since I began at my new job I've walked all around the floor where I work...there's not a lot of blue to be found.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Bitter Sun...A Hazy Sky...A Short Poem


The Weekly Writing Prompt

It's time again for me to tackle the above picture and the below words. This week was a challenge so I thought I'd write a poem. I'm not one who writes much poetry (as you may find out...), but it was fun and I do these weekly writing prompts because they're first and foremost fun.

Here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday at midnight to link up your post.
4) Go to these sites: HERE and HERE. Add your blog post via the inLinkz linky on the site.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

This week's words are: 

So, here goes!
A Bitter Sun...A Hazy Sky

A hazy sky mocks me--forces me to ask myself the questions I fear. Should I run? Should I fight? Should I lay down my head on a carpet of grass? Feel nature on my skin? I search the depths of my soul for answers that do not come, a definition of understanding in a void of black.

The bitter sun fights to be seen. I crave its rays like a sponge--they fill me, I answer their call. The humidity tries to engulf me and shroud me with a wardrobe of mist. But I resist. And I win.

I must now eat pudding.

Word Count: 109

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Pretty Classy Move...

Last night at rehearsal, a cast member--we'll call him, Joe--brought a gift for all the female members of the the cast and crew. And I thought, what a classy move!

I also thought, why don't I think of things like that? I'm a creative guy. I like to think that I care about other's feelings. I've been married for 20 years (I may have just answered my own question...). 


It was such a simple thing, too. A single flower, even the little girls in the cast (including my daughter...), received a rose. The director was blown away by the gesture.

As it happens with such things, I'll bet the giver drew more satisfaction from giving than the women did from receiving.

In hindsight, I don't know if I would have chosen several dozen long-stemmed roses as a gift for all the ladies. Other cast members brought Valentine's Day cupcakes for everyone (and they were pretty good...). That sounds more my style.

But one thing's for sure...last night at the theater, Joe (we'll call him, Joe...) was the king.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some Things, Have Changed...

This new job is consuming my thoughts (which is strange considering the show I'm in opens in just over two weeks, the charity ski event takes place in a week and a half, and massive work on the short story that's going to be published next month needs to be done as soon as possible...). Why do so many thing sometimes converge at once?

The new job is a bit strange. Maybe it's the way things are done at my new job that I find interesting. Things have changed since I last worked in this building. One thing that surprised me is seeing many many workers walking around texting on their phones. Now, you may be thinking that perhaps these people are playing games, or some other non-work related activity. Personally, I don't think so. Many assignments and calendar events are communicated through cell phones. They're working.

Everyday this week we've had a team meeting from 1pm to 5pm. It's been interesting. Of course, I am working with a bunch of computer geniuses and they're...well, different. I guess some things have changed and I just need to get used to it...