Friday, November 30, 2018

Once Upon A Time...In Farmington

A couple of photos were posted on Facebook by Jim Anderson last week and I found them fascinating. If you're familiar with the social network you know they have groups you can not only join, but create as well. I am part of a group entitled, If You Grew up in Farmington, You Remember...

I did grow up in Farmington and I'm still there. Before the west side of the city exploded, Farmington grew steadily. Each former plot of farmland kept getting turned into homes. We've seen most of the open land in the city limits be turned into subdivisions. I know many people hate that, but I can't complain too much. Years ago, our little family moved to Farmington. We dug up an orchard and built a house. It would be very hypocritical of me to think denying others the same opportunity I got is the best thing for our city. Sure, we're growing and issues come from that. We'll just have to adjust and adapt.

The pictures Jim posted on Facebook are shots of my town taken in 1967. We moved sometime between 1969 and 1970. I was only four or five at the time. What I love about these shots is it shows the city almost how it looked when we moved here. And in the bottom right corner of the top picture, you can barely see an orchard. The house my dad built is just out of frame of the shot, but those trees were part of the property my parents bought. My mom sold that lot after my father passed away.

From these pictures I can see what it looked like on the roads I walked and biked. I see the houses I passed and sometimes visited. I see the school I attended that was torn down decades ago. I can see my friends's houses. I see the church we attended, and where we held funerals for both my parents. I see Lagoon Amusement park, the arcade, the roller coaster, the fun house--all places I visited and haven't seen in almost fifty years.

So much has changed. What amazes me is that tomorrow I can climb the mountain and look down from almost that exact vantage point and take pictures of what the valley looks like right now. Then in fifty years these pictures can be posted and shown to others and they will be amazed that the valley at one time looked like that. They'll have the same reaction I have when I look at these pictures. 

I love that.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"All Made Of Hinges"...A New Mormon Steampunk Anthology


A new anthology is now available. It's guaranteed to be like nothing you've read before. It's called All Made of Hinges, and it's an anthology of Latter-Day Saint steampunk stories.

Like I said, it's like nothing you've read before.

There's an interesting story about this collection. The call went out for submissions. Apparently a lot of us wanted to share their Mormon steampunk stories that not only did they gather enough for one volume, they actually filled three. The first edition was released this week. In the coming months the other two books will be available. I submitted a story that was accepted and I believe it will be in the third book.

Because it's so new, I have not read any of the stories, but I do know most of the authors personally and have read other things they have written. I'm especially excited to read Christopher McAfee's The Machinations of Angles. Chris and I met in the mid-1980s when we both lived in Denmark. Over the years we've run into each other occasionally, mostly at Salt Lake's Comic Con and FanX conventions. I introduced Chris to many of my author friends and now he's in an anthology. I am excited for him.

If you are interested in the book, you can order the e-book right now! Just click: HERE to access the Amazon page. When the other editions are available I'll blog about them, too--especially the one that has my little story. For now, though, please order All Made Of Hinges. Those unique stories are just waiting for you to read them!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Parcast's "Assassinations" Podcast...A New View Of History

Back in the day I listened to a lot of podcasts. I still do, but not as many as before. Back then I used to try new ones all the time as well. I would get really excited for a new one, but as time went on, I ended up unsubscribing to many of them. It's more difficult than it sounds to keep any creative project interesting for years and years.

I heard about a new podcast this week called Assassinations. It's from Parcast, a network that specializes in scripted, story-driven programing that informs and entertains. Assassinations is only three episodes old and earlier this week, I listened to them all. They focused on one of the most famous assassinations in modern history, the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

JFK was shot almost two years to the day before I was born, and only a week before my brother was born. I don't have a personal connection to the event, but I know my parents were interested in it. When we cleaned out my parent's house after my mother passed away we found copies of the Salt Lake Tribune from November 22, 1963 to November 29, 1963. They did not keep of copy of November 30, 1963--the day my brother was born. Too bad. It would be fun to have a copy of the local paper printed the day you were born.

I liked the podcast. It goes into detail the backstories of the main characters, JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby. The narration is engaging, not dull. It highlights their lives before the event, and it goes into detail about what happened in Dallas decades ago. If you like history, check out Parcast's Assassinations. You can access the episodes by clicking: HERE.

I don't know if I'll be listening to this podcast in a few years. Another reason people stop listening to the episodes is because many podcasts don't make it. I'd like to think that if this one does make it and continues for years to come, I'll be listening to it. As long as the stories follow the network's mantra of providing scripted, story-driven programming that informs and entertains, I'll be a listener.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Game For The Ages...Unbelievable!

There were over forty-six thousand people at Rice Eccles Stadium last Saturday night.

I don't think any of us could have guess what would happen over the next four hours, and if they said they did, they'd be lying.

What a ride!

Most of us wore red. Those wearing blue were interspersed throughout the crowd. My friend Bob took me to the game as an early birthday present. I had planned on watching from the comfort of my home. For some reason, the game was scheduled to begin at 8pm late November. It snowed earlier in the day, but that night, the clouds vanished and the temperature dropped. We bundled up in layers and headed off.

Still--I hadn't been to a game in years. Getting to watch one of the true rivalries in all of college football live is an opportunity one should not pass up if possible.

The teams stormed the field, the coin was tossed, the ball was placed, the kickoff started the game. And then it all hit the fan.

I blogged before the game Saturday. I wrote that I did not know what was going to happen. I even stated that I wanted to be happy if BYU won--I'd be happy for their fans, their players, and their coaches.

For three quarters of football, those words kept playing in my mind, because it looked like that's exactly what was going to happen. BYU was mopping the floor with Utah. With only a few seconds left in the third quarter, BYU led 27-7. They were finally going to win--the streak was coming to an end.

Then, the wheels came off.

And a team that had not only been in control all game, but dominating blew a twenty point lead and Utah won the game, 35-27. It was unbelievable. And when the Cougars failed to reach the Utah 48-yard line in four downs with less than a minute remaining, it was all over and the streak instantly became a year longer.

At halftime Bob and I joked about leaving. It was cold, the Utes were getting hammered, but we remained. And we were a witness to history.

I did feel bad for my friends in blue. It was the worst way to lose a game--having a win so close and then having it ripped away. I was already resigned to feeling happy for BYU for their win. In the end, though, the emotional roller coaster that was the game stopped and we all went home, most were over the moon happy--the others felt the exact opposite.

Thanks Bob for the birthday present. Thanks to the Utes for showing real gumption and never giving up. Thanks to BYU for playing their hearts out and helping to make the game one spectacular event. And next year it'll happen all over again.

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Shell Game" Is Coming...You Like Playing Games, Don't Ya?

Back in the 1990s I was an extra a couple of times for a few projects being filmed in Salt Lake. I couldn't devote a lot of time to it because I had a full-time job to consider and a new family to support. 

In the 2000s, I wrote a screenplay that was turned into a short film. I wrote a few other stories but never pursued getting them made.

This decade I was in a local commercial and last Friday, a friend asked for help on a little project they were filming. Since I had the day off, I thought I'd ask if he needed me. Turns out, he did. Turns out, we filmed a very short scene called, Shell Game.

I wasn't sure what the story was about, other than it was a mobster story. I dressed in a nice suit. I had no idea what character I'd be playing. I was cast as a bad mobster (as apposed to a good mobster...). When I got the message they'd like to use me, I didn't know what my lines would be or how many I'd have. That's because the script wasn't written until a few hours before we began filming.

It turns out, we had a blast doing it.

I knew Nathan, the director/writer/other bad mobster. I did not know Chelsea, Hawk, or Geoffrey. Having not worked on a lot of films, I found myself over-emoting. On the stage, your motions/your facial expressions need to be big so even the back row can see. It took a few takes for me to incorporate the director's/cameraman's direction of, "be subtle." I hope I did a good job.

We ended the evening gathered at a local eatery, Granny Annie's--everyone, that is, except Chelsea who had to leave early. The shoot was quick, efficient, and we were paid in food. What a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Once again, I don't know how much time I can dedicate to this type of project. I don't have a lot of experience in the industry--everyone involved in Shell Game has been involved in many more projects. They each have more IMDb credits to their name than me (which is not difficult as I have only one IMDb credit...), and Chelsea blows us all out of the water. I would like to do more of this--of course, I don't know if I'm any good so it remains to be seen if I would be hired for any projects. Still, it's immensely satisfying work, and who knows--some day I might be doing more and more of this type of thing. Time will tell.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Missing Those Amazing Danish Christmas Decorations...

I didn't realize it at the time, but what I saw when I lived in Denmark back in the mid-1980s would be something I'd not see again, at least haven't seen since. Not realizing things at the time is not new with me--as I get older, I'm noticing things I missed when I was younger and wish I had appreciated them back in the day.

What was it that I haven't seen in over thirty years? The way the Danes decorate for Christmas.

I'm sure Denmark is not unique in how they decorate. I imagine other European cities do the same, but what I loved and miss is the way they string lighted decorations over the narrow streets between the buildings. I did a quick google search and found a couple of examples, one from, one from, and one from I believe these pictures are from Copenhagen, but I remember seeing this type of decor in Århus as well. I lived in Copenhagen the first Christmas I lived in Denmark and Århus the second Christmas.

I live in the western part of the United States. Whereas the cities in Europe have limited space, cities out west have room to spare, or at least, they did when they were first organized. We don't have narrow streets like they do in Europe. I guess you could string huge decorations between buildings here, but the effect wouldn't be the same. There's something charming, whimsical, endearing about how Christmas looks in Denmark and I love it and I miss it.

One day I might make it back to the land of the vikings during Jul. But even if I don't, thinking back about how that cold dark country looked at Christmas is a warm and wonderful memory.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Heading To The Game Tonight...Have No Idea What Will Happen

If things go as planned, I will be attending the state's biggest football game tonight. I'm writing this before I go because, due to the game's late starting time, it's going to be well past midnight when I get home and I make sure to always post my daily blog before midnight (hence, a daily blog...).

So, right now, I have no idea what's going to happen or who's going to win.

The oddsmakers, Vegas, your average fan--they all agree Utah has the edge over BYU this year. My head agrees with this assessment, but my guts, they're annoyingly interrupting my train of thought. There's something about tonight's game that is not necessarily making me nervous, but causing me to think this one's no a sure thing.

This year, as with every year, there are subplots and side stories to add color to an already colorful game. There seems to always be players who grew up rooting for one team then found themselves wearing the opposing team's uniforms when it came time to play. This year, those players happen to be the highest profile players in the game. It all adds to the tension, the drama.

I'm still a Utah Man at heart. I suppose I always will be. Having gone there, graduating from there, it's a part of me. For years I was not a BYU fan. Many times I even rooted for whatever team was playing the Y to come out ahead. 

Time have changed.

I think/hope it's because I'm older or more mature--whatever the reason, I have had a change of heart, especially after the school in Provo showed such support for the University of Utah student athlete Lauren McCluskey, who was killed earlier this year. BYU and other schools showed their support by wearing red and U of U gear. They didn't have to--no one made them do it, and I know many of those athletes dislike the U with a very real hatred. Yet, they put that aside because the life of a student should be more important than a rivalry.

I hope I've come to the point where if BYU wins tonight's game, sure I'll be disappointed, but I hope I can be happy for their program and their fans. They're a good school. They have players/coaches who are good people, and after seven straight losses, a win would be that much sweeter.

But I still hope Utah wins. Here's to a good game where everyone plays hard, the refs are as fair as they can be, and no one gets hurt. For a Utah Man am I--Go Utes!!

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Little Known...Amazing Story

Earlier this month the world celebrated the the one-hundred year anniversary of World War One ending. Even though I wasn't born until the 1960s, I feel a connection to earlier generations. My father was born six years after that war ended. Many of my adult role models lived through the Great Depression and several wars.

I spent the weekend before Veterans Day this year on the internet looking at sites, checking out stories. One story popped up on Twitter that I had never heard of before. It involved the WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker.

But something embedded inside the story caught my attention and made me think about more than just the war, more than just the story of a pilot witnessing the end of a horrible time in humanity's history.

What struck me most about the story is the way the soldiers acted once the war had officially ended. One moment they were killing each other, and because of a decision made by others, they emerged from their trenches they began hugging and dancing and celebrating. I find it amazing that humans have the capacity to both love each other and kill each other. It's all a matter of choice.

The story reminded me of not just the evil in us, but also the good and that we can be good. Hopefully, given the choice, we'll choose good.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Say "Hi" To Vector...It's Our Future

The other day I was killing time scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across a video. It was basically an advertisement for a little robot. I know the ad's purpose was to make me want to buy one of these little guys, but it left me with a different reaction.

It kind of creeped me out.

The product is called Vector and he's a small cute robot that is programmed to interact with its human owners in a personal way. The ad opened with its practicality. It can be a timer, an information resource (what time is it, what temperature is it outside, etc...). Then the video explains how this little gadget isn't just a motorized version of SIRI, it's a lot more.

This thing interacts, it craves attention, and it learns as it goes. As I watched the video it made me think that this little guy is supposed to be amazing and helpful and fun. But I think it's also supposed to be a legitimate companion for people, a way to interact with something--anything.

My mind projected. Today it's a little robot that rolls around on a table or desk. Tomorrow, the robots will mostly look, act, move, interact just like us. It's only a matter of time. 

Back when smartphones were new, not everyone had them. As time progressed society evolved to the point where nearly everyone has a smartphone. I see the day coming fairly quickly where everyone will have these personal robots that not just vacuum the floor but will talk to you, comfort you when you're sad, and tell you jokes to lighten the mood.

It's just a matter of time.

If you want to know more about this little gizmo, you can watch a different video: HERE. Maybe you'll have a different reaction to it than I did. I hope so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Being Thankful In 2018...

This morning, before I went to work, I spotted one of our cats in the sink waiting for us to turn on the water so he could get a drink.

What does this have to do with Thanksgiving?

Good question.

We have four pets living under our roof, four animals that are under our care. Without us, the cats might be able to survive on their own--cats are good at things like that. The dogs, however, well...they seem to need people more than the cats.

I have no idea what the pets think about us. If they even understand the concept of thankfulness, it's on a very basic level. But we're thankful for them. They can be pains sometimes, but their good points far exceed their bad. 

That's the way things go. We appreciate things, but only so far. We probably won't appreciate the pets until they're no longer with us. The trick is to be grateful for what you have while you have it.

Tomorrow we gather and eat and talk and nap and maybe watch some football on TV. The cats and dogs will do all that, too. Except they won't understand football and they'll nap more than we will. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, everyone, including your furry ones.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

An Unexpected...And Beautifully Touching Gift

It's the season for giving, and receiving, gifts. For us, it started before Thanksgiving, but a better gift I can hardly imagine.

My wife lost her father this past summer. He had been in poor health for years and the end came relatively quick. When a person has declined for so long and they pass away, we can take some comfort in knowing they're no longer in pain, that their ailing body no longer incarcerates their soul.

There are many things that remind me of my father-in-law. My oldest drives his Ford Taurus to school, work, and on dates. I moved his desk into the basement and work there from home, and now that it's turning cold, I wear his winter coats. Last week I found myself thinking of him, his wonderfully dry humor, his kind nature, and I found myself missing him.

Then, the package arrived.

Most packages we get are addressed to my son--he's the one who orders most things in our house. But this package was addressed to my wife and me. We opened it up and discovered it came from my wife's oldest sister and her husband. They sent a box from the Western Nut Company. It's a local business that has been delicious nut concoctions for decades. The second we opened the box, I thought of Blaine. He loved Western Nut Company and their goods. He always ordered a box for the holidays--it was tradition.

I showed my wife the box, and when we read the accompanying card, we both got misty. It will be the family's first Christmas without their patriarch. The incredibly thoughtful gift made us realize what a fine man he was and what we're going to be missing. It also made us realize that, in some small way, he'll be with us after all.

Monday, November 19, 2018

NOT Doing A Show This Christmas...

On social media I was reminded this past week that I've been doing a lot of Christmas shows. One of my pictures I took six years ago popped up and I was asked if I wanted to share the memory.

So, in the past six years, I've done five Christmas shows, two versions of Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol (that took up three shows...), an original production of Babes in Toyland, and a stage play of It's a Wonderful Life. It's been so normal for me to be in a show at Christmas, I've forgotten what it's like not to be in a show.

For example, I have so much more time, not only for Christmas, but for Thanksgiving. This week I'll be home when I'm not at work. I can help get the house/meal ready and I can help with all the other things that seem to pop up this time of year, things I couldn't do in years past.

Last weekend my wife, mother-in-law, and I went to my daughter's performance at Weber State University. The difference between her show and the shows we've been doing each Christmas is her college show only had three performances. The shows I've been doing at Christmas took two months of rehearsals and one month actually doing the show. We watched the show and afterwards, I helped tear down the set. That reminded me of being in a show, too.

There are times when I miss being in shows, but having all this extra time is pretty fantastic. I'm looking forward to not being at the theater until midnight or later all this week. I look forward to having every night and weekends free. The theater's Christmas show opens Friday. I wish them well.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Jim Hansen...My Friend's Father Passed Away

Jim Hansen, southwestern Utah's congressman for 20 years, dies at 86*

There were lots of deaths this month, lots of deaths. Some rocked the world, others not so much. But each death is personal, intimate, singular. This month Stan Lee and William Goldman passed away, two entertainment giants.

Last Wednesday Jim Hansen, or James Hansen, died. He was my US Congress representative for twenty years. He was our congregational leader before that. And, perhaps most importantly, he was a childhood friend's father.

I doubt the man knew me personally. It's possible he might have known my father. Our town was so much smaller then. In our religion a group of congregations (or wards...) is called a Stake. Stakes have leaders called Stake Presidents. When we first moved to Farmington, our town was not big enough to have a Stake. When we finally got one, Jim Hansen was chosen as the first Stake President. 

Then he was elected to congress.

My wife and I had a discussion last week about politics and how being a member of congress would be tough. You're always making promises that you either can't keep or never intended on keeping in the first place. And Mr. Hansen ran and won for ten elections.

As we get older more and more of my friend's parents are leaving us. Most won't be famous screenwriters or comic book creators, but to those that know them most, that doesn't matter. The pain is personal, intimate, singular.

Jim Hansen was one of the leaders of the community in more ways than one. He accomplished a lot in his eighty-six years. Many will miss him, but none more than his closest family. God speed, leader, congressman, father.

* Photo credit from The Spectrum:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Utah's Autumn Skies...

Since I work from home, I've been able to see the sunsets before they disappear instead of appreciating them from a bus or train and being unable to photograph them. 

And I do love a good Utah autumn sunset.

Over the past few weeks I've taken a lot of pictures of the western skies. Of course, some are better than others, but each time I aimed my phone or Nikon westward, I saw something beautiful in front of me. I did my best to capture what I saw. Hopefully, these pictures gives you an idea of just what the western skies this November.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Inhalers...Even They've Evolved

Last week I got a new friend, a friend that traveled with me, went to work with me, accompanied me hither and yon. 

It was a shiny new inhaler.

Yes, the symbol of asthmatics and geeks everywhere--it was my new friend.

When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with asthma. I wasn't really sure what that meant because, as a kid, I was very active. I ran, biked, swam, hiked--you know, basic kid stuff. As I grew up I learned more about asthma and I wondered if I ever had asthma. Rarely was I short of breath when I ran or biked, swam or hiked.

As I grew older, I found that having an inhaler was a good idea. The problem with having an inhaler (and with most prescription medicines I take...) is I don't take them very often. I'll put them in a bathroom drawer and they'll sit--sometimes for years. This last week I visited the doctor and they prescribed an inhaler, the first one I've had in maybe a decade.

I dug up the old one and saw there's quite a bit of new technology--okay, maybe one big change and some minor ones. I thought it was really cool that it has a counter on the back so I'll know how many more puffs are inside. Of course, if I stop using it now and don't use it for ten years, the counter will still show medicine inside, even though it'll most likely be expired by then.

Sometimes it's the little details that get my attention. I wonder if they'll even exist in another decade. Time will tell.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Just A Thursday Afternoon...At The Local Dog Park

We were told, when we adopted a poodle, that the breed loves to run. Some suggest you'll need to run--not walk or stroll, but run--several miles with the dog everyday.

Um...don't think so.

I mean, we love the dog and we do our best to give him the exercise he needs. We can tell when he gets enough exercise--he crashes at night, and that's just plain glorious.

This afternoon we loaded up the pup and drove down to our local dog park. We timed it so we'd show up when we thought other dog owners would be getting off work and wanting to take their dog for a run.

We hit the puppy jackpot!

We stayed for a little more than a half hour. Except for a canine collision that involved several dogs, our dog had a blast. He gingerly walked around for a bit, then resumed the chase. We stayed a little bit longer, dogs came and dogs went, each with an owner, each loving to run and run.

It came our turn to go so we gathered our puppy and we all jumped in the minivan. A few hours later we knew we had worn out the dog. He barely lifted his head as we prepared dinner. Usually, he's tracking between our legs and under the chairs in search for dropped cheese.

Yes, the dog park was a hit. We will visit often.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Just A Power Line Tower...Or A Memorial?

Before it got cold, after work I would take the puppy out for a walk. There's a new scar on the hillside just north of us. Soon, houses will blanket the street and families will begin memories of their own in the new homes and new neighborhoods.

On the ridge, where the road levels out, a power line tower stands like a sentinel overseeing all who venture up the hill. The other night I timed it perfectly to capture the setting sun behind the tower and a tree at its base. To everyone driving up or walking up or riding up the hill, it's just a tower of metal that allows electricity to flow along the lines, electricity running to power homes, to power computers, to charge electric cars, to provide light, and perhaps quite literally, life itself to those down the line.

But to me, the tower will always remind me of something else.

Something terrible. Something horrible.

It's where I saw a boy die.

There's a lot I remember about that day. I remember my cousins were in town and we were up in our orchard east of the house my father was building pulling weeds. Back in 1971 we had only been in the house less than a year and we had already planted an orchard full of fruit trees. There might have been a vegetable garden between the trees, too. That detail is a little fuzzy.

It was summer, so it was probably hot. And I'm sure I would have rather been doing anything else other than weeding on the side of a mountain. But we were out there.

I was five years old.

We heard it first, a sizzle, a buzz, the sound of electricity. We all stopped and looked from where the sound came. It came from the tower. I saw a bright light focused in a single spot.

Then I saw the body fall.

We stopped working and hiked toward the tower. Halfway up the hill we were met by some kids, teenagers. They stopped us. It wasn't me who talked to them, but the adults, my mom, older cousins. They told us there had been an accident and there was nothing we could do to help. We found out later the boy who died was Angus Richins.

He had eight years old months before.

We knew him--he was my brother's age. The town was so much smaller then. Angus had a brother my age and it rocked the small town, and especially us kids.

Standing on the ridge, watching the sun set behind the tower, I remembered that warm June day in 1971 and what happened on that very spot. It's been decades, but I still remember. And I doubt anyone moving in will ever know that a curious child who liked to climb things was electrocuted and fell from the tower they'll see everyday. For everyone else, it'll be just a tower. For me, it's a memorial.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jodi L. Milner's "Stonebearer's Betrayal"...Available Now!


I've only experienced it a couple of times, that feeling when a book you wrote, or a book with a story you wrote in it, goes on sale. There's so many "firsts" when you've reached that point. You've experienced the thrill of getting "the call," or "the e-mail" letting you know someone wants to publish something you've written. There's the first time you see the cover, and there's not many things that can compare with holding a physical copy of a book you wrote and that others can now read.

A friend and fellow Immortal Works Press author Jodi L. Milner is going through that thrill today because her novel, Stonebearer's Betrayal is finally available for everyone to check out, and more importantly, buy. Click: HERE to access the Amazon page.

Here's a write-up of what's inside Stonebearer's Betrayal:

Archdemoness Wrothe stirs the ashes from a long dead war, rekindling a fire that threatens to burn the world. Only the legendary Stonebearers of the Khandashii have the power to stop her, if they catch wind of her plans in time. Katira didn’t believe the legends. She didn’t believe a person could alter the fabric of reality or live forever. She didn’t believe in the dark mirror realm or in the dangerous creatures prowling there either.

That was before the first shadow hound came for her.

If this sound like a story you'd love to read, please click on the above link and order Stonebearers Betrayal today!

Yes, getting the news, holding the book, having the release day arrive--they're all amazing, but having someone pick up the story and read it until it becomes a part of them, well...that's just wonderful.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Well Done...Real Salt Lake!!

Their season ended yesterday, an underdog team facing the best in the west. They fought hard, battled back, but in the end, didn't have enough to pull off another miracle.

Too bad--I loved rooting for them.

I should admit that I wasn't an active a fan of this year's team as I have been in the past. It could be because I did a play this summer--that's a three-month commitment. I missed watching a lot of games on TV. And, since I never go see them play in person, TV was my only option. I do follow several players and fans on Twitter and it was fun following their progress before, during, and after games.

There's a couple of games that I feel define a team during a season. For me, one of those games took place back on November 1st. An underdog RSL team faced the new kids on the block, Los Angeles FC, a team with glitz, swagger, and those LA fans.

RSL came in and took their thunder, stole if out from under them, and it was glorious. We all wanted a repeat, but it's hard to do the same thing twice.

No, the local boy's season ended in Kansas City.

Too bad--I would have loved to root for them a few more times this year.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day, 2018...It's All About Time

I've been alive for a few big anniversaries. I remember watching TV on July 4th, 1976, and, of course, the whole world watched as the calendar changed from 1999 to the year 2000. Today we celebrated the one-hundred year anniversary of the first great war ending.

I think this one means more to me than the other two.

One could argue which has more meaning, but to me, the Bicentennial was neat, but I was a ten-year old kid. I didn't understand the significance of the United States in the history of the world. And the Year 2000 event was amazing, but it's just a number. If you're a non-Christian, I don't know why you'd celebrate it, and if you are a Christian, many experts agree that it wasn't exactly two-thousand years since Christ was born.

But today means more, because it involves family, and by extension, all of us.

I love watches and I've been fortunate enough to have inherited several from both my father and father-in-law. Since my dad passed away two and a half years before the Bicentennial, his watches are old. My father-in-law had both old and new. At precisely 11am this morning, I pulled out my father-in-law's newest (and most favorite...) watch and filmed it hit 11am exactly. I also took pictures of the two older Bulovas owned by each of them and photographed them, too.

Both men, Dad and Blaine, served their country, my father in WWII, and father-in-law in the Korean War. Both sacrificed. Both survived. I never heard stories about either of their experiences--one because he passed away decades ago, and the other because he didn't like to talk about it. He, too, has left us.

A hundred years ago today a chapter of humanity's darkest history closed, only to be re-opened again and again since. We celebrate the day, express our thanks, then do it all over again a few years later. In the end, it's about time. It's about how we use that time, how we think and treat others. I have watches that are reminders of two great men who gave their time so me and my family could live the life we live now. Thank you Harry and Blaine, and thank you everyone and their families that continue to give of their time for us.