Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Another One For the Books

Hello, all, and welcome to a new post.  I've been trying to make up for the months I couldn't work on my current book.  Five months of not writing because you have no predictable schedule, and are away from home for days at a time creates quite the bout of writers block.  I am back at it though, averaging 1,200 words a day.  Although today I wrote nearly 3,000.  It's not done yet, and I plan on doing a much more thorough editing job this time around.  What I need for that is a new printer.  My old one had crapped out, and though it still works from time to time, it is not compatible with Windows 8.1, so a new one is needed.  That said, with no actual funds in my bank account, it would be great if more people would buy Daemon Infiri.  It's still available on Amazon, at only $2.99!

     With that out of the way, let me get to what's eating at me.  The last couple of months have been hard, trying to find work in this tiny town.  All I want is a full time, first shift, non back breaking job.  Unfortunately, being a small town based on on nothing but retail and failing industry, trying to find something that isn't going to make me want to commit a rash act of homicide isn't very easy, as most jobs are 2nd or 3rd shift, and in crappy working conditions.  Though I'm not the murderous type, I just can't bring myself to go back into retail.  I spent enough time working in a mall where I grew up.  Especially during this time of year, I refuse to get into retail, since 24/7 XMas muzak is enough to drive any sane person over the edge.  It's one thing to spend about an hour in a place shopping.  It's quite another thing working an eight hour shift listening to the same 45 minute loop of strangled holiday music 10 times a day.  Anybody who's worked in an environment like that knows what I'm talking about.
     Then there are temp agencies.  In a major metropolis, temp agencies can be a blessing in disguise, as there are thousands upon thousands of jobs they fill as either temporary, or temp to hire.  In a town this size (less than 70,000 people) those temp agencies really only serve an average of 10-20 companies.  In this economy, all the online job searches I do link me to jobs that one temp agency or another is handling.  Mind you, I have a bad back, and I've been told by several places that they'd never be able to place me in a job because of that.  When I've told them that I have a lot of office experience, and managerial experience, they basically laugh at me, and tell me that they only ever put women in those openings.  I'm all for equality for women, but what a joke to be told that I can't possibly be put into a "womans" job.
      One day I found a fire/flood restoration gig online.  You guessed it, through a temp agency.  I'd applied as a carpenter, as I also happen to have a lot of wood working experience, but I got the job as a cleaner instead.  Well work is work, so I took it.  That lasted a whole three and a half days.  I showed up to work on the fourth day, only to be told that the job was nearly completed, and the crew had been cut in half.  That was it, as I never got called back.  So I went back on the job hunt, and came across exactly the kind of private sector job I've been looking for in the four years I've been living here.  And, it wasn't through a temp agency!  I applied, got called, interviewed, and had a really good feeling about it.  I'd be working with my hands again, building custom things, and making decent money again.  I was told I'd hear back the next week, as there were still many people to interview.  So one week later, I called back, just to remind them that I was still alive, and looking forward to working for them.  I had to do that via cell phone voicemail.  When I didn't hear back by noon the next day, I went back online.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the job posting again, clicked on it, and found that they'd edited it, adding 'Any applicant who calls the company unscheduled will be immediately disqualified from the application process.'  What the hell?  So there went that chance.
     So here I am, back in the holiday season, completely broke, and trying to hang on to hope.  Hope that I'll ever make it out of here.  Out of my parent's house (at least I don't live in the basement!), out of this tiny town, and out of this state.
      Well maybe I'll find a job before years end.  Maybe I'll even finish Mike's Eye before years end.  Though that seems doubtful, as I intend to do an edit and rewrite.  So, maybe that'll be done before next Easter.  I guess you'll have to wait and see on that one.  If you're really looking forward to reading a new book by me, please let me know in the comment section!
     Until the next time, I hope you enjoy(ed) turkey day, and had good eats, listened to your favorite music, enjoyed your beverage of choice, spent time with family and or friends, and didn't forget to laugh at least a little bit!  Peace out, y'all!

Friday, 3 October 2014

October Blues (again)

     Hello, all!  Just so you know, I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands again, so I expect I will be finishing Mike's Eye sooner than later.  With that said, October has once again brought me misfortune.
     This year it started at 8 a.m., on the first of the month.  I had been called on September thirtieth, and was asked to show up the next morning to take a delivery down to Naperville, IL.  Being from Chicago, and never wanting to miss a chance to go back there, I of course said yes.  I was told I would be driving a cargo van, which made me happy because that meant that I could stop wherever I wanted for lunch.  Since I used to deliver in Naperville from 2000-2005, as part of my delivery route when I worked for TriComm BPI (office supplies company,) I knew where I wanted to get lunch.  A place in and around Chicago called Portillos.  I even knew what I wanted to get.
     So I showed up on Wednesday morning, feeling almost giddy from the thought of a Portillos cheeseburger with a side of their amazing cheese fries.  Only I never made it to Naperville, or Portillos (which has a Naperville location.)  Instead, I was told that the safety director wanted to see me for a minute.  Five minutes later, said director fired me.
     I did not see that coming, to say the least.  The reasoning was that I had twice "burned" the dispatchers.  The first time had been months earlier, when I turned down a run because I'd gotten just over three hours of sleep in a 48 hour period, and I simply was in no condition to be driving.  The second time was last Friday.  I'd made plans to see a movie long before I got the job.  Only I thought it was on a Saturday night, when instead it was on Friday.  I informed dispatch about this, with hours to spare before I was supposed to show up.  The dispatcher I talked to seemed non-pulsed by this, simply saying "Okay."
     I was a bit surprised when the safety director told me she was going to play the phone call back to me, from the previous week.  She played it through her computer, and not surprisingly the call went exactly as I remembered it, still concluding with the dispatcher's almost cheery "Okay."  It was immediately following the play back that I was fired.  So I said "bye", then got up and walked out.
     Those of you who have been following my blog for a long while may remember what happened in October, four years ago.  That time when I went down for corporate theft over a $3 box of latex-free gloves (which I was not actually stealing) at Gerber Collision and Glass.  That was the catalyst that landed me in Oshkosh, WI.
     As a double whammy, which is the way of my life, a couple hours later I decided to take a drive over to a local park.  Menominee Park is a great place, located on Lake Winnebago, in Oshkosh, that features a very nice walking path.  Most people use it for running, or biking, but I use it for walking because I can't do impact sports anymore, which rules out running, a thing I loved to do as a kid and as a teen.  Anyway, when I walked out to my car I discovered a giant puddle of coolant underneath the engine.  Turned out that the hose which allows coolant to flow into and out of the reservoir tank picked that day to develop a crack.  Luckily, the local VW stealership had a replacement on hand, and they didn't charge me an arm and a leg, just an arm.  Of course having to spend money you weren't expecting to, on the same day you just got fired, does not make for a warm fuzzy feeling.  
     Last year I was also on the job hunt throughout October, because the temp job I'd had was in limbo.  That allowed me the time to write Daemon Infiri, or as my blog readers will remember it, New Life.   So maybe this same time, one year later, I can finish the book I've been working on for many months now.  I do intend on finishing it, though as I've been writing it, new ideas and twists keep popping up, which has slowed my progress down as I work to redesign story progression, and work in new characters that I hadn't planned on at the beginning.
     I just hope it doesn't take as long to find another job as it has in the past.  I'm not particularly used to being fired.  It happened once, when I was in highschool back in the nineties, and again in 2010, and now once again in 2014.  The one thing that keeps going through my mind is who fires somebody on a Wednesday?!  Really, that is poor management practice.  Everybody knows that you fire people on Fridays, not Wednesdays.  Sheesh.
     In other news.....I've got no other official news.  I promise to keep you all posted on when my new book will be released.  Until the next time, don't forget to spend time with family and friends, enjoy a good laugh or two, enjoy some of your favorite food and beverages, listen to some good music, and take care of yourselves.  Peace out, y'all!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Old what's his name, that's me.

     Hello again, and welcome to something new to read!  I know I've failed to keep up with this blog once more.  I've been traveling again, you see, and when I leave for a run at 2 a.m. I tend to forget to grab my computer.  Mainly because I didn't grow up with this widely portable technology, and grabbing an old fashioned paperback book is higher up on the old mental list of travel accessories.  The other reason is that I drive a large straight truck (28 feet, 26,000 lbs), and pulling into a McD's or Starbucks parking lot, just to grab their wifi signal is not always an option for me.

     With that explained (even if it's a weak excuse), I'd like to move on.  I seem to live with two names.  It used to be more.  The whole mistaken identity thing started at the end of my freshman year in high school.  Back then, I was bequeathed the nickname of 'Goofy', by a senior who had already laid claim to said nickname.  For him the name had been given because he was truly an odd duck (dog).  In my case it came down to a family vacation to Disney World, Florida, when I (for whatever reason) decided that of all the iconic Disney characters, Goofy was for me.  Then, shortly after getting back from that vacation a television show called Goof Troop came on the air.  That cemented it for me, and I (my mom) got myself Goofy t-shirts, sweatshirts, and various other Disney licensed Goofy swag.  Then, during my earliest experiences of high school, classmates took note of this and started giving me a lot more Goofy paraphernalia (pens, yoyos, etc..)  I shared a hallway locker with the senior Goofy, and he noticed all of that accumulate, so he dedicated the nickname to me.

    During my third year of high school my nickname unfortunately became Deep Throat.  This was merely because my voice had deepened, and continued to deepen.  It was not some reference to porn, or to the Watergate scandal. At least I'm fairly positive I've never been involved in either of those things, anyway.  And finally, during my fourth, and last year of high school, my nickname became Dabr.  That was simply because my fellow gym mates couldn't figure out how to say my last name, and shortened it to the first four letters.  For a brief while it stuck.

      Fast forward about four years, and all of that changed.  Now, as it sometimes seems to me, my parents gave me one name, but the universe gave a handful of people the wrong name.  When I was 21, I was working for a small office supply company as a route driver.  One of the accounts I picked up was at the Motorola Main Campus, in Arlington Heights, IL.  The original location mind you, where the entire company started, and still bases itself.  You'll have heard that it's a company started in Chicago, and it was, but the name of the Chicago suburb is Arlington Heights.  Now that that's cleared up, I will get back to the point.  The first day I pulled into the drive I had to stop at the security fortress.  Once I got past the moat with live midwestern crocodiles, and managed to evade the cascading boiling tar, I met a security agent, and was lead to a waiting area.  When I won the random number lottery, I had to fill out nearly a dozen pages of security questionnaires.  When I finished I handed the forms back, and my drivers license, and Social Security Card to the guard.  The sentinel took my info and ID, and began to type all of the info into the computer terminal.  It took about ten minutes, and when my new, laminated ID badge was handed to me, my name had changed from Dave to Dan.  For the following five years, every time I delivered to that campus, which was at least once a day, Monday through Friday, I was called Dan by the people (thousands of people are employed there, and I dealt mainly with about a hundred of them) that worked there.

     Over the years following that I've been miscalled Dan by several people.  Fast forward again to today, and that name is back.  My current job has three people who regularly call me Dan.  And just today, when I'd gotten back from a run, I went to a local coffee house/deli named New Moon to get lunch.  I walked up to the counter, and a new guy started to take my order, when a regular employee (Molly) hip-checked him out of the way.  The first words out of her mouth when she took over my transaction were "What'll it be today, Cowboy Dan?"

     First off, I'm from Chicago, and I am not a cowboy.  Secondly, my name is not Dan... or is it?  No, no it's not.  Third of all, I thought she may have been joking around and quoting a Modest Mouse song (Cowboy Dan), but when I followed up with "was a major player in the cowboy scene", I got a blank stare in return.  Maybe I will have to legally change my name, but I think I'll try to stick with Dave as long as I can.  

     That's my so-called rant for today.  In other news, I have gotten back to writing Mike's Eye, and I hope to get it done before the end of the year, as I've promised.  Additionally, now that I'm making a real paycheck again, I might just pay an actual editor for Daemon Infiri, so keep a look out for a slightly reworked version of that book in the future.

      I hope you are all doing well, and that you can still enjoy time with friends and family, and are still enjoying good food as well as your favorite beverage, laughing, and remembering to smile at random strangers.  I need to get some sleep now, so peace out y'all!   


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I'm Still Here!

Hello all, and welcome to a new day.  Well some of you have probably been up for hours, and are properly caffeinated by now.  I, for one, have been.  Though last Thursday could have been quite disastrous, and I wouldn't be here to do a bit of a rant on this here blog.  But I am, so here goes!

      For the last month I have been enjoying a new job.  I am back to doing what I love to do for money, as I've found that prostitution is not for tall skinny white guys such as myself, so I've gone back to being an OTR driver (that's over the road, if you were confused).  The company I work for now is slightly different than the last company I drove for.  For one, they offer me a lot more work than the last company did.  For two, I am not assigned one truck to drive.  Instead, the vehicles are assigned per order.  For example if it's just a few small boxes that need to be shipped, a car is used.  If it's one or two pallets, a cargo van is used.  Larger and weightier orders go into a straight truck, and so on.  As a non-CDL driver (which will change eventually to being a CDL driver) I get to drive the straight trucks and smaller vehicles.
     As one might expect the fleet vehicles have quite a few miles on the odometers.  Though for the most part they are all well maintained, as we, the drivers, have to fill out pre and post trip inspection forms.  Checking for things like tire wear, lights, brakes, oil and coolant levels, making sure that nothing is broken, or about to break, etc..  These reports happen at least twice a day, on every single vehicle.  I know somebody sees said reports, and things are generally fixed in a timely manner.
     Since I'm one of five new hires they've been trying to keep me local to make sure I'm not going to wreck any of the vehicles.  They chose to ignore the fact that I have quite a lot of OTR experience.  That's fine, I get it.  Though I think the dispatchers forgot that at the end of my first week, when I had a follow up meeting with my safety manager, at which point I supplied her my shiny new FedMed card, they were informed that I am certified for long distance travel.  That changed last Thursday.
     I was called at 9:30 a.m., and asked if I wanted to go to South Boston, Virginia.  I said yes.  I was told to show up at 10 a.m., and that I would have a team driver.  Which simply means that it'll be non-stop driving, one person sleeps while the other drives.  Kind of like cross country road trips that many of you likely went on in your late teen years, or early twenties, or still do for all I know.  What I didn't expect was the truck we were given to drive.  Mind you, from where I am, to where South Boston, VA is, is a thousand miles one way.  The truck the gave us had 970,459 miles on the odometer, and is by far the oldest truck in the fleet.  I'd been driving that thing for the last week, on local runs (less than 150 miles from the hub), and I had reported all the mechanical issues on every single trip inspection sheet I filled out.  I joked with my co-driver as I was pulling out of the lot about how ironic it was that the oldest truck in the fleet was the only one that didn't have any warning lights on the dashboard.
     We bounced through Wisconsin, through Illinois, and had made it about 90 miles into Indiana when I heard a weird metallic snap, then some scraping, and my co-driver told me that we were sparking.  I managed to maneuver the truck onto the tiny little shoulder, turned on the flashers and killed the engine.  I opted to climb out on the passenger side, as anybody who'd familiar with I-65 in Indiana will tell you is the way to go (it's a major truck route, and all trucks are required to use the right lane), and I was a little surprised by what I found.  The lower control arm had snapped off from the drivers side front wheel, swung around and slammed into the diesel tank, where it got jammed underneath it, and had been causing the sparks my co-driver had reported (right under the damn fuel tank!!!).
     I'll spare you all the details of my dispatchers failing in dealing with emergency road side incidents.  In short, it was a 6 hour delay, and we hit the road in a borrowed truck, which has 900,000 less miles on the odometer.  I'm just glad that it happened on relatively flat land, and not in the mountains in the Virginias.  That would have been truly disastrous. 
     On the plus side, in case you were wondering, I have gotten some good inspiration for my latest book, and have started to incorporate them.  I'll admit to a lengthier than anticipated down time in writing, but fear not, I'm back to it!  For anybody reading this, who hasn't read the first chapter of the new book, go back to my post listings, and check out Sneak Peek.
     Well that was my rant for the day.  I hope you are all doing well!  Don't forget to eat, laugh, spend time with friends and or family, enjoy your favorite beverage, listen to your favorite music, and smile once in a while!  Peace out, y'all!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Price Change

Hello everybody!  This will be one of the shortest postings I've done in quite a while.  I would like to inform you all that I opted to change the price of Daemon Infiri (aka New Life), from $4.99 to $2.99.  That is not a sale price, it is the new price (once approves the change) from here on out!  I hope you all enjoyed the sneak peek at my current work in progress, and please, feel free to give me feedback!

That is all.  Remember to laugh, spend time with friends and family, enjoy your favorite beverage (or the wacky tobaccy if you prefer), and listen to some good tunes!  Peace out, y'all!

Pot, bud, nugs, and all of its names, and is it a bad thing?

Hello, and welcome to a late night (or morning, to all of you that don't see this in the p.m.)!  I've decided to write a brief op-ed on marijuana.  So what is marijuana?  Without getting into the latin plant name, or the American Dental Associations idea of what it is (if you don't know, the ADA is the awesome tooth working group that has authority to administer N2O, aka laughing gas), I can explain it as this: Pot is a plant that grows naturally across this planet.  It grows in most climates, except for the arctic regions (unless the scientists that live in those regions have a green house, and grow it in the times when the poles are angled towards the sun: aka summer and winter for the people who live anywhere close to a thousand miles north or south of the equator), and has been growing on its own for millennia.

I have been hearing about all the lies that surround this drug for years.  No, I have not bought into any of it.  The feds hate it for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, the feds asked the ADA to make a video about the evils of pot, and ended up making the funniest movie any stoner has ever watched.  I've seen it, and it is a joke.  Ask me if it would be more fitting if that flick was renamed PCP Gone Wild, and I'd say it's not a joke.  But I ask you to talk with any stoner you know, and ask if they've ever hallucinated while on nothing except pot.  I can guarantee that their answer is no (unless they have a preexisting mental disease). 

Another reason that the feds hate pot is the reports they get from California, Texas, and other southern border state that have border control agents.  They will tell you that crime is way up because of the drug cartels.  That may be true, but pot is not the actual reason for it.  Illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, PCP, extacy, acid, and/or the illegal trade of prescription drugs, are the actual reasons that there are gang/cartel wars.  I've said for years that California is our secret Federal Government, and this is another reason why.  They make a lot of noise there, and the biggest is the noise they make about Mexican drug cartels.  Well golly gee, the only reason the cops call pot the big problem is because a solid plant takes up a lot more space inside a bag than a plant that has had to have been chopped, sliced, powdered, and cut.  So it looks like a lot more.  Does that not remind anybody of the question we were all asked in elementary school?  What weighs more, a pound of feathers, or a pound of rocks?  The war on pot is similar.  A pound of feathers will create a much larger bag than a pound of rocks, just like a pound of pot will require a much larger bag than a pound of heroin.  Therefore it looks bad.

One other reason the feds hate it, is that as though they are not making enough money off of land taxes/property taxes, food tax, fuel tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, prize tax, income tax, and all the other billions of dollars in various taxes per year, they don't know how to tax what has always been a cash only business.  Well shit, feds, the pot business is older than the old testament, which means that it didn't start in America.  So give it up already.  Taxes on a plant that grows on its own is crazy.

I'm just saying that the criminalization of pot was the worst move this government has made, except for that idiotic thing we, in this country, call prohibition.  First, the government outlawed pot, which has never ever incited a riot (ask you nearest hippie), then they outlawed beer.  The beer runners pulled off a lot more crime than the pot runners ever did back then, but for some reason beer was legalized again, but pot is still some kind of evil plant.

Just like I support the whole gay/lesbian rights movement, I also support the movement to legalize a plant that needs nothing done to it to be effective.  It's literally the only "drug" that needs nothing done to it to work.  Grow, harvest, dry, smoke.  Vodka is the only other thing that takes very little to make (grow spuds, cut up potatoes, boil in a vat, chill the steam, and repeat as desired), but as bad as that shit is for you, it's legal.

I could go on a lot more about that, but instead I'll summarize.  Pot is not evil, nor is it a hallucinogen, and it is the most naturally occurring drug that there is.  The only thing that makes it "bad" is the government saying it is.

On that note, eat well, drink well, smoke well (if you do), enjoy some time with family and friends, and don't forget to laugh once in a while!  Peace out y'all!

P.S.  Mike's Eye will be completed when I finish writing it... 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sneak Peek!

Hello, all!  Today I have an interview, and it's possible that I may get to resume my career as a driver!  On paper it looks a lot like the gig I had for ten years, only instead of office supplies it's dry foods.  I promise that if I get the job, I will continue to work on the new book!  One thing I've always liked about being a driver is that I can formulate stories without too many distractions.  I suppose I should pick up a dictation machine.  Oh, wait, I have an IPod Touch.  Ah, modern tech, gotta love it.  I suppose I can share that the new book is set in 2003, so most of the things we've taken for granted for these last short few years wasn't around quite yet.  Anyway, here's a sneak peek at the new book!  I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave comments.

(Working title: Mike's Eye)
Chapter 1

I found myself sitting in a group therapy function at a community center. This was not the first time I felt the urge to get things off my conscience. To purge the annual guilt that lingers in my bones all year, every year, that seeps back into my blood in early November. The room I was in this time was minimally brighter, and cleaner, than most of the rooms that hold these kinds of gatherings. Usually the rooms are dank from the stench of alcoholic tremor sweat, bodily excretions and expulsions, and chemical mixtures that don't ever mask the smells as much as they add to the naturally nauseating aromas. I was in a small town outside of Memphis, where I had recently completed another new office building networking installation. That was the kind of work I hadn't planned on when my reason for going to these gathering happened. I had been a junior in high school then, with hopes and dreams like most other kids had in my graduating class. I was going to be a computer graphics designer, with a focus on video games, or a federal computer analyst, or anything that had to do with the wonder machines that had just broken away from the simplistic word processors which ruled the eighties. I had gotten the idea for the spell from an old Atari game, and with the assistance of my old friend, Mike, got the ball rolling. Things went wrong back then, very wrong. Now, ten years later, at the age of 27, I found myself in these groups most years. I didn't really belong at these meetings, as my poison wasn't from a bottle, although I have been known to down some beers when I think about that night. There is no group set up for my guilty conscience though, and I rejected mental therapy after two sessions on my father's dime, ten years back.

The meetings always start the same, more or less. First people file in one at a time, over a period that can last ten minutes, or an hour depending on what kind of group it is. The court ordered groups are much more strict about what time you show up. I avoided those, mainly because I don't believe in big g god, and real AA groups require that you attend what they deem the only true god's house. So I typically find the small local gatherings of no affiliation. Where the people don't really plan on quitting the bottle, or the drug of choice. More that they feel guilty about something they've done, and want the chance to speak their peace among fellow addicts. Hell, most of the time as the meetings end, I've seen half the attendees walk to the nearest bar or alley, in an attempt to wash away the memory they'd just relived out loud for the first, or fiftieth time. When the meetings start, and the doors are locked, I try not to go first or last, but somewhere in the middle. This time was no different. I stood at the front of the group after five of the thirteen at this meeting had slurred their way through their ongoing addiction problem, before saying “Hi, my name is Adric, and I have a problem.” After the most alert of the bunch muttered “Hi, Adric”, I sat down again. My full name is Adric Albrecht Filmort, and on this night, I wasn't planning on sharing my story. Instead I listened to the sad stories of driving a family, or wife/husband away, losing five jobs a year because they can't show up sober to work, or the grim favorite of murder by way of drunken use of a vehicular device. My story doesn't have anything to do with alcohol, but it did kill my dreams.

When the sob stories were done, and the head of the meeting thanked everybody for their honesty, pleading halfheartedly to find a place to worship, I walked back to my motel. I had no intention of hitting the replay button on that memory tonight. It had been an early meeting, and with so few in attendance, it had gotten out earlier than normal too. I grabbed the keys to my rental car, as I didn't want to risk getting a ticket in the work van, and headed out to find some dinner. Memphis has your typical chain name options, but in my travels I've found that the smaller, non national grub hubs are the way to go. Each town is different in that way. The bigger the nearest metropolis, the better the options. The smaller the town, the more likely options are one of three fast food chains, the obligatory sit down slightly less fast food dining by any hotel you see, and one or two truck stop diner or greasy spoon. But being so near one of the two major cities in Tennessee, I had no trouble finding a place named Deb's. I didn't know what Deb specialized in, or if there was even anybody named Deb working there. All I did know was that it didn't have a giant flashing sign, and the mostly full parking spaces were occupied by local license plates only.

What I found when I walked in and took a seat at the bar, was that Deb did in fact work there, and she was also my waitress. I ordered a local brew, and it came with a menu. After ordering a platter of food, Deb put the order in and came back to chitchat with me. It turned out that she had bought the place years back, after working as a bartender for fifteen years, and had no children to suck up all her tips. Now she preferred working a counter that held more food than drink, and making sure the staff was happy. When my food arrived, she went off to talk with some locals who had come in, and I enjoyed some true southern bbq. After one more beer, I settled up the tab, left Deb a decent sized extra, and headed back to my hotel.

After taking a long shower, I fired up the laptop, and turned on the television. I had just finished logging in the job completion, and was watching the nightly news when a knock came at the door. Getting off the bed, and putting on a shirt, I opened it. Nobody was standing on the other side, nor was there anything on the ground, or taped to the outside of the door. I figured somebody had knocked at the wrong room, so I closed and locked the door, and climbed back into bed. I'd done a pretty good job of not thinking about that night years ago while awake, but my subconscious had other plans. I fell asleep quickly, and then the video player in my mind chose a popular repeat, and the directors cut too boot.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Rethinking the Winter Games

Hello, and welcome to my almost brilliant idea for changing the winter Olympic games.  This came to me this morning, while I was slicing up a banana for my breakfast cereal and I had a minor epiphany.

As many of you have most likely heard, Russia (who had seven long years to prepare for the 2014 games, but waited until there was about a week to go to do anything) has really pulled off some dreadful debacles, to put it mildly.  I have heard and seen some of this, which the major network that carries the games has barely touched on, but other news sources have reported the atrocious conditions that the athletes and full time residents alike have been dealing with in Sochi.  For example, incomplete bathrooms and living quarters, the guy that flubbed the rings (and was later found dead having fallen on some knives, which sounded more like something that would have happened in Japan), local exterminators hired by the local mayor to walk through the streets of the town and shoot every stray dog dead, and the local mayor also proclaiming that there are "no gay people in my town."  This is not only an embarrassment to Russia, but an absolute insult to the athletes who work so hard in their respective sports to be invited by the Olympic committee to partake in the games, all animal lovers/caretakers/owners, gay rights supporters, and basically anybody who believes that all people should be treated equally.  I quipped that North Korea may have done a better job, though I doubt they'd win a bid to host the games.  I shifted my thought to the demilitarized zone, but took a second to think about that before realizing that wouldn't work.  Then it hit me.

I propose that we take the winter games away from any country, and hold them on international water, on cruise ships.  Yes, cruise ships.  You know, those ginormous and insanely built boats?  Well hear me out.  First of all, nobody would have to worry about the living quarters for the athletes, they're already built in, and well maintained.  Secondly, some of them already have olympic size swimming pools that could easily be converted to an ice rink, for all of the skating events.  For the cross country skiing, who really needs a shuffleboard on the deck?  Just have them ski around the perimeter of the deck.  Some cruise ships also have those huge water slides, which could rather easily be converted into both luge runs, and ski jumps.  On the topic of ski jumping, we could make it more challenging for those athletes, and have the jump on one ship, and the landing on another!  For those who fall a little short, those boats already have life boats, for pulling them out of the drink!  The only event that might suffer a bit is the biathlon, however they would have a great chance when the pirates show up.  They could stay sheltered from pirate shots, by racing around the below deck track, and shooting at the pirates through the port holes.  This might not make it into every winter games, but it would sure be a lot more fun to watch.  Those ships also have gyms built in too, though slightly smaller than usual Olympic quality gyms, but imagine the added camaraderie among the athletes.  And imagine, if you will, the amazing camera shots, when the cameras pan out to show the surrounding area, they could film the whales, sharks and dolphins!

As for the spectators, I'm slightly undecided.  Since most people around the world simply watch from their couches at home anyway, they could simply make it a televised only event.  Alternatively, we have decommissioned, yet perfectly sea worthy aircraft carriers, that could have stands built on the flight deck.  This may be a good thing, since the airforce could lend some aid against the pirates, in case the biathlon skiers have a hard time adapting to shooting while standing up.  I'd also like to propose that the medal winners could all board another cruise ship, say a six star ship, that can circumnavigate the entire ocean (yes, it really is all the same ocean), and take the athletes back to every country that they come from, in luxury and style!

I think this could all work, and then no country would have the chance to drop the ball, and it could become a truly international world event, on international waters.  There may still be a few wrinkles in this plan, but we have a couple of years to work those out.

In other news, my new book is slowly but surely coming along.  As for my first book, it is still available on Amazon, in both kindle and kindle app form, and in print.  I fudged the print size, so the printed version is not a standard paperback size, so it'll look a little funny on a bookshelf.  In case you forgot, the title was changed from New Life (as it was first called here), to Daemon Infiri.  Please also be aware that I am aware that I can't edit my own work all that well.  In short format form, like this blog, sure, more or less, but in a format the size of a book, I'm rubbish.

Alright, if you think my new proposal for the winter games sounds good to you, make sure you tell your local Olympic Committee member about it!  Alright, that is all for now, folks.  As per usual, I hope you all remember to smile, laugh, spend times with your favorite peeps, have some good eats, and enjoy your favorite beverage.  Peace out, y'all!