A Word From The Bunker

 I keep looking for an end or a bit of light with regards to the pandemic. It's hard when we're 10 months into it and still looking at probably another 6-8 before we see widespread vaccinations. Unfortunately our numbers are as high as they've ever been and hospitals are starting to feel the pinch on a much broader scale. We're not too bad locally, but am hearing reports of places that are. In the meantime, I continue to stay home as much as possible and minimize contact with people.  To keep a sense of normalcy, I continue to try and get some writing done. In the last week I've submitted to 3 poetry magazines and a nonfiction story about introversion to Introvert, Dear, a website on the cause. I'll tell you more about it if you text me. LOL. Little introvert joke there. The combination of writing and my wife are keeping me sane through all of this. I'm still reporting into work twice a week with three days working from home. When I get down about any of it

Digital Christmas

 As with many Christmases past, this one came with its share of technology gadgets and upgrades. It seems our kids continually push us to the bleeding edge of technology and while I am keen as to why, I am not always willing to take the leap without their gentle nudging. For starters, this year my daughter gave us a Chromecast for our TV. While I've known about this technology for a while, we never really had a TV to support it. (That's another technology leap we made a year or two ago.) For those that don't know, Chromecast allows you to project various apps from your phone or computer to your TV. Once you've synced all your apps like YouTube and Netflix to your Chromecast, you can pretty much look up anything on your phone and send it to the TV. The biggest benefit of this is no more arduous typing using the stupid TV remote to search for something. It is much easier to search on your phone and then casting it. On Christmas Eve before we opened the presents, it was k

Nine Months In

Today marks month 9 of the pandemic. I think I was told to stay home from work as of the 16th of March, which felt extremely weird to me. I don't know how I thought it to play out, but there's no way I expected we'd still be working from home at Christmas time. As it spread and we saw the impact, obviously I became aware that we'd be lucky to be back up and running by March 2021. That seems to be holding true, probably more like late summer or early fall. All of it begs the question, how are you holding up? I think it's fair to have felt every possible bad emotion during the course of spread of it. Disbelief, rage, sorrow, sadness, despair, hopelessness, anger, hostility, gloom and anxiousness. And I've been to all of those places briefly myself over these 9 months. I am fortunate that I have the ability to pull myself out of the dark places. I have a tendency toward optimism. It's not my nature, but I've learned to fake-it-till-I-make it. I tend to avoi

Sagitarians Unite!

 December is about as busy a birthday month as I can think of. Mine falls in a couple of days on the 11th. I'll be 59, feeling 29, looking 68. Ha! In addition to mine though, my brother Paul's is December 2nd, my little brother from the Big Brother's program is December 4th, Donna's is the 7th, my niece Giana's was the 5th (I think), my stepfather's is the 18th and a couple other friend's were today and the 21st.  Next to April, I don't know of that many birthdays clustered so tightly. It seems like the older you get, the more it is just another day. Because our birthdays are so close together, Donna an I usually go out to dinner with a couple of good friends as kind of a tradition. Covid killed that  and everything else good and positive this year, so as a substitute we ordered pizza for he birthday on Monday. It wasn't the same, but a nice evening just the same. (She's 6 years younger than me, but she is catching up. ;-) Anyhow, this year signi

Writing For My Life

Lots of stuff going on in the writing realms lately, so I will try and give a quick rundown.  1. Personal sales of my new book, Cretin Boy have been strong the past couple of weeks. I am extremely grateful for everyone who purchases from my personal stock, as it is significantly better for the author than an Amazon sale. I have been making trips to the post office every few days lately and it is all with a heart full of gratitude. 2. To help with personal sales, I've recently created an online store using Square, which has made ordering books much easier for people online and gives them the opportunity to get my books signed and shipped to their house. Check it out here.   3. As part of my giveback for Cretin Boy, I am donating a portion of each personal sale to Cretin-Derham High School. In part due to the strong sales, I was able to make that first donation today. It feels good to give back! 4. I have signed up to be part of a panel at the Deep Vally Book Festival in southern M

Pass The Pandemic

On this Thanksgiving day, this may be the toughest year ever to ponder what to be thankful for. A year filled with wildfires, riots, protests, political upheaval and this horrible virus, to name a few make it seem like we should only be thankful that 2020 is nearly over. But still we push on. I know I am. In my own case, it is the good memories of past happiness that keep me forging ahead, wearing a mask, and trying to stay safe.  Of course Thanksgiving provides some of the best memories to draw from. The time of year when everyone is looking toward Christmas and taking a day off to enjoy a meal with those closest to them. Some of my vivid memories are: 1. The years at the Portland House  where our family split Thanksgiving and Christmas between my aunt Helen's house and ours. As my cousins started marrying and having kids of their own, things got too big and we split up. For the first few years we missed the big extended family, but as we grew in size and numbers, we replaced the

When They Grow Up

So some days are better than others. Today was a day where I had a hard time keeping up with the Zoom meetings, emails and instant messages at work. Other days are blissfully quiet when the emails trickle in slow like, messenger is quiet and the phone doesn't ring. There's something appealing about each, but I prefer the latter, thank you. But amidst the busyness of the day, I got a Facebook friend request from a person I didn't recognize. The messenger note mentioned that this person was googling something about the Crystal River and "Boys Club" youth group from Elmbrook Church, where we both used to attend. Anyhow he said that an old blog post of mine came up where I talked about the Crystal River campout and the whole Boys Club organization. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was part of it all, but it was really only about 8 to 10 years ago.  But what caught me about his message was he said that in his experiencing his new fatherhood, (he has a two year-old