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Rated: 13+ · Book · Community · #1031057
My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
OK, so I've finally been convinced (read that strong armed) into doing a blog. Frankly I hate the name...

Just another day at the Supermarket

It's simply amazing the things you can buy at the grocery store these days.

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#1054725 by Not Available.

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December 16, 2005 at 1:14pm
December 16, 2005 at 1:14pm
Let’s see. What to write about today? Well I made it to work. That’s a good thing. Snowstorm wasn’t as bad as predicted. I swear weather forecasters seem to dwell on doom and gloom. Today, three inches of snow is considered a “significant accumulation” When I grew up nobody got excited unless it was over a foot.

I’ve written a few stories over the last week or so and they’re getting some good feedback. I like feedback. I like to know how people react to what I write, good or bad. It helps me judge the caliber of my talent…or lack thereof. It’s also a form of recognition and we all like recognition…especially when it’s good. And it helps me polish and hone my skills. So keep the feedback coming folks.

For those of you interested, the Meniere’s, for the moment, seems under control with medication. Problem is I can only take the one med for 6 days and I’m on day number 3. What happens then? Guess I’ll find out Tuesday when I see the Doc.

Tomorrow I’m going to go buy myself a Christmas present, a new toy for hunting, a crossbow. I have always wanted one but refused to buy it until I could actually use it for hunting. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought myself a new toy. Of course, this will be on the lay-a-way plan, but as long as I have it in time to practice for next season, I don’t care.

No epiphanies or revelations today, so as Dr. Sidney Friedman would say. “Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”
December 15, 2005 at 8:30pm
December 15, 2005 at 8:30pm
Nothing much to report here. We're in the middle of a winter storm. Should have 6 inches of snow by morning. A mere dusting around here. We decorated the Christmas tree tonight and baked chocolate chip cookies. Stayed home from work again but today the symptoms seem somewhat less. Started a new medication yesterday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.Have to go in to work tomorrow. They'll think I died if I don't. That's all for today. Really just doing this to avoid the annoying email. *Smile*
December 14, 2005 at 3:53pm
December 14, 2005 at 3:53pm
I’m sitting here angry, frustrated, depressed, and did I mention, angry and frustrated? I managed to make it to work only one day so far this week, yesterday, and then that was only for about 7 of the 7.5 hours I’m suppose to be there. Seems I’ve contracted a strange and evil malady known as Meniere’s Disease. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, it’s a problem with my inner ear. This translates into severe vertigo and round the clock nausea. Not to mention the constant ringing in my ear and hearing loss

Think back to that all night party you were at in college and how you felt the next morning. Yep, a mild form of Meniere’s Disease. Trouble is, I didn’t get to have the fun at the party. This has been going on for about two months now, with various treatments and medications, all purported to cure the effects. None of them seem to be working very well with me. Currently, on a good day I can actually eat some scrambled eggs and toast. On a bad day I hang on to the couch so I won’t fall off.

This makes doing my job very difficult and I take my job very seriously. It’s a tough thing to stand up in front of groups of people and attempt to either teach them something or answer questions when everyone in the room is going by you at 75 miles an hour. It’s a difficult thing to concentrate on an Excel spreadsheet when it keeps moving on you…and don’t even ask me about driving. I hate being chauffeured.

I am not a good patient. I’m a, see the problem, fix the problem, move on to the next problem, kinda guy. So when I’m messing with a problem that takes several months to solve and affects every aspect of my life I get angry, frustrated and depressed.

I try not to take it out on the Doctor. He’s been doing great. If it wasn’t for the progress we’ve made so far, I wouldn’t be able to sit here and type this. I think the next step is a repeat of the MRI to see if there’s something else going on. This will be the 2nd MRI in 4 months. The last was for my neck for a pinched nerve.. The report pretty much proved what most people who know me concluded long ago. One, my head’s not screwed on straight. Two, I’m a pain in the neck…or somewhere south of there.

I wonder what this MRI will show. It’s of my head, the area around my ears especially. I’m reminded of the old Army physical joke:

“Well, first two doctors get a hold of you. One looks in one ear and one looks in the other, and if they can see each other, you is in the Army.”

Excuse me; I need to go start practicing my marching skills.

"Cindy, Ccindy, Cindy Lou. I love my rifle more than you..."
December 13, 2005 at 8:31am
December 13, 2005 at 8:31am
          It’s funny how life works sometimes. Yesterday I was telling you about my experiences with reading fantasy and today I find out that I won the Grand Prize in the “Do Your Shorts Have Legs” contest for my fantasy story
The Keeper of Knowledge  (13+)
“Will there be a story this evening?” He asked.
#1042687 by Rasputin
This is the first fantasy contest I’ve entered so I’m quite pleased with myself.

          Of course when you are riding high it is always good to have someone around who can yank you back into reality. (Get it? – Fantasy –Reality) That job would fall to my youngest son. Late last night when I checked my email and found out that I won, I mentioned to him that I was quite surprised. (It’s always good to show a little humility.) He asked me why and I said. “Well, I didn’t think it was one of my best stories so I figured somebody would beat me out, but I guess it was better than I thought.”

          He looked at me with that devilish grin. (Honestly, I have no idea where he got that from.) “Well did you ever think that maybe all the other stories were crap and yours was the least crappy one?”

          Ahhh, children. There ought to be a place where you could rent them for an hour or two and then return them.

          And, oh yes, my apologies to all the contest entrants for my son’s obviously misguided evaluation of their writing prowess. In his eagerness to skewer me on the spit of father/son rivalry, he took no prisoners.

          I’m so proud of him.
December 12, 2005 at 10:14am
December 12, 2005 at 10:14am
         Yesterday, my wife and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia. It is an excellent film by the way, whether you are a fan of C. S Lewis’s Narnia stories or not. I highly recommend it. But then, I like any movie that triumphs good over evil, fantasy or not.

         I had read the Narnia books back somewhere in my early to late teens, a time in my life when I read lots of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I still do occasionally read some fantasy, but now a days my reading is directed more toward the historical novel genre or just plain history in general. At 49, have I lost that part of me that was so easily transported to places like Narnia and Middle Earth through the well-written word? I don’t think so. I just don’t allow it to surface as much as I did back then and I just don’t seem to need it as much either.

         Imagine my surprise, when I found myself emotionally wrapped up in the movie yesterday, wrapped up to the point where my eyes were watery and there was a lump in my throat. Why was that? What caused me to react that way? I knew the story. I knew how it turned out. Was it simply because of a well-written story and a well-acted movie?

         Being a student of history, I thought back to those years when I read every fantasy book I could get my hands on. They were not happy years. They were years of internal struggle trying to define who I was. They were years of un-acceptance on many levels of society. They were years of anger and frustration. Most importantly they were years of simply not accepting myself, or even liking myself. Does this sound familiar for a teenager?

         There was, however, one place, or rather many places I could go where I was accepted, where I was whatever I chose to be. That place was within the well-worn pages of whatever fantasy novel I happened to be reading at the time. I merely had to pick up a book, open it up, and I was instantly transported to a time and a place far from the anxieties of teenage life. Whether it was a different planet or a far away land, for a time, sometimes brief, I was there, taking my heroic stand against the evil that threatened it.

         I submit to you that on some level, fantasy, and maybe just reading in general, saved my life. Corny? Yes, maybe, But then again, I look around me at the teenagers today, knowing I was not unlike them. There were many directions my anxiety, my frustrations and my anger could have sent me. I had access to weapons and the skill to use them, though I cannot remember ever having thoughts of killing anyone. I did have thoughts of suicide and I flirted on the edges with alcohol and drugs.

         Looking back on it now I believe one of the reasons I didn’t follow any of those paths was because I had a release valve. Nestled securely in my room, I picked up a book, and within a few moments I was whisked away to lands never seen before, to times no one even knew existed.

         Make no mistake, I’m not saying I owe my present day existence to the land of Narnia or even Middle Earth, but in some respects I do owe these places, these writers something, if nothing more than my gratitude and my respect for helping me through a trying time in my life… and for still being there these many years after and allowing me to visit.

It was snowing when we left the movie yesterday. A fitting end to the movie. I closed my eyes and with a fair dusting of pixie dust and a tear in my eye...I believed.

December 6, 2005 at 8:12pm
December 6, 2005 at 8:12pm
Time. We get wrapped up in it. We get addicted to it. In this hectic rat race of a world it becomes all important to know what time it is...every minute of the day.

Why then, can't I get a watch that does what I want it to do? Walk into any department store and browse through the watches. There are watches from five dollars to five thousand dollars out there. There are watches that will work under three hundred feet of water in case it becomes imperative for you to know your exact time of death as your car plunges into San Fransico Bay. Your errant driving caused by... you guessed it, taking your eyes off the road to check the time. There are watches guaranteed to work on the moon. Planning a trip there any time soon? There are watches that tell time in several time zones, in case your Sybil like personalties refuse to cohabitate in the same geographical location. There are even watches that have GPS units built in, in case you want to know the exact location you got lost on that fog shrouded highway above...San Fransisco Bay.

I seldom wear a watch anymore. In fact I avoided wearing watches as much as possible in my life. It all started in elementary school. You see, as children would do, we played walking home from school. No, there were no buses then and yes, it was uphill both ways. Well playing would lead to grass stains and torn pants etc, and more often than not this occured within the first few weeks of school and when you got home... well lets just say the parental units weren't too thrilled with newly bought school clothes being "ruined" I of course thought they were still perfectly functional and didn't give a darn what they looked like. What does this have to do with watches, you ask?

Well my opinion of clothing, functional above appearance translated to watches. All I ever needed a watch to do was tell me the time. It didn't even have to be accurate. just consistent. If it was five minutes, that was OK as long as it was always five minutes off. Therefore, and because I now have to buy my own clothes and watches, I buy the cheapest functional watch I can find. After all, I primarily only wear it for hunting which translates into about 20-30 days out of the year. Oh geez...don't let my wife figure out that I actually devote an entire month to hunting each year. Please, please don't rat me out.

My ideal watch? Digital. Not because it's cool, but because it's the only watch that you can buy that lights up in the dark. This is a hunting necessity. That's it. Tell me the time and glow in the dark. I'll handle everything else.

Trouble is, every digital watch I buy has these four buttons that protrude from the side. They inadvertantly get pushed by clothing, machinery, wrists flexing, etc and evidently these ianimate objects have worked out the double-secret code for resetting everything on these watches from the alarm that beeps at 3 AM to getting your time in military format... only twelve hours off. Trust me, this design flaw exists across all brands and affects a lot of people. My son works in J C Penny's in the jewelry department and he says it's the number one complaint of people with digital watches. The guy in the cubicle next to me just beat his digital watch to death this morning and went out and bought a five dollar wind up. Me?

I bought a brand new digital watch. It lights up. It tells time, regular and military, It's water resistant. it plays games and it hass a built in chronograph...whatever that is. The alarm goes off at 10PM, just in time to tell me it's time for bed and it's sitting on my dresser and I'm confident in saying that my watch tells the correct time at least twice a day...somewhere in the world.
December 2, 2005 at 8:08pm
December 2, 2005 at 8:08pm
Not much to say except getting ready for hunting tomorrow. We got about 4 inches of snow today. That's the good news. The bad news is the windchill will make it about 0 degrees tomorrow.
December 1, 2005 at 8:32pm
December 1, 2005 at 8:32pm
Is it me or is this restaurant way overpriced for the quality of food? Having grown up within a couple hour drive of the ocean where all the restaurants served fresh seafood, I just don't get Red Lobster. My wife and son think it's the greatest restaurant around and after pestering for a month or two I usually break down and take them there. Tonight was the night. $75.00 later plus tip, I'm trying to figure out why. The food wasn't anything special. I cook better shrimp and scallops at home. the piece of flounder I had was terrible. The one bright spot was the salad with bleu cheese dressing. I'm a sucker for a good salad. my wife had a mixed drink, my son had two. That was $15.00 right there. We didn't get dessert and the crab cheese fondue we had was mostly bread and no fondue. Very good waitress I must admit and nice admosphere but if I'm going to drop $90 on a meal I want it to be one I remember for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Fast food seafood, if you ask me. The really bad part? My son's birthday is in another couple of months and he'll want to go back. My wife's follows in another two months, same thing. My birthday is the following month. I do chicken on the grill. *Smile* Now that's good eatin'!
November 29, 2005 at 10:21am
November 29, 2005 at 10:21am
It's pouring down rain here. It's been pouring down since I got up this morning. Not a good day to go hunting the wily whitetail, which is what I was planning to do today. So being the wuss that I am I stayed home. I could've gone to work but I decided to use the day to get a few things done around the house and to go visit my folks and make them dinner (Ham, beans & potatos).

Time was when a hunter would be out there even on a day like today and I have no doubt that there are a few out there today, simply because it's their only opportunity to hunt and they're hoping against hope to bag a deer. 300 years ago you hunted for survival, and the weather didn't matter. If you were unsuccessful you starved and maybe your family also. Todays hunters hunt for recreation, for tradition, for bragging rights.

Still, there are some areas of the world where people hunt to survive. They are the only true hunters of our modern world. The rest of us are simply Lazy Boy hunters, not that I have anything against recliners, they are my favorite piece of furnitre...next to my bed. But face it, if I don't bag...or harvest, as the new politically correct terminology calls it, a deer this year, I will not starve, my family will not starve. In fact I will save one hundred plus dollars for processing (I no longer do my own butchering) the deer and making it into all sorts of tasty edibles such as deer bologna and jerky. That hundred bucks will buy a fine meal out at Red Lobster (don't get me started on Dread Lobster)or some other restaurant of my choice.

Maybe I should have been born 300 years ago, when hunters were hunters. Ii wonder...do you think they had recliners back then?
November 28, 2005 at 6:39pm
November 28, 2005 at 6:39pm
OK, OK, for all you animal lovers out there, you can take a coillective breath. I missed. Bambi lives. Nonetheless, I had a wonderful day in the PA woods. Saw squirrels, Black capped Chickadees, crows, grouse and even a coyote. Only saw one deer and I saw him twice. The first was at 6:25 AM when he walked under my treestand. He was an 8 point buck. Too bad legal shooting hours didn't start until 6:52 AM, Sigh. I let him pass hoping I'd get to see him again when it was legal to shoot. I did. At 7 AM about fifty yards out from me he stepped from a thicket and bedded down behind a log. All I could see was his butt, one antler, his nose and occasionally an eye. Not wanting to wound him I elected to wait him out. About an hour and a half later something got his atention and he stood up. I still didn't have a great shot but it was the only one I figured I was going to get. Did, I mention the wind? 30 mile an hour wind was bouncing me around worse than a sailor in the crow's nest. I put the cross hairs on his chest and squeezed the trigger. I missed. Clipped some brush in front of him but no blood, no hair, no deer. Oh well, at least I got a shot. Pretty tired now. Long day. Thats all for now folks.

 How do you feel about your writing?  (E)
Do you and your readers agree/disagree on your best stories?
#795405 by Rasputin

 Pick Your Prompt  (18+)
Do you like to write to prompts?Have a prompt contest? This is the place for you.
#819961 by Rasputin

Sig made for me by Melissa
Rasputin fishing

~~Image #4000 Sharing Restricted~~
RAOK's logo image.  This is a shared image, so feel free to use its item number.
November 26, 2005 at 8:04pm
November 26, 2005 at 8:04pm
Big surprise, huh? How come when I add an entry to my blog it doesn't show up on the Blog page of updated blogs?

Or is it that I just can't see my blog on that page.

Inquiring minds want to know.
November 26, 2005 at 7:47pm
November 26, 2005 at 7:47pm
Two days to the opening day of rifle season for deer here in PA, and after 37 years of hunting I still get excited. I know a number of you think hunting is abhorent and I respect your opinion but it is something as natural to me as breathing. I've taken Monday and Tuesday off work and except for the next two Saturdays, they will be the only days I have to hunt.

This year is somewhat special to me because I missed archery season due to a pinched nerve in my neck. In a normal year, rifle season would seem anti-climatic to me. My true love is hunting with the bow. I enjoy the challenge and October is a beautiful time of the year to spend in the woods.

After 37 years of hunting it relly is unimportant to me whether I'm successful bagging a deer with antlers. I'm more of a meat hunter. I do enjoy my venison. So that's what this season will be about, putting meat in the freezer for me to enjoy the rest of the year.

Wish me luck.

 How do you feel about your writing?  (E)
Do you and your readers agree/disagree on your best stories?
#795405 by Rasputin

 Pick Your Prompt  (18+)
Do you like to write to prompts?Have a prompt contest? This is the place for you.
#819961 by Rasputin

Sig made for me by Melissa
Rasputin fishing

~~Image #4000 Sharing Restricted~~
RAOK's logo image.  This is a shared image, so feel free to use its item number.
November 25, 2005 at 12:42pm
November 25, 2005 at 12:42pm
So, it's the day after Thanksgiving. Big deal. Sure, everybody has gone shopping...except me. The leftovers are all stuffed in the refridgerator, the dishes are all done, the house put back into order after the onslaught of nine rendered it semi-inhabitable. All this and 6 inches of snow besides. Lucky me.

Today is my day. Today is the day I magically turn into a slug and do absolutely nothing. I pity the shopping masses. I pity more the store clerks that deal with them. I will think of them often as I eat my leftover turkey,stuffing and cranberry sandwich, propping my feet up and reading a good book.

Shovel snow, you say? Naw, it'll melt. Get some projects done around the house? Nope that's tomorrow's agenda. get ready for deer season on Monday? Nope that's Sunday's agenda. Today, I do absolutely nothing. Today,I will burrow beneath the covers, peeking out every once in awhile to make sure the world is still there. It's a very unpleasent feeling to find out that while you weren't paying attention someone up and moved the world on you, so I'll keep the occasional tab on it. It would be nice if you could be like a surfer, tethering the world to your ankle like a surfboard, or like a college student home from an all night party, who plants one foot on the floor when he lies down to get the world to stop spinning. Hmmmm, maybe I'll try that. Maybe I'll just plant a foot on the floor when I close my eyes and then I won't have to peek anymore. yawn...I feel a nap coming on.

Note to readers: the previous was brought to you by the strange mixture of post-Thanksgiving exhaustion, muscle relaxants, and the voices in my head. Man, it's getting crowded in there.
November 23, 2005 at 6:34pm
November 23, 2005 at 6:34pm
Today's prompt on Writer's Cramp is to write a story about someone you hate, At first I didn't think much about it but as I wandered through my afternoon baking apple and pumpkin pies for tomorrow's feast, I begin to have misgivings about this prompt.

Hate is a powerful word. Oh sure, somewhere in my ancient history, in some school yard somewhere, I probably shouted out the words, "I hate you, Bobby Rumford!" but that was that week, the next week Bobby and I were back to being best buddies. That really wasn't hate. Faced with the daunting task of writing for this prompt, I began to run names through my head of people who I have a particular distaste for, some recent, some not, to see if they would qualify for the honor of being someone I truly hate. Grand total - zero. Not one.

Sure, I'm the same guy that in high school, when confronted by his German teacher saying, "Everyone is prejudice, Herr Umholtz", responded with, "Not me, Herr Kohler. I hate everybody...equally." I know, I know. I was a smartass, even then. But to truly hate someone? Cna't come up with a single one.

It's not that I am some saintly person, some chanting monk that has become one with the universe. It's actually much simpler than that. You see hate is an emotion, and emotions take energy. I have only so much energy to go around so I choose not to waste it on some pointless venture of hating someone. Hate is like a black hole, it will concume every bit of enegy you have. I may have nothing more to do with you. I may even plot my revenge for some percieved wrong, but hate you? Nope, sorry not going to happen.

I think I'll pass on writing for that prompt and save my energy for the prompt that asks me to write about someone I love. Now that's a list I can easily fill with names and an emotion that I hope does consume me.

Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2005 at 8:19pm
November 21, 2005 at 8:19pm
Are you like me? During the course of my day I run across several things I'd like to write about in my blog. By the time I get home, cook dinner and do whatever chores wait for me, I usually forget what they were. Not today. Today i took a pen and wrote on my palm one word as soon as I had the idea. "Pizza." Trouble is, I don't remember what I was going to say about pizza.

I like pizza. I'm a bit of a traditionalisat when it comes to pizza. I like my pizza round. I like my pizza to be thin. My pizza should have cheese and tomatoes and definitely pepperoni. This is what I like most.

That's not say that other pizzas aren't good. I've tried just about everything imaginable in the pizza world. Anchovies to pineapple, I've had them all. Potato pizza, Garlic chicken white pizza, pizza with tomatoes - no sauce, pizza with sauce no tomatoes, mexican pizza, greek pizza with feta cheese, round pies, square cut, thick crust, thin, New York pizza, Chicago pizza, barbecue pizza. You get the idea. If somebody has thrown it on a flat dough and baked it. I've tried it.And I liked almost every one. in fact sitting here I can't think of one I didn't like but...

When it comes right down to it, I like my pizza best... round, thin, cheese, tomatoes, pepperoni and bubbling hot. This is pizza as pizza should be.

Oh, does anyone know how to get permanent marker off your palm?
November 20, 2005 at 7:58pm
November 20, 2005 at 7:58pm
Well, it's been a few days. No I didn't win the chili cook off, but everyone had a good time and that's all that really matters. Once that was over I refocused my energy on getting ready for Thanksgiving. Nine people to cook for. Lucky me... actually I am lucky, for the first time in many years we will almost all be toogether for Thanksgiving, My parents, my sister, my kids and my father-in-law will be here. The only ones missing are my nieces, who moved to some foreign country called Arizona, and my mother-in-law, who passed away a number of years ago.

Even though it's been a rough year for my family ( we lost two of my aunts this year). I still have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wife who I love very much and who loves me very much. I have two sons that seem to be starting to make their way in the world. I have my parents, and my sister. I have a job that I look forward to going to every day. I have my health (mostly) a roof over my head, and food on the table. Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for.

It's easy for us to forget that. It's easy to fall in to a routine where we complain about the first thing that doesn't go our way. We love to assign blame and responsibility to anyone else but ourselves. Look around. I mean really look around. Does it take you very long to find someone else who is worse off than you? How many of us will sit down with our families this Thanksgiving and not give a thought to those who won't be so lucky? Whether they are at war, working in hospitals, fire departments,or simply homeless in a shelter, do we actually take the time to think of them? Better yet, beyond tossing the occasional dollar in the Salvation Army kettle or the bucket of some fraternity/sorority collecting at the stoplight do any of us take time out to actually help? Very few. And I am just as guilty as the rest. Oh sure, I tell myself, that someday when I have time I'll help serve food down at the shelter, or volunteer my time to some worthwhile organization. Only, that time never seems to come. There never seems to be enough time to get the things done that I need to do, let alone help someone else. Sure, if someone asks me for help, I give it. But what about those that don't ask, but need it just as bad if not more?

This Thanksgiving, and for that matter through the whole holiday season take some time to be thankful for what you have and don't complain about what you don't. Look around and don't be afraid to reach out and help. Reach out and touch another soul. Who knows, you just might feel your own soul touched in return.
November 15, 2005 at 8:02pm
November 15, 2005 at 8:02pm
Tomorrow is our 5th annual Office Chili Cook Off. There will be 17 crockpots, full of steaming, hot chili for all the judges to taste. One of them will be mine. I've been running this contest for the last five years (no, I've never won) and during that time I've gained some insight into chili and how people view it.

First, let me explain how we do it. We place the 17 pots of chili in one of our conference rooms and each pot receives a number. This eliminates, to some extent voting for your best buddy, though, after five years we all pretty much recognize each others crockpots. Everyone in the office is a judge. For that matter, anyone who happens to walk in off the street can also be a judge. The only requirement is that you try the chili. And you don't even have to try all 17. If there are some that are simply too hot for you or that have an ingredient you don't care for (venison) than you can skip it. And that takes me to what I've learned about chili over the past five years.

1. There are as many variations of chili in the world as there are people.

I've made kielbasi chili, venison chili, turkey chili, Australian Dinkum chili and right now I'm cooking chicken chili.

2. No matter what the variety of chili, the one common ingredeient seems to be some variation of chile pepper. Either the powder, the peppers themselves, the juice, whatever.

3. There are as many variations in hotness of chili as there are variations in chili.

Don't confuse hot with spicy. These are entirely two different things. Hotness is just a matter of judging the tolerence or insanity of a chili judge/taster. In some cases it's simply a measure of machoness, if there is such a word, both on the part of the chef and the taster. Never mind that they may both end up in adjoining beds in the local emergency room. The chef will confidently know that he created the hottest chili possible and the taster will know, beaming with pride, that he consumed said chili...and survived. Not my idea of a fun repast.

4. Italian sausage chili is a favorite.

This may be a local phenomenon, but the winning chili, two of the last four years, have been some variation made with italian sausage, sweet and hot.

5. Most people like chili that is either mild to medium in heat and flavorful.

These chilis have always done well in the voting, which brings me to spicy.

6. Spicy is not hot, spicy is flavorful.

Spicy is being able to taste the various flavors of the ingredients in the chili, with a certain amount of pleasure, not pain. Spicy is two day old chili that has had time to release its flavors into the broth, warmed for breakfast. I kid you not. Hot, on the other hand is Shania Twain, in anything she chooses to wear...or nothing at all.
November 14, 2005 at 8:34pm
November 14, 2005 at 8:34pm
Wrote a story today for Writer's Cramp. First one in some time. I don't seem to be able to put the time together to write as often as I did last year. Part of me is hoping for a long snow filled winter. One that will chain me to the house so I can sit and write. Last year for Christmas i took about twenty of my short stories and turned them into an ebook that I gave to family and friends. I had hoped for positive reinforcement, but I got hardly a comment. I still wonder why. Am I that bad a writer? At the time I thought about making it an annual thing. A book of short stories, every Christmas. I started one for this year...but I haven't finished it and probably won't.

It's funny. I write because it makes me feel good. it gives me a sense of freedom...and yes power. A writer of fiction has the ultimate power over his charactors and story. Better then any Simcity game if you ask me.

Yet I also crave feedback, and not just positive feedback. ANY feedback. Something that tells me you were moved by what I wrote. Even if it's only to tell me you thought it was lousy. The worst is no feedback at all. Nobody cared. What a shame. Of course, no comment, in and of itself is, or might be, a comment. I failed. I missed my mark. I elicited no response from the reader, who for all I know may have put my story down after the first paragraph. If I (or we) as a writer think about it to much I'm sure it would lead to my dropping writing for another 30 years. I'm not going to let that happen. For one thing, I'd be just about 80, so odds are I wouldn't be here to start writing again. Maybe in my next life (grin) For another, I find I enjoy it to much. I don't know if it's the art of putting the words together to tell a story or what. There's just something about it that won't let go. maybe, I finally know how a drug addict feels. Maybe I'm "hooked" Maybe I'll go into withdrawal if I don't get enough of a "fix"

November 13, 2005 at 7:00pm
November 13, 2005 at 7:00pm
OK, so I don't make an entry every day. Will the world end? I don't think so.

Spent yesterday visiting with family in State College, PA. My nieces were in from Arizona, one with her new hubby. First time I met him. Wonder what his impression was of me? Hah-hah!. He's a studier. he listens to the conversations going on around him and takes it all in. He observes. I like that. I, of course, was watching him. Evaluating, seeing if he measured up. So far so good. It was nice to see them. I don't get to do that very often. Arizona is a fair piece from Pennsylvania.

I have many fond memories of watching my nieces grow up and parts and pieces of them are evident in a number of my stories where children are present. It's fun to watch them now, in their twenties, making their way in the world. And to think I knew them when they were in diapers. (grin) I'm very proud of them. I only wished they were closer so I could see them more often.

Well, tomorrow I'm back to work. I enjoy work. I'm one of the lucky few. I actually knew in 8th grade what I wanted to do as a career, and I've been doing it for the past 21 years. It doesn't get much better than that. Of course, since I've been at this site and since I started writing again, I do have fantasies of anoter career, one I probably should have pursued thirty years ago. Mayybe when I retire I'll see if I can actually make money at his writing thing. Who knows.

November 11, 2005 at 7:13pm
November 11, 2005 at 7:13pm
Geez, I missed yesterday and today...well I guess not today technically and I'm getting reminder emails to update my Blog! Give me a break. It's my blog, I'll update it when I want. If you must know, I've been travelling the length of Pennsylvania, these past two days and I'm tired. So, that's all folks!

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