Ramblin' along

Today has been very crazy. So, since i am not able to come up with one continuous and concise train of thought i am going to ramble for today... these are in no particular order. Normally this time of year i get kind of overwhelmed. The school year is winding down, there are field trips, end of year testing, IEP's, soccer, gymnastics, social skills and Autism support group meetings. You get the idea... and i am sure many of you all out there in cyberville are in similar situations. Anyway, i am finding it helpful in that i am now getting a handful of hours to sit and write the story i've been working on. I have a starting paragraph for what i hope will become a novel... Well, i also have a short piece that i wrote up to help me "see" the main characters, and a decent outline written up. It's not a bad start really. I figure it will probably take me at least eighteen months, maybe more... assuming i can stay focused on one project long enough. I just read that Fallout 3 just won game of the year. Congratulations to them. Since i am not a really big video game player i could not give a fair comparison, but this award comes from the Game Developer's Choice awards, where they also won the award for writing - which is becoming a bigger deal in the gaming industry evidently. For my fellow Christian readers, Plugged In on-line has a review of the game. Their summarization quotes an IGN.com review, "...this is not a game for kids or anybody with a developing moral compass." While i am enjoying the game immensely, i am also using some of the examples to teach my oldest the consequences of making some moral choices. The game is designed as an "open world" system in that it does not dictate how you respond to situations, nor does it corral you through choices to move the game along. (It is finite, but it is much more "wide open" than most other games out there.) The world in which we live in, and the one in which our children live in, is much more wide open than this game - and yet as parents we are tasked to teach them and help them become ready to live in such a world. While i agree with the review i also want to say that we as parents, must be involved with every aspect of our children's lives to prepare them. It is impossible to shield our children from everything, and while overly exposing them to things can be bad, we should not expect to 'protect' them from everything. Each child is different, and we as parents must be 'different' to each of our children. Use any and all tools available as they come into your children's lives. No matter if it from a video game, the school, or the Bible. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is starting to get pretty good IMO. There have been a lot of internet speculation that this series is a long shot to be picked up for a 3rd season. To me that would be a shame since there is a lot of potential in regards to story telling left on the table, but then the entertainment industry is not so much about story telling as it is a business and they have to look at their "bottom line", and i understand that. There is just so much going on in regards to morals and robotics, how decisions we make affect both our future and those around us and their futures. It's not all about cyborgs running around killing humans and vice-versa, nor is about beautiful "babes" running around with guns. It would be a shame for this story to get canned before there is a chance to wrap some of it up. It has really whetted my appetite for Terminator: Salvation coming out on May 22. The NFL draft is right around the corner. While there is a lot of speculation as to what the Carolina Panthers will be doing with disgruntled Julius Peppers (see below) i am still trying to keep up with a man from last years draft. Caleb Campbell, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions, had reported to training camp before the United States Army did an about face and required him to return to active duty. Personally i think they blew an excellent recruiting opportunity with having (then) 2nd LT Campbell not being in the NFL and playing. I feel that they cowed to "peer" pressure from the Military Academies, when similar things already take place for sports such as basketball and baseball. To me that is a double standard. Well, as it stands there is a chance that this young man will be given the opportunity to play next season (2010 - Reference EPSN.com article). What i admire about this young man is he did not bad mouth the academy and he returned as ordered. Now, there is a chance he will not apply to be released which i would admire about him as well. It just gives me something to look forward to next season. If he does go to training camp in 2010... it is very possible that i will have two favorite teams. Recently the Carolina Panthers have sought to extend QB Jake Delhomme's contract in order to get some cap room. To me this is a great thing because i like this guy, but it also shows just how much the NFL is a business. There are a lot of people who are fans of College Football because of the business side of things with the NFL. I hope it gets worked out. Now, in regards to Julius Peppers this has the potential of becoming really ugly. If a man does not want to be on your team, is it really such a good idea to keep him around? I know that he is a good physically talented football player, and the Panthers have the chance to get something out of the whole deal... but he is still a human being. Having served in the Army National Guard i know what it feels like to be treated like a piece of equipment, but he is still a man. I respect Coach Fox and Jerry "Big Cat" Richardson, and i think they will do what is best for the team while not forgeting that Mr. Peppers is a fellow Carolinian and respected member of the Panthers. I think i agree with the "professional" sports writers in that this will probably not be done until close to, or in the middle of, this years draft. As i look forward to the 2009 NFL season, i am excited - as always. I am praying for Mr. Richardon's continued improvement after his recent heart transplant, but i am also hopeful for the first back-to-back winning season for my Panthers. All i ask for is 9-7. Another NFC South title would be nice, a second trip to the Super Bowl even better, but all it would take for me to be a very happy Panthers fan would be the first consecutive winning season record. For the first time since i retired i found myself missing the National Guard. Just a little. I got up a little bit earlier than usual this morning to help my son get out the door for school. As i watched him head out to the buss stop i took in the morning. It was foggy. Cool and damp. The son was just beginning to light up the world and air was fresh. It was the kind of morning that would make your joints ache and your body shiver to get enough warmth to keep the blood flowing, but it was also a morning that thrust fond memories of my guard experiences to fore. There was something about enjoying that time of day. Enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow soldiers as we mutually complained about... well, pretty much anything. Someone would heat up a small camp stove and get real coffee brewing, we'd crack open whatever "pogey bait" we had stashed around, and we'd "chew the fat". My beloved laughs at me and often says, "I thought you were a morning person", and i am. I just also like to take brief cat naps latter on in the day which is not normally possible in a civilian life style. Not that it was always possible in the military because we usually had somewhere to be and something to do... but soldiers learn that they need to take power naps and eat snacks whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the movie "Gettysburg" there is a scene where General Lee is talking with General Longstreet and he says, "I love this time of day, just before dawn. I will miss it after all this." That is where i am at now...


Ms. Coffee said...

Ramble away my friend.

You know I think we all have to take time to teach our children and we do need to use whatever means it placed in front of us. Good or bad - those things exist and all we can do is choose to teach our children from them!

As for the missing the guard. It was a huge season in your life and there will be times when you miss pieces of it. There will be times memories will be brought to the foreground because of something you smell, see, experience. I think we all have times that fit what General Lee said. I thinking missing things sometimes helps us remember.

Great blog today.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Loved your reflections on The Guard. There are probably some great short stories from that experience that you could submit to Writer's Digest or other places.