One morning last week i got into a discussion with a friend of mine about how i feel that i need to learn to be more aggressive in some ways.  It was then inferred that i did not know what that meant, being the clueless git that i am.  I still don't know what they meant though, so i thought i'd look it up and try and figure it out.
[uh-gres-iv] -adjective
1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or like; militantly forward or menacing: aggressive acts against a neighboring country.
2. making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive: an aggressive basketball player.
3. vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness: an aggressive salesperson.
4.boldly assertive and forward; pushy: an aggressive driver.
5.emphasizing maximum growth and capital gains over quality, security, and income: an aggressive mutual fund.
6.Medicine/Medical .
      a.(of a disease or tumor) spreading rapidly or highly invasive; difficult or impossible to treat successfully.
      b.pertaining to a risky surgery or treatment, or to a medication that has grave side effects: aggressive chemotherapy.

[uh-gres] -verb
1.to commit the first act of hostility or offense; attack first.
2.to begin to quarrel.
To be honest... in the context i had intended... most of those definitions were not what i was going for.  I wanted to say that i wanted to be the initiator, the first to begin as opposed to my furtive attempts before.  Always waiting to make sure i was not offending in some way.  I am not looking to quarrel i am just trying to lead in some ways. I guess if i were to apply one of these definitions it would be from #3 above.  Although... after this little exercise... i am still not sure.  LOL 

Things at work have been a little 'stormy' of late.  Just busy and chaotic.  Last week i was approached about the possibility of some kind of trip out to the mid-west.  I was both excited and nervous.  Excited because, well, i don't do a lot of business trips.  Nervous because i would be going into someone else's "house" to sniff around.  It's a long story, and one i would not like to air out here in public.  For my take on things, i would not be going to exert any kind of pressure.  I would only be there to get a better idea of how things are working there, look under the hood so to speak, and see what we could do to interact together more efficiently.  Today it looks as if the long reconnaissance patrol has been canceled. Basically i am standing by to stand by.

For some time now PUMPKIN (DD3) has been wanting a puppy REALLY bad.  Before i say anything else, i love dogs.  I like the comradery , the unconditional acceptance, and the incredible faithfulness of the canine species in general.  But in the end, i am not ready to have a dog in our home.  Dogs require a lot of care.  I do not want to get a dog and then neglect it in some fashion.  Of course she says she would take care of it, etc., but i know the truth.  Next winter when it is snowing i am going to be the one out there walking the dog and cleaning up the yard.  Then, there are the medical bills, etc. that eventually arise.  Due to allergies etc. a cat is out of the question too.  Note: unlike some dog lovers i am not opposed to cats.  I like cats for their independence and how they can (generally) clean up behind themselves.  They can also get in trouble and create messes too, but again... i am leery of the additional expense of having a cat.  Animals deserve, and require, care and one should not assume the responsibility of ownership of a pet unless you are prepared to care adequately for them.  As a compromise i went out and bought a starter ten gallon fish tank. We have it set up in her room to allow the water to balance out and we will be going to get the fish later this week.  I had never heard that the ratio for fish is generally 1" of fish per gallon of water capacity of the tank.  I am still pretty sure i will be the one who ends up taking care of the thing, but at least the fish won't smell up the house or tear up the yard.

I deferred my Dragon hunt in MouseHunt due to a special event where the amount of scrap metal dropped by the various mice was doubled.  "Farming" for scrap metal in MouseHunt is a test of endurance and patience.  I recently constructed a powerful base, but it took 200 pieces of scrap to make it.  I am pretty sure the cumulative time it took me to gather it all up was literally a month or so. Now, i am not sure what else i might need it for, or if there is something coming up that will needed it, but one cannot ignore such events on just the off chance it will come in handy.  Anyway... i have begun my Dragon hunt in earnest as of Monday.  If i catch two Dragons will be happy... if one of the two should happen to drop the blueprints for a very powerful Hydro trap... i will be ecstatic. Once this brief run (50 pieces of cheese maximum) is completed, i am finally beginning my run through the Seasonal Gardens and Zugzwang's Tower.  I have so been looking forward to this region because i LOVE chess... even though i am not very good at it.  In preparation i have already purchased and crafted the traps i am able to use at this level.  If i can get the Heat Bath blueprints from the Dragons i will be even more prepared.  Unfortunately i had to smash my one Chess themed trap that i did have to craft the even more powerful one... but i will save up to replace it.  I am going to shamelessly post each chess piece i catch on my facebook profile.  I apologize to my friends in advance for, perhaps, unwanted game advertisements.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

While i am not Irish, nor where any of my ancestors (that i am currently aware of), i am married to a beautiful Irish redhead.  So, i am Irish by marriage.  8)  However, that does not mean i am fully aware of all of the traditions and such that surround this holiday.  Not too long ago i got chewed out for stating something about corn beef and cabbage being a traditional meal.  Whatever, all i know is that my wife and her family like to eat it on St. Patrick's Day.  I was going to wear orange today, because i had been told that Catholics wear green and Protestants wear orange in their show of support for the day, but when my beloved caught wind of it i was told in pretty definitive terms that i was to wear green and NOT orange.  LOL, so... i have green on... but i am orange on the inside.  8)  I am listening to my Celtic Folk Pandora station today.  Ok, i listen to it most days, but it counts today.

On that note:  I once sought out an Irish Pub when i was staying overnight during a Guard drill.  I called well in advance of my stay and asked if they were going to be having a live band playing on the night in question.  I was assured that they were.  So, that evening i went and got there early, selected a prime spot, outside of the direct sound-wave cone, and ordered my meal.  When the band took the stage, did they play foot tappin', fiddle and whistle, tunes!?!  Nope!  They were playing classic rock songs!  Wow... talk about disappointment.  The best experience i have ever had in an Irish Pub was at Kevin Barry's in Savannah, GA.  I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  Both times i visited were great.  Great food, great drink, great music.
Go raibh tú daibhir i mí-áidh
Agus saibhir i mbeannachtaí
Go mall ag déanamh namhaid, go luath a déanamh carad,
Ach saibhir nó daibhir, go mall nó go luath,
Nach raibh ach áthas agat
Ón lá seo amach.

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends,
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.


We few, we happy few

"You hid in that ditch because you think there's still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead.  The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it." ~ Ronald Speirs in the HBO mini-series, "Band of Brothers".
This past weekend one of the cable channels was having a Band of Brothers marathon.  I have never seen the entire series.  I've barely even seen a complete episode (there were ten in all), but i do know that i would enjoy it in its entirety. The accomplishments of the men of the 101st and Easy company are well documented.  I admire the men who fought in World War II, but in the end this quote stuck with me not because of them men who fought in that war but because it struck me about how i live my life.  I keep living my life afraid to give up things in my life.  There are times i fear death.  I fear that God may require of me to actually have me give up my home, my job, the luxuries (because, let's be honest... the fact i have more than one pair of shoes/jacket/pants/etc., i have TV when i want it and i can go out to eat fairly often, i live in luxury compared to a vast majority of the world) i enjoy.  But when in the service to Christ can't i already consider myself dead to sin?  Yes, i struggle in the flesh... with the vain hope that i can continue in my sin with impunity, but if i am in Christ i should see myself dead to sin, dead to self.  Just like any warrior who struggles with fear though, i continue to struggle with sin.  I have taken encouragement from Paul's continuing struggle with a "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7-9), Job's trials (the entire book of Job), and the fact that not only i am to forgive others seventy times seven, but that i am confident in God's grace and forgiveness.  That does not give me license to go on sinning however, merely encouragement that when i am weak He is strong.  For all my talk, i continue to struggle to march on my knees and to work out my ongoing sanctification.  I am already dead, and i do need to function as a "samurai" of the Lord Jesus Christ... i need to function with mercy, with compassion, and with remorse of my own sins, but where i need to function without compassion, remorse or sorrow is in regards to my pursuit of self discipline and the war against my own flesh.

For several months i have been searching for an artisan to recreate the Eldar Pathfinder Rune for a pendant.  Since i tend to fixate on all things grace/samurai/elvish i had wanted one that was similar in design and material to that of a cross that i have.  My cross is crafted out of simple masonry nails and fused together in more of a craftsmanly fashion, rather than that of a jeweler.  When i say months, i literally mean months.  When i first started my search i really didn't think it would be all that difficult to find.  I was pretty sure that it was not difficult to do and the materials not all that expensive.  I tried several variations of Google searches until i finally just performed a search for "jewelry made with masonry nails".  Somewhere in there i found a listing at Bizrate.com, and there at the top was the type of work i was looking for.  A Rugged Celtic (hard C) Cross Nail Pendant.  Once i found this i found a way to contact the artist directly.  Brad Goodell was very prompt and courteous in getting back to me.  I explained to him what i was hoping to get crafted, we went back and forth on material, etc. and once i had adequately conveyed the idea he went to work.  Only three total days later he sent me pictures of the product to verify it was what i wanted.  In my opinion - amazing since i am sure this was not a high end item for him.  Now, i know it is not a highly polished and smooth finish that the Eldar would probably produce or wear, but then... i am not an Eldar, despite my desires, LOL.  Besides, i wanted it to have a beaten and weathered look to it.  Here are the results of his work:
I am happy enough with the results that i am already considering commissioning a samurai kanji (侍 ) pendant from him.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]Speaking of Elves, not long ago (last week probably), i lamented about not having any desire to get the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu Ray.  I mean, why bother!?  It was the theatrical versions.  But then i got word of the Extended (or Director's cut) edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy being released of Blu-Ray in a single boxed set.  Now, it does not have cool collectibles like my Gollum statue, but it does have a lot of behind the scenes stuff included.  I know i already have the set on DVD... but i am pretty sure i know what i am going to be using my Amazon.com Christmas gift card on.

Late last week, on the residual "high tide" of my recent writing attempts i got a bur in my saddle to continue the story line of one of my older characters, Ian.  When last i left him he had gone against Dyrke and his wishes in regards to my current active character, Jakob.  I was not really sure how to move his story line forward but i had an epiphany and have been able to run with it.  I am almost 800 words into it, and probably only 1/3 to 1/2 of the way to where i think his story line is now going.  I hope to post and share it soon.

Well, i missed both of my regular Monday blog offerings.  Microfiction Monday and Music Monday.  Susan at Stony River: a Writing Life has actually been busy with a new full time job, which is awesome in my opinion. You see, she is a double hero in my opinion.  She is not only a mother of an ASD child, but she is also a single mother working hard to provide for her family.  So, with her "distractions" and not being able to post a new photo each week, i have an excuse.  But, in regards to Music Monday, i have no excuse.  That recurring theme is one of my own choosing and self motivating.  This week's offering stemmed from an area of my walk with Christ that i am wrestling with, and after a long night after being called in, the song come on the radio and spoke to me.  Which has happened to me again this morning in regards to this same issue.  While it is no where near as epic as Jacob's wrestling with an Angel, it has been something God has been walking me through and refreshing to my soul on how He reached down to my soul through the radio.

Desperation Band

You are the source of the life
I can’t be left behind
No one else will do
I will take hold of You

I need You Jesus
To come to my rescue
Where else can I go
There’s no other name by
Which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow You

This world has nothing for me
I will follow You
This world has nothing for me
I will follow You


Praying for Japan

With an affinity for Japan and her history, i would be remorse if i did not put out a blog to ask for prayer for this nation this morning.  The nation experienced an 8.9 magnitude earthquake last night (from my perspective).  More than 1,000 deaths is likely as of this writing..

CNN has a "Live Blog" of reports... this is more my kind of news reading... blurbs.

Japan is a nation, is a member of the human race, and a member of this planet.  We owe her no less than to reach out in prayer and with aide as we are able.


Who do i think i am, Dirk the Daring?

Ok, this might be dating myself some... but i actually remember sinking quarter after quarter after quarter into a stand up version of Dragon's Lair.  I loved that game, even if it was a timing and pattern game.  The sad thing is... i never beat the machine.  I just couldn't get the quarters fast enough, or myself to the Putt Putt golf often enough.  Well... to be fair... Cyberball also came along and distracted me some, but i digress.  I am sure most readers who come across this blog are familiar with Facebook and the innumerable number of distractions (i.e. games) that are available through that social network.  My preferred particular pill of addiction is MouseHunt.  Even though i do not just add 'friends' willy nilly there, i do have a handful of MouseHunt 'only' friends (well, not entirely true, two are fellow parents of ASD children - so we have that in common), and through one such friend i learned of an unofficial Dragon hunt coming up in two weeks.  Basically, a guys (or Doms - as in Dominators) versus Gals (Divas) competition to catch a fairly difficult mouse - the Dragon Mouse (duh!).  What makes it hard is that it is in a remote region of the map that requires time and patience to reach, then it takes time and patience to gather up the supplies to obtain the ingredients to craft the the special cheeses that help you catch mice that drop the ingredients for the next mouse, which drops things needed for the next group of mice who in turn... you guessed it drops loot/ingredients for the group of mice that include the elusive Dragon MouseAnd then, this fellow is not a sure catch.  While i am not certain what the exact ratio of hunts to misses to actual catches (some hunts will gather the other mice and not your intended target).  I know this may sound odd... but this is exactly what draws me to this game.  It is not possible to just go there and do this or that.  Anyway, even though i do not yet qualify to join the Dragon Dominators (i have not captured enough of the beasts yet) i have decided to go ahead and do the hunt on my own just for fun.  Who knows... maybe i can get lucky and get the blueprints for yet another trap!  One distraction will be the game's 3rd birthday celebration.  But, i will keep my eye on the prize... to catch me some Dragon Mice, and prepare my assault on Zugzwang's Tower.

Speaking of dragons... I have been itching to reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Reading is, for me, is immersion in imagination.  My mind is completely absorbed by what i am reading.  I think it's tied into the male's ability to completely blank out the mind.  I still remember reading about Bilbo and the Dwarves on their adventures. Then the hand off to Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring.  I think it is why i often need to "rewash" my mind with the Bible from time to time.  To keep the gospel colored lenses in place and properly filtering what i "see".  The actual reason for this blip of topic is that i saw that the theatrical versions of the Lord of the Rings (which are NOT complete adaptations of the book... if they were they would have easily been 20+ hours long) on Blu Ray.  I'm telling you, after seeing the dingy gray of The Book of Eli on Blu Ray i am in geeky hi-def heaven (lower case H).  However, i am NOT going to be getting the theatrical versions of those movies.  The extended versions are just SO much better in my opinion.

So the NFL and NFLPA have extended the deadline for the collective bargaining agreement.  I am glad, but i am also losing interest in who gets what.  I just want to see the Panthers play in 2011.  I would like to see if Coach Rivera can string back to back winning seasons.  Not another run at the NFC South or even the NFC championships would be nice... but for me... i would like to see consistent winning in back to back seasons.  That would make me happy... even if it was 9-7 and 9-7 with no playoffs in either season.

I have finally posted another chapter for my short story series.  This one is about 750 words, and is not even a portion of the  6,800+ word thread i had mentioned not too long ago.  For some reason that is a double edged sword for me... both discouraging (because i have not posted the new thread yet), and encouraging because i finally posted something after an almost 8 month undesired hiatus.  Even though the two story lines intertwine... i am feeling compelled to leave the second thread on the side line for some reason.  Maybe for me to understand the background and use it to write the other thread?  In any event, it feels good to be writing and posting stories once more.  I even have an idea of how to progress a pair of older characters...

Well, this was supposed to post Tuesday evening, but it didn't so i am going to ramble on for a little while longer.

Had an odd argument this morning over the term "Hooah", you know the motivated response to most questions in the military.  This gentlemen insisted that it derives from acronym HUA, which means Heard, Understood, and Acknowledged.  While that is a possibility, there is evidence that the term may have originated as far back as the American Civil War.  I found a pretty decent response to the question at About.com.  All in all, no one can agree where it originated, but it is something unique to the American military (apparently).  The discussion reminded me of the time i talked with DS1 about my opinion on "Year 0" - or in how the 21st century did not begin until the year 2001, and not the year 2000.  Basically i feel that there are way too many people out there who know what they know because they know it and they are not interested in dissenting opinions or sources of information.  I lump myself into that category from time to time as well.  it not just "those people" who have that issue... i struggle with it too.

A major disrespect of our aging veterans has been taking place in my opinion.  Recently the last American veteran of WWI past away (Frank Buckles), and Congress and the House of Representatives have failed to pay proper respects for this man and those who he fought alongside.  We have memorials for WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  I am not saying that this man by himself deserves any special recognition, but it is the passing of a generation of veterans who served and sacrificed for this nation as well as for our friends and allies in Europe.  Both France and England paid honor to the passing of their last veteran of the "Great War", and France is even sending a high ranking delegation to attend whatever we see fit to pay tribute.  If this is how we treat those who volunteer and sacrifice... i fear for our future.  Unless hard work and sacrifice are honored and rewarded, we will continue to drift into mediocrity.  Our time as a world leader is waning... and perhaps... that is for the best.

A quick note about my current struggles with depression before i wrap up for this week.  I have been on Celexa for a little over three weeks.  I noticed almost an immediate improvement of my demeanor.  I am very happy with the results... but also nervous.  On three occasions i failed to remember to take the Rx first thing in the morning (i moved it to the AM to help me sleep better a night, a known side affect). and i noticed pretty quickly a difference.  I sure hope this becomes an ingrained habit soon.


Wicked Wednesday - 20110309

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness! We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Whoopi Goldberg. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

Note:  My responses are a week behind the meme as set up, but it is to allow me to get the responses done (in my opinion) adequately.

1. An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor, I can play anything.
If you could experience any life form that was not a human of your sex, what would you pick and why?
LOL - it took me a few times reading the question through to get it.  I would love to experience a lifetime as an Elf.  It's not that i think they have a perfect life, but the mythology of the Elves as i know it (which is predominately of the Tolkien variety) really appeals to me.  To have lifetimes to focus on and study different things, and not just one lifetime to study say music, but several such lifetimes.  And not just one subject, but many different ones.  I do not know what Heaven will be like other than i will get to worship God in person, but there are times when i imagine we will get to explore different aspects of His creation and how it pertains to His glory.

2. For some reason, all artists have self-esteem issues.
Do you have any self esteem issues? Do tell. (Since we all do.)
Indeed i do.  I tend to feel that i am i unable to be all that i could want to be, and yet... i know i think to highly of myself.  This may seem like an odd dichotomy but let me expound upon this.  I tend to be very critical of myself.  I perform self evaluations almost daily.  What have i done that i could improve upon.  This is a never ending deal because there is always something that i could have done better, a harsh remark not spoken, a reassuring compliment not spoken, more time spent doing something other than playing on my HTC EVO.  Then there is my relationship with my Savior.  Although God in His kindness has shown me glimpses of my own sin and depravity, the image is but a shadow of just how deeply i had/have offended the Holiness of God.  Just a pinch of leaven will pervade a batch of dough, so does a pinch of sin in my life.  It is only by the grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ am i am able to stand before the Throne.

3. I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said, you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That's exactly what I've done.
Do you believe in the American Dream or has it passed through time?
I do for the most part.  While i know it is not perfect, i do feel that many of the freedoms that make it so are slowly being stripped away.  America is great, not because we have given everything to some, but because we have allowed hard work to be rewarded.  I do not have all the answers, nor are all my opinions correct, but i do know that you cannot legislate morality and you can not tax a country to prosperity.

4. I don't have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation.
It's been asked before, probably weekly, but what's irritating you today?
This quote brought a slight chuckle out.  8) Nothing particular at the moment.  Things like "failing to plan on your part, shouldn't constitute an emergency on my part",  just because you have to do something you didn't expect or take an extra step in a process because things were not laid out exactly how you wanted does not give you the right to whine and complain - put on your big girl panties and actually do the extra step or two to achieve success.  I tell my children all the time that life is not fair and that they need to learn how to figure out how to overcome the obstacles that appear to be blocking their way.  The sooner one learns to adapt and accept that the world does not revolve around them, the further along the path of success they will be.

5. I don't look like Halle Berry. But chances are, she's going to end up looking like me.
What do you think you'll end up looking like? (A picture would help.)
I can only hope that i will age as gracefully and handsomely as my maternal grandfather, or my father-in-law.  However i think it is going to be more like Statler and Waldorf - those two hecklers from the Muppet Show.

6. I grew up in a time when it would never have occurred to anyone to tell me there was anything I couldn't do.
Has anyone told you that you could not do something?
Way back when i first joined the Army National Guard, i remember being pretty gung-ho.  On my first Annual Training cycle we trained with a team from the 82nd Airborne division.  I wanted to go full time that summer, but the full timers were less than encouraging.  Essentially they mocked and told me that i couldn't do it.  I never did go full time, though i am OK with that.  I like where i am at in life.

7. I want Carl Sagan to explain the sky to me.
Is there anybody dead that you'd like to talk to?
I would love to talk to Peter, James, or John - the disciples of Jesus.  I would also love to talk to the woman who poured the Alabaster jar of perfume to anoint Jesus and washed his feet with her tears.  Lazerus would be an interest evening, especially in the company of Mary and Martha.  These are the ones that immediately jumped to my mind.  As Jesus has risen from the dead... that is the reason He is not on the list.  8)

8. If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers.
Have you ever done volunteer work?
I have, but not as much as i should.  I have assisted with coaching soccer teams, i have helped with some church projects.  My life right now is mostly spent working with my children and getting them where they need to be, etc. Although, i am slowly getting back into some things here and there as i include my oldest... well, to be honest... he is including me.  8)

9. It's being willing to walk away that gives you strength and power - if you're willing to accept the consequences of doing what you want to do.
Have you ever walked away from a job and regretted it?
Several actually.  The first one that comes to mind was the summer i spent working with a pool re-plastering company.  Being the low man on the totem pole i spent my days on the back of the truck busting bags into the mixing machine that weighed between 80 and 120 pounds.  That was hot, dusty work, but i actually enjoyed it.  One day, i just stopped going.  Another was as a shipping and receiving clerk for a machinery testing company.  That was a cake job, decent pay, not very hard work.  Again, one day i just stopped going. Unfortunately there were others as well.  That is what steered me towards the National Guard eventually because potential employers began noticing a trend in my job history.

10. Normal is in the eye of the beholder.
Are you normal? Explain.

Of course i am normal, it's all you other wackos out there that are not.  8)  I once heard a good quote.  Everyone in the world is insane.  Why else would we walk through life that we do.  It's the people who have been institutionalized that have had their eyes open and see the world for how it really is.  Personally, i don't subscribed to that point of view, but it made me chuckle.  We each mold ourselves on our perception of 'normal'.  We see the world through our individual lenses (even as members of a group, we still have unique points of view) and respond as we have learned, or trained ourselves, to.  "Normal" is only a median of a particular group of people.


Microfiction Monday - 20110307

Welcome to Microfiction Monday, 
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer. 

The old pictures always made him look two dimensional.  Benjamin had nothing on him.  Better to not age at all, let alone backwards.

Your Turn!  

About Microfiction Monday
Microfiction means the shortest of short stories. Think Aesop's fables, comic strips, or even jokes: complete stories that can be told in under a minute. For this game, the limit is a tweetable 140 characters or fewer.
Hate counting letters and spaces? Try Design 215's character counter, which will count for you as you type. Microsoft Word will count for you too, of course, as part of its word count feature under the 'Review' tab.
Photos will be from my own archives; illustrations are from Dover Publications' free clipart sample newsletter.

And finally, why 140? A whole new fiction market has arisen via mobile phone texting and Twitter, who limits 'tweets' to 140 characters including spaces and punctuation. It's fast, it's fiction, it's fun. 

I joined this meme thread from a fellow parent dealing with an Autistic child: Susan @ Stony River: a writing life


It's just like shooting phish in a barrel

I am not one to usually fall for phishing attempts.  I am leery of any unsolicited free opportunities, don't even bother with some kind of assistance with a money transfer, and i am not interested in any sort of time share.  So, when an e-mail came into my business e-mail address advising me that i needed to upgrade a certain function within my PC i should have noticed that certain fields did not look quite right, but this thing i was told to update is something that i've had trouble with before and before i verified anything i was clicking and typing away.  *sigh* Fortunately i realized my error quickly and immediately revoked the privileges of this function and reacquired new privileges using brand spanking new passwords.  I felt like such an id10t.  There were at least two things i should have noticed off the bat, but my guard was down and i was not paying close enough attention.  My paragraph here is to encourage anyone who reads this to verify, verify, verify, and if you feel that you have clicked on a link or provided a password to a 3rd party you would rather not have... change all related passwords immediately.  It is highly recommended that a password be a MINIMUM of 8 characters (12 is preferred), containing upper AND lower case 'alpha' characters and at least 1 numeric and 1 'special (~!`@#$%^&*-.,<>) character.  Also - it is best to not use any personal references in case "social engineering" is taking place.

I got on a writing tear.  6700 words.  I followed a friend's advice and just wrote and wrote and wrote.  I kept going until i got to the end of the outline i had worked up a few months back.  Although, i did have to wing it in some spots because i did not have every detail outlined.  I have now hit a roadblock of sorts... my own outlining.  I need to get going on that part, but in the meantime i am not confident in sharing what i have so far because i want to proof it at least with one go over.  Oh, and i have recently learned of pages being enabled on Blogger.com, so i want to look into that to help sort my stories, and preferably in a more chronological order - as opposed from newest to oldest.  I just need to take time to figure it out and how to get it to work properly.

I have often received good reviews in regards to performances at my work.  I am not boasting because i feel that it is of God's grace and favor and not because i am some awesome worker in and of myself.  To be honest, i feel inadequate pretty much every day.  I work among some incredibly bright people, and while i am able to learn and use what they share, i am often reminded that although i am a peer in employment i am not a main contributor to the knowledge pool.  Well, this year i was reminded that i will be expected to pursue regaining at least a CCNA.  *sigh*  I really struggle at book learning.  I struggle in individual pursuit of further education.  Get me in a class with an instructor where i can interact and put my hands to work on what i am learning, i get it.  Unfortunately, that form of tutoring is pretty steeply expensive and my employer is not inclined to pay, not unless i am pursuing some form of college degree.  As of right now i do not have a plan... and i am pretty nervous about achieving this goal put before me.