The title of this post is the opening line to the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. The following is a review of the series I’ve read thus far, and a commentary on the motivation I’m gaining as I’ve been reading it: 

As you know I’ve been reading the Dark Tower series, and it’s safe to say I’m pretty hooked. I didn’t think I would get taken in this deeply by Stephen King (a author whom I have a very sordid history with). For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series it’s about a man named Roland and his journey to find the dark tower. He is a gunslinger (think like a knight of the old west) and he is defined by his antiquated nature and his devotion to honor and destiny. He is also the last of his kind.

Everything takes place in this “world” that’s a lot like our own, but it’s mixed in with a very dystopian western future/past. Think: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly meets The Lord of the Rings and then they made very good looking baby with The Postman (a Kevin Costner classic).

The imagery of this whole landscape is enthralling and makes you wonder about what’s lurking around the next corner. The humor (what little there is) is poignant and helps break up the very heavy nature of this tale. The story is a slow burn, but slow like a mine fire; there is a lot is under the surface, likely a raging inferno, but all you can see is the poisonous gases and smoke the seem to fill the air. But I feel the most important aspect of this story are the different characters. (Certainly, as all great stories have).

(Very mild spoilers ahead)

All of these characters have their major flaws; just like ourselves. That’s why you read. You start to realize that maybe you have the same demons as Eddie (an addict), or Susannah (anger), or Jake (naivety). But once these characters enter Mid-world (the name of this crazy Middle Earth) then they sort of get knighted by Roland as gunslingers. These people have their struggles but they learn to stop, listen, and aim true. They start solving problems because they remember their past and know it can help them. They know their roles in this world and do the right thing. (It also helps when they’re all obsessed with reaching the end of their journey)

When you reach the point in the story where I am you start to learn a little more about Roland’s past. This is remarkable because Roland is a character shrouded in secrecy. He says very little and usually let’s bullets do most of the talking. You learn that, as a boy, he had to watch his family get torn apart by deception. He had to witness the decline of his people and the love of his life.

Knowing all these hurts in his life you start to wonder “what is Roland really chasing?”. It’s not just a big dark tower in the middle of a field of roses…is it? What does he want from this journey? Redemption? Vengeance? Saving a damsel in distress?

I’m willing to bet, if I could ask Roland that question he’d likely reply with “I wot, maybe it’s not about what I’m chasing, it’s about what’s chasing me.”

Now, I still have a ways to go in this story, but that’s what keeps hitting me. What is Roland searching for? It’s the reason I keep picking the book up. Maybe I’ll learn more. Maybe I’ll be teased further. Either way, it’s good storytelling.

And that’s why I’m making this post. This story is pulling me in because, I feel, that it reflects our own journey much better than other books do. No, I don’t have a great deal of tragedy in my life that has left me rabid with a desire to chase my enemy to the ends of the earth. Nope, I haven’t tried to find meaning in life by devoting myself to restoring justice and balance in the universe. I mostly drink too much soda and spend too much time on the internet. But this doesn’t mean I don’t have my own dark tower looming on the horizon. I just haven’t really started chasing it yet.

I think my dark tower is the same as Roland’s. I think yours is as well. We are all looking for that one thing, we just don’t exactly know what that one thing is. When we find it, it will feel like we’ve found a key that finally fits the lock in our heart. Maybe you’ll get to that dark tower and it turns into a Super Mario scenario. Maybe you defeat the monster but learn that the Princess has been moved to another castle. Still, you will persist.

I think a lot of people get discouraged in life because of this. “What is the meaning of life?”, “How come nothing goes my way?”, “Life is so unfair.” are phrases that we all say (I know I’ve asked myself these once or twice). Some people ask themselves those questions and they just sort of give up on the journey. They tell themselves they’ve achieved enough and that will be okay or maybe they say they are not fit for the journey and can’t go on. But the truth is, they’re just settling with your weaknesses. You can make this trip.

So, using this odd source of inspiration, I’ve decided to continually improve myself. Maybe I need to stop making fun of people so much. Maybe I need to stop the soda and the internet (or mostly stop). Maybe I need to exercise more self control to find more self motivation. Maybe I need to go out into the world so I can really find my dark tower.

Do as Roland did; chase that thing which seems nigh impossible to catch. Walk across a desert, a place of death, and persist. Don’t give up. Even when the buzzards are flying overhead and you find new paths along The Beam, continue onward. You may have to establish new and unexpected relationships, you might even have to sacrifice some other relationships. Press forward.

So, if i can, I’d like to hand you a pair of guns. They have the same ivory handles and have been passed down from gunslinger to gunslinger for generations. They will always be by your side. They will always shoot straight. They will keep you protected. Don’t forget to treat them with the care they have received before. These will serve as your tools on your long journey to find the dark tower.

It doesn’t matter who your family is, what creed you follow, or what (sub)culture(s) you claim as your own. What matters is you learn from your past, get things done in the now, and look toward the future.

 

You have been knighted, so steady your hand, aim true, and pull the trigger.

The dark tower awaits.

D.A.

The times, they are a-changing…so let’s get some updates out of the way.

Website: I’ve been sprucing the old place up a little bit. The mold has been cleared and some new curtains have been hung. I ripped out the carpet and replaced it with bamboo flooring. I even remodeled an entire room. (But the smell of Fritos and toenail clippings is still hanging in the air.) Also, the Thing that was Living in the Fridge wanted me to tell you that he’s learned to speak English and he’s hoping you all are doing well. (Then he went outside and ate another stray cat or two).

To share something completely honest, I’m not the most tech-savvy of the bunch. I’m not sure if those of you who “subscribe” to this blog get updated whenever I change anything on a page…but if you do get updated, then please forgive me for changing things and then making you think this site has been more productive that it has been, then you get hit with a post that also updates you on things you’ve already been updated on.

If you don’t get updated then shut up and listen because it’s about to go down.

I’ve deleted the page that was called “Comics”. It featured a bunch of little doodles in the form of comic strips that I thought were funny at 3 in the morning about two years ago. They were bad. Like…really bad. Not even cute bad. So bad that I when I looked at them for the first time in over a year, I started to question what I was thinking. And I mean really question my mental health. I looked at these things and I reacted like they were photos of experimental surgeries during World War II. I think I’m going to get subpoenaed to testify in some war crimes court at The Hague.

Sooo…I killed them. They’re dead and will never bother us again.

Until now…

From this page’s ashes has risen another creative outlet. It’s called “Art”.

:::puts on beret and dark sunglasses:::

That’s right guys…I’m artsy…

I’ve been dabbling in watercolor for the past year. I’m not very good. I am not well educated in the media nor the idea of what makes art…art, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I feel like I’ll share with you some of the stuff I’ve painted in the past and anything else I might paint in the future as long as I don’t think I’ll get too ridiculed by myself in two years when I look back on the content of this page. (On a side note, I’m not sure if Double Jeopardy is a thing in International Court.)

Here will be the first piece I share with you. It’s called Robot on a Building.

It's art, man

Robot on a Building

I know all of you have questions, so allow me to knock a few of those out of the way for you.

Q & A Time!!! (Where I ask the questions and I give the answers)

Why is that the name of the painting? Because it’s a robot, and he’s sitting on a building. If you think of something better, let me know, I’ll change it for you.

What’s the idea behind it? I thought about drawing a robot sitting on a building looking like he was bored from destroying the city. Then I got the bright idea of put the itsy-bitsy little girl with a balloon at the bottom looking up at the robot. Now it just looks like that robot is really bored with this little girl. Like, maybe the whole world has hidden and only this simple little girl with a freaking balloon and bad parents went out to reason with this robot. He is not entertained and is probably thinking about using his giant antenna to catch the last half of the ball game he’s been missing doing all this busy robot work.

Is the city supposed to look like it’s on fire? No. I was trying to make it look like a sunset was happening in the background…but if you want to seen it as a burning city behind him, go for it. Heck, it even makes it look like it was planned when you think about it. But no…I’m not that smart.

Why are the buildings crooked? Because I  can’t draw straight lines.

Why is their some sort of dial on his chest? Are we supposed to suspect that he can somehow look down on his own chest and tell what the reading is? Come on guys…calm down…it’s just a drawing. It looked really robot-y in my head and made sense when I drew it.

How long did it take you to make this? I think it was close to 3 hours. like…maybe 1 and a half to draw with a pencil, erase everything at least 3 times, and redraw it at least 3 times. Another 30 to go over everything with a pen and not make straight lines with the buildings on the side. And the last 30 to paint and all that jazz.

When are you going to get better? Shut up…

END OF Q&A!!!

So on the art page you’ll find this painting as well as two others. I know…I’m forcing you to visit the page in order to see what they are. I know, how could you be so lucky? Right? Because as moderator of this blog, I’m a tyrant, but a benevolent one.

Reading: I’ve been reading a lot lately and it feels wonderful. I’m about halfway through the book Wizard and Glass. I’ve been really thinking a lot about the book, so expect my next post (Wednesday) to feature a very long-winded synopsis and analysis on how I think it applies to my life (and maybe your life despite you not reading it).

Writing: Friday’s post will be a short story. It may or may not be called The Thing that Lived in my Fridge: A Love Story. Prepare yourself.

Now, it’s Monday morning, so you’re probably groggy and tired still. Maybe you’re perusing this site while sipping on your second cup of coffee. You might be reading this during your lunch break. Thank you for wasting your time with me. (I’m still on vacation, so I’m going to taunt you while I can).

But remember: People aren’t paying you to lollygag. Get back to work.

BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahaaaaaa,

D.A.

 

 

Irish Breakfast Tea with an preposterous amount of sugar in it.

That’s what’s hitting the spot right now.

Yesterday was a pretty good summer day. I went to work (seriously) and got some planning and such done. Then I met up with some friends and bought some acetone. (Nothing suspicious, I promise). Then I played about 3 hours of disc golf with the local club. I shot poorly and was attacked by gnats from the onset but it was still nice.

While driving home I saw the sun cast off light at those low angles that seem to land on your heart and not your skin. It was late in the day when the air decides that it can’t keep holding the heat inside and the temperature finally starts to drop. (Below 1 whole “Frick” unit). When the searing humidity drops you can smell the fresh cut grass and the magnolias in bloom. The sea breeze kicks up a little from the east and it carries the sounds of mockingbirds to your weary ears.

You know that feeling.

It’s got me in quite the introspective mood.

Oh, and that earth-shattering conversation I had with a friend a few days ago.

One of my closest friends called me only an hour or so after hanging out with me and began chewing me out for being a jerk the whole night toward him. Apparently my words (and they were few) were only filled with contempt and disdain toward him. He also pointed out to me that I had done this all night, not just to him, but in front of many of our other friends. He felt embarrassed, ashamed, and confused. When he called me I could feel the anger boiling through the phone.

So, what happened between us? Did he do something towards me and I felt I had to retaliate in some childish way? Nope. Did I make a decision to oust him as one of my closest people in my life because of a certain level of jealousy between us? No. Did I feel like ruining his life because of a weird and twisted love triangle? Not that either.

You want to know what lead him to telling me he was mere moments from never speaking to me again?

My sense of humor.

I know text doesn’t translate well into actual speech. I know personality doesn’t translate well either. You might assign a voice in your mind to my words. Maybe you imagine I sound like a cartoon character. A good humored and friendly voice that has a twinge of youth. You can tell I have a joke oriented presentation with an emphasis on self deprecation. Heck, with what you hear in your head, you might want to have a beer with me. And in certain groups, this tends to be true. (Except that beer tastes like fire urine)

But when I’m with people I’m close with, I take a more cynical and darker edge. I make some pretty dark jokes that can really catch the unsuspecting off guard. I’m also an expert at delivering everything with a straight face and a level of dryness that would make the Sahara look like a wading pool. It comes off, more times than not, as a cynical douchebag acting like…a cynical douchebag.

I was making fun of my friend (which only included a few dozen carefully chosen words) and it broke him down into a raving mad man. And I didn’t even say anything that would be considered offensive or outright unbecoming in terms of content. It’s how I said it.

The biggest problem here is that I didn’t see the effects my words were having. I had no idea. My best friend, whom asked me to be with him in his wedding, to help him grow as a human being, and to keep him level when things were shaky, was at wit’s end with me. I had spent countless hours with this guy, and I couldn’t even tell I was irking him. I couldn’t even tell he was upset when he left. I even thought he was joking when he called me and started destroying me with the truth.

Wow.

Some friend I am.

Since that conversation both me and him have patched things up but I’m still ashamed of what I have done. I can’t really look him in the eyes. What if he’s not the only one? What if I’ve been alienating all the people closest to me for years and just didn’t see it? What if they’re too afraid to say anything to me, fearing that I’ll just be extra crotchety towards them?

Would this explain why people around me don’t seem to stay around me? Does this explain why I’m considered a person that’s “hard to get sometimes”? Does this mean I repel people as they try to get closer to me?

But I think of one questions more than those.

“What kind of person am I and what kind of person do I want to be known as?”

That’s what keeps running through my mind.

I know what the advice is that you’d throw at me. “Hey, stop being a douche.”

I know, man…I know. It’s simple, it’s poignant, and it’s likely the course of action that needs to take place. I need to figure out other’s feeling before I blurt out “humor”. I need to check on people and make sure they know when something was a joke. (I’ve noticed sometimes I’ll say a “joke” and nobody laughs.)

So I’m working on it. I’m probably going to make some rounds to friends whom I fear I may have alienated. I might find out that I have been a jerk toward a lot of them and they can forgive me. I might find out that my buddy had a really off day and took a lot of stuff too personally. I might find a mixture of both.

Either way, I’m adding something to the Summer To Do’s List…

Be a Better Friend By Not Hurting People’s Feelings. (Yes, this sounds like something a kindergartner would have to write in an apology letter for pushing Timmy off the steps of the slide during recess but that’s just the situation I’m in right now.)

Now, on a lighter note, allow me to reiterate the pooping of the pants if the U.S. of A. can more forward in the World Cup today. Hopefully Ghana and Portugal tie with double goose eggs and the U.S. and Germany realize they’re BBF and just have passing drills for 90 minutes on the pitch. When the whistle blows they’ll trade very not sweaty jerseys and then they’ll have milkshakes afterwards.

I should also mention I’m going to buying paint for my new place in the next week. I’m pretty lost on how to chose those things…so any ideas are highly appreciated.

D.A.

Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

Thanks to humanity’s understanding of planetary motion and geography today marks the official beginning of summer. 

Huzzah!

Now, I’m not a typical summery kind of person. For instance, I live in Florida, where’s it’s summer 9 months out of the year. So if we were to break this down into formula (heat+humidity)/tolerance = insanity threshold. (The unit of measurement is a “Frick”, or “F”.) So when the insanity threshold reaches a full Frick unit we all start to say things like “It’s way too fricking hot to do anything outside.” 

So…yeah…I like it when it’s a good deal cooler. 

But this year, that changes. This year I’m going to be actively more engaged in going outside and doing things. And while I’m at it, allow me to throw together all those things in one of those old fashioned lists of things I say I’ll do but never get around to doing.

Heh, maybe I should get my named changed to D.A. DOESN’T…

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

  1. Read: During the school year I’m working hard. My brain is fried like the golden batter of a eight pack of nuggets from Chick-fil-a…(drools). Since we’ve last spoken I’ve pretty much only read 4 books. Some of them were read completely; some were not. (I feel ashamed, I do). I did a little non-fiction kick at the beginning of the year (which I will certainly make a post about later) and I’ve delved deeper into the Dark Tower Saga from a guy named Stephen King. (This guy is going somewhere one day, take my word for it.) Right now I’m on the book Wizard and Glass which is the fourth book in the series. I plan to have book five done before the middle of August. I’m trying to be realistic because I might get sidetracked into reading other books. Also, two books is a lofty goal for my addled brain right now, so if I fail on two books and one read one…I still win. Or maybe I lose because it is not Ka-tet and I will have forgotten the face of my father…(OooOOooOOoo…seewhatididthere?)
  2. Write: This should be number one…but I didn’t think of it first when I wrote this, so it’s holding down the deuce. I plan on using the increased use of this site to ignite the pyres of words hidden in my mind. I’ll likely publish those shorts here as they pop up. Let’s go ahead and say…a story every 2 weeks? Seem realistic? sure…sure…why not? I’ll also try to limit posting here on the blog to a few times per week. You know how pacing helps you win the longer races. 
  3. Move: I’ll be moving this summer to a house. Like a bonafied real house. With windows and doors and neighbors that aren’t sharing walls with you and have very strange noises coming from behind those said walls. I’ll have a backyard and a front yard (that I must mow). And I’ll have big empty spaces that I can play guitar really loudly in without disturbing the already disturbing neighbors. 
  4. Play Music: And do it loudly. I’ve even contemplated purchasing a new amplifier for this noise making endevour. Hopefully people will come over and play music with me also, which would be nice. 
  5. Do something about my laptop: This is a very tricky area that I may just allowed to happen organically instead of forcing the issue. My only computer is this laptop. It’s not that old (maybe 4 years) but it most certainly needs help. I’m considering buying a new battery and just gutting the whole thing. Maybe that means buying a portable hard drive and backing up the important stuff, resetting to factory settings, deleting bloatware and see how far that gets me. I’ve also entertained the idea of changing the operating system to Linux. This is a little unnerving because I really don’t know much about computers and have grown up only on Windows. So to pull away and do something different (but still well supported as I understand it) is a hard thing to do. The nuclear option will be to purchase a brand new shiny thing which would be more capable of some of the other goals I might have down the line. (Maybe even join the desktop community).
  6. Plan for the next school year: I really want to try getting a good deal of work done BEFORE the kids come back and I got to do the whole thing again. I always like to get better at things. Every year I’ve taught I change at least half of what I did previously. My goal would be to get everything for the 1st quarter planned (in the newly required format), assignments copied, new strategies thought up, and create a new method of sharing content. That method of new content delivery would preferably be shooting some fun little videos that give kids content and also make it fun. (think Bill Nye meets poor high school teacher). I’d like to have units or certain topics that could become “flipped classroom” content. More on that later.
  7. Design a board game: Well…that’s not totally true. I plan on re-theming a board game and then focusing on some of the key mechanics of that game. Then I will tweak that game until it comes out with a more unique playing experience that is wholly different than the game it was based on. What game is that? It’s going to be based on the game Lords of Waterdeep but with a theme of shopping on during Black Friday sales. It’s a pretty fun game that I think could be a little bit more fun with a bit more satire and or humor. (But honestly, if you’re into board games, check out the reviews on boardgamegeek and consider playing it, it’s quite a bit of fun despite everybody’s reluctance to want to be roped in with the DnD crowd.)
  8. Play more disc golf: Yeah, I somehow got hooked on playing disc golf a few months ago. Is it just a kick that will die out shortly? Is it a long term habit of forming new friendships and skills in a hotter than Venus environment during the summer? Is it a way to get easily frustrated when you lose a disc in some unholy thicket full of barbs and thorns that forbid you to enter and retrieve your molded plastic you paid $10 for? I’m not sure…but I do know I like it right now…so I’m going to be doing a good deal of that. 
  9. Paint: I want to paint more. Because I’m elegant and crap. I’ve had some ideas strike me that I know I will not turn out the way I want them to, but man…I’d still like to try. Also, I paint watercolors now…sorry if I haven’t mentioned that as part of what’s happened in the past year…my bad. (don’t worry, I’m not some hidden savant of the brushstrokes, I just found it pretty neato and was something I tried.) 
  10. Poop my pants if the U.S. moves out of group stage in the World Cup: This would be sudden and unexpected to occur, but if it does happen, the stinkies will happen.
  11. Clean pants if that happens: See above.
  12. Try eating Kale: Because that’s a thing now and I want to judge for myself before I start badmouthing its trendiness. 
  13. Learn a new skill: I don’t know what it is. Could be knitting or cooking like a pro with a wok. It could be learning the basics of finance or learn to canoe. I’m not sure what it is, but it would be nice to learn something new every once in a while. Add some extra flavors to my life. (Which may or may not taste like Kale) 
  14. Stretch: In high school I won the class award for “least likely to be confused with Dr. Richard Reed AKA Mr. Fantastic”. With that honor came the great inconvenience of not being able to fully expand without something popping inside of me. Most people liken the sounds to that of a submarine diving deep and the hull crinkling due to the pressure. 
  15. Buy some new music: Yes, I’m one of the 26 people on earth who actually still purchase all the music they listen to. Why? Because morals. That’s why. Because I want to give my money to a band to support them. That’s why. Because I’m a little dated. That’s why. So deal with it. 
  16. Climb Mount Everest then jump to the moon while on fire and winning the world cup with the sweetest bicycle kick in stoppage time: Because who DOESN’T have this goal? Right?

So there you go. Another list of lists to end all of the other lists have have surely popped up in your reader feed today. Thanks for reading. Actually, what I’m more willing to be is that you just sort of looked at the title of this post, saw that it was a guy who wrote more than 200 words and said, I will click follow so maybe he clicks follow. If I did that, dear friend, then we’d all be followers…right?

If that last statement offended you please keep in mind I still have this powerful stench of bleach in the air from cleaning out this place from yesterday. The plummer is coming tomorrow. To add to that, I discovered what went unchecked in the fridge. It’s currently sitting on my couch eating old hot dogs and learning to speak English by watching T.V. commercials. 

As for you, what do you plan on doing this summer? Travel? Meeting up with friends? Carving a image of yours truly into a stump of a tree with a chainsaw? I’m just asking. I’m not trying to encourage any odd behavior like that. 

But, if you do…make sure you get my eyes right. People always mess up the eyes. 

D.A.

I used to call this blog home. Then I left on a weekend trip and said I’d return shortly. But then my car died on the way back and I had to catch a plane instead. But the plane had to get rerouted due to some dude pooping his pants on the flight (the air marshal thought he meant something different what he said he’d “dropped a deuce”). When we landed I was stuck in customs forever and they said I couldn’t enter the country. Apparently I had boarded the wrong plane and ended up on another continent. I eventually broke myself out of that prison of a terminal (a la’ Shawshank style). Then I was captured by pirates and held for ransom for over 14 weeks. They demanded that Paula Deen be put back on the air, and until her recent internet channel/program announcement, that’s where I’ve been.

And you would think those pirates knew how to cook anything with all the devoted watching of her butter soaked recipes.

But here I am. I’m back. But what’s happened to the place? Mike said he’d watch it while I was gone.

I had to kick away some buzzards who had taken up residence at the entrance. Apparently they were eating the mice in the overgrown yard and must have been trying to make some abstract art using their fecal matter. (In all honesty, it’s not too bad). The front door had police tape strewn across and had a moldy patina on the edges.

When I finally got my key to fit in the lock I opened the door the smell of old toenail clippings and Fritos. The blinds were askew but small slits of light ignited the dust particles that floated in the air. The wallpaper was peeling in one dark corner and all of the furniture was missing except the mini bus sized couch. May book collection was partially toppled from their shelves and the legs on the bookcase cracked.

I turn on a light switch only to hear a loud pop and the smell of burnt plastic. One of the bulbs glows dimly, flickering as its coils feel electricity for the first time in years. I drop my bag of hotel soaps and bathrobes from my last stop at a Motel 8.

I flop down in the center of the couch and let the slightly damp cushions hug me. I close my eyes and try to remember the good things that happened in this place.

I remember this was a place of comfort, a place of dreams and goals. This was a place for me to be open and up front. This was a place built by myself and for myself.  I remember the poorly written jokes and the even more poorly written stories that were crafted here. These walls soaked in all those ideas and kept them from escape. They kept them safe from storms outside and the nosey neighbors around.

I take in a deep breath and open my eyes.

There is a fate for this place. Most would have it condemned and demolished; some would just torch it and take the insurance money. Some would pull out a hotplate and sell ramen noodle soup from here claiming it was a new and hipster “gastropub” experience.

I, on the other hand, feel too much nostalgia. I can’t possibly let this place continue to decay. This place can return to its once red moonlit glory. It can once again be a place full of life and goals. I can post banners of failures and banners victories all about. Everybody can once again enjoy the life, writings, and failures of D.A. Bancroft.

So, there it is folks. I think I’ve come back to the old digs.

Yeah, maybe a gut job is required. I might even need to do some work on the foundation. I know the plumbing is full of earthworms and the wiring might have shorted out completely. I’m pretty sure I even left stuff in the fridge… there might be an entire microcosm in there by now. I’ll fiddle with that later.

But at least this means I get to reimagine what the space can be used for.

A good cleaning, some new furniture, and a splash of paint can go a long way.

Yup…home sweet home…

So…

Here I am…

If anybody is still out there…come on by. Maybe bring me a bottle of bleach and some home baked cookies. I could use both.

D.A.

I’m This Many

May 15, 2013

TWO.

Two years of adding/not adding material on this site.

How bout’ that?

With time comes…mostly just time. Not much else I suppose. I’m not much different than what I was when I first started blogging.

Well…with a few exceptions.

But you should find your local comic book shop (Or LCS for us very hip hipsters in the know) and visit them tomorrow.

Why tomorrow?

Because it’s free comic book day of course!

The time of the year when you can just smell the ink and recycled paper in the air. You can hear fanboys groaning about the new author on that one popular title. You might see the flicker of colors as the pages of graphic novels are perused before they’re bought.

The deals vary from place to place, but you are likely to get some very good savings on days like this.

Also, you get free comics…hence the name.

But really, clear out an half hour to swing by somewhere and pick up some title you’ve never read before. Or just pick up a comic for the first time. Want suggestions?

Batman…all Batman.

Don’t like Batman?

That’s tough. You know what will help fix that problem?

Read Batman.

Don’t feel like reading the “Batman” title?

That’s okay, try some of these others.

Detective Comics, Batman Inc., Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, Batgirl, Batwoman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, World’s Finest, The Brave and the Bold, Justice League, Batwing, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, and Talon.

Most importantly, they are all associated with Batman in some respect.

Yes, there are other comics out there, but why not stick which what you really want? Bats has got it for you.

There you go. Now you’ve got a busy Saturday.

sdrawkcaB elttiL A

May 1, 2013

Sorry to confuse you. I really shouldn’t be so stupid that I would put nonsense into my title.

But it’s been one of those days. Tomorrow and Friday will likely be the same.

So I tried to get ahead of the curve and wrote some posts for later in the week rather than today. So, you’ll have to wait later for real content, even though I did, in fact, do it today. That also gives me grounds to make a lazy post right now. The other posts are also sort of time sensitive as well.

I would also like to let you know that the last item in my previous post has been deemed invalid. Apparently I played the same song today and no tornado occurred. Statistically I’m still batting around .500, so that’s still enough to get me in the hall of fame.

Goodnight,

D.A.

 

I Almost Died Today

April 30, 2013

(Kinda sorta, but more of a statement of fact than fantasy)

I shall embellish as necessary. You know, for entertainment purposes. But I think as I write this I will end up being more truthful than anything.

SO THERE I WAS… learning how to play Earth, Wind, and Fire’s song September on guitar. (Yeah, specifically this song) And I hear a little bit o’ thunder in the background. But, hey, I pay no mind to a little thunder. I live in Florida after all, thunder is just as common as senior citizens driving golf carts and theme parks.

By the way, in order to get in the mood, you should listen to this as you read on.

So I keep groovin’ and the thunder keeps boomin’.

Now, I should preface everything I’m about to say with this statement. One of my biggest fears is severe weather and only in recent years (let’s say the past 7 or so) I’ve been able to quell the fear that surges through me when I hear the emergency alert system buzz. Since I’ve been living on my own I have not been in a severe weather event. So… this was a first for me. Facing a major fear while totally alone and helpless.

 

So, as I was saying, I kept playing.

For whatever reason I decided to glance out the window and see if it was even raining yet.

Yeah, quite a bit actually. And the wind was looking rather breezy.

This, in my mind, qualifies as a level 2 threat (on a scale of 1 to 10 of course). This means I pull up a website that has some current radar for my area.

“No biggie” I think to myself. “Tis but a sprinkle.” (Yeah, that’s how I talk to myself)

Then the webpage seems aglow with…colors. Like freaking Christmas trees colors. All of them on top of my homestead.

“Oh eff…” I say to myself (and yes, I say eff as a word, deal with it)

I turn on the T.V. and click to a local news station. I’m immediately bombarded with the familiar buzz of the EAS and it telling me, nay, SCREAMING at me, words I don’t want to see.

Tornado.

Looked and sounded a lot like this.

And my car isn’t even in the garage… MOTHER OF PEARL!

So I do what any responsible, conscientious, well thought out person would do. I put down my guitar, grabbed a pillow and stood in front of the T.V. like a moron.

Then I start to hear the rain start to roar, and my apartment (not homestead, sorry) starts to vibrate flood falling from above. I look outside and see how it’s near white outside with rain and the few trees I can see are whipping around as if they were some wet haired woman in a Whitesnake music video.

Oh boy.

So I put on some house slippers and begin to wonder if I should move to the closet or the bathroom (which is pretty much the same place). My panic stricken mind agrees that the best place would be the shower. More support in the walls as well as the tub to help with reinforcing me in place. (No basement and I live on the second story, I’m screwed no matter what).

So, I stand in the shower until I hear the roar of 1 inch thick hail pound on my windows, door, roof, (and my poor car). I even hear the whipping of the trees outside of my place shake violently.

This happens for about 45 agonizing seconds. In which time I said the foxhole prayer 3 times and started contemplating whether I should pull out my phone and record my last will and testament as I wait for the tornado to sweep me away to the land of Oz. I thought, “This is it D.A., you’re a gonner.”

It really started to sound like something from War of the Worlds was going on outside.

Then it stopped just as quick as it started.

Quivering, holding a small pillow, I stepped out of my tub and into the living room. The updated radar indicated it had passed overhead. I was in the clear.

I picked up the guitar again and played for another hour. Went to the store and picked up a steak. Cooked that steak with some green peppers and onions, with a baked potato on the side. I enjoyed every bite a little more knowing the chemicals in my brain still let me remember that I thought I was going to die on this day, April 30th, 2013.

Let’s recap what we should have learned from this experience.

1. I might want to take notice of the weather a little faster next time, juuuuust in case the giant swirly wind tube of destruction decides my presence is needed elsewhere.

2. I need to consider putting my car IN the garage when I know a storm might be a-brewin’.

3. I make tornadoes happen when I play Earth, Wind, and Fire on guitar.

 

Now, fear me.

D.A.

 

A Glorious $5 Mistake

April 29, 2013

As a young man I loved the games. Games of all sorts. Computer. Video. Board. Card. Mind. All of them. They were the sprinkles on the ice cream cone of life. 

In the year 2003 (I know…) a game came out which changed my life. Actually, it was the sequel to a game that changed my life. It was called SimCity 4. 

Yes. That really boring city simulator that makes you make decisions about ordinances and if you want to make neighboring deals that help you sell your garbage. Also you have to make decisions where you want to put your mansion and if you should put an avenue there or a bus stop. 

I loved it. Still do. But last year I tried dusting off the old disks to SimCity 4 and, lo and behold, the game is so outdated it wouldn’t properly boot up. Yes, there are people online who say with a little bit of wiggling of wired and screaming you can get it to work, but I’m lazy. Very lazy. I decided to let it die and become a relic of the past. Let time polish that memory into a shining gem of my past.

Even fairly recently (I think within the past few months) the same company decided to finally release a sequel to one of my favorite games. No, it’s not called SimCity 5, just simply SimCity. And general opinion is pretty consistent.

It’s a turd. 

A big, expensive, glitchy, weak turd of a game. 

A lot of people have tried to get a refund because they are so disappointed. (If you don’t believe me check out /r/SimCity for a more lengthy bashing of said game). 

One again, I figured it would be smart this possible drain on my wallet and just let bygones be bygones. 

Until I noticed a Steam sale that featured a $5 copy of SimCity 4. And…it says it’ll work with my machine…

Well…I did it.

And I still love it. 

Do I feel bad? No, but my Sims don’t like pollution too much. Do I need to go to bed? No, I need to entice Sims to build more high tech industry. Do I have papers to grade? Of course I do, but I need to build high-capacity schools in my town if I want some nice commercial land value later on.

Why am I telling you this? Because I need possible names for my new cities. 

You may leave them behind in list form if you wish. 

D.A.

 

Until last night when the internet 

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