Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Blues (Minstrel Mondays)

Every year, those of us on the east coast of the United States are terrorized by weathermen and media pundits, decrying the "storm of the century."  Oh!  The mega-hurricane is coming up the coast!  It's going to level every city, drown dogs in their back yards, throw great-white sharks up into supermarket parking lots where they'll eat your children!  Help!  Help!   Aughh-gurgle-gurgle!

This year it was Irene, which did little more than bring a bunch of rain down upon us.  There was one unfortunate guy who had a tree limb fall on him, but other than that and a handful of other unfortunate incidents, it was a pretty harmless storm.

Here's a little song I threw together for the blessed event!  God save Biff Buffington!

It's been raining 'round the bend
Looks like it's never gonna end
And here I sit alone in this parade
No telling where I've been
Or when I'll be back again
For the Weather Channel calls for Armageddon!
But the wind and the rain
Don't cause a lot of pain
For me
'Cause I'm sitting in this room
Looking out at Sunday gloom
But the sun will still be shining in the morning.

The hurricane drizzle couldn't make a flag unfurl
And the trees are barely waving
Yet they evacuate the masses
Lock them up together
For their own protection
So the rapes and looting can go on unabated
Meanwhile the rain keeps falling
And the clouds are surely laughing
At the ludicrosity of man's folly
But you never know
God might send down his big toe
And squash all them unbelievers

It can't get much calmer
Eye of the storm is
The entirety of its being
It's not about to make
Widows of the great
Mover and shakers of our time
More people will die
Choking on candied ginger
Than fall prey to the storm of the century

Pray your way to safety
After all disaster is dead
God didn't send it to kick your ass
Or else you'd be kissing his now
Why must it take irrational fear
To send the faithful flying?
Shouldn't they believe in the glory
Of a bright summer's day?

The storm is a-comin'
Don't doubt it for a second
You'll all be eating string beans
And crying for your mommies
When the rain never stops
And the trusses fall apart
You'll be wishing you'd bought
Salvation for $19.95
Then maybe you'd still be alive

You know we'll all be
Better off tomorrow
Holler and cheer
That you beat the reaper yet again

Never will false prophecies of doom
Escape your waiting mind
It'll come true next time
So says primetime

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Good Old Days

It's another rare family photo from the vault!  Here's one that originally came from my great-aunt Kathryn Forthman-Porlick-Watson-Kimball (she was married 3 times during her life, hence the 4 surnames).  Here's the picture and what she wrote on the back of it:

"The Good Old Days.  Miami, FL, about 1933-34?  In the bow I see me (Kathryn-Pogy), Stormy Sr., Anabel, + Ethel.  I think Stormy Jr. is looking over my shoulder."

Anabel and Ethel are Kathryn's older sisters (also my grandmother Nadine's older sisters).  Here's a close-up of the scene featuring 3 of the five Forthman sisters:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Local Promotion

I stopped by a local bookstore the other day, and found that my books aren't selling in that particular establishment.  It isn't a big surprise in this small community, where reading isn't a favored pastime and book sales are down across the board.  Also, I haven't been doing anything locally to promote my work, mostly because the literary community in this neck of the woods seems more geared toward dry, folk lit, rather than Sci-Fi & Fantasy.  I don't really fit in with the artsy set which dominates the local writing scene, and have therefore focused my efforts online, to sales in far flung places.

Of course, my own introverted personality has been a major motivator toward that end, as well.  Hiding behind my keyboard is easy, but shoving myself out there is uncomfortable.  I once said "Writing is show business for introverts," and that is more often the case than not.  There may be a few flashy, extroverted writers out there, but most of us are more comfortable inside our own heads.

Even so, every writer must step out into the limelight once in a while.

I'm thinking of doing a local promotion, to help stir up interest in my works, though I haven't decided yet.  What I have in mind is a book reading/signing held at a local bookstore, where I will read a short story or a chapter from one of my books, truly an ambitious undertaking.  I'd also like to give attendees added incentives to purchase my books there, such as free short story extras with every purchase.  I could print out a few copies of different shorts I've written over the years, and give one to anyone who shows up and actually buys one of my novels.

This is all in the preliminary (thought) stages, so I can't guarantee anything will happen just yet.  I'll have to see if anyone is really interested in attending, and get the word out in various ways. You can't rely on a notice in the local newspaper here, as nobody seems to read those things anymore.  I'll need some catchy campaign of leaflets and posters on lamp posts; something that'll be seen by anyone who might want to attend.  I'll of course advertise online, but most of my readers aren't within driving distance.

I'm sure this would be an easier thing to set up if I weren't in the backwoods.  That's one of the few disadvantages of quiet, country living.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

West of the Warlock: Week 5 (+Mystic Selwood Progress)

The forthcoming sequel to West of the Warlock is well into production, and I'm pleased to say I've gotten more of it down this week.  The main story arc will be focusing around treachery and betrayal, and we'll get a glimpse into the event behind the founding of Selwood itself.

When writing sequels, I've often taken characters who had bit-parts in a previous novel and placed them in more significant roles.  The same can be said of Mystic Selwood, as several minor players from West of the Warlock will get their fifteen minutes of fame, and then some.  In particular, we'll get to see quite a bit more of Marshall Rodgers (who you can see in West of the Warlock, Episode 1: The Stagecoach Heist).  He and Sheriff Doliber will be butting heads as they both look for answers in a particularly horrific case.

Okay, bringing us back to the here and now, week 5 of West of the Warlock kicks off the back half of the online serials, and continues last week's action-packed story where Ron and Joella met none other than Wyatt Earp!  Saddle up with the Earp party on a "revised" addition to their infamous Vendetta Ride, as they trail bandits who are more than human!  Prepare to be shocked and awed by gunslinging adventure, this week on West of the Warlock!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Castle: Season 1 (Review)

Here's a DVD set that kept popping up on my recommendations, and a while back I decided to give it a shot.  It was recommended because it stars Nathan Fillion, star of the wonderful but sadly cancelled Firefly series.  Though, this series is a far cry from the fantastic sci-fi heights of Fillion's past.  This is a cop show with a twist, as Fillion plays Richard Castle, a famous murder-mystery writer who gets himself attached to a NYC detective (who happens to be a very attractive woman—there are no ugly female cops on television, go figure).

I had mixed emotions going into this, as shows with a "writer" as a main character can generally go one of two ways.  Either the character is this fantastic, gregarious super-writer (everything the real writer wishes he/she was in real life), or the character is made goofy and comical, to counter the writer's inherent desire to cast themselves in the lead role.  With Fillion's character, the writers do a bit of both.  Castle is this dashing, rich writer with a suave personality, philandering tastes, and a cynical attitude sometimes more akin to a sitcom character than a crime drama star.  Nathan Fillion is a fine actor, and he does a great job with the material he's given, though I guess I was expecting his character to be a little more serious.

With that said, this isn't a horrible show.  It actually is entertaining, for the most part, though like a lot of mainstream shows it has its flaws.  The one character I can't stand in this show is Castle's burned-out Broadway-wannabe mother.  She's very annoying and pretty clich├ęd.  I think we've seen this stock character template used a few million times on other tv shows over the decades.

After watching the first season, will I be picking up the second and third season DVD sets at some point?  Probably, but am I eagerly running out to spend my bottom dollars for a chance to see more?  No.  When I manage to slip some fresh funds into my entertainment budget, I'll consider buying the next seasons, though there are other shows that rate higher on the list right now.  I will say this show has a lot of untapped potential, and I wonder if they're realizing it yet.

3.5 out of 5 stars; a good show for casual viewing, but I've seen better.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Star Trek Blogfest 2011

It's time for some frivolous fun.  As a recovering Trekoholic, this particular blogfest seemed right up my alley.  The objective is to list 5 episodes and 5 characters from the various Star Trek series, and explain why they're great.  Is it a coincidence that there were 5 regular television series?  I think not!  To keep things even, I'll feature 1 episode and 1 character from each of the different versions of Trek.  So, let's start off with 5 fine characters:

Scotty –He didn't have as big a role in the original series as he could have, but the chief engineer had his moments.  He kept the ship running, even when it meant violating the laws of physics.  Aye, he did have the power!

Data –The most unique and entertaining of characters from The Next Generation.  Data had the most character development of any Star Trek entity.  He was good for a laugh, and kept the show from being too dry at times.  He also could perform super-human feats of strength and intelligence.  He was the greatest!  I deny the existence of "Nemesis."  What a horrible and stupid movie!

Quark –It's funny how the most alien-looking characters can sometimes be the most human at heart.  Quark is certainly that, whether you look at his greed or the kind and considerate side he hides behind it.  He's like a small-time mobster trying for the big score.  The womanizing was a bit much, though that's Ferengi for you.  Of course, he wouldn't have been half as good without Odo to keep him in check...

The Doctor –I've said it before without shame:  Voyager is my favorite of the various Star Trek series.  Therefore, this was a tough call, but for today at least I'll go with the nameless holographic doctor.  Robert Picardo really is a great actor, and without his particular style of acting The Doctor wouldn't have been able to stand out as he did.  As the series evolved, he could easily switch from comical awkwardness to moral righteousness, and was really the soul of the show.

Trip –Book-ending the character selections with engineers, Charles Tucker the Third was certainly the best from Enterprise.  For a series that had its ups and downs (and died a premature death) he stayed fairly consistent, and was always interesting and engaging.  Screw the series finale: bring him back to life!

Okay, we've gone through the 5 characters.  Now, let's pick out 5 episodes, one from each series.  These aren't necessarily the "best," and my choice of "favorite" changes on a regular basis, but these are among the 5 that generally land near the top at all times.

The Deadly Years –Season 2 of the Original Series had some real winners, and this is one that always stuck with me.  The concept of rapid aging is a nice plot device when used properly, and this is by far one of the best uses, right up there with Stargate SG-1's "Brief Candle."  This episode also has one of the funniest Chekov moments ever:  "If I survive, they're going to run out of samples."

The Inner Light –One of the most emotionally wrenching episodes of any Star Trek series, The Next Generation's mini-epic gives Picard an entire life in 25 minutes, and gives us a tragic yet lovable storyline.  It'll make you sad in a good way.

What You Leave Behind –With Deep Space Nine, it's very hard to pick a single episode, since so much of the series consisted of multi-part epics.  Really, the last 10 episodes were one story, but the finale had to be the absolute best the show had to offer.  So long as you can sit down and watch the previous half-season first, this finale will move you!

The Year of Hell –Everybody loves this 2-parter (well, almost everyone), so it might be a bit of a cop-out to pick it.  It's such a populist choice, and when it comes to Voyager I could pick so many different episodes.  Each season has half a dozen I call "favorites," so for once I'll play it safe.  This really is one of the best Star Trek stories.  Temporal meddling + pending doom = excellence!  (I just wish they would've cashed in on the future potential of this episode, and had us meet some "alternate" versions of the characters later on.  Somebody left their temporal shields online, hint-hint.  Hey, you'll get my meaning after you watch it).

Similitude –Some people have a problem with the whole Xindi saga from Enterprise.  Season 3 was a bit like DS9's last few seasons, in that it was one single storyline, with a few stray side stories peppered throughout.  But among the main story-arc of the season, there were some real nuggets, and this is one of my favorites.  There is some serious emotion in this one, much like we find in The Inner Light.  It's a story of life, plain and simple.

Well, there you have it, 5 & 5.  Now go Trek yourself.  Do it today!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mary Alice Nelson

This week, I'm going to share a few photos of my great-grandmother, Mary Alice Nelson.  She was the daughter of Ira Rogers Nelson, Sr., and Ada Belle Urech.  She married Julius Kirton in 1917, and their son, John Julius Kirton, was my mother's father.  I'll be posting more about the Nelson line in later posts, but here's one just for my great-grandmother.

Here's the earliest picture I have of her, taken in July 1894.  She was eighteen months old!

Here we have a picture taken about 3 years later, with her older brother Edward Franklin "Ned" Nelson, Sr., and her younger brother Ira Rogers Nelson, Jr.:

For a picture of Mary Alice Nelson on her wedding day in 1917, check out my Kirtons of Kentucy blog post here.

Jump ahead to circa 1919, and a picture of her holding my grandfather, John Kirton:

And for a nice photo finish, here she is in 1948.  She's holding my Uncle Stephen.  Uncle Clifton is standing beside, and my mother is the grinning little girl in her own little chair.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Promotional Philosophy

Last week, I wrote a guest post for Page Readers, describing some of my personal philosophy when it comes to writing promotion.  Stop by and read the posting, and perhaps you'll glean something of value from it.

Keep The Momentum

Friday, August 19, 2011

Does Blogger Hate Me?

I've been having some technical difficulties with the blogger system lately, though I suspect it is my fault.  For the last month or so, I haven't been able to see the "followers" box on any blog.  It simply won't load (not even on my own).  This has prevented me from becoming a follower on several blogs I've discovered, and stopped me from seeing who is following me.

As I said, I don't think this an issue on their end.  I am running dial-up, and I'm still using IE7 for my browser.  I don't know if that causes a problem, but I wouldn't be surprised.  I'm running software that is out of date (albeit slightly), and the fact that I am stuck with an antiquated internet connection is not their concern.

I'm not about to get IE8, because I tried that last year and the thing crashed my computer.  I don't know what happened, exactly.  A hunk of the program might have been downloaded improperly, or perhaps my old XP operating system just didn't like it.  Either way, I ended up having to format my hard drive and reprogram the whole thing!  I will not be doing that again, just on the off-chance that blogger's system doesn't like IE7.

I mention this in case somebody out there has an answer.  It would be nice if somebody out there remembered that there are backwaters of the world (even in the United States) that still don't have access to that-thar high speedy intro-net stuff.  Maybe I'll get lucky and Fairpoint Communications will update the 30 year old phone lines leading to my house, but until they do I'll keep muddling along with the dial up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

West of the Warlock: Week 4 (+Chat)

Today we hit the mid-point in the serialized run of the first Fantasy Western, and the book release is coming together nicely.  The initial proof copy has been reviewed by the publisher this week, and a tentative release date of September 16th has been given.  Prior to the release, there will be a chat party held, for those of you who'd like to say hello.  It's currently scheduled for the day before the book release (Thursday. Sept. 15), and I'll give you the link in the coming weeks.

Week four brings a change of scene for our grand epic.  Bandits have some federal lawmen pinned down, and it's up to Deputy Grimes and Joella to save the day.  The action is kicked up a notch, and thrilling changes are about to take place.  Get ready for some famous guest stars in this week's episode of "West of the Warlock!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Please, Dreams... (Minstrel Mondays)

Every writer feels the sting of failure and the desire to succeed. Here's a little something for all aspiring "artists" out there, who wish to break the imaginary bonds that hold them; to bust through the paper ceiling and hook up with that elusive key to fame and fortune.

Chopping below sod,
far into lifeless ground,
seeking fertile soil for
this shadow of a life.
Dirt flies up,
spraying spots of clay
against the prospects in my life.

That which I've sought,
a future of fantastic tales.
To give the world
the image of my mind's eye.
To flee this place
of back breaking labor
upon the barren land.

Pen in hand, keyboard nearby,
my days are spent,
straight through midnight,
working the fields of ingenuity,
mired in the soil of soliloquy,
fighting through fleeting desire.
All the while knowing
the sun must owe me
at least one precious beam.

I've been awaiting
an acceptance of grand proportions,
but I can't seem to
get past the critics' notions.
Someday they'll see
my talent succeed,
and their opinions won't matter
to me.

Please, dreams, be true to me.
Don't pass me by on your way.
I was never meant to live in desolation.
Don't keep chasing me away.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Littlefields of Illinois

Getting back to my "Family Sunday" columns, let's go over one of the lesser-known branches of my family; the Littlefields of Illinois.  My grandmother's mother was a Littlefield, and I've managed to dig up quite a bit on them, thanks to some family photos, notes, and tiring research.

The earliest Littlefield I've been able to identify is Henry Littlefield, born in Ireland circa 1804.  He came to America before 1840, and settled in Waukegan, Illinois, with his wife Joanna.  They had the following children (Generation 2):

Jane (b. 1841)
George (b. November 23, 1842 /Died May 9, 1904)
Amelia (b. 1846)
Henry II(my 2x great grandfather, b. September 23, 1849 /Died October 2, 1899)
James (b. 1856)
Charles (b. 1862)

I haven't been able to trace Jane, James, or Amelia past their childhood.  The daughters likely got married and changed their names, so I haven't found their marriage certificates.  I learned that Charles married Annie Hearne (b. 1858 /Died January 5, 1921), though I don't know if they had any children.

George Littlefield married Betty Wilson (b. November 22, 1856 /Died June 16, 1946) in 1882, and they had at least 2 children (Generation 3):
Paul M. (b. January 1884)
Martha Adelia (b. April 26, 1886 /Died 1963).

Martha Adelia Littlefield married Canadian-born Joseph Robert Collinson (b. May 27, 1879 /Died December 21, 1943) and they had 3 children (Generation 4):

Dickenson Ober Collinson (b. November 28, 1909 /Died December 9, 1996)

Annie Carney Littlefield
w/ Daughter Anna Louise Forthman
New Orleans, 1912

Susan Elizabeth Collinson (b. January 21, 1915 /Died May 11, 1984) married Thornton Taylor Shively (b. February 26, 1913 /Died June 21, 1980).
Hazel Collinson (b. 1917 in Montana)

Henry Littlefield II married Annie Carney (b. 1853 in Northern Ireland), and they had the following children (also Generation 3):

Joseph Henry (b. March 1877 /Died before 1930)
Anna Louise (my great-grandmother, b. 1880)
Alexander C. (b. 1884 /Died November 17, 1939)
John (b. 1885)
Alfred James (b. June 19, 1888)
Mary N. (b. January 1891)
Edward G. (b. April 1894)

Anna Louise Littlefield married William E. Forthman, Sr. before 1900, and you can find their children listed under my Fistful of Forthmans column.

Joseph Henry Littlefield married Sarah Gertrud Marshall (b. 1880), and they had four children (Generation 4):

Harry, Flo, Anna, & Ruth

Harry P. (b. September 20, 1899 /Died January 1983)
Ruth L. (b. 1901)
Mary Florence (b. May 11, 1902 /Died September 4, 1994)
Anna Louise (b. December 15, 1904 /Died December 27, 1937)

Alexander C. Littlefield married a woman named Rose, but I don't know if they had any children.

Alfred James Littlefield married Adele Maria Lennen (b. September 10, 1888 /Died November 12, 1969), and they had four children:

Edward J. (b. June 21, 1911 /Died January 6, 1956)
Alfred James II (b. August 31, 1913 /Died January 6, 1970)
Mary Anna (b. August 2, 1913 /Died September 16, 1913)
John Francis (b. September 19, 1918 /Died July 26, 2005)

Harry P. Littlefield married Winifred M. (b. 1900 in Illinois), and they had at least 2 daughters (Generation 5):

Patricia M. (b. 1925)
Joan A. (b. 1930)

Mary Florence Littlefield married John Francis Nichols (b. March 22, 1898 /Died July 20, 1955), and they had at least 2 children:
Mary J. Nichols (b. 1923)
John F. Nichols (b. 1925)

Anna Louise Littlefield married James Lonergan (b. December 17, 1902), and they had at least 2 children:

Lois Mary Lonergan (b. April 9 1926 /Died April 24, 1926)
Florence Lonergan (b. 1927)
Ileen Lonergan (b. November 9, 1928 /Died December 2, 1928)
Lois Ann Longergan (b. July 8, 1930 /Died July 9, 1996 in CA)

There it is, the sizeable hunk of the Littlefield line I've uncovered thus far.  I'll update it as discoveries are made.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday The 13th

Spooky!  It's that uncommon occurrence when the 13th day of the month happens to land on a Saturday.  How scary is that?  Much more frightening than a lousy Friday, that's for sure.

I was never one for superstition, and have often turned such foolish beliefs around, as evidenced by my Lucky 13 books.  Friday the 13th is not something that concerns me, and I laugh at it.  Of course, one year ago today, my mother died on Friday the 13th, so there's some irony for you!  Other than that, I can't think of anything really bad happening on a 13.

I've heard different legends about where the fear of the number 13 comes from, and the most common one revolved around the fact that there were 13 people at the Last Supper, and it was on a Friday.  Somehow, that's supposed to spell bad luck, because Christ got betrayed and crucified shortly thereafter.  Ohhh-kay.  Regardless of the origin, I would not advise anyone to fear the number 13.

So, here's a short ditty I tossed together ages ago to commemorate this special conjunction of number and day!

Thirteens have usually been good to me.
I've never known a bad one.
But I just don't know
how today's going to be for me.
Saturday the thirteenth; scary, indeed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sugar Man

Everyone has a vice of some sort or another.  It is the curse of this human existence.  We're born with the natural inclination to eat too much, drink too much, to drug ourselves out of rational thoughts, and otherwise escape the mundane.  The lucky and responsible people learn to overcome their addictions.

My parents took this literally!

My main vice is food.  I like to eat, and continue to combat the hunger each day.  More than that, I have a love of sugar.  Sweet, sweet, candy!  If not for self-control, I could consume mass quantities of the white stuff until I dropped.  Not a good thing, at all.

Examining my craving for sugar, I suspect is has something to do with my family history of alcoholism.  Medical experts have classified alcoholism as a disease, and I am inclined to agree with that assessment to a degree.  After centuries of human ancestors imbibing large quantities of alcohol, our bodies adapt on a genetic level to counter the poisons.  The body craves the toxins, so its over-developed purging systems can be put to work.

Breaking the cycle of alcoholism in my family, I have chosen to abstain entirely.  Therefore, my body seeks to satisfy itself in other ways.  Plain old sugar is my sweet addiction, one I will continue to battle for the rest of my life, but it beats being drunk.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

West of the Warlock: Week 3 (+The Cover Revealed!)

Yesterday, I got my first look at the finished cover for the forthcoming West of the Warlock book release!  I hereby share the wonderful image with you, commissioned by the brothers Hall and illustrated by the talented Paul Milligan.

Of all my book covers, this is definitely one of my favorites.

Okay, week three of West of the Warlock will be online today.  Meet the sinister Mactus Sellius and learn what he'll do to steal Joella's hand in marriage.  Get a look into the private lives of elves on the wild frontier, and have a tasty bowl of parsnip stew.  Treachery, polygamy, and gunplay all make this week's episode a must-read!

Check out all currently released episodes here!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lost in Translation (Minstrel Mondays)

I've been busy this past week, which explains why I've missed a few blog posts.  I've been working on several different short stories, Mystic Selwood, and a guest column for Page Readers.  I'll have to write something more comprehensive to keep you all in the loop.  For now, enjoy this little piece of insightful poetry...

You forget more than you remember,
trying so hard to find the right
things to say.
What a glorious day.
And you never know when
this age of absent minds
will be at an end again.

You say we've got to make it.
You say there is no other way.
We've got to be strong,
go along with the flow,
and never forget where we're at.

But there must be something
wrong in translation.
All I hear when I
listen for your voice
is constant consternation,
failure to connect,
defeatism in the face of the facts.

Where can we go, when nobody's home
in that place we can't go back to again?
What do you do
when the facts don't connect with your
version of the truth?
Do you start fresh from scratch,
or simply revise reality?

Lost in translation;
a matter of mind.
What is your perception
of linear time?
Can we go back again
to rewrite our mistakes,
or simply say they weren't wrong
despite the obvious?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

West of the Warlock: Week Two

The second serialized episode of West of the Warlock is out today, so take a few minutes to enjoy the latest developments in the Fantasy Western saga.  Discover Joella Lafayette's diabolical plans for Ron Grimes, and get a peek into elvish culture in America.  Meet the infamous "Guild" that Sheriff Doliber is a part of, as he seeks answers about the mysterious warlock in black.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

House M.D. (Season 1 DVD) –Review

I'll admit I'm not big on "medical dramas."  I couldn't stand ER, and generally yawn at the glut of doctor shows flooding the airwaves.  So, what I'm about to say about House M.D. might come as a surprise.  I really quite enjoy it.  Why?  Perhaps because it is quirky, and not another General Hospital wannabe.  The main character (played by the very talented Hugh Laurie) is so misanthropic at times he adds genuine flavor to a show that might otherwise be pretty drab and clinical.  That, and the medical cases the show handles are so bizarre it can spark the imagination.

Until recently, I hadn't really given the show that much attention.  I watched a stray episode here or there over the years, yet in a recent impulse buy I decided to pick up the first season on DVD (hey, it was only $25 at Walmart, so it wasn't a big investment).  After sitting down to watch this first season, I enjoyed myself and broadened my horizons.  Bully for me!  Now I have to save up to get the other sets.  So much entertainment, so little disposable income...

In my opinion, the first season of House M.D. is the cream of the crop when it comes to medical shows.  Even if you aren't a big fan of this mainstream sub-genre, this show is worthy of your time.  4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Secrets of Time (Minstrel Mondays)

After a few weeks of sappy love songs and other sentimental stuff, here's a little poem for those who wish to think outside the box, to consider the possibilities of existence, and philosophize about the possibilities of life.  See what meaning you can glean from this little gem.

Time is floating by
Full of broken promises and dreams,
Never fully realized in the time of strangeness.

Time is filled with loneliness,
painful memories of loss and rot.
Things lost or never gained.
Wipe out that pain.
Unlock the secrets of Time.

Walking down the halls of memories,
memories acquired through eternity's expanse
and we do find something after all
among that mass of unreality.

Time consists of a million years,
countless lives of tears,
many great men brought down by their fears.
I can see time that way.

The jumbled thoughts of a passed eternity
never ceasing for even a moment.
A lost thought or forgotten dream,
time is the keeper of them all.

Time has passed since before our lives,
seen our elders grow up and die.
will see us go and come again.
It sees all but not at all.
Unlock the secrets of Time.

Time sees the world through turmoil,
has seen cities rise and fall.
Seen the good and bad of man
both find a bitter end.

Time remains impartial, changing nothing today.
Yet as it goes by, eventually, everything's taken away.
Why do people fail to see the failings of society?
They seek help from far away,
still richer monks sit and pray
for those they are unwilling to save.

Time holds all answers that will ever be,
yet will anyone live to see them?
Try as we might to fight the good fight,
the secrets stay locked in the vault.
Unlock the vault.
Unlock the secrets of time.