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Hey! I didn’t forget about you

I’m going to start including pictures in my posts. I hope you don’t mind. They may or may not have anything to do with what I’m rambling about, but hey, it’ll be there. 🙂 I’ll try to include where I picked it up from just in case someone gets fussy and wants me to take down the picture.

So I’ve been busy lately.

Over the weekend we went up to Lemoore to see my nephew’s promotion ceremony. He’s in the Navy and just advanced from Chief Petty Officer to Chief Warrant Officer. Usually the next step is from Chief to Senior Chief. Going to Warrant Officer is a big deal because it’s the only way to go from Enlisted to the Officer’s ranks. Not many of these advancements are performed and it’s a very big deal. There weren’t a couple Master Chiefs (those come after Senior Chief and is the highest Enlisted rating) and a Chief Warrant Officer 5 (steps for Warrant Officer go from 2 through 5, 5 being the highest level). To say I’m proud of what he’s accomplished would be an understatement. This truly is a life changing event for him and something that is what an enlisted person should strive for.

Had my brother been able to make Chief, I’m certain he would have gone to the Warrant Officer ranks, but his rate was so tight (only one or two first class petty officers were advanced to chief per year) he was never able to make chief. I’m still very proud that my brother was able to put in his full twenty as enlisted and retired with all the honors he deserved.

I spent my four years in the Navy and it’s a lifestyle. It’s not an easy lifestyle. It’s very difficult and most people can’t handle it. I was one of those that couldn’t take it after four years and needed to get out as soon as I was able. Therefore I have a great admiration for those who are able to serve and make a life out of it. If you have served or are serving, I admire what you’re doing. Thank you.

So going up to Lemoore I took some time off from writing. since getting back I’ve knocked out 7000 words (1503,2115,1733,1639). I’ll be doing more today/tonight. I’m nearly the 40,000 word mark and halfway point of the book. I think it may end up longer than I’m expecting and I’m fine with that. A book is as long as it needs to be and given that I’m just getting to the practice portion of the book (the competition will be even longer) I fully expect this book to grow from 90,000 to 100,000 words. We’ll see what happens in the next 40,000 words before I even start to worry about that. All I know is I’m having fun with the book, the characters, and the universe they’re in. The book is set in the V&A Shipping Universe and Vic, Joey, and the rest of the crew all make an appearance. This book will take place shortly after V&A Shipping II and perhaps we’ll do some more mixing of characters in V&A Shipping III and GRPC 2. I don’t know just yet.

Asteroid Bunnies is up next. I can’t want to jump into this book. It’ll be a blast to write. I’m going to shoot for a 30,000 word book, but again, it may grow beyond that as it’ll also be the first in the series. If all goes right (I almost typed write) this year, Astel 2 will be up after Asteroid Bunnies. Then I’ll finish To Fall From the Sky (that one needs some fixing before I jump back in, but it’s already half-way done). They I think it’ll be Almost-Super Heroes (about 1/4 done), and they Life of Lists. I’ll see where I’m at after that, but suffice to say, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Beyond writing, I’m reading a LOT of books lately as well. When I lay down I’m trying to read one or two chapters before I fall asleep. It’s doing wonders for my writing. I find the more I read, the more I want to write and therefore the more I actually do write.

Speaking of reading and writers…Scott Sigler (the FDO himself) will be in my neck of the woods on Monday. I will be down at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore here in San Diego. If you’d like to meet him (or hell, if you want to meet me!) I’ll be there and so will Siggy. I’ll be buying a second copy of Pandemic to get signed (I won’t go to a signing and NOT buy a book). Yes, I already have a reading copy. I’ll be needing a signed copy. I don’t want to get food crumbs and cheetle in my signed copy dontchaknow. Yes, Yes I could buy the ebook, but that’s not the point.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough for one day. My next post will be about Lucky or Unlucky. 13 stories of Fate where you can find Me, and Mr. Plested and, obviously, 11 other writers. This is an anthology for 2013 from sffworld forum. If you’re a writer looking for a community, this is a great place to drop by.

Finally! Enough links for one day. Sheesh. Okay, I’m outta here! More to come from me tomorrow!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

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Daily Update: Home Again

Yesterday was another fun-fill day in Lemoore. I didn’t know how I could top seeing a giant of a horse, but it was still a great day.

My nephew (my wife’s niece’s husband) took the guys on a tour of the ‘other’ side of the base where he works. I was within touching distance of an F-14 Tomcat. When I say working, I’ve been next to F-14s before, but not one in full working order. I’ve been on the Midway museum and those were sterile, locked-down planes. This one was a working model. I so wanted to take a picture of it, the base, the weapons, the bunkers, etc, etc, but I had to contain myself and realize that pictures are not permitted.

Even though I spent time in the military, I had decided it wasn’t a lifestyle fit for me. Even though I chose to leave the military, I still have a great respect for those that serve. It’s an outstanding tradition and these men and women put their lives on the line each day. It’s no small feat and each person is a small part of a much larger whole. Take some time to thank a military person whenever you have a chance. Even if you don’t agree with U.S. policy or position, these men and women are doing what is asked of them and getting little in return for risking their lives.

That being said, the Lemoore NAS is awesome! It’s nice to see a base that does it right. I spent time on several bases and during my time these bases were old, run down, and in much needed repair. I don’t know if that’s even happened, but the buildings I stayed in were from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. So the newest building I had set foot in during my time was at least 20 years old. Lemoore NAS is a up-to-date, in great shape, and has a lot of nice perks for military families.

We left the base for a service. I had thought we were going to the base chapel, but we went off base. We went on a drive to the church and sat through a service. I could say a number of things I didn’t like about the service, but I won’t. The kids had a great time looking for eggs, breaking a piñata, and socializing. That’s what it was about for me; the kids.

We went back and had a Sunday ham. Oh, I like me some ham you’d better believe it. It was during the time the food was being prepared that my nephew needed to go to the store and get some rolls. This was when all the guys piled into the car and got our tour of the ‘other’ side of the base. We were gone for about an hour (maybe a little longer) getting rolls, but we had a good time looking at all the big toys.

After eating it was the long good-byes. We finally got on the road around 2:30PM or 3PM and started on our way. Three stops and a lot of light traffic and we were home. Well, we dropped off my in-laws anyway.  Then we headed over to see The Millicans and have another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. Oh, wait. No. We got to hear of their Julian adventures, be envious about the apple pies and apple dumplings, and apple this and apple that. My favorite daughter received a very nice Easter Basket with lots of candy and a bottle of homemade root beer. We will have to make a trip so I can fill my fridge with some homemade root beer one day soon. Oh, and an apple pie or two.

Perhaps you don’t know about Julian. It’s a small town (very small) that’s know for its apples. So if you can make it with apples, they make it. For the size of the town, they get a lot of traffic, but if you time it right, you can get in, do walk from end to end, and be eating pie, lunch, buy some goodies, and be on your way back home before the masses arrive for dinner (or supper).  If you live in the area and have never been, you owe it to yourself to head on up there. During the winter, they even have snow J

I need to get back into the work groove. So far no strike has been called. That’s a good thing. If a strike does occur, it’ll impact my life in many ways even though I’m not a Union member. Let’s hope a resolution can be achieved.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: Zombie wife and the world’s largest horse.

One of the things I forgot to mention yesterday was an interesting dream I had. It made the wife and my favorite daughter laugh. I have those really odd dreams that defy explanation.

So I am in some weird house. I’m not even sure where or why I was in this strange house. But my wife had been turned into a zombie and wanted to eat my brains. She chased me through the house and trapped me in a closet. I decided that the best thing to do was buy my way out of the situation. I had $300 in my pocket (which is odd cuz I never carry money.) So I gave her $100 to leave me alone.

She decided that $100 was enough to not eat my brains. I felt a little more relaxed except there were a lot more zombies out there. I took her to a restaurant where zombies get cured. My favorite daughter had the same idea for her friend, the Millican’s younger daughter. We ate, they got cured…

Then the wife woke me up. She had a kink in her neck so her head was cocked to one side. It took me a moment to realize that I had been woken up and not talking to my zombie wife.

We had driven 6 hours from San Diego to Lemoore NAS. It wasn’t a difficult trip and we got lucky to escape any major traffic.

Day 2 or our Easter Adventure and we had Carne asada. Oh yeah. I love me some Carne asada. No one told ne the salsa was habanero salsa until I was turning red from my first taco. Woo! Tasty but man o man was it hot.

Later in the day we took a walk down to see the horses. I’m not normally intimidated by horses but when you see a sign that says World’s Largest Horse it’s hard not to be intimidated.

The horse stood taller at the shoulder than I am. I posted a pic to facebook and Twitter. He was kind, gentle, and old. A great horse that didn’t smell too bad and very well cared for. The owner said the horse, I wish i’d gotten the horses name, used to be one of the buddweiser horses and did a stint at seaworld.

After getting my picture taken it was off to see the younger clydesdales. The ponies, both also taller than I am, were in a pen with a white tape instead of a normal fence. I had seen so.e kids touch the fencing, but I didn’t touch the tape while petting the massive horses.

Until one walked away and I coaxed him back so I could pet him some more. I had the tape in ny armpit and could just reach to scratch the horse’s nose. The some one slapped my in the arm out and I got a shock from the horse’s nose on my fingertips. Needless to say the horse didn’t like that and I nearly jumped out of my skin.

My brothers in law laughed at me as I came to the realization that the tape was a new kind of electrical fence. My shoes didn’t allow me to be grounded and get a shock, but touching the fence and a horse did. YEOUCH!

Later on that day we played spoons, but…

Until Tomorrow!

Woo Woo!