Sunday, February 14, 2021

30 Day Health Experiment (w/ before and after photos)





 Last month I hurt my knee, or it hurt it self, the exact cause is still a mystery, but regardless I was forced to stop running and gain as much holiday weight as possible.  It was obligatory.  Now that the holidays are over, and unfortunately my knee is still weird, I have had to find a new way to get into shape and attempt to see my abs.

For thirty days I took our puppy for a 2.5 mile daily walk and every hour, for 12 hours a day, I did 20 pushups.  I did this while recommitting to a plant based whole food diet.  What were the results at the end of that thirty days?...

As you can see by the pictures below, there was a remarkable increase in muscle mass and overall vigor.  What most surprised me, however, was the increase in height.  One does not expect, over the age of forty, to get any taller, but as you can see, there is clearly 4 inches gain in height.

In conclusion, I highly recommend those looking for a more humane, healthy way of eating, to give WFPB a try and get to walking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Dwayne Johnson Rule

 I would like to enact the Dwayne Johnson rule.

It's really quite simple and I hope will bring some much needed peace and tranquility to our world.  But before I explain this glorious tool for future communication in the digital world, first let me briefly explain why we need such a rule. 

The internet, and social media in particular, has become a license for us to be our worst selves.  Not unlike when you are in you car, alone, and the idiot two lanes over cuts you off without a turn signal.  You proceed to curse and yell, informing this hapless driver of all the imaginative things you think of him as a person, only to realize you are going to the same place.  You then awkwardly and politely walk by as you pass him on the way into the supermarket.  On social media, this same effect of semi anonymity allows us to feel safe to rant and rave, to spew hate filled tirades, and to splinter into factions fueled by falsehoods and conspiracy theories.  Although road rage has its own not so innocent consequences in some cases, most of the time these rants in your car go unheard.  Perhaps chalked up to simple cathartic expression.  This is not so with social media.  People are listening.  Your voice is going beyond the metaphorical car and out into the world.  And as recent events have clearly shown, there are consequences.

So, the Dwayne Johnson rule...  

If you are going to voice something on social media, whatever it might be, personal opinion, political position, your stance on race relations, how much you hate tofu, whatever it is, stop and imagine yourself saying it to the Rock's face.  Actually picture yourself, no doubt for most of us, looking up into his face and saying "Mr. Johnson, I think, I feel, I believe _____"  If you think that you would not have a problem doing that, then by all means, carry on with your post.  If not, keep it to yourself.  Perhaps seek some therapy or snuggle with something warm and fuzzy instead.  I suggest a labradoodle.  

Now, I love the Rock, but it doesn't have to be him.  You can alter the rule to make it a better fit for you.  You could imagine John "the Bones" Jones, or perhaps a friend of a friend who happens to be a navy seal. Think outside the box.  You could imagine voicing your opinion in a crowded barber shop or in front of a platoon of marines. Just be sure, when applying the rule, you are alone.  It doesn't count if you are picturing yourself with your fellow Nazi buddies or your local Stalin MMA club.  Group think, as social psychology tells us and mobs and riots show us, can be just as bad.

Now go out there and post with confidence knowing that with the simple application of the Dwayne Johnson rule, you are no longer contributing to the downfall of our society.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Wait Is OVER!

 

Book 4 of the Scarlet Hopewell Series!


With strange new alliances, Charles Hopewell has finally found away to get to Scarlet…bring down the barrier that separates the two worlds.  But it’s a decision fraught with danger and unforeseen consequences and the army he and Xavier hoped to built is far from complete.  Scarlet herself must decide whether Aiden Thanerbos, the young man she had once thought of as her mortal enemy can be trusted.  She wants to believe.  She is desperate to save the people who look to her for guidance and protection.  Busy cleaning up the mess from the siege on Washington’s Haven, a battle that nearly cost her everything she holds dear in the New World, she is more desperate than ever to fulfill the destiny of the For Tol Don.
In this fourth installment of the Scarlet Hopewell series, worlds collide in grand scope as the final battle between good and evil looms.  Filled with romance, magic, and grand adventure, everything is about to change as the barrier falls.

It has been a long wait...but the day has finally arrived.  Stars have aligned—all the right things have fallen into place—and all with my first and fabulous editor, Miranda Ottewell, and the designers at Minor Manor Publishing, including the beautiful cover designed by Krister Swartz.  I'm sorry it took so long, but I am hoping, and in fact am pretty confident, it was worth the wait.  The great news for all my fans who have stuck with me and the new fans to come, Book 5, Scarlet and the Shattered Throne, is finished and in the final stages of publishing.  So you won't have to wait long for the conclusion to Scarlet's story.  
 


Friday, May 15, 2020

Twisted Legacy

Twisted Legacy
Why do you speak in lies, so damning your countrymen to strife?
Why does not a desire burn to leave a legacy of a kind, caring life.
Of prosperity to those who will outlive your aged vessel, 
Having gained the riches of kings and stood on the pedestal.

Your sickness spreads to the ignorant, the misguided, the desperate,
Toward an epidemic of further pain and neighborly war without respite, 
With themselves, with the very principles of our nation
Disguised in the veil of rights and freedom, while the face is a twisted mutation.

Narcissus, his face distorted by the cruelty of his soul,
Looks at the clear pool and blames his ugliness on the bowl.
“Yes, it’s the water my lord, it’s the water,
Let me drain it and build a more flattering altar.” 

The world burns, the ocean gasps, trees fall as the air begins to kill,
And adding to sickness, comes sickness, and blood of a nation is spilled.  

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Burden

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers.
Burden
A mother’s love, from which that first breath given
through pain and sacrifice, is a burden carried.
A burden cherished, a burden bestowed to women,
for no man’s heart for nine months so wearied. 

Cherished weight! When after that first breath taken,
with first steps, first words, first pains and cries,
Love grows as new instincts awaken,
And the young wife becomes the singer of lullabies.  

Then lilting songs once sung to tuck in bed,
Become hard lectures of how to navigate
An uncertain road we all must tread,
With fullest heart and a steady gait.

So, from that first breath until our last,
With trust, to mother’s love we hold steadfast.

Them and We

Them and We
When will we rise above this you and me, 
A constant obsession with them and we?
When will we grow bigger than our tribes,
Our separate Peace and our separate lives?

A land of isms divides us, as we wallow in our individualism.
Our conservatism and nationalism, our liberalism. 
Our criticism, our sexism, our racism.
A land grasping, desperately clinging to the edge of our schism. 

Me, I’ve never seen a white man; Or a man with skin that’s black.
But I’ve cheered a sportsman with dark braided hair as he scrambled from a sack.
My wife gave birth to an auburn-haired child, with skin the color of crème.
And I’ve listened to the words of a caramel toned man and thought my country redeemed.
I’ve never seen a white skinned man; I’ve never seen a black one.
Only humans whose ancestors received different embraces of the sun. 

Sun’s grace be damned—we cling to alternate facts.  
I belong, you do not.  I am white and you are black.
A shot rings out, and children fall,
Little ones, learn to corner and crawl.
A grown man drives his car in fear,
Be ready to smile, wide and placid till all is clear.
A gay man hides, lives life alone,
Ignore the hate, it’s all sticks and stones.
A woman suffers her role as prey,
So stay in groups, cover up, go out only in day.  

How do we cling to such ignorance,
Meet such injustice with complacent acceptance?   
When all of science, the work of the learned are at our beck and call.
When with eyes and ears we experience events that should appall?

My God, my rights, 
My clung to vice,
My money, my party,
My self-righteous army.
How dare you try to lump us all together,
When I’m ahead and your people wore feathers.
When I came first, well, second, or third,
But I came with guns and the written Word.

And yet as I call shame upon those and them,
I fear my own hypocritical right to condemn,
What privilege in rhyme do I intone,
From a middle class and sheltered throne?

I don’t know the answers, and my voice is my voice.
To stay quiet is to condone, that shall not be my choice.
While I bear no guilt for the events of the past,
I must share the burden of injustice still vast.

I care not your skin tone, only such that the greatest art comes in all shades.
I care that you listen, that you think, that you cause no one to be afraid.
I care that you are kind, that you are noble.  
That you nurture and love our children and let them rise and grow hopeful.