Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - The year I mopped up

I've been so busy that blogs have been few and far between so there must be a ton of stuff to write about regarding the calendar year.  There isn't.  No major highlights really...just a lot of maintenance.

I spent the prior year taking care of an estate, mourning the loss of my mother, dealing with family, training up two creative boys, working a more-than-full-time job and published a book.  I could point to a 'thing' that was accomplished at every highlight last year.  But not in 2013.  This is the year I swept up sawdust, mopped up muddy footprints and knocked down cobwebs.  This was not nearly as fun to write about but this is what life often is in the age of crafting the image of living well.

I worked a lot this year.  I had many 50+ hour weeks working on things and at the end of the year I made a little less than I did the year before.  I made a little less than I did in 2009.  This should be enough evidence for you to imagine at least one thing I'll be doing in 2014.  

I got my reading schedule back with my kids.  It's been a transition now that they occupy the same bedroom and I've struggled to find reading time before bed that will keep their attention.  I decided to read above both of their levels and just let them listen to me destroy great literature with my own poor reading level.  We read The Golden Key by George MacDonald and I was amazed how they sat and listened to 19th Century prose.  We found ourselves discussing the story and unveiling the meaning of seldom used words and expressions.  We read poetry and talked about beautiful words that are used deliberately as if each one was carefully placed.  They listened.  

On my 7 year old son's Spring Break I took him to San Diego.  Why?  He wanted to see great sailing ships and we did.  Lots of them.  We toured the harbor and crawled around every ship we had time to see.

The HMS Surprise from the movie Master and Commander

We went to San Diego Zoo Safari Park and met up with my brother, who lived in Orange County, to celebrate his birthday.  In all, it was a nice time for my son.  I had fun but the kind of fun you have when a seven year old is your travelling partner.  We were gone 5 days but it felt like two weeks.  My wife continued to work so she had one less person to manage.  Not sure who had the better time.

Overcast but warm.  Better than Puget Sound in Spring

The downstairs of my house is painted.  Some kind of red and some kind of buttery cream something or other.  I'm colorblind.

I wanted to run this year and get in better shape.  This is a bit hard to do if you don't like running in the rain...and I don't.  I did run this year.  I ran over 400 miles this year.  I don't have any goals to run more.  I only limited myself based on how much time I had, not how tired I was.  My days are tightly scheduled and it doesn't take much to get something canceled.  I didn't cancel running very often.

I spent more time alone with my 3 year old son.  I did this on purpose because my older son had the benefit of alone time more often...because...well...he was alone.  Every time I could I'd take him places and we'd talk and get to know each other.  He wasn't forced to react to something his brother was doing, he just got to be himself.  I plan to do this a ton more.

Always capable but still needs a drink lid

Oh yeah...I cut about a foot and a half of hair off of my kid's melons.  I had fun sharing these before and after shots.

Rock Monkeys
Civilized Monkeys

I sat and talked one day with an older man I've known for a few years but never knew much about his life story.  His life included running away from home, riding the rails hobo style and finally joining the Marines to go fight in Korea.

While travelling around as a boy, he drew comic books which featured his hero character Tom Baron.  50 years later, his comic books were digitized straight from the pages he drew them on.  Click here to see the list of his comic books and you can click on any of the covers to see them in the digital viewer.

Seriously, sometimes you have to shut up and just listen to people.

During the Summer I was working with my 7 year old on the subject of radio, and in particular old-time-before-television radio.   He thought it sounded boring but I challenged him to write his own radio show...and he did.  He wrote four episodes of "Rory's Old Tyme Radio" which featured some of his first attempts at story telling.  I handled the grunt work of production but he worked hard to direct the structure of the scenes and sounds.  They may show up in a future project I'll be working on.  He plans to do more radio shows, but he also plans to play with his Legos...so ya know.

Podcasting for me has been on hold though I've been seriously toying with the idea of creating a new show.  I have more ideas than I have time or help to achieve anything at this point but it's on my mind.  Contact me if you're interested.

I started writing projects and they are in various degrees of stoppage due to me having enough time to write but only enough energy left to stare blankly at the monitor.  I know now not to be frustrated by this, but instead turn these down times into preparation.

So that's it...I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane of the last calendar year.  My wish for you, as you replace your cute kitten calendars, is that you make the most of 2014....do stuff, love those around you and shut up and listen on occasion.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm pretty sure I've always been a spaz

At dinner tonight I was talking to my older son.  He didn't finish a timed math assignment at school.  I asked him why.  He shrugged his shoulders and offered a lazy "I don't know."

Like a lot of parents, I asked the question but I already knew the answer.  I see his papers.  His mind wanders, he gets stuck on problems and can't move on.  He draws on his papers.  I know this because he's kind of a spaz.  I know what a spaz looks like.

Tonight I started going through the last remaining part of the odds and ends from my mom's house.  It wasn't her stuff, it was mine.  Stuff I just left at her house after I moved out.  Stuff I didn't have much interest in going through.

In what was once my old toy box, I found a collection of papers from high school.  Obviously for me to keep these school items for so long they must have represented my highest academic achievements up to that point.  I knew one day I would want to look back on them and see the foundational building blocks of my intellect within the College ruled lines.  Yeah, fat chance.

Most of my papers contained smatterings of completed work along side vast side margin murals.  I drew stuff...scary stuff. I wrote poems, and song lyrics.  If my work involved several pages they would include a flip-the-page animation.

My side margins were often dark and if analyzed through the filter of the 21st Century, my high school would've been in lock down with television news helicopters flying over until the day I graduated.

I was never dangerous though, I was just a spaz.

Like a time capsule, the evidence of my youth has preserved the very essence of my most awkward phases and with it I'm able to look a part of myself straight in the eye.  These papers were the true result of me moving on and leaving my nonsense behind for someone else to deal with.  Now they are my problem.

But these relics of my past are less of a problem and more of a gift.  They reminded me of who I was, what was once important to me and how I processed information.  They will help me relate more to my sons who are spazzes in their own way.  I will recognize it and have more compassion as they work it out.

I'm sure the world will be ready for my two little spazzes....but just in case, get those news helicopters ready.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three is a magic number

Years ago I learned to juggle two round objects.  Apples, oranges, baseballs…if I had two of them I could juggle them easily with one hand.

When a third round object is added that is the point where juggling stops being juggling and turns into something else.  Sometimes it results in chasing a round object or two, other times it’s cleaning up a mess or a visit to the emergency room.  Three is a magic number for disaster.

I like to be efficient and I love the opportunity to do several things at once.  I have come to discover that like juggling, I’m probably limited to just two things.

In the evenings I get my kids ready for bed and I read to them.  After that I head down to my garage and spend whatever available time I have on the treadmill.  I take my smart phone because I can do things like listen to music, listen to podcasts, or watch Netflix buffer.  Sometimes I’ll return a text message using the voice recognition.  While on the treadmill my reply of “I’m on the treadmill, what are you doing?”  becomes “I’m cleaning a red spill, but our dune.”  I send it anyway.  Sure it doesn’t make sense but I’m multi-tasking, deal with it.  This is me doing two things like a boss.

Last night while on the treadmill I returned a phone call that I had missed while putting my boys to bed.  I plugged my smart phone into the treadmill’s speaker system and listened as the phone rang.  My brother answered and immediately tore into the middle of a conversation.  I assumed he didn’t know who he was talking to.

Me: What are you talking about?
Brother: Didn’t you listen to my voicemail?
Me: No.  (whiiiir of treadmill in background)
Brother: <he continues>

While listening to him continue I heard the door open behind me from the house and my three year old had escaped his bedroom, snuck downstairs and had come down.  He begins talking to me.  

Brother: So anyway I was wondering if you could…..
Me: Go back to bed!
3 Year Old: Dad, <indistinguishable rationale for being out of bed follows>
Brother: Are you talking to me?
Me: No, just a second.  What are you doing behind the car?  Go back to bed please.
3 Year Old Dad, <can’t hear over the treadmill>
Me: I can’t hear you.  Go in the house.
Brother <louder> What are you doing?

While trying to talk to my brother and my young son at the same time as covering miles on the treadmill I had now allowed a third round object to enter into my juggling routine.  I set the phone down on the console and then whipped my hand back and knocked the “emergency stop” for the treadmill off its mount and listened as I heard it bounce and roll under my car while the treadmill motor slowly came a stop. 

My son was suddenly in amazement at the object that flew off the treadmill and became silent.  All I could hear was my brother coming over the treadmill speakers. 

“Hello? Are you there?”

My three year old son has the ability to recognize dangerous tension.  He voluntarily retreated into the house.

“I’ll let you go; you sound busy” I heard my brother say while I was crawling under my car looking for the treadmill’s emergency stop device.

While under the car I discovered some takeaways from this experience:

  1. I can do two things, not three.
  2. Have an escape route for one of the first two things in case a third thing suddenly plots to ruin your juggling.
  3. The only thing I had the complete control to stop (the treadmill) was the one thing I refused to stop and it ended up stopping anyway.
  4. Poopy pants pizza party.  I’m multi-tasking, deal with it.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Apparently I'm supposed to be disappointed

We just had our local Summer festival in the Seattle area.  It's a rather large celebration called Seafair.  I can't think of an August in my life that didn't have something to do with Seafair.  Whether it was parades, hydroplane races on the lake or the Blue Angels...it's always a good time.  I'd like to add that it is the ONLY festival held in Seattle where you can almost always count on good weather.

Then we had the budget sequestration.  You know, those crazy and irresponsible cuts that stopped funding to all of your favorite things.  In the case of Seafair the community was rocked that the Blue Angels were not coming

Everyone cursed the budget cuts.  How can they cut the Blue Angels and ruin our Seafair celebration?  The media almost begged the community to make attendance low so that everyone knew just how disappointed we were.

The Seafair organizers needed to arrange a replacement.  They learned from a mistake from year's past that we love our jet planes and while we're impressed that Canadians know how to fly...they're just too polite when it comes to our hunger for the roar of American fighter jets.

So Seafair brought in the Patriots Flying Team to entertain the crowd that gathered to watch the Unlimited Hydroplane races on Lake Washington.  Nobody seemed that happy about it.  Were they not as talented as the beloved Blue Angels?  Well according to their bio, many of their pilots are former Blue Angels.

So if I'm to understand my local media...I'm supposed to be unhappy that a private jet team with its own sponsors entertained us for a fee paid by Seafair...and nobody else in the country had to pay the Navy to entertain Seattleites on a sunny afternoon...all while trying to convince us that joining the US Navy is cool.

I'm not sure why the notion of paying for your own stuff is so scandalous.

But now that Seafair 2013 is over the Seattle Times is upset that there is funding for free and reduced lunches but there just aren't enough kids taking advantage of it.  Seattle is certainly not where the term TANSTAAFL came from.

You got off lucky this year America.  We'll be back for your money next year and don't expect a thank you from us while we're gazing up at the sky in amazement of raw American war power.  We are entitled.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Return to Viet Nam: One Veteran’s Journey of Healing

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a wonderful travel writer, Linda Myers for several years.  When our paths crossed recently we talked about our different writing projects and she made me aware of a book she recently completed with her husband Art.  I always want to read (or try to read) the books of people I know so I asked her to make a copy available for me.  In a couple of weeks, a signed copy was hand delivered in exchange for a small picture of Andrew Jackson.
The book itself is exactly what the title promises:  The journey of healing for a Vietnam Veteran.  The veteran in this case is her husband Art who talks about his one official day of combat and how it has impacted every day of his life to this present day.  The telling of this story is gripping for a number of reasons.
return[1] The story is told in several voices.  Linda narrates the journey and allows other voices to slip in and support her accounting of what happened.  Linda’s chops as a writer who is experienced with telling travel stories shows. And because of this, the book is a fascinating and quick read.

Linda and Art returned to Vietnam with historian Dr. Steven Leibo and Dr. Ed Tick, a specialist in PTSD.

If you’re wanting to read about the horrors of war you may be disappointed.  Though there are descriptions of battle, this doesn’t read like a documentary on the History Channel’s greatest battles of Vietnam. 
Instead this book tells the real horrors of war that live on for years long after the bullets have stopped flying.  The real horrors of war are less sexy.  There are no medals, no tales of bravery, no giving one’s all for freedom and definitely no flag waving.  Instead this book talks about unexplainable anxiety, alcoholism, destroyed relationships, and feelings of hopelessness that come with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you know a hurting Veteran, I really want you to buy this book.  This is far more than a recommendation of a friend’s writing.  You may know a veteran (Vietnam or more recent) that has had a difficult time dealing with what happened while they were deployed.  This book may be a realization that there is hope beyond the meager resources of the local VA Hospital. 

I’m not sure those we elect to be in power will ever stop sending our young men and women into war, but it’s about time we realize that, for many, the war continues long after the so-called peace is declared.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

I'm new to peace and it's embarassing to admit. I don't know if that statement even makes sense.

Throughout my life I've never been shy about violence. I've thrown punches in anger and in defense of myself and other people. Sometimes it was justified but in every time I have eventually hated myself for doing it. Even while having so much of my life renewed by the message of the Gospel, thoughts of real peace lagged behind, frustratingly.

While it's possible to point to a number of factors in my life that may have contributed to it, the only person responsible was me.

It wasn't just personal peace that I had problems with, I had problems with peaceniks in general. I can and do point to my own father for this influence. My Goldwater Republican father hated hippies but for some reason found himself choosing the VW Microbus as our family transportation. Sure, it was practical for a family of 5 for sure but our ride also attracted plenty of "peace signs" from hippies thoughout the Western United States and Canada on our long road trip vacations. My dad would wave his fist at them while they flashed two fingers thinking we were with them. I can assure you that we were not.

Later when confronted with the prospects of joining the Libertarian Party back about 20 years ago, all that was required was signing a statement that "I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals." It was enough to not sign it. I'm still not a member.

Every "Imagine World Peace" or "Free Tibet" bumpersticker made me roll my eyes at how naive pacifism was in general...and sometimes still does. I never once considered what was achieved through peaceful civil disobedience. I look back and can see that I took a lot of things for granted.

It wasn't long before I began to see movements like the entire Civil Rights Movement and other great demonstrations of civil disobedience for what they really were. The rest of our society watched while deciding that even if we didn't agree with someone else, we weren't willing to subject them to violence to stop them. What first results from peaceful demonstrations is that peaceful people, who have hurt no one, are locked in a cage for simply not consenting to be governed in a certain way. Nothing is more American in my view.

Libertarians are often accused of over simplifying problems with easy bake non-aggression principles. I think the same type of accusation could (and often should) be made of those who reach for faceless intervention (force) before anything else. But peace is one area that I think does not need to be complicated much.

I follow videographer, Dave Ridley who films in public spaces and is often confronted by law enforcement and told to turn off his camera. He often responds "Will you hurt me if I don't?" Almost always the law enforcement deescalates the situation because they understand that he's not doing anything that deserves violence. Requests to stop filming typically end also.

So what do I make of peace now? I desire it even when my own failings don't allow for it or when my demeanor is imperfect and I'm being a jackass. I'm growing in peace a little more every day. That, I'm not embarassed to admit.

Monday, June 24, 2013

An Open Letter to my old Landlords

You don't remember me? I lived in unit 204. Still nothing? I had the black car and lived there oh about eleven years. Oh you remember now?

Do you remember when I moved out? You said my eleven year old deposit didn't cover the cost to refurbish the apartment and then you charged me an additional $700.

I tried to talk with you openly and explain that while my neighbors were moving in and out on an annual basis I was there, year after year. While you brought in painters and rolls of carpeting I was usually there to help hold a door or move a welcome mat while materials were dragged in...into those units.

Boy, were you mad. You sent me the angry letter explaining how my carpet was trashed, especially in the high traffic areas. The paint on the walls was worn and you went on to explain that the place was pretty filthy. You made it clear that the $175 I had left as a deposit would not begin to cover all of the work you would have to do to make my apartment livable for another human being.

You were right too. The place looked really lived in. I mean, nothing was broken but it simply wasn't all that clean. The original carpet color was no longer knowable but it matched the walls in some places. The dining room had a smell...I remember noticing it some time in 2003, but like anything...I got used to it.

Don't get me wrong, I never doubted you had to spend a little extra to get it livable for someone else...but I gotta remind you that you never spent a dime helping make it livable for me. I thought we had an understanding: I was poor and you kept the rent fairly low.

I never abused this understanding. I didn't trash the apartment. It just looked like 600 square feet that someone had lived in for eleven years while the landlord never repaired or replaced anything. Do you remember now?

We couldn't work it out. You promised to take me to collections. You promised to try to make it hard on me if I didn't pay you. You reported me to three major credit bureaus. You said I'd regret ignoring your invoice. I called more to work it out but you didn't care. You kept your promise and that was that.

I kept my promise too though. So while I didn't pay you we both have our honor. The blemish you put on my credit is now gone and we're both forced to look back and consider the damage we did to each other.

You finally had to pay for the wear and tear to refurbish an apartment you had ignored for a decade...and me...how did it go for me? I bought a house and two cars and then refinanced that house and well...I guess nothing really happened to me at all.

Looking back I guess it seems silly we couldn't work it out.

Oh by the way, that smell was cat pee.   The cat died a few years ago so it's best we all move on...I just wanted to uh...clear the air.

All the best in your future endeavors,

Monday, May 13, 2013

My seven year old future arms dealer

While shopping for a Mother's Day gift with my two young boys we found ourselves in the parking lot of a store with the younger son temporarily shutdown and fast asleep in his seat.  I decided that we'd wait awhile in the car to avoid hauling around a squirmy armload of snoring.

This is when my seven year unveiled his idea for a business venture.

Son:  Dad, I want to start a company that makes laser guns.

Me:  Who would you sell laser guns to?

Son:  I'd sell them to anyone who wants one.

Then he thought a minute.

Son:  What are those papers we had to show the people at the border?

Me:  You mean our passports?

Son: Yeah, I'll have to check their passports to make sure they didn't escape from jail or something.

Me:  You mean you'll do background checks on your customers?

Son:  Yeah

Me:  What if they turn out to be a bad guy?

Son:  I'll just lie about the price and charge them more.

Send in those Father of the Year nominations now.  

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The music the kids are listening to sucks

This is true today and it was true when I was a kid. At least according to my dad.

My dad was a jazz band leader in the heyday of the big band movement. He was a drummer who could count many famous jazz musicians as friends and acquaintances. It did no good to drop names to me since I didn't know who any of them were, but I was able to meet several of them in person. It impressed me even more when we'd be watching the Tonight Show orchestra or some awful PBS special on big band jazz and he'd point them out.

My dad had a great appreciation for music but no appreciation for anything I listened to. Now granted I can understand that he'd leave the room whenever I played KISS on my tiny tape player but he would shake his head at anything I played and dismissed it simply noise...even the Beach Boys.

I would go through my dad's extensive LP collection and look at all the album covers. Everyone just looked old. Even the Four Freshmen released albums as young men but still appeared old. They wore sweaters that just looked like they smelled like an old person's house.

In 1976, my older brother bought the Beach Boys album, Spirit of America. I played it all Summer. My dad preferred that I would not play it when he was home or inside the house. I ended up having to record it to tape through a small condenser microphone so that I could listen to it quietly.

All the while on Saturdays my dad would listen to his albums on the stereo console. You could hear it in every room of the house. I'd roll my eyes when the group with the sweaters came on...fuddy duddy old men...big whoop.

The Fuddy Duddy Sweater Quartet Awful shirts but they pretend to surf.

I became rather shocked one day while listening to music from the other room that I thought my dad had put on the Beach Boys album. I thought for maybe a second he was extending an olive branch to help span the impossible chasm that the world of music had introduced to our lives. He hadn't though. What had come on the stereo was the song Graduation Day by the Four Freshmen. I knew the song well because my brother's Beach Boys album had a live version of the very same song. How could this be?

As I grew older and began listening to them both I can't believe how blind my ears were to the fact that they were more similar than either my dad or I were ever willing to admit. One packaged in the style of my dad's youth and the other packaged in the carefree girls and hot rod themes of the 60's surf music scene.

Over the years, even up until yesterday I discovered another Beach Boys / Four Freshmen connection. While listening to the Four Freshmen at dinner (yes, I slowly have become my own father) I heard the song Their Hearts Were Full of Spring. I knew the tune very well as the Beach Boys had rewritten the words to the same tune in an ode to James Dean (A Young Man is Gone).

Below is an example that demonstrates how any substantive difference between the two groups was probably just in the packaging.

The crusty old-fashioned harmonies of the Four Freshmen
The youthful tones of the Beach Boys

I have realized that the music was never the issue. My dad loved the music of his youth because he loved his own youth. He saw my youth everyday because I was still living in it. What could I have possibly known about music? I had to be reminded not to leave my bike outside, not to wipe my nose with my sleeve, and to forever pick up my stuff. He was sick of my youth and wished for his back. The Beach Boys no matter how similar were not his youth and therefore they sucked. Period.

My kids love music and they're at an age where we listen to all kinds of things. I know at some point they will settle in on something I hate. I will hate it not because it lacks any listening value necessarily but because kids are stupid...like I was stupid...and the days where I can freely be stupid too have long since passed.

Now excuse me I have to remind my kids to pick up their stuff.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let me introduce you to two of my friends

I have two friends who started a Kickstarter project.  

It seems like everything is being funded by Kickstarter these days.  I even heard about a movie studio using it to generate interest in a film that they probably already have money to produce.  It's become a trendy way to cause some buzz about projects.  Aside from a few Open Source software projects,  I've largely stayed away from Kickstarter projects.

We live in an age where art is now considered free...and it should be free!  But not like "free beer" but more like "free speech."  I actively support musical acts, independent films, stage productions and scores of other nonsense out there so that artists have the chance to add color to our lives.

I saw one Kickstarter project started by a guy who was writing a book and wanted support.   He hadn't even started it yet.  I didn't want to donate but I wanted to give him a tip:  Dude, just write your book.  Kickstarter is filled with great people with awesome ideas and also a host of lazy people...

...and then there's my friends.

Let me introduce you to two of my friends, Mollie and Emily.  These two gals are sweet people.  I understand that just me calling them friends may cause you to question my claim. Trust me, they're too nice to know better.

These two sisters together are the Douglas County Daughters.  When they perform together what results is an audible form of pixie dust.  Sincerity, simplicity and lovely remnants of our American musical culture are heard in every note.  While it may be easy to use Americana as a gimmick, they have somehow managed to use this approach to connect with their own roots.  This is more than a retrospective approach to art, it's become a journey to strengthen their own roots and sense of family.

Seriously, that's not just a bunch of flowery words.  Their dedication to this project is seen in how they've carried on despite the fact that they don't even live in the same town.  They don't even live in the same STATE.  They compose and arrange through the magic of the Internet and book gigs at coffee houses and festivals between the two metro areas where they live -- Seattle and Eugene, Oregon.  They are both talented, hard working musicians that can boast involvement in many different bands and musical projects in their own background.

They want to record an album together.   They have asked for a humble amount and have promised to do great things with only a little bit of scratch. 

They are SOOO close to meeting their Kickstarter goal. 

I'm completely behind Mollie and Emily and have given to their campaign and may give again.  If you like giving to projects like these then join me!  Even $5 or $10 goes a ways toward helping them reach their goal and gives them encouragement.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Winter Blogging

In my mind I blog year around.  Now it's early March and you probably know my last post was on New Year's Eve.  I promise you that I did blog in January and February...I just stopped myself from clicking the "Publish" button.  We should all be thankful.

I have a tough time during the winter.  The reasons vary from living in an awful weather climate, a very busy work schedule, and of course the awful weather climate.  Of all these it's the weather I hate the most.  Get the picture?

I got email and messages asking me when I was going to blog again.  I didn't know what to say honestly.  It's a common situation to this blog in January and February.  I work a lot and my attempts at blogging are miserable and sad.

It's not just blogging, it's just the outlook your life has when you live under constant cloud cover and drizzly rain.  Without even knowing why friends and strangers would approach me and ask "What's wrong?"  There's nothing wrong really, nothing a few months of sunshine won't solve.  Every March we get what is called a Spring Tease.  On a single day it will be sunny and 52 degrees.  You'll hear birds and the smell of freshly cut grass almost gives you a narcotic reaction.   This rush of optimism floods over you and suddenly you can't stop thinking about how awesome the day and your life is.  The next day is foggy and rainy and it is all you can do to put on your socks.  Stupid, dumb socks.

So during the winter I type out my blog post and then sit back and quickly read over the highlights.  Two or three sentences in I just close the browser and it remains an unpublished draft with about a dozen other attempts.  Are they that bad you ask?  They're worse than you can imagine.

Even this post is nothing special or interesting and I'm surprised you've read this far.  Why did you read this far?  Anyway...it's starting again...March will have some posts...the weather will be better...it had better.