December 24, 2009
The year 2009 was a good one for me. First of all let me give you some background. I’m still employed full time, but approaching retirement in about four years. Although I’ve always had an interest in and dappled in writing over the years, this was the first year I got serious about it.
I’m also a do-it-again dad with an 8 year-old son and 5 year-old twin daughters to tend to. My eldest daughter gave me the gift of a grandson this year. All this consumes my time, but also gives me lots of ideas for writing.
I made an effort to write at least a page a day. This was fairly successful for me. Writing for my blog helped, it gave me motivation.
So far in 2009 I have written over 25 fiction short stories and a half-dozen nonfiction pieces.
I was published four times this year. Once in a mainstream magazine here in Canada called Saltscapes, The East Coast Magazine. This was also a well-paid gig. The others were fiction pieces published in ezines for little or no pay, but resulted in excellent exposure.
Lots of rejections, but this is normal. After all Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected over 500 times before it was published. The rest is history so to speak.
The results of my writing efforts have been most satisfying. Not only am I getting published, but the ability to create stories and articles is a total high for me.
I love writing and can’t wait to see what 2010 will bring. For sure it will bring me another grandson. If I can just learn to love rewriting a bit more…..
December 11, 2009
Oneonta Falls by Jesse Estes
A peaceful scene to relax you for the weekend. I for one, love waterfall photos and Jesse has some great ones. Make sure you get permission before using any of them. I did. Thanks Jesse for letting me share these.
Jesse Estes is a superb photographer I found on Flickr. He lives in Portland, Oregon and has some of the best landscape photos I’ve ever seen. Check more of his work out at,
December 10, 2009
Rednecks celebrate the season too and sometimes in style. This is a photo from the Mental Floss website. I just couldn’t resist posting it for all the workers out there. I’m sure Jeff Foxworthy would appreciate this.
It’s not easy to see, but the tree is constructed of green “beverage” containers of the glass variety.
December 8, 2009
Society and especially the justice system are strange birds. The courts convict a murderer and then sentence him to death. Then when it comes time for the sentence to be carried out everyone gets up in arms that administering the sentence might cause him pain! Give me a break.
Right now in Ohio convicted killer Kenneth Biros is facing death by lethal injection. Instead of three drugs they plan to only use one to kill him. His defence is petitioning the courts to stay his execution because the needle might hurt him. Cry me a river Biros.
What did he do? He killed 22-year-old Tami Engstron in 1991. He offered to drive her home from the bar. Then he killed her and scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Nice guy this Biros.
Hopefully the courts will come to their senses and give this scum his due. The only unfortunate part is that his death will be painless compared to his victim’s.
Breaking News Update:
Kenneth Biros was executed today by the State of Ohio. His request for clemency was denied 7-0 by the appeal board.
Another piece of human scum is no longer part of society. Thank you Ohio for having the balls to do this.
Note: I refuse to publish his picture. He doesn’t deserve any kind of recognition.
December 7, 2009
My Neighborhood this weekend.
No wonder my American friends call us the Great White North. We had a major blizzard hit this past Friday and it lasted all weekend. A city of over one million brought to a stand-still. Along with the snow came the cold weather. Last night the overnight low as – 29 C. Today we’re having a scorcher at – 21 C. It took me two hours to get from my suburban home to the office in the downtown core. The usual commuting time is 35 minutes.
December 1, 2009
Rosa Parks on desegregated bus.
On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger as was required at the time.
Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama at the time seemingly an ordinary citizen, but one that had finally had enough of segregation.
The bus driver had her arrested. She was tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance for her act of defiance.
Her brave act resulted in several crucial steps forward in the civil rights movement of the late 20th century:
- Blacks in Montgomery boycotted the bus system for over a year in protest.
- The boycott raised Martin Luther King, Jr. to national prominence. Previous to this he was virtually unknown.
- Resulted in Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation on city buses.
- For over 40 years she helped make Americans aware of the history of the civil rights struggle.
- She was eventually awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Rosa Parks example of gentle resistance remains an inspiration to the w0rld.