Blog Extra – Pressure

Opinion. Our fight against our representatives is far from over. The pressure is on and we must keep the pressure upon them to de-fund Obamacare. Do not allow them to say and pass “just 1 year of funding” for this bankrupting act. They know that if they can successfully fund it for one year then it will never be defeated and they will have won. Be aware of the rhetoric that is being put forth by the ones who want to either fund or remove the funds from this act because if one listens closely some who seem to be on the side of we the people may truly not be. Because if you listen to what they are saying it is only that Obamacare (the affordable care act) is not ready for prime time. Not ready for prime time, what does this really mean? This makes it sound as if, in the long run, they want it to pass. Put them on the spot and find where they really stand on this issue.

We all must remember that politicians are very good at words, and probably would be great fiction writers with all the fiction that they spout. It is easy for them to turn a phrase in such a way that what it seems to mean, and what it actually means are two different things entirely. Our fight against this act is a long way from over. Do not allow this government to make an issue or statement; “that it is this act and the ones who refuse to fund it”, as the reason for the possible government shutdown that can happen on the first day of the new fiscal year. This is all a smoke screen, along with all the scare tactics that they are using. It isn’t the first time this has happened and surprise, surprise, we are still here, we still have a government overspending, and there has been no failures or compromises to our security (other than the ones that this government has created), no shutting down of the public sector. So it is indeed these scare tactics which needs to be ignored. After all it is just another tactic or weapon from their large arsenal that they employ to make we the people believe them.

Besides, let’s be honest here. It might do some of our representatives good to be without a job, although we all know that this will never happen unless we take responsibility for our mistakes and vote these non-representatives out of office, and get the ones in there who will do as we the people ask. We need to eliminate the ones who seem to ignore the people’s will that they supposedly represent and once in office, do as they please. We need to know the Constitution of this country so that we can hold our representatives accountable when they deviate from this document. If we had been so informed in our past, then we wouldn’t be in this situation, this mess, this power grab by most of whom are in office.

Keep the emails and the calls coming. keep the pressure on – let them know how we really feel. There’s still a slight chance that we can change the outcome of this and de-fund this act, giving we the people time to remove this blight from our nation. This blatant attempt to make this country Socialist. And if we are successful in the end, we can say that we the people were finally able to begin the steps necessary of taking our country back and bring an out of control government back in line to what our forefathers envisioned and created.

Published in: on September 30, 2013 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Slice of Life, Part 5


The photo above is not from the Pine Hills fire of 1967 but an image from the Cedar Fire of 2003. Like the 1967 fire it was pushed by Santa Ana winds. Photo taken by a friend G Kochel.

With the plan in place we, with many other engines set up along the dirt road, this time we faced our engine away from the station and back out towards the highway. While the distance was a few miles the thought was that it would be a safer escape route than retreating back to the Pine Hills Ranger Station. The engine was parked as close to the shoulder as possible to allow other smaller units the ability to drive around. The land continued to fall away to the west before leveling somewhat. No matter how you looked at it, it was tight on that dirt road. There were a couple of engines that were set up towards the ranger station, facing that way, and within sight others towards the highway. I truly have no idea how many were involved with this dangerous situation, but it was a desperate attempt to keep the fire contained, which up to this time all past attempts to confine the fire had failed. Still we had that anchor point that provided some safety and that road. Again, our planned escape route was towards the highway, with a secondary safety zone as the ranger station. All of us hoped that we would have no need of the safety zones, and we would stop the fire here.

It was late afternoon when the plan was initiated, with dusk a short time off. Where we were located was on the south edge of the burn from the spot fire that we had extinguished earlier that same day. Within this burn was an old snag – a widow maker as these dead trees were also known. Somehow it had escaped burning when the spot fire made its run down to the road. Equipment continued to pour in and our ranks swelled. While at the point where we were hotshot crews began the trek along the edge of this existing burn, and soon a caterpillar also headed up to assist the hotshot crews. By the time all of the hand crews and heavy equipment had moved up the heavily wooded hill into the burn and out of sight it was dark. After a while we could no longer hear this equipment, nor did we have a clue how far up the hill they had progressed or whether they had progressed pass the burn. Again rumors of trouble for the hotshots and dozer came down to us. Whether in fact this was true I never learned, since shortly we would have our own hands full.

Where we sat was close to a sharp curve that ran towards the highway and we could only see 1 engine in that direction. Back towards the ranger station we could see the 2 other engines that covered the distance all the way back and out to that meadow. Their purpose to control any fire that got past the anchor point, knowing that while the meadow could sustain a fire, it wouldn’t sustain one for very long. The winds were roaring and we could see the trees bending in the winds. All the equipment had spot lights burning allowing us to see the surrounding trees. Still at the same time the lights created islands of deep shadow where the light didn’t penetrate. Giving us, at times, a ghostly view of the branches and trees as they bent and moved into and out of the light and shadows, because of these strong winds.

Because we were unable to truly know what was taking place up that hillside where the hand crews and tractor were located it left us with both worry for them, and anticipation for what we knew we were about to face. Still the night moved on, and nothing – just the roar of the wind with the stronger gusts pushing us around. Humidities were extremely low, and it was a warm night, with the winds responsible for both the warmth and the low humidities. Word would come down now and then that it wouldn’t be long so be prepared – as if we weren’t. As I stated at the close of part 4, I was expecting a similar fight when we attacked the spot fire and was confident that with the additional equipment that we would keep the fire confined and stop it here. Again we were dealing with 1 of the situations that shout watch out – “You are making a frontal attack on a fire.”

Other than the trucks idling and the wind blowing through the trees it was quiet. No real conversation, we, all of us, were concentrating on the areas where we expected the head of the fire to come from. The first warning we had wasn’t the actual fire. It was full dark, other than the lights of the equipment, with pumps engaged, there was only darkness. The smoke generated from the fire covered the night sky not allowing any light from the stars to get through. So dark in fact that one wouldn’t have been able to see their hands in front of their face if it wasn’t for our own artificial lights including headlamps that were attached to our hard hats. It began raining, and it was beautiful. I suspect that it was doing this to a lesser degree earlier in the day during the daylight, but because of the daylight was invisible to us. What I’m speaking of here is not water but burning embers. We were being showered heavily with them and their orange glow against the night sky were spectacular, but very dangerous.

Immediately, as these embers began to land, we were seeing spot fires start in a number of places. We desperately fought these new fires,rapidly running to each new start and extinguishing it, only to have new ones start immediately. We couldn’t keep up with all the new spot fires. The spot fires began to combine creating a number of larger fires across our line and making it difficult to control. These larger fires began to combine increasing the pressure on us to stop the fire’s spread. Then the main fire made it run on us. In a very short time we were caught between two fires and all the equipment had to abandon the attempt. The fire had won and hardly slowed down. Now across our line the whole area was beginning to burn. No longer was any light needed as the fire provided all that was necessary.

We were informed by radio that the fire had already jumped the line in the direction of the highway – the very direction that we were to leave in an emergency. This meant that it was no longer safe to head out towards our safety zone. This left heading back towards the station. The only problem with this was again that road. It was single lane and wasn’t really wide enough to turn around a fire truck, but we had no choice in the matter. Turn it around or take the risk of being burned if we traveled in the original direction. (It’s not that we never drove down roads that were surrounded by fire. It is something that as a wildland firefighter you face quite often. Many times it is necessary to be able to reach your point of attack, or to move on when a stand failed.)

For safety (right), I was required to act as a guide to be sure that as the engine backed in the maneuvers necessary to turn around that the driver did not drive off the dirt road and become stuck. The process was slow as there wasn’t much distance to work with. The fire didn’t care as all the fuels – brush, grasses and trees began to burn. We sat in an island of no fire with absolutely everything else burning. I have to admit that while a dangerous serious situation for us, at the same time, it was beautiful. With all that was happening there was no time for fear to creep in. All concentration was on getting that engine turned around and facing back towards the ranger station. Eventually once successful the driver signaled that all of us was to enter the cab, no matter how cramped. Since I was the one directing the turn around I was the last to enter the cab. (One last point here. In a sense a fire is a living thing.  It requires oxygen to sustain itself, so it is using great quantities of air to maintain itself. This means that there will be pockets of air that will have none.  If you drive through these pockets it can kill your engine. The way to avoid this danger is to keep your vehicle in a lower gear having the engine run at higher rpm’s, giving time for you to pass through these pockets and not have the engine die.)

As I entered the cab we could feel the heat all the way through the closed doors. The whole area now in flames and as the driver drove us out we had fire flashing over the hood and if any of us had been in the crew area that was out in the open we would have been burned severely as the fire rolled over the truck. With the motor revving he was able to get us out and beyond the danger, out into the clear to that same meadow that we had stopped briefly when we first arrived earlier that same day. Since there was little to nothing that we could do we watched as the fire raged on and away from where we had attempted to make our stand barely slowing the forward progress. The following day the winds began to slow with the westerly influence beginning to  return, and without those winds the fire was stopped. That night when the fire rolled over us, beaten and tired we entered the fire camp now set up at the station. And as we ate our meals and tried to get some rest we could see the fire burning to the west backing into that wind consuming everything it touched.

If you are picking this up at part 5, parts 1 thru 3 are under August 2013, with parts 4, and of course part 5 are listed under September 2013. If there happens to be anything here that wasn’t understood, please let me know and I’ll attempt to define or explain it further. Many of the earlier parts have links that takes you to fuller explanations.

Published in: on September 28, 2013 at 8:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blog Extra – Short and Not So Sweet

Opinion. Right at this moment we have a minority of senators who are fighting to keep the socialized and financially bankrupting funding of Obamacare from passing. As usual we are seeing the Rhinos within the party blaming Ted Cruz for the possibility of shutting down the government, as if this is the first time such has happened. It seems that this government is bent on destruction and making this country Socialist. After all it benefits them and makes the working people pay heavily while allowing many a free ride. The Affordable Care Act is anything but, as major company after major company dumps their healthcare because they can no longer afford it under this act. Affordable, my foot! Anybody who has health care has been warned that their rates will go up significantly once this act becomes fully active. It is written in such a way that if forces most into the exchanges and on to the government plan. Big brother at its finest. After all it is one of the areas that once fully under government control will allow them to dictate anything to we the people.

And believe it or not there are a few in our federal government who don’t want this and Ted Cruz is one of these. He has been filibustering to prevent the funding of this act. Whether he succeeds or not will mean for him that he will have alienated many within and could shorten his political career because of his actions. We all need to support him in this. We all need to stop what is happening in this country and he with the few senators that are with him show us that there still is a chance to take this country back.

I suspect, in the end, that he will fail at this attempt and we will lose if he does. There are too many within the government that want this and will do whatever is necessary to make it happen. Again it is all about control, and they want it. And when that carrot is dangled before such as they, it is taken as quickly as possible. We are down to the final opportunity to end this.  Let your representatives know where you stand. It truly is now or never. Don’t let the media continue to lie and make you believe that this is about shutting down the government as the major networks has so stated. Get the facts and let’s end this before we have to bow before a new god – the US Government.

Published in: on September 25, 2013 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Disclaimer of Sorts

Many times when people go out looking for blog posts to read, and find one that is interesting enough that they contemplate subscribing, it is with the thought in mind that the particular blog is subject specific. So if there happens to be a post dealing with their job and it is well written then it could be worth the time to follow. Others could easily be political in nature, or educational, or go so many other directions. If one was to read the subtitle under the title of this blog then one would realize that this particular blog is none of those things. This is possibly why there is a smaller following than other subject specific blogs out there. It’s because one will never know from week to week what the next post and the subject of that post will be.

Yes, because I’m a writer, there will be excerpts from my books, there will be short stories, there will be thoughts on the writing craft, after all these are important to me. But the posts aren’t limited to that subject or subjects. There will be eclectic collections dealing with just about anything including politics that I had hoped to avoid. But the situation in this country is such that no one can remain on the sidelines. So political posts became necessary, although they are posted as opinion for which they are – my views and my opinions. And on that subject of political opinion, it will always be tagged as Blog Extra –

So when you come to this blog understand that this site is not specific to any particular subject, but closest to the subject of writing. If one thinks about it, writing is translating what one sees around them, experiences in their own lives, and translates all of this into the stories that we as readers enjoy. Many times once readers have enjoyed books written by authors, they, the readers, want to know more about the author and that is one of the purposes of such blogs and of course personal web pages. Forums work for this also, but not all have them or have the time to maintain them. Others tie their blog and web page together making it one and the same. I have a separate blog and web page, with the web page tied specifically to my books. If one would go there ( they would find 1 of the pages dedicated to this blog tying the 2 together.

So, if you are a recent follower of this blog, and was expecting similar material to what you had read and found interesting, finding that in the next week it wasn’t, leading to disappointment, I can understand. Just understand, on your part, that there will be a multitude of subjects here, and that will not change. So, whichever post was the one that led you here and possibly was interesting enough for you to decide to follow, there will be other similar posts dealing with that particular subject in the future. So again, I can honestly say that this blog is eclectic in nature, and there’s really nothing wrong with that at all.

So if you enjoyed what has been posted in the past, there is a chance since this is different each week, that there will something else within this blog that will hold your interest. And, of course,  I appreciate all who do follow. It says to me that there are like-minded individuals out in this world who like my voice, my style of writing, and as a writer it is all I can ask. So thank you all, and if this hasn’t been what you were expecting I thank you for at least stopping  by and sampling what is here. F. D. Brant

Published in: on September 21, 2013 at 7:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blog Extra – Coincidence?

Opinion. We are taught through life about cause and effect and to look over a situation and see if the results that came out to be either coincidence or is there a relationship between what preceded the incident to what was viewed. An example of this is open flame placed next to a flammable substance resulting in the flammable substance igniting and burning. Or seeing a balloon pop and hearing the resulting concussion.  We learn many of these lessons early in life even though we don’t necessarily equate the two sides (cause and effect) .

So where is this all leading? Simply stated is this administration’s push for complete elimination of guns from the citizens of this country. After all, if they can succeed in doing this then it is only a short step to anarchy – a very short step indeed. So this administration continues to dig up old flawed reports to support their push and control, but at the same time when this push is on an incident coincidentally occurs close to the same time involving guns. Has anybody out there really noticed this? And coincidentally the supposed perpetrator is always killed so that no one can determine, from the source, the why and how. Again if we look at past incidents before this administration took office, yes such things happened, but not at the frequency that we are now seeing, and not at such opportune times (possible cause and effect?).

I’m not making any accusation here at all but just looking at the weird coincidences between the push for gun control and then the incidents (again cause and effect?). For the conspiracy theorists out there it’s a sure thing, but for the rest it leaves us with questions that cannot be answered. So have we moved past coincidence in these incidents, or has it been chance? I honestly don’t know, and really do hope that this isn’t something purposeful at all. I can see the questions arising immediately. Such as: “Why would anybody do this since they know that they will be killed?” Ask a suicide bomber that question. Or maybe the ones being killed are not the perpetrator at all but a patsy who unknowingly was along not realizing what was about to come down? After all they are dead so they can’t defend themselves.

And this is followed by the media who reports what this administration wants them to say. So what we read and hear is tainted and flawed by the influences of higher sources. We no longer are seeing the “W’s” in reporting, but the slants and interests of others instead of the truth. The “W’s”, what are they? Who, What, Where, When, Why – the basis to honest research and honest reporting, and one could include police work in this also. Reporting has become speculation, innuendos, and conclusions based on faulty information – with a strong push to the liberal and to the left. We may joke about some of the comparisons but it is sad to realize that those jokes have too much truth attached. Examples of this were recently read to me: Black man stating – I’m proud to be black! Response: Great you are identifying who you are and support your color! White man stating – I’m proud to be white! Response: You racist pig how dare you put down other races! And tell me this isn’t true. So who’s the racist here?

So before you yell, “There ought to be a law!” Be sure that you aren’t being manipulated into this position. Further more, every time there is a law you lose more of your personal freedom, which is exactly what a government like this one wants. It all leads to more control, and more power. Regan had it right when he wanted small government, lower taxes, and less spending. It helps make this nation strong. So what do we have now? Big and still growing government, taxes on the rise, and so much spending that a computer can’t keep up with it. And how’s the economy (and don’t listen to the rhetoric that comes out of Washington)? After all, we are still losing jobs, still in that recession (or can we call it what it is – depression), and yet taxes go up, and all governments – Federal, State, County, and City want more taxes, more of your money.

Have even noticed that your taxes are never enough? That when the next ballot measure comes out there is a request to raise this or that  tax base? And what do they use as a reason many times? “It’s for the children!” After all who wants to take anything away from our kids? Yet, rarely does any of this ever get down to them. Quit giving them a blank check and make them live within a budget. We have to do that or end up on the streets. So why should our governments be any different?

To conclude, we cannot look to the simple answer to much of what our country faces or the incidents of violence that is dominating the news. And presently we cannot look to our government, since it is well out of control on so many levels that it is scary. We can only use those “W’s” ourselves to come up with as close as an honest answer to the many questions that now face us. And we need this government to reign in their spending, and to do as they were elected to do. We have that second amendment to protect us, not only from foreign invaders, but from a government who decides that they deserve all the power. And if one reads and understands the Constitution it becomes obvious that they, the Federal Government, are not to reign supreme, but the individual states. So look beyond what is said and see if you can see what they are really after, what they want. And realize that we must walk as if we are on egg shells because we are so close to becoming what our forefathers feared.

Oh, one last thing: We have less than two weeks to defeat Obamacare or face the consequences and financial hardship that it will bring. Inundate your representatives with phone calls and emails – let them know where you stand. We will have no other chance.

A Slice of Life, Part 4

Eventually, the spot fire that began to travel across that overgrazed meadow was blown out by the winds. It became obvious that this would not be the only spot fire we would be facing and shortly we could see smoke rising to the north and east of us signaling another spot fire. This one did not have the disadvantage of the previous spot fire that had attempted to spread across that meadow. This one was in prime burning fuels. The captain decided that we needed to hold this new fire at the road east of the station if at all possible. It was a line drawn that stated we were not going to allow the fire to burn any further than this road. Fortunately, up to this time, this fire and the resulting spot fires were burning in unpopulated areas. If this fire or any of the spot fires managed to jump this dirt road, then there were miles of open unbroken forest for it to burn before reaching populated areas. Yet, with these winds it wouldn’t take a fire like this to travel those miles in a very short span of time. (An example of what I’m describing here is a fire that began 5 years later in the Laguna Mountains which became known as the Laguna fire. At the time it was the largest fire in California history at 186,000 acres. Since then there has been a number of fires that were significantly larger. The Laguna Mountains are at least 45 miles inland from the coast and in the 5 days of active burning it burned all the way to the coast.)

We had that old burn from 11 years prior to the west, and the regrowth was still light, and if we lost it here then it was hoped that these lighter fuels would allow us to stop the wildfire.  Like I stated this fire was heading into the area where the Inaja fire had burned 11 years earlier and again if one had followed the links to that tragedy it was where firefighters lost their lives. (If one missed that link I will place it here once again: In any extreme situation as this, it is easy for things to go from what appears to be a relatively safe operation to everything going to hell in seconds. When you are overrun you must react immediately and your decision and direction you choose can mean the difference between survival or death. It is one of the reasons for determining safe zones and being aware of their locations, but sometimes even these areas can turn out to be death traps. Also since the time that I fought these wildfires there has been additional safety equipment available to firefighters and this is the deployable fire tent meant to give the firefighters a chance to survive a blowup. As has been shown with the deaths in Colorado in the near past, these tents do not necessarily mean survival but it is better than what we had which was nothing.

One of the problems that we faced was that dirt road. It was a manmade barrier, but the distance across to other fuels wasn’t great. So while it was a barrier it wasn’t a strong one. If we could stop this growing spot fire from crossing the road then this would provide an anchor point from which to work when the main fire approached this location. Still before that possibility could happen, this one had to be stopped. We positioned the engine facing back towards the Ranger Station giving us our escape route if we failed in our attempt to stop the spot fire. By this time we had other engines arriving with many heading in to where the main fire was advancing. We, with a second unit, became the forward position dealing with those additional spot fires and as time moved on we added a couple of other engines to help make our stand. In retrospect one realizes that with at least 2 major fires burning in the region that manpower and equipment became a premium until additional men and equipment could be brought in from outside of areas where these fires burned.

As is the way it goes in most desperate situations, there was a period of idleness as we prepared for the spot fire’s arrival. Again for safety we remained on the dirt road and did not advance towards the spot fire through the “green” as it is called. Simply this means that if you are going through vegetation to reach your fire you are leaving yourself vulnerable to the fire, so it is something one tries to avoid. After all the goal is to stop the fire, not get yourself injured or killed. To keep us as mobile as possible, even though as a class 1 engine or pumper, once the pump is engaged it becomes immobile, we only pulled our hard lines. If we were unable to prevent this spot fire from crossing this manmade barrier then we would need to vacate the area as quickly as possible.

When fighting an active fires such as this, time really means very little. You have the time of waiting, and the time that you are actually engaged with the fire, with a second by second adjustment in your methods of attack as the fire advances on you. It has been stated that when you first arrive on a major wildfire that the only thing initially organized is the fire. Even though this spot fire wasn’t as large as the original fire it had the potential to become that way and for us it was a desperate fight as we had fire burning down from the hillside towards us, pushed by the same Santa Ana winds and a number of spot fires starting to burn across our line being generated from this spot fire. The hours flew by and at one point an ember blew up under my hard-hat and burned me on the top of the head – it hurt! But I couldn’t take it off since that would expose me to more of the same.

We could feel the intense heat, and the roar, from the spot fire, which now covered many acres (On the final major fire that I fought in 1975 we had to protect an honor camp which was in the direct line of the fire, again pushed by these same winds. When it went by us it sounded like a freight train passing by.), as it approached our position and after a desperate struggle from all who was involved we were able to extinguish it. We remained here for a while to insure that there wasn’t a rekindle, did an initial mop up operation, and eventually when it was determined that we had stopped this advance headed back to the station to refill our tank. Pine Hills station became the fire camp location as things became organized. While it was ahead of the fire it was felt that with the success of the spot fire being extinguished and the failure of the other spot fire to travel across that meadow, it was a safe location. Also it appeared that once the main fire approached this location that there was a good chance that it would burn to the east of the fire camp.

The word came down late in the day that with the successes earlier that we and other units would again make a stand using the burned area from the spot fire as an anchor point and attempt to hold the original fire there. If one had followed the links back from part 1, it covered “situations that shout watch out”, and here was one of those, “You are making a frontal attack on a fire.”, which was exactly what we would be doing. Most of this work would be done by the engines, although with the anchor point set the plan was also to start moving hotshot crews up along the edge of the burn and try to establish a working fire line, attempting to establish another break to force the fire to remain to the east and south and keep it from spreading to the north, and hopefully slow its spread to the west.

And as we move on to part 5 and the final part I found myself back at the waiting game with rumors of the fire situation flying all around me. And if I had thought that the fight we had fought against that spot fire was difficult, I learned that it was nothing in comparison to the main fire. Here I provide the link back to part 3 which has the links to parts 1 and 2:

Blog Extra – Here We Go Again, and Do You Remember?

Opinion. Before I make any statements about our state as a nation it is time to reflect on that day 12 years ago. A day where terrorists attacked this country on our own soil making a statement that no one was safe from them, and that they were willing to do whatever it takes to destroy us. For a short time this nation was brought together under that tragedy and threat. We became united for the first time in many many years. It was a time of national sorrow for the ones who had died, those many innocent lives taken that day. It showed us, as a people that there were others in this world that would prefer to destroy each and every one of us and they didn’t care how they did it, or who would die.

For a very short time it was fresh in everyone’s mind, and now it is history and we’ve fallen far from what that time represented and showed us. Time has removed us from the intimacy of the moment, and now like the holocaust of WWII it has become too distant to mean anything. We look at this government of ours, and we see them trying to overthrow the Constitution, to become like the ones who used violence to begin to take over. Have we learned anything at all from this? By looking at this country right now I would say that the simple answer is no, nothing at all.

So as we look back let’s remember the tears, the sorrow, the anger, and the fact that we could come together as a people united. At that time it did not matter who you were, what color, or religion. All that mattered was that you were an American. Now with a government trying to divide this nation by continually bringing up the RACE CARD, and attacking specific religions, they are using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer. Remember 9-11-2001, and remember how we were in the aftermath. Do not allow this government to continue as they are. It is not business as usual, and “let’s continue to throw our smoke screen out there, keep the public so busy on things that have no meaning that we can take this nation and it will be ours”, attitude. After all, actions always speak louder than words, and the words being spoken mean nothing as their actions tell us what they really are doing, what they desire, what they believe they can take. It is time that we unite as we did after that tragedy and never forget that time. Because, if we do forget, then we will go the way of the dodo, with the rest of the world fighting over the carcass.


It seems that Congress is up to their old games once again – especially the House. Rumors are saying that It appears they are combining 2 bills so that they can tell their constituents that they voted the way that they were asked to vote. By combining these 2 bills they can say that they either voted down Obamacare, or supported it and not lie. Since the combined bills do both. Then once passed and moved on to the Senate they would be split once again leaving the Senate to take the fall for whichever failed to pass. As usual that double standard and double talk is alive and well in Washington.

And with the Syria issue and the fact that this President wants to push us into another war there came out this parody that reflects how the left views Obama.

Published in: on September 11, 2013 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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As An Author –

Where are you? This isn’t necessarily speaking of that goal of being on the New York Times best-selling list, but more to do with your growth as a writer. Writing styles, your voice, the stories that you write, the arc, your characters, and so many other factors that takes an idea to a completed story, to that fictional world that did not exist until you used your word processor to create it. Remember very few ever become members of the best-selling club, and few ever make it as successful published authors although that is the dream of most of us – me included.

It’s important to look back now and then to see if you have grown in your writing. Has your characters left their stilted dialogue behind? As they move through a scene within your story does it feel natural or contrived? Do your characters become real and three-dimensional or are they still flat? When you put away your completed draft and come back do you see the corrections that need to be made, to see the points where there needs to be more detail, to see where it just doesn’t work and will require a complete rewrite of that portion? Are you willing to put in the time necessary to edit? After all, none of this hard work has any guarantees – none at all.

For me this has been a crazy year. I had 3 manuscripts to edit and was writing another. Then, as usually happens for most of us, life intruded on my goals and most likely few, if any, will be reached this year. Other life projects took priority over my work, and while this may sound like a complaint, it isn’t. I’ve lived long enough to know that this is how life is. I’ve made goals, realistic goals most of my life, but few were ever reached because the road changed direction unexpectedly and that goal was no longer obtainable, or realistic. As a writer all one can do is keep on keeping on. You only truly fail if you give up and walk away.

An example in my own life is this: When I was still in the work force I applied and was rejected for over 9 years for promotions. For many, after a year or two of rejection they would give up, but I didn’t. Eventually I did receive that promotion, and was very good at what I did. Still, to be honest, I had much to learn after obtaining that new position. This applies to our writing or any other endeavor that you might pursue . By reading other authors’ works we, as writers, see how they do something and many times it is at this point that light goes on and something that had no real definition or understanding becomes perfectly clear. And as we exercise our minds, seeing our worlds there, we get better at translating those images into words on the computer screen.

So, if you compare some of your first works to what you are presently writing do you see a vast improvement? If the answer is yes, then you are beginning to be the writer you always hoped you could be. This is a craft where one continues to learn all their life, and many times when we look back on our early published works, whether they are traditionally published or self-published, we are embarrassed, because we can see that if we had written them now that they would be so much better. Yet, when we are born we do not start out walking or running. It is a process of learning with much stumbling and falling along the way. If we think about it, most of what we do in our lives has that phase where we fumble a lot until it clicks and the light goes on and you state, “Oh or wow!”

Part of what I’m presently editing are my first 2 books, both in the range of 300 to 500 pages. When I compare what is there I can see great strides made between those first 2 and the 7th one I’m presently writing. The crazy thing about this the 7th one is this; my plans were to edit, but I kept getting the desire to write something new. The story was forming, pushing me to put it down before it went the way of smoke in the wind. So with that push I began my writing of a story that probably had less known about its direction than any other that I’ve written. Although with over 80,000 words already down, meaning that I’m roughly 80% complete I do know the complete story. For me I do not outline, do not write out a description or where it is going. The story advances itself just like our lives – one day at a time. Each day’s writing leads me to the next day. And like the continuity of our lives and the way our lives flow, so goes my writing. Yes, I have a set time of day to write, and a daily goal, and for any who are just starting out these are important, even critical.

In my stories I see the beginning, I see the end, and what happens between is just like life. I have ideas, goals, images of where the story is going, but like life, they can be destroyed, written out, because you realize that what you considered a pivotal scene in your book will not work leaving you with, “now what?” So where are you in your writing? Have you improved or are you still writing as you were at the beginning? If you’ve not grown, then it may be time to step back and think this through, because if you are not improving then simply stated – writing may not be your thing. If the improvement is there – a big congratulations is due.

And for all writers out there – good luck, and good writing. I hope that for all of us who are serious about this craft that some day there will be that contract that we all desire, that time when we can see our work sent out in the world for others to enjoy – to have something to be proud of. But let’s be honest here – Many attempt to write a book, but few succeed. So if you are one of those who have succeeded, even if it becomes a family legacy, you can be proud of your effort. After all you set that goal of writing that book and you completed it. And whatever the outcome, in the long run, no one can take that away from you.

Published in: on September 7, 2013 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blog Extra – It’s War!

Opinion. As I returned home in the near past from an errand that needed to be accomplished I read a bumper sticker that sums it up pretty well. “If a Government is Big enough to give you everything you want – It’s strong enough to take everything you have.” And that my friends sums up what we are facing and where we stand. We have a government that has decided to rage war upon its citizens and the U S Constitution which is the law of this land.

Their salvos have been coming for years but this time they have the weapon to win a strategic battle that pushes this nation oh so much closer to Socialism or Communism. With the past blog extra I added a poster that many will shine on as someone who isn’t dealing with reality. Yet look closer and one will rapidly realize that we are closer to that type of government than what one may think. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (of war) is their weapon of choice. It, again, was an act that they had no authority to pass or enact but now we are on the brink of facing the consequences of this very controversial Act.

Part of what has made this country great is the right to choose, the freedom of choice including you choosing or not choosing to take healthcare. It is your right, well, until now. Now if you do not (and where is it stated that they have the right to do this?) then you will be penalized financially (And when is a penalty considered a tax, why right here under this act). Really? Where’s our choice in this? And if you think it will end here then I do have some swamp land to sell you, because this is only the first salvo in many to follow. If we blindingly accept what they are shoving down our throats, then they will know that they can do as they please – the Constitution and/or the people be damned!

You are supposedly protected under HIPPA, which only allows a doctor and you to know your medical history, but this changes as of January 1, 2014. And any services that you need must go through a government official who will then decide (and where is this individual’s education allowing him to make an educated decision?) whether you will get the care or not (can we say corruption?). Again where’s your privacy protection, let alone your right to choose?

And that leads to who’s paying for this, and who gets it free, and why are there so many that are exempt, and why does it force everybody to the government plan? Look it up and it may either surprise you when you realize how it works, or you’re already aware and are resigned to the fact that we are screwed. And that will be exactly the outcome if we remain passively watching and just blindly accepting the outcome. It is time to begin a letter writing campaign, to email our representatives (which they obviously aren’t), and let them know how we truly feel and to either do what they were sent to Washington to do or find themselves without a job and have to live under the same illegal laws that they passed when they were there.

Clean house or this country dies. No I do not advocate violence. Violence only begets violence and trades one form of bad government for another. Our forefathers realized this and tried to create something new, something different, and they succeeded. The problem is that there are too many in this country let alone the world that want to go the old way, the ways that have failed over and over again. Yet, they always see the dream, and this time it surely will work. One can only hit themselves on the head with a hammer so many times to realize that it’s not going to have a good outcome. Yet these dreamers continue to do so. And now with our politicians, our not so much representatives of the people, we are seeing them succeed in turning this nation towards those old failed ways. Ways that will allow them to be the elite, the ones who will rule, the ones with the power.

Of course they only see the now, the present, what they can gain personally from all of this. The future once they are gone doesn’t matter. So why should they care at all? And finally, have you ever noticed that these dreamers never pay for their failed dreams – it’s always someone else. And guess what, if you really think about it – we are the ones we are that someone else.

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