Today

Going to Mom and Dad’s for ribs today. I plan to have a look at my hunting ground. Probably going to turkey hunt, the season starts tomorrow. Also, need to rebuild my shack for the next deer season. Last season, when it rained, I got pretty wet. The roof is leaking bad. It’s past time the shack got rebuilt.

Made in L.A.: Stories Rooted in the City of Angels

Made in L.A. is an anthology of stories rooted in Los Angeles. I don’t think all of the authors are currently living in L.A., but I believe they all had at one time or another. I picked up Made in L.A. feeling like I would gain insights on life in the City of Angels and, well, I wasn’t disappointed.

The first story is a novella by Allison Rose, called Between Broken Pieces. I admit, at the start, I was put off by the female character who was “maybe” taking pleasure in being sexually assaulted. That seemed like the kind of thing a dudebro would write and it gave me a what-the-hell moment, but I kept reading and soon that scene was making sense.

Between Broken Pieces is a story about a young actress named Mallory Braun. Mallory is a big hit and she has a new movie coming out that everyone is excited about. There are a few different point-of-view characters who all want something from Mallory.

I came away from Between Broken Pieces feeling incredibly impressed. It’s a very good story. One that shows the dark side of Hollywood, in such a way that you can’t help but be dragged along. It made me think of the two Coreys and many other actors and actresses who found themselves caught in Hollywood’s web of tragedy..

We meet Sara in Gabi Lorino’s Going with the Flow. Sara is stressed over her life in Los Angeles. She had come from the east with hopes and dreams, but stability is hard to find. Going with the Flow is well done, and I learned a little from it. For one thing, I didn’t know Angelenos called their interstates the Two, the Five and the…. You get the idea.

Another story by Gabi Lorino is Wild Irish Rose. This one was something else. Made me think about getting old and how time is running out, and that there’s still so much I want to do.

Cody Sisco has three different stories in Made in L.A.. Sisco’s stories are Salt in the Hell Mouth, Little Woman and Unquiet Baggage. They’re  fantasy stories and quite good. I especially liked this quote from Little Woman, “May everyone be treated with respect and empathy, and justice meted to those who deserve it, be they men or women.”

Chromosome Circus, by Amy Sterling Casil, is a bit weird but entertaining. Andre Hardy’s Negro in a Hot Tub is impressive and gives you something to think about.

No Vacancy, by Bonnie Randall, started off feeling like it would be a mainstream-general fiction thing, but eventually turned into a creepy, dark fantasy-ghost story.. A very gripping tale, it is.

Jude-Marie Green brings us Endless Summer. Endless Summer is a romantic science fiction about three friends at the beach. It’s full of music that I can almost hear. I found myself caught up in Kim’s big moment near the end.

Dry Bones, by Dario Ciriello, is a story about a woman who went missing two years earlier. It’s a  good read, creepy and interesting. The writing is so smooth, at times I forgot I was reading and felt as if I was in the story.

Usually when I review short story collections and anthologies, I don’t put in a word about each individual story. I’ll often just make a wrap that covers the entire collection. This is because I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over again when I write something about each story in the collection. But I felt moved to make an exception for Made in L.A..

What it really boils down to is, all the stories are good and I have no complaints. Some I liked better than others, but there isn’t a single story in this anthology that I disliked.

This Goddamn Thing

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this thing is. I “think” it’s a sort of battery that assures the sub pump stays in operation if the power gets knocked out. Usually when the power gets knocked out and is off for a long time, this thing whistles until I go downstairs and hit the black switch to shut it up.

The whistling is incredibly loud and fills the whole house. It makes me wish my deafness went the other way and low pitched sounds are what I’m sensitive to, instead of high pitched sounds. But that’s not the case. I’m very sensitive to high pitched sounds.

Today, the damn thing has been going off every twenty or thirty minutes. And I have power. I guess because all the frozen rain from the last couple days is melting and my basement has a bit of water, the sub pump is running nonstop.

But the power isn’t out. So, I don’t know why the stupid thing keeps going off. That whistling is very distracting. I’m tired of going downstairs to hit the black switch.

UPDATE:

It hasn’t gone off in a while. I think this truck is why.

Hunting

Hunting has been on my mind lately. But deer season isn’t until October. I was on the DNR site yesterday, to see which seasons are open. Right now, I don’t think anything is, but Spring Turkey Season is coming up.

I guess if there are any license leftover after the drawing, and there usually are, I can get a turkey license. So, I’m thinking about it. During the last deer season, my trail camera got a lot of pictures of turkey, so I know they’re out there.

If I’m understanding correctly, we can’t use bait. We can use calls, but I’m not good with calls.

Thinking about it.

The Picture for my office was delivered today

I had been searching for a year for something like this. I didn’t really mind what city, but I’m pleased that the one I found is of Detroit. It’s actually a painting, but it looks like a photograph.

The view is from the Renaissance Center. Whoever made this had the same idea I did and went out of their way to make sure the picture showed reflections from the window they’re looking out of.

Since getting it up on the wall, I haven’t been able to stop looking at it.

Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry

Joe Ledger does not fuck around. He’s a natural badass and the guy you want on your team. Joe doesn’t waste time talking. He takes action and gets the job done.

Patient Zero, Jonathan Maberry‘s first Joe Ledger novel, is packed with wild action that keeps you turning the pages.

Joe Ledger, a Baltimore police officer, is recruited by the Department of Military Science to lead the newly formed Echo team against the worst terrorist threat yet. The entire human race is in danger and Joe must not fail.

My hunt for wall art has come to an end

The blank back wall in my office will not be blank for much longer. I’ve been searching for a year and I finally found a window view that will work for me. It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it’ll do.

I just placed the order. The picture should arrive in a week or two. It’ll be 36 inches long and 24 inches wide. Can’t wait to get it on my wall.

About the NCAA Basketball Championship Game?

Villanova was a mighty foe. Not even Jordan Poole could save us. Villanova beat Michigan by seventeen points. I think they  had two or three guys with an incredible talent for making shots far outside the arch.

My team  accepted their loss with  proper sportsmanship. I’m proud of them. They didn’t let us down. They played their best.

I still have some whiskey left, so I’m going to drink that.

Weapons or Tools?

It wasn’t so long ago that my brother had an online business called The Holster Shack. He sold holsters and firearm accessories, which included magazines for pistols and rifles, ammo for pistols, shotguns and rifles, scopes, range bags and all kinds of shit that firearm owners would be interested in.

I signed on as an unofficial promoter. It was my job to run the business’s Facebook page and keep people entertained. We had more than 5,000 followers. All were firearm owners and fans of the Second Amendment.  Many were current and former Military personnel and many were NRA members.

One article I wrote and posted on there had to do with my belief that firearms are weapons and should be classified as such. This started a huge argument between NRA members and Military personnel.

The NRA takes a very fierce position that firearms are not weapons, firearms are merely tools that can be used as weapons. The Military feels strongly that firearms are weapons and should never be classified as tools.

The NRA members were saying things like, “anything can be used as a weapon, anything at all.” as if this justified their position that firearms are not weapons, but tools. They’re not wrong, anything can be used as a weapon. But, when you think about it, pretty much everything is a tool.

My cell phone is a tool, my computer is a tool, my chair is a tool, this shot glass of whiskey is a tool.. All these things can be used as weapons, but they were not specially designed for that purpose.

The Military personnel in that argument felt that calling a firearm a tool and denying that it is a weapon was undermining the deadly seriousness of firearms. Of course a firearm, like everything else, is a tool. But firearms, no matter how they’re marketed–like “Uh, this one is meant for target shooting and this one is meant for hunting.”–are  designed to be weapons.

I’m very much in agreement with the Military on this. Firearms are weapons. They are designed to kill. No matter how you use them, there is no denying what they’re meant for. Firearms are serious, deadly, dangerous weapons.