All posts by Rob Darnell

The Lions Stayed Toe-to-toe with the Rams

I really enjoyed today’s game. For every touchdown one team got, the other team soon got a touchdown of their own. The score was level until the end.

Near the end, the Lions got the ball within a yard of a first down. They were going to try to get the ball over the first down line and continue to push for a touchdown. But a timeout was called and Prater went in to kick a field goal.

I admit, I thought that would be a bad move. Though Prater made the field goal, there was a minute and a half left on the clock, enough time for the Rams to get another touchdown. It looked like that just might happen, but then Bush intercepted Keenum’s pass to Kendricks.

Lions 31 – Rams 28.

Whadda game!

Deer #2

I did it again. After several unsuccessful years, I shot my first deer last year. At around 6:30 PM on Saturday, I shot my second deer. A doe. It was not a huge doe, but I guess it was a reasonable size. I like that I got it only eight days into the season. I had seen four other deer before the doe I shot came along. In the past years, I didn’t see anything until mid-November. I think I’m getting better at hunting.

On October 8, I saw two deer before 6:00 PM, but I passed on them because they were too young. At around 6:30 PM, I looked up from the Kindle book I’m reading, which is Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box. There it was, a deer that was bigger than the ones I’d seen previously. I put down my phone and picked up my crossbow.

This was the first time I had the opportunity to shoot a deer with my crossbow. Because the crossbow is bigger and wider than the shotgun, it’s a challenge aiming it through the window. If I had bumped the crossbow into the wood, I probably would’ve scared the deer off.

I managed to not bump into the wood, but I did have a lot of trouble finding the deer on the scope. I had to keep shifting myself in my chair and raising myself higher, but finally I got the crosshairs on the deer and pulled the trigger.

There was that thud that crossbows make when shot. The deer made no sound as it ran west. I climbed out of my shack and attempted to find a blood trail. But with my poor eyesight, I doubt I’ll ever be able to track down a deer by myself.

I sent my dad a text and while I waited for him, I found the arrow sticking out of the ground. I thought that meant I missed the deer. But when my dad got there, he saw from ten feet away what I couldn’t see from a foot away. As I bent down to pull the arrow out of the ground, my dad said, “Robert, that arrow has blood on it.”

Oh, neat. I didn’t miss. The arrow went right through it. Crossbows are powerful. My dad found blood every few feet. It didn’t take us long to find the deer. The deer was lying in weeds about fifty yards from where it was shot, and it was already dead.

We didn’t set up the trail camera this year, so I don’t have a picture of the deer before I shot it like I did last year. And like last year, I didn’t take a picture of the deer after I shot it. But it was a doe, so it’s not like it had an impressive rack or anything.

I still have a buck tag, so I’m going to try getting a buck. I might get another antlerless tag at some point, but not right now.

Just got the meat from Deer #2 yesterday.

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Gunny’s Rules: How to Get Squared Away Like a Marine, by R. Lee Ermey

515miw5q3l__sx408_bo1204203200_Okay, I was out in my hunting shack when I finished reading Gunny’s Rules: How to Get Squared Away Like a Marine, by R. Lee Ermey.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought the writing was good. I agree with much of what he said,. Some of it was what I had been thinking all along, even some of the practices he suggests are things I had already been doing.

Other things he said gave me ideas on how to improve myself. But there were also things that I strongly disagree with and his attitude toward certain people rubbed me the wrong way. I saw holes in a couple of his arguments too.

So, I guess if you read this book, some things might be useful to you, other things might not be.

The Mars Run, by Chris Gerrib.

412j4hxtpl__sx322_bo1204203200_Chris Gerrib speaks my language when it comes to pirates and action-packed science fiction adventure novels. I remember Pirates of Mars (Book 2 of the Pirates series) and how much I enjoyed it. Last night I finished reading The Mars Run (Book 1) and it was fun.

Janet Pilgrim wanted to go to college after graduating high school. She had her sights on universities that were stepping stones to real careers. She believed everything was in place for her to go, but then her dad lost her college funds in another one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Now Janet has no money for college and feels her life plan is postponed, but she is determined to get things back on track. While out and about, Janet comes across an ad for a space program. She decides to check it out and soon finds herself enlisting for a mission to Mars.

But Mars is a new frontier and sparsely  populated, which means the law is not much on Mars. When the ship is captured by pirates, Janet is put through harsh trials, but she does what she can to survive.

I’ll put The Night Watch (Book 3) on my to-read list, but I might reread Pirates of Mars first, just to get the series in order.

Why I’m Voting Libertarian

The reason I want to vote Libertarian is I feel the Libertarian party takes what I value from the right and left and puts them together. I’ve actually been interested in voting Libertarian for quite a few years. This election year, I don’t feel very strongly for the Democrat or Republican candidate, so this seems to be a good time for me to vote Libertarian.

It’s insulting to me when people say my third party vote will be a protest vote or a wasted vote. Can’t we all just vote for who we want to vote for? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? I’m sick of playing the Lesser Evil game and I’m sick of hearing shit from people who should know better. I don’t care if Johnson doesn’t win, he is the candidate who I feel is best for the job.

If by some miracle Johnson does win and becomes our next president, I feel that he has a better chance of bringing the country together than Clinton or Trump.

W.P. Kinsella

So, I was watching the Tigers get their asses kicked by the Indians, when I looked at Facebook and saw the link Robert J. Sawyer shared.

W.P. Kinsella is gone. Well, that gave me a pause. It’s been about an hour since I got the news and I still feel numb.

Just last year someone from Kinsella’s publisher contacted me and asked if I would be interested in interviewing Kinsella. That was a surprise. Me? Interview W.P. Kinsella? Was I even worthy of such an honor?

I was excited and a little scared. Someone was giving me the opportunity to interview a legend and I kept thinking, “Don’t blow it.” This is W.P. Kinsella we’re talking about. The author of Shoeless Joe, the novel that the movie Field of Dreams is based on.

I suspected one of my writer friends had something to do with putting the guy in touch with me, but it’s also likely that he saw my review of Shoeless Joe and just thought I’d like to interview Kinsella.

Yes, I was interested. The guy gave me Kinsella’s contact information and soon I had the interview set up.

The interview is right here.

I feel that this interview is one of the most important things I’ve done. I tried to come up with questions that he hadn’t been asked before, but I don’t know how well I did in that department. The last question, though, received a powerful answer.

Rest in Peace, Kinsella. Maybe you’ll step out of a cornfield in Iowa and play some baseball with the greatest players of all time.

P.S.
I also reviewed The Essential W. P. Kinsella.

The Road Within (2014)

712youpdrel__sy445_Finally I get around to telling you about this fantastic movie, The Road Within. I would love it if everyone stopped what they were doing right now, logged into their Netflix accounts to  watch this movie.

Why is this movie so important to me? Why do I want people to watch it? Well, mostly it’s because the lead character has an extreme case of Tourette’s..

I might have Tourette’s, or rather, I’m pretty sure I do. I admit, I have never been diagnosed, though I hope to have a confirmed diagnosis eventually. It really makes me mad when people wave off the notion that I might have Tourette’s and tell me, “Oh, you’re probably just frustrated.” as if I wouldn’t know the difference.

I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and it all seems to fit. I wouldn’t say I have an extreme case, but it is bad enough that I often feel like the Disturbance of Peace. I keep my windows closed at night because I’m terrified of my neighbors hearing my outbursts. I don’t worry about it so much during the daytime, because there’s usually lawnmowers and things like that running that I feel covers most of my outbursts.

But at night, it’s pretty quiet outside and I worry that people can hear every word that comes out of my mouth, whether I shout it at the top of my lungs or just blurt it. I feel that with the windows closed, my outbursts are at least muffled. Of course, sometimes they are very, very loud outbursts and I think the whole neighborhood hears them, even when my windows are closed.

What people don’t understand is these outbursts are not in anger. Yes, I have a terrible temper and I do yell in anger a lot too. But that’s a whole other issue and it doesn’t bother me near as much as the Tourette episodes do.

The stuff that comes out of my mouth during the Tourette episodes is often embarrassing shit and it comes out for no reason. It’s like some freak takes over the part of my brain that controls my vocal cords and tries his damnedest to destroy my reputation. Or as Vincent described it in The Road Within: “There’s a clown in my head, and he shits in between my thoughts. And he forces me to do the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate moment.”

So, why The Road Within?

Sure, there’s Jim Carrey movies, and you might’ve seen documentaries about Tourette’s, and whatever else. But I feel that The Road Within really shows you how Tourette’s works. I also find this movie entertaining, while many other accounts on the subject are boring.

The movie opens up with Vincent at his mother’s funeral. This is a stressful time for him and his Tourette’s are in overdrive. He’s twitching and blurting out numerous obscenities, all of which leave him visibly embarrassed. Eventually he gets up and exits the church to do some screaming outside.

Vincent’s father, Robert, sends him to a home for teens with problems. There Vincent meets Alex, who is a germaphobe, and Marie, who has anorexia. The three of them end up stealing their counselor, Mia’s  car to take a trip to the beach where Vincent wants to leave his mom’s ashes.

Their friendships develop along the way and they gain better understandings of each other, as do Robert and Mia who are in pursuit.

Is Stopping Power a Myth?

Is stopping power a myth? Does a .357 Magnum pack a harder punch than a 9mm? Or is there really no difference in the bullet’s impact?

I don’t know and it seems the experts can’t agree. But we have these swinging steel plate targets that deflect the bullet to the ground when shot. When I shoot the 9mm, the targets swing like they’re supposed to. Not always, but sometimes when I hit the targets with the .357, they practically flip over.

Because it’s only sometimes, I can’t say with certainty that it’s because I was using a .357 Magnum or if it’s because my aim was a little better with some of the shots. But the targets don’t flip like that when I use the 9mm, so maybe it is the .357 that makes them flip.

 

Lapeer Lightning Sings the National Anthem

Last week, the Lapeer High School freshman football team were at an away game in Flint Township. They had lined up for the National Anthem and when they were informed the Anthem wouldn’t play, they took it onto themselves to sing it.

I think that is awesome. I’m seriously impressed. I can’t believe no one has produced a video of this yet. There’s got to be a video. There’s got to be several videos. I very much want to see this on video.

Anyway, I’ve seen some articles that are making this about politics. This really had nothing to do with Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand during the National Anthem. Nor was it a stand against liberals and it wasn’t an attempt to boost conservative pride.

Many high schools don’t play the National Anthem before freshman games, because the freshman game is not the top event of the day. I personally don’t agree with the notion that the National Anthem should only be played before the top event. I see no reason why it can’t be played before freshman games.

But that’s how it’s done at many schools. However, apparently, it’s not done that way at Lapeer High School. Our freshman team believed the National Anthem should play. When it didn’t, they thought something was wrong with the sound system and they made sure the National Anthem was heard before the game started.

So, it wasn’t about politics. It was just good ole boys making their way the only way they knew how.

It was awesome. I’m proud that this is my town’s high school we’re talking about.

Now where’s the damn video?

Tigers in Kansas City, Part III

Well, the Tigers did not lose today. The Royals almost got ahead in the bottom of the 9th, when they had a man on second base and the batter came very close to dinging a home run, but the ball passed just outside the line. The umps did check the replay to be  sure, and ruled it a foul.

So, that was close.

The next hit that batter got–I’m not good at keeping the names of other team’s players in mind–was grabbed off the ground and tossed to first base to tag the batter out.

The guy who was on second base made it to third, so it now looked like extra innings would be added. But he never made it home. Soon there were three outs and the game was over.

Final score: Tigers 6 – Royals 5.

The Cleveland-Miami game is still going on. Currently the score is Merlins 1 – Indians 0 and the 5th inning just ended. We’ll see what happens.