All posts by Rob Darnell

Can any of my teams beat the most hated foes?

*grumble* *grumble* *mutter* *sneer* *scoff*

Grrr.

First Michigan lost to Ohio State. >:(

Then, last night, the Lions lost to the Cowboys. >:(

Through most of the first half, the Lions looked good and we thought they were going to do it, but of course not.

I guess the refs made some questionable calls. There was what appeared to be a facemask grab committed by a Cowboy as he was about to cross into the end zone. I think the refs decided it was a touch, not a grab. Maybe it was, I dunno.

Another time, Caldwell was calling for a timeout. It looked like he’d called for the timeout a few times, but the clock was still ticking. Caldwell looked pissed.

That’s what I noticed. But, even if the refs didn’t make a single bad call, the Lions still would’ve lost. Looked like their performance dropped in the second half. Prater even missed a field goal. The final score was 21-42. Yay. >:(

So, now the Lions and the Packers share the NFC North’s top shelf, with 9-8 each. The Lions and the Packers will have the Sunday Night Football slot on, well, Sunday night. That will be the last game of the regular season.

Also, Friday night, Michigan plays Florida State in the Orange Bowl. I know Michigan will win. Wish I could say the same about the Lions when they play the Packers on Sunday.

The Day After Christmas

20161226_113908

Christmas came and went. I got a few gifts. A pan, socks, towels, a flannel shirt, smoked sausage and cheese, a couple boxes of chocolates, a battery powered lantern, and this wooden box here.

I really like this wooden box. The painting on the front is real impressive too. The handles on the sides are pieces of rope. It measures 16 inches long, 9 inches wide, 10 inches high and 8 1/2 inches deep. A good sized box.

I don’t know what I’ll keep in it. Any suggestions? I don’t print up copies of my manuscripts anymore, so that’s not an option. But this looks like a box meant for holding things of importance, things that are special to me.

It makes me wish I had a collection of black powder pistols, because that’s where I’d keep them. Or maybe a single-action .45 LC pistol, preferably one made by Colt, with its leather holster and bullet loaded belt. I’d like to add those guns to my collection some day, but don’t know if it’ll ever happen.

But something needs to go in this wooden box.

It’s Christmas

Christmas is here again. When I was a kid, Christmas was the most exciting time of the year and I could not sleep the night before Christmas. My most memorable gift is that 20 gauge shotgun I got when I was twelve or thirteen. Think I was probably twelve, because the spring after that Christmas, I had my first hunting trip. I’m sure I was thirteen at that point and my birthday is in March.

I also got that pocket magnifying glass a few years ago and it’s something I never go anywhere without. The only time it’s out of my pocket is when I’m using it to read something that can’t be enlarged. I use the magnifying glass to read just about everything that’s printed on paper.

I just turned on A Christmas Story. In my opinion, it’s the best Christmas movie ever made.

I’ll be at Mom and Dad’s later.

Merry Christmas.

Looks like we’ll have a very icy Christmas

shovel

Well, it’s December 24, Christmas Eve. There hasn’t been a heavy snowfall since the last heavy snowfall. I bought a new snow shovel last week and I’d like to use it. But, instead of snowfall, we’ve been having snowmelt and there’s  ice.

I’m staying home today. Got beer and pizza. There’s a bunch of Christmas movies on TV. and I might watch a couple. TNT will start running A Christmas Story at 8 PM and looks like it’ll be rolling back-to-back for 24 hours. If you’re someone who has never seen A Christmas Story, you really should check it out. You might hate it, but you might love it.

USPS workers don’t get the day off, apparently.

20161224_121657

Landmines in Fiction

Yesterday I blogged about how shootings are often weirdly exaggerated in fiction. That brought to mind another thing I often notice, how landmines function in fiction.

How many movies have you seen where a group of soldiers are making their way cross-country and you hear a click? The soldiers stop and look around at each other, and then one of them says “It’s me.”

If the unlucky soldier is really generous, he’ll stand there until his buddies are a safe distance away, and then he’ll lift his foot. Boom, he’s dead.

It’s hard not to think that all the soldier had to do was jump to the ground, cover his head with his arms, and the blast wave might not have done much damage. They jump to the ground when grenades are thrown at them, why can’t they do it when they step on landmines?

Research shows that there were times in real wars when landmines did not function properly and you could stand on them without them going off. But a properly functioning landmine will not give a warning. You won’t hear a click. When you step on a landmine, it goes off. You’re not required to lift your foot for it to go off.

I think the people who create these scenes know this. They might even know that a 12 gauge and .44 Magnum won’t send a person flying backward in real life. Maybe they put those things in because it makes the scenes more thrilling for people who aren’t obsessed with the details like I am.

Personally, I wouldn’t do it that way. I’m overly obsessed with trying to get everything exactly right in my fiction And I’m still afraid that readers of my work will find so many booboos.

Shot in Fiction

I keep seeing scenes in stories and movies, where Character A shoots Character B with, say, a .44 Magnum or a 12 gauge shotgun. Character B goes flying through the air until he crashes into the wall behind him.

That just doesn’t happen. Not when shot with a .44 Magnum, not when shot with a 12 gauge. Not even a .50 BMG will send Character B flying backward. It’s entirely possible that he wouldn’t even fall down right away.

If Character A wanted to make Character B fly backward, he’d probably need to shoot him with a rocket launcher. But then, the rocket would just blow Character B to pieces.

If shot with a .44 Magnum, 12 gauge, .50 BMG or any other caliber, Character B will not fly backward. His feet won’t leave the ground. If the projectile hits Character B in the chest, he might fall backward or he might stumble around a bit, and then fall. But he’s not going to be lifted off the ground

The Walking Dream

The Walking Dead is on break and won’t be back until February. If the Walkers aren’t infesting my TV, they’re infesting my dreams. Since the latest episode, I’ve had two dreams that featured Walkers.

Last night, I escaped a town that was overrun by Walkers. I had a bolt-action rifle, but only four bullets. I outran the group of Walkers that was chasing me and found myself in an empty barnyard.

Or I thought it was empty. I stepped on a tripwire and Walkers began coming from every direction. I fired my rifle until it was empty and had to use the rifle as a club to fight my way through the herd.

I made it through without getting bit, but soon stepped on another tripwire that somehow (I don’t know how) attracted more Walkers.

There were too many. They closed in around me and I woke up.

It was fun.

Morning, Sam

Morning, Ralph.

I’ve been getting up at 6 AM. I try to have a new blog entry written before seven, but it often takes me longer. And then I work on the novel. If I manage to get ten pages into the novel, I’ll work on a short story and try to get five pages. That doesn’t always mean writing, sometimes it’s editing.

I finish my day by reading no less than  one chapter of whatever book I happen to be reading. Right now it’s Finding Fish, by Antwone Fisher.

I have a checklist on excel, that’s divided into two columns. One column is blog, novel, short story and reading. The other column is chores that I can get up and do if I’m stalled on the stuff in the first column. I don’t always get everything on the list checked off, but I try to.

What did the Lions do to the Giants?

Eh, not much.

Yesterday, the Lions managed to get two field goals, while the Giants got one field goal and… two touchdowns. The final score was 6-17 and the Lions are now 9-5.

The Lions are still in first place, but they’re now leading the NFC North by only one. The regular season has two games left. Although the Vikings lost yesterday and are no longer a threat, the Packers did not lose.

Next week the Lions have the Monday Night Football slot with the Dallas Cowboys. I hate the Cowboys, not as much as I hate the Buckeyes, but still….

The Cowboys are leading the NFC East. They’re currently 12-2. Good Luck against that, Lions. If Stafford and them can beat the Cowboys next Monday, I’d be impressed. But after their loss to the Giants yesterday, I’m preparing for the worst.