Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How many of these things do you remember from the past?

Did you grow up in the 70's & 80's? Do you remember the toys you used to play with? The TV shows that you used to watch? How about the things you used to eat? Get a pen a paper, and keep a list. See if you can identify all the items that are referenced, there are 19 of them.  
I am about to embark on a great journey, but before I do, I would like to take a quick stroll down memory lane. If you are not too busy, why not join me? If you grew up in the 70's & 80's, you may share some of the same memories.
My stroll begins in a small town, a long time ago, where the beautiful people all look like pigs, except for the one ugly woman in town.
The colors of the rainbow were all captured on a stick of gum. At one time, this was all we had, even prior to the time when we all desired having pictures accompany our music.
Our rockets were frozen. Red, white, and blue on a stick. And we had little balls of goo that we'd press against the Sunday comics to make a copy. We had no cell phones, or computers, and I could eat all the gluten I wanted.
When I ripped my friend's arm out of its socket, a jelly like substance oozed from the tear. All it took to repair him was a small, sticky piece of material, that was usually stuck on me. After that, I would place my friend in the freezer, which was maintained by an old guy with a blue jumpsuit and a can-do attitude.
My bologna had a first name, and a last name, and I loved to eat it every day. I was a member of a club that was run by a mouse. We would meet every day, after school. Some years later, an author would mention this club in one of his stories, that was later turned into a movie. I can still remember the looks on their faces when they found that dead body.
We didn't have DVRs, On-demand TV, or shows on the internet. Didn't I already mention we didn't have computers? If I missed my favorite Halloween or Christmas shows, a certain reindeer's nose would go out and I'd have to wait until next year to see it light up again.
The phones we would use had a big round dial, and they would sit in one place. There was one man who would change his clothes in a phone booth. I wonder what he would do now? As phone booths, no longer exist, for the most part.
It was a simpler time. No video games, no new math, and the clown's food was salty, greasy, and fast. Just the way I like it.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Will we be flying around in cars like a certain cartoon family? Or maybe our phones will resemble a secret agent's phone, and be contained in our shoe.

There are 19 memories to uncover, how many did you get?
(Read further to find the answers, and see how good your memory is.)

Friday, December 19, 2014

To Blarney and Back

I recently returned from a wonderful holiday to Ireland.  As an American, the Irish way of life may seem somewhat bewildering, at times, but if you step back and fully examine your surroundings you can really begin to appreciate its beauty.
My friend, Johnny, and I visited many towns, cities, and villages on our journey.  From Galway to Kinsale, with many stops in between, we were treated to surprising landscapes, friendly and fun people, and of course a good bit of Guinness as well.
After learning how to drive on the left hand side of the road, in a manual shift car with the steering wheel on the opposite side, and narrowly avoiding hitting a bus, our first stop of the trip was the Bunratty Castle.  It was about 7 am, and still very dark, so after a quick gander, we were back on the narrow roads, headed up the coast.
We stopped in the small town of Lahinch to take some pictures and appreciate its beauty. The winds howled, the rain fell in buckets, and the waves of the North Atlantic crashed against the rocks.  It was magnificent.
Lahinch
We then continued to proceed up the west coast of Ireland, driving through the stunning Cliffs of Moher, a place of true beauty.  Mere pictures cannot do this place justice.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rehappy

 rehappy – to become happy once again with something or someone you were previously happy with, but at some point you lost interest or became dissatisfied with.
ie. relationships, roller coasters, work, whatever
When I first began writing my novel I was very excited and happy with it. Over the weekend I was nearing the climax, but I felt like the story had lost some steam, and I had encountered a small bout of writer's block. Over the last few days, the story has come back into form and I have been very satisfied with my writing. In other words, I am now rehappy with my novel.
Obviously this word did not exist, until now. You heard it here first, I invented a new word. Thinks silently to self, “I wonder if a Nobel prize is in my future?”
As a bonus, I already spoke to Bobby McFerrin, he is willing to write a new version of his song to help promote my new word, “Don't worry, rehappy!”
Anyone who wishes to use the word, I can bestow upon you poetic license to do so.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Slainte, Black 47.

It was the summer of 1997 when I first saw Black 47 perform at the Guinness Fleadh. Since then I have seen them perform numerous times in different venues, mostly in upstate NY.  It was rare that I missed their Memorial Day shows in East Durham, NY.
Their music is upbeat and electrifying and often told tales of Irish politics.  Some songs, such as James Connolly, really got the crowd going.  Their most famous song, Funky Ceili, was always a crowd pleaser.  I wonder what Bridie is doing right now.
I was fortunate enough to see one of their last shows, last night, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Tonight will be their final performance at B.B. Kings in Manhattan, and then Black 47 will retire.
It has been 25 years since their journey began, and I can honestly say they are my most favorite band. Over the years I have acquired T-shirts, CDs, and books from Black 47, items I will long cherish.
I spoke to Larry Kirwan after the show last night.  I told him that it won't be the same without them around anymore, but as he said, "everything must come to an end."
Larry and Black 47 have been a positive influence and inspiration in my life.  They have given us so much good music and so many good memories over the years, I wish them all the very best.
Good luck, Black 47.  It has been a pleasure.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  I have decided to take on the challenge. This is my first time attempting this.  The challenge is to write 50,000 words, a novel, in 30 days.  So far, I am doing well, averaging 3000+ words per day.  The name of my story is The Switch, and that's all I have to say about that.
Perhaps when I finish the challenge I will display my badge proudly upon my blog wall, but right now I have more important things to think about, like what is going to happen in chapter 11?
Good luck to all the participants this year.  This is not an easy challenge, but I think I will pull through.  I actually think my story isn't half bad either.
See ya soon.
Peace

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Toy Garden 3

Free this weekend ONLY!  Get your copy at Smashwords now!
Toy Garden 3
This is the third installment in the Toy Garden series,
come see what mischief Margaret is up to now.
Toy Garden 3 is now reasonably priced at $2.99.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bug

Only a few days until Halloween, and I have a treat in store for you.  I just published a flash fiction story on Smashwords.  It is brief, but appropriate for this time of year.  Best of all it's FREE!
Check it out, when you have a few minutes.

An excerpt from Bug:
I found a minute insect in my sugar bowl today. It was brown and moving, so I determined that it was not a grain of sugar, though it was that small. I scooped it up and washed it down the drain. I wondered if I should dump out the rest of the sugar, but I don't like to be wasteful, besides how much harm could one little bug cause? I don't see any others, though I really didn't check.


It has been about 13 hours since I published it.  There have been six downloads and one review.  Everything always seems better when you get a good review!

Review by: Gabion on Oct. 28, 2014 :  
A nasty little tale which is very well written. I honestly think it should have been much longer so as to develop a greater sense of unease. Good grammar and well structured. Three stars is very good for me - especially for a flash fiction tale. I'll have to explore more of Murphy's work.


PS. I would like to say thank you to Gabion. I don't know who you are, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my story, it makes it all worthwhile.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

My love, my light

The great beast raised his massive wings, "And thou shall not pass."
"We shall see."
He stared down upon me with his fiery red eyes, gazing at me, seducing me.
"And what stand beyond you?  My love or my light?" I questioned.
"Come and see."
"Doth not matter, for each I will fight as equally."
"So you would fight just as well if you knew your only outcome were death?"
"Yes, you see.  Because my love is my light, and if she were to be taken from me then my world is filled with darkness anyway."
"I do see."
"So make your choice," I begged of the beast.  "Step aside or fall at my sword.  If I fail to overcome your treachery, then at least I know I am loved."
"Goodnight, sweet prince," and with that he spoke no more.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola Hits the East Coast

Ebola Hits the East Coast

Presidential Press Conference
10/15/14 5:45 pm

Another medical worker, from Dallas, has been diagnosed with Ebola. The problem is that she is flew on a commercial airline twice in the last week. On October 8th the health care worker, Amber Vinson, flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland. On Monday, October 13th, she took a return trip back.

Vinson is one of two medical workers who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who now have the Ebola virus themselves. The other employee, Nina Pham, is reported as being in an “improved condition” according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden.

The CDC is contacting passengers that were on flight1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13th. They want to interview all 132 passengers. Since Vinson was not showing any symptoms at the time, they say that the risk of them contracting the disease is minimal. However, Dr. Frieden claims that she had a fever of 99.5 before she boarded the flight.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pizza Hut

Rarely do I review food or restaurants, which I actually find funny because I love a good meal. However, I felt compelled to post this in the hope that at least one person reads it and makes a responsible decision.
I live in NY, so there is no shortage of good pizza places around.  In fact, where I live, there must be at least six pizza places.  I do not normally go to Pizza Hut, because no matter how much they boast about it, it really is sub-par when compared to a real pizza.
If you live down south, and have not experienced Pizza Hut, it is comparable to Little Ceasar's. If you are in a hurry and just want something to satisfy the growling in your stomach, then Little Ceasar's is great.  It is hot, ready, and only 5 bucks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Annabelle/ IT

I went to see Annabelle this past weekend.  It was good, suspenseful, and it had a good ending.  The characters were interesting and it had a good pace.  (7/10)  What may be more interesting than the movie itself is the fact that it was based on a true story.  The real Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll acquired in the 1970's.  Ed and Lorraine Warren now have the doll stored in their museum in Monroe, CT.
As always, the drive-in has a double feature.  The second film I saw was A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson.  This was a dark story with strong subject matter.  It was also suspenseful with a good ending. (8/10)
I also started reading IT this past week.  I have seen the movie, it is one of my all time favorites.  I may post a review or some comparisons between the book and movie when I am done reading it, but I may not finish it until Christmas, of next year.  It is over 1100 pages long.
Anyway, as we go into the Halloween season, which books or movies are you looking forward to?  What are some of your favorites that you revisit each year?
Other than IT, I have always liked The Shining, another Stephen King classic.  Some of my new favorites are last years The Conjuring, which was a lot better than Annabelle, and also Trick 'r Treat released on DVD in 2009.  Looks like Trick 'r Treat 2 is going to be released next year.  You can read more about the new T 'r T on Entertainment Weekly's website.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola Outbreak

Sometimes real life can be much stranger and shocking than fiction. After reading a news article today about a man who came to the US, infected with Ebola, it seems clear that it may only be a matter of time before the gates of hell open open and engulf every one of us. How fitting it should happen upon us in this, our Halloween season.
I believe that once we get through this scare, if we do, that the zombie movies and books will now take a back seat to more real life drama. Think about it, what a great story, albeit it fictional at this point, but why not let someone like Stephen King take a crack at writing the aftermath of what happened once the disease spread throughout the states like wildfire.
Hopefully there are some of us still left around to read the tale, or maybe even tell it, but if you really want to spark some conversation try going to the grocery store and while on line cough and sneeze a bit. When people start looking at you because your cart is filled to the brim with canned goods and bottled water, try explaining to them that you feel a bit down, but surely it is nothing to worry about.
How long until the government and the pharmaceutical companies start cashing in on the outbreak? An offer of hope, and everyone starts running to the ER. Bold promises and misguided intentions lead us down undeveloped, unimagined, and previously undiscovered paths. How long do we wait until we take action? Do we stand by and let the disease fester inside each of our loved ones or do we put them out of their misery?
They will have you believe that you can not catch it. Only, and only if, you come into direct contact with an individual that has the virus. But if you were one of the people that were on that plane with the Ebola sufferer do you take comfort in the fact that he didn't rub up against you? Or are you sitting in a waiting room right now, knowing that you may be diagnosed with an incurable disease?
If you are a religious person you may want to start praying now. Not only for your friends and family, but for the entire world population. By simple mathematics, this disease could have spread to thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, already.
If you are someone who has stock piled ammunition and a year's worth of food and water in your basement, all I can say is good luck and you better get your ass down in the cellar now.


WLM 10/2/14

Ebola virus

The Confession by John Grisham

John Grisham is a thorough author. He writes his characters so well, and completely researches his material to make it very realistic. The Confession is no exception.
The protagonist, Robbie Flak, is a small town lawyer in Texas who is always fighting for the rights of the little guy. When his client, Donte Drumm, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Robbie does everything he can to put a stop to the execution.
The book leads you to a series of different emotions and the characters are well received, whether you love them or hate them. It also brings up the real life issue of the death penalty. No matter which side you stand on, you will enjoy this book. In the town of Sloan, where the story takes place, the residents are divided by the trial. It encompasses not only questions about the law, but also real issues of race and religion too.
The book is very well written, it is engrossing, and when you are finished, you will want to go out and pick up another story by Grisham. (4.25 out of 5 stars)

Visit Grisham's website to learn more or purchase your own copy of The Confession.

Also, check out John Grisham's homepage to win an autographed copy of his latest novel, Gray Mountain, and the chance to win an entire hardcover collection of all 33 of his novels.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dead 'til Dawn Horror Film Fest

I went to the Hi-Way Drive In, in Coxsackie, twice this past weekend for the Dead 'til Dawn Horror Film Fest.  Each night is a different lineup of old B-movie horrors.  Some of the movies were pretty good, I enjoyed Nightmare in a Damaged Brain, Wonder Women, and Destroy All Monsters.  Destroy All Monsters had Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and a handful of other monsters.  Not all the movies were great, but the experience was nostalgic.  That was the first time I had ever seen a Godzilla movie on the big screen, except for the crappy new one this past summer.  I can recall watching Godzilla movies on TV when I was a child.  Overall, it was a great experience, and if you missed it this time you can check out the Hi-Way Halloween Hell Night on October 17th & 18th at the Hi-Way Drive In.

Here is the line up for the Hi-Way Halloween Hell Night:
Movie Block #1
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS
NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES
A 4th "Secret" film to be announced at the show!

Movie Block #2
PROM NIGHT (1980)
RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR
NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF
A 4th "Secret" film to be announced at the show!


Here are a few photos from the Dead 'til Dawn Fest...




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big Bang Theory

Yaaaa!!!  That's all I have to say.  The Big Bang Theory is back on.  If you are not watching it, you might as well check yourself in somewhere, because that is complete lunacy.  It is well written, has a wonderful cast, and it is the only show that literally makes me LOL.  (5 out of 5 stars)
OMG!  Penny's golden locks are gone.  We can only hope that someday they return.  Penny is Penny, so obviously we love her, but much like Sheldon it can be difficult for some of us to accept change.
There was another OMG moment in the premiere, you'll know when you see it.  I gasped and grabbed my mouth.  Totally shocking.  I am so satisfied after seeing the premiere that I can now die happy.
As a bonus, there was one of the few vanity cards, written by Chuck Lorre, that could actually be read without pausing or having to look it up on the internet.  Sweet.