Another Anniversary

When I opened my WordPress app yesterday, I was greeted with this notification:

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this blog for that long. It certainly doesn’t feel like 12 years. Although, going back and reading some of those early posts, I can see that my writing style has changed a bit since I started. In fact, some of those early posts are hard for me to read because they’re so bad. I even went back and deleted a few of them. I may delete a few more if I get the urge to go through them.

Cutting the List

It’s a rare occurrence for me to spend much time on this blog these days. I pulled it up today in hopes to add a post on here. Not sure what to write, I pulled up the reader and sorted through the posts that others had put up. While doing this, I noticed that the majority of posts were written by the same five or six people. I felt like I needed to change this, so I searched for some new posts.

The first suggested topic was the word “comics”. I went ahead and clicked on it and read a few of the posts that popped up. There were a couple that I liked and I followed the authors so I’ll be able to go back and read a few of their older posts when I get a little more time. I also commented on one or two while I was at it.

After spending that time looking for new bloggers to follow, I went back and tried to figure out why my current “Followed Sites” list was so heavily occupied by only a few bloggers. What I discovered was that many of the bloggers I’ve followed over the years no longer blog. Most of them, in fact.

I went through my list and unfollowed any blog that hadn’t posted anything in over two years. There were a lot more than I expected.

What I was left with was a list of twenty-four blogs, two of which I started following today. Honestly, at first I was going to use one year as my measuring stick, but it would’ve left it at closer to fifteen. For some reason, having that few on my list bothered the hell out of me, so I left them on it.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to browse through the various blogs out there and try to build my list back up. Even if I don’t post as often as I used to, I’d like to still be out there in the blogosphere, reading those who chose to put themselves out there for the world to see.

Fake It

My brother, twindaddy, and I went to a concert Wednesday night. It was a pretty good show. Lacey Sturm (the former lead singer of the band Flyleaf) opened things up. She was OK. Not great, but not too horrible. Certainly not the worst opening act we’ve ever seen.

Starset came on next. I like them. They have a number of good songs, so I was looking forward to seeing how they were live. They didn’t disappoint. They put on a good show. Other than a two songs from their newest album, they stuck with their older, more well-known songs. I was most excited for their final song, My Demons, because not only do I really like it, Baby E loves that song. So, I recorded some of it and sent it to my wife so she could play it for her. I got a text back saying that both my girls were singing along to it.

The headliner was Breaking Benjamin. They’ve been one of my favorite bands for a while now, but I really haven’t liked their newer stuff that much. Specifically, their latest album of new music, Ember. There’s something about it that just doesn’t sound right to me. I like the music. I like the vocals. But, for whatever reason, they don’t sound right together for me. I don’t know what it is.

Thankfully, they too played almost all older music. I loved it. They rocked out. Based on him talking in between songs, the lead singer is kind of a dork, but I won’t hold that against him too much.

As for the title of this post, it comes from the third band that played that night, Seether. I was actually looking forward to seeing them more than the other three bands. I’ve liked almost every song they’ve put out. Granted, there have been a few that weren’t great, but no one’s perfect. Back when burning CDs was still a thing, I once made a disc that had every song of theirs (up to that point) on it and could play the whole thing without having to skip any songs.

Now, whenever twindaddy and I go to a concert together, something strange always happens. Whether it’s some drunk guy talking to us while peeing on a dumpster when we’re walking to the venue or a very large man falling down some stairs and landing so hard we felt it a few rows over, there’s always something. Every. Single. Time. This concert was no different. Something happened this time too.

Ok. There actually was one difference. This time, I was recording when it happened.

Fake It – Seether

The Last Ronin

Over the past couple months, my Hoopla app has been flooding my Recommended list with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story called The Last Ronin. Why? I have no idea. I’ve never read a Ninja Turtles comic before. My knowledge of the TMNT lore is the basic plots of the 3 live action movies from the early 90s and some of the villains from the original 80s cartoon: Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady (although I have no clue which is the rhino and which is the warthog), Baxter Stockman, and the brain who lived in the robot’s stomach whose name I can’t remember.

The first few times the issues of this story showed up on the list, I ignored them. Then, when they continued to stay on the list, I clicked on the first issue to read the synopsis: In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends.

It sounded like a story that had potential, but I still wasn’t sold. Not at first, anyway. Then I saw that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the two men who originally created the Ninja Turtles, had helped write the story and I thought that if anyone could write a good Turtles story it should be those two. Still, I wasn’t going to assume that it would be good, so I only borrowed the first issue instead of all five.

The first issue does a very good job of keeping you interested, mainly because it makes you wonder which of the four Turtles was the one who survived. Instead of an eye mask that is one of the normal colors you’d expect, this Turtle wore one that was dark gray, bordering on black. Also, the Turtle used each of the four weapons at least once before the identity is finally revealed in the last panel of the issue.

I decided to go ahead and finish the series. For the most part, the rest of the story is pretty formulaic. There were flashback sequences telling how the other three Turtles (and some of their friends) died and those were mixed in with the continuing story of the survivor’s quest for vengeance.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad story. It just wasn’t as good as the first issue made me think it would be. Definitely worth a read if you’ve got some time to kill.

Losing It

I wrote a post a while back about how I had written something that I didn’t really like and that it would be easier for me to start it over than edit it. So, that’s what I did. I started over. Between my work schedule, and both of my daughters playing sports, I didn’t get a lot written in this new version of the story. But, I did get some. At least five pages worth on the word processor I use on my computer.

Last night, I had a little free time in between mowing the lawn and my younger girl getting done with soccer practice. I pulled up the file and thought about what I’d add to it. Those thoughts were soon gone, replaced by curse words and confusion.

Only one page was there.

What the hell? Did I forget to save it? That couldn’t be it. The word processor automatically saves every few minutes. Besides, I wouldn’t have lost that much if that’s what it was. I’d have only lost one page, not four.

Did I somehow revert back to an older version of the file before saving? I don’t know how I’d have done that. I don’t know how to pull up an older version of the file. Hell, I don’t even know if it’s possible to revert to an older version of a file.

I looked around the folders on my computer to see if there were any other versions anywhere, but if there were, I didn’t see them.

Guess it’s time to start writing it for the third time….

RTOTD: 22116

There’s a moving company in my area named Two Men and a Truck. On the back of the truck, they’ve got their web address painted on the door: http://www.twomen.com

I think that’s probably their legitimate website address. On the other hand, I think that’s also a really easy way to trick someone into going to a gay porn site.

I’m curious as to which it is, but not curious enough to actually go to that website.

No Longer Home

John Livich had spent his entire life in the big city. His family never even took any vacations anywhere that they weren’t still surrounded by concrete. He couldn’t imagine a life where there wasn’t a restaurant within walking distance of his home. People were always constantly around. They were walking and talking. Sometimes yelling. And, no matter what time of day it was, there was noise.

That’s what woke him up. The silence. It was something he’d never heard before.

His eyes were assaulted by the sun as he opened them. John was sure that he had closed his blinds before getting into bed, but the bright light told him otherwise. One hand reached up to shield his eyes while the other moved to shove his blanket off him. There was no blanket to be found, however. In fact, he realized after the initial shock of being blinded wore off, he wasn’t in his bed. He’d never had a mattress that was as hard as what he was laying on.

John slowly opened one eye. The sight before him made his other eye shoot open in disbelief. He was laying on the ground in the middle of a forest. There were trees all around. The only break in them seemed to be the one that was letting the light in his eyes. Shuffling backward out of the light’s path, he took another look around.

He’d only ever seen places like this in movies or on TV. Leaves of green and red created a canopy above the spot he now sat. There was grass on the ground, but it was patchy at best. A few flowers and bushes were scattered around, but the area was mostly covered in more of the leaves. For a moment he wondered how there were still some in the trees with as many as there were on the ground.

John put his hand down to push himself up to his feet and immediately lifted it again. A loud cry of pain came out of his mouth and broke the silence that was surrounding him. Looking down, he saw a rock with a sharp edge sticking out of the ground where he planted his hand. Blood began forming from a small spot on his palm where the rock broke his skin. Up until that point, he would have sworn that he was dreaming, but the pain in his hand was very real.

Had he gone out drinking the night before? It wouldn’t be the first time he’d drank too much and woken up in a strange place. His friends were notorious for messing with him when he’d had one, or two, too many. Leaving him alone in the middle of a city park wouldn’t be the worst thing they’ve done to him.

No, he thought to himself. He had come straight home from work and spent the night binge watching a show he’d been meaning to catch up on for a while. Also, no city park has this many trees in it.

So, where was he?

John’s thoughts were interrupted by a sound, the first one he’d heard from his surroundings. He jumped to his feet and looked behind him toward the source. At first, he didn’t see anything. Then, he heard the sound again. He shifted his gaze to where the newest noise came from. For another moment, he still didn’t see anything, but he noticed a color among the trees and leaves on the ground that didn’t match anything around it. A small streak of gray was coming out from behind one of the trees. Seconds later, he saw what the gray was.

A large gray wolf stepped forward, crunching the leaves under its paw. John froze as the animal bared its teeth at him. The growl that came from the carnivore caused him to take an instinctive step back. “Oh shit,” John muttered under his breath. “I’m in trouble.”

To his surprise, the wolf’s growl changed right after. It morphed from a threatening animal snarl to mocking human laughter. “You have no idea,” came from out of the wolf’s mouth. “The good news for you, human, is that your trouble will be over soon.”