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The Dragon Princess

It all started somewhere around the sixth grade.  That was when I embarked on writing a short story called Journeys and Wars.  I call it a short story now, but at the time I believed I was writing a novel.  A few years later, I decided to write a sequel to this first story.  It was to be called War of the Lands and would, by the end of high school, be a two book series that between both books totaled roughly 100 pages.  Boy, did I sure know a lot about how long a novel should be.  A binder soon began to be filled with maps, re-writes, chapters written on flyers, notes on napkins, and various other ideas from the years after school.  Soon, an actual novel began to take shape.

Nearly twenty years after graduating high school, I have finally decided to self publish what was formerly called War of the Lands.  That book is now called The Dragon Princess and is now closer to a respectable 300 pages long.  Though it still could use the look of a professional editor (thanks to Danny Cerullo f…
Recent posts

Inches closer and miles away: A look at the United States Men's Soccer Team

photo: commons.wikimedia.org
A little over a year ago, an argument was being made for the United States Men's National Team to retain Jurgen Klinsmann as coach through the 2018 World Cup.
Then World Cup qualifying began. The United States got off to a horrendous start, Klinsmann was let go, and Bruce Arena was brought in to coach. A one-time thought of soccer ascent now failing, the U.S. turned to its past to transform its future.
Despite  Arena sitting without a loss (7-5-0) since his return, the USMNT looks as uneven as ever.
They can look brilliant, as they did in a 6-0 win over Honduras and a tie with Mexico at Azteca. And the lackluster play follows suit, such as a Gold Cup win over Martinique.
Never mind the team is gearing up for a semi-final match-up in the Gold Cup versus Costa Rica. The results--though at times a struggle--have the United States exactly where they should be in the Gold Cup. 
Arena has used--for the most part--matches in the Gold Cup to evaluate some of t…

That's Science! A formulaic journey into 1990's ABC television

photo: pixabay.com
"Pigman is trying prove the Caine-Hackman theory. No matter what time it is, 24 hours a day, you can find a Michael Caine or Gene Hackman movie playing on t.v." - Droz (Jeremy Piven), PCU

There are some days I believe the character of Pigman from PCU is a fictionalized account of my life.

Some days.
It's no secret television shows from the 1990's have a grip on me. Saved by the Bell. Seinfeld. ER. Friends. These shows only scratch the surface of what I sometimes watch to pass the time.
It was while watching an episode of Roseanne that took place at Disney World in which the wheels of my inquisitive mind began turning.
Coupled with seeing episodes of The Middle and Modern Family--two comedies currently showing on ABC--I wondered just how how many sitcoms on ABC had episodes centered on a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World.
More specifically, I wanted to focus on sitcoms airing on ABC in the 1990's (or beginning in the late 80's). Formin…

The value of the unwritten rules of sports

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Unwritten rules may not be found in an official rule book, but for many, they are just as important as the written rules that govern a game. Last week, while listening to the latest episode of the That Baseball Show podcast, the hosts briefly brought up the unwritten rule in baseball of 'not bunting to breakup a no-hitter'. This made me wonder how the greater Twitter universe felt about this.
That's right. It was poll time.
It's safe to say the turnout was low, but the results were as follows: Unwritten rule time: Do you bunt to break up a no-hitter? — Jason Haskins (@jasonrh_78) July 3, 2017 Those who voted were pretty split. And with any Twitter poll, there is a lot not said within the parameters of the poll that can come into play. Is it the fifth inning? Seventh? How many runs is your team behind? Is the game tied at zero in the late innings?
My thoughts? You don't do it, especially late in the game, unless the deficit is under three runs. In…

Happy Birthday to (old) America

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We are all part of the human race. 
As much as there are certain people of power in this nation--and their followers--that continue to believe otherwise, it's true.
In a day we all should be celebrating our freedoms, more and more is being done to undo years of progress, preventing scores of people to truly feel free, to feel safe.
All done in the name of "Making America Great Again". [Sidenote: what is the point of this song? America was pretty great, until late January of 2017.]
Here's what making America great should look like:
A person should have a right to live the way they choose and to pursue that life, within the constraints of laws, of course. (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness)A person should be able to live without fear of being discriminated against, without judging looks, without have to walk in a neighborhood without being suspicious.Equality.
Here's what the slogan as coined by ol' 45 truly embodies:
Let's …

Promising stories fall short at The Ranch

"Do you even binge watch, bro?"

I finally submitted to the modern day of watching shows when I went on a three-season, four-day binge of The Ranch.


Normally I'm a big proponent of watching television shows the old-fashioned way: One episode at a time with an ample period of waiting in between.

That's stretching the truth. A few Saturdays ago the great 90's hitER played on my television for close to eight hours, including a gut-wrenching episode involving Carter (Noah Wyle) and Lucy (Kellie Martin).
When it comes to shows on Netflix, I'm usually a 2-3 episode a week kind of guy.
The Ranch turned out to be much different. This was not due to the fact the show is overtly entertaining. It just was...on. And I let it play.
The worst part? There's actually a great show that occasionally bubbles up to the surface when it's not playing to sophomoric humor. The RundownThe Rundown sure was an entertaining movie, wasn't it? I mean, Dwayne Johnson really burst…

Going old school in a new era

Confession time.
I am a 38-year old curmudgeon.
I'm not speaking about everything in life. There have been the occasional old man rants over the years. Clickbait headlines will always annoy me. And don't get me started about keeping people off my lawn.
And today, I'm going to add sports to the list.
Am I shaking my fist at the television (or internet), complaining about the lack of respect these kids have today for the game? No. If anything--thanks to the rise of the internet--there might be more respect for the history of the game than there ever was.
Will I stand on a soapbox and tell you how today's players in various leagues aren't as good or as tough as the players of yesteryear? No. Generations produce different aspects of greatness, with things like safety coming into play. (Though I will say there is a certain league that has done a fair amount to eliminate fun from their games. Different story, different time.)
Sports are ingrained in me. I will take watc…

Local dad to children: Love is not a secret ingredient

Landing as the second-favorite parent in his family for all these years finally took its toll on local dad Ray Hansen.
Fed up with second-tier adoration, Mr. Hansen revealed to his children a family secret he'd been harboring for years: their mother's cooking did not in fact include the secret ingredient of love.
"Love is not something you can mix in with flour and milk," Mr. Hansen told his two teenage kids. "Your mother loves you--just as I do--but never once has she put love into your cookies. And her meatloaf? Ground beef and onions are included, but there is no love. Love cannot be measured in a tablespoon or a quart."
Questioned as to why he chose Father's Day to deliver this stunning revelation to his kids, Mr. Hansen defiantly replied, "To be quite honest, I was tired of my kids believing I didn't love them as much just because I didn't cook.  Yeah, I barbeque from time to time, but am I going to say, 'Kid, these hot dogs are m…