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New fantasy novel release: The Blue Gem

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It took nearly four years, but the completion of The Blue Gem, follow-up to 2014's The Dragon Princess, has finally arrived. 
Granted, this is not the over twenty years it took me to complete the first novel. That one took form before I even hit my teens so it can be somewhat excusable the novel took so long to complete.
The Blue Gem, on the other hand, was started a month or so after I self-published The Dragon Princess. The second novel ended up being roughly 40 pages longer, involved more research and I even took some time to draw (possibly unneeded) floor plans. 

Between a busy weekend of NCAA basketball, St. Patrick's Day, and working on other projects, I was able to finally edit (for the 5th time) the final 20 pages of the manuscript. Thus began the process of readying author profiles, updating the manuscript format to fit requirements, and submitting the file to Kindle Direct Publishing. 
We went live late Friday night.
The Blue Gem is now available for download via Kind…

The Seinfeld finale: 20 years later

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Jerry. George. Elaine. Kramer.
The four character names are etched into the echelon of television history. For nine seasons and 173 episodes, the people of Seinfeldwinked, close-talked, and "hellllooo"-ed their way into the lives of millions on a weekly basis.


Twenty years ago, they said good-bye with a much hyped series finale.
I was a year removed from high school, a late teen who was on the search for what I wanted to do with my life (and still might be). Seinfeld had dominated much of my television watching the previous few years and even more so at that point in my life, when I had a lot more free time on my hand than I ever had before.
NBC, with the likes of Seinfeld, Friends, and ER, dominating the television-watching landscape. For the first time in years, though, NBC was preparing to send one of its juggernauts off the air.
Hype around the finale was monumental. It was often unheard of -- and still is to this day -- for a show to go off the air, outside of cancella…

Roman Reigns: The man in need of a plan

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The Big Dog's yard has become quite small over the past few months.
An unexpected loss at Wrestlemania. The same result with a convoluted finish at The Greatest Royal Rumble.
And now -- if the most recent Monday Night Raw is any indication -- an upcoming story with Jinder Mahal.
Talk about a backwards slide.
For a couple of years now, all indications pointed to the building of the Roman Empire. A quick rise through the company with The Shield, followed by a singles run pitting him against the top wrestlers in the company.
So much has been done in attempt to secure Roman as the company's top baby face. The backing of The Rock, a feud with John Cena in which the tide seemed to turn for Reigns, and so much more has been done to push Reigns to the top.
Even what could have been a strong push in a battle with Samoa Joe was halted because of the brand realignment (with Joe going to Smackdown).
Through all of that, Reigns now appears to be a man without a plan.

Suffering a loss at t…

The Art of Boiling Water

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Staring.
Heavy eyelids. The cellphone screen remained blank, outside of the usual icons. Time had changed, rolling over slowly minute to minute. There was nothing else. No notifications. No text messages. No phone calls. 
A watched pot never boils.
I first heard that in the summer of my twelfth year on a trip to my aunt's house. I stared out the window of her cozy kitchen, glancing over stacked dirty dishes and hovering flies, waiting for the arrival of my cousins. Once year there was visits with the cousins -- along with my aunts and uncles -- and the excitement brewed inside me.
The energy I carried was nervous bundle of anxiety. Why am I nervous? I'm the older cousin. I'm the cooler one who they look up to. 
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Years later. High school (or shortly after). I had stood right there in the parking lot when they were talking about going golfing or to a movie or simply cruising the strip. They said they'd call.
Had I made it all up in my head?  Had …

Infinity War: Key players missing in action

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*The following contains spoilers, plot points, and opinions on 'Avengers: Infinity War'. Please abandon all hope if you decide to keep reading and still haven't seen the movie. Don't say I didn't warn you.
*Warning

*Warning

*Danger

*Go ahead and read.
Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel war to end all wars, opened in movie theaters last week and over the weekend set all kinds of box office records.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) was there. So was Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr) was there, kicking it with Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had some fun with Starlord (Chris Pratt) and the other Guardians of the galaxy. And the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) roamed the battlefield in Wakanda with the entire crew by his side.
This is a small sampling of the multiple heroes who graced the movie screen to do battle with Thanos  (Josh Brolin) and his children.
However, we need to talk about Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

And, to a lesse…

The Greatest Royal Rumble: The true stars of this record-setting event

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History was made for the WWE on Friday in the city of Jeddah.
Fifty wrestlers -- eventually -- entered the ring to compete for, well, the title of greatest Royal Rumbler, I guess. While story lines unfolded, history was made, and a few scores were settled, there was still time to throw in a few surprise entrants.
And an all-time moment for one of the wrestlers:

"That may be the greatest thing I've ever witnessed."

➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sUpic.twitter.com/Z0j84mZgvE — TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) April 27, 2018
World. Wide.
Joking aside, there was the standard mix of very good matches, decent matches, surprising matches, and an ending to a title match that makes no absolute sense.
Daniel Bryan lasted roughly 75 minutes in the Greatest Royal Rumble match, besting Rey Mysterio's record by 13 minutes. Bryan started at entry number one and made it to the final three before predictably being eliminated by Big Cass.
In turn, Braun Strowman eliminated Big Cass to win the …

Sunday sports confessions with Jason

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Heading into the end of the weekend, I realized I hadn't posted on this blog in over a week.
Okay. That's not true. I've been trying to think of something to write over here all weekend (in order to keep up with a goal I set at the start of 2018).
I suppose that can be counted as my first confession, even if it's not sports related.
Recently, it was pointed out to me that the professional wrestling on display in the WWE is fake. The confession part of this? I'm a 39-year old man who enjoys pro wrestling.
Followers of this blog likely already knew this, based off recent posts regarding Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble. And obviously I watch for the stories.
The conversation regarding my watching of the WWE got me thinking: What are other confessions regarding sports that I'd like to make. So I put together a small list because that's what I like to do on Sunday's after a rehearsal. Confession: I miss the glow puck on NHL broadcasts I watch a lot of hoc…

Revisiting the lost television classics: California Dreams

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It's that time again. Let's take another trip to the far away land of the 1990's and the 'should-be' classic California Dreams. Growing up and experiencing my formative teen years in the early 1990's, there was a transition period between watching Saturday morning cartoons and graduating to more mature material. The TNBC lineup, led by its flagship show Saved by the Bell, provided the perfect bridge needed between the two worlds.
At the time, a person in their early teenage years might have been deemed too old to watch cartoons, with a good chance of being made fun of for doing so. (Not like today's world, where watching cartoons past the age of 20, 30, and even 40 years old has found its way into the mainstream).
This meant there was an entire group of people who needed to be catered to. Nickelodeon -- led by Hey Dude! and Salute Your Shorts -- had its fair share of teenage oriented shows but was not quite accessible as shows are now. The Disney Channel wa…