July 30, 2014

A C.M. Classic: Post #292

Time now, for the redundant portion of Father Nature's Corner, where we produce another post in the occasional series entitled "Cedar's Mountain's Classics", in which we take an old post from the original five year odyssey that was my first blog and retool, revamp, regurgitate, reactivate and simply reanimate to something new and shallow.

Today's post is a new spin on C.M. #292, How Your Exacting Standards Can Do More Harm Than Good.

A confession I shall make, or rather, confirm a blinding case of the obvious: I have a mild form of OCD, and when I say mild, it means it doesn't control my life to the extent of turning into an agoraphobic Neanderthal (no, I'm not insulting those who are agoraphobic. well, maybe I am, but you know, lighten up a little). I control it and use it to my advantage when I can.

To tell you the truth, we all need to have a little OCD and we all need to be a little anal in our lives. Without it, life would be incredibly dull. After all, what good is it if you can't have your resident bore hanging about to liven up your party? C'mon, 'fess up, you just KNOW THAT THE SECRET TO HAVING A GOOD TIME IS TO LISTEN SOMEONE DRONE ON AND ONE ABOUT THE PROPER WAY TO CULTIVATE A DANDELION GARDEN, AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO EXPERIENCE THAT THAN TO HAVE YOUR RESIDENT BORE EXPLAIN IT TO YOU IN EXCRUCIATING DETAIL?

But, I digress. Or do I?

July 28, 2014

The Beauty That Is Summer

This past Saturday, I went to the Rockwell Park in Bristol, CT for combination b'day party for my nephews (the oldest couldn't come because he had to work). The park itself is located behind and next to Muzzy Field (the first home of the New Britain Rock Cats).

I actually had a great time that day (a rarity for me at family get togethers) as I took pics and videos (although my computer ate up the five videos I had uploaded, but strangely enough, not the pics). I did do some adult supervision because my daughter and her friends wanted to use the pool (total cost, $1 and I got in for free 'cause I wasn't swimming), but I had fun just the same.

July 25, 2014

Books Of Audio

Many many many decades ago, before I became super anal about doing certain things with certain things (i.e. listening to music only when I'm doing something mundane or reading a book w/o distractions), I used to listen to audio books. Now when I say many decades ago, I mean back in the date when vinyl ruled, cassettes ruled and VHS was God.

Yeah, just that far back. Like when classic rock was still fresh and new.

Anyways, I used to listen to audio books as a primary way to get my reading fix w/o going through the bother of opening a book (yeah, I had a lot of those phases back in the day). And I always made sure to listen to the unabridged versions of whatever book I was interested in. I really didn't like the Reader's Digest condensed books back in the day and I certainly didn't want to listen to books the same way.

Gradually, as my very mild form of OCD bubbled to the surface with a degree of frequency that to this day keeps me on my toes, audio books fell by the wayside, until by the early 90's the only time I would listen to a audio book was on my day off from working the overnight (I kept those same hours on my off days so that I wouldn't screw up my health). This was directly due to the fact that in the early 90's, there was diddly/squat on the t.v. and on the radio, so I had to find ways to entertain myself.

For the next couple of decades, no audio books were listened to, as my various OCD tainted routines took a firm grip on my brain and wouldn't let go. Every once in a blue moon, I would make an attempt at listening to one ("The National Road: A Ride Through Time" from the Ohio Historical Society springs to mind). But more often than not, they weren't for me.

July 23, 2014

Unplanned And Unscripted

When will I learn to start listening to the tiny voices inside my head that say, "Hey stupid! Ya better write that post in advance 'cause you ain't got time to formulate a normal one the day before!"

Over the weekend, the tiny voices inside my head were saying that repeatedly. But did I listen to the tiny voices?


So here I's sit, a victim of my own stupidity. Or ego. Take your pick, they're both interchangeable. With no clue on what to write. Oh sure, I could write some snippy snippets that would supposedly make you smile with delight. Or snarl in your coffee. 'Course the former would probably be best achieved doing the either the horizontal bop or processing an oral transaction (keeping it clean here folks. as SpongeBob would say, "use your IMAGINATION"), while the later usually gets achieved within seconds after turning on your work computer.

Or maybe, write something so juicy that it'll make you think of that old SNL skit where the waiter asks, "You like the juice, eh? I get you more juice."

Or...or...or...I could write about the various things that are happening with me, but hey, after some 1300 total posts, do you really want to hear me bloviate about my personal health issues? However, because I'm such a mellow guy (???????), I'll give YOU three items to choose from, all of which I have covered ad nasuem on my other blog. Or not. Really now, did you think I was gonna torture you like that on HUMP DAY?????

Ore, ore, ore.....I could write about some nifty audiobooks that I had recent purchased. Reality check people: Those over priced audiobooks eventually make it to stores like Ocean State Job Lot, where you can save about 85% off the cover price. But, that would be another post for another time. Today's we'uns whimsical, not cereal.

Personally, my favorite cereal is any kind of bland (i.e corn flakes or generic rice krispies) cereal that costs me less than $1 a box. However, if I was going to eat cereal and not really give a flying saucer about the consequences, then I would prolly eat granola with lots of dried fruit.

Dried fruit. A lot of people have dried fruit. 'Course, a lot of people prolly didn't get a lot while they were younger, thus they gots dried fruit. Hey, I didn't say I was going to be funny today. Can't be funny 24/7/365. Unless you're the President. Then you can get a lot of laughs by uttering the words, "TRANSPARENCY!" and "DIVERSITY!" and "AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL!!!"

And that, my friends, is the end of my whimsy for today. Tune in next Friday when we hear Jack Palance ask, "And where do you think you're going?"

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 21, 2014

Maximum Mini-Series

I love mini-series.

Not the short season series that you can watch on HBO, Showtime, Encore or Netflix, but those mini-series that you can watch for one week on a particular channel. However, I'm not a big fan of today's mini-series, simply because I've read/seen as much as humanly possible about whatever topic/person that's being covered, so for me, it's basically been there seen that.

Now yesterday's mini-series, those I like. Why? Because most of those series were based on fictional novels, and not real life. And because I really enjoyed those mini-series, it made me want to search out more works by the author of the book in question (i.e. Larry McMurtry, James Clavell). And even search out the book that was used to begin with.

So in no particular order of favoritism, here is my short selection of what I like to call Maximum Mini-Series.

1} Horatio Hornblower. A series of t.v. films that starred Ioan Gruffudd as Hornblower. About as realistic a series covering the Napoleonic Wars that I've ever seen.

2} Shogun. Featuring Richard Chamberlain (who I'm not overly thrilled of as an actor), the US version is what kicks ass, and not the abbreviated version that was released internationally. Actually searched out this book and read the monstrosity from cover to cover.

3} The Awakening Land. A very good period piece covering the turn of the 19th century, I first caught this on TBS in the early 90's one dull Saturday afternoon/evening. To me, this one really destroyed my perception of Elizabeth Montgomery being a one dimesional actress.

4} Lonesome Dove. I watched this one also in the mid 90's and loved it so much that I made it a point to read almost all the books connected with that series.

5} Roots. Yes, I made it a point to watch that mini-series. Not one of my faves, but it worked better as a mini-series than as a book.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to add your own in the comments.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 18, 2014

The Inner Sibling

Book Reviews

This is my first born. No matter where my writing takes me or what I wind up doing, I will always have the fond memory of being a published somebody.

With that being said, it's time now to pull myself up by my suspenders and get jiggy with it. Specifically, re-formatting and re-tweaking the aforementioned novel. Courtesy of U.K. writer Peter John, I now have a new title for my now out-of-print novel. This weekend will be spent in front of two computers going through the laborious process of preparing my novel for re-release.

On the main computer, we will have a copy of Smashwords very user friendly style guide open and at the ready. On the auxiliary computer, we will have the final Word version of my novel saved under the new name and at the ready. Elsewhere, we will be dipping into our vast collection of hot wax so that we can (hopefully) become comfortably numb while working on our novel.

Playing the game of public sex is hard enough when you got the family loan shark bothering you for a piece of your action, but when your inner sibling wants a piece as well, it can make you question not only your sanity, but your own comfortable existence too.

Click here to read the prologue. Please keep in mind that the link will take you to my adult blog. Print copies are still available for purchase.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 16, 2014

White Noise

I am seriously scraping the bottom of a 55 gallon oil drum with this post, simply because I have no solid idea on what to bloviate about today. But, we are if anything, a persistent persnickety kind of blogger. So....off we go to the pasty gray muddy civilized yonder of my world. And hey, keep those hands and arms in, otherwise you might get touched by one of the new generation of panhandlers. You know, the ones sporting Air Jordans and $300 Ray Ban sunglasses.


Over the July 4th weekend, I was basically so ready to just chill out and relax that I was getting goosebumps all over my body. I had all the necessary implements of destruction at the ready: hat, lounge chair, mini-stool/table, and pen and paper in case I wanted to do some writing. But....something was missing. Something that is so essential to the routine that is my life that should I not have it, I become a little confused. Neigh, I become downright lost.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what it was, but there it wasn't.

A book.

Normally I have at least 2 books from the public library at the ready for reading. Usually my reading is done at lunch time, but on the weekend I'll vegetate for an hour or so outside with my nose buried in a good book. This time, I had no book to read. I really had no one to blame except myself, as I completely forgot to go the library prior to the 4th. I went on the 5th, but just like most everything else connected with the guv'ment, it was shut down tighter than a politician's conscience.

So I returned my books in the drop box and spent not only a frustrating weekend not reading, but spent the first couple days of the next week not being able to read too. Basically, I didn't get to the library until Wednesday, which in turn allowed me to get my needed fix. I picked out three titles*: two non-fiction (Columbia and cocaine; WW II) and one fiction (murder mystery, I think), so all is right with my world once again.

So my dear friends and readers my question to you is this: Have you experienced anything like this in your life, where you become seriously lost without your particular kind of "white noise"?

*Cocaina: A Book On Those Who Make It; The Deserters: The Hidden Side of WWII; Silence Once Begun

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 14, 2014

Riddle Me A Contested Winner!!!

A week ago Friday, I introduced a contest for the masses, in which you had not only a chance for immortality but shot at a free book. All you had to do to enter was to suggest a new title for my recently deceased debut novel "Line 21".

I had a lot of people talk about it but only one person was brave enough to step forward and offer up a suggestion: fellow writer Peter John. His suggestion The Inner Sibling, will be the new title for my upcoming re-release of Line 21. Not only does he win a collector's edition copy of my novel, but he will be featured in the acknowledgement section of the re-release.

Since I now have a title, the next items up for completion will be: 1} a new cover and 2} new content for this exclusive e-book release.

I have a couple of graphic companies in mind that I would like to use, of which one I have used before. The other will require a little exploration/research.

To close out this post, I leave you with a recent pic of my daughter Jenelle, who at her last skating competition (of which I made a rare appearance at), finished 1st in reverse (aka, last place). Hey, sometimes as a parent you just have to put a positive spin on a disappointment.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 11, 2014

A C.M. Classic: Post #493

Remember folks, you have until midnight tonight (EDT) to enter my contest for immortality. Click here for details.

Time now, for the redundant portion of Father Nature's Corner, where we produce another post in the occasional series entitled "Cedar's Mountain's Classics", in which we take an old post from the original five year odyssey that was my first blog and retool, revamp, regurgitate, reactivate and simply reanimate to something new and shallow.

Today's classic will feature that old American staple of the workplace: e-mail humor.

That's right boys and girls, e-mail humor. In the early years of Cedar's Mountain, e-mail humor was a snazzy staple of that blog, because quite frankly, sometimes it was really hard to come up with something funny. And what easier way to come up with something funny than to pilfer an old e-mail from the early part of the 2000's?

Post #493 entitled "A Week At The Gym" was one such post. Clean and funny, it poked fun at two very stereotypical things: lazy men and the women who want to get even with their men. Plus it was easy peasy lemon squeezy to put together. Copy, paste and viola! Instant post!

And once again, we experience deja vu all over again as just like before when sometimes it was pure torture to come up with something original, we dug down purty deep into the sarcophagus of our old XP computer and came up with another original work e-mail. This one's entitled Catholic Parrots.

July 9, 2014

Give Me Summer At The Mountain

A friendly reminder that there's time left to enter for a chance to win a copy of my novel and immortality. Click on this link for details.

Give me summer at the mountain. Give me a fifty shades of green and a plethora of color from God's palette. Give me the shady embrace of the trees that invites my spirit to be reborn and rejuvenated. Give me children riding their bikes along the semi-closed side road that protects the mountain from interlopers.

Give me the beauty that is hiking along the ridge and the face of the mountain. Give me the dignified grace and haunting melodies that the mountain speaks to everyone on a minute-by-minute basis. Give me the quiet pedestrian walking with their significant other or friend, or perhaps pushing a stroller or carrying a child on their back.

Give me the cool gentle breeze that blows down the mountain, with just enough scent to lull my senses into a happy complacency. Give me the rustling of the branches and the gentle swaying of the leaves. Give me the a cappella multi-part harmony that lullabies my body towards someplace else.

Give me a cloudless day. Give me a breezy sunny day. Give me a cool shade during the hottest days.

Most importantly, let me give thanks to the mountain for giving me back....me.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 7, 2014

Summertime Is Where You Want To Be

Remember folks, there still is plenty 'o time for a chance to win a free book and be immortalized in my next book. Click here for details.

Summertime in my neighborhood, while it ain't tea and crumpets, is definitely where you want to be sipping your Long Island Ice Tea and licking your chocolate swirl, all the while enjoying a cool mountain breeze wafting down through the trees of grandeur.

Or if sipping and slurping ain't your cup of tea, then perhaps just sitting in the shade with a good book, pen and paper, or simply settling down for a restful semi-nap. All the while inhaling the beauty that is Mother and Father Nature.

If only our fantasy world of the preceding two paragraphs could be transported to the hustle and bustle that is our normal reality, then life can be good. Alas, you know and I know that rarely does that fantasy would even remotely stick its nose in during the Monday thru Friday drudgery that is our real life.

However, on the weekend it does stick its nose in the absurdity that is our weekend, and in this particular case, the holiday weekend.

Here at Father Nature's Corner, we believe it's our sworn duty to share with everyone the beauty that truly makes our neighborhood something to cherish and enjoy. For it's our neighborhood that provides Father Nature's Corner with its weekly injection mixture of good clean fun and natural sedatives that helps him function in the Monday thru Friday drudgery.

So put on those walking shoes and take a short stroll to Shooting Suburbia, where you too can receive that wonderful sedative called "Summer In Connecticut".

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 4, 2014

Riddle Me Contested!!!

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I asked for and received the rights back to my debut novel, Line 21. I also mentioned in Monday's post what I wanted to do with the book. Specifically, the following tasks I would like to execute:

1} New title
2} New cover
3} New content for self-publishing.

Now, number 3 will be executed while I'm formatting for e-book only release later this summer. Number 2 will be executed as soon as I accomplish number 1. Number 1 is what this post is all about today.

It's a rare thing to get a 2nd chance to correct a bad 1st impression, unless it comes to publishing a story. In my case, I really need a new title for the book, because what I got now simply does not cut it by any stretch of the imagination. The original title was only meant to be temporary, but when I got the contract for the book and it had that title listed, the plan for a new title fell by the wayside.

However, that was then and this, my friends, is now.

Now is needing to come up with a new title, and I though what better way to come up with a title than to ask for suggestions from my friends and readers. In case you're wondering, I do have a history of asking for advice from my friend and readers for Line 21 (please click on the tag "Line 21" at my previous blog for examples). Plus to make it more interesting, I thought I would create a contest in the process.

Starting today and running through to July 11th @ midnight, I will be holding a contest to come up with a new title for my novel Line 21. Please click on the preceding link for synopsis info or watch the video above to get a basic idea of the plot. 1st place winner will receive a free print copy of Line 21 plus acknowledgement in the e-book for the title. 2nd and 3rd place mentions will each receive a free copy of my short story trilogy, Broken Promises.

A limited amount of print copies are still available for purchase. Clicking on this link will give further details on how to purchase via c/c or snail mail.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 2, 2014

Frothing At The Mouth Because Being A Hypocrite Is A Good Thing

As a rule, I seldom talk about hot button issues on my blog. Main reason is directly due to a personal opinion that everyone needs a small safety zone in which one can go to and not worry about the real world giving them holy hell about certain things.

However, since both my blog feed and Facebook newsfeed is frothing and foaming at the mouth this week, I thought I would offer my two cents about it. And in case you've been one of the millions of people watching the World Cup, thus happily depriving yourself of the hypocrisy that the real world seems to thrive in these days, the US Supreme Court ruled on July 1st that certain businesses don't have provide certain types of birth control as required under ObamaCare.

As you can probably imagine, people on one side of the issue (i.e. women's rights, abortion rights, mandatory health insurance rights) are foaming at the mouth because of the ruling. You name the reason/rationale for the foaming, they probably got it covered.

However, righteous hypocritical indignation can only carry you so far, especially when you're confronted by someone who isn't part of your choir. As most of you probably know, I am not part of anyone's choir and over the years I've been hoisted by my own petard because I'm not part of anyone's choir.

But you know, sometimes pointing out a fact is just enough get a choir riled up, because let's be honest here, facts often have a nasty get in the way of righteous hypocritical indignation. Like the fact that Hobby Lobby actually does cover most forms of birth control. It just doesn't cover the "morning after" birth control pill, which is what everyone is working themselves into a rabid frenzy over.

That's right boys and girls. People are working themselves into a rabid frenzy over a woman's right to have a super early abortion. 'Course, I could be stretching this statement just a tad, but if you click on this link (yes, it's Fox News, because I'm sure CNN or MSNBC wouldn't let facts get in the way of hypocritical indignation), you'll see that I'm not.

With that being said, I will now step down from my soapbox so that some of you good people can step on it in the comment section and tell me why I'm either full of horse manure or that I'm actually making just a little bit of sense.

Oh, just one more thing: I used to be pro-choice, then eventually swung over to the straddle the fence. Which means that while I'm basically pro-life, I'm not hardcore pro-life. If it's a sincere matter of life or death of the mother, or the pregnancy was due to some heinous crime, then yes, the difficult choice must be made.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.