If only our Mastiff would stop killing Communists.

This was in our dog’s insurance policy under ‘things not covered’.

Communists

So, no rebellion, revolution, invading, or civil war for our beast.

(Yes… I can just now see our slobbery, radioactive, counter-guerrilla English Mastiff defeating the enemy with slothfulness!)

Look how sad he is that he can’t smother our countries enemies with furry love.

Beastly

To bad, because my dogs favorite Bible Verse of WAR is Ephesians 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

 

Happy 10 years, babe.

10 years ago today, I met my wife.

It was a blind date set up by a mutual friend. And I didn’t want to go, but I did because I was told she’d was really hot.

And she was.

But, surprisingly, she was equally awesome and we hit it off for the next couple of hours.

That night, as the bar was closing and we were going our separate ways, I stealthily snapped a creepy picture of her so I could show my friends the hot chick I’d just met. (She’s on the right, the goofball on the left hugging someone off screen is the friend who introduced us. Hi Felicia!)

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Anywho – The very next day I texted her and asked if I really need to wait three days to call her as society suggests, or if I could just go ahead and call her now. Ironically, I think we texted each other for hours that night instead of actually talking… Ah the late 2000’s were such an odd time.

Anyways. We went to get ice cream after that and I met her son… who was the coolest three year old on the planet at the time. He played with a Little Einsteen’s Rocketship toy and laughed hysterically at every car that drove past us in the rain.

And apparently, she liked me too because she was all googly-eyed for me. (It was all personality… because literally all I had at the moment to my name was my charisma, self-confidence, ego, and silly grin.)

So, we goofed off for a bit.

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Four wheeled a bit… in the rain. (Yup, we’re Jeep peoples.)

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Dressed up together a bit.

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Then we got engaged at a Marine Corps balls. But not publicly like some folks do, instead I asked her in the hotel room before hand in private. To which she immediately responded with a very enthusiastic, “Are ya sure?”

-sigh-

Well, I was until that moment.

.

.

.

.

But of course a moment later she said yes.

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Then, a few months later, we were married. (It was not a shotgun wedding, we just needed to get married quickly for insurance purposes… and gee… that sounds kind of bad too. It’s a long, amusing story though. But in a way, thanks Obama for forcing us to get married in Feb instead of the FALL LIKE WE WANTED!)

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And now we’re a bit older.

We’ve four kids now, including our two dogs who are every bit as high maintenance as our human children. We have a nice house, successful careers, wrinkles, grays, and all that comes with the aging of time and experience. But I’m pretty sure we became best friends that night we met, because we haven’t stop being each other’s better halves ever since.

She’s sweet, patient, peaceful, pretty… I’m ugly, angry, pro-violence… Just kidding, partly. But we get along great. And of course, that’s because we base our love for each other on the greatest love story ever told.

Which is Christ’s love and sacrifice for us.

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” Song of Solomon 8:6-7

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3

So, happy ten years to us, gorgeous.

Let’s pop a bottle and drink some bubbly responsibly. 🙂

The Swan Lake Ballet, deliciousness, and pointy things stabbed into bad guys.

Went to the Ballet this weekend in Asheville, it was lots of fun.

We don’t get to dress up often, because we’re Baptists and can get by with jeans in church :), so we took advantage of the opportunity and the ladies got new dresses and we men… well… we wore whatever we could scrounge up. This is our third year we’ve tried going to the ballet, so it’s become something of a tradition now.

As for the ballet itself, it was long. But the second half was a good bit more exciting than the first, and the black swan dance was pretty badass. And near us sat a bunch of girls who were obviously ballerinas, so whenever they started clapping like crazy I knew some awesome and difficult move had just happened.

Also, right next door to us was a heavy metal concert featuring Slayer. So there were all sorts of folks milling around outside before and after the ballet with mohawks and openly smoking pot. Some guys from work went to it, but I didn’t see anyone I knew. And obviously, I’m to classy for such loud screaming and head banging to peek in and see if I recognized anyone.

We also ate at Tupelo Honeys before hand… Where I had the most amazing meal ever. I’m not one to EVER take a picture of my food before I eat it, so the fact that I did shows how impressed I was. I had the Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato Pancakes, and they rocked my mouth like Slayer rocked next door. (That’s a giant slab of fried chicken, on top of the bacon, on top of the pancakes…) Mmm. I want to go back.

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Also, I watched an episode of Gotham where my pocket knife showed up stabbed into a dead bad guy. See below –

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That’s an Applegate-Fairbairn folder, based off the Applegate-Fairbairn fighting knife made famous in the post WWII era book ‘Kill or Get Killed’. Kinda cool, I’ve carried a ‘Covert Folder’ version for 11 years now, and never run into anyone else with one.

 

I got to caress a Civil War cannon this weekend… But I didn’t get to fire it. :(

I stayed the Hilton in Marietta, GA this weekend for a family emergency.

Lovely place. Nice chandeliers.

There was a screw-up with the reservations, so I ended up sitting alone in the lobby for about an hour. Thankfully I shaved the night before so I didn’t look completely homeless with my duffel bag and laptop bag. But I still felt a bit out of place.

Oh, and to the kid who pulled the fire alarm at 10:30 pm when I was sound asleep… Thanks. My ears are still ringing. I had no idea how loud the in-room fire alarm sirens can be. But now I know!

Whew…

Anywho…

The hotel had an original cannon from the Civil War in the lobby, manufactured in 1851 and captured by Federal troops in 1864.

That was kind of neat, since I used one in the end of my book during the FGB (Final Great Battle). I took some pictures and got to run my hand across a piece of American history. They also had some pretty great civil war art work, which I didn’t get any pictures of. But you can see a little behind the cannon in the pictures below.

On a side note – did you know in North Carolina, black powder weapons are not considered ‘firearms’? You can buy/sell/ship them direct to your door. Never mind the fact that they pretty much wiped out multiple civilizations before metallic cartridges became common. 

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A deleted dream. Some Art.

I ended up taking this out of the first book. After several revisions, it wasn’t needed.

But I like it.

***

I dreamed that I walked amongst death and destruction as a storm poured out its wrath overhead.

Bodies were strewn everywhere as the remains of the town burned. Pierced, crushed, mangled, and some, gnawed on. Smoky fog drifted from dozens of fires that rain struggled to quench.

Lightning crashed, momentarily blinding me, before rolling thunder pounded my senses from above.

I stepped around carnage as in the rain-soaked street. The slaughter had been complete. Women. Children. Horses. Livestock. Nothing lived. The only sound was the hiss of raindrops falling amidst flames.

Stopping, I dropped to my knees in the muck. Of all the massacred bodies that lay trampled in the mud, scattered on the boardwalks, and among the flickering flames. It was hers that gave me pause.

A little girl lay in a pool of blood, her white dress soaked with crimson from the spear sticking from her chest. Her light blue eyes were open and unblinking as rain fell onto them. Strands of blonde hair plastered against her cheeks. A homemade doll clenched tight in her tiny hand.

I didn’t know who she was. I didn’t know who any of these people were. But I recognized the town. It was mine.

Closing her eyes, I gently tugged the doll free. Wiping blood off with my thumb, a small buttoned face smiled back at me.

The puddle of blood from the girls body rippled.

My eyes flicked to it. I watched it ripple again as the ground trembled.

I looked up as a massive four-legged beast lumbered through the thick gray smoke at the end of the street, and stopped.

It was an odd-looking creature. Two large horns above its eyes jutted out and a smaller one rising lower on its face. A bone shield flared out from the top of its head, giving protection to its neck and shoulders, and behind it sat something vaguely human.

The rider was bigger than a man, with thick dark hair covering most of its body except its painted chest and face. It reminded me of the apes from my childhood picture books. But this one wasn’t cute and cuddly with a banana. Instead, it was large and terrifying.

The ape raised a stone club above its head and roared, jerking on the reins. The three-horned beast reared, shook massive horns, then splashed heavily to the ground in a spray of muddy brown water.

I felt it in my chest, a primordial challenge that honor and justice demanded be accepted. Trembling in rage, I gently tucked the doll back into the girl’s hand and stood, drawing a pair of matching revolvers.

As rain dripped from the brim of my hat, I thumbed the hammers back.

I was going to cut the ape’s heart out and eat it.

The three-horned mount rushed forward with a bellow. The ground shook as it bore down on me.

The ape roared, raising the club to strike.

Jerking the pistols up, I pulled the triggers.

***

So, some art, right?

This is the initial sketch that the talented Mike Katoglou sent me when I was shopping around for someone to create a banner for me. (Which I still need… hmmm…)

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I loved it so much that I asked for a sketch style drawing. That awesomeness turned into this:

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Not much else going on. It’s just been a week so I needed to post something.

The writing continues – The world still spins.

Hope everyone has a great week.

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