Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mostly A Bunch of Book-Related Nonsense. Plus: Gorillas!

It's almost the end of the year! Run! Run for your lives!!!!!

Oh, sorry... false alarm...

OK, so, where to start?

So I ripped the Christmas play to my computer and uploaded it to my Viddler account, but it's all wonky! The colors are stripped out (except for the blues) and the video picture is reversed, like I'm watching it in the mirror... extremely weird. None of the other videos In my Viddler archive are having any similar issues. I wrote the tech support, and they were great... they think it's a Flash-related problem, and their team is "working on it". In the interim, he said to save it as a higher resolution, and upload it again.

Sorry for the delay! I know all 2 of you want to watch some of it, so you can ask yourselves what all the hype was about, and then mock me behind my back. I don't want to rob you of your chance! Be patient, it shall happen!

While you wait, check out this Gorilla video... it's pretty cool... apologies for the dude with the glasses doing the talking intro... he's kind of a d-bag. The action starts at about the 1 minute mark.

That guy... has nerves of steel. Do you realize how completely I'd lose bladder control if I was in a similar situation? Sheesh! I've read The Murders in the Rue Morgue! I know how strong those primates are!

Yes, I know the Poe story featured an orangutan, not a gorilla... still. *shudder* That silverback could have popped that dude's head off like a bottlecap if it had wanted to!

Did you know that The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is considered the first ever Detective Story? Yep, good ol' Edgar Poe pioneered the genre... he's also credited with co-pioneering the Science Fiction genre, too. Not bad, for someone as goofy-looking as he was! Reminds me of an Abraham Lincoln quote I read recently. It was during a debate when he was running for President (I don't recall against whom), but his opponent accused Lincoln of being two-faced. Lincoln said, "If I had two faces, do you think I'd choose to wear this one?"

See, he knew how goofy-looking he was, see? Get it? See, like, get it? See?

OK, fine. Here's another one, but from Winston Churchill this time...


So I finished reading Theft of Swords, by Michael Sullivan. All in all, it was a fun, though not especially deep, tale, very family-friendly (if you will). No swearing or adult stuff at all. The action was fun, the pace swift, and the main characters likable. Theft of Swords featured two main characters, named Royce and Hadrian. Royce is a thief, and is supposed to be a dark, dangerous, cold-blooded character. I say "supposed to be" because more often than not, he is kind and helps people out. Ultimately, he's a good guy, though his reputation that precedes him is infamous and villainous. He doesn't really display much to back that rep up, as far as viciousness and/or killer behavior. Still, he's enjoyable. And his partner is Hadrian, who is a peerless swordsman, and master of various forms of swordplay that most have not even heard of, much less been able to learn.

The two take jobs for (and against) nobles, ranging from thefts of valuables (in seemingly-impossible places) to escort missions, to beast-slaying, to rescue missions. As I said, the pace is swift, the action satisfying, and the "feel" of the writing positive. I suggest reading the tale if you like to keep things light and fun.

Theft of Swords is actually the first two volumes of the Riyria Chronicles (no idea how to properly pronounce that word, lol). There are two more volumes that complete the series. I'll definitely pick them up with a portion of my Christmas dough and see how it continues.

Not much of a traditional book review, sorry.

I went with brother-in-law Johnny and his son Jacob to see the new Mission Impossible movie, the day before Christmas. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it. Again, for light, fun fare that doesn't demand any heavy thinking. It had some great action scenes, some funny dialog, and was self-aware in a few places, sort of giving a wink and a nod to the audience, so we knew it didn't take itself too seriously. Yes, a lot of the stunts were outrageous and there were at least two occasions where I almost injured my eyes rolling them too suddenly, but all in all, it was fun. I don't get to the theater too often, so it's nice when I can leave and feel it was worth the time/money investment.

Saw some great previews, including this one... Act of Valor

Nicely-made trailer, methinks.

So, as some of you know, my addiction the past half-year or so has been to download free book sample chapters onto my Kindle app (for my iPad) so I can sample new books/authors... those I like, I add to a list; those I don't, I delete. I've gathered quite a list of worthwhile fantasy books I plan on getting/reading at some point in the future. It occurred to me today that such info might be of interest to a fellow reader or two out there, so I'm going to post a list here...

Fantasy Books On My Radar

  • The Etched City, by KJ Bishop
  • The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
  • Farlander, by Col Buchanon
  • Among Thieves, by Douglas Hulick
  • Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Thief-Taker's Apprentice, by Stephen Daes
  • Acacia, by David Anthony Durham
  • Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence
  • Tome of the Undergates, by Sam Sykes
  • The Ten Thousand, by Paul Kearney
  • The Whitefire Crossing, by Courtney Schafer
  • Knights of Dark Renown, by David Gemmell
  • Escaping Destiny, by Jeffrey Pierce
  • The Desert of Souls, by Howard Andrew Jones

I don't think you would go wrong with any of those titles. I've read the samples for all, and the writing is very solid in every case. Those last two are especially interesting to me. Escaping Destiny is truly unlike anything I've read before. Plus, the premise of Desert of Souls is extremely intriguing, and rife with possibility. I love an author who can quickly, effectively set the stage for an exciting adventure. Well done.

Speaking of great writing, I read the sample of a book by China Mieville called Perdido Street Station that is a marvel to read, crammed full of the coolest words, most-delicious descriptive language and tastiest sentence structure (to me, anyway). It's too bad the story itself is so gross and unappealing, I'd certainly recommend it here. I can give you an example, though...

The speaker is arriving in a big, dingy city, by boat on a disgusting river. That's all you need know...

The river twists and turns to face the city. It looms suddenly, massive, stamped on the landscape. Its light wells up around the surrounds, the rock hills, like bruise-blood. Its dirty towers glow. I am debased. I am compelled to worship this extraordinary presence that has silted itself into existence at the conjunction of two rivers. It is a vast pollutant, a stench, a klaxon sounding. Fat chimneys retch dirt into the sky even now in the deep night. It is not the current which pulls us but the city itself, its weight sucks us in. Faint shouts, here and there the calls of beasts, the obscene clash and pounding from the factories as huge machines rut. Railways trace urban anatomy like protruding veins. Red brick and dark walls, squat churches like troglodytic things, ragged awnings flickering, cobbled mazes in the old town, culs-de-sac, sewers riddling the earth like secular sepulchres, a new landscape of wasteground, crushed stone, libraries fat with forgotten volumes, old hospitals, towerblocks, ships and metal claws that lift cargoes from the water.

What do you think? You like it, or does it strike you as overdone? I think it's terrific. Again, too bad the story itself is such a downer. He uses other great words and phrases, like effluents, morbific, detumescing and pamphleteers... far too many others to mention here. And that's just in the first two chapters.

If I can stomach the story, I'll try to read more. I made it part-way into The City and The City before giving up on that as well (it's another Mieville book).

Hmm... I know I had other stuff to talk about. I really should keep a list of these things... my memory is failing me in my old age...

Well, I suppose I'll stop for now. I'm sure the other stuff I wanted to say will come to me later tonight, as I try to sleep...

I'll be back, fear not.

Dave the Goof

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, and All That

A quick Christmas Drive-By.

I hope your Christmas Day is an awesome one.

Man, what a year. I'll have a full new post here in the next day or so.... a lot to say...


Dave the Festive

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Somewhere Between the Sacred Silence and Sleep: Disorder

Greetings! Man, what a week....

First things first. The play! Yay, it's over! And was it FUN. Can't say it was perfect - there were a couple dropped lines and some projection problems, and the video didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped... but the play itself was ridiculously well-received. I mean, immediate  standing-O... not sure I've ever been involved in a play that was so immediately well-received. I talked to lots of folks, and everyone seemed to love it. In fact, everyone I talked to had a different part of the play that was their favorite - that seems to indicate to me that the play was pretty solid throughout.

Plus, it was just flat-out fun to perform. Man, I hope the other actors had a fraction of the fun I did in performing their roles. It was odd... I'd never attempted a role of this size and complexity before - I should have felt more overwhelmed than ever. But I didn't. Once I got into the opening monologue, something shifted, and I just had fun. I hate to sound redundant here, but as much as I enjoy acting, it always is stressful to me, and any fun I feel is always after the fact, upon reflection... but during the performance, I'm usually somewhere between extreme concentration and panic, until my final line, after which the sense of overwhelming relief will give way to a sense of ultimate satisfaction and enjoyment. This time it was just flat-out fun.

Due to technical difficulties upstairs, the opening monologue didn't make it onto the recording, so the DVD begins about 8 minutes in. Bummer. This will obviously make watching the play on disc a confusing mess - the opening monologue sets the whole story up. I was contemplating going back to the church by myself sometime, and setting the scene back up, and re-recording the opening, and editing it into the recording, while it's still fresh in my head.

But I have a disc, and I'll burn it to my computer tonight, and upload it to my Viddler account. I'll post it on my Wagnervana site and link to it, for the handful of you that might want to watch some of it. But keep in mind, most of the magic in a play is in seeing it live. A lot is lost in the translation to the screen. But I'll post it, link to it, and add the text for the opening monologue, so you can get the gist of what was missed.

Bottom line, this is how I felt after we were done...

Everyone in the cast was awesome. Great job.

This has been an incredible year. Full of the most extreme highs and lows. I can't (won't) go into all of it in this forum. I may write a summary of the year in my journal, just to document it. I'd say, other than the year after I graduated high school, this has been the most eventful, important year of my life. I mean, pendulum extremes, as far as highs and lows. Those that know me know some of them, I'm sure, but nowhere near all of them.

Yeah, I need to write a summary down somewhere.

But I can throw down a Best of 2011 List, as far as the more innocuous things...

Best Book I Read This Year (first time read): The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
Best Book I Read This Year (re-read): Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
Best Movie I Saw This Year: Pulling John
Best Music: Angels & Airwaves
Best Game: Skyrim
Best Blog: Rememorandum (Honorable Mention to 100-Fold Christianity)

In honor of my Best Game winner, here is some Skyrim humor that only Logan will find amusing. The rest of you, I dunno... like, skim down a bit or something...

Trust me... Logan will find those amusing... that alone should make posting them worthwhile...

So we have family here from out of town... we found places for everyone, believe it or not. They're good folks, so I'm sure all will be well.

On another note, I found a cool-looking writer's group that meets in Oceanside every week, called the Antisocial Writers and Social Misfits. They look like a fun bunch, so I signed up, hoping I could find a group of writers that could help me get my feet under me, as far as my big writing projects. Well, it turns out they meet Wednesday nights! Doh! The only night of the week that I have a prior obligation! I wish I'd noticed that beforehand! So now I'm torn. I think for January/February, I'll go to every other meeting, and see how/if I can fit in... Then I'll need to decide where to devote my Wednesday nights... I've been going to Stan's for the weekly prayer night for a couple years now... I don't want to just jettison it on a whim. But I really need the writing help, to get unstuck... so for the short term, I'll divide my team and see what happens...

Speaking of writing/reading, I have another blog post to recommend. Another eFriend who posted a piece on why guys should date a girl who reads. Very well done, worth your time. Click here to read it, eh! It'll just take a couple minutes!

Gotta scoot. Adios.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Gonna Eat That Chair?

Um, yeah... that is a cool picture. One of many I saw in this article. Don't worry if you don't wish to browse the gallery... I saved many of the best shots in my archive! You'll be seeing them here soon enough! MUAHAHAH!!! Yep, repost other people's stuff, that's what I do! I am nothing if not unoriginal! The only thing original around here are my lame puns! In fact, you could safely label this blog "nnuts"!

No, I don't mean crazy, and no, it isn't a typo... nnuts = nothing new under the sun...

I always wanted to start a T-shirt company and call it NNUTS... I even know what the logo would look like... in fact, here, lemme go whip up a mock-up for ya... brb...

There, that's the idea. Of course, it's a rough design (hey, what do you expect in 10 minutes?! Sheesh!) Anyway, I'm sure you see it... "nothing new under the sun" in a figure-8 shape, so it conforms to the rough shape of a peanut (which I ghosted around the whole logo). I got all absorbed in coming up with funny T-shirt designs at one time (few years back), actually worked out the designs on a few, and looked into starting a company. Then I lost all my brainstorm notes and art files for the T-shirt designs and ideas, got discouraged, and I let the idea die. I didn't want to start over from scratch. Gee, no surprise, to those that know me... yet another idea that slipped behind the glass wall...

Why was I reminded of that again? Oh, yeah... "lame puns", "nnuts", etc...

OK, well, moving right along...

I watched this mini-documentary last night, and thought it was great. I immediately thought my mom would enjoy it, so I'm posting it here for her. If the rest of y'all want to watch it, if you like music, you'll like the film as well, I'm sure. It's about a small town North Carolina barbershop that locals gather at on Saturdays to play music together in the back room... that likely sounds boring to you, but it really intrigued me. It weighs in at 20 minutes, so grab a snack...

Pickin' & Trimmin' from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.

For those of you with shorter attention spans, I'll also post the trailer to the new Three Stooges movie coming out next year. I have to admit, I laughed hard (and continue to do so) when I watched it... WARNING: woman in bathing suit at the 1:00 mark. If that offends you, cover your eyes!

Looks like they nailed the casting on that one. Those guys are PERFECT. I'm not a fan of the Farrelly Brother's movies (with the exception of Dumb and Dumber), but I may go see that one. Good old fashioned screwball slapstick. That spot where the bell falls off the church roof and hits that person in the head with a big BONNGGG! gets me every time...

On a religious note, I've noticed a strange sort of fatalism creeping into my prayer life lately.

Wow, from Three Stooges right into prayer? Sure, why not? I make up the rules here, don't I?! Sheesh!

Anyway, I've found it harder to pray lately, since this idea keeps weaseling its way into my thoughts... "Why pray? What's the point? God's going to do what He wants to anyway! I mean, can I really sway what He will do, in any given situation?" Yeah, I know... either my cynicism is ripening to dangerous levels, or that thought has its origins "elsewhere"... anyway, I shall assume if I persevere, it shall dissipate, and leave me be. But for now, it's a bit of a struggle.

Hey, see how open I am with you? That just shows how much I love you! Yeah, I know, "Never talk about politics, religion or the Backyardigans," I get it... sorry, I'll move on...

"That's not funny; that's sad." - Sister Mary Cornelius

There, that brings us back in line with the spirit of this blog...

OK, fine, you want more theology? So I have a couple of "e-friends" who have recently made blog posts that blew me away. If that sort of thing interests you, the links are HERE and HERE.

So I was remembering something funny that happened between my brother Bryan and I one time, back when he still dwelt upon the earth. I was giving him a ride home from work one time (we worked together, at our family business here in San Diego), which was a rare occurrence for me. We each had our own cars, of course, and each drove alone, being on different schedules, etc. Anyway, for some reason, I needed to give him a ride, which I was happy to do. The freeway was packed, as was normal back then (before all the construction made the ride smoother), and Bryan reclined his chair to nap while we inched our way up the road.

Normally, as I said, I drive alone. One thing I did a lot (and still do) is while driving, sort-of subconsciously put my hand over on the back of the passenger-side chair back, up by the head-rest. I stretch my arm out, then back over the headrest, and lay my hand across it. I've done it so often, I do it without thinking, like a reflex.

Anyway, so we were crawling up the freeway, and I was bored, listening to the radio (softly), my mind drifting. Of course, I forgot Bryan was in the car with me, since he was reclined (and out of my peripheral vision), and normally I drove alone. So out goes the arm, and I place it on the now-missing chair back... when I let my arm drop, instead of resting where it normally does, my hand plummeted and smacked Bryan in the face...

He wakes up, of course, looking at me like I was insane, saying "What the heck?" In that split second, I imagined trying to explain what just happened to him in a way that would make sense, especially seeing as how he was just asleep. I mean, look at how many paragraphs it is taking me to tell this to you, and you're all awake (I think)! So I just said, "sorry", and looked forward again. He went back to sleep. Perhaps he thought he'd dreamed it, I don't know. I've never been smacked in my sleep before... must not have seemed funny to him at the time.

Not sure why I recalled that today. Sorry, Bryan, wherever you are!

Hmm... well, I suppose I should leave things here for now. Don't worry, I'll be back soon with more hot air! Don't cry yourself to sleep over it! No, stay awake and brood instead.

Adios for now,

Dave the Gump

PS 21st Anniversary today. 21 down, 75 more to go...

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Might Have Nothing To Say Today... Let's See, Shall We?

Dang... you know I'm down to the dregs in my picture archive when I open with a picture like that... Time to lurk around PhotoSIG some more, and replenish my landscapey-photo supplies.

Although that is a pretty cool art installation... From what I understand, it's supposed to honor the inventor of the clothes pin, but perhaps that was spontaneous nonsense, who knows... kinda clever, in any case...

OK, so, just so you know, I have nothing to say tonight. Nope, absolutely nothing. Not a word.

Well, I do have this picture of a funny sign modification...

... but that's it. Nothing else to share. Nope. Nothing.

Well, I mean, I am reading a really good fantasy book, called Theft of Swords, by Michael Sullivan. I mentioned it a post or two ago. Good, solid characters, a swiftly-unfolding plot, nice action, some humor, clean, easy to read and follow, shows great promise.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I failed miserably at the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. I made a good start, then fell a day behind, then two... once I was three days behind my pace, the whole thing fell apart. I was sunk by a combination of competing projects, an amazing game, and in-home turmoil. Those are my excuses. Valid, but still excuses nonetheless. Plus, the play, of course. I took on too much this year again... I really need to learn to delegate better. We had practice tonight. It was a good one, though certain key people were missing. We are officially 8 days away from performance time, as I write this. I go back and forth between sheer panic and total confidence. I plan on spending most of Saturday going over my monologues like a fiend. If I can really nail my part, it will anchor the play solidly, and hold the entire thing together, shoring up any weak areas. If I spend the rest of the time focusing on the weaker areas, but fail to nail my part, the whole thing could dissolve in my hands, and I can't have that.

There, see? I told you. I have nothing to say tonight. Nope, not a word.

But I do have this drawing...

So, we are now a "Two-Kindle Fire" family. I bought one for Katie for Christmas, and once everyone got a look at it, I ordered another one for Wifey (who will be "sharing" it with our Youngest). Eldest decided she didn't want one, otherwise we'd be a Three-Kindle Family. It finally dawned on me two days ago, the play-on-words with that gadget's name. Believe it or not, I never associated the word "kindle" with "fire" before that... as in "kindling a fire"... well, I certainly hope none of the Wagner Women decide to use their kindle as kindling...

But beyond that, absolutely nothing to talk about tonight, as I said.

Except we are having in-laws coming for the holidays, and I'm not sure how we are going to fit everyone under our roof. My brother-in-law John is coming, with his wife and three kids, plus they are bringing Wifey's mother along as well. They will be here from about Dec 20 through the New Year. Don't get me wrong, I love them, and always enjoy their company... it's just going to be a madhouse around here... it galls me to have to have people I love sleeping on the floor, but we don't have enough beds/couches to accommodate everyone comfortably... I'm trying not to get stressed about it, but rather look at it like it will be an adventure...

Nope, nothing to say tonight.

Dang... looks like a school-yard rumble about to begin... my money's on Hobbes...

I'd post a video, but I've been having Flash-related crashes lately with Chrome, so I can't browse like I usually do... I do have a couple good ones slotted, once I get the problem fixed... but until then, nope, I have absolutely nothing to say. Mum's the word tonight. Yep, complete silence...

By the way, I am SUCH the dragonslayer, you know... yes, that's a Skyrim reference... if you aren't playing Skyrim, shame on you. Don't you want to be a hero and kill dragons and explore stuff and save the world? DON'T YOU!? Well, what's wrong with you, then!? Not the heroic type, eh? Well, then why are you wearing that necktie, then? Yeah, those are heroic colors for a necktie, you must have it in you to be a hero! You MUST! There, it's been decided then. Buy Skyrim, play it, slay dragons, live. LIVE!

But beyond that, I have nothing at all to say.

Except one question... Why on earth does Yogurtland only serve Eggnog Yogurt ONE DAY PER YEAR!? Don't they know I'd buy it every day if they only had it?! Is there anything better in the world than Eggnog Yogurt, with graham cracker crumbs, some shredded coconut and a few dark chocolate flakes on it? I mean other than Jesus, of course... come on, you don't really think I'd rank Eggnog Yogurt higher than Jesus on The List of Best Things in Life, do you? Sheesh, come on! The list is this: Jesus, then Eggnog Yogurt, then listening to Toxicity by System of a Down REALLY loud on your car radio as you drive, followed by a baby's laugh, Skyrim, Steam Sales, a good book, the LOTR Extended Trilogy DVD set, getting a fat paycheck, and finally a nice, healthy bowel movement. Yes, that is the complete Top Ten. If you beg to differ, post your own list in the comments!

Man, I'm so sorry I have nothing to say tonight...

I do have another picture though...

Come on, admit it... that's pretty funny...

Quick, say this out loud: "So, you sold your soldier's soul?"

Yeah, like that. Cool, eh?

Suddenly, Dave was very tired. He glanced up from his monitor to the clock. It read 11:40 pm. He yawned and contemplated the weekend that stretched out before him. He wondered if the weekend would prove to be productive. Much there was for him to do, and strong was the impulse to flee it all. But flee he could not do, for that is not the way of the hero. A hero owns up to his responsibilities and shoulders them like a champ. Would that describe Dave by the time Monday appeared? Or will his weekend be characterized by game-playing, book-reading, responsibility-shirking and copious amounts of flatulence? Dave supposed only time would tell.

Until that time (Dave typed), farewell!

Dave the Tired

Monday, December 5, 2011

I've Been Down This Road Before, Methinks...

Greetings all y'all.

That includes all of the "real" people checking in, as well as most of my imaginary ones... a few of my imaginary visitors deserve no greetings. They've secretly formed a subversive counter-blog movement and have somehow blamed me for their angst over a supposed lack of quality updates lately, on this and a few other tangentially-related blogs... what they don't know is that I've purposely fostered such a false perception for the sole purpose of flushing out the rebellion and identifying the key players, with an eye toward capture and swift, painful eradication. Which is tricky, seeing as how they are imaginary to begin with. So far, the most successful methods of identification involve sacks of unbleached flour, lasers and bad puns. Plus, as you can see, I've installed infrared surveillance cameras in corners of the blog room, since they mostly read this blog at night, after I've left the blog and turned off the lights (well, except for the Christmas Tree in the corner over there (next to the bidet)).

That reminds me, the surveillance cameras have captured some of my more "normal" readers doing some odd things as well. It's fun to see what you guys do while lurking around in this blog, when you think no one else is watching... MUAHAHAH!!! Look for the highlight reel to be posted soon....

And now, Words of Wisdom by Will Smith...

My sister posted a link to this video the other day on her Facebook... it intrigues me, because I'm torn. On the one hand, it's very inspiring. On the other hand, not sure how it squares with a Biblical world-view. Will Smith is an intense person! Something about him seems very sincere - like he actually tries to follow what he's talking about, rather than just saying it because it sounds good, or because he's trying to impress people or some such.

Anyways, a few of the more theologically-minded among you might want to post some thoughts in the comments about it; I will covet such comments accordingly (in a good way).

That's an image snapped of an erupting volcano in Chile earlier this year. It is among many images in a photo gallery on Buzzfeed, under the header of "The Most Powerful Images of 2011"... here is a link to said gallery - a very worthwhile browse, if you have two minutes to spare...

Sadly, this image was not featured in the gallery...

Nicolas Cage as Gandalf... it doesn't get much more powerful than that...

My personal trainer destroyed me today. I took it personally. See, because he's a "personal" trainer, see? (Don't groan - it's another attempt to flush out the subversives! Bad puns, remember?). We did "drop sets" focusing on chest and back. "Drop sets" loosely translates into "make you feel like a complete, yammering weakling." At least, that's how it worked out for me. (Get it? "Worked out"? I'm on a roll!) How bad was it, you may ask? Well, my post-workout shower was delayed ten minutes while I tried in vain to remove my sweaty T-shirt... I lacked the requisite upper-body strength needed to lift a t-shirt up over my head... I was eventually successful, meaning I didn't have to shower with my shirt on...

All that to say, it was awesome, and I can't "weight" to do it again! BUAHAHAHA!!

There! A malcontent! In the top hat, with the metallic naru jacket! Grab him!

Excellent. I'll clean up this blog audience yet...

GAAHHH!!!! The Christmas play is two weeks away! Help! Defend me, friends! What if I mess the whole thing up!? What if I forget something important!? What if I accidentally pass wind during one of my monologues?! Heck, what if I purposely do it?! What then?!

OK, good, the panic attack is over. Good thing it was a quiet one... I might have awakened the baby!

Well, I've procrastinated on the January Piranha Newsletters long enough... gotta get back to work. I trust you all shall have a terrific week, and are enjoying the build-up to Christmas. For gift ideas, remember to check my Amazon Wishlist. I want every item on that list this year, and I mean it! Do your part already, as a grateful blog reader should! Otherwise, you'll be broken on the rack in front of a large, raucous crowd dressed in medieval garb, howling for blood n guts!

OK, sorry, got a little carried away there. My apologies.

Adios for now,

Dave the Well-Traveled