When it comes to our service men and women I am a big softy. It doesn't take much to get the water works flowing when talking about the troops. Part of that I think is that I remember those that I served with. Most of them are still around and for the most part we weren't in any really hot spots. Korea would get a little crazy from time to time but the Korean troops were outstanding at handling most situations that arose. I also recall seeing my brother in his uniform and thinking how brave and cool he was. Growing up I was always taught that this is the only country in the world where son of a single mother and of mixed race could make it to the White House as the President. There were Europeans who were saying that we should elect him because it would show that we were no longer racists. My reaction was along the lines of, "When the Prime Minister of England, or the President of France is something other than white let me know." I usually keep my politics off this blog, but seeing as how this is a day to remember the sacrifices of those who fought and died in service to this country I can't help myself. Personally, I hate the policies of this administration, but that doesn't mean that I don't see how the very fact that it exists, is proof that this is the only country in the world where it could happen. If it wasn't for those who have given the last full measure, then it would have been a much different story.
To my fellow Veterans who have given friends in the defense of America I can only say that you should not mourn that they died, for all men die, rather rejoice that they lived, and that they graced your life if only for a little while.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
I spent most of last week in Canada again. I went in through Michigan and drove across Ontario Provence which has its moments, but nothing quite like the stretch of Quebec that I had the pleasure of seeing this trip. In the past I have been pretty far up in the northern part of the Provence, but this trip was along the St. Lawrence Seaway, almost to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was a long hard drive out there, with a lot of steep grades and of course a lot of downgrades to deal with, but the scenery was spectacular. At one point I thought I had gotten off route. As I came around a bend in the road it came to an end at the banks of a large river.One that didn't show up on my map or the GPS the company had installed in my truck. Fortunately there was a ferry there to take traffic across and it was no charge. Reaching my destination I found a quaint seaside town cloaked in a fine mist. It was a beautiful town and the people were friendly even if I didn't speak French. Along the way I passed numerous signs that were shaped like whales. I later learned that it is not unusual for whales to swim up the river and that there are whale watching tours. All in all it was a fairly good trip. My one big complaint about going to Canada is being out of touch, since my wife hates paying the roaming charges if I use my phone up there. I did use the time to work on the latest Shade tale while I was there.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
There has been a lot going on since leaving home. Mainly trucking but some writing too. Still working on the Shade sequel when I can find the time and inspiration. I have also run into a dilemma with another author, who has written a really good book. In my opinion with a few corrections it could be a really great book. He didn't ask me to read his book so this is all on me. It is just one of my personal quirks. As a writer I can be a bit touchy about my creations and I would never knowingly trash another persons work in public. If I see something that really bothers me enough that I feel the need to comment on it, I will do it via private means. With regard to my work, I try to do as much research as I can before putting it on the page. Before anything I write hits the list at Amazon or anywhere else it is read by a number of people, who are reading it for the express purpose to see if I got it right. If there is something wrong I want to know it so that I can correct it before it is published. I only wish that some other writers would do the same. There is a certain military author, who I am told is very good when writing about the Armor or Artillery, but his one book about a Special Forces Unit was so full of mistakes that I haven't picked up another one of his books. I hope that other authors will take the time to do their research. One of the reasons that I read the authors that I do is that most of them are very good at getting the facts right. Some like Brad Thor make me keep the laptop close so that I can check what he is writing about. He has always had it right so far. Others like Dean Koontz even when he is making things up he keeps it pretty close to reality. What do you think?
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Actually it is more like back to my routine. All the things that were broken on the truck are now fixed. While the honey-do list didn't get completely finished a major portion of it is done. There is something very gratifying about working on your own land. Slowly but surely we are getting it cleaned up and the landscape looking better all the time. Part of cleaning it up includes yarding downed trees out of the woods. These trees have been down now for a year or more and will be cut up for firewood later on this summer. Our tractor isn't that big so we ended up leaving some of the downed timber to be pulled out later, when we can get a larger machine in there. While leaving them laying would be easier, it also would provide fuel if we ever get a fire up there. Most people don't understand the need to thin the timber and clean out the deadwood, but it is all part of owning property in timber country. It also keeps me thinking about how it was so much harder for our ancestors who had to do it using horses, mules, and oxen. When I think about how hard it can be to find time to write on the road, I wonder how much harder it would be at home, with all the work that needs to be done there.