Author: agilbreath2014

By The Numbers

My goodness, it is not even officially Summer yet and it is hot.  It is like baking biscuits on tinfoil on the dashboard kinda hot.  With the heat has come lots of work.  We can just keep pounding along and dealing with it.  Happily, The Fix-It Up Show is a hit.  We are getting lots calls and great questions.

On the gardening front, everything looks good, just have to keep it all watered with the temps.  On the wine front, 5 gallons of blackberry wine is now aging, 5 gallons of peach and apple are still fermenting, and we just put 5 gallons of strawberry on to start.  I will keep y’all posted on the progress.

Dive into your Summer reading with great expectations and enjoy.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html
http://www.darkoakpress.com
https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-fix-it-up-show
http://www.geektankradio.com 
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

This week’s Summer Short Story:

I had just seen a special on the Hope Diamond and its now traceable history.  The topic of the infamous curse had been carefully woven throughout the report.  This led me down the path of what is a curse?  How do you know something has a curse on it?

A curse doesn’t seem to work unless the victim is told that they have been cursed.  A normal item seems to remain inert until the well meaning know-it-all blurts out that you happen to be the owner of the dreaded cursed object.

So just how does a curse actually work?  What psychological mechanism trips at the phrase?  I have a feeling that it is the exact opposite of a faith healing.  Both operate on the power of suggestion.

I had already started the crime story, but I didn’t like the emotional breakdown angle on its own.  However, the psychological nudge provided by the cursed gems proved to be the magical ingredient that I needed.

By The Numbers

 “Okay, everyone, this is by the numbers.”  A masculine voice directed from under its black and blue camouflage hood.  The same mottled material covered every inch of his body.  It appeared to be a soft cotton body suit that resembled a high tech ninja costume.  Even his light boots had soles of dyed black cotton.  His two companions dressed in similar outfits waited on him to park.  Each outfit possessed its own unique color mix.  The suits did their best to diffuse the general outline of the individuals, but they couldn’t hide the obvious muscularity of the three of them nor could the black and red suit hide its wearer’s obvious female charms.  Blue turned off the car’s headlights as they rounded a corner into the park behind the museum.  Red checked the electronics equipment in her bag.  Each piece had to perform flawlessly.  The man in the back seat wearing the black and green double-checked his ropes and other gear. The three of them moved in practiced unison.

As the car rolled to a stop under an immense oak tree next to a paved water drain, Blue inconspicuously pressed a switch hidden just under the edge of his seat.  He parked the car and turned to the others.

“Comm test.”  Blue lifted his hand to his covered right ear and pressed a hidden button.  Red gave him a thumbs up sign.  He pressed again, and Green acknowledged that his earpiece worked.  Blue put the car keys in a Velcro sealed pocket at his hip.  They exited the car with no further words.  Green handed each of them their equipment packs while he shouldered the ropes and a small crossbow.  Red adjusted the straps on her bag, and attached it to herself like a fanny pack.  Blue slid on his pack then inspected the other two; no real reason to look them over, just habit.  He nodded and they nodded back, time to get this job done.

People like to talk, especially people excited about something new.  The museum director and a local reporter had given the world a televised tour of the new completely automated security system that had been installed for the “Great Gems of History” tour opening to the public tomorrow morning.  The director proudly proclaimed that the uncut stones from the Ottoman Empire, the fabulous jewelry of Catherine the Great, and all the other exotic pieces were completely safe.  Their website and brochures gave full tours of the facility and the other exhibits that you should see while at the museum.  Prepping for this job had been very simple.

They ran along the paved drainage careful to avoid the thin trickle of water running down the center.  The mottled outfits made them nearly invisible to the human eye.  They moved through the darkness as if they were part of it.  The park during the day was wonderfully landscaped.  At night, the careful rows of bushes and shrubs provided perfect cover.  Reaching the first goal had been easy.  Just across the lawn from the museum, as if on cue, all three began adjusting their gear for the next stage.  Headlights appeared around the side of the building.  One of the security guards made his regular rounds in a golf cart.  The cart didn’t make much noise, but it made enough to cover the sound of soft footsteps.  As soon as the guard drove around the next corner, they sprinted for the building.

The three of them regrouped behind one of the massive banners adorning the lawn.  Behind this huge sheet of material, only their feet could be seen, and only if you knew what to look for.  Green dropped the ropes and looked up at the roof.  He took an educated guess at the height of the wall and selected the proper weight grappling hook attachment for his quarrel and rope.  He loaded and cocked the crossbow.  They stood perfectly still listening for any sound that would give away the approach of an unexpected guard.  Green pulled the trigger and the rope began to sail skyward.  As soon as it fell slack, Green switched to his climbing gear.  Blue looked at his watch then pressed a finger to his right ear.  Green and Red both pressed buttons on their watches.  Time was now their best friend and worst enemy.  The rest of this operation had to happen in perfectly timed synchronization or they would face the penalties for failure.

Green pulled hard on the rope to set the hook.  Thanks to the pictures of the museum, the rope had been dyed the same color as the brick.  It became nearly impossible to see where it went just a few feet above them.  The rope threaded easily through the climbing rig, and Green began scaling the building.  He moved with practiced comfort and great speed.  Blue looked at his watch as Green disappeared over the top of the building.  They had already managed to get ahead of schedule, good.  Another rope soon dropped down from the night sky. Blue quickly tied it into his own belt harness and gave it a couple of tugs.  He jumped into the air and literally ran up the wall.  He passed Green on his way down as the counter balance.

Blue untied himself and let the rope drop.  He walked over the maintenance door and knelt before it.  He pulled a lock kit from the back of his glove and got to work.  A few moments later and Green reappeared on the top of the building.  He switched out the rope and pulley arrangement then dropped over the side again.  Within seconds, Red arrived.  She untied her rope and walked directly over to Blue.  He stood up and turned the doorknob.  Together, they disappeared through the doorway leaving Green behind.

Red and Blue both put on night vision goggles while they descended the stairs.  Red pulled a very small electromagnetic field detector from the top of her bag, and scanned the door at the bottom for electrical fields.  The field tester showed negative.  She stepped back and let Blue inspect the door.  It proved to be locked from the other side.  He easily picked the lock and turned the knob.  The door still wouldn’t open.  They looked briefly at each other then back to the door.  With the hinges on the other side, there was nothing to attack on this side of the metal barrier.  Blue looked around them, and ran his hands across the wall to his right, common sheet rock.  He pulled a wicked looking hook knife from a sheath on his left forearm and stabbed it into the wall.  Red moved back a couple of steps and let him work.  He cut a tall rectangle of sheet rock from between two studs and then pulled the insulation out of his way.  The interior layer of wall fell easily to the hook knife creating a bypass around the padlocked door.

They both looked at their watches as they walked quickly down the hall.  The door had cost them precious seconds.  Red switched devices every few steps.  Each scan came up clean until they reached the stairway to the exhibit hall.  Red pulled an aerosol can out of her bag and began spraying it like air freshener.  The theatrical smoke drifted to the ground and stairs revealing the infrared beams on each step to their goggles.  She carefully looked over the stairwell and made a decision.  She sat down, pulled off the cotton bottom boots, and replaced them with a pair that had a thin coating of rubber over the cloth.  Blue followed suit silently.  Once his boots had been changed, Blue pulled a square of cloth and metal out of his pack and released its catch.  A portable camping stool snapped to life.  He slid it to the base of the stairs even with the banister.  Red stepped up and onto the narrow ledge of metal.  Step by sliding step, she climbed the banister.  Blue stood and watched as she gracefully made it to the top.  Once she was completely off the rail, he climbed up and began his assent.

Red began her scans again.  The nice reporter on television had told the world a master control existed somewhere on this floor, she had to find it.  The news show had been vague as to exactly where it been installed, but they had shown the security room from the inside.  If someone examined the broadcast very closely, they could have seen the view out of the glass plate in the door.  All she needed to find was the hallway with the bathrooms.  On television, they had been on the left, so the control room had to be on her right.  She moved slowly scanning for motion detectors, none so far and the bathrooms came into view.

The master control door used a magnetic pass card.  No problem Red thought as she switched devices.  She put her wired pass card in, and punched in a command on the small console.  Numbers began flashing through the display.  A few seconds later, she heard the gentle click of the lock releasing.  After a quick scan of the door for any other electrical fields, she was in.  A quick look around the room revealed nothing new to her.  Other than a few extra boxes here and there, everything sat exactly where the news media had shown it.  She stepped over to the computer, moved the mouse, and watched the screen appear.  To her delight, it had been left logged in.  A few mouse clicks later, and the alarms to the displays sat in commanded silenced.  She checked her watch then pressed a button on her earpiece.  They were making good time again.  Blue should be up the stairs by now and ready to make the swap.  The uncut stones from the Ottoman exhibit made the perfect target.  The raw stones had been easy to fake in paste.  They used real gold to make the replicas of the ornamentations.  It might be years before anyone guessed that the real stones had been replaced.  By that time, they would have been cut and sold, never to be found again.

She was about to leave the room when the cover to one of the boxes caught her eye.  The hand scrawled label read “Widow’s Point”.  She scanned the box.  The field tester’s display showed nothing.  Red carefully raised the lid to expose layers of wrapping tissue.  She pulled the packing away to reveal a hand carved mahogany jewelry box.  She lifted it out and opened it.  As she gazed, Red took a couple of steps backwards.  She found the chair with her foot and sat down.  Before her eyes sparkled the infamous Widow’s Point diamond hairpin and broach.  Legend had it that every woman that owned these cursed jewels had committed murder.  Some had killed to get them, others to keep them.  The level of craftsmanship could only be described as magnificent.  Tenderly, she lifted each in turn admiring the fire in the stones and the artistry of the gold, utterly captivated.

Red must have lost track of time, her earpiece buzzed relentlessly with the return signal.  Annoyed at the interruption, she punched the proper button to stop Blue from buzzing her again.  The rules of the job stated that they take nothing outside of the plan.  All of the jobs had to be done by the numbers with precise timing.  At the moment, she didn’t care about the rules.  Red wrapped the diamond hairpin and broach back up in the velvet they originally nestled in and shoved the entire bundle into a leg pouch.  She repacked the original box and turned back to the computer.

“What are you doing?  Let’s go.”  An angry whisper came through the earpiece.  It was Blue, furious at the slight delay.  She moved the mouse back through the arming process then quickly repacked her gear.

Blue had nearly reached the bottom of the banister when she caught up with him.  She could tell by his body language that he wasn’t going to be happy when they got to the car.  Blue stepped off the banister allowing her to begin her descent.  As she made her way down the thin metal rail, she could feel his eyes on her, on her leg.  He would make her leave them here.  The rules clearly stated to take nothing that hadn’t been replaced.  He wouldn’t let her keep them.  Each step closer to the bottom made her angrier.  She never got to pick the job.  The men always did that.  They would be nothing more than petty thieves without her.  Blue could pick locks, but he would never get through a good surveillance system. All Green ever did was climb walls or dig under things.  He would be worse than useless without her around.  Red only had a couple of steps to go.  She gritted her teeth.  After all the jobs they had done, they never kept anything.  She decided without quarter to keep these.  The glow and fire of the stones still hung clearly in her mind.

Blue stood at the bottom, ready to go.  As soon as Red stepped off the stool he collapsed it and hid it in his pack.  He nodded to her and motioned to go.  Red started walking.  As she passed him, she felt him brush up against her leg.  She knew he could feel the bundle stored in the pouch.  She felt his hand on her shoulder stopping her.  She was going to keep her hidden prize.  As she spun to face him, her hand found the hook knife in its sheath on his outstretched arm.  As their eyes met, she slashed across his throat with all her might.  His hands flew to the gaping wound.  The hood and material kept the blood from flying, but it couldn’t be stopped from leaving his body with every heart beat.  Red stood perfectly still as she watched him crumple to the floor.  She picked up his pack with the night’s work enclosed and took the car keys from their hidden pocket.  She stepped away as the pool of blood began to expand around him.

Red turned and walked back the way she had originally come in.  She went though the sheetrock bypass and up the stairs.  At the roof, she pressed the call button and waited for the answer from Green.  He couldn’t let her keep them.  With Blue gone, he would think he was in charge.  She got a wait response from Green, fine.  She had more work to do.  Red looked over the pulley system mounted to the roof ledge.  She began to make adjustments.  The all ready signal buzzed in her earpiece.  She was ready all right.  The safety rope now looped just the way she wanted it.  She gripped the safety release rope in one hand and lowered her self off the edge with the other.  She would act as a partial counter weight to propel Green to the roof to recover his equipment or so the plan said.  She passed him half way down with perfect timing.

At the ground, Red turned and saw Green tangled in the loops of the safety rope.  He turned to look down at her as she pulled the release.  He only fell about ten feet, but that was more than enough to break his neck as the safety rope snapped taunt.  Red released her climbing gear, took a quick look for any guards, and then ran to the drainage ditch.  She patted the bundle in her leg pouch as she walked back to the car.  She could take her time now.  She felt that she had all the time in the world

Red unlocked the car and slid into the driver’s seat.  She dropped Blue’s pack into the passenger seat.  She started the car and set the radio on the station she wanted.  Feeling oddly liberated, she pulled away and flipped the lights on.  What was it Blue had said earlier?  This job was supposed to go by the numbers with precise timing.  Well, this time it had gone by her numbers.  She would train a new team, and this time she would decide what jobs to do and what to sell.

As the car approached the main road, the oil light popped on.  Just like a man to forget to service the car when it mattered most.  Red shook her head.  The rustle of material reminded her that she still wore her hood.  She stopped at the intersection and pulled the material from over her head.  During the second her eyes were covered the oil light changed from red to blue.  She shook her head to relieve her hair of the tangles.  The oil light began flashing.  Red leaned forward and tapped it.  She had never seen it do that before.  The engine died.  As she turned the key to restart the car, the doors locked.  She leaned back in the seat and screamed.  Her time had just run out.  She achieved her goal.  She would own the Widow’s Point for the entire rest of her life.  With precise timing and always by the numbers, Blue always drives, Green is always access, and Red is always electronics.  Now, she knew beyond a doubt what “by the numbers” truly meant as the car exploded.

 

 

 

 

 

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“My House”

I just so happen to be a guest on the Fix-It Up Show (https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-fix-it-up-show)on 600 WREC.  As a funny happenstance, one of the calls we received on the show involved how to get a family of raccoons out of his attic.  The normal advice is to make the attic less that welcoming.  Add lights, noise, interruptions, smells like vinegar and sooner or later – they will move out.  Repair the damage and keep them out.

Years ago, I wrote a very popular story about a poor young man who purchases a home in Memphis that already has a fuzzy resident.  Needless to say, misadventures ensue.  Check it out for yourself here:
http://www.darkoakpress.com/pdf/ch01myhouse.pdf

Dive into your Summer reading with great expectations and enjoy.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html
http://www.darkoakpress.com
https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-fix-it-up-show
http://www.geektankradio.com 
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

Shorts for Summer

The heat is here thus it must be Summer.  Short stories are the perfect reading material for the season.  You can wrap up a story in a single sitting and still enjoy more work be the same author.  To jump things off, here is our latest YouTube entry in the It’s All About Writing series.

allanfcoverxlgNext, here is the link to my short story collection.  You really need to buy a copy for yourself.  Here is the blurb pitch:

Discover 19 extraordinary stories ranging from dark fantasy to science fiction and steampunk. Allan Gilbreath has created a stimulating collection of possessed raccoons, doubtful demons, secret potions, Hellish mornings, murderous black holes, dangerous missions, miniature dragons, fake vampires, real ducks, and a cranky detective. This collection showcases Allan’s astounding attention to detail and the sensual imagery his works are famous for.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html

http://www.darkoakpress.com
https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-fix-it-up-show

http://www.geektankradio.com 
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

 

Finally, I am going to give away a massive free sample of why shorts are so much Summer fun:

Afternoon Lemonade

In spite of modern conveniences such as air conditioning, it is a long-standing Southern tradition to endure the late summer heat in person. The more mature folks suffer the fading afternoon from their porch chairs and swings. They sit; some actually swing and sip iced tea with a sprig of mint or lemonade made from real lemons. The average conversation is a brilliant exercise in minimalism while beads of condensation languidly form on the ice-filled glasses. The air is filled to the point of bursting with the call of the annual cicadas. It’s a pervasive sound that seems to emanate from every direction at once leaving the listener with no avenue for escape. The teenagers find that loitering in groups in the parking lots of grocery stores or fast food restaurants works for them as well as the porch swings of their elders.

The hard thumping of heavy bass crossed the expansive yard to the slightly frowning faces of the older generation. The teens sat on the hoods and trunks of their cars parked on the side of the road at the end of the driveway. They drank sodas and smoked cigarettes while they held their private conversations masked by the roar of the radios.

“Did y’all attend the parent’s meeting this afternoon?” asked Ms. Prunella from the swing, seated next to her husband of many decades. Ms. Prunella sipped gingerly at her iced tea taking care not to smudge her carefully applied lipstick. Her blued hair still held its carefully coifed style as she swung lightly. Its weekly update at the local beauty shop held up to the heat and humidity. Her son and his wife sat across from her and G’pa George. They all had dressed in appropriately cool linens and cottons. Their light colored clothing contrasted with the familiar black standard of the modern teenagers at the roadside.

“We did, Ms. Prunella.” Ms. Mary Ellen responded. “The vote was unanimous. All the parents agreed with you and G’pa George. It’s time all the parents had that special talk with the teenagers.”

“Bout time,” was G’pa George’s contribution to the conversation.

“Did you make sure that everyone had the proper recipe?” Ms. Prunella asked.

“Yes ma’am. Robert was a dear, and made a copy at work for everyone. He handed them out after the vote.” Ms. Mary Ellen patted her husband politely on the knee, and smiled lovingly at him. He smiled and nodded back.

“It is plain time to explain life to these children before they get themselves into…” Ms. Prunella paused as she searched her aged mind for the proper euphemism. She nodded as she found the word, “complications of a family nature.”

All four of the adults nodded in agreement, and continued to swing for a few minutes while the radios pumped their rhythmic noise from the roadside. Ms. Mary Ellen finally broke the silence. “Robert will have our talk with Betsy Sue tomorrow afternoon when she gets home from school. It is Friday, tomorrow, after all. Betsy Sue will have time to… umm… think about everything over the weekend.”

“Bout time,” G’pa George’s chimed in the final word on the topic.

*****

Betsy Sue kissed Donnie heavily and passionately for several minutes before breaking free of the desperate lip lock. She looked deeply into his eyes and said, “Pick me up about 7. The folks want to have some kind of family dinner tonight.”

“Sounds good, my folks want to do the same. I wonder what the old people are all up too. Must be about graduation coming up.”

“Must be.” Betsy Sue agreed as she kissed him quickly and got out of the car. She bumped the door closed with her hip, and waved to him as the car pulled away. She began walking up the drive. As she looked towards the house, she could see her parents already out on one of the swings. Betsy Sue groaned to herself and rolled her eyes. If her father had come home early from work that meant they wanted to talk to her about something. Normally, it would be something she had no intention talking to them about. They had already fought about the way she dressed, the music she liked, dating boys, staying out late, smoking cigarettes, and nearly every other topic under the sun. “What’s up?” Betsy Sue asked suspiciously as she reached the porch steps.

“Your mother and I wanted to have a few words with you before dinner.” Robert answered calmly in a very pleasant tone of voice.

Betsy Sue looked into his eyes. She didn’t see that parental look. Instead, both of her parents looked rather pleased with themselves. Betsy Sue remained cautious. It can never be a good thing for a teenager when both your parents look pleased with themselves.

“Put your books down and have a seat.” Robert said pointing to the empty swing across from them. Betsy Sue did as requested, still eyeing the both of them suspiciously.

“Here dear.” Ms. Mary Ellen said as she held out a cold glass of lemonade to her daughter. Betsy Sue accepted the glass and took a deep sip. Heavy necking left one a bit parched. Her parents smiled even larger.

“Betsy Sue, you will be graduating soon. Your mother and I just wanted you to know that we are proud of you.” Robert reached over and squeezed Ms. Mary Ellen’s hand. Maybe this talk would be about a car, or trip, or other fabulous graduation present. Betsy Sue took another long sip of her lemonade. If she didn’t know better, she would swear that this drink had just a little kick to it.

“We have come to realize that you are not a little girl anymore. You are nearly a grown young lady and deserve to be treated as such.” More hand squeezing and proud looks as Betsy Sue took another sip. She didn’t want to rush them. She knew they would get to the point sooner or later. “However, dear,” Ms Mary Ellen inserted, “we feel that you need to behave like a young lady, before we can, in all good conscious, treat you like one.” Ah ha, Betsy Sue rolled her eyes. Here we go again. They would never figure out that this was her life, and she would do as she saw fit and if they didn’t… like… it.

She lost her train of thought for a moment. She had started getting up a head of steam about something. She looked at her parents. They seemed to be staring expectantly at her. Oh yes, they… argument… her life… graduation. Betsy Sue shook her head. Maybe it was the heat. She took another sip of the cool lemonade. Yup, she had to be right. This lemonade had a little kick to it. Her mother’s voice wandered in from the lemonade-induced fog.

“You see, Betsy Sue, we and all the parents in town agree, we can’t have our children running around poorly dressed, smoking cigarettes, and driving fast with all that loud music.”

“It is time for all of our young adults to be grown up and act properly,” added her father. Betsy Sue’s head swam. Her legs lost all feeling. Her tongue wouldn’t work. She watched her mother take the glass from her hand. Eventually, her grandmother came into view. Strangely, she seemed to be looking down on her. The last words Betsy Sue thought she heard… wake up… proper respect… attitude adjustment.

*****

Betsy Sue sat on the front porch with her parents and grandparents in the heat of the long afternoon. Seated in a comfortable porch chair next to the table holding the silver-serving tray containing the pitcher of iced tea, she chatted idly while sipping from her glass. Her elders sat in the opposing swings. They all dressed appropriately in cool linens and cottons. The sound of a car turning slowly on to the drive attracted their collective attention. “Look, dear,” Ms. Mary Ellen advised. “That nice Donnie Conners has come calling. Step inside and get him a glass.”

“Yes ma’am.” Betsy Sue replied as she rose gracefully to her feet. As the car rolled to a respectfully quiet stop, all of the grownups looked at each other and smiled knowingly.

Commentary:

I was asked to write a story that would be distinctly Southern and Gothic. After some thought, I found myself thinking of many of the older people I had met while working on my parent’s hobby farm in Fayette County, TN. Looking back, I found an odd universal opinion of the younger generations. The grandparent age group all admitted to spoiling their children. They wanted them to have all the advantages that they had never had.

The grandparent age group also thought that their grandchildren were basically useless. They had no respect, wore funny clothes, and played their music too loud, you get the picture. I have long had the uneasy feeling that if the older generation had a “magic potion” that would help make the youngsters into decent people that the old folks would use on the youngsters in a minute.

While I am sure that no such potion exists, I still wonder at the true contents of the glass every time I’m offered a tall, frosty glass of sweet tea or lemonade.

And let the heat arrive

Well, it had to happen some time, sooner or later, the early summer heat is rolling on in.  Happily, the gardens are all set up and ready for the growing season.  My next gardening experiment will be the hanging strawberry garden.  I have everything set up and planted.  I just need a better support system.  There is a lot of dirt to be supported.  However a quick trip to Lowes in the morning should supply everything I need.

The ponds look good and the catfish is waiting on me each evening for dinner to get tossed into the water.  It is amazing how much everything in there likes really cheap dog food.

Some days, the fates decide to smile a bit.  I needed to match up a few projects with the right people and by nightfall everything lined up nicely.  I have lots to finish and we should have some great new releases coming up very quickly.

The Desk Of Endless Tasks is clearing up a little bit.  I love hitting the “Done State”.  We are both trying to trim down for the season.

Thank you all for the amazing growth at Geek Tank Radio (www.geektankradio.com).  Every week the show reaches thousands of new listeners all around the world.  Tell your friends and listen in. 🙂

http://www.darkoakpress.com 
http://www.geektankradio.com 
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

Waxing Gibbous …

No, I am not doing hair removal on some poor person named Gibbous.  This is the current stage of the moon.  I know that you are shocked that I keep up with the stages of the moon.  Today on GTR (www.geektankradio.com) we got to chat about how bright the moon is going to be over the next few days.  Star gazing won’t be so great, but it is time to get a nice pair of binoculars and head to the backyard and rediscover just how spectacular looking at the moon really is.  It really is a perfect not for a moon dance.

While it is has been a massively busy week, it has been a very productive week.  I have been getting a lot of stuff done.  While a lot of it has been in the dredge category, we all know that it has to get done so you can move on the sexier stuff.  There are numerous projects closing in on done.  I love being a founding member of the Fabulous Cult of Done.  There is just such a wonderful feeling to look at a wrapped up task or project using the most powerful of arcane and magical words, done.

Sea Monkey update; my lovely little bits of flamingo chow are doing rather well.  Their tank and they seem to hit that biological equilibrium and the colony seems to be doing just fine.

The temperate Bananas of Over Achieving are sprouting back up after a brutal winter.  The horse radish is already back up.  The ginger had to be replaced, but the grape vines are looking pretty good.  The blueberries are about to be in full bloom.  As a bonus round, I have five gallons of blackberry wine in the making jug.  I will keep you posted on the progress.

Back at The Desk Of Endless Tasks, after a few minor setbacks, we are plowing ahead.  Hopefully, there will be announcements soon.

http://www.darkoakpress.com 
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

Now that the rain has gone …

I have reached the age when my memories are clouding up the modern day.  For instance, I do remember numerous serious thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even the occasional hurricane, however, I also remember that most of the time, rain was just that, a nice rain for a few hours. Everything got watered, the creeks and streams rose a little bit, and the plants all looked really perky.  Now, it seems that most rain events are now storms absolutely dumping inches of water as fast as possible.  Of course, I could be wrong, but it certainly feels like I am right.

Been getting a lot of editing and pagination done.  We have numerous new projects coming up very quickly.  I am excited about both our books and media works.  If you haven’t checked out the new YouTube channel, dive in and enjoy.  Of course the more subscribers we get, the more stuff we can do. https://youtu.be/SOUhsMPdRBA

Sadly for Geek Tank Radio, Jessie has traded up jobs and has moved over to the TV world.  We will miss our defacto mum/Harley Quinn.

This coming Thursday night on Apr 19th at 7:00 pm the Writers Around Town will be at the Germantown Community Library.  The topic for the night is “Writing Series And Keeping It Fresh”.  I am having a blast with these seminars.

I am also happy to mention that our Pyrate Blades performance group keeps getting better.  Who knows, the pirate fight club may show up at a convention near you.

http://www.darkoakpress.com 
http://www.geektankradio.com 
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Full Moon Motivation …

It has been a wonderful full moon weekend.  The weather has been pretty good and the night sky has been spectacular. The best part is that I can watch the moon rise from my desk chair.

I am prepping for another convention appearance next weekend in Tupelo, MS. at Tupelo Titan Con ( http://tupelotitancon.com/ ).  Not only do I get to be a writer/radio host I also get to be there with Pyrate Blades.  Yes, there will some live sword fighting.  I am very excited.  This is going to a lot of fun.

This weekend a lot of video rendering and editing also got done.  The Desk of Endless Tasks has had a steady stream of projects coming and going.  I just love the sounds of productivity in the evening.

Geek Tank Radio ( http://www.geektankradio.com ) has continued to grow.  If you have been keeping with the show, you already know all about geek eats, science news, and shower thoughts.  If not, dive in and catch the madness 🙂

This weekend would not have been complete without the annual first yard beat down.  It is shocking just how rough the yard gets over the winter.  Now, the yard is beat into submission for a few days, the beds have been cleared and planted, and the blueberries are already blooming.  No bad at all.

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