Category Archives: Off Topic

Top 5 (20)

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Happy Father’s Day to all the father’s out there. Being a father is never an easy job. So thank you for all the fathers who go out of their way and sacrifice so that their children can have it a little easier.

Well, what better time to take a look at some of my favorite TV and movie dads than today on Father’s Day. There are so many great ones to look at, so let’s go ahead and start it off with a dishonorary mention. Because Ross Geller was a horrible dad to his son Ben! Especially after Baby Emma was born, it was almost like Ben was never mentioned again. Okay, now moving on to the good ones!

Honorary Mentions – Cliff Huxtable, Steven Keaton, Harry Stamper, Noah Levenstein, George McFly, Randy Marsh

5- Clark Griswold – Clark might not be the best dad in the world, but he certainly goes out of his way to provide for his kids. He wants to make sure they have great memories growing up. That’s why he gives them wonderful vacations to Wally World, Europe and even Vegas. Sure he doesn’t seem to notice that his kids look different each movie and actually flip flop who is older, but he loves them none the less!

4- Tom Bueller – Tom loves his son Ferris, to the point that he called home to check in on him when he thought his son was sick. He jokingly said that he and his wife should shoot Jeannie after the mother picked her up from jail.  At least I think it’s a joke. Yeah, we’ll go with that. Fun fact not related to Tom, but the actor and actress that played Ferris’s parents eventually did get married to each other. Awwwww.

3- Homer Simpson – Homer certainly came along way as a father. Mostly due to the PC police. But when we first met Homer, he would regularly choke his son. Not to say that Bart didn’t have it coming, but you can’t just go choking your kid. Homer learned the early. He did a lot to support his kids, when he wasn’t yelling at Lisa for playing her saxophone too loud…. hmmm, the more I think about it he wasn’t a good dad at all! Still high on my list though!

2. Al Bundy – Looking at a guy like Al, you wouldn’t think he would be a good dad. But deep down he really was. He claimed to not like his family (let alone love them) but his actions speak louder than words. He struggled to show his emotions, but he provided for them to the best that he could. He never forced his beliefs on his kids. It’s not like Bud ever joined No Ma’am or anything. But Al will never make it on the Neighbor of the year list!

1- Jason Seaver – My all time favorite dad growing up. Jason wanted to do what was right for his wife so he moved his practice into the home so that his wife Maggie would be able to go back to work. Jason was able to keep an eye on his four kids, and with sons like Mike and Ben, it was almost mandatory that they be supervised at all times.

Well, that does it. This week I will be doing some free book sales so look for an announcement in a day or two! Have a good one everybody!

Dealing with a Troll

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I think one of my favorite things on late night TV is on the Jimmy Kimmel show. He does a segment called “Mean Tweets.” The whole point of is it for celebrities to read and possibly respond to mean tweets that people write about them on Twitter.

My story isn’t about Twitter, but about this very blog. Two weeks ago I wrote about my sales for March of 2017. Well, someone was “nice” (cough cough) to respond to my blog. The gist of his comment was “You suck as an author. That’s why no one bought your book. Only your family and your girlfriend reads your books, which are shitty. So what do you expect?” This isn’t someone who is actually an author himself and doesn’t have his own blog for me to respond to. Weirdly, I checked the IP address and it’s from Russia. Maybe whoever it was has seen all my tweets about Donald Trump being an agent for Russia. Maybe it was Vladimir Putin himself. I don’t know. Regardless, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the person for taking five seconds out of his life to comment on me. It means so very little to me what your opinion is. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. But to go out of your way just to be negative shows me more about what you’re like as a person than it does about my writing.

I do hope you will respond to this, but if you’re like a common bully you won’t since I’m calling you out on your BS. But I do want to thank you for showing me I’m on my way to being a celebrity. They deal with people like this daily. Good practice!

Have a good one everybody!

 

Top 5 (14)

 

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Holy Cow! Regardless of your feelings of either team, you gotta respect last night’s game. First overtime game in Super Bowl history? My hat’s off to both teams!

One of my favorite authors is John Grisham. I’ve read many of his books so since this is a blog from a writer, I thought I would take an opportunity to give a shout out to another author. So here’s my top 5 Grisham books.

Honorary Mentions – The Racketeer, The Litigators, The Rainmaker

5. Sycamore Row – This is a sequel to the # 1 book on this list. A rich man is found hung on his property. He has specific demands to his will. Most of his money is to go to his maid. His children are pissed. People begin to talk. Was he sleeping with his maid? Or is there something more to why he changed his will to make her benefit. Or was he the one to change it at all? The question of wealth and race is the main topic of the book.

4. The Client – What happens when two young brothers witness a suicide of a lawyer who is being chased by the mob? One of them is stunned into becoming catatonic. The other now becomes a target of the mob. He finds a lawyer that will accept his case for a dollar. Will the two children be protected long enough to confess to what they know?

3. The Confession – Wow is this book messed up (in a good way) or what? Basic gist of the book is about a man who murders a high school cheerleader. He watches a student takes the fall for the crime he committed.  Travis (the killer) is dying now from a brain tumor. He wants to make it right. But no one believes him. Is he able to set an innocent man free before they both die?

2. Bleachers – This is a huge departure from Grisham. Most of his books are about trials and law. Not this one! This is about a football team coming back together years later when they found out their coach is dying. There’s a secret that’s been quiet for too long. And as the minutes tick to their coach’s death, the secret slowly becomes revealed. It’s humorous and tragic at times. And it’s a much shorter novel than the average Grisham book as well.

1) A Time To Kill – This would be the first Grisham book I read from cover to cover. I had seen the movie and then read the book. There’s not a lot of changes from book to screen, but there’s one major subplot left out of the movie. It takes place in the deep south. An African American man is put on trial for killing the two men who raped his young daughter and the young fresh face lawyer who agrees to represent him. It’s powerful, especially in the current times that we live.

There you have. There’s definitely a few others I will be checking out in the near future. Thanks for checking in and have a good one everybody! I’ll be back in a few days with some more updates. Don’t forget to buy The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants by Austin Graves, now on sale on Amazon.

Have a Good one everybody

Super Bowl LI Preview

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Welcome back! By this time tomorrow, the Super Bowl in Houston will be almost over. We started the season with 31 teams thinking they had a chance to win. I know there’s 32 teams, but come on. No one in Cleveland thought they had a chance. And now we’re down to 2. New England Vs Atlanta. We’re gonna break this down by position here before I give my predictions.

QB – It’s hard to not give the edge to New England on this one. Matt Ryan has had a hell of a season this year. But Tom Brady. That’s all I have to say. Plus let’s not forget, Brady has been here before. Ryan has not. Experience will play a factor.

RB – This is a lot closer than most people will give credit. But I’m going to give it to Atlanta. Freeman has been great all season.

WR/TE – Another close race that I will give to Atlanta. If New England had Gronk? That would change everything. Edelman is a good receiver, but he is nowhere the deep threat that Julio Jones is. But New England proved they could make a hero out of anyone. Chris Hogan anyone?

OL – There’s a part of me that wants to call this a push. But if you saw the pressure that teams like Houston put on Brady, you can see that their front five is a little weak. So the advantage once again goes to Atlanta.

DL: New England. Hands down. Chris Long alone makes the DL that much better for New England.

LB – This is the push. New England has overall more talent, but Vic Beasley for Atlanta is the best LB left in the game. If I had to choose, I’d pick quantity over quality so New England wins.

DB – Atlanta has a solid DB core. New England has a great DB core. New England with the win.

K/P – Another push. Both teams have great place kickers and above average punters.

Coaching – I’m not even going to answer this. It’s New England.

Experience – See previous answer.

So you have great offense vs great defense. The offense has the intangibles you can’t measure. New England is playing with a chip on their shoulder. But Atlanta is out to prove that their success isn’t a fluke.

With all that said, it will be a great game. It will be a high scoring game. But I think Atlanta pulls it out. 38-35.

What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl?

 

 

Top 5 (13)

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Welcome back to another Top 5! I figured today we would talk about one of my favorite actors of all time. He was big in the 80’s and 90’s, then he disappeared for many years before making a huge return. He’s been in several movies in a row that have won the Oscar Best Picture lately. Who am I talking about? The one, the only…. Michael Keaton!

Honorable Mentions: Birdman, Mr. Mom, Gung Ho, Multiplicity

5- The Other Guys – Sure he was more of a supporting player in this one. But as the police Captain who may or may not be obsessed with the band TLC, he’s hysterical. It’s hard to hold your own against Will Ferrell sometimes, but Keaton was able to do it.

4- Johnny Dangerously – Michael Keaton as a gangster isn’t that believable. But he is so good in it that it doesn’t matter. It takes place in the 1930’s. Keaton as the title character being chased by his brother, the D.A. One of my favorite lines is from Joe Piscopo. No matter what happened to his character he would always say “My mother did this to me once… ONCE.” For example… My mother hung me from the back of the door once…. ONCE!”

3- The Dream Team – Michael Keaton as an insane patient leading other patients through NYC while they look for their kidnapped doctor? Add in Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle and Stephen Furst as other patients and you have the definition of the word crazy!

2- Beetlejuice – Even though he’s the title character, Keaton probably has 4th most screen time in the movie. But the time he was on screen he was awesome as the ghost with the most. He was funny and creepy. It’s hard to walk that line. Few people could pull it off. The original idea for Beetlejuice was to be more horror than what we saw. I could only imagine what that would have been!

1- Batman: I just love looking back at the negative reaction people had when it was announced that Keaton would be Batman. This is pre-internet days, but you would never know based off the backlash he aced. And not only was he good as Batman, he was great! He totally changed people’s perceptions on him.

How many of my top 5 have you seen? What are your favorite Keaton movies? Let me know!

Election Talk

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I want to state, I hate what I’ve become. Prior to this year, I was the least political person you’d meet. I barely discussed politics, but this year in all of it’s trainwrecks has pulled me in. My Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are full of political talk. I don’t like it.

But the one thing I like less is the behavior between people. I don’t care who you’re voting for. You could be Pro-Trump. You could be Pro-Clinton. Hell, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are candidates too. Give them a look.

But the one thing I do care about is respect. As we get closer to election day all I ask is you be respectful of each other. I have been insulted on line for having a different belief than others. And if you’re trying to sway someone’s vote, insulting them is probably not the best way to do it.

You know what makes this country great. It’s a melting pot where different people with different views can come together. We have a democracy here. We have freedom of speech. We have the right to our own opinions. And there’s nothing wrong with that! That is the foundation that this country is built on. I have my own opinions. I have never tried to force them on anyone else. I will counter with facts if I see something I don’t agree with. I’ve been called dumb, stupid, an idiot and other words I chose not to repeat here. I have never called anyone that backs another candidate those words. Because they have the freedom to do so.

With that said, I want to share something I did say on my personal Facebook page. It’s not an attack on any candidate or anyone supporting them.

I’m of the mind set that not one person, not even the President of The United States can make “America Great Again.” It takes every single citizen respecting each other and not going out of their way to stomp on people’s personal beliefs. We need to stop senseless killing. Building walls won’t help. Personal attacks won’t help. There’s so much great about this country, but every day you hear something and it just makes you want to throw up. We can get there, but at the rate we’re going, this country will be destroyed. It won’t matter come November because we’re too busy thumbing our noses at each other to have respect for other people.

So yeah, the best way to make America Great Again is respect. Not that hard if you think about it. You want to be respected? Don’t you? Well so does everyone else. Personal attacks don’t help anyone. So take care of yourself… and each other.

And have a good one everybody!

Top 5 (12 & 13)

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And I’m back for more Top 5’s to break up only Word Count Wednesdays. I think I will officially be caught up with this latest bunch.

We’re going to start with a subject near and dear to me. For you to have a great hero, you need a great villain. And in television and movies, we’ve sure had a lot of good ones. So I’m going to give you my top 5 TV and movie villains. For this list, it will be specific actors playing specific roles. So if I said Joker, I would tell you which Joker I prefer.

Honorary Mentions: Jack Nicholson’s Joker (Batman), Kevin Spacey as Keyzer Soze (Usual Suspects), Robert Englund’s Freddy Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Street),  Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (Marvel Cinematic Universe), David Tenant’s Purple Man and Vincent D’Onforio’s Kingpin (Marvel Television Universe)

5. Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Brilliant. Simply Brilliant. First role in a major motion picture and he killed it. Rickman brought such a menacing performance to the role. I don’t know that Die Hard as a series would have been as successful if it wasn’t for his performance in the first movie.

4. William Zabka – Johnny Lawerence in Karate Kid. If you needed a bad guy in the 80’s in high school or college, you went to William Zabka. He was just smarmy. But you could almost root for him. There is a case that he is the true Karate Kid after all!

3. Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett in Star Wars. He was a man of few words. But he stood out among all the other the bounty hunters that was looking for Han Solo. Not only that, but he caught him too. Plus his ship was awesome.

2. Michael Rosenbaum – Lex Luthor on Smallville – Many consider Gene Hackman to be the best Luthor, I disagree. He’s second on my list. Maybe it’s because we were given more of a backstory on Smallville or just more opportunity to truly flesh out the character. I thought he was an awesome Lex and Smallville never recovered when he left the show.

1, Thomas F. Wilson – Biff Tannen in Back To The Future trilogy – He bullied father. He bullied son. He tried to date rape mom. He had the look to be the perfect bully, just not quite the brains. Maybe it was all the manure he crashed into made him dumb?


My all time favorite band is Queen.So I thought now we be a good time to talk my favorite Queen songs. This is going to be very hard to limit!

Honorary Mentions – Too Much Love Can Kill You, I Want To Break Free, We Will Rock You, A Kind Of Magic, Crazy Little Thing Called Love

5. We Are The Champions (Album – News Of The World) – One of the world’s most famous songs. It’s appeared in countless movies, most notably Revenge Of The Nerds. It’s a perfect celebration anthem, no matter what you’re celebrating.

4. Don’t Stop Me Now (Album – Jazz) The song starts off slow, but just a few notes into it picks up into an upbeat number. It’s a great song to work out to, by the way. If you’re looking for something to add to your workout playlist, this should be added.

3. Under Pressure (Album – Hot Space) Two great voices in a powerful duet. And especially in the world we currently live in. All of us are under some kind of pressure or not. The song still holds up.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody (Album – Night At The Opera) – Everyone knows this song as well. There are babies fresh out of the womb that know it. It’s such a different song. And it’s one of those songs that you have to fight yourself to sing along

1. The Show Must Go On (Album- Innuendo) – It might not be the most known song. It’s off the last studio album before Freddie Mercury passed away. Clearly with the song, he knew he wasn’t going to live much longer.

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Expect an update on Paranormal Contact Vol. 3 this weekend. Have a good one everybody