Random thoughts - a blog, in 1000 Words or Less
Sorry folks, I don’t have much for you this week. Life and that age worn excuse, “time,” got in the way.
I did do some writing during the previous two weeks. My fourth novel, Femme Fatale is coming along nicely. I have some good momentum going. I was working on the book last spring when Covid became an issue and…let’s call it the uncertainty of the times…drained away all my creativity. I don’t know why. I’ve read blogs and listened to podcasts and it seems other people experienced the same thing…all the time in the world (with everything locked down), and nothing creative or productive happening. One day psychologists might unlock that mental short circuit.
Anyway, I rediscovered my small and elusive creative streak and everything is clicking with Femme right now. Momentum is on my side and I have to roll with it. Momentum generates ideas and ideas generate new ideas. As Crash Davis said, “Never fuck with a winning streak.”
Who can name the movie that line came from?
Bull Durham is one of the best sports movies ever made. It was released in 1988 and it remains watchable today. I’m not sure about some of the other movies Kevin Coster made, and when I say, “I’m not sure,” I mean, “they were terrible.” (Waterworld, The Postman). I guess Dances with Wolves was okay. It won an Academy Award for Best Picture but I can honestly say I have no memory of seeing it. On the other hand, I’ve watched Bull Durham several times. It never gets old. The fact I can’t remember seeing a movie that won a truckload of awards but have watched a movie about baseball multiple times, might say something about my intellectual capacity. I’m not sure.
I think I bought Bull Durham on VHS, back when a person could subscribe to a mail-order club and receive a new movie (or CD, or book) every month. This was when I lived up north and there was no Blockbuster. A few years ago I gave all those VHS tapes to a young guy who collects that kind of thing. We were both thrilled, me because I freed up drawer space for different junk, and him because his collection of late eighties and early nineties “memorabilia” grew, free of charge.
Remember going into a Blockbuster store, hoping they’d still have one copy of a new release on the shelf? When the store didn’t have the movie you wanted, all their copies were rented, you’d wander up and down the aisles waiting for a title to catch your eye. Eventually you’d take a chance on something in which you had no interest. You’d also hedge your bets and grab something you’d seen and knew you could count on, just in case. There was always one person in the movie watching group who said he didn’t care, but in reality, he couldn’t be bothered scanning the shelves…and then he’d complain about the choice?
Going farther back, remember when you had to rent the VHS machine, along with the movie?
My uncle had a chance to buy into Blockbuster before it existed, before anyone knew what it was. He declined the opportunity because he believed there wasn’t enough content available to make the business model work. He probably wishes he could have a do-over on that score. Now there’s so much content across all the various streaming services, it’s difficult to know where to start…Netflix, Crave, Apple, Disney, Hulu, Prime…
Incidentally, if you haven’t watched Yellowstone on Amazon Prime, now’s the time. Kevin Costner plays John Dutton, the patriarch of a ranching family in Montana. The show is half modern-day-western and half prime-time drama, without all the tedious clichés that come with a network television show. This is the role Costner was meant to play.
For something completely different, watch Wayne on Prime as well: two teens on a road trip to Florida to pick up a classic car. The program is original, disturbing and surprisingly sweet and that synopsis doesn’t really describe it adequately. YouTube created the show, back when they experimented with producing their own content. The experiment didn’t go anywhere. Fortunately, before it ended, they made one season of Wayne. Unfortunately, they only made one season of Wayne. I was hooked after the first episode. I binged the last four. Fair warning though: pay attention to the TV Parental Guidelines. This is a program that means every one of them.
Those nineties mail-order subscription services were interesting. Take ten free CDs today, get one more every month, cancel anytime. The problem was, after a while you were choosing books, movies or CDs out of desperation, not because they interested you.
I still have a drawer full of CDs. I still have a functioning CD player. I popped a disk in the other day. It’s easy to forget, with Spotify and TuneIn Radio, how great a CD sounds on a decent stereo system. I don’t have ten-foot-tall tower speakers that were so popular a couple of decades ago, although I know a guy who still owns his. He stores them in the back of a closet. He doesn’t use them but he won’t get rid of them because they are high-end speakers and they sound spectacular. He’s emotionally attached to them. Maybe I’m emotionally attached to the CD player; I bought the thing in the late eighties.
Anyway, if you’ve got a couple minutes to spare, being this post is shorter than normal, check out my website:
There’s information there about my three action-adventure novels. There’s a novella too, available in both e-reader and audio formats. Personally, I really enjoyed the audio version of Ctrl, Alt, Dead. For a free taste, listen to the sample. Dan Jones, the voice actor who reads it, did a nice job. There’s also free downloadable content—3 chapters—that tie into Death and a Few Days Off. Finally, there’s a link to my Instagram page and some half-way decent photographs.
That’s about it, but to keep the tone consistent, I’ll leave you with one more random thought, and you can roll your eyes or laugh or whatever, but here goes…
Does anyone except Justin and the terminally stupid, believe making a deal with China for vaccines was a good idea, given how Canada was already on the outs with Beijing over the two Michaels, the Meng Wanzhou situation, and the fact that China seldom honors a deal? Canadians are certainly seeing the fall-out of the-man-child’s idiocy today.
Thanks for reading. Talk to you next time.