Sunday, June 25, 2017

Power Failure

A few months ago, in the cold of winter, I replaced a battery on my wife’s vehicle. Now, as repairs go, a battery is probably one of the easiest to perform and quickest so I really wasn’t too disgruntled over the project. It took about a half an hour at the most—and that included the trip to the store. Still, it was winter. And did I mention it was cold?

Despite the ease of the job, I used the occasion to give my wife a bad time, reminding her it was cold outside, batteries cost money, and she probably should take better care of her vehicle because modern vehicles won’t run without a battery! I also may have mentioned something about my pickup NOT needing a new battery. Oh yeah, and that I had better things to do than work on a vehicle even if it was a simple fix.

She knew I wasn’t really serious about all my complaints (at least I think she knew). I was just having fun and trying to amuse the grandchildren. Still, it may have been the wrong thing to do. This past week, I was once again working on a battery. This time in my pickup. Oddly, my wife didn’t seem too concerned with my woes! But, thankfully, neither did she go through all the list that I’d relayed to her regarding batteries and cars—or pickups in this case.

I guess I should have known this was coming, after all, batteries don’t last forever. But hey, at least my battery the common decency to do its meltdown during the summer, when it’s warm outside! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Flying High

These days, it seems like flying has become a risky venture. There is no shortage of headlines chronicling some atrocious behavior of the airlines. Every few days there is something new. Flights cancelled, passengers charged ridiculous sums for regular services, others being forcibly removed, and/or arrested, etc.

So, it is with much delight that I can report an uneventful two flights on my most recent vacation. Not one problem; there were no unexpected charges, no rude flight attendants, no disputes of any kind. They didn’t even try to kick us off the aircraft. Nothing bad at all. Of course, we weren’t flying United so...

All this is rather surprising considering my track record with most businesses. If there is only one customer they can mess things up for, it will be me. It is a rare occasion to go to a restaurant, any restaurant, and have them get my order right. Seriously, I could order just a drink and they will bring me the wrong one. Most any business is the same; they take one look at me and a backroom conspiracy begins to see how they can mess with me. At least that’s what I envision.

With all the news reports of people being dragged off planes and the like, and my usual reception by stores and restaurants, you can understand why I would be a little leery about flying anywhere—and my relief when I actually made it back home without being stranded somewhere. Not that being temporarily stranded in a warm climate paradise would be all that bad. I might even make the headlines!

For now, the only headline is that I’ll be heading back to work today—the much anticipated vacation has come to an end. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Celebrate Good Times

At the risk of sounding ungrateful for my job, I really like vacations. Really. I don’t even have to go anywhere. Staying home is fine. I just like vacations from my job. And they are few and far between. Too few. And too far between. So, I eagerly count down the weeks and days until my next one.

And the next one is here. Yay! To make it even better, my wife is also on vacation this week. We thought we’d time off at the same time since it’s our anniversary. As of Tuesday, we will have been married thirty years.

Thirty years. Three decades. 1560 weeks. Or, 10,958 days. Any way you look at it, it is a long time. Not that I’m complaining. I like being married to her.

Thirty years. If we’d purchased a house on our wedding day, it would be paid off now. But we were a little busy—with the wedding and all—so we waited a while before buying a house. Then, we sold that one and bought another. All that means is we still have a ways to go before it is paid off. But that’s good, I suppose. More payments requires more going to work. And that means more vacations. See? Good, in a weird sort of way.

But back to my point, thirty years. A lot has changed in that amount of time. For instance, the language. Words, and a lot of them, have morphed into new meanings, thanks mostly to computers. And yes, I do have a few examples.

Thirty years ago, if we were searching for something, it meant we were physically digging through drawers, cabinets, or boxes and actually looking for said item. And speaking of searching, google was still just a part of a larger word; googolplex—the number represented by a 1 followed by 10100 zeroes—the largest (named) number.

And there’s more. A browser was someone who wandered aimlessly through a store, looking but probably not buying. Memory still referred to a function of the human brain that allowed us to recall facts or events (and sometimes to the strange properties of some metals to return to their previous shape). An icon was an object or picture that represented something esteemed as virtuous. These days an icon is a tiny picture on a screen that you click on to open a program or app, many of which, though I would not describe as bad necessarily, are not all that virtuous.

A desktop was, well, the top of a desk. A flat screen was a cloth screen used for projecting slides or home videos, which were 8mm film. And clouds were still those large puffy things in the sky that blocked the sunshine and sometimes produced rain—not a term that referred to storage. And there’s another word, storage. Thirty years ago, if someone asked you how much storage you had, they probably wanted to leave something in your garage. They were certainly not talking about devices like CD’s, SD cards, or thumbdrives, and definitely not talking about a cloud.

I could go on. I made a list of over one hundred terms that have changed meanings in the last three decades; mouse, tablet, cell, surf, text, web, you get the picture I think.

Thirty years ago, we didn’t have cell phones or iPads and the like. And although computers did exist in 1987, almost no one had one. Which wasn’t really a problem. There wasn’t much to do with a computer in those days since Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet yet. Besides, most people, like my wife and I, would have never been able to afford a computer. Not with a minimum wage of 3.35/hour, which in case anyone is wondering, produced a net income of about $120 per week. Not much, but then we didn’t need a lot of money back then. A gallon of gas was about .60, a candy bar was .25, and you could get a large pizza from Dominos for 4 bucks. I can’t imagine trying to pay for a $600 iPhone! Wouldn’t have been much time, or money, left for vacation.

Oh, there’s also a new word that’s been coined in recent years—blog. And now that I’ve posted to this one it’s time to head for the airport to fly away. Hey, I never said I ALWAYS stay home for vacation! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Power Struggle

Several years ago, my son and I visited a Radio Shack in search of an adapter that would turn a regular outlet into a USB port. This was back before iPhones and tablets had come along. At the time, apparently, no one had envisioned a need for such a thing. Except me, I guess.

I had some equipment that was USB powered but didn’t necessarily need to be connected to the computer. I was trying to move some of these things away from my computer corner to make more room. I thought if I could plug them into a wall outlet, it would get them out of the way.

When we couldn’t find what I was looking for, I asked the “expert” sales clerk if they carried anything like that, explaining what I wanted to do. You’d have thought I’d asked if we could get tickets for the next rocket to Mars. And as if the look the guy gave us didn’t convey how stupid he thought we were, his condescending tone made it clear. “That’s not even possible. Those are two completely different systems.”

“Different maybe but not impossible to connect,” I argued.

“No. USB can’t operate on house power.”

Now I was the one giving out disparaging looks. “The people who invented the USB plug didn’t invent an entirely new form of energy. They’re both still electricity.”

My son even chimed in, pointing out that transformers or transducers allow electricity to be converted to whatever form is needed. But it was no use.

“You just don’t understand electricity,” the guy said. “You can’t plug one into the other.”

Right I thought. I said, “I plug my computer into the wall and then plug the USB cord into my computer. Am I missing something?”

The guy didn’t have an answer so instead; he gave me another look that said my stupidity was an annoyance and wasting his time. I informed him we would look elsewhere and we prepared to leave.

“You’re never find what you want because it doesn’t exist,” the guy said.

Well, he was right, sort of. We visited every store in town that carried electronics and no one had what we were looking for, such a thing did not exist—yet. So, I gave up on the idea.

A few years later, my son and I were quite amused by the little cubed adapter that came with an iPhone. It plugged into the wall and had a USB port. Amazing! What will they think of next?

Then, about a month ago, I replaced an outlet in our kitchen. In addition to the regular plug-ins, the new outlet features two USB ports. This eliminates the need for anything other than a USB cord to charge phones, tablets, or any number of other gadgets that are piling up around the house these days and utilize what has become the current standard method of charging.

After installing the outlet, I wondered what the so-called expert from Radio Shack would think of these new developments. Would he still insist it wouldn’t work? Does he still think that USB is some new energy form? Or, I wondered, has he figured out by now that electricity is quite easily connected to electricity? Guess I’ll never know. I’ll probably never see the man again because they have now closed our Radio Shack—along with a few thousand others. Hmm, I think I might see why! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

This Day

Freedom isn’t free. And today, we are mindful of that fact. Today, we remember the many thousands who have lost their lives defending and protecting our right in America to exist as a free country. We all owe those selfless individuals much more than we could ever pay. And even if we could find some way to repay them, that wouldn’t bring them back.

Our fallen soldiers died because they believed in something bigger, something more than their own life. That is: the idea and concept of a free society; a free people living in a free nation. They believed that their families, their friends, and citizens in general, deserved freedom. Believed it so strong they gave their life for it.

It seems so small and insignificant to merely have a day to memorialize them, just another summertime holiday—especially when many people have no idea what we’re celebrating or, remembering in this case. A lot of Americans know only that they get the day off (or earn overtime pay if they work) for a three-day weekend. They go camping, have a picnic, or hold a cookout in the back yard. In short, they are busy living their lives—and enjoying it.

I can’t really fault them for any of that. Because, ironically, that is one of the basic tenets of freedom. It’s for what so many gave their lives—so others could enjoy days like today. Memorial Day.

Still, it might be nice to at least think about those who made this day possible—and all the other days in this country. Perhaps show a little gratitude, some appreciation. Okay, that’s all. Enjoy whatever you do for the kick-off to summer! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Color Correction

On my travels this week, I noticed the mountains were turning brown. Finally! With all the rain we’ve had around here this spring, the place was starting to look like Ireland! That’s fine, I suppose—if you’re in Ireland. Where I live, not so much. Green just doesn’t look right for what is supposed to be an arid climate. Instead of forty shades of green, we have forty shades of brown—usually.

So, it’s nice that things are starting to dry out. Although, there is still plenty of green to be seen. But I figure another couple of weeks and that will be gone. I hope. It’s past time for the weather to get back to normal. At least in my never-to-be-humble opinion.

Of course, there is always someone to disagree with my opinion.

The other day, I overheard a guy in the store complaining about how dry the ground was getting. Apparently, his grass has all died. I was thinking, Yeah, that’s why we water our lawns. But I didn’t say anything. Surprising, I know. But sometimes I figure it’s no use to speak up. Especially, when the guy wasn’t talking to me.

Turns out, I didn’t have to say anything, though. Someone else did. And then, after listening a bit more, I found out the guy had recently moved here, and didn’t know what our summers were like. And evidently, he wasn’t too fond of the prospect of having to water his grass as he kept voicing his objection to the idea.

One of the guys he was talking with said, “You don’t HAVE to water the lawn. You can always let it burn up or put in rocks.”

“Or move back to where you came from,” another voice said. (No the voice wasn’t mine, although it does sound like something I would say.)

“I’d rather it just wasn’t so dry here, the newcomer said.

“If you think it’s dry now, just wait a couple of months,” another person said.

I still didn’t say anything but I was wondering how could the guy not have known what the climate was like? Did he move here without knowing anyone in the area? Possibly. But then, wouldn’t he have seen pictures of the place? Shouldn’t he have maybe read up on things? Perhaps at some point in his moving preparation shouldn’t he have checked out the place to where he was moving? Even if he hadn’t done any of that, he could have just looked around. There are a lot of yards with only rocks. Or he could’ve taken a look at the surrounding landscape, that should’ve been a clue. Oh, wait–

That’s when I remembered. And I guess I should cut him a little slack. After all, the place has looked a lot like Ireland this spring. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Just Playing Games

Well, I survived Mother’s Day! That may not sound like a big accomplishment but that’s because you don’t know my wife. She got the bright idea that this year for Mother’s Day, instead of going out to a restaurant, like normal people, our family should meet at the park. That would have been okay but then after eating she thought we could play kickball and other games equally energy draining.

Apparently, she didn’t get the memo that we’re getting older. Not that we’re senior citizens yet but as our Mother’s Day outing proved, we’re too old to play kickball. I guess it wouldn’t have been so bad except I have this competitive nature and HAVE to put forth the effort because at the end of the game, win or lose, I have to know that I gave it all I had. And yesterday, I learned that “all I had” meant to the point of exhaustion—almost. I didn’t faint or anything. But I must admit, fainting just might have been a welcomed relief!

Funny, I don’t remember sports, especially something so benign as kickball, requiring that much energy when I was younger. Or making my legs and feet ache. Or causing such an out-of-breath experience. When I played sports in school, five minutes after the game was over, I was fine and ready to play again.

But times change. Now, a short little game of kickball is enough to make me cancel all the plans I had for the rest of the day. Maybe for the rest of the week!

To be honest though, the day was fun. The games were fun. And I had a good time. I think everyone else did too, because there was a lot of laughing and cheering going on. Of course, most of the other participants were not 50 years old either!

Yet, even as I was admitting to my wife that despite the worn out feeling I’d enjoyed the day, she (and a few others) were suggesting we all do this again. Again? Really? Really, they said.

They didn’t decide just when we’d get together again but might I suggest Mother’s Day? That way, I have a year to rest up. Although, I’m not too sure that’s enough time. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Not Exactly A Star Student

A clear night. Bright moon. I’m out on the deck looking up at the stars and remembering when I was a kid. I used to lie on the ground and stare up at the stars, trying to find things in the giant dot to dot in the sky. I was never very good at seeing the real constellations, so I made up my own. I saw all sorts of things; animals, faces, furniture, and cars. Once I even discovered a house complete with windows, a chimney, and trees.

Then I made the mistake of mentioning my findings at school. Most of my friends were uninterested in what I saw and ignored me. But my teacher thought had to set me straight. Apparently, only those constellations that had long been established were viable constellations. The things I saw in the sky were nothing and due to an overactive imagination.

Of course, I argued that at one time even the established constellations had been someone’s imagination. But it was no use; my teacher maintained that those constellations had been discovered by legitimate astronomers, people who had devoted their life to the study of the stars. And those constellations were actual groupings of stars with meaning and a purpose.

As luck would have it, later in the year, we had a short study on constellations. We learned that most of the constellations got their names from the common things people thought they looked like—or characters from mythology. The last part was what I chose to focus on.

“So, they are named after myths?” I asked. “As in something not real?”

“Yes.”

“And you think I have an overactive imagination?”

I don’t think my teacher was impressed with my questions. But she must have realized it would be a losing argument. She quickly finished up and moved on. When we got our papers back from that day, I took mine up to her desk to discuss my grade.

The teacher looked confused. “You got an ‘A,’ what more do you want?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know, a gold star?” 

No, she still wasn't amused. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Day Mayday

Today is May Day. But is that still a thing? Does anyone still practice it? Does anyone besides old fogies like me even know what it is?

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a mariner’s distress call—that would be mayday. I’m speaking of the long past custom of, on the first day of May, placing flowers on someone’s doorstep, ringing the bell and then running away before they answer the door—known as May Day.

When I was a kid, this was fairly common. We did it every year, sometimes to more than one person. It was fun, not only for me but I’m pretty sure the people who got the flowers enjoyed it as well. But it’s been years since I’ve heard of anyone engaging in the May Day practice.

Perhaps the tradition died off because there isn’t an app for it. If it can’t be done on a phone or tablet, no one is interested. And May Day does require a bit, just a bit, of physical activity, instead of merely clicking on a button.

Or, perhaps the custom went away due to another reason. With the growing trend these days of characterizing harmless activities as destructive or even villainous, I can see the whole May Day thing being labeled as criminal mischief or some such illegal behavior. And I can hear some “concerned” official explaining how frightening such a thing could be for a little old lady who lives alone. (Nevermind that if she’s older than 40 or so, she’s probably quite familiar with May Day).

I seriously doubt that anyone would be frightened by receiving flowers in such a manner. And I also have my doubts that any criminal is going to take the time to arrange a nice bouquet of flowers and then go to the trouble of delivering those flowers to his “victim.” Criminals usually don’t want to put that much work into anything.

But for argument’s sake, let’s say that some poor old woman is scared out of her wits by finding a bouquet at her door. If she really believed she was in danger, couldn’t she just send out a mayday call? Sorry, I guess I was talking about May Day in the sense of a distress call after all. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Moving Story

Well, the state of Idaho is still where it has always been. Just went and checked this weekend because apparently driving 3600 miles a week is not enough; I had to add another 600 or so.

Okay, I really didn’t make a trip to Idaho just to see if it was still there. My wife and I went to help our son move. After I finished my run on Friday, I slept about four hours before we headed out.

Lucky for us, a few other people had already pitched in to help the kid move (including my dad who was in the area) and by the time we arrived most of the heavy lifting had been done. We helped pick up all the little things that a guy thinks aren’t going to take long. But then, there turns out to be a lot more of them and things drag on. Then, there was the cleaning of the old apartment—and a few chores at the new place as well.

I did manage to get a few hours of sleep Saturday night but then spent most of the day Sunday finishing up. Then, it was time to go driving again! Yay! But at least the kid (the kid, who is 22 years old, so not much of a kid anymore) is all moved. It’s now a little past midnight on Monday morning. We just made it home and I think I shall try to get a little sleep because for some reason, I’m tired! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

How To Stop A Thief

So, my neighbor’s house got broken into last week. No, I didn’t do it! Although... The police did come to visit me. But only to ask if I’d seen anything about 10:30 on the night in question.

“Well, no,” I told the cop. “It’s dark at that time and I can’t see in the dark.”

He seemed to have no sense of humor and his frowning gaze suggested he thought I shouldn’t have one either. And since I had no information for him, he appeared eager to leave, so I decided to play a little game—just to see how much information he would give to me. Not much, it turns out. I learned the break-in was in the back of the house, the people weren’t home, and that the police were not sure what was taken. Which seemed to indicate SOMETHING had been taken—even though, he didn’t exactly say that.

Then, he said something about additional burglaries in the area. Now I was the one with no sense of humor!

Whether he was referring to actual incidents or hoping to prevent future ones, I’m not sure. And he didn’t really elaborate when I asked—just offered me the standard, run-of-the-mill advice, as in: Make sure to keep all windows and doors locked, don’t leave valuables out in plain sight, keep a few lights on, etc.

That’s all nice, I guess, but it doesn’t really help catch anyone responsible if my stuff gets stolen. And judging by the lack of effectiveness of the police (in the case of my neighbor) there’s not much of a guarantee they’d be all that helpful either.

On a related note, my new security camera should arrive in a day or two. No, it probably won’t deter anyone from breaking in, but at least I might be able to identify the culprits if they do. It’s one of those nifty little cameras that I can control from my phone with all sorts of features that I’ll probably never use. The feature I would like to install is an artillery attachment! But I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be kosher with, well, anyone. But it probably would stop the break-ins! For a while anyway. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Snakes!

Saw my first rattlesnake of the season the other day. At last! Spring is here!

Okay, I admit, I really don’t like snakes. I much prefer other indicators of spring like: robins, budding trees, and warmer temperatures but after an unusual long and drawn out winter, a rattlesnake was a welcomed sight. Snakes are far better than the icy roads and the bitter cold. I do reserve the right to change my mind on this later in the year—when the whole snake population of the countryside comes out to play!

Not that I’ll be ready for winter again but I’m thinking the excitement of seeing a snake will likely taper off. Did I mention I don’t really like snakes? In fact, I usually kill every snake I run across. But oddly, the one I saw the other day is still slithering around somewhere—at least it was when I last saw it. Either I’m getting lazy or I’m really happy that summer is on its way. Both maybe.

Still, the fact that I didn’t kill this snake is somewhat strange. I know, some people get all uptight when I mentioned killing something, even snakes. They’re usually the ones who say something like, “But snakes help control the mice population.”

And they are correct. Snakes do help get rid of mice. But might I suggest a purchase of Decon? Just a thought.

One person I said that to spluttered back, “Well, snakes are God’s creatures too!” As if that means I have to let them live. But aren’t mice God’s creatures as well? Yet, the guy seemed okay with the mice dying.

“That may be,” I told him, “but uh, I really don’t like snakes.” Unless of course, they are the first sign of spring—apparently. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fifty Years Ago Today...

Fifty years. Half a century. Once again, it’s my birthday! Yes, I am now officially old, as my grandkids have made sure I’m aware. I really don’t think they needed the occasion of my birthday to make their point; they seemed to have the same opinion when I was 49. Trouble is, I fear they may have a point now! How did this happen? Sometimes it’s hard to believe. Seems like just the other day, I was a kid. And I remember it all very well.

But while I have a fairly decent memory, strangely, I do not recall anything about my birth, although I’m quite certain I was there. Positive almost. Still, I have no recollection of the momentous occasion.

Since I can’t relate any of the details, I had planned to share some pearls of wisdom; things I’ve learned in my fifty years on the planet—then I realized I don’t really have any because the older I get, the less I know. Maybe it’ll turn around now though and over the next fifty years, I’ll learn something. Hopefully it does, because if not, and things continue as they have been, I’ll be completely devoid of knowledge by the time I reach 100 I’m afraid.

But that’s okay, I guess. I doubt I’ll need to know much at that age. And it probably wouldn’t do any good if I did know things; no one would care, or listen, and I’d be too old to use any of it.

In light of all that, I’m not convinced birthdays are not really that meaningful; they haven’t as yet made me any smarter, but they have dramatically contributed to the aging effect—gray hair, increased aches and pains and the like. Of course, birthdays ARE significant in one respect—I’m still alive and kicking!

I guess that’s the only bit of wisdom that I can impart... "Birthdays may be the leading cause of aging but they are one of the best indicators that a guy is still alive!"

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now and start celebrating as the clock just struck midnight. It’s now April 3rd and I’m... fifty years old! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

An Early Autumn?

While everyone else was celebrating the arrival of Spring last week, I went straight to Fall...

I can’t really explain how this happened because, well, I’m not really sure. Here’s what I know: On Tuesday morning, I let one of my dogs out but apparently, I was supposed to stay inside. At least I SHOULD have stayed inside. Hindsight never really helped prevent anything though.

I took two steps (I think) out the door and the next thing I knew, I was hitting the deck—literally. I barely had time to be aware of the sudden jolt of landing (on my back) when my head slammed back onto the deck and everything went black.

I’m not sure how long I was out. Not long I don’t think, but then, it’s kind of hard to tell. When I came to, everything was a little hazy, I wasn’t even aware of the rain until later realizing I was soaked. I do remember reaching up to see if the back of my head was still intact. It was!

But then, I tried to get up and that didn’t really work. I called to my wife through the still open door. She came and helped me to my feet and after a bit of effort got me back inside the house.

Once I was able to stand on my own, my wife and I went through a series of tests to see if I was physically well and of a sound mind. (I know, that last part is questionable even under the best of conditions). Among the tests of mobility, balance, ability to focus, and talk, was a memory test—long term and short term. During the memory tests, I rattled off various strings of numbers such as: my driver’s license number, social security number, bank account number, etc. This turned out to be a useless endeavor though, since my wife had no idea if the numbers were right. So, I recited HER social security number to which she replied, “I think that’s it.”

“Really?” I said. “Whose memory are we testing here?”

We finally decided I was fine—sort of. My memory was okay and after regaining my wits after waking up from the fall, there seemed to be nothing amiss. Thankfully, there were no broken bones—as far as I could tell. But I did seem to have a lot of pain, which only worsened when I moved. For the next several days, the pain continued—every bone and muscle in my body was sore. Everything except my head. Strangely, that didn’t hurt at all. But then, everyone already knew I was hard headed! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Roses Are Red, And Orange, White, Yellow, Purple, And...

I like roses. Lots of roses with a lot of colors. And since long ago my wife told me that buying her roses was a waste of money (because they die), I “invested” in rose bushes for the house. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the front of our house is lined with rose bushes—twenty-two to be exact. These used to make almost a solid hedge of hundreds of different colored roses. Sadly, after eighteen years, some of the bushes are not producing like they once did. This leaves big gaps with no flowers, which doesn’t look good at all.

So, this year, I decided to replace them. Originally, when I put them in, it wasn’t that much work. And at $1.99 per rose bush, not that expensive either. Ah, but things change.

First, I made a trip to the store and promptly came down with a bad case of sticker shock. I know we’re told there has been virtually no inflation for the last couple of decades but the roses tell quite a different story. They were on sale and still $5.99 each. I quickly made the decision to replace only the worst bushes and save the rest for later. I ended up buying only nine.

Then, on Sunday afternoon I started digging out the old bushes. It didn’t take long to realize it would be a little longer job than I had anticipated. The roots were six to eight inches in diameter and being underground, I didn’t really want to use a Sawzall. So, I chipped away at them with a spade shovel.

Five hours later, I was done. The new bushes set and the yard cleaned up. And only two blisters on my hands! Not bad but I had planned on maybe an hour for the whole job. Although, that’s typically what happens when I schedule time for anything—it always takes longer. Usually not five times longer though. And now, I’m a little tired. Not used to all this manual labor stuff!

But, the job is done now and even looks pretty decent. Soon, with the help of Miracle Grow, we’ll have our hedge of colorful roses back. At least that’s the idea. The bad news is, I still have several bushes to replace. The good news is, not until next year! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Bad Timing

I feel like I’ve been gypped. No, it doesn’t involve money, or even property. No one stole anything tangible from me. What I’ve lost is time. And I don’t mean because I’m getting old. Besides, I’m not really that old yet, despite what my kids, and grandkids, may think.

The time I’m speaking of is relatively insignificant—at least in the amount. But it’s the principle of the thing that matters. And this past weekend I was robbed of an hour of my time. A full hour! I know, it happens every year and normally, it wouldn’t be that upsetting to me. (Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve complained about it before). But this year... well, I picked the wrong time for a three-day weekend.

Due to the time change, instead of getting my full 84 hours off, as I would for a typical three-day weekend, I will only be receiving 83. Sad, I know. Woe is me.

I mentioned this to some of the guys at work last Friday, and for some reason, got no sympathy. None. Perhaps it was my lack of communication skills but I couldn’t make them see that my weekend would be coming up short. They just didn’t get it. One of them even had the audacity to suggest I be happy that I didn’t have to show up for work on Monday! Well okay, I AM happy about that.

Still, there’s the matter of the missing hour. An hour of my life that is just gone, and I didn’t even get to live it! Received nothing in exchange for it either, it simply vanished. I think the only way to avoid feeling ripped off, is to schedule another three-day weekend, approximately six months from now. Yep, think I’ll do that as soon as I go back to work—on Tuesday! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Three-Year-Old Logic

So, I have a cold again, or maybe still, not quite sure. It’s never really left all winter. Just when I start feeling better, here it comes again. This time it’s returned with a vengeance. Coughing, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and then a stopped up nose, sinus pressure, sore throat, the whole bit. I’m sure I don’t need to describe what a cold is like—at least not to most people.

However, my three-year-old grandson seemed to have a little confusion over it. We were in the grocery store last night and he wanted me to push him really fast in the cart. When I said I didn’t have the energy to run because I had a cold, he instantly offered to warm me up. He rubbed his hands over my arms and shoulders and then asked if I was still cold.

I explained that I wasn’t really cold; that what I’d meant was I was sick. That turned out to be a mistake. His next questions were, “Do you need to go to the hospital? Are you dying?”

I told him I would be fine, that it was just a cold. And then tried again (unsuccessfully) to explain what a cold was. He gave me a look that said he thought I was perhaps sicker than I’d realized: talking in circles and not making any sense.

Later at home, as I sat in the chair and watched while he played, he suddenly asked, “Are you okay?” I must have looked as miserable as I felt but I assured him I was fine. He said, “You’re not cold anymore?”

Again, I went through what a cold was and that it didn’t necessarily mean someone was cold when they said they had a cold. “Oh,” he said, as if it all made perfect sense now. Then immediately he asked, “So why is it called a cold then?”

I remember wondering that myself when I was a kid. I shrugged. “Just to make people like you ask questions, I guess.”

“Grandpa,” he said, with a stern look. “That’s not an answer.”

“It is an answer,” I said. “Maybe not a good one but I don’t want to try explaining anything else tonight.”

“Because you have a cold?”

“Yeah,” I said, thinking we were right back where we’d started. I’m not sure the night was all that productive in the learning category! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

February Thaw

Saturday. The weekend. The sky was clear and sunny, temperature in the upper forties, and very little wind. A perfect day—for this time of year. And with most of the snow now gone, a perfect day to spend outdoors.

As you might expect, there were plenty of people out and about, enjoying the long awaited break in the wintery weather. It was good to hear the sounds of spring. While I didn’t hear any lawn mowers, people were busy cleaning, doing yard work, building things, working on cars, etc. Some were just hanging out, doing nothing. I think everyone shared the same sentiment; just glad to have something other than snow and cold.

Even the birds seemed happy and cheerful. They were chirping away, flying from tree to tree, occasionally landing on the ground, and then doing a little dance. I think they were surprised, and relieved, that the snow was all gone. They seemed in awe of the fact they could actually see the ground!

The sunshine definitely appeared to brighten the day—in more ways than one.

So, what did I do on this perfect day? Well, after taking about fifteen minutes to change the oil in my wife’s car, I worked inside. Yep, inside. The rest of the day. Sad, I know. But I did get a lot done; things that had to be done. And I was able to see the sunshine through the window! Still, inside is not the place to be on a perfect day. Not to worry though. After an unusually long winter, there are plenty of things waiting to be done outside as well. However, those things will have to wait. How long? Not sure. Until the next perfect day, I guess. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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