Monday, November 28, 2016

Déja Flu

It’s said that history repeats itself and I’m starting to think that may be true.

Several years ago, when I was a kid, I remember getting extremely sick the week of Thanksgiving. It started about Tuesday and quickly got worse. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was sicker than a dog. (Obviously a sick dog). I didn’t feel like doing much of anything that day, especially eating a big meal. But, as anyone who’s tasted my mother’s cooking knows, turning down a meal she has prepared is difficult, nearly impossible—even for a sick guy. So, I forced myself out of bed and managed to eat a sizable portion of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. The traditional Thanksgiving meal made to perfection! By the end of the last dessert, not only was I still sick, but quite miserable as well.

But the very next day, I was feeling a little better. A few more days and I was fine.
I think it might have had something to do with the healthy qualities of my mother’s cooking.

And now...

Here I am all these years later and the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I start getting sick. It quickly got worse and by the time Thanksgiving arrived, I was sicker than I’d been in a long time. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything that day, especially eating a big meal. But, as anyone who’s tasted my wife’s cooking knows, turning down a meal she has prepared is difficult, nearly impossible—even for a sick guy. So, I forced myself out of bed and managed to eat a hefty portion of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. The traditional Thanksgiving meal made to perfection! By the end of the last dessert, not only was I still sick, but quite miserable as well.

But the very next day, I was feeling a little better. As I write this I’m feeling pretty good.
I think it might have something to do with the healthy qualities of my wife’s cooking. ~



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, November 21, 2016

Time For Thanksgiving

A rare occurrence should happen for me this week. Should. There are no guarantees but as it stands currently, it appears I will get to celebrate the holiday at home. Yes, a day off work! I know, most of you probably get all the holidays off but I’m not that lucky.

It’s not like I have a super-important job or something—I drive a truck. And no, I don’t haul hot loads of time-sensitive goods, I haul garbage. You’d think garbage wouldn’t be that critical. I mean, it’s not going to spoil if we wait a day or two to haul it. But, the powers that be think we should work holidays.

So, most holidays I’m driving down the road in my semi, while seemingly everyone else is enjoying the day off with their friends and family. Until the last few years, I’ve spent Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day, along with all the rest of the notable holidays, just driving. Of course, I do get paid extra, which is nice but I’d rather be home.

Just wanted to say how thankful I am to be able to spend the upcoming holiday with my family. With the upcoming holiday being Thanksgiving, I think being thankful is sort of like required. Well, maybe not required but definitely appropriate—or who knows, next year, I might be stuck driving again.

Happy Thanksgiving! ~

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, November 13, 2016

Suggested Plan

A few years ago, when I built the deck behind my house, I built it right over the under-the-house access. My son, who wasn’t very old at the time, was a bit concerned about the wisdom of such a move and suggested I locate the deck elsewhere. He may have had a point.

Actually, I did put in a trapdoor so I could still get under the house if necessary. That worked well—in the summer when it’s hot and dry. The problem is, in the fall and winter months the boards on the deck swell up, and no amount of tugging or prying will open the trapdoor. I did anticipate this when I built the deck but the half-inch space I left between the boards wasn’t nearly enough. Once the wet weather begins, I’m locked out from under my house.

So, for the last 16 years, I’ve just hoped I didn’t have to go under the house for anything during those months. The last thing I usually need to do is turn off the sprinkler system and blow the lines out so they do not freeze and bust. Normally, I do this in early October—once I’ve decided my lawn doesn’t need watering. It has never been a problem, until this year.

This year, we had an early rainy season, thanks to a typhoon in the South Pacific. The prevailing winds carried the remnants of the typhoon bringing a lot of water. And it rained, and rained. By the end of the first week of October, the deck was sealed shut.

I waited; thinking there was still enough time for things to dry out but sadly, there was not. Although the rain subsided, the cool damp air didn’t allow the boards to shrink down. My son, jokingly suggested I build a fire under the deck—to dry it out, of course. And that’s what I did, kind of. It was more of a modern day controlled fire, though—known as a heat lamp and a fan.

It took a while (about ten hours) but eventually, the door did come open! I was able to get the water turned off and the lines cleared so next summer, my sprinklers will actually work! But... It seems there’s always a “but” to my stories, doesn’t it?

Before I could put the trapdoor back in place, the rain started again. The rain has caused the adjacent boards to swell up and now the trapdoor won’t fit. So now, it is sitting inside the house. With any luck it will dry a little more and shrink enough to match how much the outside boards have swollen. At least that’s the plan.

My son suggested as long as the trapdoor is open, and dry, that I trim a little off the sides to make it fit better all year long! (He seems to be brimming with useful suggestions)! I suppose I should probably follow his advice but where’s the fun in that? Besides, if I had listened to him to begin with, I wouldn’t have had anything to write about this week. Maybe. Now that I think about it, he would perhaps have a suggestion—or two. ~


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, October 31, 2016

Trashy Reputation

So, I had a shorter weekend than normal thanks to my job—specifically, the DOT, the Department of Transportation. They are the government agency tasked with harassing truck drivers. Apparently, they don’t take too kindly to a guy (me) driving a truck that’s 2,400 lbs. over weight. And they felt compelled to tell me all about it in lengthy detail.

This was not news to me. After nearly two decades on this job, I’ve heard it all before. And in fact, the scenario that ensued has happened before—right down to how it ends.

The officer was fairly new to the job, I guess because he didn’t seem to know much about the company I drive for. He seemed to think it was necessary to covey how abhorrent it was that I was hauling all that weight illegally and how harmful it was for the road. The highway just isn’t designed to handle that much weight, he claimed. (Never mind that all a guy has to do is purchase an extended weight permit and then it’s perfectly acceptable to drive the same truck down the same road). He also informed me that anything more than 2000 lbs. over weight had to be legalized before allowing the driver to proceed. It’s not discretionary.

That meant I’d be sitting there until someone could come and fix my load, which would be several hours. That wasn’t at all appealing to me; Friday night, the weekend coming up, and by the time the load was legalized, I would be out of hours. That meant an additional 10 hours before I could leave. All this because I was, “just simply hauling too much weight.”

I didn’t argue, not much point in that, although I may have mentioned something to the effect that I didn’t care.

I think the guy was prepared to continue the lecture when the other officer on duty came over to see what was going on. After having the first guy explain the situation, he gave the man a perplexed look. “Do you know what he’s hauling?” he asked. Then, he answered his own question. “Garbage. He’s hauling garbage. Issue a citation and let him go.”

I got the feeling they didn’t want me around for some reason! Apparently, they don’t think much of having a full semi load of raw garbage sitting around smelling up the place. And the thought of having someone come to dig out part of the load right there on their lot isn’t appealing either. I guess that rule that was not discretionary actually wasn’t all that ironclad after all.

Soon I was on my way—with a citation, of course. But the company takes care of those so all the little episode cost me was a little time—­about an hour. I think somebody owes me an extra weekend hour! Maybe I’ll go to work a little late today and call it even. ~

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, October 24, 2016

A Chilling Scene

Regular readers of this blog may remember a few past posts where I lamented the fact that my house is notoriously cold. Frigid, actually—and year ’round too. (My wife thinks the air conditioner was invented for those balmy December days).

Long ago, my kids and I learned to endure the icy temperatures and deal with the artic blasts that routinely blow through the so-called shelter we refer to as a house. Sometimes this is accomplished by wearing a coat or multiple layers of clothing and sometimes, get this, by turning up the heat! That only works until my wife realizes the climate has moderated to a more normal, and livable, level. Then, with the flip of a switch, she plunges us back into the ice age.

I may have exaggerated some of this (slightly) but one thing is certain, it is always cold at my house. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, it’s cold. Sometimes, I think I live in Siberia! Although... there are a few benefits to such conditions, for instance: we do not need to refrigerate our pop, and there’s never any rush to put away leftovers—it’s not like they’re going to spoil!

My children have all moved on to warmer surroundings, but now, there is a new generation feeling the effects of my wife’s strange aversion to anything resembling heat. My daughter was putting away her laundry the other day and started to put her son’s fleece pajamas in his drawer. “No,” he said. “Those are for Grandma’s house.”

Poor kid. I know exactly how he feels. But it is nice to see the survival instinct kicking in! ~

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, October 17, 2016

Seal Of Disapproval

I learned something last week; seals are rather vindictive creatures!

While at the coast last weekend, my wife and I, along with our daughter and grandson, visited an aquarium. One of the features of this aquarium is they allow visitors to feed the seals. The food they provide is authentic seal food—otherwise known as fish.

My grandson was okay with handling the fish (much to his mother’s dismay) but after touching a particularly slimy one, he decided it would be best to let grandpa do the feeding. And that’s how I came to be standing beside a pool of ocean-like salt water tossing fish to a group of seals.

As one can imagine, the seals have discovered that performing tricks tends to get them more fish and they are quite active in this regard. They clap, stand on their tail fin, swim sideways and wave—anything to get attention.

I appreciated their efforts and felt compelled to reward them but I also wanted to distribute the food fairly. I didn’t want any of them left out, they might feel bad! So, after “paying” the most outgoing ones, I began concentrating on the few timid ones in the back. But one of the more active and agile seals thought he’d show me how well he could jump—and catch. As I lobbed a fish to the rear of the pool, he shot out of the water, snatching the fish out of the air, nearly out of the mouth of the seal I’d thrown it to.

Since I like to talk to animals as if they are people, I started scolding the fish thief. I told him he wasn’t very nice and taking another seal’s food wasn’t being fair. “You already had yours,” I said. “You’re a seal, not a pig.” And then I added, “You really need to learn to share.”

With one fish remaining, I stepped a little closer to the tank and, telling Mr. Fish Bandit it wasn’t for him, after a fake throw to the side, I threw it directly to the seal in the back. He caught it and then clapped for me.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself (yes, for outsmarting a seal—but hey, I’ve heard they are one of the most intelligent creatures) when I saw the fin on the seal who felt he’d been slighted come out of the water. Saw it go back. And then I saw it start moving forward. I knew what was coming but not soon enough to move out of the way of the big spray of water that shot toward me. And soaked me! Apparently, he hadn’t appreciated my lecture, or the fact that I hadn’t given him the last fish. I don’t know if seals can actually smirk or not but I’m fairly sure this one was!

Of course, my grandson thought it all was hilarious, as did his mother, along with my wife and a few other visitors who had been watching. Amid the laughter, I heard a little boy tell his dad, “You can feed them, I don’t want to get splashed.”

As we were leaving, people were still smiling when they saw the water dripping off of me. Yeah, I’m glad that getting drenched by a spiteful seal helped make everyone’s day! On the bright side, I didn’t have to add any salt to my food when we went out to eat later! ~

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, October 9, 2016

To See The Sea

Well, in case anyone is wondering, the ocean is still there! This I know, I just went and checked. And there it was briny foam and all, just like it has been for thousands of years. Not that I had any doubts, but my grandson, who is turning three today, thought we needed to make sure.

His mother had planned a seaside visit for his birthday and after learning I would be going along, he said, “Yeah, you need to go. We need to make sure the ocean is still there.” When I asked where he thought it might be, he gave me an incredulous look and said matter-of-factly, “At the beach.” I’m sure he was thinking his grandpa needed more schooling.

October though, is not really the best time to visit the beach—at least in Oregon. Both days we were there, it was rainy, cold, and windy. Very windy—enough to blow the wet sand around. But none of that mattered to a little boy celebrating his birthday. For some reason, he seemed to be able to ignore the inclement weather better than the rest of us.

Actually, even for the adults it wasn’t all that bad. We chose a lot of indoor activities but we did manage to make it down to the beach too, right down to where the water was coming up to greet us, washing up crabs, sand dollars, and other creatures.

We spent some time exploring and then playing in the sand: building a sand castle, making things, and just digging. Oh yeah, and throwing sand into the air. Okay, only my grandson threw the sand, I just happened to be the one who was the recipient of his antics, thanks to gravity. Good thing I wear a hat, I guess!

Watching him was quite entertaining and made for an enjoyable trip—despite the weather. Somewhere, amid all the fun my grandson looks at me and says, “I told you this is where the ocean is.”

Yeah, like I’m the one who was wondering! ~

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, October 3, 2016

Hounded By The Vet

I was informed by my dogs’ veterinarian this week that I was not authorized to make medical decisions regarding my dogs. This is the same vet my wife and I have taken our dogs to for the past 8 or 9 years. And I have made many medical decisions for the dogs during that time. None of his seemed to matter; my name was not listed as an authorized person.

It’s funny though, they had no problem taking money from me. Apparently, I am authorized to pay. And I’m sure they would not have any qualms about starting collections proceedings against me if I failed to pay either.

Since I rarely refrain from saying what I’m thinking, I mentioned this to the lady. She said that since I was listed as the owner of the dogs, I was responsible for any payments that may be due.

My voice was heavily steeped in cynical sarcasm as I answered. “So you have me listed as the owner, but I can’t make any decisions for them? You realize how stupid that sounds, right? What is this, Obamacare for dogs?”

Instead of responding to my somewhat rhetorical questions, the lady just said I needed to have my wife call and okay adding my name as an authorized party. Which I did. But I was still incredulous and a little annoyed by the whole thing. I’m pretty sure the lady could tell too. Trying to mollify me she said, “The policy is really for your and your dogs’ protection. You don’t want just anybody making medical decisions for your dogs.”

“Right,” I said. “First, I’m not just anybody. As you have already said, you know I’m the owner of the dog. And second, “Is this really a problem? Do complete strangers routinely bring my dogs in for veterinarian care? Or anybody’s dogs for that matter?”

The lady admitted she didn’t know of anything like that actually happening. “But it could and that’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

“And you’ve done a remarkable job of it too,” I said, hoping their level of medical knowledge exceeded that of their common sense.

The good news is, my wife did call them and I’m now a certified, authorized, and responsible party! Yes, I’m allowed to request my dogs’ nails get clipped! And anything else, I suppose. So my dogs are safe! Except for one thing: even after all of that, they never asked for my ID. So, apparently all anyone has to do is SAY they are Bruce A. Borders and everything is okay. In light of that, if anyone wants to take my dogs to the vet for a checkup, feel free. It would save me a LOT of hassle! ~

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, September 26, 2016

Checks And Balances

Sometimes I miss writing checks. Or, at least some aspects of writing checks such as having a ready record of my purchases and being able to know how much I’m paying. With a card, you’re always at their mercy. I definitely do NOT miss waiting in line while some little old lady, or man, takes ten minutes to meticulously script their check and then another five minutes to record it in their register. Check writing was never intended to be an art form.

As you may be able to tell, waiting is most assuredly not my thing. So, years ago, when debit cards made their debut, the time saving factor is what got me on board because, as I’ve said before, I’m not that fond of change either. But when there is a purpose or a benefit to the change, I’m a little more accepting of change. And in this case, debit cards were much faster and more convenient.

Obviously, the banking industry did not transition from checks to debit cards solely for my convenience. As with any technological advancement, the driving force is to make things cheaper, easier, or faster for the business and not necessarily for the consumer. Since processing checks is extremely expensive, debit cards dramatically reduced the cost per transaction. The fact the cards saved me (and everyone else) time was just an added bonus.

But now, the powers that be have made another change; a change that a lot of us find very frustrating. If you haven’t guessed, I’m referring to the chip that has been added to debit and credit cards. It’s not that I’m against an added layer of safety, which is how the chipped cards are being billed. Anything that keeps thieves away from my money is fine with me. (Although, I wonder how much protection a chip actually provides. Anyone who steals my card is going to get the chip too. The two sort of go together). My complaint, and that of many consumers, pertains to the added hassle of WAITING for the card reader to recognize, read, and then verify the card before completing the sale. This has easily added 1 to 2 minutes to EVERY SINGLE transaction. Multiply that by a few million transactions per day and you have several thousand hours of lost time every day.

Okay, it hasn’t affected any of us quite that drastically—yet. But not everyone has a card with the chip in it—yet. And not every store has a chip reader—yet. For now, I tend to use and old card that doesn’t cause me any delay. But as fast as they are replacing everyone’s cards, it won’t be long before that won’t work. Then, I’ll be waiting with the rest of the world’s population.

The credit card companies do not seem at all concerned with our wasted time or our annoyance. They are saving money and the fact we, the customers, are negatively affected doesn’t matter. So, what to do? I guess we could all just put up with it; just figure it’s one of those things we can’t do anything about. Eventually, we’ll get used to the idea of our purchases taking three times as long as they should. After all, we’re saving the credit card companies millions and all it’s costing us is a little time.

Or, we could go back to writing checks! ~

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, September 18, 2016

A Better Way

Electric car windows are great. Except when they’re not. And that would be when they stop working. Then they are very much a pain. And a little expensive to repair.

There have been a rash of electric windows breaking lately—at least in my limited world. First, it was my wife’s vehicle, then my parents’, and then my pickup. This past weekend, the window on my daughter’s vehicle stopped working. And of course, the window was down. And then to make things worse, it started raining!

As many of you may know, I find working on vehicles these days to be quite annoying. There is no room to do what I need to do, nothing is ever a simple fix, things tend to not come apart (or go back together) the way they are supposed to, etc. As a result, the job takes way too long. Also, it seems every time I work on a vehicle, I need to purchase a new tool, or two.

Unfortunately, this summer I’ve had more than my share of opportunities to play mechanic. In fact, most weekends have been spent fixing something on one car or another. That’s because even though I detest working on them, I really don’t like taking cars into a shop. So, like most things that need done around my house, I do it myself.

Except this one. This time there was a silver lining to my black cloud of repairs that’s been hanging out all summer—my son was visiting. No, I didn’t tell him he had to fix the window, didn’t even ask him, he actually volunteered for the job. I was more than willing to allow him the privilege, while I watched. I wasn’t entirely useless though and did help a little. I handed him tools as he needed them and held things now and then as he took the door apart, replaced the electric motor, and then reassembled everything. And yes, it did work when got finished!

As we were cleaning up, I decided that working on vehicles wasn’t so bad after all. Not as long as I had someone else to do all the work! Think I’ll keep his number handy. Never know when those power windows will stop rolling up and down! ~

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, September 12, 2016

The Death Of A Legend

Everybody needs a hero. And by hero, I don’t necessarily mean someone who has done heroic things, just someone who can be admired and respected. Someone who can be inspiring. Someone who seems larger than life.

For me, that person was Johnny Cash. I was more than just a fan. From as far back as I can remember I was mesmerized by the voice, the music, and the entire persona. In my mind, Johnny Cash stood the tallest of any celebrity.

Now, I’m not going to insist that he was the best singer, or the best musician. That is, and probably always will be, an on-going argument. Tastes in music vary considerably. Everyone has their own idea of what makes a great singer, songwriter, musician, song, entertainer, or personality. Speaking only for myself, Johnny Cash was the epitome of all those things. So, in my opinion, he was indeed the best.

Today, September 12, 2016, marks the thirteenth anniversary of his death. Although, I never had the chance to meet him, it was event that took me a little by surprise and did have an odd effect on me.

In an effort to pay my respects, soon after his passing, I wrote a song called There’ll Never Be Another Johnny Cash—my tribute to the Man In Black. With the help of my brother, Carl Borders, who provided the Cash sounding guitar, I recorded the song—a personal memorial to the man who I’d watched, listened to, and learned from since my childhood.

Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog for very long, already knows all of this, I’m sure. But it never hurts to repeat things once in a while. So, that’s what I’ve done. If you haven’t heard the song, you can listen here. I don’t think I really sound that much like the great Johnny Cash—I just sang the song in his style. My brother’s guitar playing is what helps the most, I think. But as the song says, There’ll Never Be Another Johnny Cash. ~

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, September 4, 2016

Raining Dirt

So, a few of my sprinklers in the yard needed to be replaced. After several years, the pop-ups no longer wanted to pop up. I finally made the trip to the store, purchased some new ones, and returned home to start digging. And digging. Okay, it wasn’t THAT much digging. The holes were small—about 6 inches wide and maybe a foot deep. Even with six of them to do, the job didn’t take long.

Rather than do them one at a time, I opted to dig all the holes, replace the sprinklers, and then put the dirt back. That seemed to be the most efficient approach. But, it also led to a problem.

There’s this weird phenomenon that occurs when digging holes and then filling them back in; there’s never quite enough dirt it seems. (Perhaps because I pack it harder than it was originally, I doubt any of the dirt actually disappears). Now, with a small hole, this would hardly be noticeable. But with six holes, the small discrepancy of each starts to add up.

I had put all the dirt in a bucket and filled each hole out of my stockpile. That worked fine until I came to the last hole. The bucket ran out of dirt before the hole was filled.

Great, I thought, not wanting to walk the measly few feet to rob the garden area of such a piddly amount of dirt. Not that I’m lazy or anything! In my defense, the temperature was over 100 degrees and digging holes wasn’t all I’d done that day.

If I just had a little more dirt, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Figuring that was no more than wishful thinking, I started to get up and head toward the garden. Just then, a sizeable dirt clod fell to the ground right beside me. By “sizeable,” I mean, as big as a softball. And by “fell to the ground,” I mean, literally dropped out of the sky.

“Well, that was simple,” I mumbled to myself as I reached for the dirt clod. I crumbled it between my fingers and spread it around the sprinkler head; I was quite pleased to see it was exactly enough dirt to fill the hole.

So, where did the dirt clod come from? I hear you ask. Well, I guess I could say that God heard my prayer and dropped the answer right in my lap, but it hadn’t really been a prayer, so that may be misleading. But what other explanation could there be? It’s not like anyone was excavating in the stratosphere directly over my house! And even though one of Earth’s elements, water, occasionally falls from the sky, I seriously doubt the same can be said for dirt.

And again, I hear you asking, “So, where did it come from?” Okay, okay. I’ll tell you, as I did discover its origin. Actually, the moment the clump of dirt landed in the grass, I had a pretty good idea. A peek through a crack in the fence confirmed my suspicion.

The neighbor’s grandson was visiting again. He likes to throw toys, rocks, and apparently now, dirt clods over the fence into my yard. I know, hearing how it happened takes away some of the suspense and intrigue. Still, it was rather amazing to have the right amount of dirt fall at just the right time, right out of the sky—mere moments after I’d wished it! Awesome really.

Next, I think I shall wish for a million dollars! ~

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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Current Reads




Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Art of Being Obstinate

I wasn’t much of an artist back in grade school. I didn’t make any real attempt at that until I was a little older. I liked to doodle and make designs or other marks on the paper but as far as drawing something, anything, that anyone could view as art, that wasn’t happening. I didn’t have time for such things.

But that didn’t stop my teachers from insisting that I needed to at least TRY to draw. Of course, I resisted.

One day, the assignment was to draw a house—simple enough. But always ready and willing to be cantankerous, I decided to make things easy on myself and I drew a teepee. My drawing consisted of about five lines; that was it. I was fully prepared to argue that a teepee was indeed a house. She hadn’t specified what kind of house, after all. Still, I knew she wouldn’t be amused.

Thing is, about half of the students at the school I attended were Indians. And as I discovered, it wasn’t too difficult to convince a few of my classmates to join me in my stubborn sidestep of the assignment. They actually thought it was a great idea. Me, I just figured if I wasn’t alone, the teacher might not be so hard on me.

My theory must have worked because she didn’t really say anything; just gave me, and the rest of my brave cohorts, a disapproving look.

But, toward the end of the school year, after a few more such antics by me, she finally voiced her discontentment. Surprisingly, she wasn’t really upset by my behavior. Rather, she was concerned because I never took things seriously enough. She said a few other things too, most of which I didn’t hear because, well, I wasn’t listening. But one thing I did hear was that I would probably never be an artist. But that was okay, she said, not everyone can be an artist.

A couple of years later, once I’d gotten serious about giving my creative side a chance, I drew the picture below. I’d like to think it was perhaps partly inspired by my teacher. And although, I’m not into naming my artwork, if I were, I think I’d call this piece, A Tribute To The Teacher Who Said I’d Never Be An Artist! ~



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, August 22, 2016

Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back-To-School Book & Blog Block Party


 Welcome to the Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back-To-School Book & Blog Block Party!


Location for this stop:
Central Oregon High Desert
(Pictured Below)



What I’m giving away today:
$25.00 Amazon Gift Card

Number of winners for this stop:
1

Click here for more details on the Block Party
and see how to become eligible for more prizes.

For those who may not be familiar with me, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bruce A. Borders. I’m the author of several books, sixteen at last count, but that is subject to change. Although, I tend to branch out into more genres, I usually write crime/mystery/suspense novels. Most often, my books tell the story of someone who has been wronged in some manner and how they deal or cope with it, how it affects them, or (my favorite) how they retaliate.

One of my habits is to add a plot twist to the end of a book, which may change the entire story. I don’t always do that but then I usually hear about it from some of my beta readers—that would be my wife and kids!

As I mentioned, I have several books and I doubt anyone wants to read a synopsis of each of them, so I’ve limited this post to introducing my four best selling titles.


Dead Broke is my most recent release and the first in what I hope will be a LONG series, the Lana Denae Mysteries. The setting for the books is Portland, Oregon. I chose that city because, living in Oregon, I am fairly familiar with the layout and other details unique to the area.


Dead Broke
(Lana Denae Mysteries, #1)


It was the perfect murder... almost.

An elderly woman is found murdered in her apartment. Cause of death; a single gunshot wound to the chest. The only door is locked from the inside. There are no signs of entry, no bullet holes in the walls, and no weapon is recovered from the scene. That’s when Detective Lana Denae of the Portland Police Bureau is assigned the case. The investigation gets off to a slow start until she realizes there is more to the story than a single random murder. Someone is looking to rake in a profit to the tune of more than a million dollars, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Lana is determined to stop the killer before he strikes again but with limited evidence, finding just who is responsible is more difficult than she imagined.

“Every time you think you've got this one figured out, it turns out you're wrong.”

“One of the more enjoyable books I've read lately!”

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Over My Dead Body is my first novel. The story combines two news stories I heard when I was much younger. In both stories, a corrupt official threatened—and then followed through with the threat—to remove a minor from their parents’ home without justification. This provides the setting and beginning plot. I’d wanted to write the story for quite a while and describe what I would do, how I would react, in a similar situation.


Over My Dead Body


How far will a man go to protect his family?

When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from the Blake’s home, Jeff Blake, a financial advisor, responds to the threats in the only way he feels he can – violently. By the end of the short encounter, three people are dead and Ashley, the daughter, is still taken and placed in temporary foster care, so the tragic fiasco gained Jeff nothing. Or, so it seems.

Matters are further complicated when Amy, the wife and mother, winds up for a brief stay in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in her home. It seems as though everything is against the Blakes. Understandably, the police, as well as the Courts, are not too concerned with the needs of the family. Complete with many twists of fate, the story looks at the common problems of a typical family caught between love and the law.

“Thought provoking!”

“Exceptional! One of those books you can't put down!”

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Miscarriage Of Justice was written and then re-written several times. In fact, over the course of about a year and a half, there were seventeen re-writes. And even then, I put it aside because I wasn’t satisfied with the book. A year or so later, I picked up the manuscript, made a few minor changes and “suddenly” it seemed to work.


Miscarriage Of Justice


The justice system is just a system, not a just system.
Sentenced to fifteen years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Ethan Rafferty has one thing on his mind—payback! With his time up, the ex-con is free to pursue his mission of revenge.

During the trial, the District Attorney, Mariana Clark, suppressed evidence that would've exonerated him and now is the focus of Ethan’s vengeance. Intent on making her life a living hell, he works daily to antagonize and torment the woman. Unable to retaliate through the courts, considering the role she played, Mariana chooses to fight fire with fire. Soon, their feud escalates to a point where neither imagined it would go.

Which one will prevail, Ethan or Mariana? Can either? Or, are both of them bound to a destiny produced by a Miscarriage of Justice?

“You will never look at the court system the same again!”

“Never saw that ending coming!”

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Inside Room 913 is my best selling book, which is odd. I wrote the book intending for it to be a short story. But as usual, I got carried away and the book turned into a few hundred pages. I then edited it down to about 150 pages. Originally, I thought the book would be categorized as young adult but thanks to input from readers and advertisers, it has become a suspense book.


Inside Room 913


Parkview Manor has a secret, and eighteen-year-old Cynthia is curious! 

When Cynthia Holt takes a job at a former sanitarium, now operating as an assisted living center that doubles as a hotel, she instantly discovers something more is occurring than simply providing the elderly with housing and care. Something very strange is going on behind the locked door of Room 913!

After she is repeatedly warned to stay away from the room and to not discuss it or the occupant with her co-workers, she is even more intrigued, and suspicious! Letting her curious nature guide her, she immediately begins asking questions. When she finds that Room 913 has been closed off, locked and sealed for 40 years, her curiosity turns to concern. Though rumors abound, no one seems inclined to talk about it.

Not giving up so easily, Cynthia persists in her pursuit of solving the mystery, investigating the rumors until she learns the truth of what is inside the forbidden room—or does she? 

“Truly great story - unexpected ending!”

“Excellent book! 5 Stars! I thought I’d figured it out, and then...” 

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 See all of my books on my Amazon Author Profile.


Thanks for dropping by! And don’t forget to leave a comment below!








The Information Age

It’s amazing what a guy can learn from those little human-like creatures known as grandchildren. Having recently spent a week with all five of my grandchildren, I am now brimming with information. While some of it is interesting, some are things a guy would rather not hear.

Among the things I’ve learned is: that I need to lose weight (although, it was not stated quite that way), that I’m getting old, that when the sun rises it’s time to get up (even if you’ve just gone to bed a couple of hours before), that what little hair I have left is mostly gray, that kissing my wife spreads germs, that I wouldn’t make a good fisherman, that I talk too much, and the list went on. And on.

Then there was the utterly useless stuff like: motorcycles have two wheels, water is wet, and you should open a door before going in. While it come as a surprise to some (my grandchildren) these things I already knew but had long ago dismissed them because they don’t serve much of a purpose for, well, anything. That didn’t seem to matter; I was still deluged with all of their “profound” knowledge.

Some of this enlightening info I asked for but most of it was offered freely with no prompting. The little critters seem to have no inhibitions when it comes to speaking their mind. But in a world where everyone has learned to sugarcoat things in order to not offend anyone, I found their open honesty refreshing! But also, a little overwhelming. I’m not sure how they expected me to remember it all!

Yep, I definitely learned a lot of stuff. A week’s worth times five! But I think the most important thing I learned during our time together is, don’t ask a child a question if you don’t want to know the answer! ~

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, August 15, 2016

Back Home

Wisconsin in August! Probably not the best time to venture into America’s Dairyland.

For those of you who did not see last week’s post, the family and I, all eleven of us, took a road trip from Oregon to Wisconsin. For some in our party, it was the first visit to the state, and their first experience with humidity and bugs! Oh, and thunderstorms!

Also, for some, it was their first experience with long distance driving. At first, the grandkids seemed excited at the prospect and eager to hit the road. But I think the novelty wore off after the first 100 miles or so. After that, the “joy” of driving transitioned into the typical “Are-we-there-yet view.

For the adults, the adventure took a turn for the worse after about ten hours, in the form of car trouble. Outside Evanston, Wyoming, one of our vehicles broke down. It would run but the transmission would not engage. Sitting on the side of the freeway is not a real exciting way to spend a vacation. After a couple of hours and a few visits from the Wyoming law enforcement (who were very friendly and helpful) we had the car towed to the dealership where we learned it would need a new transmission, which incidentally, was not cheap. Eventually, we rented a car and continued our trip, leaving the problem vehicle to be fixed. We were a day late when we got to Wisconsin but better late than never, I suppose.

But wait, there’s more. The day before we needed to leave, the key for the rental car decided not to work. It was one of those new key fobs and not an actual key. The message panel on the car just said “Damaged key” when we tried to use it. And although those type of keys have a “real” key inside them for such an emergency, that wouldn’t work either. No matter what we tried, the car wouldn’t start. We couldn’t even roll up the windows. Not a good situation in a place that likes to rain buckets of water! So, after another tow to the dealership and waiting a day for them to fix it, with fingers crossed, we headed home.

There a few more minor issues with the rental, but finally, we made it back to Evanston, Wyoming. There, we picked up the repaired vehicle, returned the rental car, and hit the road again for the rest of our journey. After a day and a half on the road, we arrived home dead tired—and slightly disgruntled.

But the trip wasn’t all doom and gloom. While in Wisconsin, we visited my wife’s family, celebrating her parents’ 50 years of marriage and, I think, we all had a good time. We saw a lot of family and friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time and had a nice visit. Also, on the way to Wisconsin we stopped at Mt Rushmore, and saw a few other sites too. The stops helped break up the trip for the travel novices, know as my grandchildren!

In all, we visited nine different states. I’m pretty sure the extended freeway journey made for a fun-filled experience for, not only the grandkids, but everyone else as well. But I don’t think any of them are ready to go anywhere in a vehicle just yet. Except me. I’m headed back to work. I’ll be driving all night again. But not to Wisconsin! ~

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, August 8, 2016

Almost A Vacation

Vacation! Yep, again. A year ago, on my summer vacation, I spent the week painting the house, and fixing things that had been neglected far too long. This year, I’m taking an actual vacation. Well, sort of. We’re traveling to that exotic land of enchantment, known as Wisconsin. (That last part may have been typed with just a hint of sarcasm).

It promises to be a fun-filled, or at least, interesting, trip. The whole family, my wife and I, our three adult children, our son-in-law, and the five grandchildren will be cruising down the freeway from Oregon to Wisconsin. Normally, it’s around a thirty-hour drive, but with that many people, and that many kids, it might take a wee bit longer this time. Hopefully, by the time anyone reads this, we will be there. Hopefully.

For everyone, other than me, this will be a LONG trip. By the end of our vacation, we will have driven more than 3,500 miles. I’m thinking the grandkids, and perhaps a few others, will have had enough of being car bound, listening to the hum of steelbelts on the asphalt, by the time we get back home. 3,500 miles is a lot of miles. I know. That’s what I drive every week. And now you know why I said I was “sort of” taking a 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.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

My Wife, The Gardener

My wife doesn’t like tomatoes. (No, we’re not sure what’s wrong with her but she seems to be managing okay). But me, I love tomatoes, even store-bought ones—providing I have a full saltshaker.

Although I haven’t had a garden in a few years, somehow I did seem to always have a few tomato plants. Until recently, that is. The last couple of years, I didn’t want to take the time to water, weed, and care for them. So, I went without. Well, actually, I didn’t. There were enough people giving me tomatoes that I never really ran out—at least not during the summer.

Still, it’s nice to be able to walk out the door and pick my own. I mentioned that to my wife one day last winter—amid my complaints that the tomatoes from the store were creating a salt shortage at our house.

She must have taken me seriously because this past spring she bought some tomato plants, planted them, and took care of them, which included a lot of work to make sure they didn’t freeze when our weather kept insisting winter was not over. She also watered them every day, which is in itself a lot of work. (I know, some of you people live where watering things is totally unnecessary. But where we live, if you want a plant to grow, you have to pour water on it—every day. More than once too.).

And now, thanks to all of her hard work, I’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes for the last month or so. Yay! But, I’m not sure what she has gotten out of the deal, since she doesn’t like tomatoes. Maybe she’s just trying to keep me happy. Or, perhaps, she was just tired of buying salt! ~

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.