Monday, February 8, 2016

According To A Two-Year-Old

Today I noticed my grass is starting to grow and my rose bushes are budding! Spring! Finally! I guess I shouldn’t complain, we’ve had only a couple of snows and the temperatures haven’t been too cold this year but still, I’m ready for spring. For a lot of reasons, one of them being the need for a coat.

I really hate wearing a coat but since I also do not like being cold, I suffer through and wear one—the same one I’ve worn for about twelve years. Why? Well, I’d have to go shopping and spend money to get another one. Neither of which is appealing to me. So, I just wear the worn-out one and figure it’ll get me through another winter. And so far, it has!

Last weekend, out of the blue, one of my grandkids told me that I needed a new coat. When I asked why, he said, “’Cause that one’s old.”

“Well, that may be true,” I said. “But so am I, so...”

He nodded. “I know,” was his simple answer.

Well, that was a little funny, until I realized I’ve now reached that age where my actions and peculiarities can be dismissed and forgiven simply based on my age. But hey, wait a minute! I’m not that old... yet. I said as much to my grandson.

He gave me a long solemn stare and then with a thoughtful look said, “Yeah... you are.”

I suppose to a two-year-old, forty-eight does seem old.

But he wasn’t finished. “That’s why you need a coat, to stay warm.”

I guess in his own way, he’s looking out for me. Doesn’t want me to get cold or sick as I’m sure in his mind only OLD  people do. That’s nice of him. I think.

But according to the weather forecast, and my grass and roses, the current warmer weather will continue. So, for now, that’s solved the problem—I just won’t wear a coat. Unless it turns cold again. Then, I’ll have to bundle up. ’Cause, you know, I’m old. Just ask my grandson! ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, February 1, 2016

Maybe Next Time

So, last weekend on Sunday, my wife wanted me to take a drive down to Antelope in Central Oregon. She had a meeting for her job in the small town on Tuesday and not being familiar with the area, an area that is mostly void of civilization, she was a little apprehensive. She wanted me to show her where she would be going so she could find it on her own with no problems.

Well, I wasn’t feeling all that great and a two and half hour trip, one way, didn’t sound too appealing. Besides, there is only one main road down there so I didn’t think she would have any trouble. But then, I grew up around here so what I think is normal appears desolate and inhibiting to her. For those who may not know, Central Oregon looks a lot like Wyoming, and she’s used to Wisconsin where every square mile is populated.

On Tuesday morning, I received a series of texts. The first one said she’d gotten stuck in the mud on the wrong road far from her destination. Of course, phone service is very limited so I couldn’t call her. The next text said someone was supposed to be coming to help her. And eventually, I got one that said one of the officers from her office had rescued her.

Since the place she had traveled to had no phones or cell service, I had to wait until Wednesday night to find out the full story. Apparently, she had turned too soon, on a very muddy dirt road. She drove until she didn’t think the vehicle would make it and then tried to back out but had gotten high centered. And there the vehicle remained.

Thankfully, she didn’t panic. Grabbing a few items from the vehicle, she stuffed them into a small backpack and started walking. And walking. Turns out she walked about fifteen miles total. Eventually, she found a spot with cell service and was able to make a call. Not to me of course, since I had proved rather useless in this regard already!

Being that she works for the Sheriff’s Office, I guess I can understand why she would call them. Besides, a couple of the officers were also attending the meeting so they weren’t that far away. It would have taken me about three hours to get to her.

Several hours later, after a tow truck had hauled the vehicle out of the mud and to another town a few miles away, she made it to the meeting—without her suitcase. It was still in the vehicle. That meant no change of clothes, no amenities or, probably the worst of all, NO DIET COKE!

Now, I’ve only hit on the highlights, or lowlights in this case; the saga was much more drawn out than it seems here. And a little scary for my wife, who, although she was raised in the country, has decided she is now a full-fledged city slicker. Finally, Wednesday night, she made it home safe and sound. Needless to say, she wasn’t real happy with me.

Yes, I have apologized but that doesn’t really help much now. And I doubt she will be letting me forget this any time soon, if ever. So, next time my wife wants to take a drive, I think I will, um, I don’t know, take a drive? ~


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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Nothing To Do

I’m not very good at doing nothing. I’m a person who likes to be busy; I build things, create things, or fix things. You know, be productive. Recently, I found out just how much it bothers me to do nothing. 

A couple of Fridays ago, I had a little trouble pulling a fifth-wheel release on my semi, as it was jammed with mud and gravel. Being a guy, my solution was to pull harder. And yes, that worked. Problem is, more than the fifth-wheel release gave way. My shoulder made a weird stretching sound and that was followed by a good dose of pain. With the shoulder getting worse over the weekend, by Monday I ended up at the emergency room. Either a torn rotator cuff or a torn muscle the doctor said. I’ll find out later this week when I get an MRI. Yay!

For now, I’m restricted to light duty at my job, which means I can’t drive. Instead, since there are no other jobs for me, I sit in my pickup for ten hours a night and write down truck and trailer numbers as they come in and out of the terminal. That’s about 20 - 25 trucks a night, which only takes about 15 minutes total. If I can still do math right, that leaves 9 hours and 45 minutes of free time.

Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem; I would have spent the time writing a book. But with a right arm that won’t work, that became difficult. Sure, I can write fairly well with my left hand, and did so a lot while I was in school. But not having practiced much in the last thirty years, it no longer comes naturally. While I can do it, it’s slow, very slow, and that doesn’t really work well for writing. By the time I get a few words written down, the rest of my thought is gone.

And since the Internet doesn’t like to work very well at my job, doing anything online was not really an option. That doesn’t leave much to do while confined to my pickup in the dark. I can’t build things, create things, or fix things.

So, I downloaded a few games to my tablet and spent ten hours a day playing games. A most unproductive way to spend my time. At the end of the week, I had absolutely nothing to show for it. Nothing! Not even at home. That has to be the first time I’ve accomplished a week’s worth of nothing in my life!

The good news is the arm and shoulder are getting better. I can now move my arm almost like a normal person! Still can’t lift anything but I can feel it getting stronger every day. By the time I have my MRI, I am hoping I’m already well on my way to recovery.

So, what’s my point? Well, as anyone who reads my blog may know, I am sort of a jack-of-all trades. That doesn’t mean I’m a pro at everything but I can usually do it well enough to work. Which sometimes leads to people asking if there’s anything I can’t do. And now I can honestly answer, “Nothing.” ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Forget Getting Home Early

Last Friday night, I was making good time. All twenty-four wheels on my semi were singing along and I figured I’d be home an hour earlier than normal. Of course, being ahead of schedule is just asking for problems.

The problems started about half way through my run. After picking up a trailer, I had to swing by the office to give them a new copy of one of my logs—apparently, someone had lost it. That went okay, but then I stood and talked a few minutes. And while I talked, I laid the logbook down. And yes, thanks to my absent-mindedness, when I left, I forgot it. I noticed after going a few miles but didn’t really want to turn around and go back; it would have taken about forty-five minutes, eating up most of the hour I was ahead. So, I decided I’d drive without one. There is a fine if caught with no logbook but even worse would be the cops, or DOT, could make me sit for ten hours—to make sure I had my time off and wasn’t driving tired. But odds are, I figured, no one would know. It’s not like they routinely ask for my logbook. In fact, it is actually very rare, especially at the time I was driving; few cops are on the road and the scales are usually closed late at night. So, unless I was speeding or involved in an accident, I thought it shouldn’t be a problem.

I made it down the road 150 miles to another terminal, grabbed a logbook but all I filled out was for the current day. I’m supposed to have a copy of the last eight days, but I was still in a hurry; had to get home early! So, I picked up my next trailer and then started back. I’d just pulled on the freeway—hadn’t even gotten up to speed—when I saw the lights up ahead. Lots of lights. The red and blue flashing variety. Then I saw the line of trucks.

My first thought was that they were doing impromptu inspections. But I didn’t panic. I knew, using the part of my memory that does work, I could re-create my logs while I waited my turn in line. But then, I noticed there were cars stopped too. Oregon doesn’t have traffic checks for cars so it was a pretty safe bet something else was going on. That’s when I turned on the CB and learned there had been a multiple vehicle wreck; it was blocking the whole road. So much for being ahead of schedule!

I ended up waiting almost an hour before they cleared one lane and let us through, which put me right back on my normal time. Sitting there that long, you’d think I would have filled out the last eight days’ log, huh? But I guess I like taking chances, because I didn’t fill out any logs. What did I do instead? I wrote this blog post!

And just in case anyone is wondering, I did make it all the way home without needing the logs! ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Friday, January 15, 2016

Musical Muse by Guest J.A. Stinger

I'd like to welcome Rave Reviews Book Club member and current SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR, J.A. Stinger!

Musical Muse by J.A. Stinger




For me, music is such an inspiration when I write. I have a plethora of playlists on my Google Music account for different moods based on what I am writing. I have ones for love scenes, tense scenes, action scenes… you name it. There is something about writing and music that seem to go hand in hand for me. Perhaps it’s the emotions that both stir inside a person. I can be moved to tears by a good song, just as I can by a good book. I’m a rare breed that pays attention to lyrics of a song, not just the tone of the singer’s voice.
It’s not just music, but genre as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love with a capital L O V E country music, but there are some scenes in my novels that cry out for some good ole fashioned rock or metal. I’ve even been known to toss in some Skrillex (Gabriela, one of the characters in Generations Beyond, loves the song Bangerang!).
If you write in silence, I highly recommend trying out some music to see where it guides you.



J.A Stinger is the co-author of
Generations Beyond


Book Blurb
Hidden, buried deep within the government’s archived files of failed military experiments lays a troubling secret. For years, 1953 to 1972 to be exact, a team of doctors and scientists tried unsuccessfully to alter test subjects, hoping to build living, organic weapons for the future. Eventually the project was disbanded, labeled an abject failure – but they were wrong – it just took the passage of time and altered DNA.
Now, years later, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original test pool are different, superior, and dangerous. Project Generations was spawned, a systematic collecting, or scrubbing, of an experiment gone awry. The Generations are hunted, collected, and eliminated before someone discovers the key to controlling them...or perhaps someone already has.
Clouded in secrecy, a General is tasked with the daunting assignment of hoarding or wiping out the past by destroying their future. Captain Christina Aarons, a cursed Generation, is dispatched by the General to locate a new partner, Captain Jonathan Cross, himself the recipient of special abilities. Together the duo battle time, the General, their attraction to one another, and unseen forces to block the laboratory testing and genocide of their brothers and sisters.

Get Your Copy of Generations Beyond At:

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Monday, January 11, 2016

A Common Problem

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of memes and other references on Facebook to the new insanity of common core mathematics. It seems a lot of people share my opinion that this new math is utter pointless. I’m thinking it’s a good thing no one had enough stupidity to unveil common core to the world when I was in school. I just wouldn’t have done it. I had a hard time following the rules as it was; especially things like showing my work.

For some reason, my teachers wanted to make sure I actually understood how to do the problem. That was okay for problems that were a little involved but when it came to basic equations, I just wrote down the answer. And yes, I sometimes got marked down for it—that is, until I learned it didn’t really matter what I put down to “show my work.”

I found that scribbling anything on the paper was enough to satisfy them. So, of course, I had some fun with it. I’d switch problems, that is, show the work for the wrong problem, but then put the correct answer. Or, I’d show the numbers for an entirely different problem, one that hadn’t been included on the test. And sometimes, I’d just write down random numbers and then scribble over them so it wasn’t entirely legible.

And out of all the times of doing this, which was most of my schooling career, I never once got in trouble—they never even mentioned it. Maybe they knew I was playing games and chose not to play along, I don’t know. Or, maybe they saw that I did know how to do the problems, and arriving at the right answer was actually the important part.

Despite my refusal to always follow the “rules,” I liked math. It was straightforward and logical—unlike other subjects—and I usually did it in my head. In later years, for the more complicated problems, I would do the simple parts in my head, maybe writing down those answers so I could remember them, and then do the next computation in my head again. So, I really had nothing legitimate to write down for the problem as a whole—although, I did once suggest to my high school teacher that I could just draw a picture of a brain and call it showing my work. Thankfully, he had a sense of humor!

But something tells me my tricks wouldn’t have worked with common core. It seems the teachers of that are more interested in showing the work than getting the right answer. And my stubbornness would have dictated that I not participate. I know, I would have probably received a failing grade, which would have perfectly illustrated my point of the absurdity of this “new and improved” system—getting the right answers and still flunking.

But then, the only evidence of my flunking would be the final grade on the report card, right? And in keeping with the spirit of the correct answers being irrelevant, I assume it would then be perfectly acceptable for me to switch my grade. On second thought, maybe common core math wouldn’t have been so bad 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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Sunday, January 3, 2016

A New Year

2016. A new year. So far, it doesn’t seem any different from the old year to me. This is the fourth day and I don’t see anything that’s changed—other than the calendar. Sure, there are little subtle differences from day to day, but those always occur. Monday is a little different than Sunday, Tuesday changes a little more, and so on. We start new days, new weeks, and new months without much hullabaloo. But for some reason, everybody gets all excited about a new year.

I could understand if the year marks a big event for someone, graduation, getting married, or retiring; something they’ve been looking forward to and waiting on. Maybe the anticipated birth of a child or grandchild would be something to celebrate. But I know not everyone has a monumental moment planned. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people don’t. Still, for some reason everybody gets all excited about a new year.

Also, I’ve noticed during past years that the newness of a new year tends to wear off very quickly. By the middle of January, people are back to the grind, the festive mood of only a few days before all but gone. They go back to their “mundane” life of day to day living; getting up, going to work—or whatever else they do—going home, and going to bed, getting up... I’m sure you get the picture. This continues right through December when, for some reason everybody gets all excited about a new year.

I have my suspicions that it isn’t really the new year that matters as much as the fact that it’s a holiday and people like having time off work and celebrating. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. So, while I didn’t mention anything last week about the new year, I wanted to make sure I didn’t let it slip by unnoticed—because I know how everybody gets all excited about a new year.

HAPPY NEW 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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Amazon Giveaway



AMAZON GIVEAWAY!
Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Inside Room 913 by Bruce A. Borders. No purchase necessary.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nothing Against Frosty But...

I never liked building snowmen. Maybe because I never liked snow. And then there’s that cold thing, which as you may know, I don’t like at all! So, I don’t like building snowmen. I never really got into sledding or other wintertime activities either. If I’m going to play in the snow, I want it to be warm and sunny, you know, summer.

I did make a few snowmen when I was a kid—enough to learn how to do it anyway. But I much preferred watching other people make them—from inside! Still do. Yeah, I’m not much of a winter outdoorsman, I know.

Of course, after I had kids, making snowmen became part of my job. (That is in the job description for being a parent, I think). But even that was limited. My idea of a snowman was to make one and hope it would last all winter. That never happened; my kids would destroy them—on purpose, I think, just so I would have to build another one!

And now, I have grandchildren. For some reason they like snowmen. Yeah, they’re a little crazy. I think they take after their grandmother, at least in their affinity for snow and winter-related activities.

This past weekend, we had a couple inches of snow. One of my grandkids was at the house and I now have a snowman in my front yard. No, I didn’t build it. Lucky for me, my son was visiting for Christmas and he got the privilege of going outside, rolling snow around in the yard and stacking the balls on top of each other (and freezing). He’s a good uncle. Me, I never liked building snowmen! ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Too Cold At Home

The trouble with winter is, well, there’s a long list of things, but number one is, it’s cold!

When I was sixteen, and still living with my parents, we lived in a small town in eastern Oregon. Winters get pretty cold in this town and this particular year was no exception. Well, I take that back, this was an exceptionally cold year.

It was the week after Christmas and I had gone to work overnight, cleaning the floors at a local grocery store. The temperature was already well below zero when we started the job but by the time we were done, about four in the morning, the thermometer had dropped to -42 degrees. If you’ve never experienced that, or even if you have, that is cold.

Being young, it wasn’t as traumatic as it would be now, but it was still cold. Too cold. I decided that perhaps I should move. Maybe go someplace new, someplace warmer. I wasn’t really serious because I did like the town. It just happened to be cold at the time.

Well, little did I know that my dad was already thinking of moving. The following winter found us in Wisconsin. Yeah, not exactly a place known for its moderate weather temperatures and tropical climate. It was like going from the frying pan right into the fire—in an antithesis sort of way!

Everyone told me it got cold there but being that the year before I had seen -42, I wasn’t too worried. Then, winter came, specifically, the week after Christmas. I was “privileged” to experience the bone-chilling temps of Wisconsin with the thermometer bottoming out at... -42, again. A lot of good that move did!

Since then, I have moved again. Haven’t seen anything close to -42 in quite a few years. It barely gets below zero here. Except, I’m older now. And at this age, zero feels a lot like -42. It’s cold! And that is the trouble with winter. ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, December 14, 2015

War Of Words

So, my computer informed me that “whet” is not a word. Being that I like to argue, I informed my computer that it was wrong, that “whet” is indeed a word—half expecting it to tell me to use the word in a sentence. (Which is how this whole thing started, I think).

Instead, it asked if I would like to add it to my vocabulary. My vocabulary? Well, no, I thought, I would like the computer to add the word to its vocabulary, and perhaps stop trying to “help” me with its inadequate knowledge of the English language!

Of course, there was nowhere to type all of that so, I chose the only reasonable option and clicked, “Yes.”

Then, that got me started—searching for words the computer did not know. And I found quite a few of them, despite the fact that I’ve had this computer for several years and add words frequently. So, I’ve found a new way of wasting time, I suppose. But it’s actually kind of fun giving my computer vocabulary training. Linguistic drills, you might say. It’s like I’m teaching it to talk.

But then I got to wondering, why should I have to add words at all? This is a computer we’re talking about—a large computer at that, and text takes up relatively a small amount of space. So, why is it limited in the language department? Why leave out certain words? And who decided which words would be included—or excluded? Why discriminate? A                      computer should be all-inclusive, right? The point is, why not just add ALL the words from the dictionary? It’s not like that’s unfeasible, or beyond the realm of possibility; this is a computer, there’s plenty of room. But apparently, that’s my job.

But it’s okay. I can handle it. In fact, now that I’ve gotten started, I don’t seem to want to stop. I guess you could say this little incident just served to whet my appetite. ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, December 7, 2015

Vacation Plans

At my job, I’m required to take one week of my vacation in the winter months. I doubt they could make that requirement stick if anyone were to challenge it because, as my attorney once told me, vacation time is accrued during the previous calendar year and once accrued, the time is rightfully the employee’s time to take—whenever the employee chooses. Barring some sort of emergency, a company can’t legally prevent an employee from taking earned vacation. Some, I’m sure, would argue differently.

I’ll probably never know which argument would prevail in court because while I love things of this nature—arguing and court cases—I don’t mind taking a vacation in the winter.

A winter vacation is one week that I may not have to drive in adverse weather like: freezing rain, ice, or snow—“may not” being the key phrase. That is always my plan but it seldom works out. Only once, actually. I continually pick the wrong week to take off. Since I have to choose my vacation time nearly a year in advance, I really have no way of knowing which week will be bad weather so I just pick one and hope that’s the week. And nearly every single time, all but once, I am wrong. The week before, or the week after, my vacation, will be the bad weather and instead of enjoying the fact that I do not have to drive 700 miles a day in it, there I am, slipping and sliding along down the highways.

This has been the pattern for the eighteen years I’ve been at my job. Yes, seventeen times out of eighteen tries, I’ve been wrong. That’s not a very good track record. Especially since where I live, we don’t have that much bad weather. You’d think the law of averages would kick in at some point and help me out, but no.

This year was no exception. I’m currently on vacation, and high temperatures are supposed to be in the fifties and even sixties, with no freezing temps at night. And no wintery mix of misery is in the forecast. But last week...

Last week was full of ice, freezing rain to be specific. And snow. Someday, I’d love to go back to work after my winter vacation and rub it in to the other drivers that I’d missed the bad weather. But after this long, I’m beginning to think it’s a lost cause. I just can’t seem to hit it right. Well, except that once.

But about that, the one time that I guessed right. That was the year I had plans to go on a trip with my wife to attend a meeting for her job. So, I got to drive with chains for hours through the same ice and snow as everyone else at my job. And down the same road. Maybe I should invest in a Farmer’s Almanac. ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, November 30, 2015

Internet Dependent

I’m not a very patient man. (Not a big revelation there). I get frustrated when things do not work like they are supposed to. So, you can imagine the irritation and annoyance I’ve been experiencing for the past week and a half due to my Internet having issues.

As many Americans, I have come to depend on the Internet. I pay my bills on the Internet, advertise and sell books on the Internet, get my news, weather, and entertainment on the Internet. In fact, I live on the Internet. When it is down it negatively impacts my life in a BIG way. For instance, last week, when I posted my blog, it should have been a very simple matter. It normally takes about fifteen minutes to get the post online. But last Sunday night I spent three hours on it.

So, during the past week I have been busy, trying to isolate the problem. Every time I think I have it figured out, and think my Internet will now work, it goes out again. So far, it’s been a colossal debacle. I’ve now concluded I must have a weak router, so, against my usual nature, tomorrow I will call my service provider.

Not looking forward to that at all. By the time I get someone on the line who actually speaks English, jump through all the hoops of identifying myself, describe to them the problem, and then tell them what I have tried—only to have them suggest the very things I’ve already eliminated—I figure my day will be half over. And did I mention I’m not very patient?

But I am determined. Which is why you are reading this. Not sure how long I will have spent on it because when I finally get it posted, I’m NOT going back to edit it! I just don’t have the patience for that! ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving, 1985

Thanksgiving. A time of family, food, and fun—as I recently heard it defined. Yes, I have another Thanksgiving tale.

The year was 1985. I had just moved to Wisconsin in anticipation of getting married. My wife, who wasn’t my wife yet, and her family traveled to spend the holiday in another town. I had to work so I stayed behind to keep the house warm for the cat and dog.

Now before anyone starts feeling sorry for me, I wasn’t alone. For Thanksgiving Day, I was invited to some friends’ house. We had a good southern meal—odd for being in Wisconsin, I know, but these people were from the south—and afterward, we spent the day playing games. I stayed until well after dark and then returned to my future in-laws’ house.

Meanwhile, it had been snowing—all day. It was still snowing when I left for work the next morning—and when I returned. And, it continued snowing well into Saturday. By this time, the long driveway was pretty snowed in. I’d been driving my father-in-law’s four-wheel drive pickup and hadn’t bothered to think about removing any of the piles of white stuff. And neither had I thought to shovel. Probably should have started that the first day, instead of playing games all day long!

Waking up Saturday, I suddenly remembered my wife’s family would be returning that afternoon and they had taken a car, a car that I knew would have difficulty getting into and up the snow filled driveway.

So, I thought I’d help out. I went to the shed and started up the John Deere with a snowplow already attached. I figured the job would only take a few minutes. Well, as anyone who has been around me knows, that Mr. Murphy guy and me have a lot in common—if anything can go wrong, it will. I’d made only one pass down the driveway, when the John Deere stopped. Just stopped. I tried for several hours to get it running but apparently, I wasn’t much of a mechanic.

Looking at the driveway, I knew it would still be hard to get a car through it. The one pass I’d made hadn’t really helped much at all. So, I jumped into the pickup and drove back and forth until I had the snow packed down enough. Then I started working on shoveling the three days’ worth of snow from around the walkway and the house. By that time, I knew I definitely had waited too long to shovel. It was late afternoon when my wife and her family drove in and I still hadn’t finished.

My father-in-law, being a far better mechanic than I, seemed unconcerned with the stalled John Deere. As I recall, he had the tractor running in about two minutes. Then, while he cleaned up the driveway a little, I continued working on the shoveling.

I did apologize for breaking his tractor. He said not to worry about it, that any time a breakdown didn’t cost any money, it was good. Well, that’s true, except it had cost some money—I think I used close to a full tank of gas driving the pickup back and forth! But, as I recently learned, Thanksgiving is, among other things, a time of fun. And I certainly did have fun!

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, November 16, 2015

In The Shop

I wish I could decide when a vehicle will break down. I know, everyone wishes that!

It wasn’t that many weeks ago that I wrote about changing the alternator on my wife’s car. You’d think I’d get a longer reprieve than that but, sadly, no. Last weekend, I had a battery light come on, on my pickup. Not a big deal, I checked the battery and it was old and slightly bulged, so I bought a new one. It took only a few minutes to put in. But, the light did not go off.

So, before spending money on an alternator—again—I drove down to the auto parts store to have the system checked. They hooked it up and after a few seconds told me everything was working as it should. Apparently, my truck was just confused.

Getting the clean bill of health for the pickup, I took off for work. It’s about an hour’s drive to work and I’d made it about halfway when I discovered the system was definitely NOT working. By the time I made it to my job, I didn’t even have enough power to roll up my window.

Lucky for me, the route I drive in my semi takes me right through the town where I live. So, my wife met me at K-Mart, took me to the auto parts store to purchase an alternator, and then home to get some tools. I finished my run and at four in the morning was psyching myself up for another vehicle repair, which I hate, and this time the weather was not nearly so cooperative as when I did my wife’s vehicle. The temperature was 29 degrees with a slight wind blowing. And, I would be working in a gravel parking lot.

But...

The mechanic at my job, who doesn’t allow anyone in his shop (even the other mechanics do a lot of repairs outside so the shop doesn’t get messed up), and who never lets anyone use any of his tools (probably for good reason) offered, yes, offered, to let me pull into the well-lit, nice warm building with a clean concrete floor. Then, he pointed out the brand new floor jack and said I could be the first to use it. He set up a work light and told me if I needed any of his tools to help myself!

As the morning guys arrived, a few of them seemed quite shocked that I was working on my own pickup inside the forbidden shop! They also thought I had taken it upon myself to use the shop and were worried that I was going to get caught. The mechanic had other things to do so he was not there the whole time but he did show up now and then throughout the three hours it took—and helped. Another shock.

Now, here’s the neat part. I have never worked on a vehicle in a shop in my life! Sure, I’ve worked inside my garage, when I had one, but a shop is a far different experience. Tools, the right tools, power tools, were at my disposal, and the smooth concrete floor made dropped nuts and bolts so much easier to find. The lighted climate-controlled setting was a lot more comfortable than working outside. All in all, working in a shop made the job seem like not so much of a chore. In fact, it was almost fun. Wait! That might be pushing it a little. It was still three hours of work—after I’d driven eleven hours in a semi. Really though, it wasn’t that bad. Aside from the two hundred dollars spent on the alternator, this was the best break down I’ve ever had.

That’s why I’ve decided from now on when I break down, I’m going to do it at my job! Yeah, right. If only it was that simple! ~

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, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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