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.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Timing Is Everything

I was treated to a rare lightning storm show this past week. I drove for 100 miles or more with the spectacular flashes right in front of me. It was almost a continuous display of lighting, or lightning, with brilliant blues and orange. It’s been a while since I lived where this is a regular occurrence and I actually kind of enjoyed watching. Of course, it helped that there was no rain accompanying the lightning. I’m sure it may have been raining somewhere but the road I was traveling stayed dry as a bone. Which was fine with me, I don’t really like rain.

While driving along, amid the storm, I noticed a guy pulled over on the shoulder taking pictures. He had a tripod-mounted camera and appeared to be snapping photographs as fast as he could. With the clouds in the night sky and the mountains as a backdrop, I’m thinking he was getting some good shots.

I hadn’t thought of taking any pictures myself, until I saw him, that is. So, I grabbed my phone and started clicking away. I must have taken twenty-five or thirty pictures and only after the show was over did I look to see what I had captured. And... nothing. I had several photos that fit into one of two categories—white and black.

I had figured not all of the pictures would turn out but I knew that depending on the timing, I stood a chance of getting a couple of amazing shots. But no. Apparently, I either snapped too late (the black category), or at the split second, the lighting flashed (the white category).

Disappointed, I put the phone away and continued driving, thinking I was not much of a photographer. Obviously, a good photographer would have better luck in his timing, I told myself. I brooded on that a while and then, out of the blue it hit me that I had impeccable timing. What were the odds of that many photographs being taken at the exact moment they wouldn’t turn out? Especially with the amount of lightning I was seeing.

While I’d like to say that I had another chance on the return trip, it was not to be. The thunder and lightning had moved off to the distance and the only thing I could see in the night sky was the stars. But next time, say in two or three years (or more—remember I said it was a rare thing), that we have a lightning storm, I’ll give it another shot. I doubt I can duplicate my feat of snapping every picture at the wrong time. But you never know, I seem to be pretty good at it.

Or, maybe I just need a real camera. The guy I saw taking pictures from the side of the road happens to work at the same place I do. I saw a few of his photographs a couple days later. They were pretty dramatic and dazzling. I talked to him a bit (without divulging my little attempt at picture taking) and he said he’s been waiting years for the opportunity to get those shots. And what’s more, he seemed fairly confident he’d never have another chance like that. Well, so much for my idea of next 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, July 18, 2016

Off-Road Driving

Keep the dirty side down—a truck driver’s way of saying have a safe trip. In the case of the place I drive, where we haul garbage to a landfill, through the man-made mud (thanks to truck loads of water constantly being dumped to keep down the dust, all sides of the truck are dirty. So, the saying loses some of its significance.

The road to the site is paved but narrow and has a few corners. When meeting other traffic, you absolutely can’t move over. Though it goes against all instinct, you have to hug the centerline because the 1-foot shoulder is very soft. If a trailer tire goes onto the shoulder, you’re sunk—or the trailer is. The shoulder gives way and it pulls the trailer, and then the truck, right into the ditch.

As you can imagine, the ditch is not all that solid either so the entire truck then sinks—well, at the least the side that is not on the pavement does. And then physics finishes things off, giving the driver a ride they hadn’t anticipated as the truck and trailer turns over.

While this scene is far from an everyday occurrence, it does happen occasionally. Last Monday was the latest incident. Over the next two days, I got a good look (several looks actually) at the truck laying there on the side of the road. Surprisingly, it didn’t look all that damaged. Of course, I couldn’t see the side that was on the ground.

What I did notice though, was that the bottom of the truck, or what was supposed to be the bottom of the truck, was by far the cleanest side. Apparently, the swirling spray of water from driving in the man-made puddles, washes away the mud on the underside but doesn’t do such a magnificent job on the rest of the truck. This realization has led to a modified version of the old trucker’s saying—that will probably never be understood by other drivers unless they work at my job —keep the clean side 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, July 11, 2016

Move More, Eat Less

Made the mistake of mentioning to my wife that I’d like to lose a little weight. A mistake because now she keeps coming up with these ways I can do that. Insane ways. Her suggestions are things like walking, running, jogging, bike riding, an exercise routine and... dieting of all things!

I’ve never gone on a diet in all of my forty-nine years! Just the thought of dieting makes me hungry. Much as the mere thought of running, jogging, bike riding, or exercising makes me tired. I’m not a teenager anymore! My life these days consists of driving a truck and working at my computer! I can’t really be expected to actually be active can I? Besides, I don’t have time for any of that.

Seriously though, I’m pretty sure that’s the real reason I don’t do any of those “healthy” things any longer—I don’t have the time. And yes, I know, not doing those things would be the reason I need to lose some weight.

But I’ve come up with a solution! I’m going to exercise in my sleep! Should be easy to lose weight that way, after all, I get about five hours of sleep a night! That’s thirty-five hours of exercise per week. The weight should just fall off, right? Yeah, I know, in my dreams.

Actually, my real solution is even simpler than that. I’ll just stop eating. Well, not completely. That might cause serious complications. But maybe if I stop eating so much that just might do the trick. Might, but there is still that hunger issue to deal with, so it may take a little work. What I won’t do is mention my plan to my wife; she might start dreaming up ways for me to eat less—like not cooking. I don’t need my first diet to be a starvation diet! ~

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, July 4, 2016

God Bless America

I like to record songs in my spare time. Okay, I really don’t have any spare time. What I do is make time to record because I like to sing. Recently, in light of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday (Independence Day for those of you who think the Fourth of July isn’t a holiday), I recorded a few patriotic songs. I did several of them, America The Beautiful, Battle Hymn of The Republic, This Land Is Your Land, and others.

Singing songs about America made me realize again how lucky, or blessed, I am to be an American, living in this great country. Most patriotic songs are full of meaning and even more so when you sing them over and over and them work on the production of the recording. You start to actually pay attention to the words a little more than normal.


One song that I felt had the most meaning was God Bless America. Although for a patriotic song it is very short, it still holds a lot of truth. These days it’s not exactly popular to mention God but, well, I don’t care. Actually no, I do care, which is why I made a video of the song and posted it to YouTube. I’ve also included it below in this post but if it doesn’t play, you can see it here.


And now, I shall return to recording. Maybe a few Christmas songs. I know, it’s kind of the wrong time of year for that but ever heard of Christmas in July? I’ll let you know how it goes in December or so.

Happy Fourth!



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 27, 2016

Give 'Em A Brake!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my dislike of construction zones. But since I drive over 700 miles a day, I probably despise it more than the average person. They slow me down, making my day longer. Especially, this year.

There are currently seven construction zones on my route, with the speed limit reduced to 50 mph. That may not sound like a lot and I’m continually told by construction types that they only slow me down for a few minutes and then I can be on my way. That is true. But the problem is I don’t just make one pass through. So for me, it becomes a little more protracted. I make two round trips through each of these zones. That means the seven construction zones have become 28. That’s how many times I have to slow down and I usually wait behind traffic about half of the time. It generally adds an hour, or more, to my day. You can see why construction is one of my many pet peeves.

It helps to keep a sense of humor—otherwise, I’d just be upset all the time. Thankfully, the level of intelligence of those in charge of said construction makes that fairly easy. For instance, one day this past week, I was chugging along down he road when I noticed the dreaded familiar orange signs in the distance—more construction! Yay! Like the seven I had already weren’t enough. Wondering what they had decided to “fix” now, I kept driving—like I really had a choice in the matter; this is the only road I can use in this particular area.

The first sign I passed was a lighted reader board that advised me the left lane was closed two miles ahead. Okay, that’s no big deal. There are two lanes on the freeway after all. I’m driving a slow truck and usually stay in the right lane anyway. But then, not more than a half-mile further, I see a sign that says right lane closed ahead.

So, of course, I’m driving along thinking that someone messed up. Obviously, one of the signs was wrong. But which one? Figuring I’d take a wait-and-see approach, I kicked off my cruise at the 50 mph sign and continued on, a little amused by it all.

And then, rounding the next corner, I’m greeted by this:
         


Really? I thought. Both lanes are now closed for construction? I guess that wouldn’t surprise me considering the convoluted methods they sometimes use. But almost immediately, I knew it couldn’t be. I was traveling on a busy freeway and if both lanes were indeed close ahead, I felt pretty confident I would have already been in the resulting traffic backup—and I wasn’t.

By this time, I can see the orange and white barrels ahead, lined up down the shoulders. Yep, BOTH shoulders. And then I saw the workers. Well, two of them. They were standing on the side of the road, engaged in what appeared to be quite an animated discussion, oblivious to the traffic whizzing by. Both were shouting (I assume, since I couldn’t really hear them inside the truck but their lips were moving rapidly and their red faces going through all sorts of contortions), both were shaking their heads forcefully, and they were wildly gesturing, pointing in what looked like all directions. I got the distinct impression there had been some miscommunication somewhere along the line. A miscommunication that had for the moment left both lanes OPEN! That worked for me! Except that meant I’d had to slow down to 50 mph for nothing. But that was okay. Just this once anyway. It had allowed me a better view and a little more time to enjoy the show as I passed.

The entertaining diversion didn’t last long though. By my next trip through, they had figured it out—at least I think they had. There still were no lanes shut down but the signs had been changed. They now read, “Shoulder Work Ahead.” But that may have had nothing to do with any construction. It might have simply been to allow the workers to finish their argument in relative safety. ~

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 20, 2016

Patent Pending

I’ve never actually filed for a patent. There’s a good reason for that; I’ve never invented anything. Wait! That’s not quite true. But I don’t think combining two different steak sauces to make my own special blend really counts!

Still, the fact that I’ve never come up with anything deserving of a patent didn’t stop the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office from sending me a letter. A letter to inform me that my patent application had been received and recorded. My patent was now pending, it said. They even gave me a number. Great! I only wish I knew what it was for!

I found the whole thing a little more than odd. Don’t they require a patent attorney for such things? And wouldn’t they send all correspondence through the attorney? Maybe not, I guess, because after all, I did get the letter.

Perhaps they were just making everything ready in anticipation of some forthcoming invention—something I have yet to conceive or devise. Or not. That would require a remarkable level of efficiency. And I’ve never seen anything run by the government that’s even remotely efficient.

Obviously, they had the wrong Bruce Borders. They apparently got Bruce the inventor, mixed up with Bruce the truck driver/author/artist/songwriter/dental technician—among a few other things. But I didn’t feel any compulsory need to tell them that. Not my responsibility. How they got my name, I’ll never know. Even more baffling is how they came up with my address for this other “me.” I’ll never know that either.

This was quite a few years ago and no, I never contacted them or responded to the letter. I just threw it in the trash. I didn’t figure my effort would do any good and it wasn’t really my problem anyway. Besides, I didn’t want to encourage them in their incompetence. No doubt, I’d still be trying to convince them they had the wrong guy! (Yes, I’ve dealt with government agencies before and they all seem to operate under the same erroneous assumption—that they never make mistakes).

I never heard anything else and I suppose they eventually located the right Bruce Borders. But, who knows? I could still wind up making a fortune off “my” invention—whatever it is. I’ve heard these things take time. Maybe it’s still pending. ~

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 13, 2016

50 Years!

Today is my anniversary—and my wife’s too! Strange how that works. We’ve been married 29 years and while that may seem like a long time, it sort of pales in comparison to another couple, namely; my wife’s parents. They celebrated their 50th annivesary this past Saturday. 50 years! That’s longer than I’ve been alive!

What’s a little scary is when I first met them they’d only been maried 17 years. Not that 17 years isn’t commendable but compared to 50... Well, you see why I said “only” 17 years.

Unfortunately, my wife and I live 2000 miles away so we couldn’t be there this weekend but we plan to celebrate with them later this summer. The plan is for their entire family to attend; children, grandchildren, great granchildren, as well as the many spouses who have been accumulated. I’m looking forward to getting together and seeing everyone. I know that’s not the stereotypical thing to say—in-laws notoriously do not get along. But I’m not the typical stereo playing the same old tired song—I actually like my in-laws. Really!

When I moved to Wisconsin, away from my family and everyone I knew, they became like family to me; a second set of parents. They always treated me like a son and for that I am grateful.

In the many years I have known them, they have always been selfless and strong, supportive of each other, and even tempered; it’s no surprise they made it to 50 years. These days, not many couples make it to 10 years, much less 50. Just wanted to say congratulations to them and acknowledge their accomplishment. Happy (now belated) Anniversary! ~

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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