Architechtonics After the Rain

This has certainly been a bumper year for writing… and I have one more for your enjoyment.

Architechtonics After the Rain” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Four

I expect this to be the last piece published this year (not a bad guess considering there’s only 10 days left until the new year), but you never know.

This story is the 14th piece I’ve had published this year, which is more pieces published then the previous 4 years combined.

I would say that I hope to publish as many or more next year, but I think that’s unlikely, I have one story forthcoming, and 13 stories currently waiting in the wings, but I don’t expect all of them to be published this year. Of course I didn’t expect all the stories published this year either, so we’ll see what happens.

In case you missed one, here is the full list of published stories from this year, from oldest to newest.

Every Woman in the Afterlife Hates You” | The Corvus Review | Issue 7W

The Easter Bunny on a Glass Elevator Going Down” | Foxglove Journal | March 28th, 2017

Magical Gastronomy” | The Ginger Collect | Issue One

An Apple Tree in a Driveway” | YuGen | May-June 2017

The Last First Days of School” | Independent Noise | Issue 1.2

Cecil the Trophy Hunter” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Two

Uncle Melvin’s Museum of Physical Media” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Three

Honeytomb” | Storyland | October 20th, 2017

Knight Camp” | Doo-Writers Anthology 2017

Rendezvous with the Secular Church of Gasoline” | Doo-Writers Anthology 2017

You Last Opportunity to get the Era Carinae Colonizer Kit” | Doo-Writers Anthology 2017

The First World War Considered as a 2D Tournament Fighter” | The Corvus Review | Issue 9W

Snakes Without Colors” | The Short Humour Site | December 10, 2017

Architectonics After the Rain” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Four



Greetings to All my Friends Fans, Family and Loyal Readers. It’s been a little time since my last post and there’s a decent amount to be updated on.

First I’m fresh off the NaNoWriMo Contest, this year’s novel “October Surprise and Other Stories” (actually it’s a Novella padded out with several short stories) was another success. 77,861 words (that’s 27k more then I needed to pass, I actually cleared the 50k word mark on November 19th). I put a total of 65 hours just into the novel (or book, your choice), and that is only writing, editing will be a longer process, to be done next year. here’s a quick synopsis of the stories in the new book.

October Surprise – the title story is a retelling of Alvin Schwarts’ retelling of classic scary stories and folk tales originally retold (not a type-o) in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” in the framework of a hardboiled noir mystery, set against the backdrop of a local election. Did you get all that? I hope so because the other stories are going to be even more complicated.

Fourthwrite – (also not a type-o). this story takes place in a future semi-dystopia where writing is taboo and borderline illegal, and writers groups have taken on an outlaw biker gang image. The future world is the center of a book to be worked on in the future, something called a Fix-Up, which is a novel made up of stories which have been strung together with a loose narrative, usually written story first (yeah I don’t much care for the name either, but what can you do). Anyway, this particular story is about one of these outlaw writers groups, called Fourthwrite, and they are meeting at a coffee shop to read their stories to each other. There are four stories within this story itself, complete with a discussion about each story. So when this is finally placed into the fix-up, there will be stories within a story within a novel, and that’s why that novel will be called “Heavy Meta.”

Snakes Without Colors – this is a creative non-fiction. It was written as part of a 20-minute exercise during a memoir writing class. My dad took the class with me and his 20-minute memoir was quite good as well. I won’t go into what this story because it’s already been published here.

A Quarter Dollar – this story takes place in another world created during this year’s NaNoWriMo contest. In this alternate history, technology is rapidly developed during WWII and as a result, the timelines of the 50’s and the 80’s have merged together, soda fountains have arcade machines, rock and roll is played alongside synthwave, massive social upheavals occur overnight, liberals and conservatives are as far apart as can be. That world is called “The Sock Hop Revolution” and just what is going to take place in this novel or whatever it might be I don’t know. The story, however, is about a soldier returning to his old high school hang out, a soda-fountain, 10 years later and pontificating on all the changes that have taken place since the last time he was there. The stories actually a lot heavier then that preview makes it sound.

Last They Came – if you remember the “Heavy Meta” universe mentioned in “Fourthwrite” this is a poem that kind of sets up the entire situation described there. It’s a parody/homage to the poem “First They Came” by Martin Niemöller.

Shades of Death – another story that takes place in the “Heavy Meta Universe” this one is about a driving club that does a run through the Poconos and Endless Mountains. This is another stories within a story story, but it’s more subtle and conversational, then the jarringly clear way they are presented in “Fourthwrite”

Firehowl – Tree of Blood was originally going to be the novel for this year. but kind of at the last minute it switched to this collection I’ve been telling you about. There are a variety of reasons why this happened, and I’m not going to go into all of them here. But the big reason is that the novel is already half (or maybe 1/3) written, and that didn’t seem fair. It did seem fair though to include a segment from that unfinished novel into this collection. So that’s why it’s here.

TV Killers – this is another parody/homage, this one to Ernest Hemingway’s “The Killers” (and if you’re interested, it’s my favorite story by Hemingway and you can read it here, it’s not very long.) In the original story, two Jewish gangsters walk into a diner, try to order dinner, fail to order dinner, and admit they are there to kill a Swedish boxer. In this story, it’s 2 women that walk into the diner and discuss various storylines they are going to use in the TV shows they work on. another “Heavy Meta” story… most likely.

Updates – wait a minute that’s this piece.

Okay, so that was NaNoWriMo 2017, here’s some more, less related updates.
If you remember about a year ago I did a blog post on a new anthology released by my writer’s group. Well, this year we have another one, our second annual. This time I actually have 3 stories published in it. So this year it’s 3 for the price of one… but with a price. The new anthology is the same price as last year: $9.99, and it will make a great Christmas present (hint hint) all proceeds go to the Downingtown Library, which hosts our writer’s club, the Doo-Writers.

The theme of the anthology this year was “Fun in the Sun and the Madness of the Moon.” My stories included in this anthology are (in order of their appearance):

Your Last Opportunity to get the Eta Corinae Colonizer Kit – this story is written in the form of an infomercial pitch, trying to get you buy into a franchise that will help you colonize planets. It’s funny, poignant and short, so give it a read.

Rendezvous with the Secular Church of Gasoline – an older story written at the tail end of my hyper-maximalist years. This story is entirely a dialogue of two people discussing the image and idea of an abandoned gas station. This one is not easy to read or understand. But if your up for the challenge, the payout could be very nice.

Knight Camp – this is another story that takes place at World’s End Scout Reservation, a place that is in one way or another the main character of “The Boy Scout Camp at the End of the World” the story I published in last year’s anthology (and also probably my best story thus far, in my opinion, with Uncle Melvin at a close second.)

New Contributors – sadly we did not get as much interest in this anthology as we had with last year, But we did have 3 new contributors: Travis Shaw – who wrote a story in verse about the sun and moon as lovers who pursue each other in “A Moon’s Tale,” Craig Bolton – who wrote a story about a slave who is tasked with maintaining an abandoned plantation set against Sherman’s March to the Sea in “Howling Georgia,” and three stories from Josh Mavis: “Embarkation of Moonlight” “Chi-Chi’s is Closed Forever” and “Ragout Fin” (Chi-Chi’s is the best of these stories, an interesting take on time travel and some of its paradoxes. The other two are pretty good too.)

Returning Contributors – aside from myself, Chris Scudese, Jennie Gardiner and J.C. Wilson all contributed to this year’s anthology. “Come All Within,” and “Amber Has a Secret” the opening and closing pieces of the anthology by Scudese and Gardiner respectively are both outstanding. Brendan Lyons did not contribute a story to the anthology this year however he was responsible for designing the interior, and for that we thank him.

Aside from the novel and the anthology I would like to point out a new section that you may have noticed on my that says “Other.” I feel there are enough other things I’ve done to finally make this section a real thing. The two Doo-Writers anthologies, you already know about, and the contribution to people of few words Vol. 3 you may be familiar with. But there is also an interview with the Ginger Collect, and also an acknowledgment.

My good friend Nick Gregorio invited me to the launch of his first novel. He read an excerpt from the novel, answered questions, and signed copies of his book. But before that, he read the acknowledgments page. A friend I had brought with asked if I was going to be acknowledged in the book and I told him that I doubted it. then a minute later Nick read my name along with my friend Dean with a nice memory of our days in college and our original writer’s group. It was very nice and most unexpected. I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but I’ll do a nice review of that as soon as I have. But I am a slow reader so forgive the anti-timeliness.

Snakes Without Colors

A few weeks ago my dad and I took a class on Memoir writing at the library, and during the class there was a 20 minute session to use what we had learned to write our own very short memoir. I just published the piece at very first place to ever publish one of my stories (The Short Humour Site) and here it is:

“Snakes Without Colors” | The Short Humour Site | December 10th, 2017

Yes the story is true, in fact this version of it is (evidently) closer to what actually happened then the original piece, how accurate it is though, I don’t really know, since both my parents and I have different memories of the events in this story.



WWI Tournament Fighter

It give me great pleasure to introduce my latest published story, featured in this seasons issue of the Corvus Review. It is called “The First World War Considered as a 2D Tournament Fighter.”

As the title might suggest it is a condensed version of the events of World War One, retold as a video game.

The story is part of my 14 for 14 series (the 14 stories I wrote in the year 2014), of which half have not yet been published, and one more is on the way.

Some interesting statistics: this story had a writing speed of 8 hours per thousand words, and was submitted to 5 different places, and is 3.5 years old (from first word written to published).

If you were wondering about the title it is actually based on a simmiler story called “The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race” by J.G. Ballard, which itself is heavily influence by a story called “The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race” by Alfred Jerry.

This is not my only recent publication either. If you’ve looked at my Published Works page you might have noticed 3 other titles that weren’t there recently: “Knight Camp” “Your Last Opportunity to Get the Eta Corinae Colonizer Kit” and “Rendezvous with the Secular Church of Gasoline” all of which appear in the second Annual Downingtown Doo-Writers Anthology. Each copy is only $9.99, and all the proceeds go to the Downingtown Library. It would make a good stocking stuffer (hint hint).


I am pleased to finally present the published version of my Flash Fiction “Honeytomb.”

Honeytomb” | Storyland Literary Review | October 20th, 2017

This is an odd one, so be forewarned.

Some statistics and factoids about this story. I put about 9 hours of work into this story, which comes to about 14 hours per 1000 words, or 1 minute per word w/r/t writing & editing. The editing saw the removal of over half  the words from the original draft to the current draft. The story is 3.5 years old, and has been submitted to 12 different places (lost 3 times and rejected 9) before it was picked up by Storyland Literary Review.

Another interesting side note. My good friend from College, Dean Steckel, had a story published here as well. And it’s quite good, so I would recommend checking it out as well.

Disaster Eroticism” by Dean Steckel | Storyland Literary Review | August 4th, 2017


Uncle Melvin’s Museum of Physical Media

On the first day of fall, I am pleased to bring you my latest published short story. I’ve written a lot of stories in the past, and published quite a few of them too (a lot this year in fact) and although I’m proud of all of them, at this point though this one I happen to be the most proud of, and would probably refer to it as my favorite.

This is my third story to be published in the Ginger Collect, all three of them published this year, in each of their first three issues.

The story itself was written over the course of 24 hours, and it started as not so much a story but more as a character illustration, and I didn’t know exactly where it would go and quite how it would be written when I started. But over those 24 hours it turned into something (in my opinion anyways) truly beautiful. There is a lot of myself and my peculiar beliefs in the character of Uncle Melvin, though he is certainly more extreme.

I don’t want to say too much more about the story so I can just let you enjoy it. I hope you do, I think you will.

“Uncle Melvin’s Museum of Physical Media” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Three

100 Best NES Games – Episode 1

Before we get into this whole project, I should point out that this is not a list of the 100 best NES games (in my opinion). The title is the name of the Multicart, but it’s deceiving because there’s actually 143 games on it. Unlike other multicarts these are all unique games, not hacks or level jumps that go under strange names, recycling only a handful of games.

I got this Multicart for one and only one game and that is “Little Samson.” Had that game not been included in the list I may have also picked up the cart for the very strange very obscure “Zombie Nation.” The 140+ other games included are an added bonus, and I look forward to playing all/most of them.

The idea of this review is to play each game on the cart (with a few acceptations) for 15 minutes, and if I enjoy it in that time, then add another 45 minutes to the clock and continue the game from there.

There are a lot of games on the cart already, so this is going to be a long project. Also I’ve heard these carts can be finicky, but judging by the fact that it worked perfectly the first time I put it into my Retron 2 I am optimistic. The review will be in 15 episodes, first this overview, episode 2 will have the 10 most anticipated games, and the rest with 10 game reviews per.

I’m looking at at least 50 hours of playtime to get through the project, considerably more if a lot of the games are better than expected. So check back often to see the next review. At the time of publishing this blog post, I have rough draft reviews for games up through episode 5, so more are on the way, I promise.

In the meantime you can peruse the list of games on the cart below. I have a little Key going: * means I own an original cart of the game, ^ means I own an alturntive port or remake of the game (I have Zelda 1 for Gameboy Advance, Ducktales HD Remake for the Wii U, etc.), and ~ means I have a limited form of the game on the NES Remix disk for the Wii U.




  • Adventure Island 1
  • Adventure Island 2
  • Adventure Island 3
  • Adventure Island 4
  • Adventures of Lolo 1
  • Adventure of Lolo 2
  • Astyanax
  • Balloon Fight~
  • Baseball Stars
  • Batman
  • Batman Returns
  • Bionic Commando
  • Blades of Steel
  • Blaster Master
  • Bomberman 1
  • Bomberman 2
  • Bubble Bobble 1
  • Bubble Bobble 2
  • Castlevania 1
  • Castlevania 2
  • Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers 2
  • Clu Clu Land~
  • Contra
  • Contra Force
  • Super C
  • Crystalis
  • Deja Vu
  • Devil World
  • Donkey Kong~
  • Donkey Kong Jr.~
  • Double Dragon 1
  • Double Dragon 2
  • Double Dragon 3
  • Double Dragon 4
  • Mario^~
  • Ducktales 1^
  • Ducktales 2
  • Earthbound (Mother)
  • Excitebike~
  • Faxanadu*
  • Final Fantasy 1
  • Final Fantasy 2
  • Final Fantasy 3
  • Flintstones 1
  • Flintstones 2
  • Friday the 13th
  • Galaga
  • Gargoyle’s Quest 2
  • Ghosts ‘N Goblins
  • Goonies 1
  • Goonies 2
  • Gradius
  • Guardian Legend
  • Ice Climber~
  • Ice Hockey~
  • Ikari Warriors 1
  • Ikari Warriors 2
  • Ikari Warriors 3
  • Jackal
  • Kickle Cubicle
  • Kid Icarus~
  • Kings of the Beach*
  • Kirby’s Adventure^~
  • Kung Fu
  • Legendary Wings
  • Life Force
  • Little Nemo
  • Little Samson
  • Lode Runner
  • Magician
  • Maniac Mansion
  • Mega Man 1
  • Mega Man 2
  • Mega Man 3
  • Mega Man 4
  • Mega Man 5
  • Mega Man 6
  • Metal Gear
  • Metal Storm
  • Metroid~
  • Mickey Mousecapade
  • Might and Magic
  • Mighty Final Fight
  • Millipede
  • Moon Crystal
  • Ninja Gaiden 1
  • Ninja Gaiden 2
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Over Horizon
  • Pac-Man^
  • Paperboy
  • Parodius
  • Power Blade 1
  • Power Blade 2
  • Rad Racer
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rampage
  • Ring King
  • River City Ransom
  • Rush ‘N Attack
  • Rygar
  • Samurai Pizza Cats
  • Sansara Naga
  • Section-Z
  • Shadowgate
  • Silver Surfer
  • Skate or Die
  • Smash T.V.
  • Spider-Man
  • Spy Hunter
  • Super Spy Hunter
  • Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Tropics 1
  • Star Tropics 2
  • Stinger
  • Mario Bros.^ ~
  • Super Mario Bros. 1*^~
  • Super Mario Bros. 2~
  • Super Mario Bros. 3~
  • Sweet Home
  • Tecmo Super Bowl
  • TMNT 1*^
  • TMNT 2
  • TMNT 3
  • TMNT Tournament Fighters^
  • Terminator 1
  • Terminator 2
  • Tetris 1*^
  • Tetris 2^
  • Time Diver Eon Man
  • Tiny Toon Adventures 1
  • Tiny Toon Adventures 2
  • Totally Rad
  • Uninvited
  • Vice Project Doom
  • Willow
  • Wily & Light No Rockboard (Mega Man)
  • Zanac
  • The Legend of Zelda 1^~
  • The Legend of Zelda 2*~
  • Zombie Nation

Mega DVD Marathon Episode 2 – “The A’s”

Abbott and Costello Collector’s Choice Double Features – This is a single 2 sided DVD with an Abbott and Costello movie on each side. Side 1 is Africa Screams, side 2 is Jack and the Beanstalk. A very old DVD in my collection, definitely picked up in the first year of owning a DVD player, back in 2001, and watched many times when I was first getting into old comedies.

Africa Screams – A classic Abbott and Costello film, public domain and included on a lot of bargain bin DVDs (in fact I have another copy of the movie on my Icons of Comedy box set). The movie is very funny, a parody of safari movies with a noticeable nod to the Giant Ape subgenre. It features cannibals which I always find comedic (in a dark way of course), the chief of the tribe arranges the acquisition of the tasty Costello for a bag diamonds. The movie also has Shemp Howard (my favorite stooge), Joe Besser (another lesser known stooge), and Clyde Beatty playing himself. We watched this one last year in my film club to universal enjoyment.

Jack and the Beanstalk – One of the very rare (and only one I know) Abbot and Costello movies to be in color, and also an adaptation of my favorite fairytale. However because of the seen where Costello says a tearful goodbye to the cow he sells for magic beans, I don’t watch this movie. I’ve only seen it once, and I skipped it here.

The accidental spy – This is one of my wife’s movies so I skipped it, though I do love Jacky Chan.

Airplane – an unbeatable classic, a seminal movie of the spoof genre, and Leslie Nelson’s first comedy. The movie is totally screwball, with a lot of double entendre, innuendo, sight gauges, side gauges, slapstick, etc., etc., ad infinitum. This is a movie you could watch a hundred times and still notice new jokes. I actually got this when I think it was FYE was having a sale that you could pick it up for 5$ when buying something else (at a time when DVDs were not cheap like they are/can be today), I picked it up when getting a copy of Nightwish’s Century Child, a disappointing album, but not the DVD.

Animated all-stars: 50 cartoons – I have a lot of good memories connected to this DVD. I baught it while we were in the process of buying out new house, it was packed up right away and I told myself I wouldn’t watch it until we moved into the new house. I kept my promise, and a day or two after unpacking I had it in the DVD player, and with each show (for the most part) it just got better and better. It’s another mill creek DVD, each disk is two sided and there are 2 disks in the set, in sleeves (but strangely the box has a double wide spine even though it definitely dose the need it). Side 1-A is Beetle Bailey, 1-B is Snuffy Smith, both side of disk 2 have an episodes a piece of: the Legend of Prince Valiant, the Magical Adventures of Quasimodo and the Adventure of Flash Gordon; 3 episodes of Cool McCool; an episode of Betty Boop on 2A and Defenders of the Earth on 2B. Let’s go through this piece by piece.

Beetle Bailey – not as good as some of the other stuff on here, the humor tends to be a little on the flat side and it’s a little too American and Militaristic for my taste but it’s not bad. In fact it was good enough that I picked up the complete series (I think) recently when I saw it in the bargain bin. The animation is much sharper then I would have expected, and the show I understand is based off a comic strip. There was a good off color joke I’d explain it but… just watch it for yourself, it’s from the episode “Hoss Laff” and the scene starts at about 2:00, but you can watch all five minutes and change to get an idea of the show.

Snuffy Smiff and Barney Google – Now this is a funny show. Also based on a comic strip, it follows the misadventures of the titular poor hillbilly characters and their friends. There’s one great line from the episode “The Tourist Trap”  where Barney warns tourists not to wake up Snuffy because it will take him a full minute to fall back asleep. Other great episodes are: Pie in the Sky, Snuffy Runs the Gamut. Just this side was worth the (admittedly very cheap) DVD price.

The legend of Prince Valiant – great show with a very 80’s psychadellic opening [link]. It’s a low fantasy medieval world about the titular character on a quest to find Camalot after his father lost his kingdom. The animation and presentation are very well done. This too is also based on a comic strip, and there is also a fairly rare NES game in the franchise. I plan to get the game (if I ever come across it) and I’ve already picked up the first (of two) volume of the series. it will be watched and reviewed of course, but not for quite a while as I’ve filed it under “V” and not “L” just like The Legend of Zelda.

The magical adventures of Quasimodo – I’m not a fan of this cartoon, nor am I a fan of the book it’s (loosely) based on or even French Literature in general. I don’t have a problem with the French, they excel greatly in cuisine, paintings, film, gardening, architecture, wine and so on; however culturally their music and literature often leave much to be desired. But as for this cartoon I skipped it, I’ve watched it before, but probably won’t again.

The adventures of Flash Gordon – I’m also not a huge fan of this cartoon too much either, but I liked it enough to watch it again. generally speaking I never liked the “ pure action hero” cartons and usually preferred the more humor driven shows (the only major exception to this rule is Batman the Animated Series, but that show is on a whole other level). In this cartoon, after flying to the planet Mongo (probably couldn’t use that name these days in a kid’s cartoon) to prevent it from hitting the earth, Flash has to deal with Mongo’s emperor the evil Ming the Merciless (slightly xenophobic, Ming is blatantly Asian). The show has Death, slavery and suggested rape and that’s just the first episode, so it’s kind of strong for a kids show, it has kind of a pulpy feel to it all in all, maybe worth checking out if you’re into the “pure action/superhero” cartoon genre.

Cool McCool – This is a funny little cartoon about a semi-slow witted detective a la Inspector Gadget, Clouseau et. al., very 70’s but still pretty good. I almost let someone borrow the DVD because he had come across the name “McCool” and didn’t know it was real, but I thought better of it, he probably wouldn’t have given it back.

Betty Boop – I don’t actually watch this cartoon. As you saw from episode 1 I do like Betty Boop, but I don’t like this particular cartoon. It’s a little too 70’s, and I don’t like that Betty gets abducted in it. Also color is not something your supposed to see in a Betty Boop cartoon. It just feels wrong in so many ways.

Defenders of the Earth – I don’t quite understand what this is. It appears to be another super hero cartoon, but it follows the same storyline as the Flash Gordon cartoon w/r/t Mongo and Ming the Merciless, though set on Earth instead of Mongo, and with a different cast of characters Flash Gordon notwithstanding as he appears in this cartoon too.

In review – Animated All-Stars: 50 Cartoons, is a great little package, and brought to my attention cartoons that I was more or less unaware of, several of which I enjoyed quite a bit. If you come across it in a bargain bin and you like cartoons pick it up. It has enough of everything to keep everyone happy.

Apocalypse Now – I actually skipped this one for a few reasons. I’ve seen it before (in a college class) but my copy is currently unopened. It’s a really good movie and I’ve read the source material (Joseph Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness”) several times, but it’s still a movie you need to be in the right mood to watch, and I had just watched a fairly heavy movie in the theater earlier that day. But the biggest reason is I didn’t get a chance to watch it until almost midnight the day it came up, and I didn’t really want to start it and possibly get into it because it is a fairly long movie and I would have been up to 4 in the morning if I did.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters – I’ve only seen this movie 2 maybe 3 times in the past, once in the theater and once or twice after I got the DVD. I haven’t watched ATHF in years and I actually find it funnier now then I did back when I watched the show regularly, and the same goes for the movie. It’s very funny but it is an obscure type of humor, maybe even postmodern. Unlike other franchises that started as TV shows then went onto movies (Ninja Turtles, the Rocky and Bullwinkle franchise) where they inevitably make the movie more serious, plot/story driven, and veer away from the source material, this movie is just a 90 or so minute episode of the TV show, with a little more uncensored swearing and at certain times slightly richer animations. At first I was a little disappointed that it answered no questions the show brought up, but now having delved more deeply into postmodern storytelling, I realize this is not a negative, just enjoy the ride. Also the DVD has a great cover.

Aqua Teen Hunter Force Vol. 1 – I forgot how good this show was. My favorite character in the show by far is Carl Bratanananalewsky, the slovenly neighbor of the Aqua Teens. He is pissed off about living next to them and he doesnt hide it, everything he says is a stitch (right from his very first line in the show “WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FRICKEN CAR!” delivered perfectly with the New Jersey vernacular and accent. If that wasn’t funny enough, he is always animated wearing sweatpants, a wife beater, and flip flops (this struck me as funny later on when he would be shown going out to restaurants wearing the exact same outfit. He might be one of my favorite characters from anything, and that would make an interesting list, but I’d have to think about that for a while. Although just about every episode is good in this first volume, I really like: Escape from Leperchautropolis, Bus of the Undead, and MC P Pants.

Aqua Teen Hunter Force Vol. 2 – More great episodes but with 2 flaws. First there’s this weird clip that I used food in a psychological psudo-horror montage at the begin of the DVD which grosses me out, so I just look away from that. The other disappointment is that the show went from having 18 episodes per box to 13 (a lot of the other early adult swim shows did the same thing), and considering the episodes are only 10 minutes long there’s not a whole lot of material. Of course the price (upon release, which is when I got them) didn’t change, but what can you do. Good episodes on the DVD to look out for are: Mail Order Bride, Super Bowl, Super Trivia, and the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future.

Aqua Teen Hunter Force Vol. 3 – better overall presentation in this DVD, but not much new other then that. Good Episodes to look out for in this one: Frat Aliens, Total Re-Carl, the The, The Last One, The Shaving, and Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary.

Aqua Teen Hunter Force Vol 4 – this is the first DVD to have each episode open with a Spacecataze short, a war of pranks between the Plutonians and the Mooninites, better then the doctor weird openings. There is even a special feature where you can watch all the spasecatazs episodes at one shot. The show did in fact get better with age, though a lot of people argue otherwise, a lot of the later episodes are very funny, and very over the top, and this might have been the best of the DVDs if not for one fatal flaw…. the play all feature. When it first came out they kept plugging the “play all” feature as a special feature, and we laughed at the joke, but as it turns out the joke was on us. When you select play all it shows all 13 episodes at the same time, and plays the audio track on top of each other (the noise alone makes it unwatchable). It would be funny if there was an actual play all somewhere to select, but there isn’t (and believe me I checked) so you have to select each episode when you watch this DVD, and you also have to select the commentary on/off each time you do this. They really screwed up on this one. Consequently this is the last ATHF DVD I ever got. I may get the others depending on the price and if I come across them, there are still several good episodes that I’ve seen alone the way. Some of the really good episodes on this DVD: Video Ouija, Gee Wiz, Robositter, T-Shirt of the Dead.

The Aviator – I considered watching this when it came up. I haven’t seen it before, which means I would have to give it my full attention. I did have some time to do it, but when I saw it was a 3 hour movie I had to pass. I did throw the dice to decide weather or not to watch it anyways, but ultimately they told me not to. I picked up this DVD for 2$ from a coworker who was retiring and selling the bulk of his DVD collection piecemeal. There were a few others purchased at this time, and I will mention them when they come up. Well that’s it for the “A’s” now onto the “B’s”.

Half-Way Point

Well, the year is half way gone already, can you believe it? If you remember at the end of last year I did a series of blog posts reviewing the various things I did throughout the year. I won’t be doing a lengthy “series” like that right now, but for the half way mark (July 1st) I will give some quick updates as to how the year is going. Last year’s topics were: Books Read, Movies Watched, Writings, Wake Up Songs, and The Hours. If you’re interested, here is the year thus far.

Books – although this is shaping up to be a fairly productive year in other regards, quantity read is not one. At this point I’ve only read 12 books. 6 of which are “new” (i.e. I’ve never read them before), and 2 of which were on paper (both “old” books). Only 2 of the books were of “significant” length (i.e. over 20 hours). One of those “lengthy” books was “A Dance With Dragons” which we all know is quite long, and with finishing it, I have now read the entire Song of Ice and Fire (of what’s available) twice, I am less than thrilled that “Winds of Winter” is still not out yet. I’ve been thinking of taking the Ice and Fire audio books and making a sort of “Anthology” out of the best chapters, and then reading this “Best of Ice and Fire” at the beginning of each year, it will be quite a project. I’m currently working my way through another massive book, James Michener’s “Hawaii.”

Writings – I set a big writing goal for myself at the beginning of this year, each month I am to write/edit: 1 new story, a thorough edit of the previous months story, 1 storyline edited from last year’s novel, 1 thorough edit of a previously unedited story, some fine editing, send some submissions, and (hopefully) get a few pieces published. In review I’ve done: 4 New Stories Written, 2 edited old stories, 6 Trail of Blood storylines edited, 36 submissions, and 6 published pieces. I’m a little behind in some goals, but not too much, considering the quantity at hand. Also I’ve done a total of 13 blog posts so far this year, that includes this one, I need to get better on that front.

Movies Watched – if you read my post back in march, you would see that my winter was spent watching a healthy amount of movies, a lot of “new” movies too (see books for explanation of “new”). I’ve continued because of my “Mega DVD Marathon”, but most of these movies are “Old.” Regardless, so far this year I have watched 38 movies, 22 of which are “new”. This is well ahead of pace for my goal of watching 1 movie every week, even without including the “old movies” I’m only slightly behind pace. The last movie watched thus far has been “Fritz the Cat”,  and in another 3 days I’ll be watching annually viewed favorite musical of all time… 1776.

Video Game Playing – Video Games were not included in the end of the year series last year, but I think that this year they will be. I’m trying to cut back on the amount of video games I play, and I’ve made progress, notably because other things are getting done, but I’ve still played a lot. So far this year I’ve beaten (all for the first time): Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Contra, the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, and Shovel Knight (all three regular campaigns). I have played a healthy amount of (but not beaten): Yoshi’s Woolie World, 100 Best NES Games (subject of a forthcoming ongoing review), and Toy Blast (on the iPhone). As of the spring I’ve also taken up the Yoyo seriously again, which is good because it’s physical in nature and keeps me moving more than just a video game would.

Video Game Collecting – the records I’ve kept for collecting are not as thourhough as they should be, so im not sure how this year (so far) stacks up with other years w/r/t collecting, it’s certainly more than last year. So far I have picked up 17 games: 3 for the Wii U, 1 each for the Genesis, 3DS, and SNES, and 11 for the NES. I’ve also picked up a new system, the Sega Genesis Classic (long story more about that later). I would have picked up several more I’m sure if my game store had not closed. My collection as a whole now looks like this: NES (34+3) SNES (11+2) N64 (0+3) GC (20) WII (24) WIIU (10+1) GB (14+6) GBA (4+2) DS (18+1) 3DS (12+2) GEN (29+3) DC (10) PS1 (1) PS2 (13)

Wake Up Songs – You’ll have to wait for the end of the year for the full list, probably December 30th. but I can inform you now that I’ve been keeping track of my wake up songs all year, so far I’ve logged 70 songs. They are so all over the place with theme and genre that I couldn’t even try to give a good breakdown right now, so you’ll have to wait. But just a teaser, the first wake up song of the year was: “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Jackie DeShannon, and the most recent song is: Salieri Strikes Back by Warmen.

The Hours – as you know I keep track of the amount of hours I spend doing just about everything, so far here is time spent this year: Reading – 285 hours, Writing – 259 hours, Video Games – 237 hours, Working Out – 108 hours, watching films – 50 hours, making videos – 36 hours, Making Music – 4. I’m glad to see that reading and writing are averaging almost 1.5 hours a day. Video games are up there too, but as long as they aren’t well over writing time then I’m fine. Watching Films is a little skewed, because I do watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and about an hour of YouTube every day, but I don’t log that time because it’s too ingrained with my routine (like working), also if I have the TV on while I write or play video games, I’m not logging those hours either. Music is quite low, unfortunately (due to technical problems) MoonCandle is on hiatus, but we will be back, and as for other music projects I haven’t been feeling the bite this year, but I don’t consider this a bad thing, it will come back and I have plenty to write in the meantime.

And that is the summery of half the year, I hope you’ve enjoyed and that your half year has been as productive.

Cecil the Trophy Hunter

It is with great pleasure that I present my newest story. I know this is recent, the last email about a new published piece was about a week ago, and some of you (I assume) haven’t read that one yet. No worries, I will be on the internet indefinitely, in the meantime here’s another one.

This is my second story to be published in The Ginger Collect, and since it is only their second issue, this gives me the honor of being their first (and only thus far.) Multiple-Contributor.

This story will be a little hard for some people to get through so keep that in mind. It was inspired by the dentist that killed Cecil the Lion back in 2015. It’s a little darker then my usual fair, but if you can get through it I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Cecil the Trophy Hunter” | The Ginger Collect | Issue Two