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Feb
21

Genre:  Super Hero

Publisher:  Marvel

Published: 2014

Reviewer Rating:  4.5 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

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I received Marvel’s Secret Wars as a gift and let it sit a while, but during the middle of this Winter, I figured I would check it out. I have always, since I was about eight, been a Marvel fan, but this originally was released in 1983, which was about when I had friends with cars for the first time and thought about the possibility of one day perhaps kissing a cute girl. So, as you might have already guessed, I never got copies of these while they came out.

There are twelve issues in all and the plot follows the characters as a being with God-like powers grabs, not only the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Multiverse, but also cherry picks from the villains. Both groups end up on a world complete with villages, high tech castles, and powerful weapons.

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From the hero team we have Spider Man, Hulk. members of The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-men including Xavier. Also working with the X-Men is Magneto, which creates more than a bit of conflict. The villains were stranger picks for me. They are led by Dr. Doom, who gains control over Ultron and even fights Galactus.

While Doom plots to destroy them all and worse things, the Heroes pick Captain America to lead them and attempt to discover why they are involved in this strange contest, how to survive, and perhaps somehow figure out a way to return to Earth.

The action is fast and furious. Also, despite the huge cast of very popular and well-known characters, they try to give most of them a voice and even have several subplots and unexpected twists. Things grow more intense as they battle against insane setbacks, like having a mountain dropped on them or friends die.

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If marvel heroes get you going, then not many bad things to say here. They invented something new, explored concepts no one had ever done before, and the comics broke a 25-year sales record. If I had to throw some dirt, I might have liked to see more villains in the fray.  When the Hulk and Thor are just two of your players, I think the bad guys should have had more fire power.

Obviously, this is a must read for any Marvel fan. If you never experienced, this fight to end all fights, this new collection makes it easy. If you like these heroes even a little and do not need to only see the stories through a glowing rectangle, grab this graphic novel.

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Learn more here

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Feb
09

They say, “You can’t go back.” Which is of course false, because you can go back, it just might not feel the same way. Yet, what makes it different? I often look back at even recent times in my life and marvel over how much has changed in just a couple of years, but things can become dissimilar for us in just a few months as well.

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Sometimes situations change for the worse, but as darker fluctuations occur, at times they can also force us out of stagnation. Although many of us like to feel cozy and warm in a predicable life, one also runs the risk of trading the unknown for the known and lack of variety and adventure can often be the price you pay.

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Boney Utah

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As the sun begins to set on this mystic Baccanaught, I look back at where I was when I started WildernessPunk 18 months ago. I lived much of my time in camp 1 between Flagstaff and Walnut Canyon. I spent the days and nights alone with only the minimal equipment I could transport to the forest by bike. No fires, simple foods, mostly reading and writing until the battery on my loaned laptop died.

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Now, not too long after, I’m living in a home with heat and water, dating a lovely goddess of a woman, seeing friends every week, and most importantly getting to have my boys stay with me.

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Yes, much can change quickly, but this only made it more exciting when I had a chance to return to Camp 1 recently. It felt fitting I hiked up into the forest alone. Within are pictures of Camp 1 taken in 2018, 15 months after the last night I slept there.4.

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In theory, I had returned to clean up and perhaps salvage anything worth grabbing, but as I followed the old trail, which hid my homeless refuge, other more complex thoughts moved through my mind.

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in the distance 2018

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I felt grateful. Where so much had turned against me, now so many things have fallen into place. Yet as the readers of WildernessPunk might appreciate, with this turning of the tide, something was also lost.

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Camp 1 view

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One feels a pride persevering through obstacles and living low to the ground with limited resources. Nature is the great equalizer. Rich or poor, members of every race and belief are all treated the same. Only your ability to prepare and work to improve your state changes things in the real world.

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Was this the real world or is my normal house more real? Hard to say. I felt alive in a different fashion then. Am I more of a winner now or less? I’d get different answers from each person I could ask. Yet, the bottom line for many of us becomes our children, family, lover, and friends. Are you going to live for yourself and ideals, or jump into the mainstream so your can uphold different goals and ideals?

Perhaps one can do both. Wish me luck.

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AZSunset

 

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

Jan
26

“Whether a man is a criminal or a public servant is purely a matter of perspective”

Tom Robbins, 1990

Hello dear readers of the glowing light, it’s not talking about me, I mean your magic rectangle. I’m just here to address the vampire in the room. A year has passed since Trump has occupied the White House. Some people are still backing him, while others are inclined to think he’s the worse disaster to hit the USA since the Vietnam War.

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Put your opinions aside for a moment and let’s look at the positives Trump has done for us. Don’t get too excited Conservatives (Like there are any reading this…) because I not talking about policies or steering the country, as much as what he has helped us understand about ourselves from an anthropological or perhaps philosophical perspective.

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Starting with the simple observations, no need to make this complicated, we can all agree Trump has had a wild year. Where most Presidents strive for dignity and leadership, every 48 hours Trump gets away with more questionable behavior  than Nixon resigned for. The Presidency is a reality television show and if there is no scandal for a few days, Trump with think one up.

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He’s done much to alienate himself from women, foreign countries, GBLTQ folks, law enforcement, immigrants, Muslims, and journalists to name a few. Yet out of these various stunts and actions, the common thread moving through his Presidency is his racism. I’m not going to argue about his racism here or give details. Remember I’m keeping this simple. He’s a racist, moving forward. It you disagree, you are the 1 in 3 and I’ll get to you shortly.

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So, despite him being a racist and all the other violations of human rights and just common decency he’s trampled  his approval rating hovers around 33% or 1 in 3. Okay this will be important…1 in 3. The fact is, after doing almost everything he could do to turn caring people off, we know 33% of U.S. adults still support him, and this is where Trump has done us a favor.

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If you still like Trump, there are only 3 things you can be:

  • Ignorant
  • An Asshole
  • All of the above

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Am I being too harsh? Nope. If you support a racist, you are either raised so poorly and became isolated from experience and education to a point where you have to be just plain stupid enough to belief this is acceptable behavior or you’re a selfish hate driven scumbag. Or if you think things like your tax returns are more important than human rights you are an asshole. See I told you I’d keep this simple.

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And here’s where I thank Trump for his favor. He has finally allowed us to see the true percentage of stupid people and/or assholes in the USA. Good to know. So, if I walk out my door, I need to keep in mind 1 in 3 people in my path are stupid or assholes and most likely both.

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Obviously, this ratio is greatly dependent on the situation. If I’m seeing TWIGS and some other local bands play at Club Congress, the ratio might be more like 1 in 20. However, if I went to some Church of the Latter-Day Saints morning mass, I’d find things closer to 19 in 20. Also places like Bisbee and Seattle would have a very different ratio than say Jacksonville.

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Overall though 1 in 3. I’ve thought about what the true numbers of stupid asshole versus the rest of us might be throughout my entire life. In high school it would have been higher. In my free floater early college years much lower, but hey now we know. I mean, we really know. No ifs, waits, or bullshit.

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When you are combing your hair and getting ready to head out on a Saturday night, as you walk into a job interview, or are meeting your daughter’s new boyfriend… keep in mind you have a 1 in 3 chance to run face to face with someone who cares more about themselves than human decency.

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So watch your back out there. And again, thanks Trump, we couldn’t have figured it out without you.

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Dionysus Slick

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

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Bone Desert

 

 

Jan
22

Obsession by Ramsey Campbell

Genre:  Horror

Publisher:  Samhain

Published: 1985

Reviewer Rating:  4.5

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

 

Obsession by Ramsey Campbell is almost a mystery as much as a Horror novel, but it is certainly the latter with a sharp bullet. Ramsey sets up the scene, but does not walk your through what you should believe really happened, both during and after the novel, he leaves the reader alone to find their own conclusions to what took place.

The novel begins with following the lives of four teenagers, Peter, Jimmy, Robin, and Steve. Each of them is suffering from a single issue they wished they could somehow solve and this is when Peter gets a message which says, “Whatever you most need, I do. The price is something you do not value and which you may regain.”

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They all make a pact and each of their ‘wishes’ come true, although in some cases in a matter which is most unpleasant. Fast-forward to twenty-five years later and the four have remained in the same oceanside town, but have drifted away from each other as careers and relationships took the forefront of their lives.

Each of these four begin to suffer from ill strings of horrid luck. As these events build, their lives are thrown into shambles. Situations range from tragedies, to destroyed businesses, and in one case, head into a supernatural horror. Their paths begin to cross as Peter tries to gain their aid and convince them their time to pay up has hit them. Others find the idea silly, but this does not stop the continuation of disturbing events.

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The mood remains dark and uncertain. Is all this random chance or is something more sinister at work and getting ready to ruin the rest of their lives? What will they pay, which they do not value and how can they regain it? Nothing makes sense since each thing they lose is valuable and one of the cornerstones of their lives.

Campbell’s novel is tightly woven and there in not much to wag a finger at here. If you like things laid out plainly and do not like left deciding what really happened at the end of a novel, this one could bug you. A few things remain unclear. Some of the characters also act a little passive as the world tramples them, but then again, they are normal folk and often that is what happens in the real world.

Creepy Town

Upsides include the mixing of mystery and horror. Obsession is not super heavy in the horror department, but it has more than a few unsettling moments. Again, this is a great example of the, show me do not tell me, idea and I for one like it when an author makes you work as hard as the characters to figure out what is really going on. Another well done novel by Campbell.

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creepy closet

Jan
06

What, am I talking about health? Trying to be trendy? I know North Americans hear so much discussion over eating habits and physical health, such things are the last issues we want to read about, or are they? Maybe we’re in a unique space in human history, where we have the means to fix and prolong our bodies, but have hordes of food and vices available to destroy it as well. Add to this our ability, for many, to earn enough to survive without using much our bodies metabolism to do so.

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I’m not going to burrow this down to how many cabs you should be shoving into your mouth, I’m looking at a more complex issue, perhaps the source of so much of our health and nutrition debates.

Why am I diving into this topic? It’s because it has some relevance in regards to my current state. If you’ll indulge me to allow myself to be an example to help explore the issue of human technology versus health, we can get started. My main point is… As technological advancements are extending life, technology has become a double-edged sword which also makes many of us some of the unhealthiest humans this world has ever seen.

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Okay, back to me. You knew it was coming. As some of you may remember, I went from living on the cusp between, nature, traveling, and urban sofa squatting for over a year, before becoming more settled into this city clinging to the Sonoran Desert. After the move, I was thin, in great shape, at least for me, and riding my mountain bike a few dozen miles a day through raging heat.

Then I got my place.

I kept up the bike riding and was making much of my cash from physical labor. Still there is a big difference riding your bike ten miles into town for groceries, and just crossing the street. Most of my more intensive jobs aren’t much harder than camping three days in a row, or putting in 14 hours days prepping for my move.

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CB III

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Is this how hard I have to work to keep this beer belly at bay? Because despite rounding out the year with only using the bike as transport, getting physical, and exercising every day, I’m seeing it grow.

And now I have a car.

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And… after not having wheels for so long, it sure feeling tempting to drive it around, just because I can.

Jello Biafra said, “Give me convince or give me death,” Perhaps now, it could be stated, “Give me so much convince it will lead me to an early death.”

Let’s draw this conversation back to one of the updated purposes of WildernessPunk, which is to explore possibilities, leading people toward a more nature based life, even when living inside an urban environment.

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As a culture, we have rejected the natural and the physical in return not only for convince, but also for time. I could ride my bike to the store, but it will save me time if I drive, I could wash my clothes in the sink, but it will be so much faster if I toss them into a washing machine. I could work on finishing the end table I was building, but I just added three more channels to my cable plan and I wanted to check out…

In each of the situations above, we have traded money, natural resources, and increased our carbon footprint, while forsaking activities which would help us burn off some calories.

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Dionysus On High

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Of course, other things contribute to health issues and being overweight. Diets are huge. I’m sure if I quit drinking ale and caffeine, I’d be trimmer, but I don’t want to piss Dionysus off. I might touch on such things in the future, but not today. Instead I stand here, next to my wheels. A blessing… it will help me get my children, maybe get a better job… but perhaps a curse. Will I lose another of my ideals and slip ever more into the mainstream, using more resources, and watching my gut grow?

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How can we balance our desires to be an outstanding human against the ease of being accepted into a society full of assumptions, many of which are half mad?

Perhaps we could look at our bodies like a yardstick measuring how well we accomplish our goals. Sure, if you are a twenty-two-year-old, powerlifter with a high metabolism, this might not apply to you, but you’re also not reading this. But for most of us who wish to respect the Earth as much as we can, live in a healthy manner, and be productive, our body could help us measure how well we’re doing.

Maybe I can give electricity a rest and do a few things myself, ride to the store, and spend some of my free time going on a hike, but what if my positive habits slow down? If I have junk on me, it most likely means I’m making more junk for my world. If I’m doing well, my body will notice, I’ll feel better, and be treating my world with greater respect. But if I’m getting some junk in the WildernessPunk, perhaps it’s time to rethink my game and leave that car parked all weekend.

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

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Dionysus Cash

Jan
02

Genre:  Science Fiction

Publisher:  California Coldblood

Published: 2014

Reviewer Rating:  3.5 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

The Odds by, Robert J. Peterson

 

The Odds by, Robert J. Peterson is a Science Fiction novel set in the distant future where the desert of Nevada is a few hundred degrees during the day and a well below freezing at night. However, the temperature is the least of most people’s worries in this dystopian world full of mutants, poverty, and chaos. The one thing distracting the populace from their poor circumstances is the gambling ruled over by a powerful elite known as The Odds.

Despite the potential for gloom this world holds, Eldritch maintains an upbeat nature. This is made only more extraordinary considering how much cash he owes to various Odds. He tries to get himself out of the hole by joining a complex game of murderous chess, where the pieces are living players and are forced to fight to the death each time they are placed within the same square.

Apocalype

Things get more complicated when he finds there are people he knows and cares about also signed up for the game. Add to this, betrayals and the need to fight through an army of mutant Breens and our hero is hard pressed to make it through the game alive.

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An issue I do have with the novel is it claims to be “A Post-Apocalyptic Action Comedy.” I can give it the first two with ease, but although light-hearted, considering the death and doom afoot, I did not find it all to comic. There were moments and again, it is a cheery novel, but I think calling it a comedy is a bit of a stretch. It also felt a little green. Strong inventive ideas and a fun world, but the writing could be tighter.

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I have already mentioned many of the novel’s upsides. It is a fun read. Might be good for a long airplane flight or a vacation. Calling it action packed would be an understatement. You do not have to wait long for the next battle as Eldritch struggles to survive. Character development is well done with the protagonist and you want him to come through this adventure with all his limbs intact.

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Dec
21

Matt, Galen, and David are sharing a happy hour ale in a pub.

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David: “Wow, check out the woman who just walked in. She’s gorgeous.”

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Matt: “Dude, you better not let her hear you talking like that. She’ll be pissed.”

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Galen: “Yeah, woman hate to be called pretty and stuff. Strangely, they hate being called ugly too.”

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David: “I’m not stupid. I know enough to never complement a woman in any way, especially not her looks. Sheesh. But how should I try to talk to her?”

Matt: “You have to go up and talk to her like you have no interest in her sexually, you know, like if you were just talking to a dude.”

Galen: “Dudes don’t wear dresses like that. She’s hotter than a crack pipe in Vegas.”

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David: “Yeah, but I wouldn’t just leave my friends to go talk to some random dude at the bar no matter how sexy their dress was. How can I let her know she interests me without acting like I’m interested in her sexually?”

Matt shrugs: “No idea, why do you think I’m hanging out with you knuckleheads?”

Galen. “Don’t look at me, my girlfriend broke up with me because she said I sexualized her during sex.”

David: “Well screw it. I miss having a girlfriend.”

Galen: “I like women too. They’re soft and smell like flowers.”

David: “I’m just going to do it. Wish me luck.”

Matt gazes into his drink: “Yeah you’re going to need it.”

 

Scene II

 

David approaches the woman at the bar.

David: “Hi there, I’m David.”

Woman: “Do I know you?”

David smiles: “Not yet.”

Woman: “If I don’t know you, why are you talking to me?”

David: “Maybe I’d like to get to know you.”

Woman: “What, you want to pretend to be friends, crack some jokes, and try to charm your way into my bedroom. I’m not just here for your entertainment, that’s what our glowing rectangles are for.”

David: “No, I ah, hey looks like you need another drink, let me get it for you.”

Woman: “What are you saying, I can’t afford a drink and need a man to provide for me? Or are you hoping to use drugs to lower my defenses, so you can take advantage of me?”

David: “No, I’m just… Sorry to bother you.”

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After returning to the table, David takes a sip of his drink.

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Matt: “So how did it go?”

David: “I don’t want to talk about it. Does your Netflix account still work? Let’s just head to your place and watch a movie.”

Matt: “Dude, I actually got Halo XXXXVII. It kicks ass. You can kill like two hundred people in a minute.”

Galen: “You guys have fun. I just got pinged from by booty call ‘Hump Em’ and Dump Em’ page. I’m getting laid in a few hours.” Looking at his phone. “I’m glad there’s still someplace where you can meet girls.”

 

Scene III

 

Woman at bar is joined by her friend.

Katie: “How’s it going, Nanc?”

Nancy: “Not to well. You’d think I’d be getting some attention by wearing this new dress, but all the men here just want to treat me like I’m just a woman they’d want to have sex with. I’m just going to go home and check my Tinder. Maybe another meaningless one-night stand will cheer me up.”

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Dec
09

What do you need to be Happy, is it out of your reach, or did you read the WP Pleasure article and ensure you have fun every day?

But what defines Happiness?

I’m sure there are as many answers as there are different people. However, folks with an anthropological bent, such as myself, seek to find common threads, which if tugged, help us reach to the truth of the human condition.

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Things turn us on and other things turn us off, but again are there themes or archetypes which connect us as a species? Still, what it is which makes most of us happy? Like Mr. Terrence said in The Shining, “You pour them, and I’ll knock them back, Lloyd”

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  • Unhappiness

 

Perhaps the key to finding happiness is also defining what creates unhappiness. Again, what makes me unhappy might not affect another person as much or maybe even be a good thing. My reaction to finding a snake in the wild would be a lot different than a person with a serpent phobia. I have long said, when seeking a mate, the absence of qualities you find annoying in the other person, is nearly as important as having similar tastes.

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  • Possessions

 

Some would say prosperity is the key to happiness and the person with the most toys wins. Research does not back this up. More money leads to more spending and only moving out of poverty and into the lower economic class tends to make people feel better. So nope, despite what this country encourages, money won’t buy contentment, although it can sure help to make your weekend BBQ a whole lot better.

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  • Variety

 

For many of us, repetition is a bad thing and maybe the type of occurrence which could, over time, drive you mad. Same street, same, job, same task, same building, same clock I’m staring at while hoping part of my life passes by faster. Yet, we should also consider some people find peace within the known. Familiar walls deliver comfort for most of us. We like being warm and safe, I can tell, for most of the world sacrifices vast possibilities for such things.

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Like most things in life, Law and Chaos rests on a bell curve. Too much of the same every day and we’ll feel useless, like something which is little more than an organic machine fulfilling a role. Another could step in a do the same thing. Nothing is special and new. Where Chaos can be exciting and hip, full of promise, mystery, and adventure, it can also ruin lives and throw things into a spiral. Too much variety can water things down to the point where nothing gets focused on or completed.

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Yet where does happiness fit on this curve? Although predictably reduces stress, it can also reduce joy. Think of the best times in your life. Did they happen on some weird Thursday at work or where they during your trip overseas or when you got stuck in the mud during a wild camping trip? Perhaps it was the first time you saw a new mate and they threw your life a massive curve ball and nothing remained the same. I’m going to just come out and say it, overall Chaos leads to those spikes of happiness, but a certain amount of Law allows us to stay alive long enough to get to enjoy them.

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  • Friends

 

What’s the good of doing most of the positive things in life, if you can’t share them with someone? Sometimes you aren’t near family, but even if you’re currently single or with someone, having good friends can be what it’s all about. Yes, when you have a lover you can be more intimate with them, perhaps tell them things your friends might never know, but let’s face it, in this life, for most of us, our friends outlast our relationships. I’ve been married and divorced twice, but still have great friends I’ve know long before I met my first X Mrs. Bone.

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Great friends are like good time multipliers. You take something great and for each awesome buddy who shows up the good times are increased by 21%. Yep, 21%, everyone knows that. Friends can also keep the glooms away or get you back on the right track in life. Oh and FYI, in my opinion the best things to do with friends is roll with them out of town, camping, road trips, vacations… one of the best things life can offer.

 

  • Family

 

Yeah sure, we often belly ache about them, but no one else can share the entire span of your life as well with you. There’s something special about being able to go back to early childhood with someone, because face it, those could end up being our happiest years.

Then, when you’re a parent, whole new vistas of love and happiness open for you. Just seeing the joy in your children’s faces… excuse me, I gotta go get a tissue.

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  • Mates

 

Is there anything better than the happy glowing feeling you get when you’re with the right person? It can burn so intense you can barely breath and just pace around your abode chanting their name—mixed with praises. There’s also the calm reassurance a person has your back and likes you enough to get naked and wet with you. Yep, makes me happy.

 

  • Soft Cheese

 

Bloody Mary wanted me to remind everyone about soft cheese. Sometimes just treating yourself and maybe a few other people, well, it’s just good. I think the message here, is allow yourself a little Dionysus and share it with others who you care about.

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I could go on, but people might get annoyed because I’m being so damn cheery and I might have to change this from WildernessPunk to the UrdanHappyHunk. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to my grumpy rants next time. I also have a new project I might be busting out with soon, just in time to share a sacrilegious X-mess with my nine fans.

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

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Bone's Cave Beer

Nov
26

Genre:  Horror

Publisher:  Samhain

Published: 2012

Reviewer Rating:  5

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

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Dead of Winter by Brian Moreland

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Dead of Winter, by Brain Moreland proved to be a real treat of me. Between liking horror more as Fall envelopes us and finding out Samhain Publishing has closed their doors, I dug out an older book from them and couldn’t be more pleased with the quality and even quantity of Moreland’s horror novel.

The novel takes place in the mid-1900 in Canada. Inspector Tom Hatcher needed new scenery after a long investigation into a cannibalistic killer led to his wife’s death and the villain’s hands.

He and his son travel to a remote outpost to see if he can solve similar cannibal attacks, which occurred at a different and more remote fur trapping fort. He discovers a horrid situation at the other fort and loses several people including his son. The cannibal plague is also brought back to his fort, but is controlled before it can take over.

After the loss of his son, Hatcher falls into a drunken depression, and only the care from a young tribal woman, who is almost a slave to the owner of the fort, is able to help him overcome. The tribe she is a part of considers what is happening to be caused by the evil Windigos, but the priest sent to aid Tom, believes they are sent by the devil. Add to this a doctor who is searching for a medical solution to for why normal people are becoming cannibalistic monsters and it is difficult to know what direction to turn. As eastern and western cultures collide, evil befalls the fort, and soon the killing and possessions began as allies slowly turn into foul twisted shapes.

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I enjoyed how in depth and intricate this story became. Different webs of connection were weaved through the characters, which created complex situations. The isolation they experienced built the level of terror. Uncertainty mixed with strong actions. Even without them knowing all the answers or causes, they fought to survive in any manner they could. Tom proved to be a strong character and his perseverance through his suffering moved me as a reader.

If you like horror, I can not see too many downsides here. It was a bit of a slaughter feast and Moreland appeared to feel the need to kill off almost every character he created. Tom is also treated brutally, but it made you want to him to rise above all the more.

So yes, it will get 5 Stars from me. Great book to start the real Fall down here in my desert home. Sad to see Samhain go with them putting out such fine novels. If you enjoy horror novels enough to buy them, add this to the top of your list.

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Windigo WW

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windi

Nov
20

Introduction:

I’ve never been much of a political comic, I tend to leave such things to Zano, because even when I try to be hip and current, our political climate is changing so quickly, I can’t get it to work.

Case in point, I heard after being accused of trying to hit on a 14-year-old boy, Kevin Spacy came out of the closet and admitted he was a Republican. But this joke is already dated, thanks a lot Al Franken.

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Sexual Harassment Franken

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So instead, I’ve decided to stick with what I know. Sex, Drugs, and Punk Rock and Roll.

 

Sex:

Okay, I just got out an eternity term relationship, so I haven’t bought condoms since most of the people reading this were in College. I should probably say Kindergarten, but I want to sound younger, you know, in case any hot chicks are reading this.

Do I go to Walgreens or a grocery store? Naw, what’s the fun in that after I noticed there’s a sex shop just a few blocks south of me. Yep, I live in a city again. So, I head over there on my bike, but I need to hurry, because I’m supposed to be meeting a client who will hopefully help support my slacker lifestyle and after the meeting, I was going to get help from camera man Greg… well, sleeping in a bus Greg, getting free beds from a little old lady, but that’s another story.

So yeah, busy day, I was in a hurry.

After heading past the male prostitute, who seemed to think he’d increase his business by heckling and insulting people as they left the store, I headed into the sex shop. The red lit room stretched before me filled with a huge assortment of videos, sex toys, and strangely—bongs. Never knew those were sex toys. I suppose you could put your…. Moving on.

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ss

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I’m so lost, I ask the guy behind the counter to point me toward the condoms. With a smile, he points to a place five feet in front of me. Smooth Boneman. I grab a bunch of different condoms. Seeing some lube, I figure what the hell, and grab a container too.

Right then, back of the bus, Greg calls. When he calls, three thoughts rifle through my head.

  • Who the hell calls any more, this must be important.
  • I need to make sure I get those free beds.
  • I usually don’t talk on my cell phone inside a store, let alone a sex shop, but damn…I had better answer this.

So, I answer, and he needs to know when we’re going to head to the little old lady’s house on the edge of the mountains. I answer, “Well, remember I’m meeting that guy later today, so I might be getting busy. Can we just do it tomorrow?” He says fine and I head up to the counter.

Once there, the guy is smiling at me and being really nice while he rings me up. He allowed a more effeminate tone to enter his voice while he tried to chat me up. “Alright, that will be five-fifty.”

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5-Kinds-Of-Condoms-You-Should-Know

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I look at the glowing numbers, then the guy, and then my items. The condoms alone were over twelve dollars. “Um, that seems like a good deal.”

After batting his eyes, he says, “I’m giving you all the condoms for free.”

“Okay…thanks…”

As I left the store and gave the male prostitute fifty cents, so he wouldn’t mess with me while I unlocked my bike, and pondered why the guy inside… then I remembered what I’d said aloud in the store. -“Well, remember I’m meeting that guy later today, so I might be getting busy.”-

Oh, so that’s why he was being so friendly. Screw it, twelve more bucks in my pocket and I got what I came for. There’s another joke there somewhere, but I’ll spare you.

 

Drugs:

I was staying outside the capital of Tunis, which is in the Muslim country of Tunisia. Two issues concerned me.

  • Due to Tunisia being a Muslim country, places where one could obtain ale and wine were rare and widely spaced, like the times I go without such things.
  • We were about to be heading due south into the middle of the Sahara.

I managed to get my step-brother, who worked for the US embassy, alone in his kitchen the day before we were due to start our trek. “If we’re about to head into the largest desert in the world, I would like to get some beer to take with me.”

“I have a few Guinness in my fridge you can have.”

“No, I don’t think that’s got going to cut it. I’d rather not go through DTs in the middle of the Sahara.”

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bone in the vast

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One awkward expression later, he agreed to take me to the only store in the entire country which sold beer and wine. We arrived at night and this place loomed large. I mean it was big, like twenty super Walmarts on steroids smoking crack, big. It was as if the country had but one giant store which embraced the international capitalistic concept, well, not as if, because that’s exactly what it was.

Upon entering, a certain wonderment fell over me, as I looked down aisles longer than Trump’s bankruptcy trials. I soon found myself lost and figured, I had better find the booze soon or I might need to drink half of it just finding my way back out of the store.

I discovered a small section which held only NA beer and right before I started to cry, I spotted a bunch of men armed with mismatched machine guns. Turning, I said aloud, “That must be where I need to go!”

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The men with rifles eyed me as I hurried into a small room. It size contrasted with the rest of the store. Where the building itself was so huge Godzilla would have to take a few smoke breaks along the way, before he’d find the time to destroy the whole thing, the inside of the booze room was maybe as big as my bathroom.

But my victory smile faded, when I saw silly baby six-packs of Becks, where the cans were smaller than Red Bulls. Ouch, I bought a few anyway. Nothing like a quick shot of beer while exploring the world’s largest desert. After adding a few bottles of wine to my basket, I hurried back to our hotel.

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Crushed Can of Beck's Beer.. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.

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Turns out the place we stayed had a full bar.

 

Punk Rock and Roll:

What’s the best type of punk show, besides what the girl with the purple mohawk showed you, the one where the band is playing in someone’s living room, of course. I was at just such a show in 1986 at 814 in Tucson Arizona. If I remember correctly, Blood Spasm opened up for the Day Glo Abortions. I’m probably wrong, but it sure sounds great.

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paul

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I was there with my brand new gilly, a little strawberry blonde, cute as a radioactive sunset, who loved punk rock more than her mom. Mr. Young started leaking enough blood from his mouth to make Gene Simmons jealous and a monster pit had started. Keep in mind, when a pit starts in a living room, it tends to get more serious. I bopped, bounced, and bore into the mass of whirling elbows and spilt beer for a few songs, but then noticed my wee GF was bouncing around more than a bit herself.

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tracy

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I retreated to my gal and stood big and bouncing in front, while keeping the random falling punker from flying into her.

And then the room exploded into a mass of toxic fumes. My gut reaction was, holy fuk, the cops are here and tear gassed the place!

The front door lurked behind a mass of confused punkers and most of a band. Besides the cops would be right there. Thinking quickly, I flung a window up, grabbed my gilly, helped her into the side yard, and then dashed through myself.

Turns out it was just some duff from Minneapolis firing the fire extinguisher into the room. Still my little-punker-chick thought it was quite Stalwart of me to rescue her as I did.

Yeah, I got some that night.

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Tracy ev-vil

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So perhaps I should just leave politics to Zano. I could keep up, but why bother, perhaps Sex, Drugs, and Punk Roll and Roll, is a better path. It’s worked alright for me so far. Oh, wait, maybe it ruined everything. Hmm. I’ll have to get back to you on this.

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lospunks-page-background-2000

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Grab some CyberPunk fiction here, it you dare…

to do what, wade through typos?

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ally

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