Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cascading Thoughts

I’m at home, with my wife and her family, when she asks if I know there was a shooting at Cascade Mall. I give her a blank stare. I'm a deer in the headlights.

“In Burlington?”


My wife’s family lives in Burlington. They’re helping fold clothes for our 33-week unborn son. We’re preparing for his life, while a man is flown to Harborview Medical Center, struggling to keep his life. Four women have lost their lives. None of them survive the night. Others may be injured. We don’t have all the facts.

When I transitioned out of the Army, we lived with my wife’s family for a few months. We used to walk to the mall because we were both looking for jobs, and we didn’t want to waste our money on gas. We bought our cellphones at the T-Mobile store. We walked through Macy’s looking at clothes, amused by some of the fashions. We’ve laughed as people ride around on miniature cars through the mall. We’ve enjoyed movies at the theater with friends and family.

I walk into our living room. Our niece is watching “The Land Before Time” with her father. Little foot loses his mother tragically, and struggles to find his way in the world. They try to figure out how to stop Shark Tooth.

Police from around the state are searching for the man who took these lives. They’re clearing people out of the mall, making sure they’re safe and uninjured. It takes them hours to clear the entire mall.

The movie ends, but the story is just beginning.

We live thirty minutes away, and my wife’s family departs for their home in Burlington. We tell them to stay safe. They drive to their home, sending my wife cellphone footage of the police cruisers, lights flashing, still deep in the search for the shooter. I can hear the whir of a helicopter, as my sister-in-law explains to our niece what the police are doing.

In Iraq, when we had incoming mortars, for the first few weeks we ran from our metal Combat Housing Units (CHUs) to the concrete barriers around the perimeter, prepared for anything, ready to fight if necessary. After the first few weeks, we just rolled out of bed, onto the floor. Eventually, the mortars didn’t bother us. Even when soldiers were killed by mortars across the street from our housing unit, and my ears rang from the explosion, I had lost the sense of fear. The military police were handling everything.

One day, I stood on top of Saddam’s palace, surveying the wreckage of his country, trying to make sense of all the war, the destruction, the lives lost senselessly over there. Tonight, I think about the lives lost senselessly here at home. We’re not at war here, but I’m frightened more by this than I am by war. War happens when people unite behind flags in order to kill one another with no good reason. War can be avoided if people speak out against it. War can be prepared for.

Tragedies like this shooting happen for no reason at all, and they strike with no warning. Rumors spread surrounding these events. Was he a terrorist? Was he a spurned lover? Was he a gangster? People theorize online until their joints are cracking, and still there are no answers.

I think about Iraq. I messaged my family, letting them know I was safe. I wasn’t safe. I was tired of the violence. I just wanted to go home.

I think about Burlington. I message my family, letting them know I am safe. Am I safe? I’m tired of the violence. This is my home.

They captured the shooter in Oak Harbor as I was writing this. This is the city I live in, thirty minutes from Burlington.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

No Man's Sky - Why the delay is a good thing

We've all been counting down the days, and out of nowhere, Hello Games dropped a bomb on us. Nobody expected this delay, and some of us may have reacted poorly. Still, I'm here to let you know there's a silver lining to all of this. No Man's Sky is still definitely worth the wait!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Internet Loves the OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2
Image from

Hailing from ChinaOnePlus 2 is the latest entry into the Android phone marketplace, but can it beat the rivals?

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Finally Arrived!

When a boy discovers that he came from another world, he must travel across the galaxy to save his sick mother, all while evading a tyrannical overlord who wants them both killed.
Altair hasn't been out of his county since he was an infant. He doesn’t understand the constellations, or how to use a sextant to position and launch a rocket. He has never even kissed a girl.

He knows only his unfortunate life on a farm run by overbearing, but mostly absent, foster parents. He knows nothing of his real parents. His room is a tiny space in a cluttered attic, and the kids at school think he is an alien.

When Altair discovers his ill mother hiding in a dormant space craft, Altair embarks on an adventure to discover his past and make his family whole. An adventure that will take him – and all who dare read along – to an ancient and dangerous world of advanced technology, alien life, and a prophecy that could change the universe, for good or evil. All this, while being pursued by those who would have him killed because of his heritage.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Time to Write

It's been a long time since I've written. The past few months have been hectic, and that's really about all I can say. My wife and I bought our first home, so with moving, repairs, and all the little things, I have barely had time for even a Facebook post. Thankfully, I'm taking a break between jobs, which means I have time to write. I have time for my audience. Yes, that means I have time ... for YOU!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Windows 10 Technical Preview

I decided to install Windows 10 Technical Preview on my Dell Inspiron 3135 because it was overloaded with software and needed a refresher. Instead of doing a hard reset, I wanted to give Windows 10 a chance to prove itself before release. Overall, the experience went fairly smooth, minus a couple driver hiccups.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How Interstallar inspired me to start writing for the big screen again

Having watched Interstellar recently, I've found myself thinking a lot about my past involvement in the film industry and my desire to write and direct my own films. I emailed a friend in Hollywood about my involvement in past film productions, and the stories I'm working on, and he encouraged me to finish writing one of them.

I think I will take it a step further and produce an actual film for submission to festivals. After all, that's how many great modern film makers got their start.

Stay posted! In the meantime, I'm brainstorming ideas in hopes that something great will come through. I already have a concept in mind, but I won't spoil it before I work out the kinks.

As for Christopher Nolan's story? Well, these guys can tell it better than I can.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Hallowing of Halsbury Mansion, Chapter One

You didn't think I could start a blog as an author without adding a bit of creative writing once in awhile, did you? This is a little piece I'm writing, just in time for one of my favorite holidays. Don't let is spook you away, now!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And it begins....

Starting a blog as an unknown author is a bit crazy, but you have to start somewhere! I'll start by laying out my intentions for this blog.

This blog is where I'll be sharing updates as I progress in writing and publishing my own stories. I'll tell you what inspires me as a writer, how I develop stories, and so on. Please don't post up long stories for me to review. There are forums on and offline where you can get much better reviews that I could ever offer.