M.R. Sellars's Blog

July 18, 2016

12888770_10201568666655356_4326596069996322329_oNot a skirt. A Kilt.

Hey kids, it’s been a while.

Blogs don’t seem to be as popular as they once were. I blame Facebook. I’m sure there are others out there who would blame Obama, but not me. I got a nice note from him just the other day telling me all about how much he used to really enjoy my blog posts and that he wished I would start blogging again.

Okay… Not really. But I’m still not blaming Obama. The man had nothing to do with it. Zuckerberg, however… him and his damnable social network… but, like always, I digress.

So, anyway… Life takes turns. Sometimes at 90 MPH, in the rain, at night, with only one headlight stuck on high beam in a torrential storm. You know, the kind of turn that has you grabbing for the “OH SHIT!” handle while simultaneously clenching your sphincter so as to not have an upholstery cleaning bill on your hands. Now, this is not to say that these “Oh shit, what the fuck, are you fucking serious!?” moments are all bad. Sometimes they are, yes, but other times they are good, and on some occasions they are beyond good.

Well, I had one of those a while back. Those of you who follow me on the aforementioned Zuckerberg Mind Sucking Social Experiment are probably already well aware of it – if not, you’re about to be.


In a nutshell, I – and Evil Kat – became accidentally polyamorous.

If you don’t know what that means, well, here’s the dictionary definition of polyamory:  noun 1. the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.

Now, for clarification this is NOT the same thing as an open marriage. For further clarification this is also NOT something we sought – nor are we seeking to expand our triad, nor would we be seeking this had it not happened. It was literally a case of “shit happens.” Really GOOD shit in this case, but unexpected, un-sought, and “Oh Shit” nonetheless.

Now, that said, the story of how it happened is long, involved, very innocent, a lot romantic, and a comedy of not so much errors as just “shit happening.” However, that’s not what this particular blog is about. This blog is about waffles and 80-year-old cock blocks.

P1040512Evil Kat – Hotter than the salsa she is holding.

“So, why mention it at all?” you ask.

Easy. So the waffle story makes sense and I don’t get inundated with emails wanting to know what happened to EK, because nothing happened to her. We are still happily married – together now for almost 30 years – and crazier about one another than we were in the beginning (probably because after 30 years we’ve gotten all of the bullshit out of the way i.e. EK has me trained.) At some point in the future I will have to get around to blogging the story of how EK and Murv became EK and Murv and Dru, but not today.

And so, about those waffles…

Earlier this year I was in Florida. Not a big surprise seeing as how I travel a lot so that I can sign books and all that jazz (believe me, it’s nowhere near as glamorous as you think.) At any rate, the other redhead in my life… hell… I guess SHE needs a nickname, too… Let’s call her Wicked Dru/WD for now… anyway, WD currently lives in Florida (though she will be moving up to Missouri soon.) What with her being in Florida, and me being in Florida, and being in the same city, and attending the same festival, well… you get the idea. So there’s your setup – EK was manning the fort back here in MO, and WD and I were attending a festival and living out of a tent for a week.

Now, there’s something you need to know about her Wily Wickedness The Dru – when she sets up a camp, she sets up a camp. By that, I mean there’s a cook tent and everything. Why? Because she feeds everyone who comes by. She’s like the ultimate social hostess with the mostest at a fest. Her camp is literally THE place to be for all the fun, great conversations, singing, impromptu bardic circles, drinks, and killer chow. I kid you not. I know this from experience. Prior to becoming involved with her EK and I were frequent fliers at her camp at FPG whenever we attended, because, as I said, it was THE place to be.

IMGP0021Two smokin’ hot redheads, one me. My what a lucky bastard am I…

Now that we have THAT established, back to the story.

At this particular festival we had a pair of revered attendees. A couple who, both in their 80’s, are elders in the Pagan community, and I don’t just mean chronologically. I mean they are wise folks who counsel the community and have given more to it than they have ever asked in return. So, when Dru was made aware of their attendance and that they weren’t set up with a meal plan, she stepped up to the plate (no pun intended, but I’ll take it anyway) and made sure they were fed. Hence, the waffles…

You see, waffles and bacon were the favored breakfast food of these elders, therefore frozen waffles and bacon were purchased by our Camp-n-Cook mates John and Karen, and we took turns making sure these icons of the community received sustenance whenever they needed or desired.

I know… Pretty boring so far… Well, now it gets interesting.

For various reasons, not the least of which were those involving me working my ass off around Dru’s house to repair broken sinks, septic tank caps, a ton of other things, as well as recovering a long neglected lawn from an encroaching Florida jungle (there’s another long story there in and of itself) sheer exhaustion had prevented WD and I from having any…ummm…uhhh… “slap ‘n’ tickle” time for several days.

12593789_10201583839714673_1367643869217296731_oAlso Mine…

Yes, children, we may be in our 50’s but our parts still work, and we have a hell of a lot of experience using them.

Anywho, suffice it to say, since until WD gets moved up to Missouri we don’t get to spend much time in physical proximity to one another we try to make the most of it when we are, and being sexually active adults we were both sort of Jonesing for a bit of action, if you get my drift. So, along came the morning of the fifth day of NO slap ‘n’ tickle. We’d already gone a full four days, and WD was bound and determined that we weren’t going to let it officially become five. She had already cleaned up and was wandering about the early morning campsite in a robe with a rather hot bit of lingerie beneath (when she camps she pulls out all the stops) and had already informed everyone that when I returned from the shower our tent was to remain undisturbed until such time as we reappeared. Being she is a redhead, everyone pretty much understood that she would kill them otherwise.

And so, I returned. We started toward the tent, anticipating a wild romp, or as the wordplay joke says, “f*cking in tents” sex. No more had we started to round the corner of our nylon and aluminum pole abode that Karen’s voice rang out:

“Murv, Dru, here comes [Pagan Elder] and I have a workshop to do in five minutes!”

WD wheeled around, fire in her eyes and said, “Fuck.”

“That’s the plan,” was what I WANTED to say, but one doesn’t joke with a redhead at a time like this.

We turned around and headed back to the cook tent just in time for said elder to arrive. I instantly fired up the Coleman stove and began slinging frozen waffles and pre-cooked bacon into it as fast as I could, all while WD made sure the honoree had something to drink and checked to see if he wanted one or two waffles, how many strips of bacon, etc.

frozen-waffle-taste-test_612Now, I’m here to tell you, finishing up partially cooked bacon and toasting a couple of frozen waffles really doesn’t take all that long and it’s really not that hard – unless you have a tiny, hot, seething, nuclear-tipped redhead pacing behind you and grumbling about being ridiculously horny and not at all pleased about being interrupted. Then, well, it turns into a painfully long ordeal where you are sort of in fear for your life, and if not your life perhaps your modesty as she continues under her breath about just getting it on right now and damn the torpedoes.

As if I needed to make a long story even longer, the waffles and bacon were eventually served. and the elder in question was quite grateful and gracious, thanking us effusively as always. Of course, he had ordered dine in, not take out, so we sat with him while he told us stories in between bites, all the while Dru’s size five tapped an annoyed rhythm on the sand.

Now, the story would almost have ended there (except for the good part, but I don’t blog those sorts of details), were it not for the fact that one of our camp mates, seeing me standing there with a spatula in hand as I cleaned up from the impromptu breakfast rush called out, “Hey, Murv, if you are making bacon I’ll take some.”


WD spun around. Her hair stood on end (remember, it’s red and she has a lot of it) and green fire shot out of her eyes (they’re green, too). In a measured, guttural tone a demonic voice shot out of her face and announced, “No. You will NOT have any bacon. If you want any fucking bacon you can fucking cook it yourself.”

And, as I said, the rest of the story is not for public consumption, suffice it to say, we made it to the tent and nobody bothered us. Not a soul. And, what’s more, nobody took their life into their hands when we eventually came back out to join them. No comments, no jokes, not a peep other than, “Oh, hey. How’s it going.”

More to come…


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Published on July 18, 2016 12:48 • 3 views

February 28, 2016

Why did The Redhead cross the creek?

For Tacos, duh.

Just keep reading. It’ll make sense…eventually.

So, when you have a dog a good portion of your life becomes filled with holding a leash in one hand and a knotted up Shop ‘n’ Save bag full of canine poo logs in the other.

When you are married to Evil Kat, THE redheaded nature goddess (when she’s not being all redheaded dominatrix goddess) you go on death marches. Hmmm… Come to think of it, with those death marches she’s pretty much still being a redheaded dominatrix goddess, just sans stilettos and whips…

But anyway… Put the two together and what do you get? Yeah… Taking the dog on a death march and picking up poop – or sometimes just carrying empty bags because the dog has the presence of mind to go off into the woods 30 feet off the trail and dump her load there in the underbrush. Probably because she’s trying to escape the death march.

We’ll get to the tacos in a minute. I promise.

Because, it's important to PRETECT the landBecause, it’s important to PRETECT the land

So, this unseasonably warm February 28th morning Her Supreme Worship was dead set on taking one of those death marches through a local conservation area. Sending the Teen off to The Ethical Society (it’s both wonderful and nerve wracking for a parent when a teen gets his or her driver’s license) we set out to conquer the mountain that is the object of her death march. Why? Because we’d been there before, and in reality, we had actually conquered said mountain. However, there was a Holy Grail which she had yet to trample – that being the creek. More specifically, the creek crossing at Taco Trail.

See, I told you we’d get to the tacos.

Now, in all seriousness, Taco Trail is actual Taconic Trail, but the sign we came across on our first excursion there had been defaced – much as many other signs in the area – and it read Taco– Trail, therefore it shall forever be known as the trail of crunchy Tex Mex goodness in our minds.

Taco-supreme-2_smBut, it doesn’t end there. During the death march Her Worship kept looking for places to ford the creek. When I pointed out that there was a bridge in sight she would simply say, “Too easy.” This compelled me to comment that her single-minded dedication to achieving a goal was admirable, but that not everyone shared her goal. Then the dog jumped in the creek and went to the other side and The Redhead just looked at me with a smug, “You were saying?” sort of expression. Finally, I asked why it was so important to cross the creek. Her answer? Yes, you guessed it, “Because it’s there.”

So, long story short, we ended up crossing the creek. Oddly enough, I’m the only one who got wet shoes out of the deal, mostly because The Redhead almost fell and I jumped to catch her – because I knew it would be MY fault if she splashed. That’s just how it works with redheads. And, upon crossing, we were at the trail head of crunchy goodness. Taco Trail… And, I have to say, it was well worth the walk.

To top it off, five miles later we climbed into the truck and started for home. Along the way we stopped and bought a sack full of tacos.


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Published on February 28, 2016 13:04 • 17 views

February 25, 2016

I will soon be heading to Florida for some book signings. As it happens, I was there around the same time last year. Now, many of you may be aware that I am not only a fan of good craft beer – especially IPA’s – but an avid homebrewer as well.

Well, this isn’t about homebrewing, but, it IS about craft beer. More specifically, how craft beer is consumed in different places around the country. Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Don’t you just drink it out of a pint glass?” Or, in the case of us heathen sorts, right out of the bottle?

Well, most places I have gone that is exactly the case. However, while in Florida last year I was introduced to a drinking custom involving craft IPA’s. I have to say it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and it’s not how I generally enjoy a liberally hopped, cold, fermented beverage of the malted barley variety, but I suppose it could have been worse.








I’m afraid to ask what customs surround the drinking of bourbon.





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Published on February 25, 2016 13:48 • 8 views

February 23, 2016

For months I looked forward to the X-Files revival. I was a huge fan of the show and the notion of bringing it back, even for a limited run, was intriguing – even downright exciting. I knew there would be some problems. There would be some retconning with characters and situations, and obviously there would be some changes to canon if they were going to reconcile this with the series finale and the movies. So, with great anticipation I set aside one Sunday and five Mondays to view this extravaganza. What you are about to read is my take on it – and bear in mind, I’m the guy who actually LIKED BOTH of the movies…

Chris Carter, I want my six hours back.

Yes, all six of them. I originally only wanted five since since episode three was actually pretty good, but last night’s finale was so ridiculously awful that it canceled out any of the good that came from episode three. So, all six. I want all six hours of my life back.

x-files-revival-2016-posterNow, truth be told, it’s my own fault that I continued watching after that herky-jerky, disjointed, everything we told you in the first nine seasons was bullshit premiere episode. I readily admit that. But, can you blame me? The original seasons of the X-Files were pretty amazing. Sure, they had their stumbles here and there like any TV series, but you could pretty much count on some consistent storytelling and decent acting. So, being excited about this six episode revival I began watching with great anticipation. At the end of episode one I was telling myself, “Give it a chance. It will get better. They’re just a bit rusty…”

By the end of episode two I was saying the same thing, but I was already having a sinking feeling of remorse – that weird feeling you get when you have mourned a loss, healed, and then had the wound ripped open by some faint memory and begin to mourn all over again.

Then came episode three. Elation swooped in. “Hey,” I said to myself. “They managed to get their legs under them. This is a resounding echo of what the show once was. There’s hope yet.”

Then came episodes four and five, both of which left me once again in a state of mourning, all while shaking my head and saying, “What the fuck, guys? Seriously?” I’d also like to ask if you or any of your writers have actually tripped on psilocybin, because what you depicted sure as hell wasn’t mushrooms. It was more like a really bad hit of acid. Trust me. I’m not saying that during my misspent youth I might have had some experience in this arena, but experience.

And don’t even get me started on Einstein and Miller. Really. Do NOT get me started.

And so, last night, with a great feeling of dread, I tuned in to the finale. I know I should have skipped it, but I couldn’t help myself. The whole season was sort of like a train wreck. I simply couldn’t look away. Anderson and Duchovny could have easily been replaced by cardboard cutouts of their younger selves. Both of them seemed to be phoning in their performances 80% of the time. Even in the wake of the news that Anderson had to fight for equal pay on this I can only figure that the network threw truckloads of cash at the two of them in order to get them on board, but as we all know, even cash can’t buy sincerity. Their performances are a testament to that – and to be fair to them, I’m sure said performances would have been more along the lines of stellar if the scripts had actually been something worth the paper they were printed on. Alas, they weren’t. Not by a long shot. I mourn for the trees that gave their lives for this mess.

And, seriously, don’t get me started on Einstein and Miller. Just don’t.

And now we come to the finale, and as I suspected it would be, it was a clusterfuck from the word go. Old Roger Corman B-movies had better plot lines and writing. And seriously guys, the Spartan Virus? Did you really have such a hard time coming up with ideas that you needed to recycle the plot from the season two finale of Millennium? (See Marburg Variant Virus – The Time is Now.)

AND, while we are on that subject, I have been a huge advocate of bringing back Millennium. I was even a regular guest on the Back To Frank Black Podcast for quite some time. However, seeing what you did to this X-Files revival makes me fear for Millennium in a cold sweat, abject terror sort of way. As in, leave it the fuck alone, please. You’ve already screwed the living shit out of X-Files. Even a “Bobby Ewing in the Shower” can’t recover the show from what these six godawful episodes have done to its memory, so do the fans a favor and leave Millennium alone.

Seriously. Just leave it alone. Just go fuck up the X-Files some more, because the damage is already done.


The above is strictly an opinion piece. Your mileage may vary.

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Published on February 23, 2016 06:20 • 6 views

May 5, 2015

I had a friend leave today.

Just a couple of hours ago, in fact.

I say “leave” because he’s gone now. I don’t like to use the word lost, because even though he is gone our friendship remains. That’s just how it is with some friendships, and to be honest, ours was a bit weird. Not weird as in Scooby Doo and The Mystery Machine Gang, but weird in the sense that we were friends for a very short time before he went away.

bill I first met William “Bill” Bell at a festival I was headlining this past March. In fact, I met him on March 18, 2015, at about 4 in the afternoon, at a campsite in Lakeview, FL. We pulled in, I got out of the car, and before I had even been properly introduced, this bright-eyed, bearded, cigar smoking guy in a fishing hat hollers at me, “Ya ever had a Ginesca?”

My response: “I don’t think so. What the hell is a Ginesca?”

Bill grinned and said, “Gin and Fresca. It’s a refreshing summertime drink.”

The next thing I knew I had a Ginesca in one hand, a cigar in the other, and a camp chair under my ass. For the next five days, Bill and I killed bottles of Fresca and Gin, along with a box of cigars, and pretty much talked about everything that needed talking about when one has a refreshing summertime drink and a cigar in hand. We had many a “Fuckin’ A, Bubba” moment, told a lot of stories, and his extra flashlight dutifully saw me back and forth between my tent and the portolet. Suffice it to say – and I’m not afraid to say it – I fell in love with this guy. We struck up a friendship that was bound to last, and some in the camp even described it as our “Bromance.”


A couple of weeks after the event I got word that Bill had to go in for a quadruple bypass. I exchanged pleasantries with him on Facebook and told him I’d have a cold Ginesca waiting for him when he was up and around again. Unfortunately, sometimes life blindsides us at 4 PM on an idle Tuesday… There were complications, and Bill had remained in the hospital. Things grew progressively worse, and we all knew that the end was near. The reason for the 4 PM remark is that I received a phone call from a mutual friend at right about that time. They disconnected Bill from the life support today, and this afternoon, peacefully I’m told, he left.

Wherever he went, you can be sure there are Ginescas, Good Cigars, a Sailboat, and an ocean for him to sail.

And to that, all I have left to say is, Fuckin’ A, Bubba, but I wasn’t done hanging out with you yet…

Picture 12


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Published on May 05, 2015 14:39 • 25 views

February 13, 2015

ST LOUIS, FEBRUARY 13,  (AP)— A St. Louis family finally noticed the father had passed away in the kitchen after more than two weeks of piling dirty dishes next to his corpse. M. R. Sellars, noted thriller author and stay-at-home dad apparently died while loading the dishwasher sometime during the evening in late January. Cause of death has yet to be determined; an autopsy is pending.

When reached for comment as to why his death went undetected for so long, his wife said, “Hold on. I just got another Words With Friends challenge.” His daughter weighed in with, “OMG! I just saw on TumbleBookFace that Stinky Cheese and Captain Skidmark are going to be at Myoozapalookafest this year!” She also added, “Do we have any pizza rolls?”

When asked why they didn’t notice the smell, both replied, “Oh, don’t worry about that. He just farts a lot.”

Memorial arrangements have yet to be announced, but are expected sometime before the end of 2037.

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Published on February 13, 2015 05:41 • 44 views

August 8, 2014



Yep… That was awhile ago.

dolbyfield1982I was working for American Home Video Corporation (VideoConcepts) and on the radio (and most especially on MTV) Thomas Dolby was telling us all about how Miss Sakamoto blinded him with science.

It was a good song. I liked it. I wasn’t enamored of it, but I liked it enough that when I opened a shipment of CD’s at the VC store one day and ran across THE GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS by one THOMAS DOLBY, I purchased it immediately. A couple of things for you youngsters – A) Back then we couldn’t just buy one song. We had to buy the whole album/tape/CD and B) at this particular point in time CD’s were cutting edge. Not many places carried players and they ran in the 500 – 1200 dollar range. CD’s were scarce and 18 bucks apiece.

Still, I popped for The Golden Age of Wireless the moment it came out of the box, then popped it in a player and gave a listen. It was THEN that I became enamored.

That particular CD spent many a night spinning in my old $999 JVC CD player, with the repeat button glowing red. From beginning to end it transported me to a different place, different time, and different mood. Considering how many times I listened to it, one would think I’d have grown tired of the repeated tunes, but not so. The tracks still hold up today, and every time I give them a listen I am transported to those same places, times, and moods, PLUS a longing for those days gone by.

Of course, I have added Mister Dolby’s other works to my collection – The Flat Earth, Aliens Ate My Buick, Astronauts and Heretics, etc… And each of them spin endlessly as well, but for some reason I always return to The Golden Age of Wireless.

I suppose it’s because when you get right down to it, that Golden Age truly was golden after all…






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Published on August 08, 2014 08:47 • 44 views

February 3, 2014

broken_scale_gt-400x300My name is M. R. Sellars and I’m a fat guy. Well… sort of. I used to be much larger than I am now. In fact, at one point in my life I tipped the scale at just under 300 pounds, which isn’t really a healthy weight for a guy who is only 5′ 7″, especially when you take into account that I have shrunk a bit and at 52 I am now a mere 5′ 6″.

More recently, and by that I mean one year ago last week, I weighed in at 261. My secret to losing almost 39 pounds? I stopped eating fast food. Seriously. That was it. Of course, I suppose I should give you a little background: My time pushing the scale to the 3-double-naught range was several years back when I was still working a day job as well as writing. I spent 10 hours a day as a computer tech, so meals were on the run. Fast food for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. Whenever dinner WASN’T fast food, it often came out of a box and was basically the contents of a chemistry set, molded and extruded, injected with fat, extra sodium, and then mixed with some dead cow just to make it sound like actual food. As crazy as it may seem, simply cutting that mess out of my life prompted my body to breathe a sigh of relief and drop close to 39 pounds without any other cajoling.

However, I was still at 261, which, as noted, isn’t a particularly healthy weight for a 5′ 6″ tall old guy. My knees hurt all the time, as did my feet. I had chronic heartburn. Stress. Other joint pains. My blood pressure was “okay,” but it was riding the line toward hypertension. My cholesterol was “okay,” but just barely. And finally, my CR-P level (an inflammatory marker) was high. Given that I lost both my parents to heart disease, things weren’t looking good for me. The doctor put me on a statin to bring it down, but being the oddball that I am I managed to have one of the rarer adverse reactions to it – in fact, I had the reaction that a whole crapton of doctors (including my own) refuse to acknowledge exists. I fell into a deep depression and had suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, I was clear-headed enough to info dump this on my wife, who in turn did a bunch of research and found studies about this particular side-effect, that while rare, actually does afflict some folks who take statins. She insisted I get off the pills, which I did, and that in turn lead to me being a much happier person. I was still fat, and still had all of the other issues, but I didn’t want to kill myself anymore, so that was a plus.MERP MINUS 70

Then along came my annual physical. The doc looked at the numbers and wanted to put me on a statin again. I said no and he said, then lose 20 pounds.

I decided to go him one better. I decided to get back to my optimum weight for my height and body type, which is in the neighborhood of 165. That was, as I said, one year ago this past week. As of right now, I weigh 188.

I’ve been tracking my success on Facebook, tossing up road signs every time I blow past one. This has prompted people to ask me how I have accomplished this weight loss. Funny story that. Of course, when people see me I also get interrogated about how I’ve managed to lost the weight. Whenever I say, “watching what I stuff into my pie-hole and exercising,” I get this incredulous retort, “Oh, so you have to exercise.”

Well, duh.

Anyhow, since I get asked and nobody seems to want to believe me, here’s EXACTLY how I have done it, in two basic steps.

STEP ONE: I started moving. Yes. Exercise. When I first started the process I cleaned the crap off the treadmill we had sitting in the corner and I got my fat ass onto it. Twenty minutes a day, lumbering along at a whopping 1.5 mph. By the end of those twenty minutes I was begging for death. Sweating my ass off, aching all over, and panting so hard I thought I was going to pass out. But, you know what? I got back on there the next day and did it again. And then again the next day. And the next… By the end of two weeks, I decided to push the envelope. I upped the speed to 1.8 and the time to 25 minutes. I’ll spare you a blow by blow, but suffice it to say, each time it started getting easier, I made it a little harder. Increased the speed, upped the time, added wrist weights, or even weights in a backpack. Now, I jump on the treadmill every morning and do a solid hour clocking  at anywhere from 4.2 to 4.5 mph. Sometimes I even go for 75 minutes and add a few 5.0 – 5.5 mph sprints in there. Yeah, I know, not a marathon runner or the fastest kid on the block, but you know what? At 52 I am in better shape than I was when I was 32.

STEP TWO: I wrote down everything I was eating and calculated up the calories. Turns out I was consuming to maintain, but what I was maintaining was 261 – 265 pounds, which was a caloric intake of around 4000+ per day. For a guy who makes his living by sitting at a desk and writing books, 4K per day in calories is ridiculous, unless he’s 6′ 6″ and a lot younger. We had already done away with the vast majority of boxed crap masquerading as food and replaced it with the real deal. Vegetables, lean meats, fish, fruit, etc. However, I was shoving way too much of it into my face. So, I found myself a calorie calculator and entered my stats to find out what I needed to eat to maintain my optimum body weight given the amount of exercise I was getting each day. However, I didn’t stop there. I also calculated the caloric intake required for points in between where I was and where I wanted to be. I used 10 pounds as a mile marker, i.e. I was at 261, so I rounded to 250 and calculated my maintenance intake for that, then also for 240, and 230, and 220, and so on. Then, I started paying attention to what I was putting into my pie-hole. I would make sure to eat a balanced intake of proteins, fats, and carbs, but I would look at the calories, round them up (as in if a banana is 85 calories I would call it 100) and I logged whatever I ate in a little notebook with a total for each day. My goal for the day would be to eat no more than the maintenance calories required for whatever weight was closest to 10 pounds LESS than my current. So, at 261 I was eating as if I was maintaining 250. When I started getting close to 250 on the scale I started eating for 240. When I approached 240 on the scale I started eating for 230, and so on.

And that’s exactly what I have done. While I have been counting calories, yes, I haven’t been doing it in a “diet” fashion. I have been doing it in a way to train myself to eat healthier and properly. In short, developing a better eating habit. Sure, I still splurge now and then. If I didn’t I’d go nuts. However, instead of having a double slice of cake every night, I have a normal slice of cake at a party or something and leave it at that. I don’t need it every night, but I don’t deny myself on special occasions. I’m not going to lie, in the beginning I was hungry all the time, and for the first few weeks I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off, but it wasn’t long before my brain and body fell into synch, and I wasn’t starving. In fact, I would find myself not wanting to snack like I did before, simply because my body didn’t need it. It was starting to burn the calories I had stored as fat, and it was using the food I was taking in far more efficiently.

smaller merp

Now, let me say this – I’m not fat shaming here. I’m of the opinion that if you are active and aren’t actively over eating, unless you have a thyroid condition or something like that, your body will settle to the weight where it is most comfortable, and if that is on the heavy side, so be it. My problem was literally that I was shoving way too much into my face and moving way too little. Simple as that, and I have set out to correct that. I’m still losing at a rate of 1.5 – 2.0 pounds per week. I had some plateaus, and a couple of see-saws with holidays thrown into the mix, but that sort of thing happens. I didn’t let a bump of a few pounds discourage me. I just stayed the course and would eventually start shedding pounds again. By summer I should be at my optimum weight, and odd as it may seem, I might have to start eating more than I do now because I will be even more active with yard work and such. However, I will just bear in mind that all I need is a small steak. I don’t need the whole cow.

And there you have it. People have asked repeatedly and never believe me when I answer, “Eat less, exercise more,” but that’s the crux of it. Above, you have all of the details, and that’s the only magic pill there is.

Till the next time…



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Published on February 03, 2014 14:32 • 70 views

October 31, 2013

So… As you can see, someone threw a tantrum and messed up the room.

All good… Basically, there was a server issue and the backup was incomplete. My bad. At any rate, the good news is that the content in the SQL database is still intact. I just need to pick up the toys and redecorate a bit. As you might know, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I am in the middle of cranking out a manuscript and I am on a deadline. Therefore, the remodeling and such will have to wait. In other good news, however, once I get this project turned in and the remodeling done, I think I’ll start blogging here again. Much has happened that I can twist and distort for endless hours of entertainment.

You’ve been warned…

Till the next time…


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Published on October 31, 2013 06:15 • 52 views

November 26, 2012

Some years back I was speaking at an event and I mentioned the work I do around the house – lawn, garden, remodeling, fixing things, you know, the usual stuff. Several attendees were simply flabbergasted. They couldn’t imagine why I was doing all of these things… I mean, after all, I write books for a living. I must have money to burn, a private island, a yacht, two mansions, and three airplanes. Apparently, to some folks, all authors are automatically viewed as a cross between Rick Castle and Warren Buffett. Of course, I found this amusing and proceeded to explain in five part harmony, with full orchestration, how some of them probably make more money than I do. Hell, when I worked in IT I definitely made more money that I do now.

But, this is not about the low income of mid-list authors. This is about history and hard times…

[image error]Growing up in the 60′s and 70′s, I heard my parents talk about their lives growing up during WWII. I heard my grandparents talk about growing up and living through the Great Depression.  I spent the better portion of my childhood on the family farm during the summer, as well as parts of spring and fall. I remember watching my grandparents – on both sides – canning food from the garden, or making jelly and preserves from a basket of fruit they picked from a tree in the yard. My parents did the same thing. It didn’t matter if all they had on hand was enough for one or two jars. If they weren’t planning to eat it before it could go bad, they would can it, or process it and freeze it. When the family would slaughter a hog, they packaged the meat, cured the hams and bacon, used the brains, made souse meat (head cheese), rendered the fat and made soap, and much more… The salient point here being - they wasted nothing. They had seen austerity “up close and personal,” so they learned how to get around it any way they could.

Watching all of this, I learned from it, too.

However, I have to admit, I spent a good part of my teens and young adult life during the “golden age.” Rising stock markets, rampant consumerism driving a ballooning economy… Sure, we had our moments of recession. I can even remember  a long winter when the union where my father worked voted to strike. He wasn’t in favor of the strike, but majority ruled. He spent several weeks with only “strike pay” and what he could pull in working part-time loading trucks at a local short range hauler – and he was fortunate to get that job through some connections. I can remember peanut butter on Wonder bread being breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Still, for the most part, I had it easy. That “golden age” again… And, much to my chagrin, during that golden age I bought into the hype. I consumed, and wasted, and consumed and wasted some more, just like most everyone around me.

And that brings us to the “the times…” As the title says, These Are They… Perhaps it is my age – no longer young and indestructible. Perhaps it is the crash and not-so-great depression we’ve been weathering (that was NOT a recession, no matter what anyone says). More likely it is a combination of both. The thing is, this has brought me back around to what I learned in my youth. Waste nothing…

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that I pulled out the pressure cooker and did some canning this year. Honestly, I had forgotten how much I missed doing that. In addition, we are lucky enough to own an upright freezer, so some of the harvest from our garden was processed and frozen. For the past few years, I have been saving vegetable scraps and freezing them. Whenever I have enough, I roast them, then add water and cook them down to vegetable stock, which I then part out into containers and freeze for use int soups and the like. The leftover mush goes into our composter, along with other organics from the kitchen, thereby creating fertilizer for our garden.

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So… Am I no longer a consumer? Well, I certainly cannot say that, and anyone who followed EKay’s and my landscaping adventures this past summer knows that I’d be lying if I said otherwise. However, I can say this – I’ve seen my moments of austerity, up close and personal. They weren’t the worst ever, and there are plenty of people worldwide who are worse off, or have been worse off. The thing is, I’ve come back around… And, like we all do, I have become my parents, and in turn, my grandparents.

Am I suggesting you become an urban-hippie-composting-farmer? Not so much. I’m just reminiscing and looking forward at the same time, which, oddly enough, offers more clarity than you might imagine.

In case you are wondering what sparked this little missive, it was the four gallons of turkey stock (pictured above, right) that I just squeezed out of the Thanksgiving turkey carcass and a handful of vegetable scraps I saved from the preparation of the dinner itself.

Waste nothing…



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Published on November 26, 2012 08:06 • 99 views