The Case for Second Halloween

 

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Introduction

Of all of the holidays that we celebrate through the year, there is really only one that discriminates more than the rest. Mother’s and Father’s Day are limited but that’s pretty much it. Yet come February 14th, there is a greater prejudice as than all of the others. Simply put, if you’re without a partner, you can’t celebrate this day.

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Cupid Must Die!

I’ve always despised Valentine’s Day; not because I’m divorced, but even when I was married, I didn’t care for it. It is stated that it is the one day out of the year in which you show love and romance for your mate. Really? Just once a year? I’m sure that’s not completely true, but it is a day in which you are supposed to be extra loving or whatever.

What about single people? Those who are divorced? Widowed? How are they to celebrate the holiday? Well, they’re not. Even if they do, it would be awkward and weird. How awkward would it be if you approached someone with candy and flowers and they’d laugh in your face?

That is why I think instead of Valentine’s Day we should have a Second Halloween. And here are my reasons for it…

 

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Why Second Halloween is better

1)   Halloween doesn’t discriminate against anyone. People of all ages like to celebrate the holiday. Children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, teens pull pranks, and adults dress up and hold parties. Halloween doesn’t care if your single, married, divorced, or widowed; it allows everyone to participate.

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2)   Halloween offers a larger selection of candy. This you cannot deny. When you go down the holiday candy section for Halloween there is such a large variety of candy. Christmas would be second in variety. Valentine’s day primarily revolves around chocolate and that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with chocolate but there are so many other choices with Halloween.

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3)   Halloween allows you to wear a costume. If you celebrate Valentine’s Day dressed as Cupid, people might think it’s adorable…if you’re a child. If you’re an overweight middle-aged man, the police might be called. With Halloween there is no limit to the kind of costume you can wear and no one will really judge you.

 

4)   Halloween has better decorations. Witches, ghosts, goblins, scarecrows, and monsters galore! Plus, you get the entire spectrum of Autumn colors; including black in Halloween. Valentine’s Days has hearts and diaper-clad babies armed with bows and arrows. The color palette is red, pinks, and shades in between. What would a person think if you handed them a dozen black roses for Valentine’s Day?

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5)   Halloween has Haunted Houses and ghost stories. Valentine’s Day has what? The Tunnel of Love? And name me one good Valentine story.

 

6)   Horror Movies are better during Halloween. There really aren’t any good Valentine Day movies; just horror movies set around the day. Speaking of which, Happy Death Day 2 U comes out on February 14, 2019. I used to watch The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre movie every year, but even that got old.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why Second Halloween would be better than that other holiday. This year take time to celebrate it and see that it’s a lesser hassle than Valentine’s Day; and less awkward too. Of course, people will look at you weird but then again if you were to show up to a Valentine’s Day party alone, it would be weird as well.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, share with us how you can make it less awkward for a single person. What is your opinion of a second Halloween? Would another different holiday be better? Share you comments below.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

 

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Image Inspiration #2

I close out this year with another story inspired by an image sent to me. It was a bit of a challenge until I thought that this would make a great new character to my Floor 17 Café series; book 2. Please enjoy!

 

Miner Reunion: Chuck Blog Post #55

Good afternoon fans of The Floor 17 Café! This is Chuck your humble servant bringing you the latest information and tidbits from our little corner of the Tower of Water. Things have really been busy here since we got the radio antenna installed to broadcast the various stations all over the four towers. Everyone wants to hear the latest music and make requests. There’s even been some dancing but with all of the puddles on the floor, it’s more like slipping and sliding.

The main antenna almost didn’t happen as our resident electrician, Henry Gunny, wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it. He knew it would have to be installed on the physical Tower of Water itself, which meant going up to Floor 14 and climbing outside onto the tower itself. Naturally he would use his mechanical rabbit, Roberta, for something like that; but the antenna was too large. It was about that time that “Mucky” Meyers entered the café with his mechanical mule, Helene. Well one thing led to another and the pair made their way up to Floor 14. Since that day Henry and “Mucky” have become fast friends and are usually in here daily for lunch.

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The inspired image; Nathaniel Carver

We got a new customer in this morning; a man by the name of Nathaniel Carver and he was carrying a violin in a case. Clancy seated him at one of my tables and I took his order. He was wearing black overalls and seemed like he was younger than he looked. He told me he used to be a mineral miner for Rellfax Major. I was about to comment about knowing “Mucky” Meyers when he and Henry entered the café. Here’s the exchange…

“Mucky”: Why Nathaniel Carver, what in blue tarnation are ya doin’ here?

Nathaniel: Hello Cyrus. Still going by “Mucky” I see. Thought you would have given that name up a while ago.

“Mucky”: Some of us stick with tradition regardless of what life dumps in your lap.

 

Without another word, he and Henry then walked to the far end of the café and sat down. I looked at Nathaniel and asked what that was all about? He replied that he and Cyrus were planning on opening their own mining company. They had the equipment, manpower, and a substantial number of backers for their endeavor. Everything was ready until he (Nathaniel) picked up this discarded violin and began to play. He told me he never had a single lesson. But, from that day forward, he walked away from the mining industry to pursue a life of music.

It was obvious that Cyrus…err…”Mucky” hadn’t forgiven him. But I told Nathaniel that he did what he felt was necessary and he shouldn’t have to change his mind on it. He thanked me then quietly ate his lunch. As I walked down to table where Henry and Mucky sat, he relayed the exact same story. What bothered him was that the mining business was Nathaniel’s idea and then he walked away from it. I tried to tell him that people change, but he wouldn’t hear it. I had Johano take their orders seeing that his tables were all empty.

I returned to Nathaniel’s table and suggested that he play a couple of tunes on the violin to entertain our guest. We usually don’t have live entertainment during the week but since the radio programming doesn’t begin for another two hours, I didn’t think people would mind.

For the next ten minutes, Nathaniel played his violin and it was absolutely heartbreaking. Some of the best music I’ve heard to come from that instrument since East of the West performed at my wedding. When he finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the café (and not because it’s damp; hence the name Tower of Water). Everyone applauded, including “Mucky”. He went up to Nathaniel and apologized for his behavior; even invited him to join them at the table for a cup of coffee.

Looks like it’s time to wrap up this blog entry. I overheard Clancy say something about bringing Nathaniel in next month to perform. Glad to hear that and that means we’ll have more live music to keep us entertained.

Until next time, so stop by and say, “Hello”; grab a sandwich and a cold drink. Mind the puddles as it does occasionally rain in here. It’s time that I caught up with my two boys; Zak and Hector.

Happy to Serve,

Chuck

New Year

Thanks very much for reading this and I hope to bring you more in the coming year!

Happy Adventuring,

Chris

Christmas Songs to Offend Others With

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Introduction

One of the most disheartening things about the 21st Century is that young people are going back through history of music, television, and the like and finding all kinds of politically-incorrect issues and somewhat offensive scenarios. It doesn’t matter to them that at the time of the show or song being made, it was considered acceptable. It’s like they expect the TV show to evolve with the times even though it’s been off the air for decades.

Lately, one of the songs played at Christmas has come under fire because it suggests date rape. We’re going to look at this song and then suggest other songs that should be considered equally offensive based on their beliefs.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

First you must understand that this song was written in 1944 and so the concept of date rape wouldn’t even be an issue back then. I’m not saying that it didn’t exist, just that it’s not high on the list of issues in the country like it is today. For more information on the song, click on this link for an article by Wikipedia. If you watch the video from the movie, Neptune’s Daughter, you will notice that both sides are utilized about leaving.

Secondly, it’s been played on the radio for the last 74 years or so and not once was it even deemed offensive or suggesting lewd behavior. This means that some people have nothing better to do with their time than to stream through countless songs squeezing out every possible offensive reference that there might be.

Finally, you can’t erase history that offends you. The removal of statues of Southern officers (for example) of the Civil War does not change the fact that the war took place. Yes, the South lost but that does not give people the right to destroy their existence. Banning one song from a radio station will not prevent others from playing it. Even banning from all stations will just spur people to intentionally play it from their own homes.

More Offensive Christmas Songs

In light of their beliefs of how offensive this song is, I decided to compile my own list of songs which should be deemed offensive and the reason why. Keep in mind, these reasons go off the basis they find “Baby” offensive. I personally do not find any of these songs offensive.

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Santa Claus is comin’ to Town—The lines, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when your awake” would suggest that Santa is a Peeping Tom and/or stalker.

Frosty the Snowman—He has a corn cob pipe which would suggest that he promotes smoking to little kids.

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Rudolph, The Red-nose Reindeer—This song promotes bullying of those who are different. It’s not until the individual does something heroic that they would be accepted by others.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus—Blatant disregard to the bonds of matrimony. Promoting extra-marital affairs and allowing your children to watch.

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree—This song leaves out all other genres of music as to suggest to only way around the tree is by rock music. You can’t “Country” around or “Rap” around, etc.

All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth—An affront to all meth users out there and their desire to replace said missing teeth.

The 12 Days of Christmas—The ultimate promotion of buying worldly gifts for your sweetheart to prove your love to them. Besides, who’s going to clean up after all of those birds?

Christmas needs Love to be Christmas—This would suggest that the holiday wouldn’t exist if love wasn’t apart of it. That, in turn, would make thousands of retail employees giddy!

All religious songs must go—I’m confused as to why this hasn’t been an issue in the past. Since everyone finds the phrase, “Merry Christmas” offensive, songs like “Joy to the World”, “Away in the Manger”, and “Silent Night”, just to name a few must also be banned for its promotion of religious beliefs.

Conclusion

Before you get all worked up over one song at this time of the year, think of all of the other songs that continue to play the rest of the time which are way more offensive; rap music as an example. Besides that, smart people would simply change the radio channel and listen to something else.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

 

Image Inspiration #1

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This week I’m featuring a short story I wrote inspired by two images my friend, and fellow writer, Beauty Borg sent me. She’s been in need of inspiration herself as far as writing goes and so I sent her a pic recently and she returned the favor. The images are below with a challenge of 500 words. I decided to write a Zak and Hector story and if you’ve read my book, Floor 17 Café, you’ll be well familiar with them.

 

Cute as a Fox

The Long-nosed Cat

Zak awoke early to the sound of Hector, his dog, barking down by the stream. He quickly put on his slippers and bathrobe, then went out the backdoor.

“Hector, come up here!” Zak called sternly. Hector, a German Shepherd, barked once more then ran up to the red-haired boy and sat down. “It’s too early in the morning to be barking like that.”

“I apologize, mon ami,” Hector replied, “but I saw a strange looking cat in the water. He was playing in it and refused to run away when I barked at it.”

“You know not all animals are afraid of dogs, Hector,” Zak said. “A talking dog, on the other hand, might scare most.”

“I did not think of it that way,” Hector replied. “I shall try talking to it.” He ran back to the stream and Zak followed.

As they arrived as the stream, just behind the three cottages, Zak saw what Hector was barking at; a red fox. He was splashing in the water, supposedly giving himself a bath.

Fox in the Water

“You see, mon ami, a long-nosed cat has invaded our territory,” Hector announced.

“Hector, that’s a fox not a cat,” Zak said. “I’m sure it’s a woodland creature which belongs this realm. Remember, Serena the Elven Priestess lived here and she talked with all of the animals of the forest.”

“A fox?” Hector asked. “Didn’t people hunt them for sport? I read in the library that they used hunting dogs to track them down. I shall hunt this one.”

“I say, ol’ chap, do we really have to go through with that tired old cliché?” asked the fox.

“Zak, did you hear that? He can talk!” Hector exclaimed.

“Yes, Hector, I heard him.” He turned to the fox and smiled. “Good morning! How’s the water?”

“G’day!” replied the fox. “This water is aces! I was just having a wash when your mate here tried to chase me off. I’m Miguel, by-the-way.”

“Miguel, I’m Zak and this is my dog, Hector,” Zak said. Hector growled in response.

“Gentlemen,” Miguel began. “It seems we’ve got off on the wrong foot. Well, Hector and I did; well, he did…mostly. I’ve been deep in the woods for the last several months and fancied a good scrub. I came to the stream as I knew that it was the only source of water. I wasn’t aware that there were others living here besides Patty, Cassendra, and Serena.”

“Serena doesn’t live here anymore and we moved in with Patty when she married Chuck, our new dad,” Zak replied.

“I see,” Miguel said. “Quite a do then, isn’t it? I shan’t be long; just need to finish up provided Hector doesn’t whinge on about it.”

Hector growled in response and Zak scolded him. The boy turned back to Miguel, “You can join us for breakfast, if you like. I was going to order from Coffee and Cruellers to Go.”

“Splendid! Get some bacon sandwiches and tea and you have a deal!” said Miguel.

I hope you enjoyed this little story and look forward to more in the future. As for now, that’s all for me. Have a great week!

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

 

62 Days of Winter (Part 2)

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Introduction

As stated in last week’s article, these are ideas that you and your family can do to entertain yourself during the winter months of December and January. Ideas will have to be adjusted for those who live in climates that don’t have snow but most can be done as far as the indoor activities.

Below are the next 31 ideas that can be done in January. Bear in mind you can always swap a few of these for the December month as well. Make sure you take photos to commemorate each day.

The Second 31 Days

  1. Happy New Year! To begin this new year, try a new restaurant or a new recipe for dinner. Travel to a new city for a day trip and take pictures.

 

  1. Don’t forget there are still College Bowl parades and games to watch. Choose one team and wear their colors while you watch the game.

 

  1. As you put away the decorations, look over the new ones you bought in December. View all the cards you received and keep them to make a collage for next year.

 

  1. Make preparations for the kids return to school. Make sure tissues are plenteous for the cold and flu season.

 

  1. It’s time to teach your children about The One Ring. Begin with The Hobbit trilogy followed by the Lord of the Rings movies. Maybe one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

 

  1. Start reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Teach your children great lessons from those pages.

 

  1. Go to the grocery store and stock up your pantry in case of a blizzard. Don’t forget cold medicine and cough drops.
  2. When grade cards come out; celebrate good grades with a special meal. Discuss how lower grades can be improved for the second half.

 

  1. Christmas may be over but there are still songs about snow and winter. Find them and singalong.

 

  1. Get out the slow cooker and make a stew or casserole for dinner. Have the kids help you prepare it.

 

  1. Find one of your favorite books as a child and begin to read it to them before bed.

 

  1. Summertime in Winter! Create a beach-like atmosphere with food and music in your living room and have a picnic. Take pictures for your photo album.

 

  1. Check in on your neighbors to make sure all is well with them. Call or visit them. Offer to bring over food or snacks if they are unable to get out to the store.

 

  1. Write a round robin story about Santa Claus in the off season.

 

  1. Go online and watch old episodes of your favorite TV show as a child. Show your children what you used to watch as a kid.

 

  1. Open up a savings account with your local bank for the children to put money in from chores. Teach them to save it until Summertime or next Christmas.

 

  1. Invent your own family holiday and design cards and decorations for it. Invite friends and family over for a party to celebrate. Take pictures to remember the occasion.

 

  1. How are those resolutions going? Check in with each other to make sure you’re still sticking to them. If over, talk about what happened and what you can improve. Try again next month.

 

  1. Take a trip to Hogwarts! Introduce your children to the Harry Potter series; both movies and books.

 

  1. Get the family together and create a list of things you want to do this summer. *62 Days of Summer forthcoming in May*

 

  1. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Go online and learn about Black History month.

 

  1. Explore outer space! Go online and learn about the Milky Way galaxy. Teach your children about the sun, moon, and the planets (including Pluto).

 

  1. Take a trip to your local library or bookstore. Show your children the wonder of holding a book in their hands.

 

  1. I am OZ! Introduce your children to The Wizard of Oz books and movies. Get them to talk about their favorite characters.

 

  1. Watch the documentary, Won’t You be my Neighbor? Talk about Mr. Rogers neighborhood and the subjects he covered.

 

  1. Surprise the kids with Brunch! Part breakfast and part lunch.

 

  1. Take a day trip to a new city if you didn’t make it on the first. Take pictures of landmarks and landscapes. If you’re able to cross the state border, see how their state differs from yours.

 

  1. Go online and teach your kids about the state you live in. Show them the capital, the bird, flower, and slogan. If possible, drive out to the capital city and take pictures.

 

  1. Go to a local store and buy souvenirs of your own state and send them to family on the other side of the country. Explain to them what each of them represent.

 

  1. Look back over the activities you did over the last two months and discuss what you liked and didn’t like. Make plans to do it again next year.

 

  1. Buy photo albums and print out pictures of your 62 days. Share online with friends and family.

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Conclusion

There you have it! 62 ideas to make the winter months more tolerable. As stated before, areas that don’t have snow will have to adjust some of the outdoor activities.

If you have any further ideas or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.

And as always,

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

62 Days of Winter (Part 1)

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Introduction

This article is a little off the beaten path from my usual articles. Years ago, I had this idea of keeping a blog report of things that my daughters and I did during the summer months of July and August. Seeing that both months had 31 days in them; back-to-back, I thought of the idea of 62 Days of Summer. Well the idea didn’t pan out, but later realized that December and January also held 31 days each; back-to-back.

So, the nature of this article is to provide 62 ideas; one a day, that you and your family could do in the winter. Bear in mind you don’t have to do them in the order given, I’ll put them in order of the calendar. Some ideas will have to be adjust depending on where you live in the country. Make sure you take photos to commemorate each day.

The First 31 Days

  1. Buy some Christmas cards and send out to friends and family. Get it done early then sit back for replies.

 

  1. Make up your Christmas lists for the coming holiday.

 

  1. Walk around your neighborhood, taking pictures of the landscape; trees, bushes, and grass. Do the same thing in the Summer and view the differences.

 

  1. Drive around town in the evening and view the houses with Christmas light displays.

 

  1. Buy Christmas music and sing songs around the fireplace.

 

  1. Decorate the house for Christmas if you haven’t done so.

 

  1. Go out to the store and buy a new ornament for the house that represents the entire family.

 

  1. Make an appointment to have a family portrait taken. Do the same in the summer and see how much you’ve changed.

 

  1. If there’s enough snow, make a family of Snow People. Teach the kids how to make snow angels.

 

  1. Drive downtown in the evening and see how stores have decorated for the holidays.

 

  1. Go online and watch Christmas episodes of old TV shows.

 

  1. Make Christmas cookies! Make some extra and share with a neighbor.

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  1. Go online and learn how other countries celebrate Christmas. Take one of their traditions and add it to your home for the season.

 

  1. Visit a local senior center and sing Christmas songs with them.

 

  1. Grab some popcorn and hot chocolate and watch a marathon of Christmas movies.

 

  1. Go online and research the origin of your favorite Christmas songs. Did you know, “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was first sung by Judy Garland in the movie, Meet me in St. Louis?

 

  1. When receiving Christmas cards, hang them on a door for all to see.

 

  1. The kids are almost out of school for the holidays. Make plans for a day trip to another city to celebrate. Take pictures of landmarks.

 

  1. Go around to neighbors who can’t get out often and shovel their sidewalk. Bring along salt for icy patches as well.

 

  1. Prepare the evening meal using the color theme of Reds and Greens.

 

  1. The Longest Night of the Year! Celebrate by watching scary movies.

 

  1. Make up a silly story involving a snowman who wants to get a tan.

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  1. Having visitors for Christmas? Clean up the house and make sure your grocery list is complete.

 

  1. Before bed read, A Visit from Saint Nick.

 

  1. After opening gifts, save a piece of different wrapping paper and make a collage. Sign your name to it and save for the following year as a new decoration.

 

  1. We’re less than a week from the New Year, have everyone write down resolutions for the coming year.

 

  1. Go to the movie theater and watch a new family movie.

 

  1. If there’s a hill in the area, take the kids sledding.

 

  1. Plan a small gathering of neighbors for a New Year Party. Choose a theme and buy supplies.

 

  1. Remember those resolutions you wrote? Read them out loud and help each other to keep them in the coming year.

 

  1. Happy New Year! If you have little ones who can’t stay awake until Midnight, choose an earlier time and have your own countdown to midnight.

 

Conclusion

Here’s 31 ideas to celebrate for the coming month. Next week I’ll post the other 31 so you won’t have to wait an entire month. Then you can pick and choose what’s right for your family to do.

If you have any ideas or suggestions of your own, feel free to comment them here. I might just include them in the next list.

Until next time,

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

 

The Everything Guide to NaNoWriMo

We’re just a few days out from the start of NaNoWriMo and I decided to share with you some of the other articles I’ve previously written to give you some last minute tips and advice as you make your final preparations for the month.

The Beginner’s Guide to NaNoWriMo

The Cheater’s Guide to NaNoWriMo

The Milestones of NaNoWriMo

The Writer’s Resources

I hope these will help you in the final days before the 30 Day march to November 30th. Good luck to one and all!!

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

P.S. Just to let you know, if you’re reading any of these articles, I will not be participating in this year’s NaNo. I have a prior commitment which will take me to the end of December to complete. If I add NaNo on top of it, one or both will suffer. I will be here to help support you should you want it.