Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Robert's Picks


Forge A New Blade (Book 2 of the Laredo War Trilogy) by Peter Grant (good)

Rimworld: Standed by JL Curtis (good)

The Adventures of Tom Stanger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent by Larry Corriea (very good)

Echo Park by Michael Connelly (good)

The Overlook by Michael Connelly

The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke (very good)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

So, I wrote a book.

I mentioned before that I'd had an idea for a book and was running with it. Well, a year later I finished the first draft. It shouldn't have taken that long, but it did. I would go a month or longer without touching it at times, and that really kills your speed. But I finished it.

I was determined to get it done and for the last half I made sure I was devoting at least one day a week to writing, and this turned into me spending even more time working on it than I had scheduled.

I settled on the title Tragic City. Here's a look at the cover I think I'll be going with:

It's a crime novel set in present day Birmingham, Alabama. I had a lot of fun writing the first draft, and I'm about a third of the way into my first revision/rewrite. My plan is to have that done by early June, and then get it off to some Beta Readers by mid to late June.

If you'd be interested in being a Beta Reader, let me know. Bear in mind, I wrote this with the intention of writing the kind of book that I enjoy, so both the sex and the violence are graphic. If those two things bother you in a story, then don't waste your time or mine. While I am interested in honest, critical review, know what you're getting into. This is a story about bad things being done by bad people, and good people doing "bad" things for what they believe are the right reasons.

My hope is to have reports from my Beta Readers by mid to late July, and then to do my final revisions and rewrites. As of right now, the plan is to publish via Kindle Direct and I am thinking of offering it for free for 24 hours. Final price will probably be $1.99.

A big part of getting noticed when publishing this way is reviews. To help there, I am going to give any person who writes a verified purchase review on Amazon a free copy of my as yet untitled short story that will bridge the gap between Tragic City and Book 2.

Yes, there will be a Book 2. I had a lot of fun writing this, and I think I'll have just as much if not more writing a sequel.

Robert's Picks

Going back to the old format for Robert's Picks. I liked having the book covers in the post, but it just takes too much time and I've got less and less of that. 


Savage Season by Joe R. Lonsdale

The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler (good)

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (good)

Into the Storm by Larry Correia (very good)

Beyond This Horizon by Robert A. Heinlein (good)

The Narrows by Michael Connelly (good)

Brimstone by Robert B. Parker (very good)

The Closers by Michael Connelly (good)

Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert B. Parker (good)

Back Blast by Mark Greaney (good)

The Blue Ring by AJ Quinnell (good)

The Ones You Do by Daniel Woodrell (good)


Deadpool (good)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Robert's Picks



(very good)










(very good)



(very good)




(very good)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Robert's Picks


Broken Angelsby Richard K. Morgan (very good)

Her Brother's Keeperby Mike Kupari (very good)

The Big Sleep (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)by Raymond Chandler (very good)

Suspectby Robert Crais (very good)


(very good)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Happy Birthday to....ME!

I am 31 today. I keep thinking last week I was a teenager and where the hell did all the years ago. All that cliche shit about don't grow up to fast, it'll be gone before you know it? Yep, all true. I can remember when 18 was subjectively an eternity away, but after that someone turned the dial up to 11.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Robert's Picks


Equal Rites (Discworld)by Terry Pratchett (good)

Blood of the Cosmos (Saga of Shadows)by Kevin J. Anderson (good)

Kim (Dover Thrift Editions)by Rudyard Kipling (good)

The Cartel: A novelby Don Winslow (very good)

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels)by Richard K. Morgan (very good)


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

X-Men: Days of Future Past [Blu-ray]

The African Queen
The African Queen(excellent)

On The Range #102: First IDPA Match In 10 Months

This past Saturday I shot my first IDPA match since December of last year. Considering I had not shot a match in ten months I was pleasantly surprised by my performance. I completely blew the first stage and at least one other, but I did pretty well on a couple. The match was six stages.

Overall I was 26th of 47 shooters. That's nothing impressive, and it just slightly better than my last match where I was again 26th but of 43 shooters. I was 3rd of 4 in my classification and division (SSP/Sharpshooter) compared to 5th of 5 in my previous match. I was 19th, 33rd, 25th, 18th, 35th, and 27th overall in each stage this time. At my previous match I was 30th, 23rd, 24th, 23rd, 28th, and 25th overall in each stage.

You can see the two stages where I really pissed it away, but overall I did just a bit better than my previous match and one could argue my shooting has improved.  I really want to get to matches more regularly, but working weekends makes that damned near impossible.

I am hoping to shoot a few matches in CDP with my 1911. I classified as a Marksman in CDP so I will actually be competitive, though I am improving (I think) in SSP.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

If you can't beat'em, join'em.

I've been at my current place of employment for over five years and I've held the same position the entire time. That said, I've made more money every year I've been with the company and my benefits have gotten better.

At the beginning of 2015 we took what amounted to a 22% pay cut. We lost a LOT of people as a result. Since the end of May I've been working six days a week. It's sucked, even if my money situation has been pretty good so far.

Anyway, long story short I decided to give it a year to see what happens and how my pay looks long term. The company added some things to take as much of the sting out as possible (and, in fairness, it was not their choice to cut pay, it was that or go out of business) and things may balance out. But.

I don't want to stay in the position I am in forever. I'd like to advance in the company and take on some bigger roles. So this morning I'll be starting a management training program. I'll be at our corporate headquarters for two days, and then I'll be getting hands on training in our local office for six to eight weeks. At the end of that I may or may not be offered a management position.

The good part about the training is that I'll be paid my daily rate while in training. I'm a commission employee so that means they'll average what my daily earnings were for a few weeks and that will be my daily pay while in training. The bad news is that I won't be allowed to earn any over time while in training.

I'm actually going to work one more day in the field on Thursday just to help the office out, but then I'll be working five, and off two. That'll be nice. I'll also have a set schedule (probably rotating between 8-5 and 10-7).

I'm looking forward to the change and trying something new. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. But I think it's the right path to start on to meet some of my long term goals.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Tale of the Missing 1911 Parts, part 2

I got a voicemail from a woman at the local Post Office today. She didn't go into details but she said my package had been found and would be delivered to my box today. When I arrived home this evening from work I had a big white envelope from Midway USA in my mailbox.

I'm glad they were found. Kind of upset that this happened, but not know exactly what went wrong it's hard to be mad at any person. Typically my mail delivery is excellent so if this is the worst I have happen (and it's only happened once in 7 years) I'm okay with that.

Now it's time to get those new parts installed!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Tale of the Disappearing 1911 Parts, part 1.

So, I ordered a Wilson Combat Bullet Proof slide stop and a Wilson spring for my 1911. According to tracking they were delivered in my mailbox this past Tuesday. If they were, I never saw them.

Asked my brother, he only saw what I saw (new jacket I ordered and contact solution...I love Prime).

Checked at the Post Office just in case it wasn't left and they confirmed it was delivered but are going to check exactly where the scan happened when it was scanned delivered in my box.

I have a good delivery man and he has been delivering packages to me for years so I doubt he made a mistake, but he's human.

On the other hand, I am $85 poorer with nothing to show for it. I wanted to get those parts in and function tested by now.

Fuck my life.