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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Game On!

Ok, I just found the best thing EVER! How did I not know about this?

I found the site romhustler, which has just a ton of games and emulators for all those great old game systems. My personal favorite and find, was the Sega Genesis. I downloaded this particular emulator, and it works great. So then I started downloading games…

Couple hours later I’m smiling like the geek I am after playing some old Sega favorites on my computer without a hitch – NHL95, 96, 97; Road Rash 3, Streets of Rage 3 (and I downloaded all three of them), Wolverine Adamantium Rage, and of course one of the most fun games I’ve ever played – Sunset Riders!

The keyboard controls take a little to get used to when you’re used to remembering the Sega game pad feel, but that’s quickly overcome. I can now play these games on any computer without having to hookup my old Sega game machine.

This is great! Now I have to get back to dodging more bullets and flaming arrows in the wild west…I wish I had my trusty sidekick with the shotguns with me ;-)

Meetings Make You Stupid

Meetings Make You Stupid : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

They had to do a study to prove this? Everyone who has ever had a job knows that meetings are pointless in general. If it's just to give out info, then it works, but as the article states, when you're trying to problem solve, it's actually counterproductive. Instead of getting exceptional ideas, you wind up with pooled stupidity.

I've been in some humdinger waste of time meetings in my employment life. However, it seems to be the norm - exceptional individuals are frowned upon...homogenization is what they seem to want...


Well, no new words on Ubuntu today. I spent most of my time on the computer today rebuilding my Windows section of the hard drive, and I am now back to where I was - with fewer bugs at the moment.

I always like that newly rebuilt Windows moment. When things seem to run quicker and oddball error messages don't pop up. Of course, then you start to use it, install programs, and as time goes by Windows keeps getting slower and quirkier until you have to do the rebuild before you pass the point of complete non-functionality. For me, it seems to be about 6 months to a year between rebuilds.

Lucky for me, I'm really good at rebuilding Windows at this point. I've certainly had enough practice over the years.

Now I'm back to full computing strength, so on with the show...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Boot Ubuntu...

Well, finally wiped the hard drive on my main machine, partitioned it off, and tried to setup the dual boot Windows XP and Linux Ubuntu. And while I realize I'm a newb that doesn't know what he's doing in Ubuntu, my first impression is not exactly a good one.

I formatted and created 2 partitions, and got Windows installed no problem. Then I threw in the Ubuntu CD and booted it up. Went through the install stuff, and thought it wasn't too bad. Then I hit the infernal paritions section. I wound up circling that particular roundabout for a while till I did some forum help searching online and got some usable advice from another newb that had posted. About the only way it would go and make any sense was to delete the partion I had setup for it, back out 3 screen, and wade back in selecting to install on the largest continuous free space. It finally took over from there and did what it had to do. How was I to know you need 5 partions to install Ubuntu? (slightly exaggerated, but to a newbie, the prompts on the screen made no sense whatsoever - I had a partition ready, install to it! You'd think that'd be simple enough.) So I finally got out of partition hell and got the dang thing installed. Remarkably, the dual boot thing setup on it's own, so I didn't have to fool around with that. Right away I had Ubuntu and Windows XP boot selection. At least that worked.

So now that I finally had Ubuntu installed, I booted it up to play around with it. The boot up is actually slower than Windows, which surprised me, but it's not that much of a difference. Once loaded, it seems to have most of what you need to use - until you start to use it. On first impression, starting programs up is rather slow. In Windows, I fire up notepad and it's right there. In Ubuntu, I fire up gedit, and I actually had to wait a few seconds. Huh. Then came more bad news - I fired up the mail and Outlook clone called Evolution (I think) and it actually looked pretty good. Until it crashed during first use. What the? Ok, whatever, I started up Firefox 2.0 and started surfing and somehow managed to have that crash on me during its second use. What the hell? This is more unstable than XP at this rate. Started Firefox again after a reboot, and while it didn't crash, it was so sluggish trying to log into Blogger (the flash like login in part) that I gave up. (and yes, I installed Flash) Now, I don't know if it's Firefox 2.0, or Ubuntu, but on the whole, it's a helluva bad start to this little experiment. And I didn't even mention that I had wanted to use a different video card that I have here with a S-Video out and thought now would be a good time to swap it being I'm doing a rebuild. Well, with that card in, Ubuntu wouldn't even give me a screen to look at - I just got a black screen. So it obviously couldn't handle it, and I had to go back to my other one with an RCA jack out. Oh, and the sound volumne is half of what I get out of Windows even with all the settings I can find cranked. All this, and I haven't even tried to play a DVD or burn a disc or rip some MP3's yet. I can only imagine what that'll be like.

I'm going to keep messing around with it, of course, but on a first look experience, I am so far not impressed at all. If Ubuntu is the beginners way into Linux and they're trying to convert Windows users with it, they gotta do better than this. Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll post more of this weird parrallel universe of computing I've stumbled into where things look like what you know how to use, but don't actually work that way...

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Different Sin City…

Speaking of Sin City (albeit not the movie), I found this gem of a clip on YouTube. Featuring Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings singing the Gram Parsons song Sin City. I always liked that song ever since I heard Dwight Yoakam’s version from years ago with K.D. Lang of all people. I think the song is about LA, but who really knows. It’s still a great tune, and finding Steve Earle singing it was great. Enjoy.

And while I’m posting up clips of Steve Earle, I gotta put this one up. One of my favorite Steve Earle penned tunes (I love the EmmyLou Harris version on her CD Wrecking Ball), this is Steve Earle and EmmyLou Harris singing a duet on his song Goodbye. So if you wondered what song I was referring to in Tales of the Stranger 6, here you go. Enjoy.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sin City 2 Finally Ready?

SCI FI Wire | Frank Miller on Sin City 2

YES! This is the news I've been waiting for. Assuming this is true, and that's a big assumption with these things, according to Frank Miller the script is done for Sin City 2. He and Robert Rodriguez apparently want to start production in the Spring. Right now, it's in limbo as they go about casting and script tweaking.

This does sound more promising that anything we've heard about Sin City 2 in a while. I love the graphic novels and the first Sin City movie is one of my favorites. Apparently, the second movie will focus on A Dame To Kill For (the second graphic novel in the series and a prequel story to both The Hard Goodbye - Mickey Rourke's story from the first movie - and The Big Fat Kill with Clive Owen's character). There will also be some of the short stories featured (Blue Eyes and Old Towne Girls) as well as a totally new story featuring Nancy. I wonder if Miller will do a new graphic novel for that story.

Hopefully they can get everyone back for any recurring roles for continuity's sake. I didn't think Jessica Alba did the strongest acting in the first one, so it'll be interesting to see a whole story based around her (In Sin City, it was more about Hartigan than Nancy). And I wonder if the latest rumors that Rachel Weisz is cast as the Dame to kill for are true? I know Rodriguez wanted Angelina Jolie who would have been great in the role, but I never thought they'd land her. I don't know if Weisz can pull off a dark noir femme fatale, but it should be interesting to watch. I'll trust Rodriguez/Miller on the casting, as they basically hit every role dead on with the first movie. (Mickey Rourke as Marv was sheer genius.)

Can't wait to see this. If they film it this year, that'd probably mean a 2008 release. If that happens, and the Wolverine movie and The Dark Knight movie stay on track, then 2008 will be a very good year for the comic fan in me :)

Trailer for Next

Apple - Trailers - Next

New trailer out for the next Nic Cage movie called Next, coming to theatres April 27. Looks pretty interesting - a man can see into the near future, and can therefore affect the present. The FBI wants him (led by Julianna Moore), conceivably to use to their own gains, and he's not really into that. But then there's some kind of bad event coming that they want to use him to stop, and he has to make a choice between saving the world or the woman he loves.

Hmmm, sounds kinda like the problem Neo had in Matrix Reloaded near the end when he's talking to the complicated white beard in the TV room. I liked how Neo solved his problem, let's see how Cage does.

The one thing that might be tough to swallow is Jessica Biel playing Nic Cage's love interest in the movie. I think it's venturing into Entrapment territory (the famous Sean Connery / Catherine Zeta-Jones team up).

Either way, Biel will be easy on the eyes, and it should be fun to see Cage take his Travolta Punisher haircut back to the future.

You can download the Large trailer here.
You can download the 480P HD trailer here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Brit A Reaver? That Would Explain It...

Ok, I gotta move that bald Britney picture down the blog (adopt Leo voice from That 70's Show - "It's freakin' me out, man!")

And there's no better way to do that than with a Firefly fan vid. This one was made by someone called Lostaway. It's a short overview of the show, but it's good, and so is the song. Enjoy.

And after seeing that, there's no better time to mention the new FOX show coming in the spring called Drive. Normally, a show on FOX isn't a highlight, but this one should be. Brought to the screen by Tim Minear (of Whedon's Angel fame) and starring Nathan "Captain Mal" Fillion (of Firefly/Serenity fame), it'll certainly be worth a look. And thanks to a post on FilmJunk, we now know it'll be coming to TV on April 15th. It's got a varied cast (ala Heroes, Lost, etc) and the story seems to revolve around these people involved in an underground, illegal cross country race. Hopefully there's some good car action, and of course, with Nathan Fillion leading the way, it should have its good moments. I just really hope this doesn't succumb to FOX syndrome - a really good show that gets cancelled too fast. But hey, if Bones could break through and hold on, maybe the Angel luck will bring this one through too. Check out the trailer...

Monday, February 19, 2007

She's Bald, Jerry!

Britney Goes Bald - ABC

Yep, it's true. Britney Spears decided she wanted to be bald. She went to a hair dresser to get it done, and they wouldn't do it. So she grabbed the shears herself and shaved it off. She's follicly free...sporting a 'do' don't...polished the dome...and much like her career, "Hair today, Gone tomorrow."...yeah, I'm done.

I guess shipping out Fed-Ex took a toll. But then, who know's why she did it. Still, it's an odd look to choose - even if it's an episode of Friends and you're an olympic swimmer egged on by Rachel to shave it off to increase your speed much to the chagrin of Ross. Or you're George Costanza and you get setup with a bald woman by Kramer. But then, maybe she watches a lot of TV and was inspired.

Or maybe I watch too much TV :)

Here and There…

The Bourne Supremacy was on CityTV tonight, so I tried watching it again. And yes, it’s as bad as I remember. That amateur camerawork / editing is really hard on the eyes. I hope the director takes a movie making course or something before he releases the 3rd movie this summer – maybe a course called “How Not To Induce Nausea In Your Movie Audience.” Beyond that though, it’s an alright movie – from what you can actually make out anyway. They do rip the heart out of the Bourne stories right at the beginning, but the rest of it plays as a pretty good spy story. When Bourne catches up to Abbot in the hotel though, it’s one of the few really good scenes in the movie. Then that car chase at the end is a pretty good heart pounding finish. Not as good as anything done in the Bourne Identity, but decent. However, the way Bourne drives that cab reminds me of me playing Grand Theft Auto 3. I always grab one of the taxi cabs in the game to drive whenever possible – they’re fantastically maneuverable, and can take a lot of punishment and keep on going. By the time Bourne finishes that chase, his taxi looks almost as bad as mine do in the game :)

After a month and a half of box office dreck at the movie theatres, Nic Cage’s Ghost Rider movie comes out and takes 44.5 million on opening weekend. Guess people were waiting for another comic book movie. Haven’t seen it, but looks like fun, Cage style. Some of those special effects look kind of hokey in the trailers though. There was even talk of a sequel before the movie opened, and with a money making opening like that, I guess there’ll probably be one. It’s too bad though, that they don’t make a movie from the Johnny Cash song Ghost Riders In The Sky. Now that would be a good movie…

And finally, wow, I’m surprised. That short clip I put up at YouTube of the Dube figure skating accident has received over 12,000 views and made it as one of the most watched of the week. I just put it up as a video host for my blog post – didn’t think that many YouTube users would watch it. Who knew?

Friday, February 16, 2007

New Grindhouse Trailer!

GRINDHOUSE on Yahoo! Movies

New trailer for Grindhouse is up. Looks pretty good...can't wait to see Kurt Russell and some of that car action in Death Proof.

However, maybe I'm out of the loop here, but was that Bruce Willis I saw at the beginning of the trailer? I thought I saw him for a second in the teaser, but wasn't sure. This is a more significant shot, and it sure looks like him. Thing is, I don't see his name in the credits. An uncredited cameo by Bruce would be cool though...

Anyway, you can download the trailer here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Lost Room Coming To DVD

Lost Room, The (mini-series) - Lost Room press release

It's been announced that the Sci-Fi Miniseries that was on a TV in December will be coming to DVD on April 24/07. I enjoyed the series, but I missed the first part. It was a good Sci-Fi mystery, and Peter Krause and Julianna Marguliess were both good in it, so I'll probably pick this up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines's, Schmalentine's...

Well, it’s apparently Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t mean much to me, being that I still happily have my freedom – uh, I mean, I’m single…(adopt Jon Lovitz voice) yeah, that’s the ticket. But still, it’s kind of a ripoff. Let me explain…

This had got to be the biggest commercial sell-fest “holiday” of the year next to Christmas. At least Christmas has a real meaning to it – something actually being observed – once you get past the commercialism. But Valentines Day is basically a day put on the calendar for companies to sell crap at inflated prices. Like a friend said to me the other day – prices on flowers go way up for the same thing you can get for half the price the week before or after. And who pays for this? Mostly men who have to fork it out to appease the other in their life who have been conditioned that they must receive something on this cold February day or the relationship is in trouble. It’s a scam, and I call Bullshit.

Really, if you need a specially marked day on the calendar to remind you to do something to show that special person you love them, then you’re in bigger trouble than one day of corporate shelling can point out. I was reading around different web columns, and it was said that the average amount spent on Valentine’s was around $125. Think about that. That’s a lot of money blown on one day to feed the coffers of ripoff artists. With a little imagination, that money could be used to do something nice (small, but nice) every month all year long. Ten bucks a month to do something special…hmmm, let’s see, what could you do with that? Lunch at Tim Horton’s…hot apple cider at Williams Coffee Shop…two movie rentals at Blockbuster (Terminator 2 for him, Bridges of Madison County for her)…round of mini golf…a couple ice cream cones and a drive in the country…and these are just off the top of my head. And I bet the small things would go a lot further and mean a lot more with the time spent than one blowout ‘because I have to’ spending spree.

Think about that before you shell out twice the price for flowers that’ll be dead before you even get the credit card bill…

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Blogger...

Well, I kept avoiding it, but Google didn't leave me with any choice. When I logged into Blogger tonight to post, it wouldn't let me get to my Blog Dashboard until I upgraded to Blogger Beta. So I did.

Not sure how this will affect comments yet (heard some things where comments didn't work anymore after switching), so we'll see. It will, however, notify you that it is going to a secure page. This is normal for New Blogger, so don't worry about that part of it.

Typical, though. If I have something working fine, somebody comes along and upgrades it...

Cutting It Too Close...

Warning, the video isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a clip of the figure skating accident that involved Canadian pairs skater Jessica Dube getting hit in the face by her partner’s skate.

She’s been released from the hospital and says she wants to skate again. Her partner’s not so sure though. From the article, she doesn’t remember much of it, but he does. She got really lucky too – could have been an eye.

Surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. However, if they turned figure skating into a contact sport, I might watch it…a triple lutz followed by a huge hip check!

Friday, February 09, 2007

NBC Universal Sucks The High Wind

...And so does YouTube for cowtowing to such an inept and arbitrary megalomaniacal corporation. Oh, and NBC is pretty stupid too.

Two days after I post up the clip of Alison Krauss and John Waite performing Missing You on YouTube, I get a notice that the video has been taken down due to a copyright complaint from NBC Universal. Ok, fine, if NBC doesn't want any Tonight Show clips up there, that's their right. Thanks for the notice, and have a nice day. It still doesn't make any sense from a marketing standpoint, though. You'd think they would want the show getting to as many people as possible. But ok, if there's a part of it that isn't being shown with commercials so that they make money, they can take it down even though it is incredibly short sighted.

However, here's where the stupid and inept comes in. There are all kinds of Jay Leno clips up on YouTube - interviews, performances, clips, etc. Why did mine get tagged? If mine was a problem for NBC, wouldn't they all be? I'm guessing my mistake was using the word "Leno" in the description. An autobot probably flagged it, 'cause here's the real kicker. Someone else also uploaded the same clip, but didn't use any reference to Leno or the Tonight Show. That clip is still playing strong and has cracked 900 views. So I took my vid down, and subbed the HTML for the other one. We'll see how long it lasts. That's the last time I give proper recognition to the source of the vid (as long as its NBC we're talking about :)

You know, if I was a singer/performer, and had enough money, I'd hire someone to just surf the web all day looking for any references, clips, etc of me. Then, if I found out about some corporation pulling a stunt like this, I'd be all over it. As a singer, you'd think they would want this out there. I haven't seen the music video on CMT (CMT are a bunch of idiots too), I think I heard the tail end of the song once on the radio, and so this was the only way that I knew this song even existed and that it's on John Waite's new album. I then found a couple more vids on YouTube of Alison Krauss videos - some I've never seen - and has me thinking of picking up her album "Lonely Runs Both Ways." Now that, folks, is good marketing, and it didn't even cost them a cent.

When will the stuffed suits learn that fighting this technology in idiotic and inept ways like this is only purely counterproductive? The world is changing. It's time the bean counters get with the program, or the 'net savvy crowd will just keep finding ways around it and there won't be beans left to count.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alison Krauss & John Waite - Missing You

Just thought I’d put up this performance that I recorded (*) from Leno last night of Alison Krauss and John Waite performing the current re-release of Waite’s 80’s hit "Missing You." I’ve always liked the song, and really liked the Brooks and Dunn version from a couple years back, but this one – and this duet team – works even better. Of course, what song isn’t made better by having Alison Krauss sing on it? (and wow, does Alison look good or what? ;-)

(*)Edit: See above post too - this isn't my recorded clip anymore, I'm now linking to a different clip of the same vid but uploaded by someone else.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Grindhouse - Director Interviews

GRINDHOUSE on Yahoo! Movies

Yahoo Movies has a clip of an interview with Grindhouse directors Tarantino and Rodriguez, as they discuss the origins of their movie. Cool to watch, should be a wild movie...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Some Good Music...

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been spinning Keith Urban’s latest album, “Love, Pain, & the whole crazy thing”, a lot as of late. I got it for Christmas, and it’s a really good CD, with some standout tracks.

You’ve got the obvious radio songs, but some of the other tracks are even better. He wrote more for this album than previous ones, and they’re good tracks. However, two of my 3 favorite songs weren’t written by Keith. His take on the old “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is a sad one, but with a soaring guitar rhythm to close it out. Then his current single, “Stupid Boy” is a well-written ode to waking up to having thrown it away. Again, this track features fantastic guitar work by Keith – the end coda, the one you don’t get on stupid CMT’s chopped off video play, really makes the song and delivers a perfect finish to it. Then there’s “Used to the Pain”, this one co-written by Keith, which has a great beat and lyrics to match. There’s also “I Told You So” and “Everybody” that show his range as well.

It’s a recommended album, and one I wouldn’t say is exactly country, but just really good music. His voice works well for these songs, but again it’s his musicianship and guitar play that really bring the whole album together. He’s even experimenting a bit musically on a couple tracks, and that’s good to hear. It means he isn’t content to just rest on what he’s done before, he wants to keep pushing it further.

He’s out of rehab now as well, happily married to Nicole Kidman by all reports, and out again to promote the album and tour. I’d love to go to one of his concerts, but that’s not too likely for me. So I’ll just keep spinning the CD and enjoying the music...

Tales of the Stranger 9: Picture of the Past

Another Stranger tale hits the intraweb! Again, it's a stand alone 'prequel' of sorts from the In Between Years. Had some tracks from Keith Urban's latest CD on repeat, and this one kind of wrote itself quick. However, even after some tweaks, it's still not as polished as it could be, but I'm posting it up anyway. Enjoy if you can, comments always welcome...

Picture of the Past by Eaglewing

The evening was leaning towards late, as the daylight disappeared, casting shadows on what was just another street in another town. But this one currently had an animated display of differing opinions between a pair of twenty-somethings going on to light up the night air.

The girl’s long blonde hair danced in the wind as she shook her head, hands and mouth in constant movement. The shaggy haired boy listened for a minute, then started in with his own words. Neither wanted to give an inch in getting their own mile, and the collision of ideas that didn’t line up made for a very public display of discord.

Eventually, the fight wore to a point of looking for a finisher, and the young man managed to say something to quiet them both. He shook his head and threw up his hands in resignation or disgust, and turned on his heel to walk away. But he turned a moment too quick, missing the teardrop as it rolled from a sad blue eye to fall to the concrete below. She called his name once, then turned and went her own way as the night stillness closed back in.

Where she headed was anybody’s guess, but the boy made his way down two blocks, crossing a street and then taking a left. He found what he was looking for, a door under a neon sign that promised distraction in either babes or booze, and he wanted distraction. He went through the door with a little more gusto than necessary, causing a few heads to look his way before turning back to their own. He went to the bar, ordering something to take the edge off, quickly downing it and ordering more. He took the bottle with him to the corner of the bar at the end, and sat down on the old bar stool. Another drink, then he spun around to enjoy the view of the dancing girls on stage, trying not to think about anything for a while. He saw the private booths at the back, knew what they were for, and thought about giving it a try. Whatever it took to keep from thinking about her.

“It won’t work you know.”

Startled, the young man looked over his shoulder to where the voice came from. He hadn’t seen a tall stranger sit down on the stool on the other side of the bar corner across from him. But there he sat, beer in hand, cowboy hat low, staring at the bar top in front of him.

Confused, the boy replied, “What? Did you say something to me?”

“Yeah. I said it won’t work.”

Intrigued, he turned towards the Stranger. “Oh? What won’t work?”

“All this,” came the reply with a vague wave of the hand. “Temporary distraction. A few more drinks and you’ll only be thinking about her. A few more after that, you might even pick up a phone and ramble incoherently into her answering machine. May as well stay sober and think it out right. That, and stay outta the back rooms.”

The boy’s eyes narrowed. “What exactly are you talking about? Who are you?”

“I’m the answer to the question you were asking that bottle. I know you had it out with the girl tonight, but if you’re smart you’ll leave here sober and go straighten it out. And be quick about it too.”

The boy was taken aback, and his temper flared. “Are you stalking me? What the hell do you know about me and my gal? Stay outta my business, man!”

The Stranger sighed with a weariness the young boy caught, then he just shook his head. “Settle down boy, and listen up. I don’t really know your business, but I managed to see some of it tonight. Didn’t want to, but you two were putting it on display. You were determined to be the hotshot and put her down. That last line was a blow, a hurtin’ bomb, Rocky style. But you walked away too soon. You didn’t even stick around to see her hit the mat. You didn’t see the look on her face, the tears, and I don’t even know if you let yourself hear everything she said when she called your name. So I’m here to make it clear for you. Heaven knows why, but she loves you. Anybody out on that street could see it. So what do you plan on doing about that?”

By now, the boy had turned away from the dancing girls, calmed down, and even pushed the bottle to the side. Something in the Stranger’s voice had cut through the foolish pride and anger in the young man. He realized he was talking to someone who had seen some things. Maybe it was worth a listen. And the Stranger was right. Just what was he going to do?

“I don’t know.” He let out a long sigh. “She wants more, something permanent I guess. Been together awhile, don’t really blame her. But I don’t know.”

“Nah, I think you do, and I doubt that’s all of it, but you just didn’t like her pointing out the obvious. Besides, that’s just pride talking. Tell it to shut up and use your head. Did you mean what you said to her there at the end?”

“Ah, hell no. That was stupid to say, I know. She’s a tiger sometimes, and she gets to me, but I was just mad. Telling her I don’t need this, I don’t need her, was just stupid. But she wants more, man. I guess I’m just scared.” He looked up quick as he carried on, “And I’ll hurt you if you tell anybody, but I guess I’m scared of letting her down. It’s a big responsibility, you know. But things are good, why do they always want more?”

The Stranger chuckled quietly, then took another swig from the beer before speaking. “More? Is it really more? All she wants is you, for whatever reason. That’s not really more, and it’s certainly not something you don’t have. If you love her, need her, and she feels the same, why would it be something too big to give? You need to learn to hang on to the good things, to the good ones. They disappear just as quick, so hold on when you can. Committing to something as good as that can be worth the pain that comes along with it.” The Stranger’s voice got real low then as he whispered, “I should know.”

The young man heard it and with a start realized why the Stranger had followed him to the bar. “So what’s your story? You had something good, didn’t you? Did she want more too and you didn’t? You thought I was going to make the same mistake as you?”

“No. I had something good, and I would’ve given her all the more she wanted. But she made a choice of not wanting more, and son, you don’t want to feel that. Go after that blonde haired, blue eye of yours and find out if it’s real. If she wants more, give it to her. And that rare thing she wants to give to you, take it like a man, and realize how lucky you are.”

Both were silent for a while, content to think and drink. Then the young man took out his wallet and pulled out a picture. Showing it to the Stranger, he whispered quietly, “She’s all I ever wanted. Having that come true is a scary thing. Maybe I panicked tonight, but I can make it right. Thanks for the wake up call.”

“No problem. Just don’t forget it.”

They both got up from the bar then, paid the bills, and walked outside. Night had settled in and the stars were shining bright.

“Hey, my truck is just over a few blocks, can I give you a lift somewhere?” the young man asked the Stranger.

“No thanks, that’s ok. Besides, you should take a cab, and I’m just gonna head off this way. Good luck to you and the gal in that picture.”

“Thanks. Hey, you know I half expected you to pull out one of these of your own in there. You looked like you had experience in raising a longneck while looking at a picture of the past.”

The Stranger had already started to walk away, but stopped and looked back. The sadness in the meaning of his words made the young man resolve not to let it all slip away.

“I don’t need a picture, kid. I see her everywhere I go.”

The End.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Kick A Little...

For when you just feel like kicking some butt - Walker style :)