Monday, May 28, 2012

Parenthood - the Continuing Education

A SlantedK Production
Got Twitter? Got SlantedK?

In a previous Parenthood Entry, I shared a brief discussion with my brother. 

(Paraphrase) “With my sons in their twenties I shouldn’t need to do this parenthood thing anymore.” 

Yesterday my wife and I went to Tombstone; Memorial Day Weekend is big at Tombstone, the largest crowds and constant gunfight reenactments up and down the street. Many years this trip included my boys, the four of us walked up and down one of the historical points of my favorite topic. “The Wild West.”

During the day, our conversation included ‘reflecting.’
(That is what I call it ‘now,’ ‘then’ it was all worry.)
Sue asked a question “is it wrong that we remember so little of everything?” I paused, and later took into consideration translating the question into a blog; I thought this has to be a common feeling for parents at any stage.

From a father’s view of her question, I thought she was right, so many memories seemed blurred, and guilt stepped in. Did we do all we could? 

The answer is yes; we have done all we could.

Parenting is a class learned on the run, during the fire drills, and under extreme pressure at times. Parenting also means learning how to live each day with very little sleep. Yes, sleep deprivation survival is a distinction for every parent. 
To the new parents that might be reading this, sorry, get used to it. 
With the infant stage, we are a constant servant. The independent years stress is normal. The teen years we tend to sit on the couch and watch a clock, hoping they are enjoying life and coming home in one piece.

I didn’t intend to make it look so bleak. I share such information to let all the parents following our steps that it is normal to have these thoughts.

Back to Sue’s question, we parents cannot remember everything as a photo album. What I have noticed of late, certain events will trigger different memories as clear as the day it happened. To stand on Toughnut Street in Tombstone and recall a lifetime of memories will not happen. 
My response to her at that moment was, “we were very tired for a lot of the time.” The memories are there, they will always be there.

News flash!

Parenting is not a game, you will learn to be tough, and you will learn to do things you thought you could never do. The fact is you have no choice, the payment, and the reward, is a life filled with great memories, tough challenges and participating in the transformation of an infant into an adult.

Depression happens, don’t give in to it, you will cry, let the tears flow and move forward. You will laugh to the point of tears; laugh away. You will burn meals tending to the needs of the young one, that’s ok, mac and cheese is a solid back up.

You can do it and you will do it!

Below the excerpt are the links to the previous Parenthood Entries.

Here is an excerpt from a song in my library.
The genre may not fit the tastes of my many visitors; however, the words are so true.

"Back For More"
By Ivan Moody

Let's get it on!
It's time to get in the game,
You gotta fight 'til it hurts and then you do it again
Let's tear it up!
I'm staying straight to the core, ain't no room for second place, go big or go home!

It's dog eat dog
Man versus beast
The strong will survive
I've got no time for the weak

It's time to rise up, man up, get back up, never been and won't be broken
Dust off and then come back for more
You've gotta reach down, dig deep, and break ground,
Show them all you won't be beaten
Brush it off and then come back for more!
Come back for more
The Parenthood Library

 Thanks Guys, Have a Great Day!
A moment of silence for the fallen.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Recognized

I remove my hat and bow my head in silence in remembrance of all the fallen.
Thanks for Stopping in at SlantedK.

This weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, well known for kicking off the summer and a gathering point for family and friends, break out the grills, feasting, drinking, swimming and relaxation. Many take to the roads camping, vacationing and just cutting loose.

The Great Race, Indy 500, NASCAR has it’s Coca-Cola 600, Basketball playoffs, so many events to entertain.

I live in a Military Town, when one hears Tucson Arizona; it is usually related to the Old West and Tombstone. However, in this region we have an Army, Air Force and National Guard Base.

While enjoying you beverages this weekend let’s not forget What Memorial Day is about; the lives given and lost in every military action throughout the generations.

The Red White and Blue has been soaked in our soldier’s blood.

Memorial Day, officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state officially recognizing the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, all the northern states recognized Memorial Day. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

(Note by DMK, I have found there are many versions of the first location and declaration. The birthplace is claimed by Waterloo in 1866.)

Passed by Congress, the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) ensures a three-day weekend for Federal holidays, Memorial Day Weekend is now celebrated on the last Monday in May. Though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, and neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 gravesites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). In 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day:
The "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."  

The Final Playing of Taps

Taps History told by John Wayne.

Some Gave All

Amazing Grace Bagpipes

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Over Thinking Marketing

A SlantedK Production
Find DMK on Twitter @slantedk

This past weekend I took an in town vacation. Many of the photos I posted (Twitter & FB) may have indicated that it was more than a normal weekend, so I apologize for the captain obvious moment.

Entertained by how swimming devices had morphed, I noticed inner tubes have become gondolas. 
Even more humorous, printed on the very device my Granddaughter Keleigh was enjoying. 
Not, “Summer Time Fun,” or “Fun in the Sun,” oh no:

"SwimSchool, Confidence Building System."

I understand why though, how else can you charge $25.00 for a piece of plastic? 
Who do ya think that label is for? 
No way the child cares what the banner says. 
A child’s joy in the water is also a comfort for the parent. Yes indeed, rest assured that when g-baby sat in that floating confidence builder there were no worries. I saw no effect or power of that name; each family member had to take a turn holding the confidence builder.

I remember my day @ such an event.
“Where we going Daddy?”
“I thought we were going to lake to swim Daddy.”
“You wanna jump in the water and die drowning? I don’t think so. We need to get some inner-tubes from Good-Year to keep you from drowning."
"What is an inner-tube?"
"It keeps a tire from going flat and will prevent your mom from yelling at me cause’ you drown.”
“Ok, Daddy.”

Many may know the tone of SlantedK and long time followers figure I could not stop thinking about the silliness.

Well you were correct, so I took time to start re-naming some items.

  • The Spoon - Nutrition Implementation Guidance System
  • The Diaper - Waist Containment, Storage and Disposal Utility.
  • Sun Tan Lotion - Gama Radiation Deflector & Moister Accelerator Protection Crème.
  • Baby Shampoo - Formulated Dirt Removal Accelerator.
  • Baby Picture - Digital Recognition and Archiving Process.
  • Birthday - Acknowledgement of the Time Continuum, in Denial of the Impending Finality of Mortality.  
  • Lullabies’ - Annoying.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants - The adventures of a troubled man’s inability in dealing with the deep recessions of the mind deformed by deep-sea gravitational pressures.

And Now For Something Different

Crushed by the weight of your sorrow,
There is no relapse,
To find the light in the darkness,
and we can't hold on.

But it's hidden from your face,
Sinking your form, 
the path you should follow,
Breathe its place,
Surrender yourself to the hopes of tomorrow,

And it's always been your spirit,
This. World. Is. Yours!

Hold on to faith, hold on to love,
hold on to who you were.
You're not alone, don't lose sight
we will rise above.
We are the breathe of life.
Our hope remains.

Lyric Excerpt - Times of Grace "Hope Remains."

Thanks for Stopping in today!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

SlantedK's Sunday Book Feature-Rama!

Now, I know what your thinking. "SlantedK is partial to Westerns."
Well ya got me there, however, sales at #2 on Kindle says a little doesn't it?
Daniel is a fellow author at Solstice Publishing, and as emphasized in the last post,
It is possible to succeed ;^)  
The future is in our hands !

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." - Newt Gingrich 

Climbing the charts at Kindle this week, 
"The Long Shooters" Stepped up to #2!
Congratulations Daniel! 

In the grinding death mill of the trenches of Petersburg, Virginia, in the closing days of the Civil War, a Union sharpshooter – a “long-shooter” named Ballou – emerges as the best sniper in a war where wholesale slaughter became the norm. Ballou perfected the art of the judicious killer. His ability with his cherished Stephens target rifle is legendary, making a nearly miraculous shot that no one else – North or South – could accomplish. After the war, he disappears…

Dan Chamberlain, former a police officer, Chief of Police and Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations where he broke the largest black market ring in post World War II Europe.  After retiring from the Air Force, Dan became Director of Security for a multi-national corporation.  He has also been a successful “Feature” contributor for national circulation firearms magazines.
Combining his love of history and the old west, with his investigative skills, Dan has crafted a frontier murder mystery that will satisfy lovers of traditional westerns, and detective fiction.

And now for something totally different!
A personal favorite of DMK.

Thanks for Stopping in, eh!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Don't Dream Too Big

Don't  Dream Too Big
By Rita Emmett
Regular Guest @ SlantedK
DMK gives this two thumbs up!

DON'T DREAM TOO BIG. That's what I heard from EVERYONE (including people who loved me) when I was writing my first book, The Procrastinator's Handbook.
I didn't personally know anyone who was published and didn't have any connections, but I dreamed of selling tons of books all over the world.

Friends and not-so-friendly folk went out of their way to inform me that:
•    You are shooting too high.
•    You should not raise the bar so high.
•    Hundreds of thousands of books get published every year; don't count on yours ever being published.
•    You need a huge group of people to back you if you want to be published.
•    Even if you DO get published, don't think any of your books will sell.
This went on and on and on.

Undaunted, above my computer I hung a Snoopy poster where he sat on top of his doghouse typing and said, "It's exciting when you've written something that you know is good!"

I had notes all over my office such as:
“Rita Emmett --- Best Selling Author”
“I’m so happy my book, The Procrastinator’s Handbook, is helping people all over the world.”
“All the top TV shows want to interview me about my best selling book.”
“Ahhhhhhh - - the joy of writing a best selling book.”

When people saw them they smirked, they snickered, and then they again reminded me not to dream too big.

Also undaunted, my husband, Bruce, cleared out a shelf of our bookcase and said, "That's for all your foreign books." So now…. besides the poster and notes all over my office ….. there was this obvious, very bare, very blank shelf in our living room that EVERYONE seemed to ask about. Always smirking. Always snickering.

All the time, I kept going back to a wonderful poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; and every time I read it, I smiled and continued my dreaming….BIG. Here's the poem.

What if you slept ...
What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in your hand
Ah, what then?
         ---- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Each time I read it, I would say to myself:

And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there your book was a huge success.
And what if
When you awoke
Your book really WAS a huge success.
Ah, what then?

And even though people snickered and smirked and tried to stomp out my dreams, I continued to dream…. and to dream big.

The End.
Whoops -- maybe I should tell you the rest of the story. The Procrastinator's Handbook sold over 100,000 copies during its first year, landed me 312 interviews in magazines, radio and TV, including one with Katie Couric, and it received an award from Digital Palm Media as the top selling non-fiction e-book of 2002. (Stephen King was the top selling fiction e-book of the year.)

As of today, it is in 32 countries and we had to start a second shelf in our bookcase for the latest two that just arrived, one from China and one from Korea.

So snicker away, all you Dream-Stompers, snicker away. If you ask me, I say "Let authors dream all they want. You just never know….."

          Rita Emmett is a "Recovering Procrastinator", professional speaker, and author of:
•    MANAGE YOUR TIME TO REDUCE YOUR STRESS: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled and Overwhelmed

         Rita publishes a free monthly “ANTICRASTINATION Tip Sheet” available at with tips and ideas to help people blast away the procrastination
She also loves DMK and is convinced his book will be a Best Seller.

Have a Great Day!
DMK & 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Love Letter for Mothers Day

Today is usually Book day so to keep with that, I pull one of my favorite love letters from my forthcoming book.
The main character's father is at the front lines of the civil war and regularly sends letters home. 
This letter is from his Father to his Mother.

To my Love:
The day turns into night
As the sun sets
As a flower wilts
My soul longs for you
In the blood and coldness of war
My love for you warms my soul
I close my eyes and see your face
I breathe deep and smell the lilacs
You are the anchor of my soul
Without you tomorrow has no value
My thoughts of you are the heartbeat of my soul
I long for your touch, your beauty
The smell of your perfume
Your kiss, your hug
You are the anchor of my soul
I will always love you.

Kiss, Kiss, my Cherry Blossom, I will see both of you soon!

Happy Mothers Day

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Mother is a Mighty Warrior.

Mothers Day

A SlantedK Production 
Find DMK on Twitter @slantedk 

Life itself is a crazy rollercoaster, and then parenthood begins. Still a rollercoaster, just much more intense, more loops, higher peeks, lower dips and all consuming.
My wife Sue is approaching her 23rd Mothers Day. The challenges many, the ride long, however I know, as a mother she is golden. Now a Grandmother the course of nature has not wavered. 
The best tip for “new” mothers, don’t wish the years away.
…Can’t wait until she holds her own bottle, can’t wait until she crawls, can’t wait until she walks, or says her first words…

I will tell you this, the years will blow by, and you will stare at the empty nest and wonder where it all went. Enjoy each day, take it in, and understand a child is only a reflection of Mom and Dad.

A Mother will give up everything for her child; she will sacrifice all and not think twice. With full knowledge that her efforts and persistence will go un-noticed, she continues to love. It is hard to put into words, she knows and accepts there are many times the children will ignore all that’s been taught and yet she will stand in wait, to provide comfort.

Try as they may, intentionally and unintentionally the children will test every thread of patients and nerve of a Mother. They cannot prevail; the Mother is the ultimate warrior.

A Mother will set aside her desire to many a situation and smile. 

When the time comes to apply tough love, she will suffer internally for days. (Or take it out on paw).

A Mother, now a Grandmother, must step aside and have the strength to allow the child to parent. Decades of experience in her apron, yet she must bite her tongue and let the next generation learn on the run, as she did. Just as a child becomes a teen and somehow knows everything and surpasses the parent in knowledge, (so they think,) it is the same as a Grandparent. She wants to protect her baby from the tortures of life, to shield from the heartache, however she knows it is the very thing that makes a mother the warrior they will become.

Still with that said, we know a Mother, would love to slap them silly repeatedly, yet will not.
To be a Mother, immeasurable difficulties will be the norm, however there is equal pleasure and joy. I can see no other task that can touch what a Mother will experience in a lifetime.

I tip my hat to all mums; you are over worked and underappreciated and will not hesitate to get up and do it again tomorrow.
That includes you Susan, Luv Ya Babe.
Happy Mother’s Day to all, and to all, Thank You.
 A SlantedK Production 
Find DMK on Twitter @slantedk 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mothers R The Proof That Angels Do Exist.

"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." Victor Hugo

©       A Mother’s kiss is like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night.
©       Mother has not killed dad.
©       Who but a Mother can heal a broken heart with a stack of oatmeal raisin cookies?
©       A Mother puts aside her own pain to comfort yours.
©       A Mother can go days without sleep.
©       A Mother can ease your crying eyes at one in the morning, again at three in the morning and go to work at seven in the morning.
©       No matter the distance, the sound of a Mother’s voice is as if she is right next to you.
©       A Mother can heal anything with a kiss and a band-aid.
©       A Mother will take you to the emergency room at four in the morning and comfort you the whole way.
©       A Mother will stand aside, though it pains her dearly, let you do it your way, and pick up the pieces when it falls apart.

"Even though your kids will consistently do the exact opposite of what you're telling them to do, you have to keep loving them just as much." Bill Cosby

©       A thousand times, you will fall. A thousand and one times, Mother will pick you up.
©       Only a Mother will advise you to put on clean underwear, just in case you see a doctor.
©       A Mother will not say, I told you so. Even though she has every right and should.
©       Only a Mother can send you to your room and bake cookies for you in the same night.
(Can you smell them?)
©       Only a Mother can smile and hug you when you deserve a solid crack in the side of the head.

"It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't." 
Barbara Kingsolver 

Happy Mother's Day

Love Ya Maw!
Love Ya Babe!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Yesterday and Today

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz, oh yeah, & my wife Sue.

Yesterday and Today

The Mini Van

Traffic Jam

Rush Hour

On December 8, 1883, five men held up the Goldwater and Castaneda Store in Bisbee, leaving behind four people dead, including a pregnant woman. The vicious robbers included Daniel "Big Dan” Dowd, Comer W. "Red” Sample, Daniel "York” Kelly, William "Billy” Delaney and James "Tex” Howard.

When questioned, some of the outlaws began to indicate that John Heath knew more about the crime than he should have. Soon, the authorities brought Heath in and began to question him. Under pressure, Heath "fessed” up to having prior knowledge of the crime and many believed that he probably master-minded the whole affair.

All scheduled to be tried, except, Heath requested a separate trial and was given it. Furious Bisbee citizens awaited the outcome of the outlaws involved in what became the "Bisbee Massacre.” On February 17th, the trial began for the five killers and two days later, the five men sentenced to hang on March 8, 1884.

Heath’s trial began on February 20th, where he admitted to being the mastermind of the robbery, indicating that the others lacked the intelligence. However, he adamantly insisted that the killings were never a part of the plan and that he was in no way responsible for the actions of the other five men. A coward at heart, he even admitted that when he heard the shots fired, he hid behind the bar of his own saloon. The next day, Heath received a life sentence at the Yuma Prison; convicted of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Though Heath was obviously relieved, the citizens of Bisbee were furious and determined to do something about it. Early the morning of February 22nd, a mob of some 50 men, led by Mike Shaughnessy, descended upon the Tombstone jail and dragged Heath from his cell into the dusty street. At the corner of First and Toughnut Streets, they looped a rope over the crossbeam of a telegraph pole, as Heath continually claimed his innocence. The vigilantes were not listening.

In his last moments, he said. "I have faced death too many times to be disturbed when it actually comes."
The rope began to pull him skyward, he cried out one last request.
"Don't mutilate my body or shoot me full of holes!" 

Public approval of the hanging reflected in the verdict of the coroner's jury.
"We the undersigned, a jury of inquest, find that John Heath came to his death from emphysema of the lungs, (disease common in high altitudes,) which might have been caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise."

Source from © Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, January 2010. Synopsis by DMK.

There is no dispute, the West was a wild and lawless time; this wouldn’t happen now, right?
There should be a concern how dangerous times of today are taking on an eerily similar tone. In an age of “civility,’ mob rule is creeping in. A price on someone’s head broadcasted on all networks, the process of law demanded, done now. What is fair, I am for “fair,” can someone define “fair?”  

A floating target can again stir the mob. Just sayin’. I am not choosing a side in a certain story of late.

Is there an opportunity that my Granddaughter can stand and witness that which bystanders witnessed on the corner of First and Toughnut in 1884.

We need to be careful in this turbulent time.

“By ignoring a lot of American culture, you can write interesting stories. Unfortunately, if you were writing about America as it is, you'd be writing about a lot of people sitting in front of television sets.”
Richard Russo


Yesterday and Today

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SlantedK's Feature-rama Book Promotion

Don't forget Mother's Day. Or as they call it in Beverly Hills, Dad's Third Wife Day.
Jay Leno

Don Porter is a seasoned Author and a great mentor to DMK. Deadly Detail is the first Book of Don’s vast murder mystery collection.
If Murder Mystery is your thing, take a look at adding Don's work to your library.

When bush pilot Alex Price gets an evening charter flight to Fairbanks, he’s looking forward to dinner and a visit with his old friends Stan and Angie. Instead, Stan is killed by a bomb and professional killers stalk Alex and Angie. It’s a cat-and-mouse game around Fairbanks with death as the prize. Angie struggles with the grief of losing Stan and tries to master the stoicism of her Athabascan Indian ancestors. When Alex shoots two assassins, two more come to take their place.

The search for who is trying to kill them and why takes them from Point Barrow to Valdez, but the final showdown is back in the bookkeeping office where it all started.


I've been on sort of an Alaskan kick. First Dana Stabenow's BLINDFOLD
GAME (excellent book!) and now Poisoned Pen's DEADLY DETAIL by Don Porter.

Porter's voice is so good he has you ...smelling moose(?)

Using a minimum of words he paints a clear and concise picture of the (I've gotta say it) the frozen tundra.

And something I've never thought about, or was aware of, the existence of racial tension between Indians and Eskimos.

Buy it now

Now for something totally different.

A SlantedK Production
Thanks For stopping in today.
& in closing:

Chickenfoot with "I need a Job."