Yes, I Managed To Milk One More Whiny Winter Post Out Of The Blizzard

First, I’d like to explain my status today with a picture:

Pegged in the danger zone today.

Pegged in the danger zone today.

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I have some brilliant observations on human nature based on this last week’s blizzard in the upper tier of states. Mind you, it’s the same stuff I’ve said before, but perhaps with renewed vigor. The vigor comes from having Spring snatched out my hands.

There are two types of people in this world. I will break them down for you now.

There is the type who cleans their car off carefully, making sure that all lights are visible, windows clear, and snow removed from the roof of the vehicle and hood. These people seem to make it to their destination without major incident.

There is the other type, who jumps in the car, runs the wiper to clear a patch to look through (often the size of a dinner-plate), and heads out into the storm wearing their flip-flops and light jacket. They are invariably the moron blocking the intersection, spinning their bald tires and waiting for “someone” to help them.

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There is the type of person who shovels their sidewalk down to the concrete, and edge to edge. This person likely scrapes the snow back at an angle away from the edge of the sidewalk, so that as it melts, it doesn’t drop straight down and create ice. They do this because they want their family, the postal carrier, and random passers-by to be able to navigate without having to wade through 18 inches of snow, or fall on their keister and/or break a wrist on their sidewalk. They don’t do it because it’s the law, they do it because it’s the right thing to do after it snows. Every time it snows. They will seldom be heard to say, “It’s going to melt soon.” Because, in their heart, they know it might not.

There is the other type who either ignores the snow completely, or instead shovels down the sidewalk exactly 12 inches wide. This is because they, unlike responsible adults, have never bought a proper snow-shovel. They were not raised properly. They don’t care about anyone except making sure the city won’t give them a ticket. It would quite probably kill them to spread salt, or open the plug on the end of the block to the street. Nope, not their problem.

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There are people who may not wear their winter coat, but they accept the fact that they will be cold and miserable. They have it in their car, and it sits near the jumper cables.

There are other people who wear a t-shirt and don’t bring the coat. They head out in blizzards to hear the band at the bar and figure “someone” will take care of them if they run into trouble with their car. They are closely related to the frozen guy found in the Alps a few years back who changed how we think of Neanderthal diets.

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There are people who plan their speed and angle heading into a turn so that they wind up where they intend to go. It takes skill, planning, and some sound judgement.

There are other people who gun it into the corner to hop the snow bank, and wind up in the middle of the light-rail tracks, high-centered on the obstacles placed there to prevent said moron from driving on the tracks. Almost universally, they have bald tires, a pile of snow on the top of their car, and are wearing flip-flops.

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Finally, there are morons who head out in a raging blizzard in their best clothes to attend a friend’s major social event.

And there’s everybody else except me.

But it was worth it, and I didn’t have to use my jumper cables, or my coat, and I didn’t get stuck even once. The train missed me as well.

I don’t know if that was worth reading, but it sure felt good to say it.

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One Decade Seems Very Short In Eternity, Really Long Around Here

Ten years have passed since my father died. Lest anyone forget his name, it is Oliver Joseph Courtemanche, Junior. He was never a “junior” in my world, he was always him.

In the ten years that have gone by, a lot of things have taken place that he can only view from Heaven. The list is significant:

He has a new granddaughter, Jane. She’s a bright, sweet girl with more than a touch of him in her makeup.

His wife continues to love him. She’s not moved on, but has moved into a new phase of her life. She travels, plays cards, does yoga, and house-sits dogs for neighbors. All-in-all, I think she’d give it all up to have him back.

All of his children are now in their 50’s. None of them were at the time he died.

We have seen the presidency change over twice since he died.

We have been at war constantly in those ten years.

His oldest son is now a published author, and his youngest is a college professor. The other two are successful in their fields. None of us is in prison. (See, Mom, I told you I was behaving!)

All of the families have changed domestic pets. None that he knew are still with us.

The internet plays a much bigger role in our lives.

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Most of all, during the past ten years, while we continue on without him, he’s at the side of God.

For those of you without strong religious beliefs, the next few lines may be a surprise. But I will proclaim them in full confidence of their truth.

My dad, for whatever his faults were, was a man of faith. He firmly believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

I am a man of faith, I firmly believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

I am sad for my mom and siblings, as I know they feel the loss of my father deeply.

I do not mourn my father, as I am sure he is in Heaven. There is no pain, no emphysema, no ruptured blood vessel, no illness in that place. Only glory and bliss.

My father’s final words were, “I think I see Jesus.”

He saw where he was going. I know I will meet him there someday.

Good enough for me. You see, that ten years has kind of dragged on this planet, but in Heaven it is an eye-blink.

Dad, we’ll be there before we know it. And since that’s the literal truth, we’d better all prepare now. I’ll introduce you when we all get there.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Free Stuff. Contest. Free Audio Book Downloads. Michael DiMercurio For Free.

This is a very easy deal for everyone. No blog today, I’m working on finishing up another audio book.

So, want to listen to the first three in the series? (They’re the ones at the right by Michael DiMercurio.) Yeah, not Christian fiction, some sex, some bad words, nothing beyond comprehension.

If you would like to win free downloads for all three, send an email to: (you have to put in the @. It cuts down on my spam load.) contests AT commotioninthepews.com

That’s it.

I’ll be back next week with something deep and inspiring. Or, a Llama video from Youtube.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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I Can Only Imagine Causes Leaky Eyes. And, A Renewed Zest For Amy Grant.

Cutting directly to the chase, go see I Can Only Imagine tonight. It won’t be in theaters for long, don’t miss your chance.

Recently, my wife and I saw two movies. The first was an action movie. I watched the coming attractions with something akin to trepidation. Not only didn’t I enjoy the broad-stroke outlines of the plots, but I kept thinking “Man, they’re just degrading people in this movie.” It wasn’t just one preview that made me feel that way, it was all but one. Yes, I wanted to see exactly one of the movies they touted, and my interest in that is marginal.

The second movie we saw was I Can Only Imagine. The previews for that movie left me feeling uplifted. I wanted to see each of them to some degree. What did they have in common? They had characters who were trying to fix themselves or others. Just like life is in an ideal world. Not the dark, abusive, lonely set of violent previews I’d seen for the other movie – and I like dark and violent in my movies. But I mean spiritually dark. And there’s more than enough of that in life. If the trailers make you feel better, the movie has to be great. It was.

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So, watch the trailer for I Can Only Imagine and then I’ll babble.

I think that preview probably gave you a bit of the flavor. If you’re not a fan of Christian music, you probably still heard the song many times on popular radio/country stations. The band, Mercy Me, is huge. I can vouch for the uplifting music, and I’m confident in saying that the movie is every bit as wonderful as the trailer makes it seem.

Now, the question is: is it a good movie, or a good “Christian Movie?” That’s a valid question. A lot of movies are sold to the Christian market based on their faith value, not their production value. Fear not – this is a great flick. It has timeless value in good writing, great photography, a plot (real life has those as well) and a bunch off actors from the top of the craft. So put aside your “I don’t want to be converted” mindset and go see a good movie. (Which, begs the question: what’s so wrong about being converted?)

Amy Grant. I mentioned her in the title to this post, and it’s only fair to say that she plays an important role in this movie, just as she has in Bart Millard’s life. She has played an important role in my life as well: she’s my muse. Yes, every author has some go-to thing that helps them write. Amy’s album The Collection does that for me. If I’m writing, that’s what’s on the headphones.

It soothes, it inspires, and I know all the words, so my brain can focus on my words. I always knew I’d like her in person, but having seen the movie I am sure that she’s every bit of what I’ve built her up to in my mind. Wow. A great woman.

Thus, I encourage you to go see I Can Only Imagine today. Shoo. Go. Now.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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W.A.G. Is The Media Mode Today

Once upon a time, in my youth, we had an expression in the intelligence world: “W.A.G. it.” It meant Wild Assed Guess. (Sorry if that offends, but the context is important)

“Wagging” was used when you had a minimum amount of information, but you wanted to “be the first on the street” with your report. If you lucked out, you would be praised for your amazing insight into the issue. If you screwed up, someone else would top your error within a month in such a spectacular manner that you’d be off the hook outside of your immediate circle of friends. They’d never let you live it down. Which was good, it kept you from doing it again – for the most part.

Look out, Fedex, the Fat Man is coming.

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There was a second “sin” that we saw quite a bit. Let’s say that someone at the C.I.A. “wagged” something. Inevitably, someone in our command would cite that as evidence in their own conclusions. Up next, another command would say, “Well, the C.I.A. and those guys over in Rota all agree that this is the situation. Let’s go with it.” That is known as circular intelligence. Because the next guy placed all his faith in some moron who was wagging it, and as the numbers multiplied the only real “intelligence” was the original wild assed guess. Nice.

This morning, watching several news networks, I saw a log of wagging and more than a bit of circular intelligence. They added in a dash of “retired expert” who then cited a Tweet – yes, a twitter announcement, as his source. They knew literally nothing other than an explosion took place in a Fedex sorting facility, and that there was a reported school shooting in Maryland. The sheriff had announced that the school was on lockdown and the shooter “contained.” That’s it.

Next thing you know, the geniuses on the networks, the same crew that is wrong about almost every-single-thing they talk about on guns, is opining on trigger mechanisms, placement of, and types of explosives. I guess none of them read my book, or they’d be using that as their source. (Remember, in the pre-book rambling I warn that I lied a lot to make sure you couldn’t use it as a guide to making real bombs.)

As a result, I’m going to just go back to reading my book on Jewish humor. I’d rather know about how Mel Brooks got to where he got than what some collection of botox, hairspray, and implants thinks about a bombing campaign.

WAG that circle, kids.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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