Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

12/01/18: Guess what? I did it! At 10:45 CST last night, I submitted my file to the automatic counter on the NaNoWriMo web site, and it reported that I had written 50,505 words since November 1st. As you can see on the graph here, I was behind every day until the last. Even though I took some time off of work with the intention of writing, I still had to write like a fiend on the last day to hit my goal.
     It's funny, but I don't have the sense of accomplishment I did the other times. I think it's probably because while I have enough here to put out as what will likely be book two in the Barnstormers series, the overall story has a long way to go. At least I got to see the video at the end of the NaNoWriMo people cheering my success. I love that part.

11/28/18: I've long been a fan of Frank Zappa's music. I was introduced to the music of Captain Beefheart because of his occasional collaborations with Zappa, but it was not until the past few years that I've really grown fond of the odd sounds that the good Captain and his band of oddballs made on the records that I purchased back when records were a thing.
     Years ago I picked up a 10-record box set of Zappa bootlegs, and one of those included was an odd little record called Metal Man Has Hornet's Wings. It's a collection of early Zappa tunes with a couple of Beefheart songs mixed in. The title track, which later showed up on the legitimate Mystery Disk release, has Beefheart tweeting like a bird and riffing over a bluesy little tune. I always like the song, but I could never figure out what the man was singing about.
     Now I know. This morning I stumbled across this article from 2017 that explains that the lyrics on the song (actually titled Metal Man Has Lost His Wings) were improvised by Beefheart from text head read on the cover of a Metal Men comic that happened to be laying around the studio that day. The article points to advertised one of his albums in Marvel Comics back in 1968, so the comics connection wasn't new. I think that this is a very small peek into the creative process of two favorites of mine.

11/01/18: I probably should have my head examined, but I'm attempting NaNoWriMo again this year. For those of you new to the neighborhood, this is the National Novel Writing Month challenge that has people all over the world attempting to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel in the month of November. This will be my fifth attempt, after having been successful on all four previous tries, so I feel the stakes are a little higher this year. I hope to complete book two of my Barnstormers story in 30 days. Wish me luck!

10/01/18: I was back at work today after Summer Vacation, our first vacation since I started this job almost two years ago. Kalamazoo was great, and the Air Zoo was fabulous. I did chicken out on the biplane ride though, not because I was afraid to go up, but because of the cost. We were already debt-funding this trip, and I couldn't justify spending the extra money. Maybe I'll be able to afford it next summer.
     Ann Arbor was good, too, but there didn't seem to be as much to do there as there was in Kalamazoo, so for our second full day there, we drove to the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. Wow! There is so much to see and do there that we didn't get to see everything in one day. And oddly enough, while the Air Zoo only had a half-size replica of a Curtiss Jenny, the plane flown by my protagonists in my Barnstormers story, the Ford Museum had a full-sized one! Granted, it was hanging from the ceiling so I didn't get a great look at it, but it had a cool fish painted on the side!
     So today I was back at work, and as I swiped my badge to get in, I chuckled to myself that it was a good sign that the badge still worked. But I sat down at the computer and for the life of me, I couldn't remember my password! I knew what the kernel of the idea was that I used to create it, but I didn't know the exact spelling. To make matters worse, I usually get in two and a half hours before the next IT guy, so I was stuck. That'll teach me to take a week off!
     I tried for over an hour to determine what the password was, but to no avail. I use KeePass to keep track of all my passwords, but I couldn't get into the computer to access my KeePass file. I finally broke down and texted my manager and he reset the password from home, likely chuckling at my expense. After much digging, I found a program on my system that still had the password stored in plain text, so I then had to log into all my password-protected applications to reset them. Then I stored a copy of my new password in LastPass, the service I use for keeping track of my personal passwords, so I won't have to go through that again.

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