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!

10/31/11: Google News had this headline today: Oct. 31: Jobs's Last Words and Accusations Rile Up Cain. I saw this and thought, "I wonder what's riling Herman Cain up, Jobs' last words, or some accusations he made in his last words." Then I thought, "The guy is dying and he's accusing a Republican nominee of something?" So I clicked on the link, and it took me a to the start of a slideshow with Steve Jobs' picture, and it took me a couple minutes to realize that Cain is not upset with Jobs. That's a completely different story, and there's a comma missing from the headline. Thanks for the confusion, MSNBC. And is "Jobs's" correct?

10/24/11: I'm doing it again! I've signed up for the NaNoWriMo challenge again this year. It was a lot of work, but I had such fun writing Casco Cove last year that I'm looking forward to trying pound out another 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I hope to be a little better prepared this year, so I'm spending the rest of this week doing a little research (I may even get a library card!) and trying to get my characters and plot a little better thought-out ahead of time. But the spirit of the challenge is not to start writing until the first of November, so a rough idea of my plot is all I'm working on. I'm hoping the style of this years book will be a little more like the action-adventure pulps that I so enjoy reading. I'm also going to try to link to the NaNoWriMo site so that I can share my daily word count with all of you. Wish me luck!

10/14/11: I've just had the strangest thing happen. I've been taking the train to work for over a year now, and I come and go from Union Station downtown. Today I went to the Ogilvie Station to go to the bank there, and afterwards, instead of crossing three busy streets to get to Union Station, I decided to enter at the Madison Street entrance. The Madison Street entrance looks like it would be an entrance to the station proper, but it's really just a couple flights of stairs that lead down to the train platforms. You then have to walk the three blocks underground to get to the main station. This is really handy when it rains, because that entrance is closer to the building where I work.
      I've taken this path before when I needed to stop at Ogilvie after work, so I knew what to expect. In fact, I've taken to pausing my mp3 player if I happen to be listening that day, because it's so loud down there when walking by the idling trains that I can't hear anything anyway. I took this route on Monday when Stephie sent me to the bank, neither of us remembering that the banks were closed on Columbus Day. That day, one of the trains was leaving as I was walking through, and for some reason it struck me just how big and powerful those engines really are. As I said, I've been commuting for over a year, but the train pushes the cars into the station in the morning, so the back-end of the train passes us at the stop near home, and we walk past that same end at Union Station. Likewise, we approach the train from the back in the evening, and I'm usually down the stairs before it leaves the stop at home, so I rarely find myself next to the engine.
      I know the passenger cars are just as big as the engine is, but they don't give off the noise and the heat that these engines do, and with all the windows in them, they could just be big buses, the kind I see just about every day on the street. Somehow, when that train passed me on Monday, I felt as if this was some big animal, slowly building up momentum to drag these big cars full of people down those narrow rails. I know I tend to anthromorphosize things, but I never thought of a train engine in this way before.
      Anyway, back to today. I went down the stairs and there were two trains, one on either side of the platform, idling and ready to leave. The doors were open on both sets of cars, so they were not moving yet, but I could almost feel the power as I walked by. Like I said, it was like two huge animals waiting to move. As I passed the one on my side, I had an almost overwhelming feeling like I wanted to reach out and touch it, like you would pat the side of an elephant or a whale. But before I could, I saw this guy walking in front of me reach out and pat the side of the engine! Here I thought I was weird for wanting to do that, but I guess I was not alone.
      I caught up with him and said "Excuse me." He turned and smiled. He was an little asian guy with short spiky gray hair. I asked him why he did that, pat the train, and told him I was about to do the same. He just laughed and mumbled something in broken english that I didn't catch with all the noise down there. He smiled again and walked away. As I said, strange.

10/06/11: I almost added my comments to a news story I read on the Internet today. I usually don't do that, and I should really stop even reading them, because they typically do little more than diminish my opinion of my fellow netizens, but sometimes I want to add my voice to the cacophony. Deep down, I know that posting comments on news articles will do no good other than get something off my chest, which is not a bad thing. Plus, I'd probably make some heinous spelling or grammar mistake.
      The story that raised my ire today was the news that ESPN had canned Hank Williams Jr. from its Monday Night Football telecasts. They had pulled his opening song from last week's game because of some comments he made on a TV morning show, in which he seemed to compare our current President with Hitler, just for playing golf with the leader of the opposing political party. Since then, ESPN announced that the ban was permanent, but Williams posted his own spin on his web site, writing "(ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE."
      I skimmed through the comments, and a number of them were complaining about the government restricting speech, and how the current administration is afraid of people speaking their minds. I actually went as far as to type a note in the little comment box below, something to the effect of "Here is yet another person who doesn't understand what the First Amendment is supposed to protect. I don't know why the government is being blamed for this. A guy says something stupid in public, his employer doesn't like it and cans him. Happens all the time. He may have a beef with ESPN or the NFL, but that's it."
      Fortunately, the site I was on (ABC news, I think) wanted me to create an account on their site just to leave my note, so I came to my senses and moved on. (Well, I obviously haven't moved on or you wouldn't be reading this.) At least it prevented me from becoming another buffoon posting random comments no one cares about on a news site. After all, that's what personal web sites are for!

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