Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009

NaNoWriMo Winner 2009With only two days left in the month of November, I have crossed the 50,000 word finish line for National Novel Writing Month. My novel, the sequel to my first novel is only approximately half complete at 50,000 words, so it looks like I'll be writing well into December.

I'm very pleased with where the story is going and where my characters are taking it (because I lost control long ago when they quit following my direction around word 264 or so). Stay tuned for updates on the editing and eventual publishing process.

Send me your comments. Joe



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingDo not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Thanksgiving should be something we practice many times a day. But on this day set aside for the purpose of being thankful, for what are you thankful?

Today, I am especially thankful for five things (and not necessarily in this order):

More thoughts on Thanksgiving below the video.



Psalm 69:30
Psalm 95:2
Psalm 100:4
Jonah 2:9
2 Corinthians 4:15
2 Corinthians 9:11
Ephesians 5:4
Philippians 1:3
Psalm 28:7


Your comments?

Joe



Monday, November 23, 2009

An Excerpt From My #NaNoWriMo Work In Progress

The following is an excerpt from my current work in progress, the sequel to my novel 24 Hours With Spencer Field. This is part of my effort this year in National Novel Writing Month. I would set up the scene for you, but you're just going to have to wait for the whole book to get that. Enjoy...

Ike, who wasn't normally one to stay put for very long, found himself hours later in an abandoned building in the Plainfield Warehouse District, about fifteen minutes west of the speedway. He had no recollection of how he had gotten there or why, or what he had done since arriving. He assumed that he had been sleeping for several hours, and that he had gone there to hide out after killing the police officer who had found him nosing around in Junior's truck.

"Junior," he hissed, for the first time realizing that it had been Junior's face he had stared into when their cars had collided on Tenth Street. "That little coward backed out on me!"

He stood from the cold concrete floor where he had been laying, his body stiff and sore from lying on the cold hard surface for so long. He stretched, and paced. "Why would he back out on me?" he asked himself.

"Little coward just didn't have the guts to go through with it, that's why," he answered.

"But why not?"

"Should have known he'd chicken out when you had to stop and give him a pep talk on the highway."

"Yeah, maybe you're right," he said, pacing left, and right, and left, and right, carrying on one end of the conversation or the other as he paced.

"He was always too much of a patriot, anyway, to actually believe that he could be turned on his own country."

"Maybe I should have offered him some of the money."

"Nonsense! That's our money!" he said.

"You mean my money," he corrected.

"Yours, mine, ours -- what's the difference? But now we got us a problem."

"I don't know, you really think so?"

"Of course I think so. He knows you didn't die in the explosions. He knows you weren't there. And since he built the bombs, he knows better than anybody just how the whole thing went down. He's probably running to the police right now and squealing like a stuck pig."

"No, not Junior," he said. "What's he gonna tell them, that he built the bombs for us, but because he chickened out and ran he isn't guilty?"

"If he can point the finger at you, that'll be worth quite a bit to the cops. They get the mastermind behind the whole thing, they'll be willing to deal a little."

"No, I don't think so. He ran. He ran for his life, and he knows that if he goes to the police, well, he would have been better off being blown to bits in that truck."

"So what then?" he asked. "He saw you, you know."

"He saw you, too."

"Good point."

He was silent for several minutes -- both of him -- while he continued to pace the floor of the warehouse.

"He'll be back, you know," he said finally, breaking the silence.

"Who, Junior?"

"Yeah."

"Yeah, I know."

"So whatcha gonna do?"

"I'm gonna do what he should have done in the first place," he answered. "I'm going to wipe him from the face of the earth."

"Good plan."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Send me your comments. Joe





Luck -v- The Grace of God

The Love of My LifeThere are some things in life that we only get one chance at. Some call it fate, some call it luck, I call it the Grace of God. Seven years ago today, I became the luckiest man alive when the woman pictured here became my wife. We've had some great times together, and our share of bumps together, but one thing is certain: I love her with every fiber of my being, and even though I may not be the best at showing it sometimes, I still count myself the luckiest man in the world.


Here are some other people who got lucky in their own way. Somehow, I still don't envy them. Compared to the grace that God showed me seven years ago (and every day since), these guys just experienced blind luck.


Direct video link.

Your comments?

Joe









Sunday, November 22, 2009

Peace At Last

MaddyMaddy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in June. We made the decision to have her leg amputated to make whatever time she had left quality time for her.

She learned to run and play with three legs. She was her old self again, and we all grew much closer to her than we had ever been.

The past few weeks, she has been declining rapidly. She went the last two weeks without eating. She vomited and, today, had to be picked up and carried to go outside.

We stayed home from church today to spend some time with her. My wife and I talked about it and decided that the best way to spend the day was as a family -- with all of the family, including Maddy. She followed us into the living room today. We made her a comfortable place to lie by the back door and soak up the sun. We wrapped her in a blanket where she could lie in comfort in the middle of the room.

And at 3:15 pm Eastern Time, with my wife and my six-year-old son nearby, lying in my arms, Maddy won her battle with cancer. She is now free from pain and suffering. She now has a new body, with four legs again, free from cancer, and is running in green fields and swimming in ponds.

Many ask if pets go to Heaven. There are two sides to this issue, like any other. I believe that they do, for we are told that God does not forget animals (Luke 12:6). God loves animals, and if He loves them, how can He consider them disposable beings?

Yes, I believe we will see our Maddy again some day, when she comes bounding into our arms, just like she has done for the past 9-1/2 years.

We're going to miss you, Maddy, but we are happy for you that you have finally found relief.

An Evening With Mitch

I received the following email this morning. Governor Daniels, who is in his last term and refuses to say that he could be a contender for national office in 2012, is appearing at an event to raise funds for his Aiming Higher PAC.

This PAC appears to have been formed between Governor Daniels' first election to office and his first inauguration, and the homepage of the site has not been updated since.

To me, this is one more indication for hope that Indiana's Governor will run for higher office in 2012.

Notes Signup | Volunteer | Donate

 

Please join us

For An Evening with

Governor Mitch Daniels

Friday, December 4, 2009
5:00-7:30 p.m.

Office of Mayer Brown LLP
71 South Wacker Drive, 33rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Hosts

Governor Jim Thompson

Ty Fahner

Jim Richmond

Bob Grand

Dan Dumezich

Gretchen Gutman

John Janicik

Tom John

Wil Davis

Tom Wheeler

Murray Clark

Dean White

 

Sponsor/8 tickets

$5,000

Co-sponsor/2 tickets

$1,000

Individual Ticket

$200


The attire for the evening is business casual.
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. 

Governor Daniels will share his governing approach, Indiana's story, and his new mission to "promote results, ideas, and candidates that focus on government reform and serving taxpayers."  This mission will be supported by the Governor's Aiming Higher PAC.  Now is the time to support the Governor with his continued progress and legacy of change! 

Please contact Katie Thomas at 317-964-5057 or kthomas@aiminghigher.net to RSVP or for more information.  Contributions payable to Aiming Higherand sent to Katie Thomas

47 S. Meridian Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204

_________________

Paid for by Aiming Higher.  Contributions from Foreign Nationals are prohibited.  Contributions from Corporations and Labor Organization are subject to limitations.  Contributions to the Aiming Higher PAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.


This email was sent by: Paid for by Mitch for Governor Campaign Committee
47 S. Meridian St., Suite 200 Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204 www.mymanmitch.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Time Draws Near

Maddy, our beloved Dalmatian of 9-1/2 years, who has been fighting cancer for the past 5-1/2 months, doesn't have much time left. She hasn't eaten a bite in probably 2 weeks. Her body is surviving only by consuming itself.

Moments ago, she drank some water while we all sat with her, loving her, encouraging her to just let go, just as we did with my mother when she was fighting her own cancer several years ago. A few minutes after Maddy finished drinking, she collapsed in her own vomit. I was sure it was going to be the end.

But how do you reason with a dog, even when she is a member of the family? And how do you decide for yourself whether to help her find relief or to expire on her own? Are we selfish if we let her live it out? Or are we selfish if we put her down?

I pray that God will take her soon -- and yes, I do believe that dogs go to Heaven -- where her pain and suffering will finally be over forever.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Joe Show: NaNoWriMo Mix 3

With NaNoWriMo 2009 half over, and my word count coming along strong, I thought I'd pull this one out of the vault for some added inspiration.

Average Joe Radio
presents

NaNoWriMo Participant 2009

The Joe Show
featuring
Average Joe American


From The Joe Show Vault: NaNoWriMo Mix 3

Free MP3 Download


Wow! November is half over, and NaNoWriMo participants should be halfway through their novels by now. That's 25,000 words. My goal this evening is to break the 30,000 word mark, which will be an easy task, thanks to two productive writing sprints earlier today.

The novel, a sequel to last years novel, is coming along quite well.

Today's WriMo mix includes the following:

rob costlow | reflections | magnatune

ehren starks | the tale of room 620 | magnatune

swivel neck jones | arlos auto parts and salvation | magnatune

jeff wahl | going to the circus | magnatune

solar cycle | ray of life | magnatune

mountain mirrors | your dirge | magnatune

robert rich | parallel horizons | magnatune

matt stevens | burning bandstands | podsafe music network

jade leary
| we were eternal | magnatune

tripsitter | outro | podsafe music network


Phone: (317) 644-6129
Email Feedback: joe@averagejoeamerican.us



Your comments?







Some Early Christmas Dancing

VideoYesterday, just before we began setting up our Christmas trees (yes, trees this year, plural, as in more than one), my wife turned on the Christmas music channel on Comcast, and my crazy kids started dancing around the room to it.

This short video clip was taken with a cell phone, and you may not be able to hear the music so well, but it's entertaining nonetheless.

video

It was the first Christmas music I've heard yet this year -- and I think it violates the unwritten rule of no Christmas music until Thanksgiving -- but there's just something about seeing these two little ones dancing around to Christmas music that can put a guy in the mood a little early.

Your comments?

Joe



Pinging

I had some trouble posting a review via Ping.fm last night.

I'm hoping it's because I mistakenly posted via SMS rather than email. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board for mobile blogging.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Movie Review: Up -- [Updated]

Movie ReviewThe latest craze in animated movies is 3-D. It goes through fazes, and this faze of 3-D is the best ever.

Unfortunately, we didn't see UP in 3D, we saw it on DVD. I would normally be disappointed about such a thing, but not in this case. I found UP to be one of the most entertaining animated films I have seen all year.

We all have dreams -- squirrel! -- and for many of us those dreams go unrealized. When a widower sets out to pursue his wife's dreams for her, action and hilarity ensue. What's best about this movie is that there is none of the unnecessary innuendo included to keep the attention of adults who feel trapped into attending the movie with their children that most animated films have now. The movie was neat, clean, funny. And I'll just bet it was awesome in 3-D, too.

I highly recommend UP for viewers of all ages.

Squirrel!

You won't be disappointed.

===
This is a mobile post.

Tree Trimming

MaddyUsually trimming the tree and putting up the Christmas decorations is something my wife and kids do on Black Friday while I'm at work. This year, we're doing things a little different.

DalmatianI think we all realize that our dog Maddy probably won't be with us for Christmas this year. While we didn't actually discuss it, it's like we wanted to start Christmas a little early this year so we can still share it with Maddy.

DalmatianSo, today we've been putting up Christmas trees and ornaments and decorating the house, one last time, with Maddy watching. And she actually kept changing rooms with us as we moved from one room of the house to another.

101 DalmatiansShe lies beside me as I write this, resting through her labored breathing, as the kids trim the tree.

Merry Christmas, very early!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Night

Tonight as I prepare to go to sleep, I realize that Maddy is weaker even than last night. I can't help but wonder if she'll even try to follow me up to bed, like she has for 9-1/2 years.

She's lost all her energy, lots of weight, and even seems to have lost her spirit. It's hard to watch her slowly die.

She was our first kid, and our house will be empty when she's gone. And every night I wonder if she'll get another night.

Goodnight, Maddy. We love you!

Obama Alien Defense -- A Fun Diversion!



Your comments?

Joe



Testing Post Length

I'm trying to find out if there is a post length blogging via Ping.fm.

Please excuse this long bunch of junk, and the several prior test messages, as I try to get this thing figured out.

Mobile blogging has been quite frustrating.

I don't understand why Google doesn't just set up a mobile Blogger site.

The Real Phantom Menace

Our dog of nine years was diagnosed with cancer five months ago. You may have been following along with the story here. She has begun declining quite rapidly.

This morning we awoken to several spots of vomit around the house. She won't eat and has a sad, distant look in her eyes.

Several years ago I watched my mother battle cancer. Then my grandmother. And as a child, my grandfather. Cancer is like some kind of Phantom Menace, attacking in stealth and consuming everything in its path. It's hard to keep it in mind, sometimes, that those loved ones who lost to cancer actually won the battle of life and went on to reap their final reward.

Our dog will lose to cancer soon. Is there a place for her in Heaven? I want to think so. I can't imagine anything else for her.

=== This is a mobile post.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SOAP: Behavior of Christians [Updated]

SOAPSCRIPTURE: 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 2 Peter 2:21

OBSERVATION: Is it okay for the saved to be depraved? In a word: NO!

APPLICATION: Christians are judged, often. It is to be expected. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ can expect to be ridiculed and, in some cases and countries, tortured or even killed for no reason other than their faith. Christians are also expected to live up to a certain standard. And when they fail to live up to that standard -- or worse, when they attempt to appear to live up to that standard while all the time knowing inside that it's a facade -- God help them.

I'll use an example. My wife used to be quite the fan of Clay Aiken, from his American Idol days right up until he "came out" in People magazine. Then, for her (and, I imagine, many of Clay's fans), things changed. Not because he came out (though I think that for some that might have been reason enough). My wife found herself questioning why she should support someone who so heavily portrayed himself as a Christian, even denying being gay when asked about it, only later to come out as a deceiver.

Clay Aiken deceived his fans by saying he wasn't gay. Does this make him a bad person? Maybe not. But while deceiving his throng of fans, he talked about his faith and how he was such a devout Christian. So tell me, if you're reading this and you aren't a follower of Christ, and the only person you had to judge Christians by was Clay Aiken, what would you think now? That they're liars? That they're "gay?" That it's okay for them to call themselves Christ-like while ignoring his very teachings and living their lives the way that they want? And if Christians are supposed to be "Christ-like," what does that say of Christ (and, by extension, God Himself)?

That, I believe, is what Peter was saying. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. Why? Because through actions like those of Clay Aiken, actions which totally contradicted his words, they portray their God and their Saviour as phonies. Wow! They might be better off if they had just chosen eternal damnation to begin with.

PRAYER: Father, as a believer and a follower of Your Son, help me to present myself in a way that brings glory to You at all times. Help me to resist the things that might tarnish the Name of Your Son, so that I might not mislead or give Your Word a bad name.

Mobile Blogging Issues

I'm experiencing great frustraion with mobile posting to Blogger from my new Sprint phone. I can't seem to get things like returns to actually move text to the next line.
Am I alone with this problem? Anyone else know a fix?
Please email me: joe@averagejoeamerican.us

FREE Robert Costlow Download TODAY ONLY!

This is one of the BEST in acoustic piano. I promise!




Magnatune Song of the Day
for Thursday, November 12, 2009

Genre: New Age
Album: Woods of Chaos
Artist: Rob Costlow
Song: 8. Reflections
Listen to the album: hifi lofi
download
(only available today, Thursday)

          




Today's free song is from the album:
Rob Costlow
Woods of Chaos

Total time: 46:37
Release date: 4/29/2005
Location of artist: IN, USA
This artist has 2 other albums


You will be able to download a high quality version of this artwork when you purchase this album.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You, Veterans!

Eagle & FlagTo the brave men and women who have served this great nation, risking or giving their lives for the cause of Liberty:


Thank You for your Service!






FREE William Brooks Download TODAY ONLY!



Magnatune Song of the Day
for Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Genre: Folk
Album: Buffalo Treason
Artist: William Brooks
Song: 1. A Misdemeanor or Two
Listen to the album: hifi lofi
download
(only available today, Wednesday)

          




Today's free song is from the album:
William Brooks
Buffalo Treason

Total time: 36:00
Release date: 3/24/2004
Location of artist: NY, USA
This artist has 5 other albums


You will be able to download a high quality version of this artwork when you purchase this album.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

David Crowder Band (part 2)

David Crowder BandHere's another video clip from last Thursday's David Crowder Band concert in Indianapolis. The concert was part of his Church Music tour. I haven't written a full post about the concert yet, and have several more videos to share from it, so I'll share some opening comments here, and expand in future updates.

First, the concert was held at East 91st Street Christian Church. Having concerts in churches is a common occurrence for Contemporary Christian Music Bands, and this isn't the first concert we've been to in a church. Although this was the first concert we attended at E91 (as the church is known by it's members), it was not the first event we attended there, as we were regular Sunday attenders there until recently. Based upon our experience there every Sunday, we were pretty optimistic about the church as a concert venue.

Boy, were we disappointed! We got there fifteen minutes before the doors opened (which was an hour before the concert began) and there were several huge lines waiting to get in, including a line for "early access" ticket holders. The concert was sold as general admission, and the early access people had the entire front of the auditorium packed before regular ticket holders were allowed entry -- including standing in the area in front of the stage and down the aisles. There was not a good seat to be had in the house.

The opening bands were Seabird from Lexington, Kentucky, and Danyew from San Diego. I'd like to say they were good bands, but there were two problems: both bands sat so low on the stage that we could not see them at all, literally; and we could not hear them well enough to understand the words. While the opening bands played, it seemed nearly everyone around us was either sitting and engaging in idle conversation or milling about, seemingly oblivious to the concert going on around them.

One hour into the concert and my wife and I were both ready to leave if things didn't improve drastically when David Crowder took the stage.

...To Be Continued.
Video below...


Direct video link.

Your comments?

Joe

Maddy's Cancer Battle








Making Difficult Decisions

Our Dog MaddyIt was almost five months ago that our dog, Maddy, was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to have her leg amputated. Her condition has been declining steadily over the past few weeks. Today, I believe, we made the difficult decision to discontinue her cancer medicine.

It's hard to watch her suffer. She coughs almost all the time -- in fact, last night it seemed that she was up coughing non-stop the entire night. She's enjoyed five good months that she may not have had without the surgery, and we've become so much closer to her over those five months. Her time, I fear, is drawing near.

Your comments?

Joe

Maddy's Cancer Battle








Friday, November 6, 2009

David Crowder Band

David Crowder Band - Church MusicJust a sampling of the awesome show the David Crowder Band put on in Indianapolis Thursday night as part of their Church Music tour.

The show itself was quite awesome -- never realized how much I enjoy the music of the David Crowder Band.

I'll some more pics, music, and my thoughts on the show tomorrow.

Enjoy. We did!


Direct video link.


Your comments?

Joe




Maddy's Cancer Battle













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