Friday, October 24, 2014

The Percy Jackson Problem - The New Yorker

The Percy Jackson Problem - The New Yorker: "What if instead of urging them on to more challenging adventures on other, potentially perilous literary shores, it makes young readers hungry only for more of the palatable same? There’s a myth that could serve as an illustration here. I’m sure my son can remind me which one."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The End Of Summer and New Year’s Day, All At Once…

A. F. Litt: Wyoming &emdash; Jason, Horse and Moose

Jason, Horse and Moose
Wyoming High Country Lodge. Big Horn Mountains. Wyoming. August 5, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Reposted from Rubble:

After a sort of a trial run a couple weeks back, today is really the re-launch of my photo of the day as a regular, Monday through Friday sort of deal…  I am not promising to post absolutely every day.  There, of course, will be days when schedules and deadlines prevent this, but I am working this into my daily routine and workflow.

Today’s photo may be my sentimental favorite from the summer, despite its flaws…  It was a quick moment shot with Instagram on my iPhone.  Yeah, I wish it was a higher resolution shot and that the horse’s head wasn’t cut off, but there’s so much going on here, especially with my son- a very indoor kid getting a little nature on him in a wonderful moment.

Jason had just run over to see the moose, the horse was running from Jason and the moose, and the bull moose was running away from everything!

You can’t stage a moment like this!  Unfortunately, you can bring a better camera to the show.

It was late afternoon in the Big Horns…  We’d just come down from the Medicine Wheel and we had not worked out our lunch routine on travel days yet, so we’d pulled into the Wyoming High Country Lodge, grumbling bellies following signs promising food.  Everyone was hungry and we still had a long haul across the state left in order to reach our reserved campsite near Devil’s Tower National Monument that night.

This was the show taking place when we reached the lodge.  Unfortunately, seeking a snack, not photos, my cameras were left behind in the van.

I would have liked to have stayed for dinner at this place, but it was still a little bit before they would be serving and we didn’t have time to wait, so we bought a couple granola bars and hit the road.  The folks running the place were great and it looks like an amazing place not only to catch a meal but to stay for a few days.  Some of the most beautiful country in America up in those mountains, too.

So what does this post’s title have to do with anything? 

Well, today is the first day of school, for the little one, at least.   Not so little anymore, though, since he’s starting middle school today!

I chose this photo for today because it is one of my favorite moments from a pretty great summer.  Sure, technically, we’ve got a couple weeks left, but really, all parents know and all kids know, summer ends with the last day of the summer vacation from school.  From today on it is all about routines and school days and weekends… 

And, for me, both when I was in school and now, once again, as a parent, this day always feels a bit more like the start of a new year than January 1 does.  Today is the start of the next nine months of routines that will then lead into and define the final few months of our annual cycle with next year’s summer break…

Especially this year.  This will be a big year for all of us.  I’m trying a new partnership with Illuminated Imaging Digital Media Services on for size, one that will probably require a significant investment in time, but one that should also prove to be pretty lucrative on down the road a bit.  I’ve got to write the book on the Historic Columbia River Highway this year so I can publish it in time for the highway’s centennial in 2016.  One son is starting middle school, the other will be learning to drive this year… 

It is going to be a busy year, a challenging year, but I am look forward to it.  The results should be amazing!

It was an amazing summer, and I chose today to start my new year with one of my favorite memories of the season now past, but I am also very much looking forward to the hard work and amazing rewards awaiting all of us over the weeks and months that lie ahead.

Related Posts

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Forgotten God Videos

Forgotten God Website & Videos:





Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:

Chapter Five:

Chapter Six:

Chapter Seven:

Crazy Love Videos

Crazy Love Website & Videos:





Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:

Chapter Five:

Chapter Six:

Chapter Seven:

Chapter Eight:

Chapter Nine:

Chapter Ten:

NaNoWriMo 2013 & 2014

nanomofo nanowrimo-fail

Reposted from Rubble.

Last November and next November are a long way off, and it is a testament to how busy this year has been that I still haven’t posted about my 2013 NaNoWriMo belly flop until now, but I wanted to preserve this piece of joy before taking it down off my blog:

2013 NaNoWriMo

I was going the rebel route and trying to get some work in on my 2012 novel, which still needs to be finished.  Here is the counter for the novel, same now as it was at the end of NaNoWriMo 2013:

2013 nanowrimo total words

I wrote about my goals for 2013 last November, so I won’t go into detail here, but they were not about writing 50,000 words in a month, or even finishing the novel, but they involved getting back in touch with that novel and, mostly, carving out time in my schedule and building routines and habits to work on writing every day.

So what happened? 

Mostly, I realized that I already was writing a book, though a non-fiction one, Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway, and that my schedule did not allow me time to work on two books at once while trying to raise the boys and start a business and… and… and…  all the things that fill my days.

e854fa10d95117260732b32f829e69dfIn fact, going through that process is one of the things that made me realize that I am writing a book on the HCRH.

Sure, I had a book as a part of the overall general plan with that project, but it wasn’t until last November that that piece started to feel real to me.  Until then, my focus was on the movie, and research to support the movie.

So where am I now with these projects?

With the novel, it is pretty much written in my head, so to finish the rough draft it is really just pounding out the details and dialog into the computer.

However, people change over time and the stories we want to tell changes with us.  While I still love that story and am dying to get it out into the world, the way I want to tell it has changed a bit, so I after finishing the rough draft, I will be going back and rewriting the whole thing before sharing it.

And when will these drafts be finished?  I have no way of telling, right now.  There are a lot of variables, but I hope to get a draft out to some test readers sometime in the next two years.  Best case scenario, it will be 2015, but considering that the HCRH book is my main priority right now, and that I want to have it on sale by the fall of 2015, 2015 is pretty unlikely for the novel, since I doubt I will have time to write two books at once.

And then there is all the photography and video work to be done…  

And then there are the boys’ tutoring and homework and… 

Oh, bother. 

I can sleep when I am dead!

But I love this stuff, and it will all get done eventually.  Of that, I have little doubt.

Oh, and NaNoWriMo 2014?  Not sure yet.  Maybe.  Probably not.  We’ll see what happens once the boys are back in school.

Related Posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Themisan Online: Google Fiber

School blog article by Jack...

Themisan Online: Google Fiber:        

Google has come out with a new product called Google Fiber. It is a fiber optic network that provides extremely fast high definition television and internet that is 100 times faster than cable. It allows for extra DVR space and control through your phone. Google has already brought Fiber to three cities. Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas, and Kansas City. These cities still have fiber being constructed. Portland and the surrounding cities (Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, and Lake Oswego) are a potential area for Google Fiber.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Bubble List: 31 Things My Sons Should Be Able to Do Before They Move Out | Emily Mendell

The Bubble List: 31 Things My Sons Should Be Able to Do Before They Move Out | Emily Mendell: "Darn. In helping him arrange his evening, I had missed a teachable moment.

The parental slip got me thinking about all of the lessons my boys have yet to learn before they leave the nest and frankly, the list I came up with in a minute's time left me a little panicked. So, in an effort to maintain some semblance of control of a situation over which I have none, I created 'the bubble list.'

Since we grownups have a bucket list of things we must do before we kick the bucket, our kids have a bubble list of things they must do before they leave the bubble of our home and our protection."

'via Blog this'

Brigid Schulte’s Overwhelmed and our epidemic of busyness.

Brigid Schulte’s Overwhelmed and our epidemic of busyness.: "To be deep in the overwhelm requires not just doing too many things in one 24-hour period but doing so many different kinds of things that they all blend into each other and a day has no sense of distinct phases. Researchers call it “contaminated time,”"

'via Blog this'

The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic

The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic: "A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Co-dependancy Links

I am not sure these are the latest and greatest, but they are useful for a quick overview of the concept.

Symptoms of Codependency | Psych Central: "The term codependency has been around for almost four decades. Although it originally applied to spouses of alcoholics, first called co-alcoholics, researchers revealed that the characteristics of codependents were much more prevalent in the general population than had been imagined. In fact, they found that if you were raised in a dysfunctional family or had an ill parent, you’re likely codependent."

New Patterns of Codependency: "These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers."

How to Tell if You Are Codependent: 12 Steps (with Pictures): "Although an understanding of Codependence is difficult to condense into a definition, a good working definition of it might be, "Underdeveloped self esteem (dysfuncational boundaries) combined with an inappropriate caring for others (invading a boundary), and an inappropriate reliance on another's response (having poor boundaries), in a negatively reinforcing loop". In Codependency for Dummies Darlene Lancer defines it as someone "who can't function from his or her innate self, and instead, organizes thinking and behavior around a substance, process, or other person(s)," thus all addicts are included. Codependents are caring people, and there is nothing wrong with nurturing; we are meant to be interdependent. Just a little self-examination, and redirection, may have you on a more fulfilling path."

Welcome: CoDA Home Page: "Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships."

Monday, March 10, 2014

A huge milestone!

Today is a pretty significant day in our lives here... For the first time since the second grade, the little one is back full time in a regular classroom! It's taken a lot of hard work and three years of healing to get to this point, though we still have a lot of work to do to get him caught up academically. He's doing great and we're all very proud of him!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Themisan Online: Adult Living Program

Article and photo by the big one for his high school newspaper...  Ur, I mean Blog.

Themisan Online: Adult Living Program: What are those portables next to the school? Some people are not sure, they said things like, "Oh, that's where I hide my bodies!&...

What are those portables next to the school? Some people are not sure, they said things like, "Oh, that's where I hide my bodies!" According to one student, "It's just a different learning environment for the kids who need it. (A bit like us.)" Well, this is not wrong.

The portables are home to to separate curricula that are a bit different from STHS. These curricula are referred to as the Structured Skills Center (SSC) and the Adult Living Program (ALP). These are different learning environments. Though the Structured Skills Center is the focal point of the portables, the Adult Living Program is of equal importance.

The main goal of the Adult Living Program is to help different people with different issues become successful with basic adult tasks.
"The program is here to help students with various disabilities become independent," says Denise Gies, Program Director of ALP, "Some are already more independent than others." The program is for people ages 18-21 with a high school diploma and a disability (or two) to learn essential skills for living alone.

Here is something that may be confusing. Why would people go back into an educational learning environment to learn something not "school related" (Math, Science, History, English, etc.) when they are old enough to refuse? Let's pretend that, when someone is older, they could realize that the skills they need to live alone are... missing, because they may have never learned it. Also, if they have a certain disability that doesn't help them, they would need to learn how to deal with it. If they don't have these skills, they will not be able stay on their own which is is not advisable for an adult. Since these skills are required, they would need to learn them. This program helps people with that. 
The environment inside the portable is small. It looks smaller on the outside though. There is a kitchen inside where students can learn to cook meals and learn the proper cooking temperatures for the food. If they don't know this they can get salmonella poison or food poisoning. The kitchen also allows for extra work such as washing dishes, cleaning counters, putting things away, etc. The students here learn to wash dishes and all that at school. They also have washing machines and dryers that are used to teach how to do laundry and clean up after themselves, which is an essential skill for living on their own. This part of the ALP is very important too.
There is a class that is called My Money. This is easily the most important thing about the program. This class is about managing money and how to use it. It can teach them how to keep a budget and how to assure a steady amount of left over money. It teaches how to operate a cash register in case they would want to get a job as a clerk.
The students are like a big happy family. They all know each other and they all work together. They co-operate with one another and their friends. They are not troubled kids from Hogan Cedars they are nice people that need a little bit of support. Once they get that support they can leave.
"They attend because they want to," Denise.said, "They can leave anytime, after checking out." A student at ALP said, when prompted, "I like it here, it's cool and helps me a lot". When asked if they are glad they found the program they replied with, "Yes, I'm happy ALP is here."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello, 2014...

No New Years memes or themes, no long navel gazing blog posts this year... It was a good and successful year, but a hard one, a very hard one. Pretty much looking forward to continuing successes in 2014, hopefully a bit of an easier pace, and that is about it.

2014 Wheezy Lists

This is an old tradition with Jenna, going back to before I met her many years ago…  We pick ten celebrities that, for whatever reason, we don’t expect to make it through the New Year.


She has some arcane scoring system, but I don’t know what it is.  Essentially, the elderly and the walking dead only get partial points.

Some names are pretty random, picking the long shots…

No prizes, just a vague feeling of superiority at besting the other competitors.

Our picks for this year (in no particular order)…


  1. Lindsey Lohan
  2. Charlie Sheen
  3. Tom Brokaw
  4. Bob Dylan
  5. Charlie Watts
  6. Leonard Cohen
  7. Christopher Lee
  8. Liza Minnelli
  9. G. W. Bush
  10. Madonna


  1. Carol Burnett
  2. Clint Eastwood
  3. Arlo Guthrie
  4. Jimmy Carter
  5. Christopher Lloyd
  6. Tim Conway
  7. Shirley Temple Black
  8. Queen Elizabeth II
  9. Craig T. Nelson
  10. Dick Van Dyke