Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 that was

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

The years keep rolling around like The Flash and I’m looking back on one again. Yeah, I’ll look forward next week! J

Like most years, 2013 was filled with highs and lows. It was twelve years ago that BJ and I calculated it out and figured out 2013 would be the year Brittany graduated from high school and start college. We just didn’t think it’d happen so fast. But, it did and our baby girl is now a high school graduate and a college freshman.

I began the year with the intentions of attending the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) again for the first time in a decade. MY how things have changed. While they graciously supplied me with a guest badge, I couldn’t even pay to get BJ and the kids in—we were going to make it a summer trip, a sort of post-graduation trip for Brittany (I promise, it’s what she wanted!). So that did happen. What did happen, though, was MegaCon in Orlando invited me as a comics guest and then let me bring both Brittany and Brett to help man the tables. While both had been to shows before, this was by far the biggest for both of them. I’m still not sure Brett was impressed.

In May I returned to Spalding University in Louisville, KY., my alma mater (one of them) where I was honored to get to get to give a talk on comic writing. A brief technological glitch got me off to a slow start…but after few minutes, I regained my composure…I mean, after all, I was talking about graphic novels! Pretty cool, if I do say so myself!

Brittany made a late decision to attend Full Sail after we thought she was going to go to UNA. What changed her mind was touring the campus! We did our best not to try to persuade her one way or the other, but were overjoyed she decided to go to Full Sail.

Late in the summer, after having the house on the market for well over a year, some renters entered the picture and wanted to occupy immediately so that their kids could start school and not have to change in the middle—or a few weeks in to a school year. Completely unprepared for renters, but totally recognizing it as a God-thing, we scrounged to vacate. Fortunately, we had the help of Hank Addy and the Dabbs family and we moved out on a Sunday, they moved in on the next day.

We then spent two months crammed on top of each other in a one bedroom efficiency. BJ called it “glamping,” but that didn’t amuse Brittany and Brett much. The housing market shocked us—and we still haven’t found a house, but we ended up in an apartment in Oviedo and at least the kids have their own personal space now.

Job wise, I moved back in to the classroom as the campus version of my writing for comics and animation class kicked in. While I’m not real fond of the scheduling at Full Sail, I definitely like my class AND being back in the classroom. While I’ve had movement with my writing, I’ll talk about that next week when I look ahead to 2014! See ya next year!

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Filed under General

Exercising my 2nd Amendment rights

Several months back my family had the honored pleasure to be guests at the Dabbs home outside of Oxford (I’ll have you know the first draft of this blog entry read “weeks”) where we fired automatic weapons and blew up a stuffed duck. My family considers ourselves very fortunate to have the Dabbses as friends. Our path to friendship, though, is an interesting one.

I’ve written before (and here)of the trials of moving and as we get situated here in the Orlando area we’re dealing with those things all over again (yes, we’ll take recommendations for doctors, dentists, whathaveyou in the UCF area). I did find a place to get my hair cut; I use the local Paul Mitchell school…but every few months I’ll have to get a “new” student as they graduate.

We hadn’t been in Oxford long when we had to carry Brett to get to the ER to get a staple in his head. We went to the same doctor for the follow up. Liked him just fine. Shortly thereafter, Brittany got sick and we went to see said doctor except that it was his day off. So we saw the other one, Dr. Dabbs. But as we sat in the waiting room, I started noticing these cool war machine models, particularly one really cool one of a Confederate ironclad! So, while he was examining Brittany, I asked the doc who did all the models and we kicked up a conversation. Over the next year or so we had regular conversations and figured out we had a lot in common; he was even friends with Dean Zachary, a very talented artist who I had the privilege of getting to hire when I was an editor at Malibu and Marvel. Most importantly, we had our faith in common.

When we changed churches we were extremely delighted to find the Dabbs family in attendance. The doc told us he lead a small group so BJ and I decided to attend and we enjoyed every class.

We experienced the Summer of the Superhero together at the theaters and other things that cemented the friendship of the families.

Back to the original point: our visit to the Dabbs compound, as it is situated snuggly in a valley with Lake Dabbs just outside the back door, came to fire some weapons the doc has stored up in anticipation of the zombie apocalypse.

Talk about fun! I’d fired weapons before and I’ve accused BJ of being Annie Oakley (the very “first” time she fired my pistol she outshot me, my father and my mother!), but she had some experience with firing handguns. Brett and Brittany had both fired low caliber rifles. But none of us were quite ready for the fun we had shooting that day.

I’m embarrassed to say that I couldn’t really tell you the different guns we fired, but Brett probably could. There were times when he and the doc were talking about weapons and I thought they were speaking in German!

If you get the opportunity to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in like fashion, I highly recommend it. The experience will be all the better if you have family friends like the Dabbses to share it with.

(I HAD pictures but can’t locate them–If I do, I’ll add a few)

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Filed under Columns, Moving