Walking Man

So, I've been walking this year.

A lot.

Earlier this year, I decided that my goal for this year would be to try and walk 2018 miles in 2018.

As of today, I'm on my fifth pair of shoes for the year, and I have just a little bit under 100 miles to go to reach that goal.

As of tomorrow - if I can get out and do my daily walk as planned - I will have walked twice as much this year as I have last year.  Including running two (official) half marathons, and walking several unofficial "What the heck, let's see fi we can do 13 miles today" hikes.

I don't want to walk nearly as much next year.  I'm happy that I set myself a hard goal, and very happy that I'm going to meet it... but walking 5+ miles every day gets old fast.  I do like to take a longer walk every now and then, but I think I will enjoy my time much more if I don't have to focus on mileage.

So I think my goal for 2019 will be to walk in 19 new cities.  That should actually be pretty easy - I think I've managed a good two dozen different locations outside of Pittsburgh proper this year, just looking for new places to wander.

When I first started walking last year, I was doing it for my health.  Now, I'm doing it because it's a habit, and because I enjoy visiting new places and taking pictures of interesting things along the way.  I've been posting my photographs on Facebook, but I've been experimenting with using Flickr instead these days.  If you'd like to take a look, you can find me there as Walking Samrobb.

Wow. Been a while.

Sorry for that.  I've had a bit of a lot going on lately, you see.

Some things that are going on...
  • I've been walking.  Like, a lot.  Easier on these old knees than running.  My goal is 2018 miles in 2018, and I'm currently at 1846 miles.  On track to complete that.  Yay!
  • Oh, well.  Walking is easier than running, but I've done some of that, too.  Two half marathons, in fact.  The first was - kind of - an accident (at least the running part); the second was to prove to myself that the first wasn't a fluke.  (Spoiler warning: it wasn't! :)
  • I've been working as a moderator/admin on another web site.  Takes time.  Totally worth it.  We save lives, one person at a time.
  • MY company got bought out.  By the Evil Empire, which these days, seems to be the Least Evil Empire.  Maybe even the Somewhat Cool For A Company That Age Empire.  Liking it a lot so far, at least.
  • I've been working on loosing weight.  Approaching my goal of getting under 200 pounds for the first time in three decades or so.
  • I've been writing.  Like, a lot.  Successfully completed NaNo this year.  In fact, I ended up writing the story before the story I wanted to write, so I've got 70k of Book 1 written and about 30k of Book 2 queued up and ready to go.
So, yeah.  A lot going on.  For various reasons, I'm starting to think that FaceBook ain't the place to be anymore, so I've been checking out MeWe and generally liking the more quiet nature of life over there.

Goals for next year are still pending.  One of them will be to publish something.  Actually, I've got three somethings in the works.  Let's see how many of them make the grade.

So, there you have it.  Hopefully some more writing snippets will be going up sometime in the near future. My first novel is going to be a tender, sensitive book about a young man coming of age on the streets of Pittsburgh as he questions his childhood relationships, his family's strictures, and his place in society as a whole.

... nah, just kidding.  It's about graffiti writers who kick the living snot out of creatures from Faerie that try to screw around with their city.  Because if there's one thing that Pittsburghers hate more than Browns fans, it's eldritch horrors from beyond that make it hard to go shopping in the Strip.

No Shave November

You know, I'm not really much of a "do this for the cause" sort of guy. Probably why I'm generally a libertarian. So I've never been one for "No Shave November", just because I'm usually growing a beard anyways, because winter.
On the other hand, I've just found out that - according to some feminists - men growing a beard to raise awareness for prostate cancer is "problematic". Because patriarchy, or something.
Which pretty much means I'm going to grow a beard every November out of spite. Because while I might not do it for a cause, I will DAMN sure do it if someone looks down their nose at me, sniffs, and tells me that I shouldn't do it.

Correia's Law

Correia's Law, first seen here:
"The amount to which someone tells others to moderate their tone is inversely proportional to their own ability to do so."

Libertatem, Literarum, et Veritas.

"Freedom of letters and truth."

Oxford Comma, y'all.

Just making note of the date.


Viano placed the glasses on the table, undid the seal on the bottle.  Poured.  The liquid was cloudy white, and smelled of anise.

Caprice waited until Viano was done.  “It it true what they say about you, O’Malley?”

Patrick hesitated.  “Some.  I come when I’m needed, yah?  I do what it needed, if it can be done.  So long as it’s to do with the fata, with the fair folk.”

Caprice nodded slowly.  “I think it does.  Maybe.  So I ask you to come.  Three days ago, my daughter’s youngest, she did not come home.  Her sisters say she was down by the river.  When my Gianna went to look for her, she found this.”

He pulled out a small wooden box and opened the lid, then turned it so Patrick could see.

Inside was a scrap of red cloth.

Patrick reached out, hesitated.  “May I?”

Caprice didn’t answer, just raised his chin.  Patrick reached out and gently lifted the scrap of cloth from the box.  It was faintly damp, still.  He lifted it to his nose, sniffed.

The smell of copper.

He reached out to put the cloth back in the box.  He didn’t try to hide the trembling in his fingers.  He closed the lid before silently taking the glass in front of him and tossing back the contents in a gulp.
He coughed, held the glass out before him until his hand stopped shaking, then raised his eyes to meet Caprice’s.

“Aye.  This is that, it is.  Nasty, too.”  He hesitated.

“Say it.”  Caprice’s voice was flat.

“Redcap.”  Patrick shook his head slowly.  “Your little one.  She is not coming back, sir.”  He swallowed, hard.  “I am sorry.”

Caprice lowered his head.  “I knew.”  His voice was quiet, rough.  There would be tears later, Patrick thought.  Not now, though.

“I knew,” Caprice repeated.  “There is nothing to be done for her, is there?”

He chose his words carefully. “Nothing for her, no.”

Caprice raised his head slowly.  “For her.  I see.  For who, then?”

“For you, maybe,” said Patrick softly.  “For your Gianna.  For your family.  More than that, though - for the other bairns, the little ones.“  He reached out, tapped the box.  “This one, if he’s here, he comes to stay.  Until someone drives him away, he’ll take the children, one by one.  All the children.  Italian, Irish, Polish, Hungarian…”

“Until someone drives him away.”  Caprice closed his eyes.  “What then, O’Malley?  I ask you to drive him away, what happens?  Will he come back some day?”

“Maybe.  Yes.  Sooner or later, yes.  Someone gets careless, someone gets stupid, someone with a knack opens the way, and the Redcap will return.  Worse.  Others will know he found his way here, and they’ll want to follow.”

“Can you kill him?”

“It.  Don’t dignify it by giving it more than that.  No, I can’t kill it.”  Patrick took a deep breath before continuing. “But… I can do better than send it back, I think.  I will be needing some help, but I think I can make it so that it doesn’t come back, and nothing would dare follow it.”

Caprice wasn’t a dumb man.  Patrick watched his face as it mirrored his thoughts.

“You’ve thought about this already, haven’t you?”

He didn’t deny it.  “Yes.  I learned from my father, and he from his.  Every generation.  Something comes through.  The fair and shining folk trod heavy upon the grass of our world, and leave people broken and bleeding in their wake.  We have always wanted to stop it, but never had a way.”

“You think you have one now?”

“With your permission?  Yes.  I need to talk to a few others, but yes.  I can seal this thing away for good.”

“Permission.”  Caprice’s eyes narrowed.  “Who am I to give you permission, O’Malley?  This is your work.”

“The forms must be followed.  These ones… they are old.  They wrap the world around them like a cloak, for protection.  There are always openings, though.  Ways to hurt them.”  He kept his face impassive.  “This one, it exists by rules that would let it be bound.  Under certain conditions.  If the moon is right, if the forms are followed.”

He met Caprise’s gaze.  “If the ruler o’ the land allows it.”

He watched the gears turning.  “The governor, you mean?  Or the president?  There is no way that that is happening, O’Malley.”

“Ah!”  Patrick grinned.  “Right thought.  Wrong direction.  ’Tis the undisputed ruler of the land that it is in, what matters.”  He paused for a second, inclined his head slightly.


Caprise watched him carefully, stroked his chin.  “That’s not a title I’d be throwing about, O’Malley.”

Patrick shrugged.  “It is what it is.  Right here, right now?  Men don’t work unless you say.  Those who disobey are… well.  They find themselves in a right jam, don’t they?”  He looked up at Caprise.   “You’re the law here, Caprise.  Judge.  Jury.  Executioner, if it comes to it.”  He shrugged.  “By the rules it lives by, if you give your blessing, I can pass judgement on it.”

“Can you…”

Patrick held up his hand.  “Do not ask that.”  He lowered his hand slowly.  “With your permission, there’s naught that I cannot do to it.  If I kill it, though… no.”  He shook his head slowly.  “The curse o’ the thing, at it’s death, would be too much.  It would kill e’ry man, woman and child in this city.  I will no do that.”

Caprise slumped. “What good are you then?” His voice was bitter.

Patrick smiled and leaned forward.  His grin would have made Satan himself proud,

“I will nae kill it,” he said softly.  “There’s a lifetime o’ Hell that can be heaped upon a creature before it dies, though.  Mortal or fae.”  He leaned back.  “That, now.  That I can do.  An’ you say the word.”

Caprise  blinked.  “So you won’t kill it, but… you can torture it?  Make it suffer?”

Patrick didn’t answer.  Just smiled and nodded.

“Good.”  Caprice’s voice was a snarl.  He gestured to Viano.  The young man topped off Patrick’s glass.  Caprice picked his up, and Patrick did the same.

“To Anna, may she rest in the arms of the saints,” said Caprice, solemnly.  “And to the O’Malley, who I ask to rid us of this fata.  You will do this?”

“Of course.  It’s what the O’Malley does.  It comes with the title, sure an’ it does.”

Xe, Xar, Xir, Xyx, @!^#%

Seen today, commenting on alternate pronouns:
I've simplified life by adopting a single universal alternate pronoun, "b*tch."
Works for me.


Yes, I know!  Insane, eh?

Anyways - "Thrash Grass" from The Native Howl.

Tagging it here because this may be just what I need for a scene in Night Poll.

Well, Now.

Ten year anniversary.  Even if not much has been happening here lately, I've still been keeping busy.

Eldest is off at college.

The youngest two are playing basketball.

Company was acquired by a Big Name.  Yes, you've heard of them.

Teaching an adult Sunday-school class.

Walked over 1000 miles last year.  Pushing for 1500 this year.

A couple of other major (good!) health and lifestyle changes last year.

Currently editing "Terms of Employment" and hoping to submit it this week.

Next up is finishing "An Honorable Man", then a short called "Sacrifice".

Then I'll dive back in to Night Poll.

Have a cake on me, sir or m'am.