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Friday, December 26, 2008

Bread Time

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Mine was great. Kelly made bread for everyone and she made a loaf just for me. It is good. Also I got cheese for Christmas and it goes great with the bread. I am so lucky that Kelly likes to bake. I would have to say that the bread was the highlight of my day. I guess because I know that I can ask for more of it all year long. :-)

Woot! 50 posts!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Hawkins family. I hope that you enjoy your time with family and friends. Click here for some Christmas entertainment.

Friday, December 12, 2008

80,000 Time

I just hit 80,000 words with my book. I am shooting for 100,000 by the end of the year. I hope I can make it. Participating in the Nano Wrimo helped alot.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fight Time

I was thinking the other day who would win in a fight between the characters from The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. When I say Star Wars I am talking about episodes 4-6. Those others almost should not exist. At first glance you might say Star Wars, I mean they have light sabers, blasters, and the Death Star. Now think about it Oz has witches, wizards, and house bombs. The sides start to even up. To truly resolve this debate we should pair the characters up.

Cowardly Lion (after he gets his courage) vs. Chewbacca

Tin Man vs. C-3PO and R2-D2

Glinda vs. Darth Vader

Wizard vs. Emperor

Dorothy vs. Luke Skywalker or Leia (I really think Luke and Dorothy should fight since they are both the main characters in their respective movies.)

Scarecrow vs. Han Solo

I made this list and I know I left some characters out, but this is my list so... I get to decide who is one it. Really I ran out of pairings. I know more Star Wars characters than I do Wizard of Oz.

Please comment and vote for who you think would win.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pause to think

I know money is tight. I know what it is like to wait to get a good deal. It would seem to me that even though a situation like this can be exciting we should be able to stop and think. Today a man was killed at a Wal-Mart when he was trampled by shoppers. You can read the story here. I guess it is a sign of how far we have sunk. I used to like going to sales on Black Friday. Now that something like this had happened it just makes me sick to my stomach. I am not saying that I am perfect, but to read about someone losing their life like this is just so sad. We should really think about what happens to us when we give in to our sinful urges, me included.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Time

Happy Thanksgiving

Unfortunately at the Hawkins house we have two children throwing up. So we will not get to visit and eat. At least we are all together.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Deal Time

Right now I am checking out the ads for after Thanksgiving sales otherwise know as Black Friday. Kelly and I went the year before Clara was born to Best Buy and we got some great deals. We got there at about 4 AM. We went again about two years ago and Best Buy was surrounded by 3:30 AM. Apparently people went to get these deals much earlier. I am debating when to go this time and if I will go at all. It really is more fun than you would think.

If there is anyone who wants to go let me know and we can team up, or if anyone want to watch our kids and let us go shopping. Check out this site to see if there are any deals you are interested in.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Long time no post

I have not posted in a while because my computer has not worked. It recently went on the fritz and I have just gotten it back. Also with the election and working on my book I have not had any time to post anything.

So what you may ask has brought me to the keyboard to post on the Internet? This is why I am posting. I am a middle school teacher, and I think that these kids need to grow as people. I think they need to get involved in their community. However I think it is the parent's responsibility to get the kids involved not the governments. To think that students will be forced to do this is almost laughable. I can barely get my students to give up a few minutes a night to read. How is the government going to make students get involved in the community? The government should not mandate this sort of thing. The government should not force students to do these things. I thought we were a free country. If I want to help people then I can if I did not want to then I would not. The way this looks is that students will not have a choice. Like most government ideas it sounds great but it does not answer the real questions like. How are these students going to get to these projects? Who is going to be in charge of it? Will we pay the person in charge of organizing? What happens if the students does not do their hours? Do we punish the student or the parents? Who decides the punishment? Where is the money going to come from to pay for this program? How do we decide if a project is worthy or not?

Think about it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anniversay Time

Today is my and Kelly's eight year anniversary. Since it is in the middle of the week we are going to wait until Saturday to go out. It is really great to have spent the last eight years with such a great friend. Kelly really gets me like no one else does. When she doesn't then she tries. I can be kind of weird sometimes. Anyway life is great.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

50,000 Time

I just finished 50,000 words on my novel. I am halfway to finishing my book. 100,000 words is the goal for the average novel. I have been working on it since Kelly bought me my laptop. This Christmas will be two years since I started working on it. I have written and written and rewritten. The weird thing is if you think about a real writer, and by that I mean someone who has published a book, they have written many hundreds of thousands of words for their books. For me though the 50,000 mark is one I have been striving for recently. It is a real relief to reach it. The rest is downhill... right?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Heroes Time 2

In my last post I talked about Heroes and the problems I have with the plot. I guess my problem is that when I see a problem occur in a show I try to figure out how the characters are going to fix it. In this third season problems occur and I know how they can be solved. The problem is that the character are too powerful. HRG wants to kill Sylar. Just use the Hatian to turn off his powers and shot him in the head. Problem solved. Maybe Time Traveling Peter can zip right back to before he shot his brother and stop himself from causing these new problems. Also why is Peter so adept at time travel and Hiro can never get it right. Nearly everytime Hiro time travels in to the past he ends up in he wrong spot. He does okay going back to the past from the future, but the whole backwards travel thing was not good.

Maybe there are some rules in the Heroes universe that have not be revealed. Maybe there is some greater force controlling the time stream. Maybe that is why Hiro's backwards jumps always end badly. I am thinking that the thing is the writers having written themselves into a corner.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heroes Time

Time travel is a hard concept to do in science fiction. If done the
wrong way you open up door into questions of why didn't they just go
back and stop themselves or if they change the future why do they
still exist as they are now.

I was worried in the first season of Heroes when Hiro started time
traveling. Would the writers be able to handle this difficult concept.
I thought they did a great job. When Hiro went back to save the red
head with the super learning ability he found he could not. The rule
established, once an event enters the past you cannot go back and
change it. This was a great rule, it prevented the go back and stop
the bad guy situation, and the time has changed so why does this guy
still exist. It explains why future Hiro did not become directly
involved in what happened in the first season. He told some one who
was still in the past and therefore able to change it.

In season two Hiro went back in time by accident and ended up stuck
there. Did he change the past? I don't think he did because of the
stories he remembered. He did manage to make an enemy, but he did not
change the past. I guess. I was alright with this, because I really like the Hiro character, and it seemed that he could not reliably control his power.

Now in season three the rules have been throw out. Now I even begin to think that the rules never existed.. Peter has traveled
back in time to prevent some future where he is hunted and the world is going to be destroyed.
The problem is that it is out of character for Peter. He loves his
brother so why shoot him instead of talking to him and warning him
about what happens if he tells the world about their powers. Now do
you see the problem? If not my next post should clear things up.

Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The sleeper has awakened.

I have always been an avid tea drinker. Usually I would enjoy a glass of sweet tea anytime. Then last October I went to an ASCD conference in Atlanta. Before the first session started there were pastries, coffee, and tea. The coffee was prebrewed, but the tea you had to make yourself. The tea available was TAZO Awake. It being early in the morning I decided to give it a go. I brewed the tea and it was great. Hot tea in the morning became a habit with me after that. I continued with the same brand all winter. I cut back some during the summer. Hot tea and hot weather is not a good combo.

While I was looking at one of the packets I saw that in French the ingredients included melange. For those of you who do not recognize that reference then you might know it as the "spice" from Frank Herbert's Dune. The mind altering, space warp enabling drug in that novel. That in and of itself is kind of interesting. Then consider the quote, from the movie, about Paul Atreidies when he overdoses on melange and he becomes super Paul. That is right the quote is, "The sleeper has awakened." The name of the tea is Awake. Coincidence maybe, but who knows. If I develop any space warping powers maybe I won't have to worry about gas.

Friday, September 19, 2008



It's talk like a pirate day! I have looked forward to today for a while. Dave Barry first talked about it in one of his columns. Since then I have thought it was a great fun idea. This year Kelly had a pirate themed party for my 30th birthday. She bought me Clara, Lindy, Charlie, and herself talk like a pirate day shirts.

Some of me hearties! arrr

Me convers'n with some pirate mateys.

Pirate Joke
Q: Did you hear about the pirate who took up boxing?

A: He had a killer left hook.

For some more pirate humor check out this site.

For some pirate fonts go here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fringe Vacation

I went on a trip to the beach last weekend with my family, Pat, Linda, Katie, Becky, and Leilani. We went to Edisto Island. It was very nice. The girls loved having Leilani there and playing in the ocean and pool. I think they liked the pool more. The ocean was filled with a great deal of plant matter from the marsh. The most fun I had was playing Phase 10 at night after the kids went to bed. I think we were all a little wacky in the evenings, because we were laughing most of the time. It was good fun.

The Sunday we got back Fringe was on. Kelly and I watched it. It had an X-Files feel to it, but with a harder edge. Much more action than the X-Files. Kelly made the best comment at the end. When the guy who they had been trying to save the entire show died she suggested they use the weird brain wave thing to find out what he knew. I was a little surprised that they did not, but considering they are the good guys. I guess good guys would not use a dead body that way. Then at the end they showed the cyborg lady (I cannot remember the character's name) asked how long he had been dead. Only five hours, one hour less than you need to use the brain wave weirdness. She said question him. Freaky stuff.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Car

I got a new car the weekend after Labor Day. On my way back from DragonCon in Atlanta my car blew a head gasket. This was the second one in about three years. Last year at this time we replaced the transmission. It was going to be about $3000 to get a new engine and to cover the towing and storage of the car. We decided to have it scrapped. That would cover most of the towing and take care of the storage etc. Kelly found me a 1990 Buick Century to drive. It has about 73000 miles on it. I have a "new" car, now all I need is an appropriate name.
Yes there is a little rust, but I am thankful that I have a car to drive and it did not break the bank...just empty it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

30th Birthday

Kelly gave me a surprise birthday party yesterday. I completely did not see it coming. Well I was a little suspicious the day of, a few things tipped me off. Even with a little suspicion I never suspected anything on the scale that she had. She invited all my friends and had an awesome pirate theme set up. It was amazing. The most amazing part was that she kept it a secret for so long, two weeks, and Clara kept it a secret for that long also. How amazing is that. I am humbled by it all.

Thanks to all my friends and family who came to the party and made the day truly special. It was the best birthday ever. Not just the best for me out of the thirty I have ever had, but the best for anyone anywhere to have.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Talk like a pirate. arrrr

Today is my birthday! Last night Kelly gave me a present. She gave me a shirt for talk like a pirate day and a bumper sticker. If you never heard of talk like a pirate day you can read about it here. It is every September 19th and I think it is pretty funny. Me an girls like to be pirates in the pool. They make pretty good pirates. They are about as destructive as pirates and their eating habits are the same. All they are missing are the peg legs and hook hands. What a great birthday. Arrrrrrrr!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Early Birthday Present

Kelly gave me my birthday present early yesterday. She could not wait to give it to me. It was an Ipod touch. It came in the mail while she was with her sisters and mom at A Day in the Country for Katie's birthday. I set it in front of the computer and waited. I really wanted to open it, but I did not want to ruin Kelly's gift that way. I could not believe she let me have it early. It is awesome. It is everything I wanted. I can listen to music, watch videos, look at pictures, surf the net (if wifi is available) etc. With the app store I can do even more if I wanted. Awesome! What a great wife I have.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The joys of Flea Markets

We went to the Chesnee Trade lot. It is basically a flea market. I have never seen anyone trading anything. Everyone seems to just want money. We bought more than I expected.

$18 Red Wagon (American Flyer made in America)
$10 2D Maglite (find people in the dark and beat them down)
$1 5 childrens books (you can never have enough books)
$4 for tomatoes and okra (a large amount)
$4 for a white rabbit (Alice should have gone to the Chesnee Trade Lot)
$10 Item that will be a gift for someone

Flea Markets are almost as much fun as a yard sale.

Hammer Time

He claims this is just a workout he does. I believe he is prepping for the release of the Thor movie.

Thor training video

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trip to the zoo!

We all went to Riverbanks zoo on Friday. My family, my parents and my brother's family all went to the zoo. It was fun. The first thing we saw when we got there was this.

Quite a show huh. Never seen this at the zoo before. Usually the bears are hiding out in the shade. These guys were having some sort of territorial dispute.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review of Dark Knight


I have seen all the Batman movies. I have seen many of the animated shows. The first Batman with Micheal Keaton was good. However the second was not so good. Then with three and four we really had some problems. They started shoving in every villain they could find in that hope that one would work. Well they did not.

Dark Knight is the best Batman movie to date. It had a great villain. This time the villain really made the movie. Heath Ledger did a great job as the Joker. He captured what and who the Joker is. He was funny, creepy, and terrifying all rolled into one. The de-evolution of Harvey Dent into Two-Face was real. You could understand how a guy would be broken under those circumstances. Then to see him turn evil, just sends shivers up my spine.

What really makes this movie great is the roles the characters play. Batman is our classic protagonist. He is the focus of the movie. Then we have the Joker who plays the contagonist. We see this in his attempts to pull the other characters down by putting them in impossible situations. The antagonist of the movie is Batman's doubt that society needs him. We see him struggle to keep fighting as copy cats become violent imitations of him. When the Joker starts killing to get Batman to reveal himself, he finally decides to call it quits and let Harvey be the cities new defender. Harvey is the emotion character. He sees is emotional about everything in his life. It is part of the reason we like him. He is so passionate about stopping crime. Unfortunately the Joker twists him and turns him into a killer. Gordon would have to be Logic. He does what he has to do to stop the Joker and protect his family. Faking his own death shows that he can do what he has too without emotion getting in the way. The role of the Guardian is played by more than one character. Lucius Fox and Alfred both acts as guides to Bruce Wayne leading him along his path.

This was a great movie.

10 out of 10 talons

Friday, July 11, 2008

Snake time

I saw a snake in my shed today. I was going out there to clean up my shed and as I walked out a snake poked its head out. I shouted in surprise and it ducked back into my shed. I looked online and I think it was this snake.

I went back out to the shed to take a picture of it to better identify it, and to remove it. It was gone. I did not do a really through search, but I did not hear it moving or see it and I made a ruckus. That makes two snakes in my yard in the last month. This is the first time I have seen any snakes in my yard in years. I saw one by the burn pile, and bessy killed a baby snake once. They have never been this close to my house.

I may have to install come countermeasures...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I really want to just love it. I wanted it to be the pinnacle of a terrific collection of movies, but for me it was not. I enjoyed it nearly every step of the way even after I realized that the crystal skull was definitely alien in origin. I was going to be okay with that. I really enjoyed the scene where Mutt and Indiana are fighting the two guys guarding the tomb of the Spanish explorer, and Indiana blows a dart in the crazy tunnel guy's throat. When Mutt asks, "You're a teacher?" the way Harrison Ford shrugs and says, "Part time." it was a great scene and just what I expect from an Indiana Jones movie.

Now to the parts that hurt the movie. The scene where Mutt is swinging through the jungle with a group of monkeys just broke my suspension of disbelief. There comes a point where I just cannot believe it. For me it was another example of Lucas putting a scene into his movie just to show off his special effects. The scene did not add anything to the movie for me. Then the sacrifice of the guys who has been out for himself the entire time was weird for me. I just could not buy it that the guy would give himself up like that. Then the spaceship flies off into the sky. The lesson about the pursuit of power was a good one, and there were some elements that I enjoyed, but it was not the final movie I hoped it would be.

7 talons out of 10

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rating Previews Part II

There are many previews out there to watch. The main point of a preview is to grab your attention and make you want to watch the movie is it giving you a hint about. For example when I first saw the preview for the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull I was excited. I really like the Indiana Jones movies and thought they would be over. The first preview played into that. It began by showing clips from the previous movies and giving one liners about what happened in those movies. It was really rousing. Then it began giving clips from the movie to come. It had everything it was supposed to. It even played into Indiana Jones being older by having the characters comment on how much harder it was to do what they were doing. Then we see Dr. Jones miss swinging into the back of a truck, haha good times. When I see a metal container with the words Area 51 on it I begin to think this might not be good . That scene was a warning sign.

Indiana Jones is not Science Fiction. I has always had a spiritual feel to it from the beginning. Two of the movies dealt with artifacts from the Bible. Area 51 should never have been in the movie. It really does not belong. When I see or hear area 51 it is like a joke. Nearly every sci fi show out there references it when they have run out of original ideas. I cannot take it seriously.

Overall I was excited to see how the movie played out. Was it going to be a sci fi movie with Indiana Jones in it, or another continent hopping Indiana Jones adventure. I would have to go see it to know.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rating Previews

I like to watch movies. A really good movie can be hard to find. I can usually tell how good a movie is going to be from the preview. There are many things to consider when evaluating the preview. First I consider the plot that the preview is trying to get across. It is the same old action plot where the hero fights by himself against an army of European guys, or does the plot seem different original. Sometimes it is even okay if the plot is an old one if it is told in a new way or has a twist.

More to come with examples.


I have been on overdrive for the last four weeks. After school let out I had a week which I spent making bamboo wind chime kits. Then we went to the beach. When I came back from the beach we started VBS the next day. We had VBS til Wednesday of that week. That Thursday and Friday was spent preparing for Clara's birthday party.
She had a water party so I had to clean the yard rake etc.
Then a thirty foot branch fell in the yard.

I left it. It was going to take too much time cutting it and clearing it out. Time I did not have. It was far from where the festivities were. We left for Dollywood the next day.
We got back July 3rd and had to prepare for the cook off. Congrats to Andrew for winning this year. Wow the summer is just flying by.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yard saleing

I went yard saleing yesterday in Spartanburg. We left Gaffney at 6:15 and hit some great sales. First we went to a church sale, then various yard sales, and an estate sale listed at Momma's moving out. It is always great fun to go yard saleing with my parents. We had a good time. We had some great buys and I feel the need to document my purchases for posterity.

$3 Nerf Buzzsaw
$.25 Nerf Night Finder
$1.75 Tibetan Singing Bowl
$.25 Pole sprinkler
$1 The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
$3 Bernzomatic TS2000 Self Lighting Torch and propane tank
$.50 Leather binder with handles
$.25 Mini Hawaii mug
$1 Stone flower ring
$1 Bubble gun

My mom also bought a fish thing for Charlie's crib and my Dad bought this plastic spear thing because he thought it would be funny for me to come home with it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Door

I replaced the broken door handle on my Town and Country van. I hope to use my experience to make an instructable on how to do it. I guess all the focus on hyperdriving led to me fixing things on the van. The only thing is that it is not the right color, but a long as it works, I can deal with that for now. I have been trying to balance my hobbies lately. Card, reading, writing, and misc. Maybe I have too many hobbies, but I enjoy all of them. I guess I need to organize them. I have tried organizing my life before via Web 2.0 websites like Don't forget the milk, or mindmapper ,but I just never stay committed to keeping up with it. What I need is a personal AI assistant like Tony Stark to help me with my projects. Which just leads to another hobby. sigh...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well my project to improve our TV reception is on hold right now, at least until the weekend. Until then I am driving to work and back. Then I remembered while my wife was telling me we needed a new car, Hyperdriving. A teacher at school mentioned it to me, so I checked it out. I already knew most of the stuff it talked about, except for the neutral driving part which sounds pretty dangerous if you ask me. I immediately went out and got some air put in the tires. If I don't do it while I am thinking about it then it will not get done. I am going to have to do some research on this to see if I can maximize mileage.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

These hot dogs taste great!

I went ahead and bought a digital to analog tv converter. I know it is like taking a steak and turning it into a hot dog, but the signal is improved even if I do not get the benefit of the resolution. At first I thought I would shop around and try to get the best converter, but then I decided to save money and went to Walmart. After setup I went here to see what was available. The only problem is that when the signal does not come in instead of a fuzzy signal I get no signal so now I have to figure out how to improve my antenna.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I just realized this week that the school year has less than two weeks time left. None of the school weeks left are full weeks. It is all moving by quickly now that the play is over. I cannot believe how well it went. With the play over, and the afterschool program done maybe I can post more to my blog of randomness. Lately I have been reading this collection of online comics. I have been reading all the old posts. It is just like when I read a book. I cannot stop until I reach the end. What is really interesting are the links available at his home site.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Clara has been so funny lately. She has been trying to dress like me. She wants to wear boy clothes while still being a girl. The funny thing is there is almost no chance of her being a tomboy. She is scared to death of bugs, and by bugs I mean anything that even resembles a bug, pieces of grass, dirt, or whatever. I let her wear one of my shirts the other day to bed and the next day we got her some boy clothes from Goodwill. She seems satisfied with that. She is so funny.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Charles Randall Hawkins was born March 6, 2008. I am so excited to have this new child in my life. I know Clara and Lindy and Kelly all love him. It's a beginning of a new chapter in our family and I am as excited as can be.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Today I set my first set of bamboo cups in the water. I am trying the water method for preserving bamboo. I will keep them in the water for about three to four weeks before taking them out. I have run out of dried bamboo so I am using the water method to preserve the bamboo. I am hoping this works out well.