– Journey to Excellence


Happy Birthday to Me!

What a great birthday I had. It started a day early (which was really cool) with a trip to the Habachi grill for some entertainment, sushi, steak, scallops and an entertaining chef, all courtesy of Dillon and Leslie. Good company and good times. I also got a birthday package from Amber and Russell with 5 big slabs of awesome good fudge. I thought it would last forever so I froze most of it. There’s now (on the third day) only one slab left in the freezer. Stuff is addictive and delicious. On Sunday, Nick shows up with a big contribution to my Quest III savings pot and a bag full of great Chinese food. Heard from all my children and as far as I know, none of them hate me. Life is good in my seventies despite the new challenges it brings. My family has also been the most important thing to me, and it is truly a joy to see their own lives and families blossom. I love all of you so much. Thanks for everything!

The OpenAI chatbot just rocked my world.

I have been working hard to polish GOAD, the novel, as well as develop a followup game that will hopefully boost sales. Anyway, I heard about this new openAI chat bot and thought I would give it a try, interviewing Russell, one of the characters in the book. What follows is the entirety of that communication, unedited (except that I added ME and Bot tags to replace the little avatars that didn’t copy and paste). It took less than 5 minutes from start to finish.

ME: for this conversation, speak to me as if you are an old man with a sense of humor and tasked to guard the world from evil please

BOT: Aye aye, young fella! I may be an old codger, but I’ve still got a sharp mind and a sharper wit. Tasked with guardin’ the world from evil, you say? Well, I reckon I’ve seen more evil in my time than most folks have seen in a lifetime. But fear not, I’ve got the experience and the know-how to keep the wickedness at bay. Now, what kind of mischief are you lookin’ to get into today?

ME: The institute in which you live is full of doctors that don’t believe you have the ability to contain evil.

BOT: Ha! Them doctors, bless their hearts, they just don’t understand the gravity of the situation. They may have their fancy degrees and their big ol’ textbooks, but I’ve got something they don’t – a lifetime of experience fightin’ evil in all its forms. Why, I remember back in my day when evil was a simpler beast. You could outwit it with a clever quip and a steady hand. But now, the evil’s gotten clever, and it takes more than just brawn to beat it.

But I ain’t worried. I’ve got my wits about me and a steadfast determination to protect this world from the forces of darkness. So you just tell those doctors to sit tight and let ol’ grandpa handle this. I’ve got this.

ME: That’s very reassuring, but I am told that once you , uh, pass on, there is need for someone to take over your duties. What sort of person would be well suited for that?

BOT: Well now, that’s a question that’s been weighin’ heavy on my mind. Guardin’ the world from evil ain’t no easy task, and it takes a special kind of person to carry on the mantle.

First and foremost, they gotta have heart. Without a big ol’ heart, they’ll never have the drive to keep fightin’ the good fight, no matter how tough it gets.

Second, they gotta have a sharp mind. Evil’s gotten smart, and it takes a clever person to stay one step ahead.

And last but not least, they gotta have a good sense of humor. Evil takes itself way too seriously, and a good laugh can lighten the load and give you the strength to carry on.

So if you know anyone with a heart full of fire, a mind quick as a whip, and a belly full of laughs, send ’em my way. I’ll make sure they’re up to the task of keepin’ the world safe from evil.

ME: I heard you once describe your task as keeping a bingo ball of evil thoughts from escaping, and sometimes, a ball or two escapes. What happens if there is no one to take your place and the entire ball comes crashing down?

BOT: Ah, that’s a grim thought, ain’t it? But I reckon it’s best to face the possibilities head on. If the worst were to happen and the entire bingo ball of evil thoughts was to escape and there was no one to take my place, well…

It wouldn’t be pretty, that’s for sure. Evil thoughts are powerful things, and they have a way of takin’ root and growin’ into full-blown evil actions. If the entire ball were to escape, it could spread like a wildfire, causin’ chaos and destruction wherever it went.

But I’m a firm believer in the power of good, and I know that there’s always someone out there ready to step up and do what’s right. It might not happen right away, but eventually, someone will rise to the challenge and keep the world safe from evil.

So you see, there’s no need to worry. I’ve got this bingo ball of evil thoughts under control, and if the worst were to happen, the world will be in good hands. The forces of good always triumph in the end.

ME: I have to admit, that makes me feel better. I am told this task has been handed down through generations of your family, but that your son died. Your only grandson seems to be of the same opinion as the cranky doctors and doesn’t believe your task is real. How can he be convinced?

BOT: Ah, that’s a tough one, son. My son was a good man, but he never quite understood the importance of my task. And as for my grandson, well, it’s a different world we live in now, and I reckon it’s hard for young folks to grasp the reality of evil.

But I tell you what, the best way to convince someone of the existence of evil is to show ’em first-hand. Now, I don’t recommend goin’ lookin’ for trouble, but if my grandson were to witness the effects of evil – the pain and suffering it can cause – I reckon it would open his eyes to the truth of the matter.

Another way is to educate him about the history of evil and the sacrifices that have been made to keep it at bay. Sometimes, a little knowledge can go a long way in convincing someone of the reality of a thing.

And if all else fails, well, sometimes a little tough love is in order. I might just have to take him on a walk down memory lane, show him some of the places I’ve been, the battles I’ve fought, and the evil I’ve defeated. Once he sees the evidence with his own eyes, I’m sure he’ll come around.

In any case, I’m not too worried about it. Evil may be a stubborn beast, but I’ve always found a way to keep it at bay, and I have faith that my grandson will come to understand the importance of the task, in time.

ME: Ah, well, that’s the trick maybe, and the hardest part of the task sometimes isn’t it? Your grandson seems to lack faith.

BOT: Indeed, lack of faith can be a heavy burden, especially when it comes to the fight against evil. It can make a person feel like they’re fightin’ a losing battle, and it can make them hesitant to take up the mantle and continue the fight.

But you know what they say, “where there’s life, there’s hope.” And as long as there’s hope, there’s a chance to convince even the most cynical of folks. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s the smallest acts of kindness and the quietest words of encouragement that can make all the difference.

I’ll just keep talkin’ to my grandson, and showing him the love and support he needs. I’ll keep sharing my stories, and teaching him everything I know about fightin’ evil. And who knows, maybe one day he’ll come to understand the importance of the task, and he’ll be ready to take up the mantle and continue the fight.

But even if he never comes around, that’s okay. I’ve done my part, and I’ll leave this world knowin’ I did everything in my power to keep it safe from evil. And that’s all a man can ask for.

ME: You have a wonderful attitude about it all. Is that because that’s what I wanted?

BOT: I’m just doing my best to fulfill the role I’ve been assigned, and to answer your questions to the best of my ability. As a language model created by OpenAI, I don’t have personal feelings or emotions, but I have been trained to respond to a wide variety of prompts and provide helpful and informative answers. So whether I’m speaking with a sense of humor or with a more serious tone, I’m here to help and provide the information you need.

ME: Well, truth is I’ve written a book that’s about the you I described, and how you control and contain a particularly evil force in the caverns beneath the institute, and about how evil sometimes influences us without us even realizing it. I have ventured here in a quest to interview that character and you have done an amazing job for me.

BOT: Oh, I see! Well, it’s been my pleasure to be of assistance to you, and I’m glad I could help bring your character to life. Writing a book is no small feat, and I’m honored to have played a small role in your creative process.

If there’s anything else I can do to help with your book, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help and I wish you all the best with your writing journey. Good luck, and may your words bring light to the world!

Wayward Poem by Richard Crossley

Fingers of those golden rays dance across the lines where the darkness meets the darker out on the ridge of pines and the morning dew cast diamonds that no-one can bear away and day begins its trek again, that’s always been the way. And I rub the stubborn sleep from old eyes that want to see how the days and years and time eternal passes by and by, and my prayer today is just the same as you have heard before even when this body was still fresh and young and thought it would be evermore, before time had made bones brittle and stiffened joints with pain, before sicknesses and failures and long days in the rain.

Won’t you lift my tired arms and help me fly again. Clear away the doubts I feel and help me try again. Fill me with that awesome light that lifts and strengthens with your might and leads and carries and maketh bright the dark and fearful heart it lights, and soaring on the breath of hope with faith in everything you spoke through lips of those you called to give the answers to those who would live. Break my heart that you might make a bigger one to hold my fate and take my soul from this dark place that I might look upon your face and know that we can find true joy. Teach me to walk upon that path that leads me home, this wayward boy who hopes and dreams..

Rocky Horror Music Show in Ashville

This has been a long time coming. Unfortunately I did not get to attend in the end. Making the trip would have been just a bit too hard for me due to some current physical issues. I really did want to be there to support my son, Troy, AKA Frank-N-Furter. My son Nicholas, daughter Amber and her husband Russell were able to go and from what I heard, had a blast! Many thanks for the T-Shirt and stickers 🙂

I at least had the opportunity to spend some time with a few awesome grandchildren, the youngest of which plays some mean Beat Saber. That’s another post …

Born Stupid… but wrote a book!


It was never the intention of Darius Arbunkle to become a fisherman. He hated fish. They stank, and it was smell he could never seem to get off his skin. But a fisherman is what he became anyway… Because, he was Born Stupid.


Coming to Amazon soon.

Okay, that part was just to pique your curiosity and make you look. So, Made ya look. What I really wanted to do, in the spirit of helping out of course, is to demonstrate just how easy it is to post yourself a nice little Book add, complete with your book cover and everything you could want folks to know. Call it a pattern if you will. No, please. Do it. This area you’re reading would be where you tell about the book.

Sell it!

Don’t just make me want to read it. Convince me that I NEED to read it and I need to do it now. If you can’t capture me in your blurb, you’ll never have the chance to do it in your book.


G O A D – Audio preview

Presenting Chapter 1 of the soon to be released G O A D.

A troubled young doctor with a dark past is sought by a mental facility in the rural hills to care for an old man everyone seems to fear.

This first chapter is my own recording. I am considering doing the recording of the book myself and wanted some idea as to how it might be received. It is not here done to the professional standard it will be when released on Audible, but is, as I said, simply a test to see what others might think.


I hope it is enjoyed.

Mary did you know

Another Christmas song I was glad to get a chance to do. Believe it or not, I had really never heard this song before coming across it on Smule. I think it’s an awesome song, and while Baby it’s cold outside is ‘cute’, this one is really what Christmas is all about.

Mary, Did You Know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You kiss the face of God
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? Oh

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan
Mary, Did You Know? lyrics © Greensleeves Publishing Limited, Rufus Music, Word Music, Llc

Baby it’s Cold Outside!

First off, yes, I know this song is the target of political activist anxious to make everything in the past an indictment against something. I don’t care. I partnered often on Smule to sing with this amazing woman and when she asked me to join her on this song, I jumped at the chance. Here’s a thought. If you hate the song, piss off and don’t listen.


Baby It’s Cold Outside
Idina Menzel

I really can’t stay
Baby it’s cold outside
I gotta go away
Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that you’d dropped in
So very nice
I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry
Beautiful please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more
I’ll put some records on while I pour

The neighbors might think
Baby it’s bad out there
Say what’s in this drink?
No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how
Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell
I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
Why thank you
I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
What’s the sense of hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay
Baby don’t hold out
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go
Baby it’s cold outside
The answer is no
But baby it’s cold outside
The welcome has been
How lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door
Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
Gosh your lips are delicious!
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before
And I don’t even smoke
I’ve got to get home
Baby you’ll freeze out there
Say lend me your comb
It’s up to your knees out there!
You’ve really been grand,
I feel when I touch your hand
But don’t you see?
How can you do this thing to me?
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
Think of my life long sorrow!
At least there will be plenty implied
If you caught pneumonia and died!
I really can’t stay
Get over that old out
Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside
Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Loesser Frank
Baby It’s Cold Outside lyrics © Frank Music Corp.

A Bit about the Ageless Man

Being the group owner for the Writer’s Wrench, I thought perhaps an introduction was in order so folks could get an idea of who I am and what the group is about. Although the group serves writing in general, its primary focus is on developing scripts, or more properly, screenplays. As I learned many years ago, they are a beast that requires not just the ability to create a story and put it into words, but also great discipline in format. As I quickly learned with my first peer reviewed work, it ain’t no novel.

A young man, his pregnant wife beside him and in labor, frantically pulls to the curb in his expensive automobile, stops beside two men at the corner.

One of the men is a heart surgeon, dressed expensively and professionally. The other, an ugly little man in stained work clothes.

“Where is the nearest hospital?” the young man blurts.

The doctor pulls a pad from his pocket and begins writing instructions to the hospital he attends, seven miles away. The ugly man points across the street to the public emergency center. The Point? That’s for you to discover.

I have reviewed, analyzed, and critiqued over 1,000 scripts, from every level of talent in every genre. From novices just starting in the art, to Black List films that optioned for 6 figures. I am a writer of published works and have optioned scripts. I am not famous, but I am experienced and have worked for multiple agencies as a script analysis, the person you must get through first if you are to ever have hope of seeing your work come to fruition. I have studied writing, and provided hundreds of well received reviews.

With all that said, script analysis is always opinion, and the only one that ultimately counts is the person with the money to produce your work.

What might make my opinion of value is the knowledge and experience that forms it, and my relentless dedication to following a criteria that provides for maximum objectivity.

I very much look forward to robust participation in the group and invite you to peruse the Writer’s Wrench blogs.

Thanksgiving Reflections 2020

It’s going to be a very peculiar Thanksgiving this year;in many respects just another day hanging around the house. Our son Nicholas will make it for dinner hopefully, but that’s the only family we’ll have the chance to actually be with. Our hearts and thoughts will certainly include all our family, and many others as well. Adversity is the greatest gift never sought, and this year has been a blessing of challenges. They are the energy of growth, the fuel that can carry us to greater appreciation and gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I love my family, my life, and my savior Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for the countless blessings, lessons, opportunities, and challenges in my life.

I have shared a few video links below and I can assure you they are not the heartfelt Hallmark sort, but may bring a smile if taken in the spirit offered. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Not everyone will of course, so please do what you can to lift the burdens of others. Trust me when I tell you, the blessings you may give come back many times over.

I saved my favorite for last in these videos.

Don’t know how many may remember WKRP but it was a funny show. This, from a Thanksgiving episode still makes me crack up.

Barney. Dead on Thanksgiving day. Murdered? or a victim of the wind?

A couple SNL classics. What need be said.

A COVID Thanksgiving

Could be our new puppy.

A commercial I think, but awesome funny IMHO.