Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Writing Challenge- Day 5

Its 9:08 pm

    Sipping on some iced coffee and still cranking the Eric Stuart Band out on the CD player. The night is cool but the day was drop dead beautiful. The weather is slowly warming up and I know that tomorrow will see me tackle the leaves in the yard. My yard looks so sad and I don't want it to look like that,Lori and I really enjoyed how it looked and I am going to have dust the cobwebs off my brain and jump start this project.
  I know I have fallen waaaaay behind on my challenge but I will catch up...and will be featuring a new installment of my interview series, "8 Questions with...." with Tim Teets of o73 Films,a small indie company out of New York.
  I like to once again thank the kind folks who came by and dropped a comment on my reposted movie list. My blog has zoomed past the 20,000 visitor mark and I am pretty stoked by this. I love looking at the traffic list and seeing where the readers are coming from. The blog is truly international and I am very thankful for the support...

  Been on a reading jag as of late,my huge backlog of books keeps staring back at me when I sit down and start writing. I have decided to really put some effort into knocking down the pile. And with that in mind,Dollar Tree Bookstore is now in session. Yep,Dollar Tree Theater has a companion...sort of funny that I have gotten so many books and DVDs out of one small store that is by my house. But as brick and mortar stores slowly decline,you have to take what you get in terms of finding good deals where you least expect it.

  I finished "Captive: My Time As a Prisoner of the Taliban" by CBS journalist Jere Van Dyk.
Van Dyk was a seasoned reporter who had covered the Pakistan/Afghanistan region for over 20 years. He arrived in Kabul in the summer of 2007 in hopes of interviewing several Taliban leaders,many of those same men that the United States had backed during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during the 80's. He slowly changed his appearance and put out feelers before crossing the border into Pakistan. With three other men,he made his crossing in Feb of 2008.
  The group was 20 minutes away from meeting his Taliban contact with they are captured by another Taliban group. The book covers the 45 days that Van Dyk was held captive and the high tension he lived under,not knowing if he was going to live or die.

   I know this may seem strange but I found this book to tedious and boring. Which is rather surprising given the subject matter. Being kidnapped and basically being forced to convert to Islam just to stay alive by learning the prayers and writings of the Koran should be a edge of your pants read but Van Dyk spends a lot of his time hating/dreading/liking/not trusting either his captors or the three men.
He does talk about the different tribes and cultures of Pakistan and how deeply rooted violence and religion are entwined together. His two main captors,a man of honor,Golub and the head of the cell that holds the four men,the Maulavi,are a study of contrasts...Golub,who has vowed to keep Van Dyk as safe as that is what his tribe's ways dictate,is really the key to the story. He too,is a prisoner in his own home as various groups of Taliban roam the area and would have killed everyone if they had found that Golub and his men were holding a American. The Maulavi wants Van Dyk to learn Islam and talk about it when he gets back to America.
  The only thing that save Van Dyk is that fact the group wants to ransom his life. At first,it doesn't seem very likely as the Taliban want prisoners being detained by the US and one million dollars. The US and the Pakistanis have launched a massive manhunt for him as well,they do not want another Daniel Pearl/Nicholas Berg incident. Time is a factor as cramped quarters and poor food is weakening then four men....but after 45 days,Van Dyk is released for 200,000 dollars. The ending is a little twisted as his one real ally turns out to have been part of the plot and has received money for it. The FBI and the US Government isn't too happy either as Van Dyk had broken the law when he crossed the border.
  All in all,I think this is a okay book to read but only if you can find it at a Dollar Tree or a yard sale.
Buying it new would be a waste of money.

  Pretty jazzed up to finally get another interview on here,I started my series on MySpace where it quickly became my most popular blog entries,I love the fact I have no set idea on who I am going to interview,I just let myself be drawn to the person I wish to know more about.
  This is how I found Tim Teets,I accidently stumbled across his Facebook page for o73 Films,I scanned down and saw the DIY ethic and passion of a man who has a dream to share. For me,that is exciting and so with my blog finally started to generate some real traffic,I think a interview is the right thing to do. I will try and have this up within 10 stick around!

 Speaking of films....I like to say "Thank You" to group of folks I have befriended on Twitter.
A few years ago before the cable TV glut overtook the airwaves with Honey Boo Boo and Swamp Creature Guy, there used to shows created for syndication for smaller TV stations. A lot of stations were not with NBC,CBS or ABC but still wanted and needed original programming for their audiences. I mean,how many old western or crime movies can you keep repeating? So finding good shows that filled the gap became the goal of these stations.

  I have blogged about one show,"Renegade",that was a syndicated show. But there were many others that popped up and I actually watched more of those then what was on the networks back then. I had a lot of favorites back then..."Mutant X",which came out after the first X-Men movie, "The Lost World" based on Sir Conan Doyle's novel,"Relic Hunter" which came on after the Lara Croft video game became huge and "Beastmaster" which became a cult hit on TV after being shown 24-7-365 all over the country.
  Some shows did very the shows I mentioned,some failed and were quickly cancelled (Queen of Swords,anyone?). Some were marred by tragedy like "Adventure,Inc" starring Michael Biehn. That show was a LOT of fun but after young star Jesse Nilsson died of heart failure,it was canceled.
 But the landscape of TV was changing and soon production and distribution companies who provided these shows found the market shrinking despite solid ratings. "Mutant X" and "The Lost World" were two prime examples of this,both shows were quite popular but were still canceled after their 3rd seasons.

 Fans are still out there who cherish these shows....and I am one of them. I absolutely loved "Mutant X" and never missed a show. Thanks to Twitter,I have met a small group who still keeps the flame alive for "The Lost World". We talk about the show and enjoy remembering it. We figured that Paladin would be able to handle most of the dinosaurs (personally,I would take Derek Jeter) on the show.
  Now I have never seen TLW on DVD so it was a pleasant surprise to get a DVD of the very first show in my mailbox. It wouldn't play on my Blu-Ray so I will see about getting it copied so I can watch one night soon. I just thought it was the coolest thing to see something other then bills in the mailbox for a change.So thank you for that treat!

Had a nice chat with one of Lori's angels. When Lori was doing chemo,we were able for the most part to go across the street to the U of Michigan hospital's Infusion clinic. It was there that we were so blessed to meet three young nurses,Melanie,Karen and Terrie,who took great care of us. If you look at the tags on the right,you can follow our story by clicking on Lori's name. It will you back to the start of this blog and you can follow it back to this moment.
  For now,it was nice to chat to Melanie,who fights for her patients lives every day the clinic is open. This extends to those whose bravery truly stands out. She said she was so sorry she was unable to save Lori. But Melanie,you did...your dedication and compassion extended Lori's time here. Not everyone can truly say they made a critical difference in stopping uterine cancer but I know without you,Karen and the sweet Terrie,we would haved had less time then we did.
  I wish Terrie and you a most wonderful trip to Florida and I can't wait to see you both in May.

Well I will wrap this up but I will be back tomorrow....and thank you very much for reading this.

If you are on Twitter

follow me @Jinzo_2400

And I am looking for someone who is experienced with Blogspot,I am looking to revamp my page. If you think can help,please leave a comment with a email addy and I will be in touch.

shout outs

TLW Team - Thank you!
Tim Teets - Can't wait to share your dream
Elissa - practice,practice and watch Tom Cruise's "Cocktail"
Detroit Tigers - c'mon,why is Phil Coke still here?
Tina- Thanks for stopping by,I don't know why your comment didn't show
UConn - Amazing!!!
Jere Van Dyk- Thankful you made it out alive.
Sending light to my co-workers. Hurry back Crystal!



  1. Wow! what a huge readership! congrats!
    Why do you want to stick to Blogspot? My blog is on Wordpress and I really like all the features

    1. Is WordPress easier to use then Blogspot?

  2. Wow - you cover a lot of topics in your post. Thanks for the book review - I think I heard the author interviewed a while back, but think I won't read the book now. Where is your movie list?

    1. My movie list is on Day Four,including a revamped Top 5.
      And I hate to say this but as I wrote,I don't think the book was very good...and certainly not at 25.00!!!

  3. Well done with catching up. However, that's too many subjects for one day's blog. My brain is whirring. I'd advise you to stick to one topic to hold your reader's attention.

    1. I took Sophie's and your advice for the challenge and will try and limit my subjects. I don't know if you will read Day 6 or not...*L*

  4. The iced coffee looks lovely! I'd prefer the ice to be blended in though, like a frappe! I agree with Francene- stick to one or two topics per post.

    1. Frappes are soooooo good,I have to stay away from those.

  5. I used to like watching Renegade!

    1. It was much better then I had thought it was....I thought Lorenzo was pretty good as Reno Raines. It was a fun series.