House Of Cards, deliciously mesmerizing and chillingly riveting.

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House of Cards represents your worst conceivable nightmares about the internal sex, scandals and skullduggery that play out on Capital Hill, and it delivers it to your living room with bone jarring accuracy. Every episode opens up the debate that, corruption, conspiracy and blackmail are far more realistic within the confines of the political ranks along with a totally manipulated system. And, that those manipulations are going on everyday on the Hill.

Kevin Spacey plays Francis Underwood, an intelligent, calculating, power hungry man who found himself shut out of the position that he had been promised by the new president (GarretWalker) once took office. Underwood, discovered that he had been manipulated to gather the electoral seats needed to secure the presidency. confident of his new status, he was asked to what he thought was a promotional meeting at the White House with the President but instead it was with (Linda Vasquez) The Presidents chief of Staff. Francis didn’t get the position he wanted,  “I must meet with the president, there must be some mistake Linda” but Francis is informed that the president does not wish to see him and is asked bluntly   “are you in, or are you out?”  Francis replies “well of course I am in, I am here to serve the President and help in anyway I can”    Frank looks directly in to  the camera with a look that says it all.  From here on out it’s all about how Francis (Frank) explores every trick in the book to play everyone against each other, and like a master puppeteer Frank pulls all the strings with a contrived and precise game plan.

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President Garret Walker, Francis & Clair Underwood.

One by one the power players are moved around the chess board by Frank and his office.  Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen next, you find out your wrong, the plots get darker and deeper.  Doug Stamper is Underwoods chief of staff and his job is to know everything about everyone and, feed that information back to Frank. Every sordid detail and pice of dirt is used to aid him in his next calculated move. The political backstabbing and ruthlessness seem tame in comparison to Franks undertakings. Anyone who steps in Franks way runs the risk of suffering the wrath of man who makes Al Capone look like a kindergarten teacher.

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Frank and his beautiful wife Clair Underwood played by Robin Wright.

Frank knows and understands that patience and persistence are the only strategies needed to take down everyone who stands in his way from becoming the VP to Garret. Clair Underwood is sophisticated, beautiful and is unquestionably relentless. its in her interest to assist Francis to the Vice Presidency in any way she can. She, without question is every bit as powerful and conspiring as her husband . They share no intimacy, but they are deeply in love with one another. There favorite pastime is sharing a cigarette together by the open window, they share the advantages and disadvantages of their quest for ultimate power and they even talk about each others lovers “not in detail”  Francis is having a brief affair with Zoe Barns, an ambitious journalist for a popular Washington newspaper. She sleeps her way to top story  scoops with Frank but loses control of her storyline choices and pits newspaper allies against him  “and we all know what happens if you cross Frank” Zoe eventually catches an early train but not the way she expected…

House-Of-Cards-Zoe-Portable            Zoe Barns

People who cross Francis Underwood don’t last to long and a prime example of this is Representative Peter Russo. Russo was hired by the Underwoods to run for Governor and he let his drinking problem and his fondness of hookers get in the way of his campaign trail. After a confrontation with Underwood, Russo  threatened to turn on frank about share information with the press about his involvement with a nuclear fuel company that sabotage the shipyard workers jobs. needless to say Russo was retired, he was exhausted… Literally.

Rep Peter Russo

Peter

It’s a good time to end this at this point, and I will pick it up again another time. For now though I will leave you with one of Frank Underwoods many Quotes . Underwoods words, hit you in the face like a punch from Mike Tyson.

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Until next time ..

The concept for writing a novel came right out of the blue when my daughter asked me to tell her a bedtime story. I had no idea that it would eventually take the form of a book “Many years later it’s still taking form”

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My Daughter Victoria “six years old at the time” mentioned to me that she wanted to have her very own bedtime story, not just any old bedtime story, she wanted to be the main character, and, she wanted to interact with everyone within it. “You can do it Daddy, because you have a great imagination”  I had heard that before, from my Mother when I was a young boy…

I had made up stories from time to time for Victoria but this would take it to a whole new level..I had no plot, no game plan and no characters yet somehow I knew I would have something ready for bedtime that night.

As a child I had always had a an active imagination and life was one huge interesting adventure. Every dream I have ever had has been in full blown color and not black and white as we are told from dream psychologists. I can gather information from all around me and translate it in different ways. It is this gift that would steer me to Victorias story which would eventually lead to me writing a book.. But, I digress.

That night as Victoria jumped on to her bed she said “OK Daddy i’m ready” she chuckled as she fluffed up the comforter and laid her head on her pillow.  “This is the story of Victoria, Willie & Leonard the Dragon” for the next thirty minutes I took Victoria on an adventure that would lead the way to many, many wonderful journals  that fueled the mind and spirit and left you excited for the next installment.  Every weekend we immersed ourselves in the adventures.  The story was medieval themed hence the characters names and clothing of that period. Victoria, keep Leonard the Dragon a secret from the rest of the Villagers where she lived, all apart from her very best friend Willie, and together they went on wonderful journeys of discovery, exploration.

Her Father,  was a brave Knight, Sir Martin, “played by me”  and we live in the kingdom of Burger “pronounced Bur-cher” to make it sound slightly French… Every good person used in the story accounts where people we had either met of people we knew personally.

One, maybe two stories a day, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday without fail… Sometimes I would tell a story in the car while we drove home and sometimes as she lay on her bed eagerly waiting for the next exciting installment. Vary rarely did we miss out on story time… It was the most special and unique, quality time a Father and Daughter could share together, and I miss every single second of those precious moments.

Lets back up here a second and see where it all began….

I was a youngish 40 year old (Divorced) single Father who had weekend custardy of his adorable daughter ”  I didn’t have a great deal of money “due to the divorce” so, whatever money I had left after buying food for the weekend, was invested at the Dollar store  at our local Sarasota Shopping Mall.  Victoria would sift through the one dollar toys, and we would pick out whatever we thought would create a little fun for the weekend.  Sometimes these objects would become part of a story plot and this eventually lead the Leonard the Dragon concept.

I can pluck a story out of thin air, literally by just taking in what was going on around me, everything and anything gave me the fuel for story ideas. While driving home one Friday from daycare with Victoria, I remember it was pouring with rain and thundering like crazy “I eventually used this for the base of the story when the rains threatened the flood the village and Leonard secretly dug a protective moat around the village at night to protect everyone ”   Another time Victoria mentioned how pretty her teacher was at school, and how she thought we might make a nice couple LOL “This became the story of the visiting Princes from the Kingdom of Ashlon, who fell madly in love with the Knight Sir Martin… There are dozens and dozens of accounts like this and everyone became the fictional accounts of this little girls journey through story land.

(NOTE) My Novel is completely separate to Victoria’s story and has nothing to do with Leonard or anyone else in the bedtime stories.

Two years later Victoria now aged 8 noticed a picture I drew on on a writing pad and asked me who it was. I told her who it was and what the picture represented  “you should write a book about him” she said .. That weekend while I took Victoria  ice skated at the ice rink in Palmetto I began writing while listening the the music of Celtic Circle and Charlotte Church.. The first words spilled on to the paper like a heard of mustangs running across the wide open prairies.

Lets be serious here.. I am not a writer, I have no skills as a writer.  I am not a strong speller, and my biggest flaw was … I didn’t read that many books …  “The reason I didn’t read other Authors books was because I would get really bored of waiting for the end so I would put the book down and never pick it up again. I would sooner listen to an audio book rather than read one Yet, I still had a desire to write this book, more like compelled to write it.

My life as a young boy was pretty simple,  it was also very enjoyable. By todays standards it would be classified as really bloody boring. We had a Black and White TV, an old dial AM radio and a record player. These where the only forms of entertainment, we didn’t have cell phones, computers or XBoxe’s back then “Thank God”

I loved the old B&W classic movies, and I enjoyed listening to my fathers opera music on LP’s. I loved buying comic books from the local corner store, and reveled in  DC, and Marvel super hero’s. I would spend my pocket money on the latest monthly Spiderman, Batman comics and read them over and over again “many of them I still have today dating back to the year 1974 and in perfect condition” maybe this was where it all started for me. A simple but mindfully adventurous life.

So to reiterate here.. No book writing skills, Zero……… Yet, I have enough written material for a damn trilogy…Just how did I do that, and when will it be finished???

Well this blog will uncover how I went about that task .. Why I am still writing it. Why I hope to find similar people like me, and help them unblock their minds to complete the mission…. The mission of writing the first finished NOVEL..

Photography using the IPhone

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Unsure what camera to buy when you want spontaneity so you can take the pictures that just seem to pop up when you least expect them “These are usually the most interesting and unusual” Have you been looking at the Nikons, Canons etc. How much do you want to spend ? and how can you carry one of the larger DSLRs with you wherever you go. Your walking down the street or driving somewhere, then right out of the blue a picture moment appears and your DSLR needs to be set up quickly (trust me, if you own a DSLR you know that there is no such thing as quickly).… Darn it you missed the moment and you add it to the list of lost pictures you could have got, but didn’t..

My chosen tool of choice believe it or not is the IPhone?

Yes, the regular old IPhone can take startling pictures and there isn’t anything to set up, just point and shoot… Well! there is a little more to it than that but you get the idea.

The one word that you should keep in mind with any picture you take is “Composition” It governs everything, especially the end results. Yes,your right its just a picture but by adding the correct composition to the equation your pictures will be way more interesting and vibrant. The IPhone will take the most amazing pictures in any light situation and by adding a simple photo effect to enhance the quality the results are pretty spectacular.

Here are a couple of pictures I took of local architecture in full sunlight. Just by standing in the right place and adjusting the angle, I captured the essence of the moment and turned it into a piece of art.

Patriot Plaza Sarasota FL

Patriot Plaza Sarasota FL

Branch Art. Artist sculpts twigs and branches to make intricate art

Branch Art. Artist sculpts twigs and branches to make intricate art

Human nest

Human nest

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Pretty cool huh! and all taken with a regular IPhone.

The word SELFIE has become the most widely used word in the English language and what better tool to use than a cell phone.. Indeed the cell phone started the SELFIE craze, so i’m interested in peoples artistic SELFIES and as many creative selfies as possible.

Post your SELIES and lets see who gets the best SELFIE award..

Quote

Napoleon Hill once said and I quote…

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Napoleon Hill once said. “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge”.. “ALL THOUGHTS WHICH HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALIZED (given feelings) AND MIXED WITH FAITH begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart. In short, DREAM BIG..