Monday, July 28, 2014

Flag Of Iran

The current flag of Iran (Persian: پرچم ایران‎, Parcham-e Irân) was adopted on 29 July 1980, and is a reflection of the changes brought about by the Iranian Revolution. Its field is a tricolour comprising equal horizontal bands of green, white, and red.

Flags, standards, and banners have always been important national and imperial symbols for Iranians, both in war and peace. Xenophon reports that Cyrus the Great's standard was a golden eagle with spread wings, mounted on a long shaft.

The best-known symbol of Iran in recent centuries has been the Lion and Sun motif, which is a graphic expression of the astrological configuration of the sun in the sign of Leo, although both celestial and animal figures have long and independent histories in Iranian heraldry. Late in the nineteenth century the Lion and Sun motif was combined with an earlier scimitar motif and superimposed on a tricolour of green, white, and red. With minor modifications, this remained the official flag until the revolution.

During the Achaemenid era, especially at the time of Cyrus the Great, the Persian imperial flag was square in shape, divided kite-like into four equal triangles alternating between two colors.
In the excavations at Persepolis archaeologists found a standard depicting a golden eagle (oghabe talaii) or shahbaz with open wings. The current belief is that this was the official symbol of Iran under Cyrus the Great and his heirs.

In Sassanid times the imperial flag was a leather rectangle covered with a thin layer of silk ornamented with jewels, with a four-pointed star at the centre, indicating the four corners of the world. This is the same star referred to as Akhtare Kaviani ("the Kaviani star") by Ferdowsi in the epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings). The flag was larger than the original Derafshe Kaviani apron and suspended from a lance, the point of which appeared above it. Attached to the lower edge were tassels of yellow, magenta, and scarlet, with large pendant jewels. The flag was destroyed by invading Muslim Arabs after their decisive defeat of the Sassanids.

The Sassanid state collapsed on the emergence of an Islamic empire in the Middle East. Since Islam strictly prohibited figurative and expressive symbols as idol worship, all the traditional emblems used in Iranian flags were eliminated. Throughout this period there was no flag specific to Iran, although the use of Islamic banners was common.

Mahmud of Ghazni (998–1030) reinstated the use of symbolic expressions on the Iranian flag; the version he developed displayed a golden moon on a black background. A second flag has been attributed to the Ghaznavid empire, with a silver crescent moon and a peacock on a green field.

The first version of the modern Iranian tricolour was adopted in the wake of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906. The Supplementary Fundamental Laws of 7 October 1907 described the flag as a tricolour of green, white, and red, with a lion and sun emblem in the middle.A decree dated September 4, 1910 specified the exact details of the emblem, including the shape of the lion's tail ("like an italic S") and the position and the size of the lion, the sword, and the sun.

During this period, the colours of the flag were very pale, with the red appearing closer to pink in practice. There were three variants of the flag in use. The state flag was a tricolour with the lion and sun emblem in the centre. The national flag and civil ensign was a plain tricolour with no emblem. The naval ensign and war flag was similar to the state flag, but the emblem was surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by a crown. All three flags had a 1:3 ratio.

The flag was modified twice during the Pahlavi era. In 1933, the colours of the flag were darkened and the design of the emblem was changed. The sun's facial features were removed and the Kiani Crown on the naval ensign was replaced with the Pahlavi Crown. In 1964, the ratio was changed from 1:3 to 4:7 and the emblem on the naval ensign was shrunk to fit entirely within the white stripe.

Following the Iranian Revolution, the Interim Government of Iran removed the crown from the naval ensign. The old state and national flags remained unchanged until 29 July 1980, when the modern Iranian flag was adopted.

Sources: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Carroll Bryant Milestone: Thanks Everyone

My blog has reached another milestone this year: Over 800,000 page views! Amazing! Many thanks to all of you. And to think, it only took 2 and a half years. Not bad. It's not Huffington Post numbers by any stretch, but still not bad. In all honesty, this blows my mind just as much as it may blow yours. To think, in my first month, I pulled in about a 1000 views and now .... here we are, just a couple hundred grand away from one million. With a little luck, maybe we could shoot for 900,000 before January 1st, 2015? We can try at least, right? ... Right? ..... Sure we could. Why not? Got anything better to do? .... Probably. But hey, at least we made it to 800K.

I guess this means the pressure is on to write better posts? .... Really? 

 Okay, I'll give it the old college try. 

Thanks again everyone.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Black Hoof: American Indians

Catecahassa or Black Hoof (c. 1740–1831) was the head civil chief of the Shawnee Indians in the Ohio Country of what became the United States. A member of the Mekoche division of the Shawnees, Black Hoof became known as a fierce warrior during the early wars between the Shawnee and Anglo- American colonists. Black Hoof claimed to have been present at the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755, when General Edward Braddock was defeated during the French and Indian War, although there is no contemporary evidence that Shawnees took part in that battle.

Little documentary evidence of Black Hoof's life appears in the historical record before 1795. He probably took part in the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore's War against the Virginia militia in 1774. During the American Revolutionary War, he may have taken part in the siege of Boonesborough in 1778, which was led by Chief Blackfish, as well as the subsequent defense of the Shawnee village of Chillicothe in 1779. In the Northwest Indian War, Black Hoof was defeated by "Mad" Anthony Wayne and, following the collapse of the Indian confederation, surrendered in 1795.

Like Little Turtle of the Miamis, Black Hoof decided that American Indians needed to adapt culturally to the ways of the whites in order to prevent decimation through warfare. During his later years, Black Hoof became an ally of the United States and was responsible for keeping the majority of the Shawnee nation from joining "Tecumseh's War", which became part of the War of 1812.

Black Hoof resisted the policy of Indian removal that the United States implemented soon after the War of 1812. He never signed a removal treaty, and continued to lead his tribe until his death in Saint Johns, Ohio in 1831. After his death, the Shawnee were eventually compelled to emigrate to the West.

Source: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Democrats Versus Republicans: The Most Free States In America

When it comes to the war between Democrats and republicans, how many of you are like me, and grit your teeth? The war between the two parties often take the appearance of children fighting on a playground of an elementary school grounds.

I myself am not either, democrat or republican. I am also not an independent. I am an American, nothing more, nothing less. And unlike many, who seem to pick a side, I like to look at the facts when it comes to my political choices. And I don't mean facts that can easily be distorted by one side or another, but rather facts that stand alone on their own merit. I am all about evidence and proof.

I understand that within some of these facts, both sides like to offer up excuses, illusions and or opinions to support their case or argument, but sometimes, facts are just that, facts. Well, today I am going to exam some facts! Facts that might just surprise you - then again - maybe not.

But why is our country in so much turmoil? Why are we so divided in our ideals? America was / is supposed to be a free country. However, we all know that this isn't particularly the case. But how free are we really?

My grandfather told me once that I should never trust a political party that wishes to take away my right to own a gun - or restricts my rights to gun ownership. I think it's safe to say that democrats want to take away guns from the hands of its citizens. But why? Why would a political party NOT want its citizens to carry guns to protect themselves? This is where it gets shady.

The democrats claim it's because of crime. However, if you banned all guns period! crime would not decrease. It has been proven countless times that counties in states that allow carry and conceal of handguns - crime has actually decreased. And the truth is, a recent study showed that violent crime is actually down in 2014 across the nation by some 4 percent. Of course, one would never know this by watching the evening news.

But I'm not here to discuss gun laws or political ideas, I am here to show some facts. Facts that can not be disputed. To do a comparison of the two parties (Dems and GOP) and see which of the two parties gives America more freedoms and rights to its citizens, which after all, is what America is supposed to be all about. Correct?

I decided to look at the states within my country to compare which of these states are more free. I will admit, I wasn't too shocked at what I found. Now, I am going to show you all what I found.

I went to this website, Freedom States to see which of the states in America are more free and which ones were not as free. Which states are the best at giving its citizens more rights and freedoms and which ones were more socialist, or communist, if you will. And in that process, I wanted to know which party dominates the political spectrum of that state. I figured that would give me a much better idea of which party my country would be better off being in control.

Before I reveal my findings, I guess it goes without saying that the city of Detroit, Michigan filed for bankruptcy - and is struggling mightily to function on a fiscal level. Detroit has one of the highest crime rates, if not is a city with the highest crime rate, and subsequently - is predominately a democratic run city with many democratic ideas behind it. but is it fair to judge the democratic party based on this fact of knowledge alone? We'll see.

The top five states, as listed by the website link I left above, shows me that the five worst states for freedom, or the five top states without as much freedoms as the rest are - in no particular order - 1) California, 2) Hawaii, 3) New York, 4) New Jersey, and 5) Rhode Island.

As we know, or should know, California is a predominately democratic state. As is New York, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. All of these states currently have a democratic governor. New Jersey has currently a republican governor. That's an 80 percent ratio. Not looking good for the democrats at this point.

The five most free states in America are listed as - not in any particular order - 1) North Dakota, 2) South Dakota, 3) Oklahoma, 4) Tennessee, and 5) New Hampshire.

North and South Dakota both currently have republican governors. So does Oklahoma. and Tennessee. New Hampshire currently has a democratic governor. Which means that of the most free states in America, 80 percent are republicans.

So, 80 percent of the five most free states are predominately republican, and 80 percent of the five most non-free states are predominately democrat. Really not looking good for Democrats, is it?

Out of the next most free states, 6 through 15, (10 states total) 8 of them are predominately republican - with current republican governors. Another 80 percent.

Of the next 15 of the most non-free states (10 states total), five of them (half) are predominately democratic with current democratic governors.

So now let's break down the numbers, shall we?

Of the fifteen most free states in America, 13 of them are predominately republican states with republican governors. And of the fifteen worst (or most non-free states) 9 are predominately democratic states.

Interestingly enough, Ohio (my state) is predominately democratic yet we currently have a republican governor. As it stands, we are in the middle of the pack. Not one of the worst free states or the most free states. (Just thought I would throw that in there.)

The website I linked above (and used for this post) were scored on over 200 policies encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom. They weighed public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims.

Obviously, each individual holds their own "version" of what "freedom" is. I judge freedom based on how many rights and freedoms I have. Since my birth on this planet, I have lost over fifty freedoms or rights - meaning - there are fifty things today that I am not allowed to do (or is currently against the law for me to do) that I could have done (that wasn't against the law) the day I was born.

The more laws we have, the less our freedoms and rights we have. This is a fact. And from what I have learned from studying communism, they had a lot of "laws".

So, what did I learn from this research? Well, that America is more and more, with each passing year, becoming more "socialistic" or "communist". This makes me sad for the future of our country.

Australia is considered by all accounts a "Nanny" state country. Did you know that you HAVE to vote in Australia? Seriously, they have a law that says that you don't get a choice on weather or not you can vote - that you HAVE to vote! I freely admit that I haven't voted since Bill Clinton. But that's because I haven't seen a candidate since Bill Clinton (George W. Bush, Al Gore, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama) who was worthy of my vote. I didn't want to be responsible for the catastrophe any of these candidates were sure to leave behind. I think Bush and Obama exemplify that perfectly, seeing how they won their respective elections. Both Bush and Obama are easily the two worst presidents of my lifetime - and perhaps of all time. If not, they are certainly both in the top five.

My point is; I shouldn't have to feel pressured to HAVE to vote for anyone if I am not comfortable with the candidates and if I can't see anyone worthy of my vote. But how long before America passes a law that says I HAVE to vote? The truth is, the phrase "Nanny State" is nothing more than saying your country is socialist. Or communist. Do we Americans really want that for our country?

According to my research, the best chance we have to avoid this unfortunate fate is to keep republicans in office. Of course, that's if you go by the facts - and if you think that freedom, real freedom, is living in a country with fewer laws and restrictions. And let's be honest here, that's exactly what freedom really is.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Carroll Bryant Goes SoundCloud

In breaking news; I, Carroll Bryant, just inked a long term deal with SoundCloud for the amount of 1.5 million dollars over the next five years to post my songs on their website. I will post selective songs of my choice, but not all of them. I have to give you guys some kind of reason to go to my Youtube Channel. (Ha-ha)

Okay, I was only kidding about the 1.5 million dollar contract. But hey, you should have seen your face when you read it! Ahahahahaha

Seriously though, check out my SoundCloud page. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

LeBron James: LeLoser

I want to go on record and say that I am not a hater. I just like to look at the facts and call things for what they are and not for what I want to manipulate them to be to fit my own conclusions. I'm also NOT a Cleveland Cavaliers fan either by any stretch. The truth is, I don't even care for basketball or the NBA. I used to, once upon a time, but then the sport just got stupid and or I just tired of seeing "air fouls" all the time. You know what I mean; a player takes a shot, the defender tries to defend and doesn't even come close to touching the shooter and then ..... the whistle ..... "air" foul.

That and I lost severe interest when Ron Artest took to the stands to go after a fan. Remember that? And then that referee scandal and .... the NBA is a joke. Nothing better exemplifies this more than allowing players to conspire who they are going to play for and play with. Take LeBron James as an example here.

I hate to break the news to all of you die-hards out there but .... LeBron James is not a "true" champion. Certainly not in the form of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, or Tim Duncan. Case in point, Larry Legend and Magic; They took the team that drafted them and made them great again. Remember, neither team were really dominating the league until they drafted those guys.

Take Michael Jordan; he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, a team never known for "greatness" and what did he do? He made them one of the greatest organizations in sports by winning six championships. Imagine if he would have conspired with Larry and Magic to meet him in New York to join forces with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. How many championships do you think they would have "manufactured" there?

Tim Duncan is another great example; He took what he was given (the Spurs) and he made them great. That is what a real "champion" does. Not bolt at the first chance to join his friends in Miami just for the sole purpose of winning some championships. Heck, even then, LeBron only went 2 for 4.

A champion LeBron James is not. Not a true one, anyway. Heck, he couldn't hold the jock strap of Michael Jordan or Tim Duncan or Bird and Magic.

LeBron James had an opportunity of a lifetime. He had a chance to take a nothing team like the Cavs and make them GREAT! But instead, four years ago, he flew the nest. He left to go in search of an NBA championship because he didn't have what it takes to win one where he was at. He had to conspire with his buddies and join forces with real champions like D-Wade and Pat Riley in order for him to even win two out of four NBA finals appearances.

And now here we are, 2014, and Cleveland is hoping the traitor returns? Really? How pathetic can one sports town be? If I was living in Cleveland right now, I would have my U-haul packed and on the road; getting my butt out of there pronto! I would be ashamed. (Actually, I am ashamed of Cleveland - and that's a first for me.) Even after the Cleveland Clowns (I mean, Cleveland Browns) NFL draft debacle this past draft. They had a shot to get WR Sammy Watkins, QB Jimmy Garopolo and RB Carlos Hyde, to load up their offense and score some points for their defense. What did they do instead? The blew it! Just as I predicted they would. And worse of all, they bit on the Manziel mania train. Three years from now they will be begging for Brady Quinn to return.

Still, nothing describes pathetic more than hating the guy who left you high and dry and then four years later, kissing his butt to get him back. It reminds me of a friend of mine who got left at the church on the day of his wedding, standing there with tears in his eyes and a devastated heart. "I hate that bitch!" He cried. (And boy, did he ever cry.) Then a few years later, he takes her back and she, wouldn't you know it, dumps him again. The fool. Well, my grandfather always said, you get what you pay for. And Cleveland residents, you paid for the Indians, Browns and Cavs.  Congratulations.

How many championships have you won? ..... That's what I thought. Wasn't it Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results? ...... Cleveland fans, you're insane.

Sports teams represent the city they play for. No combinations are better than that of the Tribe, The Dog Pound, and .... the Cavs. Winner wannabe's, unfortunately, but they just don't know how to get there. But apparently, LeBron James found out how to win a championship in Cleveland; You go to Miami with your buds.

And that the Cavs are finally putting together something of a young team with potential of greatness, despite their 2013 first overall draft pick flub of Anthony Bennett, they want to risk that potential and future by going after LeLoser James? The same guy who couldn't be great enough to carry a team on his shoulders like Michael Jordan? Or who couldn't make the other guys on the team better like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Tim Duncan? You see, this is what real champions do; they make other players around them - better! Not join forces with other great players to win championships. Or go to teams on the verge of greatness. You make greatness with your own hands. You own talents. Your own determination.

But LeBron James can't do that. He can't do that because he is not a great player. He is an opportunist in the way Col. Tom Parker was when he signed Elvis Presley to a lifetime contract while sitting in a roadside diner and took 50 percent of everything the real king earned. Tom Parker didn't make Elvis Presley great, Elvis was already great. Tom Parker simply went along for the ride. The only thing Tom Parker did that was great was sponge of off Elvis. The only thing LeBron did that was great was join his buddies in Miami and win two out of four championships, sponging off of other people's talents. He took advantage of D-Wade and Pat Riley and now .... in this 2014 free agency .... he is looking to see what new situation he can take advantage of to try and win some more championships instead of building something somewhere from his own greatness. Here's a news flash - he isn't great.

I hope LeBron James does go back to Cleveland. They seem to be made for each other. Two losers who desperately want to win. I predict this, with or without LeBron James, Cleveland will never win an NBA championship in my lifetime, and probably not yours. As for LeBron? Well, like I said, he is great at taking advantage of other great people/situations; he will probably win two more championships ... in four more years ..... just not with Cleveland. Maybe with his pal Carmelo?

LeBron James the king? Not hardly. More like .... the Queen!

I told you right from the start, I go only with the facts.

Update: 07/11/2014:

LeBron James announces he will return to Cleveland. That's fantastic. Prediction: Cleveland and James will never win an NBA championship together. Prediction 2: James will leave Cleveland within the next 3 - 5 years - angry that the team didn't do enough to try and win a championship. You read it here first.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Last Flight Out: The Story Behind The Story

Everyone knows the story of Kavita Davidson, and Lily McCourtney. Okay, maybe not everyone, but everyone should know. "Last Flight Out" is the tale of a forbidden romance.

Recently, I have been talking on Facebook and through emails with a few readers who were kind enough to talk "shop" about the story they read. Their questions were deep. One of the questions that kept coming up was, "Is Last Flight Out based on a true story?"

The answer is, no, it wasn't, however, it was inspired by the true story of Mary Kay Letourneau, and a story I read one day in the Columbus Dispatch. And also, a lot of things in the story was taken from real life, including the characters.

I thought it was about time to address the real life story of the story itself, and in the process, perhaps to answer any further questions anyone may have about it. This way, instead of telling the story and answering the same questions over and over again, I can just send them a link to this post.

Let's first begin with the truth about "Kendrick South", which includes, "Kendrick Park" and Kendrick High School". In the story, "Kendrick" is the community in which the story takes place. In reality, "Kendrick" is actually a combination of South Columbus, (in Ohio) and a little community known as "German Village".

"Kendrick South High School" was based off of the real life high school known as "South High School" - which is just located East of Parsons Avenue on the South side of Columbus, Ohio.

However, in between South High School and German Village (West of Parsons Avenue) is a middle school called "Barrett Middle School" which covers 6th, 7th and 8th graders if I'm not mistaken. When I describe "Kendrick High School" in the book, I am actually describing "Barrett Middle School" - and here is why: You see, I used to go to Barrett Middle School but I never went to South High School so I had no idea how South High School looked on the inside, which prompted me to go ahead and turn Barrett Middle School into "Kendrick South High School". So when you read in the story that there are three floors to "Kendrick High School", you know I am talking about "Barrett Middle School". They have three floors. I'm not sure how many floors or levels they have in "South High School".

And as for "Kendrick Park" and the recreation center where Kavita taught art once a week voluntarily, I am referring to the real life Schiller Park, located in German Village of Columbus, Ohio. (Which is what the pictures you are seeing are of.)

So yes, while the story itself is fictional, the place that inspired it is very real, and once upon a time, was a huge part of my life. And Barrett Middle School is just blocks away, East of Schiller Park.

German Village is most famous for Schmidt's Sausage Haus, located right in the heart of German Village. (I recommend highly you pay them a visit next time you're in town. Very good food!)

I also used to live in German Village and it's quite the beautiful place. It's cobblestone and brick laid streets really jump out during the Fall when the foliage starts to turn. They have (or did have) mom and pop type diners and deli's, a few art galleries, a book store, small coffee houses, and more. In fact, I used to sell my poetry cards in a shop in German Village which is closed down now, but was featured once on an episode of "Ghost Hunter's". (I wish I knew then the place was haunted, wouldn't have minded at all to do my own investigation.) But that was then and now, I'm not exactly sure how much German Village has changed through the years because in all honesty, I haven't been back there for over ten years. Maybe 15. But if memory serves, it was a very expensive place to live.

To the right, you will see a picture of the recreation center that sits on the far southeastern side of Schiller Park. In the story, this is the "Kendrick Park" recreation center where Kavita taught his classes. To the left of the entrance, you will notice windows that have been bricked up. Back in the day, they were windows. That is where, in real life, they used to hold arts and crafts class for the youth.

To the right of the entrance is where the indoor basketball court used to be and is featured in the story. They also have an outdoor basketball court or at least, they used to have one. Since it's been so long on my last visit there, I'm not sure what the place looks like these days.

From the angle of the picture from where the picture was took, it appears as if Kavita could have taken the pictures himself from his front porch as in the story, Kavita moved in right across the street from the park and the recreation center. In the story, the place he moved into used to be a video store, and in real life, it did used to be a video store, however, I did take some liberty in the construction of his building.

You see, in the story, the building in which Kavita lived was a lot bigger than the one that stands in real life. His building was an arts supply store in front, a frame and matting section in the middle and a private studio in back where Kavita worked from. His living quarters was up top, where a staircase from his studio went up to. This was fabricated on my part as the building isn't designed in that manner in real life. However, the Cherry Blossom tree I describe to the side of the house in a small yard enclosure is accurate. So are the iron fences and gates I described in the book. From where Kavita sat in his yard, he had a good full view of the park.

And so, as for the surroundings, German Village, and Schiller Park were the inspirations to "Kendrick Park" in the book.

Now for the characters.

Another common question some readers of the story have asked me is; "Are the characters based off of real people and is Kavita based off of you?"

The answer is yes, and then no. Yes, the characters in the book are based off of real life people I met and knew, and lived in the area, however, I did not base the Kavita character off of myself.

I drew inspiration of the Kavita character off of a friend of mine who was in fact a pen and ink artist. His uncle, also a dear friend of mine, is a well known pen and ink artist and this is where I gained my knowledge of that field and was able to apply it to the Kavita character. Now I must say this; that the real life "Kavita" never did have an actual relationship with an under-aged girl. That part of the story is fictional. But the over-all character and mannerisms of Kavita was based off of my friend.

Nick Culberson, Kavita's manager and lawyer, was also taken from a real life friend of mine. And as in the story, my friend was a lawyer, whom I met once while dinning one night in German Village. And like Nick in the story, my lawyer friend was from Seattle, Washington.

In reality, my lawyer friend and the friend I based the character Kavita from, never knew one another.

The character of "Mary Stewart", as in the book, was based off a real life teacher from Barrett Middle School which I dated briefly.

The character of "Lilly McCourtney" was based off of an actual girl who lived down the street from my sister in German Village. Where this young lady lived, was the very edge just outside of German Village and ironically, was the beginning of the 'poor side' of town. Oddly enough, just east of German Village, you go from the very rich to the very poor. And this real life "Lily McCourtney" did have a troublesome home life, just like the fictional "Lily". I only knew her through my nephew and my sister, who was (and still is I think) the neighborhood babysitter.

Sherry Pence, Lily's BFF in the book, was also taken from a real life friend of my nephew's at the time.

Another common question often asked me is; "Who wrote the poem that Lily recites in the book? And why did I include it in the story?"

The poem in question is titled, "A Dead Eagle's Love". And I wrote it. I actually wrote it about five years before I came up with the story idea for the book. I included it in the story because I needed something to capture Lily's internal pain of being abused. I couldn't come up with a new poem at the time and reflected to "A Dead Eagle's Love" and thought it would be the perfect poem for the story. The poem itself holds its own meaning for me, but could also be related to Lily's plight as well. It was the perfect poem for her to write in the story. (I pat myself on the back for that one.)

Lily's other friends from school were also based on other real life friends of my nephew, however, and oddly enough, none of the characters in the book were based off of my nephew. (Sorry dude.) But if it's any consolation nephew, I did base the character "Jerry" off of you in my book, "Of The Light". So it's all good.

Lily's uncle and his family were basically "created characters". 

But as you now know, the bulk of the story and many of the characters within were based off of real life places, people and events. They all came together to help me create the story for the book "Last Flight Out". And for those people, they have been somewhat "immortalized" forever. I bet they're happy about that. Maybe.

And from the many pictures I have posted with this post, you can see the real beauty of "Kendrick Park" or in reality terms, Schiller Park. It's a place that I hold dearly from my past and documented my love for it in a story. I have a lot of memories of that place, most of which, if not all, are amazing memories.

I also documented Schiller Park in my book, "Of The Light" as well. It's just simply a great place of inspiration.

But as is the case for just about all of my stories, reality almost always meets fiction. The lone exception thus far is my book, "Year Of The Cat", that is totally fiction from top to bottom. No characters were ever based off of real life people, contrary to popular belief. Plus, I have never been to "San Felipe". (Which is the only thing that is real in that story besides the insane asylum.)

And I think it's important to set the record straight where my books are concerned. If you look around the internet long enough, you might find some very misleading reviews of my work. One in particular where "Last Flight Out" is concerned is that the age of Lily McCourtney is twelve when in fact, her age in the story is fifteen when it starts and nothing happens between her and Kavita until her sixteenth birthday. So be wary of what you read in regards to the many bogus reviews of that book. Most of the people who review it never did in fact ever read it. But that's the way it goes in this business. Just like with everything else in life, there are your honest people and there are are your bold-face liars and bullies or whatever you wish to call them. It's just the way of the world, unfortunately. You would think people would have better things to do than to lie and be mean. Oh, well.

There is also a belief that the main female character in my book, "Year Of The Cat" was based off of a real life girl, but that too, I'm afraid, is not accurate. It is true that I told a "then fan" of mine I based the character off of her, but that was just me trying to "be nice". I have since learned a valuable lesson in those regards. So just be cautious when reading reviews of my books, and take them with a grain of salt. I'm sure you will be able to distinguish truth from rubbish. Most of the reviews that are "bad" were taken from the free sample chapters that are offered on Amazon, and nothing more. I'm sure real readers are capable of seeing right through the garbage.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this little peek at the real life inspiration(s) of my book, "Last Flight Out." It's been fun sharing it with you. I also hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures of the "real life" Kendrick Park too. Perhaps now you can see how inspiring Schiller Park is, and why I captured it in the story. If any of you have any other questions, or if I missed anything, feel free to let me know. I always enjoy hearing from my readers. And who knows, maybe I left something out in this post and you can remind me and I can always do an update.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Carroll Bryant's Funny Conversations

Joe: "I hope I'm never in a situation where my life hangs in the ballots."

Me: "Balance."

Joe: "Say what?"

Me: "It's balance. You hope you're never in a situation where your life hangs in the balance."

Joe: "Are you sure? Because it would seem to me that something like that would come down to a vote, and in order to vote, you have to cast a ballot."

(Short Pause)

Greg: "I see they serve ice cream here." (Looks at Joe) "Think they have sprinkles?"

Joe: "I'm sure they do. It doesn't hurt to ask."

Me: O_O


Joe: "Have you seen the new DirecTV commercial yet?"

Me: "The man and his puppet son who gets caught in the ceiling fan?"

Joe: "No, the new one."

Me: "Oh, the man and his friend talking when the puppet wife enters the room with a tray of refreshments and spills it all over the place?"

Joe: "No, that was the first one. The ceiling fan with the son was the second one. There's a new one out now where the man is in the bed and the puppet wife enters wearing a sexy night gown."

Me: "Haven't seen it yet. Why? What about it?"

Joe: "The puppet wife is kind of hot in that one. It kind of turned me on."

Me: "You're joking, right?"

Joe: "I think I want one."

Me: "You want a female puppet? You don't mean ...intimately do you?"

Joe: "Well ...."

Me: "That's messed up."

Joe: "The only thing stopping me is the splinter risks."

(Short Pause)

Me: "We really need to make a list of unacceptable discussion topics."


Joe: "Why do they say 'apple of my eye'? Everyone knows that the Adams Apple is located in your throat, not your eye. It should be, 'apple of my throat'."

*Long pause*

Me: "Dude, I just wanna eat my sandwich."

(Tune in next time when Joe says) "They should give boogers a new name. Something more disgusting. When I was a kid, the word booger was funny and it made me want to pick my nose. They should give it a name that discourages that. Something really disgusting like ...."

Me: "Dude, I'm eating my sandwich here!"


Joe: "My wife and kids love your lasagna."

Me: "Thanks."

Joe: "Here, take this twenty dollars. If you get time, could you make a whole pan for us?"

Me: "Sure. I'll be making baked spaghetti in a few days. I could make it then."

Joe: "Baked spaghetti? Here, take another twenty. We'll take a pan of that too."

Me: *Sighs* "Okay. But let's not make a habit of it."

Joe: "If you ever find yourself homeless, and needing a place to stay, we always have a room for you at our house. I won't even charge you rent as long as you cook."

Me: "I'll keep that in mind. But there's a greater chance of you getting divorced than me becoming homeless."

Joe: "You're right. If I get divorced, I'm coming to live with you."

Me: "I only have one bedroom, dude."

Joe: *cupping my chin* "We'll work it out, sweetheart."


 Gary: (Singing): "Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, another rubber in the night, blinded by the ...."

Me: "Wait, wait, wait! Hold up a minute. What did you say?"

Gary: "It's that song by Manfred Mann, 'Blinded By The Light'. I heard it on the radio on my way over here."

Me: "I know what song it is you are trying to sing, I just want to know what you said. Did you say, 'wrapped up like a douche, another rubber in the night'?"

Gary: "Yeah."

Me: "It's, 'revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night'."

Gary: "You sing songs your way, I'll sing them mine, okay Mr. Lyricists?"

Joe: "My favorite is, (singing) 'Hold me close young Tony Danza'."

Me: "How can you not hear 'Tiny Dancer'? It's the song title for crying out loud."

Greg: "I like, (singing) 'she's got electric boobs, a mohawk foo, you know I read it in a magazine, oh ..... b-b-b-bennie and the jets-sssssss'."

Me: "What the ...? What is a 'mohawk foo' anyway?"

Gary: (Singing) "Let's pee in the corner, let's pee in the spotlight, losing my religion ..."

(Everyone breaks out in laughter)

Me: "It's settled! I'm having lunch with my mother tomorrow."

Joe: (Singing): "Hold me closer Carroll Bryant ...."




"If life gives you lemons, keep them. It's free lemons."



What a rush! There's nothing like facing your fears head on like I did at the amusement park. I decided to get on the big ferris wheel as I am afraid of heights. A cute blond girl got on with me. My body shook every time it got to the top. Then without warning, the stupid thing just stopped, and wouldn't you know it, it stopped right when me and this girl were at the very top too. Now every muscle in my body was shaking me into a frenzy.

I kept my cool as best I could what with that girl in the cart with me. Suddenly, I heard a scream like none other. It was piercing through me. I turned my head to the left and couldn't believe what i saw. It was Godzilla! And it was looking right at me, heading slowly in our direction.

I became frantic. I did everything I could to get that bar in my lap up so I could leap out. I figured it would be best to jump to my death rather than be eaten by Godzilla.

No matter how hard the girl and I tried, we just couldn't get that bar up to try and make an escape. Next thing I know, Godzilla is right there next to the ferris wheel. I turned to the girl. "Sorry." I told her. She looked at me oddly. "This isn't your fault."

I shook my head. "No, I know this isn't my fault, I am sorry for what I'm about to do."

She looked at me confused. "What are you about to do?"

"I'm about to wake up." I said.

Next thing I know, I am sitting on the edge of my bed, running my hands through my hair. "What a rush!" I exclaimed, happy not to be Godzilla poop. But I can't help but wonder - did the girl make it out alive?