I’m sitting the base of Columbia towers in Seattle Washington. Waiting for this complete badass lover of mine to climb sixty-nine flights of stairs. One thousand three hundred and fifty-six steps of tenacity. Seven hundred and eighty-eight feet of grit. The Scott Fire Fighter stair climb supports the lymphoma leukemia foundation. It’s raised about five million dollars over the last two years to help support children and adults coping the vicious form of cancer. The Fighters that come here take each hard fought step as they pass pictures of patients that have over come a few fights, and some that have not. More motivation to drive them when their legs are shaking, and their mind is telling them that it’s okay to rest. They volunteer, amass in in their gear, and once again fight on the line for a community of people that can’t fight on their own. In return some of us get to give a small monetary donation in their name, and maybe be fortunate enough to cheer them on as they help a cause that is worth fighting for, in a time when it’s hard to find people willing to fight.


I’m lucky. I get to be by my partners side as she checks in, gets her gear settled, and finds the zone she often finds when she is about to slay another obstacle. I get to sit here, listening to the orchestra of voices and cheers from family members and various loved ones who have gathered in support of their person who is making the climb. If you ask the fighters, the climb is not that important. While the company is great, the side competitions are always fun, the challenge is worth mentioning, and lets face it, sweating it out with your team is always worth a few steps; it is the service that draws them here. It’s doing something Uncommon in support of a greater cause, in support of something that makes a difference, a service that may at some point make a difference for someone they know and love. It’s the same call that drew them to serve with their brothers and sisters in the first place. A greater voice that pulled at them, drew at them relentlessly, and they knew exactly what it was saying when they listened. “I was fucking made for this shit.”


It’s something that people who live in the service line don’t take for granted. LEO’s, Fire Fighters, EMS, Military; Badasses like Kelsey Chase (the fighter I’ve been talking about) and her Crew at Chelan County 1 live by it. Humans beings doing Uncommon things, like Ryan Sutton with the Uncommon Breed, and Zach Filer with his Mod Squad at Northwest Strength and Performance. Living Uncommon isn’t a tag line, it’s survival, a way of life that permits them to wake up breathing and fighting another day. A constant practice at being a better human being, and then helping others find their inner ninja so they can do the same. Like Kurtis and Laurie at Rainer Crossfit, or my family that I get to coach with here at Crossfit Wenatchee. Or any other countless people out there that affect change, and build a better place to live. Not loud and thunderous, but like mother fucking ninjas, silent operators, architects – designing change and erecting it without the pomp and circumstance that is so fickle this days.


It’s sad really, that more don’t get to serve. But I guess that’s why you’re Uncommon and they’re not.


Hard Times Make Hard People. Live Uncommon.


I remember thinking as a kid, how awesome it would be to have some sort of fantastical powers. To be able wave a wand and make things happen with a thought, or a spell. To be able to vanquish my enemies with the simple flick of my hand, sending them flying away in a tornado, or turn them into a slug. Maybe I could’ve been a super hero with lightening speed, or unbelievable strength, or be able to turn invisible, or grow the size of a small building and be indestructible, to fly and jump, to be able to heal with a single touch, read minds, or make fireballs fly out of my hands. Yep, too freaking cool.


While there is no shortage of do gooder, fight for the side of justice characters to choose from. I found that my favorite wizards and heroes were far from squeaky clean; I guess I’ve always lived in more of a grey area. Rugged wizards with hidden strengths. Super heroes with troubled minds: Gandalf the Grey, Cable, Gambit, Deadpool, The Punisher, Wolverine, Spawn, Savage Dragon, GI Joe, or Magnum P.I. …Not always the strongest in power, or prettiest, or coolest ability, but, always much more fun.


At thirty-six, I can say with a clear conscious that this hasn’t changed a bit. I look at the world around me. I see what my loved ones go through daily, and I wish I had super powers. I wish could right the wrongs, and heal wounds, and fly to the rescue, or cast spells to make it all go away. I might also think of some very Weasly like practical jokes that I would like to play on a few deserving souls. How awesome it would be to have a kick ass super suit, and a badass locker room full of laser cannons and blasters; just saying. Magic, super heroes, galactic travel, battling aliens, monsters, evil villain’s, and fighting along side a smoking hot super hero like Rogue, or Domino, or a space wrangler like Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, or Zoe Washburn. Yep, pretty fucking Rad.


Okay, so I get it, this might seem like an unrealistic and very childish notion. But as

Veterans day passed, and Thanksgiving is one plastic container away from being gone, and I’ve flipped through all my memories and pictures on Facebook, and maybe some of my old comics… I am reminded that it’s not that far fetched. I get to fight along side a smoking hot super hero and space wrangler every day. I have been in the company of the worlds best bad asses, and fought along some of Earths greatest heroes. I live in a house that is full of little warriors and a warrior princess, charging at the day with Nerf guns and window rods–I mean magic scepters/microphone. I get to work with a team that makes Wizarding seem like child’s play, and make Cylons look like Wall-E.


My point being, as the end of November is creeping through our window, and we are wondering what the Hell is going on all around us, it’s okay to remember that we are surrounded by a world that is more than anything we could ever imagine. It’s not a black and white world we live in; it’s varying shades of different colors, against the grey of a badass blaster.


Hard times make hard people. Live Uncommon.

Why move?

Why move? Why lift heavy weight, run, jump, pull, press, push, flex, extend, and squat? Well, besides the obvious answers like: its what we are meant to do, it will make us stronger, or faster, or more limber, or look like a sexy beast before beach season. Why? Why do we do anything in this life that caters to sofa life and obliges the non activant? We don’t have to leave the house except to work, and even then, more and more humans are working from home. We don’t have to gather our gear and migrate because of the season. We don’t have to hunt, and prepare our own food. We don’t have to carry heavy objects, weld large, bulky weapons, or hike long distances to our destination. So why?

It’s a question that we should all ask ourselves, and we should ask it often. Here’s by take; I do because I fucking can. Pretty simple. I’m not going to be the one that has to spend six months in rehab because I threw my back out lifting up my grandchild. I’m not going to be the one who sits silent when someone needs help  because I haven’t built up the intestinal fortitude to do something about it. I’m not going to allow myself to be the one who can’t run to the aid of my family, my friends, countrymen, my soldiers, or any stranger that may need me to run to them, or run them to safety. I won’t allow myself to loose my functionality. What would I be if I didn’t fight to be better everyday when I have the capacity and the evolution to do so. I fight for me, for my minis, and for my future wife. I fight everyday to move better, to live better, to be better in all aspects of my life; and believe me that makes for a long list, so I know I won’t get bored anytime soon. I fight to be bigger, better, faster, stronger, form my family, for my friends, and for you, you who I will never forget. At least that’s what I strive for.

Maybe instead of asking why, we should ask why not? Get out there and move. Lift heavy shit. Be a badass. Because today we need badasses.

The things we Carry

Woke up today. All on my own. No alarm clock. No rush to get out of bed. Just woke up. The most brilliant, magical, beautiful, woman I’ve ever met wrapped up next to me. Sun beating through the window making her hair glow, and highlighting the line of her jaw, and the curves of her peeking shoulder. A mini is sprawled out like a fallen rag doll on the other side of us, her tiny body mysteriously taking up half the bed. Another mini lays curled under blankets on the pull out; wild, perfect, curls of hair trailing across the pillow like fingers gripping for one more minute of sleep. One of the teenage mini’s  has fallen asleep on the floor in the sitting room; having fallen asleep trying to squeeze one more minute of fantasy out a computer game. The other Teenage mini is buried under blankets in his bedroom; like a soldier finally asleep on a cot, trying to hide under the comfort of his woobie. A small silence before the running starts. It is crazy. It is perfect. It is the what I live and fight for.

Wake up breathing, and fight for your day.


more than talking heads

Conversations. The kind that make you get lost in time and space, and let the world around you melt away. True, heart, soul, and mind compelling conversation. Conversations about anything, and everything; about current world problems, about the day to come, or the day that happened. Maybe they’re conversations about what your kids are doing, what’s going on at work, or about your dreams. Maybe they’re about planning a fantastical adventure, a new love in your life, or about any countless number of the ever-changing canvases we call life.


There is nothing else that replaces a great conversation. One held over coffee, the breakfast table, on the back patio, over a camp fire, in the den, or while laying in bed with the one you love. It’s one of the ways we problem solve, grow, laugh, reflect, breathe, love, become closer with each other, learn, adapt, resolve conflict, or any other of the endless ways we try to be better humans.


It is something that is growing more and more challenging every day, but it is something that is irreplaceable in this life.


Wishing you some good conversations today.




People ask me why I do what I do. Why I fill my plate so full. Why I cram so much into my life. Why I stay so busy. Why do I work as much as I do. Why am I training so hard. Why push, why strive, why attain. Some would say I am running away. Some would say that if I let up for a moment, my mind would unravel. Some would say that it is unwarranted, and unhealthy. It might be, I don’t know. What I do know, is that four of my friends can’t, and will never be able to again. Many men and women that were far better than me, can’t. So I do, because I can.

remember them everyday,

I remember them and never forget,

be a better you today and everyday, because you can.

Everytime you Train, Train with the motivation and purpose, that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill – Tim Kennedy

The Scarlet Robot Chapter One

Ady startled at the pinging HUD in her contact lens. Her whole body contracted, jerking like she had just been scared out of dream. Snorting a laugh, she shook her head, embarrassed that something so stupid had rattled her. She doesn’t rattle.

“Shit. Stupid boring mission. Letting my guard down like some rookie.” Her whisper echoed in the empty corridor.

The message pinged on her HUD again. Run!

She blinked, staring at the message her sister had sent her, waiting for more information. Nothing. She was the muscle, the killer, the brains really, don’t tell her sister that though. She just really hates running, something Jen reminds her of often.

“Thanks a lot, Jen. Leave me out here bored to death in this stupid hallway, and then play jokes on me.”

She looked up and down the dimly lit, cold, grey metallic corridor, of the Federated research facility they’d been hired to raid. Nothing. Just the distant echo of activity from a skeleton crew that was there on the holiday.

Run from what? The cold scary air? She snorted again as she finished the message to Jen’s HUD. Where are you?

The building rumbled with an explosive concussion. Ady flung herself away from the wall, and landed in the middle of the corridor, loose on the balls of her feet, legs crouched, arms out, eyes scanning the direction that Jen should be coming down. The scent of sulfur and burnt hair filling her nose. Adrenaline coarsing through her system, heightening her senses, and sending a shiver of excitement up her spine.

Run! Run! Run! Run! Came across her HUD again.
Damn it, not so fast! Ady sent back. Where are you? I hate running!

Another Rumble and more explosions. The dull roar of an emergency fire suppression system vibrated through out the building, as it systematically turned on, following the path of the destruction. Ady tilted her head and listened, a faint flurry of activity, boots, voices barking orders, and blasts of small arms fire. She took a breath and pulled her double barreled shooters out of the holsters on her hips.

She put them up under her nose and took a deep breath in and out, sighing just a little. She tilted towards the shooter in her left hadn’t “Dude.” Then towards the shooter in her right. “Nugget. Time to save Jen again.”

The barking voices and shooter fire were coming fast. Her sister, Jen, came running around the corner, her face a concentrated panic. “I said RUN!”

Ady’s eyes went wide as what she was seeing registered in her head. Her sister running full bore down the corridor, shooter in hand, racing footsteps and shouting coming from a security agent sprinting after her. The agent slowed, raised his shooter, and fired a shot that seared over Jen’s shoulder and past Ady, blistering the wall behind her.

Jen fired blind over her shoulder getting him to back off, and then waved her hands at Ady. “Run damn it!”

Ady grinned, braced her stance, and locked her arms. Her hands tightened around the grip of her shooter, as her index finger hugged the trigger back. The shot blasted past Jen and knocked the security agent flat on his back, burning a hole the size of a fist in his chest. Jen slowed enough to look over her shoulder, and then started running again, glaring at Ady. “I said run!”

Ady brought her shooter up to her lips, and blew over the barrel. “Since when do we run from a—

Jen tackled Ady to the ground at full speed. They hit the concrete floor hard enough to knock a grunt out of Ady, as a small missile rocketed over them, destroying the wall at the end of the corridor.

Jen hooked her hands around Ady’s coat, pulled her until they were nose to nose, as if that would make her listen better. “Since a whole damn army of security agents is chasing us,” she said.

“What the hell did you do?”

Jen rolled off her, and sat up just enough to fire a volley of shots down the corridor, making the squad chasing them fall back around the corner, and then looked back Ady.

“Now, we run.”

“Just a simple job,” Ady said. “Easy money, you said.”

“Just go, damn it.”

Ady  jumped up, cursing, and started sprinting down the hall. She rounded the corner, and down the next corridor towards the hangar bay. Jen sprinted to catch up to her. She saw Ady make it inside, and turn, pulling her shooter back out so she could cover her as she made the last leg to the hangar.

“I take it our job fell through.” Ady said through panting breaths, as Jen ran up beside her.

“Something like that.” Jen blasted the controls to the heavy door leading into the hangar bay with her shooter; it hammered closed with a loud rumble, making cracks form in the composite wall and floor.

“Plans weren’t there, but sure as hell was a shit load of security Agents.” She turned and scanned the half dozen docking pads in the hangar for their getaway ship. “Which one?”

Ady gestured with her head. “Left. Did we get set up?”

“Don’t know, and won’t ever find out if we don’t make it out of here.”

Ady led them to a small transport ship that looked like a bus sized egg on skis, with rotary wings sticking out like fins on each side. The glass cockpit canopy was open, two side by side seats nestled in front of a haptic control panel, and a small passenger hold in the back.

Jen grabbed Ady’s arm, stopping her before she could take a step onto ladder. “You can do this right? We’re not gonna to end up like we did last time?”

Ady smiled and started her climb into the transport. “Wasn’t that bad.” She looked back down at Jen. “It’s not like we died.”

“I don’t necessarily like your interpretation of what’s good or bad.”

Ady buckled herself into the pilots seat, and took a gray box the size of a deck of cards out of her vest, slapping it onto the haptic panel.

“Ya there, Lady?”

Hello, Ady.

Jen climbed up the other side and strapped in just as an explosion from the felled bay doors rocked the whole hangar. The hatched closed, behind her. She peaked out the bulbous canopy and saw two squads of security agents rushing in through the breached opening, and flood the room. They took cover behind cargo crates and shipping containers as they set their sites on the them, and then opened fire. Shots hammered the blast proofed shielding of the outer hull, as the security agents continued to surround them.

“Lady, we’re in a bit of rush. I need access now.”


The transport hummed to life, as Ady slipped on the haptic control goggles and gloves, and then let her fingers race across the holographic panels she now had access to. The cockpit shielding shuttered, and a small crack formed on the outside of the canopy.

Jen grabbed Ady’s arm and squeezed as she stared wide eyed at the crack. “Uh, Ady. Anytime ya wanna get the hell outta here would be really, really helpful!

We have a breach in the outer hull.

Ady huffed in frustration. “Not now, Lady.”

There is now a breach in the main conduit relay.

Ady pulled her hands back in the haptic controls, and the transport hovered in the air over the docking pad, turning slow towards the hangar door.

“Lady, we’ve got more problems than your breaches and relays.”

The hangar doors will be closing in twelve seconds.

“Damn, Lady. You’re just fulla good news, aren’t ya.” Ady’s jaw tightened as she clenched her teeth.


Jen squeezed the edge of her seat, and her body tensed. “ADY!”

“Both of ya, shut up and let me work,” Ady barked.

Ady jerked, and her hands flailed out of the the haptic controls for a second. The Transport jerked up and hard to the right, running into the bay wall with a crunch. Ady slammed her hands back into the haptic controls, pulling back, and to the left. She swung them around towards the attacking squad, hitting one of the large shipping containers, making it tumble to floor, and onto the agents behind it. The hangar rumbled, and what was left of the two squads fell back into the corridor. The girls looked out the cockpit and saw the large bay doors start to close.

“Damn it.” Jen punched Ady in the arm. “Let ya work? This is just like last time!”

“Fooling around? You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Ady’s lips parted into a toothy grin, and she launched her arms forward. The ship lurched its nose down and tore across the floor of the hangar, as it shot towards the closing bay doors. She rotated her hands up in the controls, and the small ship lifted into the air, and then turned sideways. The right wing slammed into the composite floor and tore a long ripple in it, chipping the tip of the wing off onto the the floor. Shots blasted into the hull as they whistled sideways through the hangar doors and into the purple horizon of Hedeth.

A trail of black smoke twisted in the freezing sky behind them as they rocketed into low orbit just below the atmosphere. The ship arched, and then dropped it’s nose down towards Hedeth, descending like a rock back towards the mountainous, forest planet. They spiraled out of control in the air while Ady fought with the haptic controls to right them.

Jen put her feet on the console and grabbed the roll bar above her head. “Ady—“

We have lost power in the right rotor wing.

“Don’t tell me shit that won’t help, Lady.”

Jen glared at her. “ADY.”

A crash landing is imminent, please prepare accordingly.

“Not helpful, Lady.”

“Crashing isn’t helpful either, Ady,” Jen spat.

“I know dammit! Just get ready for a soft landing.”

Jen let out a growl. “Soft landing? I knew it. I’m gonna kill ya!”

“Not if we die first, so prep the pod,” Ady spat back.

“I’m still gonna kill ya!”

“Well, ya’ll have to wait your turn.”

Jen unfastened, and pushed her seat back, bracing herself on the floor so she didn’t get thrown around in the cockpit as she searched. She found the emergency response panel and tore it off, speeding through the instructions as her fingers darted across the switches to release a safety pod that would shield them in a small cocoon of graphene balloons.

“Lady, how far out are we from the ship?” Jen asked.

One thousand two hundred kilometers.

Ady smiled again. “That’s not that bad. Bet we can make it pretty damn close.” Ady struggled with the convulsing ships controls. “Glass is still half full.”

Jen shot her a glare, and then got back up and fastened herself in her chair. She pulled her legs to her chest, wrapping her arms around them and curling herself into as tight of a ball as she could.

“Ships ready,”she said.

“Hang on tight.” Ady’s lips curled to one side in a cocky half grin under her goggles. “This is gonna get bumpy.”

The ship dove incredibly fast, the ground getting closer and closer. At the last minute, Ady put her feet on the console and pulled back with her haptic gloves as hard as she could. The transport leveled off, glided for a minute, and then hammered to the ground, tearing a swath across the forest floor as they bounced and ripped through the rocky terrain, until they came to a trembling stop.


Jen blinked her eyes open. She was hanging upside down. The outer shield was ruined, and inside the ship was in complete disarray, but they were safe for the time being. The cockpit was a mess of sparks and debris, the haptic panel was destroyed, it’s guts dangling down in front of her. She scanned the wreckage and saw Ady giggling, looking at her, her goggles pulled on top of her head, and haptic gloves still on.

“I totally nailed it,” Ady said.

Jen rolled her eyes and moaned. “I’m so gonna kill, ya.” She relaxed, letting her head dangle free. “Once I can finally move again.”


The tall, black robot, stalked up behind the scattered security agents. It’s frame, like a human skeleton, with graphene armor layered like dragon scales all over it. The head was smooth, and oval without any recognizable features except a purple line running down the side of it. Its face morphed, and a mesh mouth appeared, curling into a quirky smile, almost like a nervous twitch.

It’s spurs jingled with a slow gait as it made its way through them. Everyone parted as it passed, not even attempting to look up.  It stood at the edge of the now reopened bay doors, and stared out to where the whispy trail of black smoke ran a streak through the sky, like a stain on a freshly painted purple canvas . It tipped the brim of it’s baller cap up, as if that would help it see, and looked down. The forest floor, ten stories below, and a thousand meters out, was white with snow, and had a swath of torn up earth where the ship had crashed.

A sergeant came up behind it. “Sir, do you want us to mount a recovery team?”

The robot stared at the sergeant, and followed the fog of breath that came of his mouth. It put it’s hand through the small cloud of vapor, as if it could catch it, and then repeated the same movement in front of it’s own mesh mouth, as if it could see it’s own breath.

“Excuse me, sir. Do you want us to send a team out?”

The black mesh that made up its mouth opened into a smile, breaking the purple line that ran down the entire of it’s body, leaving a dark empty void as it spoke. “No sergeant, they are doing exactly what The Weaver wants them to do.”

“Excuse me?”

The robot turned to faced him, and then grabbed him by his throat and threw him out the open door and into the freezing cold far, far below. Before the rest of the agents could act, the robot had pulled it’s pitch back shooters out of their holsters, and started blasting them one by one. It’s aim perfect, it’s shots calculated so that not one round was wasted, and one by one the agents fell dead.

It’s spurs kept jingling as it waded through the carnage. It paused and stared at the agent closest to the hangar corridor. The black mesh parted again, this time in a grimace as it saw the agent, still alive, and crawling towards her blast rifle. It stalked over to her, spurs still jingling in an almost solemn death march. The agent clambered for her rifle, and the robot stepped on her leg, pinning her just inches from it.

The female agent rolled over and stared at it, eyes wide with horror, chin quivering. “What kind of monster are you?” The agent asked.

The robot raised it’s shooter and shot a hole in the middle of the woman’s face. “Call me Jesse.”


Change is good. Terrifying. Challenging. Sad. Horrible. Exciting. Brilliant. Perfect. Change is inevitable. Without it we become stagnant, and die a slow mundane, agonizing death.

With change comes growth, with growth comes experience and knowledge, with experience and knowledge we can have a better understanding of ourselves, of those around us, and of this fantastical world we live in.

I’ve had a lot of change recently, most people do. Some of it controlled and on purpose, others, not so much. In all this change I know a few things. One: I ‘m still breathing. As long as I’m still breathing I have a chance. Two: I still have more things to be happy about than not. I have a beautiful family, fierce friends, and a lot of hope. Three: This shits too easy. Work hard, play hard, and love harder. One step at a time, one leap, one hand hold, one giant breath in, we can make magical stories happen everyday.

Go have new adventures. Run into new stories. Make explosive changes. And be relentless in your quest to be as alive as you can be.


Be better, because you aren’t helpless



March Passport

Almost time for Comicon!

Today in the Passport
* The Latest News From Booktrope
* Ben's world
* Authors Awesome
* Latest From the Writers Block

Latest News From Booktrope
* Check out other great books from booktrope
* Runaway goodness: the place for all reading greatness

Ben's World
Holy shit, it’s the end of March. Where has the time gone? Seriously, who took it? I can’t believe it’s slipped by so fast. Well, I can believe it. I’m just never quite ready for it. It’s been a busy, busy seven months since After Day One came out. Busy on all sides of the cube. The boys are getting smarter and bigger, and hungrier. No, they’re not zombies yet, but they eat like them; by that I mean they eat a lot, not that they eat humans. They are alive and healthy, and that is always good. Patti has been keeping us all in line, even though I have decided that the best way to get through this year is to jam pack our house and our world with as much crazy life as possible.

Lots of exciting adventures this year: We got new puppies, which brings the total of our animal family to three. Bam Bam (our five pound Yorkie) gained two sisters, Cam, and Shadow, a German Shepard-lab-pit bull mix that Patti and I rescued from a crack house. I want everyone to remember that this was her idea. Let’s just say that Bammers was none to happy about the arrangement, he’s even less happy now that they’re fifty pounds and want to play all the time; he really has turned into a bit of a grump. Slow mornings are gone, that is for sure. All that being said, the house is still standing, we are all healthy, and an extra bit of adventure has been added to our lives!

It’s been seven months, and I have been way to delinquent on promoting my first book. Okay, so I’ve been way to delinquent on most things. I find that what I am best at, is filling my schedule with so many things that I don’t have time to finish any of them¾I do have them started though, so ha! AFTER DAY ONE is still doing great and soon FD will be out! I plan to do one event a month to promote all my author-ity, and hope to catch more and more steam as I go forward. It is all very exciting, and I am sure you are all shaking with anticipation, quaking evening. Ha!

Be well, be happy, and be adventurous!


Authors Awesome
A few pretty cool author things happening. First, two of my favorite authors to read right now; Peter Clines, and Myke Cole have new books out.
Ex-isle by Peter Clines
Javelin Rain by Myke Cole
Second, a local author, and mentor has just signed a new deal for some pretty 'Magical' books. I have gotten a chance to listen to some of this speculative tall tale, and I can't wait for them to come out. It is truly a fantastical story that is gripping, daring, and leaves you wanting more at the end of every page. Here's her blog about it

Latest From the Writers Block
After Day One is out a doing good. Everyone who has read it seems to be enjoying, and that is really all I ever wanted. I can't thank you all enough for your support and kindness on this wonderful adventure I've been on.
Cindy and I are working as hard as we can on Fractured Days, book two in the series, and that will be out this summer.