The Crotchety Old Man

Aug 29, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Closed for the Season

I’ve blogged at least once every week for more than eight years. The Crotchety Old Man was my first blog. I added The Adventures of Tico and Toodles when my Chihuahuas were puppies (links below). Banging out a post took maybe an hour. A small but loyal following seemed to enjoy my little essays. Some said I should write a book. So I did. Publishing my first novel forced some changes. The blog morphed into a web site for Michael Rupured, author. Instead of blogging for fun, I have a job to do: sell books. The bar is higher too. Every post has to be brilliant, error free, and beautifully composed. I spend hours perfecting each and every one. A demanding day job and other …

Aug 22, 2016
By Michael Rupured

The Philip Potter Stories: Inspiration

I left my old Kentucky home in 1996 for a temporary assignment in Washington, DC. My fortieth birthday was just around the corner. I was bitter about being over-the-hill and—once again—single. The change of scenery would do me good. I rented out my house, packed two cats and all my worldly possessions into a rented truck, and drove to DC. For the next eighteen months, I lived in an apartment two blocks from Dupont Circle. A colleague hooked me up with a great group of gay guys who invited me along to parties and showed me around town. I may have been over-the-hill in a college town like Lexington, but in DC, Stella got her groove back. Until Thanksgiving, my …

Aug 20, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy: Good News Update

Toodles was diagnosed with diabetes in May. Insulin injections twice a day are the only treatment option. Because she turns into mini-Kujo, it takes two people to give her an injection. My last Diabetic Doggy post (July 11) revolved around figuring out a way to give her the injections after my ex moved back into his condo at the end of July. The veterinarian checked with an internal medicine specialist at the UGA Vet School. Oral medications are available, but have not been successful with dogs. He could put a port on her back (a surgical procedure), but they get blocked up easily and dogs don’t tolerate them very well. A pen, like an EpiPen, is another option. At first, …

Aug 15, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Stop the Pirates

Once upon a time, books were only available as hard copies. Digital formats didn’t yet exist. The  pricey hardback edition came out first, and if it did well, a paperback edition followed. Readers could buy the book, borrow a copy from the library or a friend, or shoplift a copy from a retailer. Stealing from bookstores is a bigger problem than I would have thought. I just expected readers as a group to have more integrity. Talk about naive… All readers aren’t criminals, of course, but stealing is against the law. Anyone who shoplifts knows it’s a crime. I’m not sure readers understand that sending ebooks to friends or downloading from a pirate site is stealing too. What happens after a …

Aug 08, 2016
By Michael Rupured

The Upside of My Vision Issues

Advanced Macular Degeneration (AMD) prevents me from seeing like I could twenty years ago. It’s like looking at the world through smudged up glasses. The big picture — what things are and where they are located, for example — is still clear, but the smudge obscures anything I focus on. Bellyachin’ won’t help me see better or win me any friends. Even AMD has a silver lining. Here’s the upside of my visual impairment. No more subtitles. Having to read most of a movie has never appealed to me. If nobody is around to read the subtitles for me, I miss anything important. AMD is legitimate excuse for passing on foreign films. I’m never the designated driver. Nobody wants me to drive them anywhere. If I’m out …

Aug 01, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My New Exercise Routine

“Exercise more” tops my to-do list and will likely remain a priority for the rest of my life. Progress has been made. “Exercise more” replaced “Get off your ass and do something,” a to-do list topper from the late 1970s to 2005 or so. Incorporating exercise into daily routines is the key to success. I try to hit the gym or go for a run every day. Seven days in a row — with or without exercise — is rare.  I hover somewhere between three and five times a week, with periodic drops to once or twice and the occasional break. My routine works for a short time. Seasonal variations in day length, temperature, and precipitation mess me up. Getting to the …

Jul 25, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Release Day for Philip Potter Story #3

DSP Publications releases the second edition of Happy Independence Day tomorrow. The 1969 Stonewall Riots are the backdrop for the third Philip Potter Story. The story picks up two and a half years after the end of No Good Deed (the second Philip Potter Story). Returning characters For Harold Clarkson’s high school graduation, Philip Potter and George Walker take Harold and his pal Abigail Dombrowski to New York City. Terrence Bottom lives in Greenwich Village and attends  Columbia University. Thad Parker (and his parents), Shirley White, and Mrs. Dombrowski make cameo appearances. New Characters Kreema Dee Kropp and Kelsey Ryan were inspired by two unidentified individuals (a drag queen and a lesbian) who allegedly started the riots. I had to fill in a …

Jul 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Out-Crotchetied by Whippersnapper

In our little subdivision, I’m the resident crotchety old man. Pity the fool who provokes me. I run kids out of my yard, fuss at anyone who fails to pick up after their dogs, and call the police to report illegally parked cars. A guy I’d guess to be in his early thirties recently moved into the neighborhood. He bought a house that had previously been rented by an army of drunken college students. The percentage of rentals in our ‘hood has gone up since I moved in. We homeowner were happy to see him. Within days, dog walkers warned me to stay clear of his house. On several occasions, he’d come running out of his house to tell them dogs were …

Jul 11, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part Three

In early May, we found out my little chihuahua, Toodles, was diabetic. We have to check her sugar twice a day (6:30 am and pm) and, if it’s less than 200, give her an insulin injection. Most of the time, her sugar is well over 200 so she gets an injection. I can’t see well enough to do it, but for Toodles, checking her sugar is not a problem. The stick inside of her ear doesn’t appear to hurt, and the double beep indicating the test is complete means time to eat. The injection comes after she eats. Giving her the injections takes two people. The injection itself takes two hands — one to pull up the skin while the other …

Jul 04, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I don’t care about fireworks, sparklers, and parades. My affection for Independence Day stems from the family reunion picnics my mother’s family put on every year when I was growing up. My mother is the baby of eight children. They married, and all but two had children of their own. Several of Mom’s aunts, uncles, and cousins also attended, along with an assortment of close friends of the family. By virtue of the lengthy guest list, our annual picnic was an EVENT. My aunts spent days preparing food. Plastic washtubs were mounded with potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni salad. Aluminum foil roasting pans contained baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and  green beans. Homegrown tomatoes …

Jun 27, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part 2

Last week, I shared about finding out Toodles, my chihuahua, is diabetic. Dealing with a pet’s chronic disease can be expensive. I worried about the cost and what I would decide to do. My rapidly approaching retirement has changed the way I think about money. The difference between wants and needs is a lot clearer. Reducing my expenses is a top priority because the less money I need, the sooner I can retire.  How much am I willing to spend to keep my precious pup alive? Money wasn’t my only worry. Insulin injections twice a day are the only treatment option for dogs. I could maybe handle giving her the injections, but advanced macular degeneration prevents me from seeing well …

Jun 20, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part 1

For her seventh birthday in early May, my sweet little long-haired chihuahua, Toodles, was diagnosed with diabetes. Daddy (aka moi) was devastated. Dollar signs flashed before my eyes. What was I going to do? I’m crazy about my little dog. She sleeps with me, gets anxious when I’m not around, and won’t have anything to do with anyone else but my ex. Yeah, I know the middle-aged gay man and his tiny little dog(s) is a cliche. What can I say? I drive a convertible too. I sleep on my side in a bed too high off the ground for Toodles to jump up or down. She curls up against me with her rump jammed into my armpit. If she wants down, …

Jun 13, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Next Project, Part 2

Last week’s post was about lessons learned from my first four novels. Genre matters, and try as I might, romance is not my forte. That’s why DSP Publications is a better fit for the stories I write than its parent, Dreamspinner Press. All my ideas for sequels to Whippersnapper are essentially romances. However, I know from experience they won’t turnout that way. So on to something else. Posting something new on my blog every week consumes a lot of my writing time. To free up a big block of time, I set a goal to write all the posts needed for the next three months. Finishing a post makes me feel better about my unfinished projects, too. With blog posts written …

Jun 06, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Next Project, Part 1

For longer than I care to admit, I haven’t had a new project. Producing unique and interesting posts for blog tours for three releases this year kept me busy. As I was writing posts for the Whippersnapper blog tour, I realized how hard my first three novels had been to write. Setting all three in a real place in a different time required lots of research. Whippersnapper takes place in a fictional Kentucky town. I still had to do a little research (about programmable sewing machines, for example), but getting the details right was a hell of a lot easier with made up places. Writing a sequel to Whippersnapper would be fun. I love little Fallisville and the people who live there. In fact, I …

May 30, 2016
By Michael Rupured

In Memoriam

Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Nobody in my family has died as a result of military conflict since the Korean War. I appreciate the men and women who gave their lives for our country, but on this national day of remembrance, my thoughts turn to other losses. Between them, my four grandparents raised more than twenty children. All of my aunts and uncles married; most had children of their own. Being part of such a huge extended family was perhaps the greatest gift I’ve ever received, but loss came early in my life and often. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is tough. Unfortunately, it’s something we all must …

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