The Crotchety Old Man

Jul 24, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Tomatoes: A Great Investment?

The older I get, the more I appreciate the taste of a good, home-grown tomato. Back in Kentucky the plants went in the ground toward the middle of May with hopes the first fruit would ripen by the Fourth of July. Without buying big plants or cherry tomatoes, the first ripe tomato didn’t usually appear until the end of July. Within a week or two everyone I knew had baskets of tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers they couldn’t eat. My first summer in Georgia I had a Kentucky-style tomato harvest. The surplus was quickly snatched up by coworkers and neighbors. That was thirteen years ago. Since then, thanks to deer, drought and/or excessive heat,  I’ve had precious little luck growing them. …

Jul 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My Last Remaining Vice

I gave up cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol a long time ago. Yeah, I’ll still have the occasional frozen margarita or something similar, but rarely more than one.  Thanks to Weight Watchers, I’m eating healthy, too.  Other than cussing now and then, I am almost completely free of vices. I’m not into porn. I don’t fool around on my partner of nearly ten years. Nor do I lie, steal, or cheat. Well, I do get a little help with Words With Friends, but only because I’ve got too many games going and I hate falling behind. I barely consider it cheating and if I was still in the church, definitely wouldn’t confess it to my priest. I do, however, have something …

Jul 20, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Encouragement from Above?

Here is the full text of the rejection e-mail I received nearly two weeks ago from my first-choice publisher: Dear Mr Rupured: Thank you so much for submitting your manuscript, Glass Houses. Upon review, we find that the work does not match our current list needs, and we are unable to accept this manuscript for publication. Another publisher may be looking for just this kind of work to fit their upcoming schedule and we wish you success with it. We appreciate the opportunity to have reviewed this work. Sincerely, <name removed> I know rejection is part of the process. But receiving such an impersonal rejection for what everyone agrees is a very personal manuscript was disheartening. I don’t blame the publisher. Providing guidance about how …

Jul 18, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My Ice Cream Diet

I don’t know about you, but every winter my weight goes up another five or ten pounds. Once summer arrives, I’m usually able to drop about half those extra pounds.  Consequently, my weight trends upward some three to five pounds a year. Once upon a time, those extra pounds arrived between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While I am a bit of a slow learner, I do eventually figure these things out. In recent years, I’ve taken steps to make sure I don’t pile on extra weight over the holidays. Now they show up after the holidays are safely behind me. They seem to have multiplied, too. Instead of five or ten pounds, I’ll pick up an extra twenty. Either way the …

Jul 15, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Back in the Saddle

After a month-long hiatus from blogging at The Crotchety Old Man, I’m back in the saddle with a new blog.  The hardest part of starting this blog was coming up with a good title. Glass Houses is a memoir about the first roughly fifty years of my life. My Glass House picks up more or less where the memoir left off. Prior to writing Glass Houses, the idea of writing a book intimidated me. Aided by my memory, personal journals dating back to 1982, and the encouragement of several supportive friends (especially Terri Clark and Larry Oberc), I started writing. With no awareness of the literary market or the craft of commercial writing, I knocked out the 110,000 word manuscript …

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