Archive for April, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I said I would post the first of a few excerpts from my novel “Beyond the Breaking Point”.  It’s time I kept my promise.  Here is excerpt one.

“I’ll look forward to seeing you at Mountain View Lisa Mc Cleary,” he smiled.   Monty chatted with her for a minute longer before making his way to his car.  He decided to take the stairway rather than the elevator to the lower level.  Taking two steps at a time he reached the door to the parking area and pushed it open.  Running to his car he was eager to get to the golf course where he hoped he could drive a few balls before the first lesson he was to give was scheduled.

He lowered the car’s window and was about to start the engine when he noticed one of the three men who had interviewed him, Jackson Stadler, the vice-president of electronic development and operations, exiting from the elevator.  At the same time he heard car tires squeal, and out of the corner of his eyes he saw a black Cadillac bursting from around the parking level’s corner toward the elevator.  Before he fully closed the car’s door and could start the engine four popping sounds rang out.  That sounds like shots fired through a silencer, Monty thought. Ford Mustang

He froze.  He pulled the car’s door that he had left slightly open slowly and careful closed not to make a sound and slid lower into his seat, but not so far that he could not see what took place in front of him.  Instinctively, he reached for his camera lying on the floor on the passenger side.  Monty saw the vice-president clutching at his chest briefly before dropping to the cement floor.  Two men silently left their car.  One was a heavy-set man with short cut graying hair.  He looked like a wrestler to Monty. He walked with a slight limp Monty noted.   The other one was tall and skinny and about fifty-five years old.  He wore a short, groomed beard.  They had stepped quickly from the vehicle.  Both were dressed in dark overcoats and walked to the fallen man.  Monty saw that they held handguns with silencers in their hand.

He heard the taller man say, “Looks like he’s not going to make any more trouble for Carlos or anybody else for that matter, Daryl.”  Blood had begun to pool around the slain man’s body.

“Let’s make sure of it, Harry,” the shorter man replied with a snarl on his face.  Another shot rang out from the gun held in the left hand of the heavy-set man.

Monty’s camera clicked away.  He saw the tall fellow push one shiny black shoe under Jackson Stadler’s shoulder raising it a few inches off the ground.  Then he heard him speak to the other man before the two turned quickly making their way to the idling car blocking the approach to the rest of the parking areas for incoming vehicles.  They climbed into the car’s backseat unhurriedly.  A moment later the car passed Monty’s vehicle on its way toward the exit as if nothing had happened.  Through the open front side window of the Cadillac Monty saw a younger man with shoulder length blond hair seated behind the steering wheel.  A long scar dominated his cheek, and he wore an earring with a Cadillac SUVblack pendant of a hawk.

“Man, oh man,” Monty whispered trying to keep control of his nerves.  His heart pounding he focused the camera on the leaving vehicle’s license plate and zoomed in on it.  Without hurrying the driver of the black Cadillac passed out of view around a corner on the way out of the underground parking area.  Monty waited for several more seconds.  “I hope they didn’t see me,” he murmured. “I don’t think they’ll be back unless one of them did.  But what do I do now?”

Dazed by what he had witnessed in the previous minutes he slowly left his Mustang.  He walked to the executive lying unmoving on the ground in front of the elevator.  A pool of blood had formed around the upper part of the man’s body and a trickle of blood still ran from the back of his head.  A wound in the middle of Stadler’s forehead stared at Monty.  He noticed an empty shell near where he stood.  “This looks really bad,” Monty mumbled and thought he had heard his words echo back to him.  He stooped to take the man’s pulse, but found none.  Mechanically he dialed 911.  “A man’s just been shot,” he answered the questioning voice and supplied the address where he was and all other details the female on the other end wanted to know.

Seated in his car again he waited for the police to arrive.  He rested his head on the steering wheel trying to make sense of what had occurred in front of him.  Soon he heard sirens rushing closer.  Suddenly he remembered that he had to be at the golf course at noon.  Looking at the car’s clock he said under his breath, “I’ve got less than ninety minutes.”

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It’s been a couple weeks since I posted in ten words or less a weekend encouragement.  So, I want to do this today.  Take a moment and consider these few words:  

              Feast on the beauty far and near and give thanks.

Family pictures 194

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Going Nuts

In two earlier posts I gave a brief overview of two little books I read on the health benefits of dark chocolate and tea.  “The Healing Power of Nuts” completed this set of books I purchased.  In this post I want to share a little of what I found out to be the health benefits of nuts. April 2013 set 018

The author of this book, Michelle Price Mann, states that most fats found in nuts are monounsaturated fats.  This fat helps lower the fat (LDL) that is harmful to our bodies, and does not affect negatively (HDL) low-density lipoprotein which is good for us.  In so doing it promotes healthy hearts.  Nuts may also prevent cancers and other diseases.

Nuts also contain plant sterols which help prevent plaque building up in arteries and so can lessen the incidence of stroke and heart attack.

An interesting health study, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, followed the diets of 86,016 women since 1980.  The study found that those ladies who ate at least five ounces of nuts a week were 27% less likely to get type 2 diabetes.

Nuts also contain several antioxidants that protect body cells from damage that can lead to cancer.  The Chinese Cancer Prevention Study published in 1993 suggests that antioxidants lower the risk of coming down with cancer.  nutty nutsOther studies show promise of nuts lowering the risk for getting prostrate and colon cancer.  Smaller studies have suggested that eating nuts might be good food for brain function and is helpful in  preventing gallstones.

The author insists that all nuts are healthy, but that some are “all- stars”.  Walnuts are such stars.  A study in 2005 showed they also contain good amounts of melatonin which has been linked to lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease and improves brain function.  Almonds, pecans, peanuts also pack a powerful heath punch.

One of the cautions I need to mention is that nuts are high in calories.  So to get the best effect from eating nuts one must cut back on other foods to make sure the total daily calorie intake is not compromised.

Like my posts about chocolate and tea this one provides only a brief summary of the healthful qualities of nuts.  Michele Price Mann wrote the book, “The Healing Power of Nuts”.   Diane L. McKay, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. assisted her.  It is an easy read.  I recommend the book for those interested in foods with potentially great health benefits.  Moreover, the reader can find many studies published on the Internet about the healthy ingredients found in nuts.

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This weekend I thought I might post another one of my poems.  I hope it will bring pleasure to the reader.

The Road

Stopping, too tired to go on,

I looked up and saw before me

Mount Cain trip 004

The road. –

Stretching, rising, carving a way

Around walls of cold, rugged rock.

The path –

Though long and uncertain

Seemed begging me to ascend

To where the sun did sweep

In pleasant, velvet strokes

The fleeting hours to keep.

There rivulets –

In hidden hollows newly born

Swept into life-giving streams

Through fields barren and worn.

I wondered, as I rested there,

The road-

Leads where, leads where?

Mount Cain trip 019


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