Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Where did Marbles Come from?

I've never heard of Marbles knife before but they've burst into the review circle lately and I'm eager to get one of their products and compare it for myself. If they hold up at that price point, they are set to fight their way into a very competitive market. Marbles equipment is made in El Salvador, and only available online so far. Here's a few more of their products...

Survival Shovel

I love the idea of a survival shovel but I never find them to hold up to the billing. This one, the Marbles Devil Tail, however really looks like it's worth a try. It's also priced well. If I can get my hands on one in the next month or so I'll consider doing a review although this video is thorough and I like that it goes head to head with a reliable industry standard in Cold Steel. I'd only like to see him take it our and hack on something and then shovel with it. That's the only missing element.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Top 3 survival things you need

This is a little slow paced but I like where this guy is coming from. So here's some fun viewing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Survival projectile gadget

This is actually quite clever.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Practice Thankfulness for Success

I was reminded today, how important it is to pass out praise. I don't know why I struggle so much to give away something that costs me nothing, on the rare occasion I remember to let the people in my life know how much I appreciate all that they do for me I'm always rewarded with a good feeling. has a number of articles on the topic because in business it's a proven fact that giving out raises only produces a short term boost to employee satisfaction. So here's some links to inspiring words about how to be more demonstrative in your appreciation. One last thing on the topic though, from my own experience...make a habit of spending about 10 minutes right before bed, forgiving everyone for disappointing you during the day, and then spend a few minutes being grateful for everything you can think of. You will sleep better and you will experience a sense of freedom all the next morning.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The deep end of the pool

I was reading a post by my friend Sam today, which reminded me of a story my friend William once told me. William's story come from his childhood in El Cajon, CA. Around age 6 he'd still not learned to swim, and while hanging with some older kids they decided to teach him how to swim. As older boys will, they tossed him into the deep end of the pool and didn't let him out till he drowned his way to the other side. William can relate the story with a smile now, but I can tell he was terrified at the time. Together with the story Sam tells, about his father teaching him to sale and one day telling him to take the boat out alone I started thinking about the trial by fire experiences in my own life. We don't have a lot of rite of passage experiences built into our culture, which causes a lot of men to feel like they never really grew up. In fact most of the women I know would agree that the men in their lives lack some of the confidence they felt from their own fathers. I'm pretty quick to point fingers at the poorly implemented feminism that has sent negative messages about the masculine in the name of fighting for a better view of the feminine. But a ton of the blame goes to our lack of initiation in our culture. I just watched a video the other day, that quoted statistics about sperm counts in men born in the 1940's vs men born in the 1980's. They are detecting an 80% drop in sperm count, with a correlated drop in testosterone. Now there's doubtless several contributing factors including diet, and environmental poisoning, but I think our minds need to remind us that we are men and its ok to be a little more aggressive. In other words, we tell ourselves we lack assertiveness because we are "nice" or "polite" when we actually lack confidence. So what is the difference between Sam's sailing story and William's swimming story? William was shoved into a potentially dangerous situation by near strangers and forced to sink of swim. No preparation. No encouragement. No faith in his abilities. Sam's dad showed him the ropes, and Sam's dad sent him on his solo sailing trip as a sign of his belief that Sam now had what it took. Maybe 10-year-old Sam wasn't ready for everything that might have come his way. Maybe Sam could have used another couple years of practice, but there is a time when a boy must face something he's trained for, but not ready for, which he believe's he can do because the adult male who loves him tells him he can do it. Those are the events in life that help a boy become a man, and we just don't have enough of them in our over-tamed society.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Excuse Eradicators 10

#10 I call, "You are not alone."

10. The Art of Writing by Committee
The President’s Mystery Story by Franklin Roosevelt and seven other novelists
Many American presidents have written books, but only Franklin Roosevelt has contributed to a mystery novel. At a White House dinner in 1935, Roosevelt pitched his story idea to author Fulton Oursler. Roosevelt’s tale started like this: A man named Jim Blake is trapped in a stale marriage and a boring job. He dreams of running off with $5 million and starting over with a new identity.

Unfortunately, the President hadn’t worked out one major plot point: How does a man with $5 million disappear without being traced?

To solve the problem, Oursler formed a committee of five other top mystery writers: Rupert Hughes, Samuel Hopkins Adams, Rita Weiman, S. S. Van Dine, and John Erskine. Each author wrote a chapter and ended it with Jim Blake in a terrible situation, which the next author was left to resolve. Despite being the work of a Washington committee, the end result was surprisingly successful. The President’s Mystery Story was serialized in a magazine, published as a book, and even turned into a movie in 1936.

Yet, the writers never came up with a solution to Roosevelt’s original problem. That didn’t happen until 1967, when Erle Stanley Gardner wrote a final chapter to a new edition of the book. In it, the secret to Jim Blake’s mysterious disappearance is discovered by Gardner’s most famous character, Perry Mason.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Books, Rain, and Coffee

I live in Vancouver, WA. As much as the rain kills me all winter, I enjoy certain features. I'm a fan of good coffee, and we have several locations where such can be found. Perhaps that's a topic worthy of its own blog soon as they've recently conducted a study showing, once again, just how good coffee is for you (in responsible quantities). I've recently discovered Di Tazza and would love to sing its praises, but this blog is about another feature I like about living in Vancouver. Fort Vancouver Regional Library. FVRL is a great library region to be in, with lots of activities. You can now barrow books on your Nook reading device (once you sign up). You can also keep your bar code on your android phone now, in case you don't have your card on you. FVRL is very friendly to Indie writers as well. The Three Creeks Library has an event every Wednesday called Write Here Right Now, where authors may sit and write socially. I recommend signing up for their newsletter or their calendar to keep up with all the happenings. I will be at an event for the Beaverton Library this summer called Speed Date an Author...hmmmn who get's me into all these things. Anyway, I'll post details as they become available but I know this much, it's from 7pm to 8:30pm on August 8th. For enjoy the weather, even if it's too rainy, just sit back with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Third and final installment of ways to save gas mileage...use with caution. Some Extreme Hypermiling Tips Others Use – But... Hardcore enthusiasts really push hypermiling to the edge. Beware; some of their techniques are dangerous and possibly even illegal in some areas. Drafting/Tailgating: Like professional race car drivers, these hypermilers drive up close behind a big vehicle, like a motorhome or big rig, allowing that vehicle to cut the wind for them and reduce their wind resistance. This is dangerous because the distance is so close, you may not have enough time to safely stop. If another driver is doing this behind you, pull over and let them by. Cruising in Neutral or with the Engine Off - In this case, the hypermiler shuts off the engine on big hills and coasts downhill. Others will cut the engines at long traffic lights or unforgiving traffic jams. This can save gas, but may not be safe because power steering and power brakes won't work, giving you less control over your vehicle.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Excuse Eradicators 9

#9 I call, "challenges are blessings"

9. James Joyce’s Deaf Translation Jam
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Read the full text here:
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James Joyce wrote his final novel, Finnegans Wake, during a 17-year period in Paris, finishing the work just two years before his death in 1941. During that time, Joyce was nearly blind, so he dictated his stream-of-consciousness prose to his friend, Samuel Beckett. That led to some unexpected results. For example, during one session, Joyce heard a knock at the door, which was too quiet for Beckett to perceive. Joyce yelled to the visitor, “Come in!” so Beckett added “Come in!” to the manuscript. When Beckett later read the passage back to Joyce, the author decided that he liked it better that way.

After several such sessions, Finnegans Wake became one of the most impenetrable works of English literature. But the experience didn’t just affect Joyce’s novel; it seemed to have a lasting effect on Beckett’s writing, as well. Beckett would go on to become a leading playwright in the Theatre of the Absurd, where his characters often spent their entire time on stage sitting in the middle of nowhere, hoping that someone would hear their voice.

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss!