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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick update: December 2014

Hey everyone. I've been super slammed--which is awesome, but crazy. I'm more swamped than ever and my blogging suffers. (Actually I have been blogging, but for paying clients.)

I wanted to give a quick update:
1. My Spiritual growth has been subtle but good. It's great how God comes through for you when you're busy. I'm making every effort to continue to make time to hang out with God, but it's been really busy. I'm not satisfied.

2. I've been really blessed to have my mom help with childcare, and to have a happy 8 month old baby who sleeps through the night (most of the time). I also have a happy marriage to the most beautiful woman in the world. My next improvement will be to find a way to have family dinners together starting with a couple times a week.

3. I'm happy to report that I'm accomplishing my exercise goals. I wish I could say the same for my diet goals. The net effect is that I'm not losing weight, but I'm not gaining weight either. So if I can make it through the holidays without losing ground I'm prepared to call that a victory, and January is going to be a whole new campaign.

4. I'm still valiantly trying to crank out my scifi 1st draft by the end of the month/year. It's going well, but I'm behind.

5. One of the best things about my new regular writing contract is that I"m using a lot of the things that I went out of my way to learn, purely hoping that I'd get the chance to cash in on it. So take it from me, no matter what a pain in the rear it is, never stop growing your skills. Another nice thing is that I'm gaining some new skills on the job. I normally prefer to bid work for the flexibility it offers. And for the fact that I can increase my pay by working faster/better than the next guy. BUT being in a team environment again reminds me how much I learn from coworker interaction.

6. No update would be complete without mentioning my new gig at Tire Kickers. I love the guys I'm working with and I love working as a writer for start up companies. Tire Kickers stands apart from most of the companies I've worked for. They really count on using great, innovative ideas to achieve goals instead of old boy networks, bullying, marketing brainwashing, etc. It's nice to work for people who aren't jaded.

7. The holidays are pretty much taking up any effort I could expend toward relaxation. I'm going to take as much time off next week as I can, but even if I can't, I'm enjoying work. The only person working harder than me is my wife. We're up at 5 every morning and the other day she didn't sit down until about 45 mins before we had to go to bed. I have put in plenty of 16 hour days before, but I just can't run that hard anymore. We went three weeks without a day off earlier this fall and I'm just sapped.

Well I hope everyone else's life is going awesome. I should find my new groove in the new year. If not I'll have to make it happen somehow.

Bonus for making it to the bottom of the page: Writing contests for the next two months.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Guest post from Bill: I encourage you to read it

Jillian and I and Holding onto Hope Ministries wish you and your family a joyous Holiday Season and best wishes for a blessed New Year. The assurance of living eternally thanks to our Creator coming to this earth to suffer and die then miraculously conquer death is the comfort this season is about. We pray that you experience the joy of knowing Christ.

Holding onto Hope had the opportunity to share with New Life Community Church last October about the lifetime devastation caused by sexual abuse. Jillian and I have been doing this for nearly seven years now and each time we share it encourages those that have never spoken or have not worked on the difficult work of healing to speak out.  (You can view the sermon at New Life by following the link below)  

This month we are beginning a healing program in partnership with New Life. Over a dozen people have connected with Jillian and I since we spoke about the pain they live with everyday. Healing from sexual abuse is a lifelong process.   It is so encouraging for us after a long time to see survivors coming forward to begin healing. We look forward to the new year and the opportunity to walk with many who are hoping for healing and joy.

As the year ends Jillian and I encourage you to consider sharing with your community the great need to shed light on this issue. History has showed us that when the issue is brought to the light, those that are suffering in the silence of shame become empowered to reach out for help and stop the years of silence and begin speaking.   Individuals, communities and families begin to recover joy and even physical comfort from the confusion and pain.   This issue quietly disables every community.   We must have the courage to speak out to keep evil in its place. Speak out this year. We would love to share with your community. 

As the year closes Jillian and I humbly ask you to consider a donation to Holding onto Hope. We have had five residents in our home this past year. Our home serves as the Hope House for the ministry. It requires financial means to house the residents and help them recover and begin healing. We would love to do more, but the financial resources aren't there. Any gift goes directly to the ministry needs and allows us to continue to provide safety for the broken among us. Thanks for considering walking with us.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous and joyful 2015. 

Watch Bill and Jillian speaking at New Life Community Church:
Heal the Wound...But Leave the Scar...

I would like to introduce you to the Hope House newest resident, meet Andrew. Andrew came to the Hope House the beginning of October and we are delighted to have him. Andrew is studying at The Phoenix Art Institute in the Culinary Artsprogram. His goal is to graduate in March of 2015 and begin working as a certified chef. It has been a long time dream and the end is in sight. 

Rather remarkable actually, after you hear a little of Andrew's story. In first grade CPS workers and Military Police came to Andrew's home to remove him and his sister. His parents went through a tumultuous divorce two years earlier. This time Andrew's mother's boyfriend was threatening the children's safety. Child Protective Services split the children up and placed Andrew temporarily in a behavioral center while they arranged for a Foster Home for Andrew. That began a 12 year journey through over thirty foster homes and a dozen different schools for Andrew. In many of the foster homes there was physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. There was neglect and abandonment. At age 17 after his fourth year in the ninth grade, Andrew hit the streets.

Free from the Foster Care system he lived in a tent in the woods cooking on a small grill and roaming the neighborhoods for the next year. When Andrew turned nineteen he was introduced to North Carolina Families United; a non-profit organization that provides recovery and services for the many that are neglected. Andrew then worked as a mentor with NCFU for children that had similar experiences of neglect and abuse. He became a spokesman exposing the dysfunction of the system and a strong advocate for change.   
  In 2011, Andrew testified before the United States Congress along with Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. 
Andrew with Jamie Lee Curtis.
He shared his story on behalf of the many surviving in silence. The work with NCFU inspired Andrew to return to school where instead of just securing a GED, he earned his high schooldiploma in 2009.

In 2012 Andrew came to Arizona with a dream to earn a degree in the Culinary Arts. As you can imagine, one does not recover from a lifetime of abuse and neglect without a lot of time, a lot of thinking, and a lot of pain. Andrew is doing great. Living in a community of grace and kindness as one rebuilds a damaged foundation of life is critical to legitimate heart change. Jillian and I are so proud of Andrew and his courage to stay the course. It's pretty nice to have a chef in the house too.
Pray for Andrew won't you. He has some challenging days ahead. He has some incredible days of joy ahead too. Pray for the vision of the Hope House. For now, the Hope House is a place for the one lost sheep that our Lord asks us to go find and care for. We pray the Lord will lead us to many more.  
The Hope House


 Announcing the Release of Love Goes Both Ways 
            The front door swung open and Jillian shouted, "Hey everyone, come and see what I have." The sound of dropping toys and shuffling feet came from the corners of the house to greet mom in the living room.  Jillian gently set down the basket and stood smiling from ear to ear as the children peeked in. Finally, but looking puzzled, Jaimee looked up at Jillian and said, "It's a baby.  Mom, what are you doing with a baby?  Where is her mother?"
              Jeff jumped in.  "Why is that thing taped to her nose?"
             "She's cute" laughed Julee.
            "I got her at work" mom responded. 
             "They're giving out babies at work?" Jaimee asked.
             "Sort of," Jillian answered.  "There were six there today and the DCFS only allows a house to have five and since it is Friday, one would have to either go back to the hospital or they decided a Registered Nurse caregiver  could bring one home for the weekend.  I thought it would be fun to bring Jeanine home, so I did.   Her smile is absolutely precious."
            "What will dad say" Julee asked smiling. 
             "He'll be fine." Jillian responded. "She is only staying for the weekend.  I will take her back on Monday and most likely DCFS will have a permanent place for her next weekend."
            "So what's the thing in her nose mom" Jeff asked, still wanting to know.
            "It's how we feed her," she answered.
             "You're kidding, right?  What's wrong with a bottle like normal kids?"
             "Well, that's a problem.  She's not a normal kid."
 LOVE GOES BOTH WAYS; Surrendering to the Truth of Dependence is now available.   

Upcoming Events and Prayer Update...

December 7 - Organizational Meeting for Holding onto Hope Groups.  4 pm New Life Community Church

 Call for information: 623-341-5792    

 Prayer Needs  

Formation of Healing Groups

Doors continue to open to the message
Resources Available
 Shattered; One Man's Journey from Sexual Abuse
Bill's life story is captured in this compelling book.  

Make a donation above to the ministry today 
and receive a copy of Shattered. 

What People are Saying About Shattered...

"The first book I ever read cover to cover'"
"Couldn't put it down"
"It's like reading my own story" 
"A work of Hope"

A Guidebook to Healing
It is designed to be a pocket type resource sharing the big picture of abuse recovery.  I believe that recovery is a life-long process.  I believe it requires a close trusted friend to share the walk.  I believe once down the road survivors have a natural desire to assist others in the journey.  The guidebook is neither a fixer, nor self-help manual only our Lord does the repairing.  It is a gift of love from a fellow broken brother and friend.  I am grateful everyday for the people that have walked with me and the faithfulness of our Lord to keep me in His eye.  
Dealing with the initial stages of the healing journey can be difficult.  Order
this book today from Holding on to Hope and begin to answer 
questions and fears about surviving abuse and start
the journey to healing.
Click HERE to order a copy today 
 Cover Page 
What people are saying...

"Finally, a concise healing resource"
"Really helped me begin the process"
"Great first step"
Bill Age 12


Bill at Age 12 when he experienced sexual abuse
Call today and schedule an Awareness event in your community...  

  Subscribe today to Bill's Blog at
Invite Holding on to Hope to your Community 
  • Discipling and  Spiritual Transformation for survivors of sexual abuse 
  • Informative Programs on the Evil of Sexual Abuse in your community
  • Training Programs for Sunday School workers, teachers, youth workers 
Call or e-mail today for information....
"Blessed is the man that perseveres under trial, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."   Jame 1:12 

Friday, November 7, 2014

NIWA Anthology 2014 Releases Today!

About the Anthology:
What does "underground" mean to you?

This anthology from the Northwest Independent Writers Association presents fourteen “underground” stories, each with a different interpretation of the titular theme. In these pages, you will visit a murderer’s hideout, walk the road to the afterlife, plunder a dragon’s lair, uncover a mysterious archaeological artifact, glimpse human existence after an environmental apocalypse, and delve deep into dark secretes, crime syndicates, forbidden worlds, sacrifice, and the human psyche.

Featuring stories by:

Mike Chinakos  •  Amber Michelle Cook  •  Pamela Cowan  •  Jake Elliot  •  
Jonathan Ems  •  T.L. Kleinberg  •  Jason LaPier  •  Maggie Lynch  •  
Roslyn McFarland  •  Cody Newton  •  Dey Rivers  •  Steven L. Shrewsbury  •  
Dale Ivan Smith  •  Laurel Standley  •  Jennifer Willis 

The Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA) 
supports indie and hybrid authors and promotes professional standards 
in independent writing, publishing, and marketing. 
Learn more at

Below is a guest post by fellow Indie Writer/NIWA member Amber Cook. Amber has a story in the upcoming 2014 NIWA anthology, set to release    . The theme this year is Underground and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy. I read through Amber's story, "When Drake Met Thalise" first, and I really enjoyed it. I recommend grabbing a copy of the anthology by following one of the links here:




OR by attending the launch party at Orycon, November 7-9, 2014. That's right folks it starts today! The release party will be Saturday night and you don't need a con badge to enter, but you do need to be over 21 and have ID.


You could say we either love it or we hate it.  And that's often true.

But it's much too complicated a relationship for such a simple dichotomy.  Almost all of us loved fantasy as children.  It's after childhood that we often come to fall into one of the love-hate camps.  

You might have given it up as an adult, or you may have turned against it even as an older young person.  Or you might never give up your love of fantasy.  You might read SF or game or make your living as a film maker or screenwriter.  But eventually it swings around, and even the biggest fantasy haters come to appreciate it again—for their children or grandchildren.  

The odd thing isn't that some people give it up in adulthood, it's how much they come to hate it.  They become fantasy haters.  

But I say those people still subject themselves to as much fantasy as someone who reads fantasy novels.  They are addicted to romantic comedies (pure fantasy), or to pornography (total fantasy), or any number of other socially accepted pass-times that are clearly desperate wish-fulfillment fantasy playing out underneath a false veneer of reality.  And personally, I think that kind of fantasy is actually harmful, or at least dubiously helpful, as it tries so hard to pretend to be reality that people get confused and disillusioned and become deeply dissatisfied because their life doesn't look like the lives in those fictitious fantasies.  No one carries shame because they aren't as bad-assed as Conan the Barbarian, but how many people are emotionally crippled because they don't look like models?

For several years I tried to capture an idea for a short story based on this dynamic of love/hate, in notes and outlines.  Every time I'd work on it, I would come up with ideas for how to turn it into a story, but they never felt right.  That's because the concept behind it is so personal to me.  I want to champion healthy, uplifting, refreshing, empowering and entertaining use of the imagination for people of all ages.

So it sat and languished, a spark of potential always flaring but never catching fire [tiny violins play a wailing pity concerto for me.  Grin].  

A couple years ago there was a writing contest I really wanted to submit to, so I sat down and—finally—was able to write the story.  Partly I think because the contest was max. 2,500 words.  I'd never written anything that short before, fiction that is.  And in some ways it was easier to try and get it out in so few words than when I was imagining a much longer short story, or a screenplay.  There is always power is trimming something down to its bare essentials to really get at the heart, or the meat, as they say, of the matter.  I thought:  2,500 words is five 500 word sections.  With only five short sections to convey the whole story in, I realized I could move the narrative forward in time, rather than explore the characters in more depth at one point in time, and the whole thing worked much better.  I started with the characters as children, advanced to high school, then on to when they are post-college age young adults, and at the twenty year high school reunion time, and ended twenty years after that.  That way the story came full-circle as those then-children, who had all loved fantasy in their play, were now past all the hate and just wanted to see their grandkids having fun. 

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on and experience with their love-hate relationship with fantasy.  

Blog URL:

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Breakfast Controversy

I've essentially been promoting the idea of skipping breakfast in face of the conventional thought that it's the most important meal of the day. Really that's not 100% what I'm saying with intermittent fasting. You don't have to 'skip' breakfast to do it. I'm just saying that when I compress my eating to an eight hour window, I eat less overall and begin to lose weight. It also fits my personal lifestyle, which is an important prerequisite to having success when attempting to make a change. It may not work well with your lifestyle, but it's worth trying before you toss the idea out as crazy.

If you are going to eat breakfast, at whatever time works for you, I recommend not pounding down the carbs like the typical American. The reason we do a breakfast of carbs has a basis in science. As my friend John says, "if you're going to sin, do it in the morning when you've got all day to burn it off." It's true. But I've discovered that my resolve is greatest in the morning and if I let myself go in the morning the whole day will snowball until it's derailed. (Hows that for a mixed metaphor).

Bottom line. Eat more protean for breakfast. Here's some recipes to help out. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happiness, yes happiness!

I had a different post in mind for today but I decided to go with this one and percolate on that one some more. From Dr. Mercola again.

14 Ways to Become Happier

In many ways happiness is a choice, and you can create it by following a certain routine. In fact, happy people tend to follow similar habits that set them apart from their sad and stressed-out peers. If you'd like to join them, read on. These are the top tips positive psychologists have to offer to, as TIME put it, "infuse your days with more pleasure."4
1. Make Happiness Your Goal
It's thought that genetics account for about 50 percent of your "innate" happiness while life circumstances make up another 10. The rest is under your control, and the first step to harnessing it is to choose it and believe you can be happy.
Research shows, for instance, that when people were told to attempt to feel happier when listing to music, they were (as opposed to those who were told to simply relax).5 It was the intention to become happier that made a difference.
2. Know What Makes You Happy
If it's been awhile since you've felt truly happy (that carefree joyous state you probably had as a child), you may have forgotten what it is that gets you there. Take time to reflect on what gives you joy (and not just the "obvious," like your family, but also little things, hobbies, and interests).
3. Prioritize Happiness
If you have an hour free, do you spend it doing something fun? Or do you spend it catching up on housework, tackling an extra work project, or otherwise working? The latter is a "minor form of insanity," according to happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD.6
And it certainly won't help you get happier. To break free of this trap, make a point to schedule your weeks around events (or ordinary activities) that make you feel truly happy and alive.
4. Savor the Pleasant Moments
People who take the time to savor pleasant moments report higher levels of happiness, regardless of where the day takes them.7 If you don't already do this, keeping a daily diary of pleasant moments and whether or not you truly savored them, might help.
You might be surprised at how much happiness is to be had in your everyday life. Try appreciating the scent of your coffee, relishing in the feeling of your soft bed, or enjoying the sunrise before you start your day.
5. Protect Your Time
There's only so much time in a day, so be sure to protect your attention and time from unnecessary and unproductive distractions. This includes texts, tweets, and emails, which take you away from the true pleasures in life. If necessary, turn off social media completely.
Research suggests that the more time people spend on Facebook, the more their moment-to-moment happiness declines and the less satisfied with life they become.8
6. Think Happy Thoughts
Simply thinking about a positive event, and smiling as a result, can make you happier and more upbeat (more so than simply fake smiling). A genuine smile includes the facial muscles around your eyes, and can actually prompt brain changes linked to increased mood.
7. Spend Money on Experiences, Not 'Things'
Research suggests experiences make us happier than possessions; the "newness" of possessions wears off, as does the joy they bring you, but experiences improve your sense of vitality and "being alive" both during the experience and when you reflect back on it. However, experiences won't make you happy either if you're only doing them for bragging rights… and not because you really want to.
8. Be Playful with Your Significant Other
If your relationship with your significant other has become all about "business," it's a sign that you need to lighten up and add some fun back in. This can be as simple as sending your spouse a playful text, cooking a new recipe together, or enjoying a romantic bubble bath.
9. Have a Back-Up Plan for Bad Days
When you're having a bad day and your mood is sinking, have a plan in place to lift it back up. This could be calling a close friend, watching a comedy, or going out for a jog – you know what works best for you.
10. Find Your Sense of Purpose
Happiness isn't only about pleasure; it's also about having a sense of purpose. The term "eudaimonic well-being" originated with Aristotle, and describes the form of happiness that comes from activities that bring you a greater sense of purpose, life meaning, or self-actualization. This could be your career or it could be gleaned from volunteering or even taking a cooking class.
11. Socialize, Even with Strangers
Having meaningful social relationships is important for happiness, but even people who engage in "social snacking" report greater happiness. Social snacking describes the little ways you connect with others, including strangers, on a daily basis. In general, the more you mingle and chat with the people around you, the more cheerful and brighter your mood is likely to be.
12. Get Away
Taking time away from the daily grind is important for helping you recharge. And while even a weekend getaway can give you a boost, a longer trip is better to help you create meaningful memories. These memories can be tapped into later to help boost your happiness. Experts recommend a two-week vacation, ideally, even if it's to a locale close to home.
13. Do Acts of Kindness
When people make a point to conduct three to five acts of kindness a week, something magical happens… they become happier. Simple kind acts – a compliment, letting someone ahead of you in line, etc. – are contagious and tend to make all of those involved feel good.
14. Plan Your 'Sunday Funday'
Plan your day off a week in advance to maximize the pleasure it brings you. Experts suggest incorporating PEP – or, physical, escape, and people – for best results. This means, try to do something physical, something that allows you to escape and relax and something that gets you involved with others whose company you enjoy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy October! Personal Journal Update

There's so much going on in the Bunch family from one week to the next. I'm always learning, researching, etc. it's really hard to keep up with the blog. Sorry if my percentage of original posts has dropped off this season. To make up for all that I'm going to give you a fast personal update.

When last I gave a complete rundown I was concentrating on the following major value categories in life--Spiritual growth, physical health, fiction writing & freelance writing/editing, organizing, relationships, adventure, entertainment/relaxation.

On the organizational front I had created and repeatedly adjusted a project hopper to manage all this and track plans for the future of each category. On the relationship front I'd decided to marry the woman of my dreams and adventure front I was trying to recover from the implications of that (I wouldn't be putting out 4 books and touring the country in my 5th wheel to sign and sell. Instead, on the writing front I meant to put out 3 books to at least build my catalog even if it cost me time to market. I didn't and generally don't discuss my spiritual goals much beyond the post I do to encourage people to see outside the religious box they may have grown up in. On the health front I detailed my efforts to create a health regimen that would work for me, starting with a diet that worked and I could stand to do. I lost 40lbs on the virgin diet, and gained 20 of it back on the stress and no sleep, baby in a NIC U diet.

Update: I've redone my value categories, branding, plans etc in response to the radical life change of being married with a baby. So the update below is laid out by the new categories and order of things.

1. Spiritual Health: The major theme of 2015 will be DAwG days. I have scheduled one day a month to spend at least half a day on a personal retreat (Day Alone w God). My wife and I will head to the coast monthly and trade off childcare so that the other can get some quality time with God. I also have been doing daily time with God each morning, which is huge and will continue.

2. Relationship (family & friends): I've got some date night activities and surprises planned for my wife. With my friends, I've been getting together for prayer call twice a week and keeping up with my buds more intentionally, and I intend to keep that up. My wife and I have also been able to get together with friends for card games on Saturday evenings, which has been a huge blessing. I'm happy with these changes and plan to keep them up for 2015.

3. Physical health: after being plateaued at 320 lbs for 3 months, during which I was actively working out and dieting, it finally broke and I started dropping weight again. The two biggest factors I credit in this aren't directly diet or exercise related. I work out every day and watch what I eat, but I was doing that the hole time my weight wouldn't budge. So here's the secret. I started journaling everything I ate, my blood pressure, weight, and all my exercise. I was shocked the impact that had on things. It's a pain in the ASS, but it seems to work. The other thing I did is called intermittent fasting. You can either reduce your calories by 2/3rd 3 days a week, or you can skip breakfast and eat only within an 8 hour window each day. I skip breakfast. My 2015 plan includes changing my workout to a High Intensity Interval Training plan. Basically it's working hard for a 30 second burst and then taking 90 second off, for 3 to 5 repetitions. That's the plan, although I suspect I'll have to bite the bullet at some point (January???) and eliminate dairy and glutton again if I want to get below 300 lbs.

4. Write/edit/publish (Fiction): Publishing only 1 book in 2014 has been devastating. I've got great things to report in most of these categories, and I'm stoked about my 2015 goals and the detailed plans I've got to make them happen, BUT this one category took a major hit in 2014 and will again. When I revised my project hopper to make it more practical given my new circumstances, my two year plan became a six or more year plan. Still there is a silver lining--between now and Christmas I plan to draft the last half of a sci-fi novel for an awesome multi-author project I'm honored to be a part of, and I will revise my mystery novel. 2015 will see both those books published early on. After which I'll complete the sequel to Suffering Rancor for publication just ahead of Christmas 2015.

5. Self Improvement (Organization/Learning): Organization amounts to a series of specific projects, not really a major goal. Things like making my home office more than just a place I store stuff. There's many areas I'd like to learn new skills, but with my limited time I've decided to focus on perfecting my writing for the rest of 2014, and will begin focusing on finances in 2015. I also have plans for learning everything there is to know about marketing in the next 14 months. I'll let you know how that goes. Seriously, I'll do a series of blogs on the topic or perhaps a newsletter devoted to that project.

6. Adventure (Gig/Income/Marketing/Promotion): This is a big category and probably doesn't fit together in anyone else's mind. I view my life as an adventure and since writing is my career passion I have to view the other things I do for $ as challenges any hero must face. Bilbo didn't leave the shire to find a simple life where he could be well fed and safe. Into every life pain will come no matter what. Our choice, and we make it every day, is whether to sit at home and wait for it or go out and meet it according to our hearts.

All is not suffering though. I have a vision for the future of my freelance editing business, Tale Scribe. I have a fledgling plan to get me there, too, and I'll share more on this specific topic in upcoming posts.

7. Rest: Yes I have to plan my rest. If you wonder why, you must not have read the paragraphs above. Given my new priorities/schedule I'm in bed every night by 8 pm to read a book for fun and catch up with my wife. And I'm generally asleep by 9 pm. This is the single most radical shift in my life. I'm a night owl for over 30 years. I simply don't have a choice in the matter and I've grown to love it. My gay goes better for getting that wind down time, especially with my wife. We get on the same page. We're both up by 5 am, my wife to rush out to her day job and me to worship and then tend to our baby girl. It's exhausting but I'm very blessed and very happy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Local Politics: Charter

If you've driven around Clark County, WA. lately you've probably seen some signs about the charter and wondered what they heck is going on. I'll try to be brief because it's important that you understand this.

Awhile back I spent some time attempting to read up on the move to make Clark County a charter county. There's several charter counties in Washington already, it's a way to run a county more like a business (president and staff with a board, etc.) as opposed to the county commissioner way it runs now. Obviously the structure could be an improvement and many of the folks who are ready for a change wanted to help streamline how things are run (and save money).

The idea arose during the CRC boondoggle and proponents on both sides jumped into the fight over the charter. My support for the charter concept has been in reserve until I could get a clear notion about which side would prevail in designing the exact charter being put up for Clark County. The dust is settling and the election is around the corner--so it's time to level my opinion and sate your curiosity about the charter signs.

The factions that were promoting the Columbia River Crossing (the people who went $100 million over budget on just the environmental impact statement and failed to find a solution that didn't beggar Clark County to enrich Portland and bailout TriMet) have influenced the charter to restore themselves to the power they had before people stopped the bridge.

Here's some links to do your own research if you so desire:
I know the traffic is awful. My wife has to sit in it everyday. It's a nightmare. Most of the $100 million over budget went to one contractor. I believe some of it was funneled into the Obama Presidential Campaign. Vancouver would have lost millions in tax revenue from impacted businesses and there were multiple solutions to the problem that weren't even considered despite being cheaper, faster and less impacting on the people and wildlife involved. Those bridge solutions wouldn't include enough money to build TriMet new headquarters and put a toll on county residents so they weren't considered.

Those people should never be allowed back into power. We barely missed being in the middle of a disaster at their hands.