The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

Good News and Bad News

I have some good news and some bad news about the sequel to The Union Creek Journal.

First, the good news … I have been making progress on the sequel.  I have the outline and several chapters done.

Now, for the bad news … progress is much slower than I had hoped. Due to a number of professional commitments I haven’t been able to spend the time on The Journal’s sequel that I wanted. Obviously, I’ve already missed a couple target dates. I know there are a lot of folks out there who have been waiting very patiently for the sequel to be released. Please accept my apology for the delay and rest assured that I will continue to chip away at the sequel as time allows. Unfortunately, until writing actually pays the bills it has to take a back seat to that which does.

Destined to Repeat?

Recently, I posted a line from the movie Cool Hand Luke on my Facebook page.  The line, spoken by the Captain after knocking Luke down a hill for speaking disrespectfully to him, is, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.”

Some men you just can't reach.

Some men you just can’t reach.


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The Union Creek Journal is Now Available for Nook!

Just in time to load up that new Nook that you got for Christmas … The Union Creek Journal is now available through Barnes & Noble for Nook readers.  For just $6.99, you can now take The Union Creek Journal with you where ever you go.

Click here to navigate to the purchase page on the Barnes & Noble website.

Don’t forget, you can also get The Union Creek Journal for Kindle and as a PDF to print or read on your PC.

Ring in the New Year with a great book!

Arguing with Idiots

I’m sure many of my readers have been party to in-person or online arguments about “gun control” over the last few days.  To the extent possible, I’ve tried to avoid being sucked in to arguments with the idiots who want to sacrifice the Second Amendment on the alter of “doing something” about the tragedy in Newtown, CT – even if the something being done has proven to have no positive effect on accomplishing the goal we all share.

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t want to eradicate mass murder from our society.  On that, everyone (except the mass murderers) can agree.  Unfortunately, the shared vision divides sharply shortly after everyone agrees that we would like to stop mass murder.  For a number of reasons, a segment of our society believes that banning “assault” weapons – or all guns – will somehow magically keep criminals from … being criminals.  This is not Utopia.  Weapons bans do not contain fairy dust to sprinkle over the populous eradicating undesirable behavior.  If anything, weapons bans do the exact opposite.

Allow me to share the work of another writer that addresses, far better than I could, the logical fallacies and statistical inaccuracies at work in the minds of the hoplophobes and gun-haters who want to eviscerate the Bill of Rights:

An Opinion on Gun Control by Larry Correia

It’s a lengthy piece, but well worth the read.  Pass it on!

Mourning the Loss of Innocents – A History Lesson on Mass Shootings

As we pause to remember the victims of the Newtown, CT shooting and pray for those left behind, let us also pause for a brief history lesson related to mass gun violence and the failure of legislative and regulatory attempts to stop it.

First, as painful as each and every mass shooting is (The FBI defines mass murder as ‘murdering a large number of people [four or more], typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time’), mass shootings are relatively rare in the United States. Over the past three decades, the U.S. has experienced 62 mass murders where the primary weapon was a firearm. Even one shooting is one too many, but in terms of real frequency, the occurrence of mass shootings is quite low.

Since the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1990, the preponderance of mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones. Grade Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Universities, Government Buildings and private buildings with “no guns” signs posted …. These are the havens of mass murderers. Of the 54 mass shootings since the Gun-Free Schools Act passed in 1990, 21 were in schools, government buildings, places of worship or other buildings legislatively designated as gun-free zones. Most of the other shootings were in private locations posted as “gun-free” (e.g. Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE, the theater in Aurora, CO ) or in states (e.g. Illinois and California) with extensive and prohibitive gun ban legislation.

Finally, “assault weapons” bans (and gun bans, in general) don’t work, period. Two key pieces of evidence demonstrate this. First, weapons labeled as “assault weapons” are rarely used in mass shootings. In more than 60% of mass shootings, the firearm was a semi-automatic handgun that did not qualify as an “assault weapon” as defined by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Second, the period from 1994 – 2004, while the ban was in effect, was just as violent, in terms of mass shootings, as were the periods from 1982 – 1994 and 2004 – 2012. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Research Council (NRC) studied the Assault Weapons Ban and other gun control legislation and determined that neither had any real or discernible impact on gun violence.

As we reflect on the loss related to the shooting in Connecticut, my hope is that any discussion of limiting the rights of law-abiding citizens will be met with calm and logic based upon the facts above. Banning guns is not the answer. As a country, we’ve tried it without success. The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we want different results. If we want to reduce the number of mass murders, or eliminate them altogether, we must look more deeply into our country’s social fabric. We must ask “why” over and over again until we reach the root of the matter. I have some thoughts on the subject – perhaps I’ll discuss them in another post. The solution won’t involve knee-jerk, quick fix legislation. The solution will take time, perhaps decades, and will be painful in and of itself. True change never comes easily.

Day 1, 0414 Hours: Madness

They say you can survive three days without water. Whoever “they” are … they probably never tried. I’m on day number two without water. My tongue is swollen. It feels like I have a dry sponge in my mouth. My head is pounding like the bass drum in a marching band. Every muscle in my body threatens to betray me with each passing step. I can barely stand. My forward progress, with the weight of my pack and weapons, could be measured in inches. Yet, I have miles to go.

I don’t dare think of the total number. It’s too large. Instead, I must focus on each step. “Just one more; just one more,” I keep repeating to myself.

Surely, if someone observed me over the last twenty hours or so, they would think I was crazy.

There are plenty of those these days – crazy people, I mean. No shortage whatsoever. Millions have been driven to madness. Millions more have died in the last few months – died of starvation; died of exposure; died of dehydration, as I may shortly; died … of madness. A fog has settled over our country and driven the population to the brink … the brink of insanity, the brink of extinction.

I’m close myself – close to madness. That’s why I’m writing this. I’m hoping that writing down my thoughts will keep me sane. I knew someone, what seems like a long time ago, who did the same thing. He kept a journal of his thoughts and actions. He tried to fight the insanity that reached out for each of us. Some, it beckoned with a siren’s song. Some, it grasped with dirty-nailed fingers and hands covered in blood, dirt and grease. Others, the madness led like a pied piper over a cliff into a sea of irrational thoughts and actions.

I need to get moving again. My body and my brain have locked arms in protest. They’re singing kumbaya and refusing to get up. Where are the stinking riot police when you need them? I need some jack-booted thugs with water canons and batons to break up the protest and get my lazy mind and body moving again.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Put down the pencil and pick up the pack. Do it, you weakling. Move!


If you liked this excerpt from the sequel to The Union Creek Journal, and you haven’t read The Journal yet, you can purchase it for your Kindle reader or in PDF format.



Storm’s a-Brewin’

I’m pretty sure I can see storm clouds on the horizon.  Hopefully, I’ll the have sequel to The Journal finished before the storm hits.  In the meantime, stay tuned for a sample chapter from the sequel next week.

Keep your head down and your eyes on the horizon.

PDF Version of The Journal Now Available

The PDF version of The Journal is now available for download.

If you would like to be able to carry a copy of The Journal with you and read it offline, you can now purchase The Journal as a PDF in addition to being able to download it from Amazon for Kindle.  To request a PDF copy of The Journal, simply go to the Journal PDF Request page and complete the form.  Once your request is received, you will receive an e-mail PayPal invoice for $6.99.  Once you’ve paid the invoice, you will receive a second e-mail with a link that will allow you to download The Journal as a PDF.

Please do not distribute the PDF as the work is copyrighted.

Thanks and enjoy!


Entire Union Creek Journal Now Available for Kindle

Finally!  It’s here.  The entire Union Creek Journal is available for your Kindle – all 520 pages!  Just click on the link below.

The Union Creek Journal on Amazon for Kindle

The Union Creek Journal – Now Available in Its Entirety for Kindle

I know there were a couple complaints from people who bought the monthly groupings of journal entries for $0.99 on Amazon.  Most of those complaints were about how short the entries were and that it cost them nearly a dollar to read 15-20 minutes of entries.

As most of you know, I really only made the groupings of monthly entries available because of requests from readers of this blog who wanted to be able to read The Journal while they were disconnected from the Web.  I had to charge something because Amazon charged me $0.65 per purchase.  If you were upset about me making $0.35 per monthly entry, I apologize.  I can assure you that I didn’t get rich off of your hard-earned dollars.

Anyway … that ugliness is behind us now (I hope) and (I also hope) we’re ready to move forward.  My next step will be to make The Journal available for the Nook and as a PDF for those that don’t want to purchase from Amazon or don’t have a Kindle reader.

Stay tuned and enjoy!


P.S. The sequel is coming along.  Look for a sample entry to be posted soon.

2012 LDS Preparedness Manual

Although The Union Creek Journal’s final entry has been posted and I’m working on the sequel, from time to time I’ll still post items that I think may be of interest to my readership here on the UCJ blog.

One of those items is the LDS Preparedness Manual.  The new 2012 version is out and available for free download.  WARNING: You must provide an e-mail address to access the free version of the manual.  However, I gave them my e-mail address some time ago and the only e-mails I have received have been notifications of new versions of the manual being available.

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