Monday, May 31, 2010

first born

Prajna told me she was three and a half weeks pregnant about a month after our wedding. That evening we ran into a friend with a new son and she asked us if we were going to have kids. Prajna and I paused.
“Yeah,” I said. “We’re going to litter the world with them.”
The folks at my work were happy for me. “Kids are great,” said Uncle Cliffy and went on to tell me about his son crapping all over his bare belly.
When Prajna was obviously showing, I loved walking through the mall with her. I strutted with the attitude of ‘hey see what I did?’
We drove to Maui Memorial Hospital on the evening of October 9th. He was born around 7 the next morning. We didn’t know that he was a boy until he popped out. Suddenly “The Baby” was My Son. I drove home later that day saying out loud: I have a son!
As I write this he is strumming his guitar in his room. He taught himself to play. He’ll be 17 in four months, ten days. His first name is actually David and his middle name is Harrison.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Faux Children

I am a father of six. I usually tell folks that I’m a father of five just to avoid saying that I lost a daughter to cancer in 2002.
I didn’t know very much about parenting and children when I became a dad. And I didn’t really start to grow as a dad until I had our second child. Naomi was so different from Harrison and I realized a solid law of the universe: kids are different.
Harrison was a fussy newborn but then settled down to a kid who could be left alone to amuse himself looking at his toys and babbling. Naomi hated being left alone and cried in the church nursery.
Benjamin cried a lot too but was a great eater and pretty easygoing. Sarah was mellow and friendly. Jamie was probably the easiest of them all. Then Nathaniel came along and was the neediest of all.
As the kids grow they change. But underlying personality remains. Harrison is passionate about music and magic taking care of young children. Benjamin is still something of a follower and goes with the flow. Sarah is artistic and loves to write and draw. Jamie loves to please people. Nathaniel is an organizer.
The Faux children.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I was computer literate before most people. My buddy Danny and I would co into Sears and put the Commodore 64 computers into infinite loops. I was a member of a BBS in the 1989 and 1990 before the internet really existed. Because I was on a BBS I needed a handle. I was Dragonfox.
Dragonfox suggested a fantasy mixing with my reality. Cleverness and mystery mixed with power and nobility. Chat friends loved it.
I joined up with other message boards and I liked names that alluded to activity. I had used flaredodger before. But I created my favorite handle when I joined the Straight Dope Message Board I picked out a new name. I was Roadwalker.
Roadwalker could mean walking the straight and narrow. It meant traveler. It meant someone who takes their time and does not run.
I had more fun when I started making movies with Windows Movie Maker and created a film label called Roadwalker Media. ®
Now my blog is called Roadwalker. I was stoked when Blogger had the name available.
All this stuff I have created has no substance. It’s all electronic data and cyber-space.
I have had a part in if not creating at least shaping the lives of my kids. It’s about time I write about them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I started out as the new kid in third grade after moving to Hawaii. For the next few years I didn’t really have friends. I would usually befriend a new kid, be friends with them awhile and then they would leave again or move on to other friends.
In sixth grade I finally had friends that I was able to keep. And then in the seventh grade another new kid showed up. He had come from another part of the state but before that he was from Australia. Alan’s accent intrigued our peers. Teacher’s liked his manners and musical talent.
Our friendship went through several rocky points over the years. We had our disagreements. But we were always back being there for each other. And that was the most important thing. We were there for each other when we needed a friend.
Alan left for Australia shortly after we graduated high school. We lost touch until a year or so ago and we’re on FB.
The last note he wrote me was in our senor yearbook. He wrote ‘Thanks for showing me what friendship is.’

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

be cool stay in school.. or quit

I did go back to school in 2002. I was teaching school at a group placement facility. The students were boys from around the state who were mostly juvenile offenders. I loved teaching and thought myself an outstanding teacher. What I did not have was a valid California Teaching Credential. So I went back to school to get it.
I went to National University in San Bernardino and took night classes. During this time my daughter, Naomi was in and out of the hospital with her cancer treatments and side effects. So one night after class I stopped at Loma Linda University Medical Center to say goodnight to her. When I go to her room she had already gone to sleep. I sat with her for a few minutes then kissed her goodnight and went home. But that night stuck with me. I couldn’t stand being in school any more whether Naomi was home or not.
I faltered and failed my next class, owed money to the school, didn’t get my transcript submitted and lost my teaching job. The fact that I had no one to blame but myself only made me feel more like a failure. I made a half-hearted attempt to go back to school a few years ago but gave up. As vaguely as I see my future, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to school.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Most days when I visit this site there have been no hits anyway. But it’s okay. I enjoy talking to myself. I have written a lot so far to explain who I am by recounting my past. Just like my novella Icarus, I feel the need to write a lot of back-story.
One of my major character flaws however is that I tend to live in the past. More than that, I am never mindful of the future. I do very well in the moment. But I have a mentality like I’m driving through thick fog and my foglights only shine directly in front of me. I can’t worry about the bend in the road because it isn’t here yet. I may be too busy gazing in my mirror reminiscing about how much nicer the road was just a bit back.
I wrote a novella, now what? No plans. I have a great job with great co-workers, but not a lot of room for advancement. Get a more challenging job in the future? The future? Where is that?
Go back to school? That is another back-story.

Monday, May 24, 2010

toasted bagels with butter

Prajna overheard me tell the emergency room personnel that she was my fiancée. I had never called her that until the day of her car accident and it just came naturally. She was laid up in Maui Memorial Hospital for two weeks whit her broken femur. I visited her every day.
Prajna lost her job at Maui Bagel and I was able to help support her financially. When she asked how her can was I had the heartbreaking job of telling her it would never drive again. Months later I helped her get a Toyota Corona. We ended up driving that car on our honeymoon and to the hospital when our fist child was born.
I don’t think that Prajna was ever in any life-threatening danger in the emergency room. The doctor who came and told us that there could be bone fragments in her blood was just baffled at Prajna’s delirious reaction to the meds. She was asking folks if they wanted cream cheese on their bagels.
But my life was save that night. I wrote about it in the previous entry. This entry just tied up loose ends.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I spent that Thursday night in the emergency room after Prajna’s car accident. It was 1991. Prajna had been driving ahead of me when a drunk driver crossed the center line and collided with her car. She was transported to Maui Memorial Hospital with a broken femur and some bruises and lacerations.
The doctor came out of the treatment area and spoke to Prajna’s family and me. He said that there may be bone fragments in her blood and we might lose her.
I walked outside and smoked my first cigarette in months. I saw myself becoming the dark poet on the long black coat. I had stopped being the brooding loner in the months since I met Prajna. Now I felt I was at a crossroad. One side led to the scowling man of pain and loss not unlike my idol Mad Max. The other side was unclear. All I knew was that it was different than who I had been or ever wanted to be.
But I prayed for Prajna to be well. And she lived. And so do I.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prajna's car accident

On Thursday May 21st 1992 Prajna and I left in separate vehicles for the final rehearsal of The Maui Murders. Prajna was just minutes ahead of me and out of sight. As I came up to a curve leading down in to Maliko gulch, a driver was waving his hands to slow traffic down. As soon as I rounded the curve I saw Prajna’s car against the guardrail with another car facing the same way. I drove around the wreckage and looked into the driver’s window of her car. She saw me and called out to me.
She was alive. As clear as every memory is of this, I don’t remember parking my car or going to her. I just remember next being by Prajna’s side. She had a cut on her forehead from her broken sunglasses. She told me that the other car had crossed the center line.
Prajna’s Toyota Tercell was totaled. The other car was a large BMW. Its hood was on the road with hot coolant. Prajna and I talked more. She thought her leg was broken.
Police and fire department arrived. The firemen pulled the driver’s door open and got Prajna out and onto a stretcher.
Talking later to a fireman he said her hadn’t heard screaming like that since Vietnam.
I followed the ambulance to Maui Memorial Hospital and spent most of the evening in the emergency room. Prajna’s mom and brother got there soon after I called them.
The other driver was intoxicated. She suffered a busted lip from her steering wheel and had to listen to Prajna while medical personnel put pins in her left leg.
Prajna was in the hospital for two weeks. She still had a metal rod in her leg and scars from the accident.
That night I told the ER people Prajna was my fiancé to be able to get in to see her. But it was more than that that was the turning point in our relationship.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I started with the idea for an automated type of fighting spaceship. I speculated that in the future no pilot would have to sit in a real cockpit and take life threatening risks. I imagined what a remote control might be like. I got to wondering what if the pilot could be mentally connected to his ship and fly it using his mind. Then I wondered what it might be like if the pilot’s ship was destroyed or worse, lost.
Then the idea for my Icarus story began to develop. I imagined a burned out ex-pilot walking around streets of a dystopian city. He would recognize other ex-pilots and turn away in disgust and embarrassment.
As the story came together for me I created a time not to much in the future where an ex-pilot meets up with an old wingman and his past life catches up with him. He is given the opportunity to go find his lost fighter ship. But he had sunk into such a paranoid state that he can barely function.
That is pretty much what my novel is about. It’s just over 50,000 words and I have only titled it Icaurs so far.
Looking back at it I am proud for accampishing a real novella. But I also look at it and see all the work it needs. I’ve got a lot of narrative back-story that clutters it up. There are some loose areas that need tightening. Maybe I will. It felt good just to write it. What happens now to it doesn’t matter much.
That sounds like a bad attitude. I’m just not sure where to go now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

god from the machine

I actually wrote down my occupation as writer once. This was in 1995 on a questionnaire for my high school reunion. I was a van driver at the time.
I started wrote short stories for assignments in elementary school and began stories in notebooks through intermediate school. Around 8th or 9th grade I completed a short science fiction story. It was about nine pages on notebook paper and had two spacemen flying to a hostile star system and successfully rescuing a passenger spaceship. I took a lot of liberties to insure my guys got the spaceship safely away and deus ex machina for them to get away from the bad guys.
I started several more stories over the next couple of years. Then my friend Danny Wilson gave me an idea for a science fiction story. I wrote and rewrote this until I had a completed 67 handwritten page story.
Character development was threadbare. The story was predictable. And the ending relied on deus ex machina for escape from the bad guys again. But I was proud of it and my friends liked it.
I wrote more stuff in college. Some stuff better, but not completed. I wrote a lot of abysmal poetry that is safely all in a composition book hidden away.
I’ve written a children’s story and started lots and lots more things that sit idly by like animate objects in search of a simile.
I have another completed story now. I’ll write about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I married my wife in 1993. Her name is Prajna. I always get a kick out of people staring at her and repeating her name slowly. The name is from the Sanskrit language that translates as ‘The peace that comes with wisdom’.
Prajna was away in the Air National Guard when I moved back to Maui after college. Her mom gave me a thumbs up when I blasted Jimi Hendrix over the sound system at the community theatre for a sound check.
Prajna participated in the Youth theatre’s annual dance concert later that summer and also helped out technically. When she showed up wearing BDU’s I was stunned that anyone could look so pretty in military fatigues.
Over the next few months we went to movies, she helped me move, I cooked her supper (Kraft ® macaroni and cheese) and we talked on the phone a lot. She helped me quit smoking and got me going to her Pentecostal church.
I don’t want to keep blogging for years and just refer to her as ‘my wife’ or “my better half’. Her name is Prajna and I thank God every day for her.

Monday, May 17, 2010

homeschool dad

I was a schoolteacher in Budapest, Hungary from 1996 to 1998. After that I was a substitute teacher on Maui for a year and a half and later on I taught at a juvenile placement facility for three years.
None of that was like homeschooling. The closest it feels is when a student might have had trouble and I was able to stand or sit by their desk for as long as possible and coach, guide, encourage, teach.
Through my years of teaching of course I had favorite students. But I didn’t see any of them born, clean skinned knees, nap with, or discipline in a corporal way.
I must admit I love the five kids I have now more than any student I ever taught. I’m their dad. It’s what I do. So I teach math out of love. I force spelling on a weeping 12 year old with a heavy heart because MS word is correcting this document for me as I write it and yes what good is it anyway?
Yes I have reminded him of job applications, order forms for airplane parts and the like.
I take delight along with the young ones as their printing improves. I shine with pride when my daughter shows me the story she’s writing.
I will blog more about the family over the weeks.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

KNUI Radio

I had a KNUI dream last night. Dreams where I am back at the radio station are the only recurring dreams I have. Usually it is night and the reels are running out and there is dead air. Last night I thought to myself ‘wow I’m always dreaming this.’
When graduated college in 1990 with a degree in Communication I went on to deliver Pizzas for half a year before moving back to Maui. After recording a public service announcement for The Baldwin Theatre Guild at KNUI radio I asked for a job. A week later I was doing weekends. Saturday afternoon I played Dick Bartley’s show over the satellite feed. The FM was automated and the AM joined up with the FM at 7 pm.
Sunday morning I played The Real Don Steele’s ‘Live from the Sixties’. It was on LP records. In the afternoon I played Dick Clark’s ‘Rock Roll and Remember’.
I started nights in April of 1991. I worked from 11 pm to 7 am. Most of the time the station was automated and I produced music reels, recorded commercials and set things up for the morning show.
The job was fun and exciting. I turned translucently pale from lack of sunshine. I barely slept weekends. I did the morning show once in a while and hearing my voice doing a commercial on the radio never got old.
I got married in 1993 and then had a son the same year. The hours got difficult. When a day shift opened up the radio station didn’t let me into it. I was right for my position. I was reliable for the graveyard shift and was a good producer. They felt I was best suited to nights and not being on the air in the days.
It was time to go.
My next job as an airport shuttle van driver paid more and was pretty fun too. It lacked the excitement and fleeting glory of coffeepot radio though. Another day I may blog about emergencies, The Eddie Sales Variety Show, strange phone calls and more.
It was a fun chunk of my young life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

nem tudom

When my sister or I asked a foolish ‘why’ question to my dad he may have replied: “Why don’t chickens pee?”
Years later my wife and I spent two years in Budapest Hungary. When my sister visited we took her to one of our favorite Hungarian restaurants. My then 4 year old son asked a ‘why’ question and my sister answered: “Why don’t chickens pee?”
“What?” my wife asked. I didn’t want my son to learn this phrase so I did what my wife and I always did when we didn’t want the kids to know what we were saying. I Switched to Hungarian and said:
“Miért nem csirké pisi?”
My wife blinked in surprise and then I noticed something. The tables around us had suddenly gone silent. I had just said this Hungarian phrase surrounded by Hungarians. Maybe they thought I was telling a joke or maybe they just thought I WAS curious, but everyone around me waited for an answer.
We finished our meal and the conversation started up again. I hope the perplexing question didn’t keep anyone up at night wondering.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the blue lion

I don’t know how much truth there is behind the saying that a child will perceive God the way they saw their father.
I remember as a young kid having a dream about a blue lion morphing out of a rocky cliff face and calling out ‘daddy!’ I thought he could come and beat it up. I never saw my dad hit anyone. I woke up and he was there. I had another dream once where a line of cars was streaming into our carport and I couldn’t get home. Then the scene jumped ahead and my dad was there surveying the carport and saying that it would be alright now.
I think that back then my picture of God was the omnipotence and help that would be there.
One night when I was about five years old or so, I couldn’t sleep because of some loud traffic outside in the street. When I told my dad this he said that he couldn’t go out in the street and make the cars be quiet.
I realized that just then that he couldn’t. I was disillusioned.
When I asked God to heal my daughter and lost her anyway after 3 ½ years of praying my heart out I felt the same way.
But my dad could have gone into the street and held out his hands and quieted the cars. He could have blocked the road with our Volkswagen. He could have thrown nails down on the pavement or borrowed a neighbor’s firearm and threatened or worse. But even then I realized that his limitations were out of what was right.
Of course God could have healed Naomi. He could gather up her ashes that have drifted now around the world’s oceans and reassemble them into her. But that wasn’t what was right.
To this day I still grapple wondering what the point of praying all that time was when the plan was set. It is something that I get over and then slump into again but I try not to let it shake my faith.
Mostly I try to love my kids the way God wants me to.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

drink your milk

In 1975 I was the teacher’s pet at school. I got by on being charming and amiable. As well as I could remember, my life had always been like that. That summer my family moved from Arizona to Hawaii. I had solid pre-existing notions that everything would be the same or better. The opportunity to make new friends thrilled me and I started my third grade year that fall with optimism.
I don’t think there would have been any way to prepare me for the culture shock. The slightest disrespect derailed me. In the lunch room I decided to invite two boys to Sunday school. When I asked them if they knew where the Lahaina Methodist Church was, one of them asked me if I knew where my ass was. I was crying in less than a minute raising my hand for a room monitor. When I sobbed to her that these guys are teasing me she told me to finish my milk.
The new world was too different for my previously sheltered life. For the first year I had no friends. Most afternoons after school I played by myself in my room with toy cars. I created worlds and situations. At night I told myself stories with spaceships, castaway islands and any kind of escape from the real world.
And even after having best friends later on in life I continued to live with denial. Only recently attending a support group I started to step out of denial. But it’s like a warm bed on a cold morning and the world can be pretty cold most days.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My word of the day today was navel-gazing which means useless or exsesssive self contemplation.
That's what I think most blogs are about. The age of technology where everyone fancies themself a writer. Perhaps they think they're misunderstood except for the few other artists out there or that they are loved by more readers than they can count.
Hooray for the internet and DSL and laptops that allow us not only to contemplate the scummy lint we discover but also to share it with the world.
Oh yes, I have to think that I'm different because I am on to this right? It anything sets me apart actually it's that I've been journaling since the 5th grade. That is about 31 years.
Over the next few days or weeks I want to copy and paste a few writings I have done that will create a picture of who I am.
For now, I am a married father of six children. Five are living. Naomi died of cancer before her 7th birthday. That was December 2002. My youngest has just passed that age.
I'm in Southern California. I grew up in Hawaii. My wife just ran her first 5k and is a shift supervisor at Starbucks. I work at church facilities.
If you are reading this it really makes me feel warm and happy inside. If you check in often you may read more about me, my family, my past and other things. I will try to craft good sentences with as few adverbs as possible.
Maybe I'll think of a witty sign-off too.
until then