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Discipline is most necessary when it is least desired.

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The Atlanta Falcons were up 28-3 over the New England Patriots late in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. No team had ever come back from such a deficit in the big game, and the Patriots didn't look like they were going to be the ones to do it. All Atlanta had to do was keep doing what they had been doing for the better part of 2 hours, and they would be NFL champions.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you who won.

The Falcons were good enough this year; they should have been able to beat the Patriots. But the one thing holding back, the lead weight around their necks, was their own history. The 1999 Super Bowl. The 2011 Divisional game. Now the 2017 Super Bowl. When a few plays late in the game went wrong, you could see the Falcons lose confidence that they could win. If you think you're going to lose, you're right.

I'm not a Falcons fan, but I do consider myself an Atlantan. This loss hurt. It hurt bad. Like a second betrayal by an unfaithful lover, it's the sort of pain you never get over. You can forgive, but you'll never forget. You can only blame yourself for believing she wouldn't do it to you again. A loss like this, in a city seemingly incapable of escaping it's terrible luck at team sports (1 MLB title, 0 NFL titles, 0 NBA titles, 0 NHL franchises), this loss leaves a permanent scar on our soul.

As my friend Keith, a Falcons fan since birth, said at the start of the postseason, "I'll believe the Falcons can win a Super Bowl the day after they win a Super Bowl." After this game, I don't think either of us will live that long.

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On January 20, 1993, my high school A.P. American history teacher, Mrs. Pat Tidwell, let us watch the inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton in the school media center (i.e., library) during class. The bell to end class rang before Clinton had actually been sworn in, so I remained behind for a few extra minutes before hustling to my next class, English Literature. I wore a purple pullover and blue jeans with a Miami Dolphins Starter® jacket.

Frankly, I don't remember that day all that well.

(What I do remember was that I was not (and remain not) a fan of Mr. Clinton. I found his campaign, including playing saxophone for Arsenio Hall and telling MTV that he smoked but didn't inhale, to be incredibly pandering. Gennifer Flowers didn't help my impression.)

Anyway, as I was preparing to leave, the band started playing "Hail to the Chief." Turning to the teacher, I quipped, "They should be playing the Beatles 'The Fool on the Hill'." I still think it's a pretty good joke.

I wrote all of that just to say that for Donald John Trump's inauguration on Friday, the band should play "Back in the U.S.S.R."

It's funny because it's true.

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When I went to the dentist on Thursday, he told me that he bought (and enjoyed) all of my fantasy novels. That's one of the side benefits of being a heavy Coca-Cola drinker who has seen the same dentist at least twice a year for twenty years. I think of it as a kickback.

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 1, The Wizards of Ranaloy The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying

I haven't sold a lot of books yet. To date, I've made about $70 in sales against ... well, you don't want to know how many hours I spent writing or dollars I've spent advertising. I won't say those details aren't important, but they aren't why I wrote the books.

One of the things I've discovered since releasing the books to the wild is that I'm always embarrassed when someone tells me s/he's read one, whether they claim to have enjoyed it or not. I don't think it's because the books are bad — I happen to think they're pretty good — I just don't enjoy the attention. I don't want to do any signings or readings. I'd prefer for the books to speak for themselves.

But if you've read them and want to tell your friends (or Amazon or Twitter or Facebook or your dental patients) how much you liked them, I'm not going to stand in your way.

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Last week on NPR's Ask Me Another, one of the contestants admitted to being a big Peanuts fan. He had a Snoopy tattoo on his back, but "self-identified" as Linus. Listening to him talk about himself, I naturally thought about me.

I like Peanuts. (Who doesn't?) As a kid, I most enjoyed the antics of Snoopy and Linus, but I wouldn't say I ever self-identified with either of them. Snoopy is too outgoing and Linus is too deep. I also really enjoyed Schroeder, though he's far too single-minded. None of them are really me.

After watching A Charlie Brown Christmas to get in the mood (fun fact: three of the dancing kids are officially named "3", "4", and "5"), I asked Google to point me to some sites that would help me to find out exactly which character I should be associating with.

Quizsocial.com and Playbuzz.com both suggested that I was most like Charlie Brown, the main man himself. They said that like Mr. Brown, I was a well-intentioned leader with charm and a strong work ethic, generally fun to be around despite my insecurities. That sounds to me like something someone would write in a generic horoscope.

Buzzfeed.com said I was more like Linus, a "sensitive intellectual" with book smarts. Fandango.com hit furthest from the mark, declaring that I was most like the easygoing and "super casual" Peppermint Patty. (I think I must have answered something wrong in that one.) None of these seem quite right to me, so I kept testing.

I got more agreement from Brainfall.com, Aimbo.com, AllTheTests.com, Quizony.com, and GoToQuiz.com. They all decided that I was demanding, easily irritated, and a generally insufferable know-it-all. The character associated with those traits is none other than she of the yanked-away-football herself, Lucy van Pelt.

Telling it like it is

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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More original Walter artwork!

Chicks dig Rush

Was I drawing droste effects at 5 years old?

Judging by the fashion on display — I'm sure those lifts represent are cowboy boots — I'm guessing this drawn-from-life portrait is from about 1979/80. I'm not sure who this was, perhaps my aunt's boyfriend? It's not my dad. For one thing, I don't think Dad has the first clue who Rush is. He also never had that much hair.

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If you're a Kindle reader looking for a way to kill some time this Thanksgiving, I've got a present for you.

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying

Until November 26, you can download digital copies of my second and third books for free from Amazon.com.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Black Friday, everybody.

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It hasn't rained at my house since September. That's probably my fault. My birthday was in September, and the one thing I asked for was a new rain suit.

Sorry, Georgia. I'll take the blame for the rain. Trump is still on you.

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When the Republicans chose Donald Trump to be their representative in the general election, I was convinced that they had selected the only man who couldn't win, a reality television star and self-proclaimed business genius who ruined both the USFL and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Obviously, I underestimated how much Americans hate Hillary Clinton. I hate being wrong.

People say they hate government, yet they keep re-electing the same Congressmen. They say they want to change a broken system, but they vote for the same political party their parents voted for. So don't try to tell me that this election was about anything other than a referendum on whether they wanted a woman who lied about her correspondence to run their country.

Just think how big a win it would have been if the Republican candidate hadn't called American P.O.W.s "losers" or said that most Mexicans in America were rapists or bragged about how he sexually harassed women or called the whole system rigged unless he won. Ye gods. This was the better option?

While I join at least 50% of Americans trying to come to terms with the surprise election outcome of a lifetime, I admit that I have already learned something new. I used to believe that people voted for the candidate that offered them what they wanted. While that's still true, I learned that what they want isn't a job (which Trump can't create) or a handout (which Trump won't offer). What they want is a friend. In politics, personal charisma trumps all. Everyone's willing to forgive their friend for just about anything, even being an ill-tempered, misogynistic racist. Sorry, Hillary, but you aren't any better at being charismatic than you are at managing your email.

Now America's newest cult of personality friend is Donald Trump. We'll just have to live with him and his foibles until someone more charismatic comes along. (What's Oprah doing these days?)

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My doctor says my cholesterol is too high. He wants me to exercise for more than an hour a day and consider a Mediterranean Diet, with high concentrations of fruits. He also wants me to avoid processed food entirely, especially things like french fries.

I'm not sure I can do that.

Exercise is the least of the problem. I'm already walking July for 30 minutes and then spending another 30 on the elliptical. In addition, I'd been contemplating how I can add some strength training to that regimen. I'm actually starting to like exercising.

On the other hand, I do eat too much processed snack food. I admit it. It's a bad habit that I'm always aware of, even when I'm eating it. I can make a sincere effort to cut back (he says as he stuffs another handful of potato chips in his face).

What I cannot do is eat more fruits. I hate fruit. I hate its texture and flavor. Berries are gross. Bananas trigger my gag reflex. I saw what apples did to Snow White. And don't even get me started on oranges. If I thought global warming would wipe all fruit off the face of the planet, I'd leave my car running 24 hours a day.

I understand that a Mediterranean Diet might prolong my life, but quality of life has to count for something, too. How am I supposed to enjoy a life of only eating foods I hate? Frankly, I'd rather have a heart attack.

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