122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vacation Time: Washington DC

As readers of my blog may recall, I'm from the Pacific NW. On the west coast we have three states. That's it. So if you're traveling from say southern Washington to northern California, best buckle in for a haul, because that little trek is going to take 6-8 hours. Possibly longer because the interstate is part of the traffic hell corridor known as Portland. Going east, to say Idaho or Montana, the traffic is better, but you'll still need 8-10 hours.

But travel the same amount of time on the east coast and one could potentially journey through five or more states. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around that.

So, one of the things that Erin and I promised each other when we moved to the east coast, was that we would take advantage of these short travel times and explore. In our effort to continue making good on that promise, we went to Washington DC!

Welcome to Washington DC

Another difference between the two coasts is that if you live on the west coast and someone says "Washington" everyone assumes the state. On the east coast, same person same word, and everyone assumes DC. So, I've gotten into the habit of saying "Washington State" and "Washington DC" to help alleviate confusion.

First stop: The White House

In order to get tickets into the most secure fortress in the country, we had to write to our congressman and request tickets...SIX months in advance. But, ever since Erin and I started talking about the trip, I'd been making plans to get us a tour.

I'll be honest, I was ridiculously excited to get to see the White House. It was up there with meeting Weird Al. I kept waiting to see if something would happen and the tour would get canceled, but it never did!

Erin and I taking a few selfies as we scope the place out the day before.

Waiting in line at 7:30 in the morning. Early, but hey, we got to see the White House!

Inside the front door!

Hey, who's that on the other side of the Green Room? My folks causally walking the grounds.

Interestingly, there were several "color" rooms: Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, Plaid Room. Oh, wait, the Plaid Room would be on Scotland, but you get my drift. Each one was decked out to the nines with 300 year old furniture, silk wallpaper, and about a million stories from our country's history.

The Green Room

The Blue Room

B&W of the Red Carpet
This is the red carpet that's laid out for dignitaries and others who come to visit.
Google Photos stylized it and the pic turned out so cool I used it instead of the original.

White House Library

White House Theatre

White House Dining Room

Deek - Happy to be through security!

I was not disappointed with our tour of the White House. Sure, we didn't get to see the Oval Office, but still I loved it. Not to mention there were "Secret" police, guard dogs, and black SUVs with tinted windows EVERYWHERE. That part was just like TV.

Checking out the Sites!

After the White House tour, we headed out to check out the sites. The cool thing is that you can see the Washington Monument from pretty much everywhere. Back in Oregon, if I could see Mt. Hood, I could pretty much figure out where I was. Here, the Monument did the same thing.

Washington Monument

If you're name is something like Bacon, may as well flaunt it!
Deek and Erin stopping for a quick selfie by the lake!
I HIGHLY recommend taking a trip like this with your best friend. It makes it so much more fun.

Gonna catch that pesky monument!

Erin got it!

State Capital Dome
We also got to visit the State Capital. Talk about history! If you've never been, the tickets are free (like most things you can visit in DC) and the walking tour includes a guide.

Erin and Deek at the Lincoln Memorial

On the steps in front of Lincoln is a stone inscribed "I have a Dream."
This is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I have a Dream speech.

Dr. King also has a monument near the Jefferson Memorial.
It's hard to see how big it is until you see the teeny person walking next to the statue.

Inside the American History museum is one of the Bat Mobiles.
I *think* it's the one from the 1989 version.

We made a stop to honor the Great Bard!
My beautiful bride poses next to the monument sign.
Shakespeare would most certainly approve!

Deek hanging with a bud from space in the Air and Space Museum.

Hubba Hubba! Man, there's some beautiful sights to see here in DC!

Deek and Erin hanging out at FBI HQ to help him get inspired for his books,
The Injector and for 122 Rules - Redemption

Deek and Erin doing The Matrix as we wait for the Metro.

Hello there, Mr. Lincoln!

The Rhews still goof off in even in the capital of the nation.

Of course there's ALWAYS time for a Starbucks date with my bride!

The train ride to DC was only a few hours and totally comfortable. We hung out, talked, napped, and even snuck in a little writing time. Almost everything except for the hotel and food is free, and there's SO much to see. My folks had never been there before (and my dad is lifetime military), so we were really happy that they got to see it all.

If you haven't see my post about Awesome Con and us meeting Weird Al and Val Kilmer, then check it outAwesome Con is, well, awesome!

Until next time, my friends, adventure on!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Vacation Time: Washington DC - Awesome Con

Geeks and nerds unite! Erin and I got to crash Awesome Con in Washington DC and, for the record, the name is perfect because it was AWESOME!

Usually when we con, Erin and I have a table for our books. It's a wonderful place to meet people, check out the amazing cosplayers, and geek out with readers. But this time around we took my folks and just enjoyed the con sans books.

We got to meet several celebrities (more on that later), one of whom greeted us as we entered.

Hello, R2D2! 

R2D2 is Your Awesome Con Host!

Deek hanging with Luke's bud!

Celebrity Time!

Ever since the movie Tombstone, my bride has had a Val crush. And no other role of his was as iconic as when he played Doc Holliday.

This con, Erin got to meet her Huckleberry!

Erin meets THE Val Kilmer!

While Erin has had a Val crush, Deek has had an Al crush. And nothing was cooler than getting to meet his object of affection and king of geeks. Ever since he was a kid, he's listened to Another One Rides the Bus, Eat It!, and Yoda. While, they've gotten to see Mr. Weird Al Yankovic in concert, at the con, Erin and Deek met him for real!

Yes, Deek has his arm around one of his favorite geek icons!

The Cosplayers

Nothing says "comic con" like the cosplayers. Some costumes are elaborate, some super creative, and every one of them is spirited as they portray their favs. Here are a few of the great costumes from Awesome-Con!
Yes! The shower costume from Karate Kid!

I have zero idea who they are, but their costumes rocked!

Harry Potter fans, this one is for you!
What really sells this is them dressing up their son as a Mandrake. OMG, SO cute!

Evil R2!

Every high school boy's fantasy: Princess Leia and Boba Fett!

Admiral Ackbar at your service!

What? Frigging amazing!

David! Man, we miss you!

Iconic Costumes
Val's Batman Costume

Mr. Freeeeeeze!

Erin meets the robot from Lost in Space!
By the way, if you haven't seen the reboot, do yourself a favor and watch it.

We even ran into an old friend!
S. Usher Evans was crushing it at her booth this year!

Erin and Deek with the Capital in the background

Erin and I rocked the con. My parents had fun, met some of the Star Trek cast, and got a taste for what it means to be nerdy.

I love love love getting to spend time with my family and making memories and what better place to do it than at a con!

Until next time, adventure on, my friends!

Friday, May 3, 2019

r.r. Campbell's Mourning Dove - EMPATHY #2

Mourning Dove

Author Bio

r. r. campbell is an author, editor, and the founder of the Writescast Network, a podcast collective for writers, by writers. His published novels include Accounting for It All and Imminent Dawn, which debuted as the number one new release in LGBT science fiction on Amazon. Its sequel, Mourning Dove, is now available in print and ebook with most major retailers.

The author has been an invited speaker at conferences and seminars including the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute, WisCon, and AllWriter’s Workshop. His work has also been featured in Five:2:One Magazine’s #thesideshow, Erotic Review, and with National Journal Writing Month.

r. r. lives in Stoughton, Wisconsin with his wife, Lacey, and their cats, Hashtag and Rhaegar.

For more: 

Twitter and Instagram: @iamrrcampbell 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dose of Happiness: Coffee Dates!

Readers of my blog know that I'm a simple fella. As a minimalist, I don't need a lot of stuff. Things don't make you happy. Piles of gizmos, giant houses, massive quantities of anything won't put a dance in your step, nor lighten the burdens in your heart.

In fact, given time, those things will bury you.

Too much stuff!


Sure, I have my weaknesses. I'd be lost without my computer, phone, and coffee maker, but the items themselves aren't what make me happy. Simplicity and making memories are where it's at.

I've talked about Fryday--the one day a week Erin and I share a small Wendy's fry and a pizza--well, this goes hand-in-hand with Fryday: Coffee Dates!

Coffee Dates

Easily some of the most overlooked joys of life are simple times like grabbing a cup of joe down at the local coffee shop. Usually we walk to our local Starbucks--a trek that's five miles round trip. Then when we arrive, we chat it up with our favorite baristas. Every time we go in we learn a little more about them, get a little more familiar with their life stories.

For me and Erin it's more than just coffee, it's about connecting. Connecting with each other and those around us.

And of course, it's about drinking coffee, which come in all flavors and types!

Erin's favorite, Ice Cinnamon Almond Milk Caramel Macchiato

When we aren't Starbucksing, Erin will go for a Califia

Parents say, "Don't play with your food." Bah! Who can resist Starbucks in sunglasses?

Gimme your coffee and nobody gets hurt!

LOL! The baristas know me well. DOUBLE whipped cream!


Hangin' with my best friend!

In the end it's really all about hanging out with my partner, my best friend, my beautiful bride.

Deek and Erin - Brewin' Togetha!

So, go out, get some coffee--or whatever floats your boat--and make some connections!

This is Deek, with a little dose of coffee happiness!

Adventure on, my friends!

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