Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Parents, Take Your Kids Hiking

Finally, a bit of a warm-up to this wicked winter weather.  I'm not so naïve enough to think winter's going to make an early exodus after shellacking the east coast restlessly since early December, but here's a perfect time to start mapping out trails for hiking once spring finally arrives. 

Last year, my son and I conquered seven different trails, a couple with return visits to cover the legs we'd missed before.  We also took on the Appalachian Trail, for a few rugged uphill miles, anyway, until the lad gassed out on me.  For his age, though, a few miles is impressive, especially in what equated to predominantly climbing mode.  Never underestimate your children and always praise them when they accomplish anything favorable.  The paths you lead them on figuratively and literally could impact their future lives in beautiful ways you never saw coming.

Parents, taking your kids hiking.  It only costs the gas, some pepper spray which I recommend keeping on you, just in case you cross paths with any critters who you need to separate yourself from and some water.  The bonds you forge with your children on the trails will last a lifetime, even when they have their noses buried in Nintendo DS more than anything else.

                          Listenin' to:  Snot - Get Some

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