Friday, January 8, 2021

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Everything Epertase has moved. Go to for all the latest. I even gave you a link to make it easier. My new website is badass. CHECK. IT. OUT. See you over there. I'd love to get your feedback on the new site.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Evolution of Legends Reborn

When I started writing my first fantasy novel, I did so mostly for fun. I never expected to get a publishing deal and I never expected to be right where I started nearly a dozen years later. When I first wrote The Light of Epertase, I didn’t have a publisher, an editor, a cover artist, or really anyway to put the book out into the world. So, I decided to have a little fun with it. I took my book and used a print on demand company, I believe it was called Lulu, to make a hard cover of my story. I used my super limited photoshop knowledge to create this cover. Take a look.



Shortly after creating my hard cover, I was offered a 3-book publishing deal with Rhemalda Publishing. I was so excited when I received the first copy of my first ever published book. Here is that cover.



However, even with the hard work of my aunt (who is an editor), Rhemalda, and their editor, I was still quite new at writing and Epertase wasn’t everything I knew it could be. That’s not to say it wasn’t the best work I could do, I was just pretty green.


Rhemalda closed their doors in 2014, I stopped writing, and yadda, yadda, yadda, here we are.


As COVID took us all by storm earlier this year and locked us in solitude, I refocused on my writing career. My forthcoming novel, Death of the Grinderfish, will be released in May of 2021 and I’m super excited about it. But before I release my Grinderfish story, I wanted to accomplish one other goal. And it has been quite an undertaking, to say the least. You see, I wanted to revisit my Epertase trilogy with my current eyes and current writing chops. Over the last 6 months, I have methodically and completely revised my trilogy. Included with this revision is a brand new edit from a very talented editor. She’s quite good and quite brutal. For example, here was her first comment from her first pass through. “I hate this opening sentence. In fact, most of the first chapter needs rewritten. And here’s why …” You can see how I had to leave my ego at the door. It’s important when you have a good editor to start with the philosophy of “the editor is always right” and work backward from that. A good editor’s job is to make your work better. That’s it. They’re not trying to inject their own voice or make you feel all warm and fuzzy. If something sucks, they should say, “This sucks and here’s why.” Now that Legends Reborn is finished, I can say confidently that she was always right. She currently has my Grinderfish book and I’m almost terrified to get it back after her first hatchet job. It’s very hard to hear someone tell you your son is ugly. It’s even harder when you later realize they were right.


And the final evolution of my Epertase trilogy begins today. My announcement is that as of September 4, 2020 the new, final, and best ever edition of Legends Reborn is available for purchase. If you’ve already read my trilogy, you won’t see many changes in the actual story and probably wouldn’t need to revisit it. But if you’ve never read it, or you want to see how it’s improved, now’s the time. Books 2 and 3 are getting the same treatment and will be released as soon as they’re shredded by my editor later this year. I’ve already revised them. If you’ve ever wanted to try my work, now would be a good time to pick up Legends Reborn either in paperback or ebook.  Because I’m such a swell guy, I’ve even provided a link.

Here’s the current cover.

And wait until you read Death of the Grinderfish.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Coming soon

As we move through the Corona virus here in Ohio and the rest of the world, I’ve found myself returning to one of my loves. I have a few passions in life. My family, friends, and work come first. But I also love choking my friends unconscious in jiujitsu. Wow, that sounded weird, huh? I might have issues. But anyway, what this blog is about is rediscovering my love of writing. I’ve decided to rededicate my efforts to reviving my dead career, not for money but for the love of creating.

Writing for success is a losing battle for most of us if success is measured by book sells. While I started writing a long time ago because I loved it, selling books became more of my focus than writing them. Losing my publisher and most of the momentum I had built discouraged me greatly. I realized I was measuring my success by how many books I was selling and my sells fell into the crapper. But being locked in my house 75% or the time (I still go to work as a firefighter) encouraged me to delve back into writing as a hobby with one subtle difference. I am no longer concerned about selling thousands of copies of whatever I write. Or even one. Of course, I hope I sell some, but that’s not my goal. It wasn’t at the start of my career and it’s not once again. I want to write to write.

Part of the creative process that I’ve enjoyed includes the presentation of my work in a professional manner. Years ago that meant one needed a publisher. But now, with the internet and freelancing, I can achieve that goal on my own. Reaching people will still be the challenge, but I’m not going to worry about that anymore. So, my big announcement is that I am self-publishing from here on out. Ahhh. That feels good. No more agent searching or publisher querying. Just putting out what I want and seeing what happens. Self-publishing used to mean to some people that an author’s work just wasn’t worthy to be read. Well, that may still be the case. But I don't give a shit. I think my stuff is good and I have plenty of reviews to know others like it as well. Maybe my future stories will suck and someone who buys them will feel ripped off. I truly hope not. All I can do is promise that I will always put my entire heart into presenting you the absolute best story I can.

Here’s my loose schedule. I have begun completely revising my Epertase trilogy. As I said, I want what I present to be the best I can make it. Part of that is fixing flaws that I have since determined I had early on with my writing. When I wrote Epertase Book One, Legends Reborn, I was an amateur in every sense of the word. My writing has improved greatly since. I might still suck, but not as bad as I did.

My current manuscript is titled Death of the Grinderfish. It is a stand-alone, dystopian fantasy loosely using the Robin Hood theme of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. I will spend a chunk of money on this venture, which is different than when I was with Rhemalda, but it’s worth it to me. I likely won’t sell enough copies to recoup those expenditures since I'm selling them on my own, but that’s fine. The one thing I can guarantee is that I’ll only release something I am 100% excited about. Maybe you’ll buy it. And maybe you won’t. We’ll still be friends either way. In the coming months I will reveal the cover here as well as updates to the May, 2021 release. I hope you’ll join me for this next adventure.

Friday, March 27, 2020


I wish I still looked like this.

Well-wishes in this Troubling Time

With the COVID-19 apocalypse upon us, I’ve had a little extra time on my hands as has everyone. While I still go to work every third day as a firefighter/paramedic, my jujitsu obsession (hobby) is pretty much stuck in the mud for now. Since I live in Ohio, the weather sucks, so going outside isn’t much fun. It’s raining right now. Today, I ran on the elliptical. Yikes. How could I lose so much cardio in only two weeks? Oh yeah, I’m almost 47 years old and watching movies all day doesn’t constitute cardio. Wouldn’t it be great if it did, though?
Anyway, I wanted to check in and see how you are all doing. I hope everyone is finding ways to endure your various (and I’m sure numerous) challenges right now. Whether you’re dealing with a terrible loss of income or lack of physical fitness, or if you’re mentally struggling with the isolation and lack of social gathering, I want you to know my family cares about you. (Well, not you, Bill. Fuck you.) Obligatory disclaimer: If you’re name is Bill that wasn’t directed at you and no one here (me) at Epertase mean any offense. Anyway, I hope you understand we are all in this together and, though we might not know each other personally, you’re in my thoughts. Yes, even you, Bill.
I realize I am fortunate to be an “essential employee” (whatever that means) and get to keep working. For what it’s worth, I think everyone who works in society is essential for many different reasons.
As a firefighter, I’m on the front lines and I’m seeing potential cases everyday. I assume I’ll eventually contract COVID-19, but I’m being as careful as I can. I only hope when/if I do get it, I can fight it without needing the assistance of our overloaded healthcare system, or by then the curve has become more manageable. Back in 2009 I got H1N1 (swine flu) and it was a pretty miserable few days quarantined to my bedroom.
Anyway, this blog was to simply check in with everyone and see how you’re doing. I know you’re strong and we’ll get through this together, but I also know it’ll be a tough sludge. Try and hold your head up and grind through the rocky road. I heard a quote today and now I’m going to butcher it for you. When you’re traveling through Hell, it’s best to keep moving.
Also, apparently this was my coming out party for the use of parentheses. (Now, you’re going back and looking at how many times I used them, aren’t you?)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Normalization of Thievery in the Internet Age

Anyone who has downloaded a pirated movie or Napstered their favorite music has stolen. It’s plain and simple. You can justify it anyway you like. Call it sharing if that makes you feel better. But I’ve never shared my CDs with someone I’ve never met in some state or country thousands of miles away. It doesn’t really amaze me that people steal in this way, because it’s easy and it seems to be human nature to try and get all you can for as little as you can expend. What does amaze me is how cavalier and unashamedly people do it now. I wonder if stores suddenly went to the honor system and stripped their businesses of employees and cameras and consequences for thievery, would these same people illegally downloading music, books, and movies now justify taking whatever they wanted from the store? Not all of them would, I suspect, but a surprising number of people would somehow justify it. I mean, if you really, really want that new IPhone and funds are a little tight, Apple’s got bigger pockets than you after all.  I get it. It’s your right to have that phone. I’ll tell you what, let’s call it Iphone sharing with Apple. Does that make you feel better?

Whether it’s the amazon fire stick with Kodi or the guy at the end of the street selling bootleg DVDs, everyone seems to be stealing nowadays. And worse, everyone seems to think it’s ok. I’ve yet to hear an excuse as to why it’s ok to download the new Deadpool movie on the day it’s released. In fact, the responses when I ask my friends why it's OK to take that movie are worse than not being able to give me a legitimate reason. Their responses are blow off waves at my sanctimonious questioning. As you read this, you’re either one of two people. You’re either thinking I’m right and stealing is wrong, or that I’m being a virtuosic prude and you deserve the entertainment you didn’t pay for. And that’s the problem. The same people who think I’m a prude because I make it a point to not steal intellectual property are likely people who would never walk into a Barnes and Noble (are they still around?) and walk out with a couple books stuffed into their jackets. Or would they? Once the consequences of stealing are gone . . .

I guess the reason I’m particularly annoyed today is because I woke up this morning and came across an article on Facebook from a larger online site that was remarkably similar to a blog I wrote in December. What made it particularly frustrating was that the author actually says in the article that the basis of the article (his theory) comes from a fan who recently wrote about the same topic. Hm. Here’s a screenshot from the story where the author admits to stealing his theory.

The whole article is based on that statement. And here’s my blog where I lay out such a theory.

In December.

Of last year.

Shared on multiple Walking Dead fan sites.

This other article from has had over 272,000 clicks. My blog? A few hundred. Sour grapes? Maybe. Did this article’s author steal my premise and repackage it as his own? I’m not so egotistical to think he saw MY article or that I’m the only one who has thought of the premise behind it, but he did write that his article was a fan’s written theory and gave no credit to that fan. So even if the article wasn’t stolen from my blog (which it probably wasn’t in all reality) my point still stands. He stole it from somewhere, regardless of whether it was from me or not. He is making money via clicks off of someone else’s work. In the internet age, there are no recourses for people who have their intellectual property stolen. And no repercussions for the thief.

I once took a picture of a couple firefighter friends acting silly at the station and wrote a blog about it. It’s here if you wanna take a look. That was in 2012. That picture (with no link to my blog or credit to me) routinely shows up on my FB feed from a site called firefighter funnies. Why do I see it? Not because I created it or that I’m a fan of the site, firefighter funnies, but because I’m friends with a lot of firefighters. When they come across that picture they think it’s funny and share it without ever knowing I took it in the first place. How many clicks has firefighter funnies gotten from my picture? If every couple years it shows up on my feed out of the blue from others who have discovered it, I’d say quite a few.

Coming up with premises, writing a coherent article or blog, or penning a story is long, hard work. Unless you’re a large corporation, there is little recourse you can do when that work is stolen. Hell, even the big, powerful movie studios can’t protect their property.

The most frustrating of these stories, to me, is this next particular one. I think it perfectly and painfully demonstrates my above point that the general public has normalized thievery. The reason this one is so frustrating is because of the personal nature of how it happened. I was recently at the fire house and a guy from another station was filling in. I’d talked to this guy a few times in the past, but it wasn’t like we were best buds or anything. When we had some down time he sought me out and told me how he was writing a book. I assumed he did this because he had heard I had written a few and wanted to pick my brain. He told me it was going to be a werewolf story which piqued my interest for obvious reasons if you know about my book, Tamed. After 20 minutes of listening to his idea (far from original, but I digress), I gave him some publishing advice and mentioned my own writing career. I told him how I, too, had written a werewolf book (which I’m confident he already knew) and asked him if he’d read it. He said he hadn’t. As we stood there talking he pulled out his phone and a minute later said, “I’ve got it.”

Pleasantly surprised I asked, “You just bought my book?” It's always a warm and fuzzy feeling when someone is convinced to buy your book on the spot while talking about it.

Without missing a beat he answered, “No. I never buy books. I downloaded it from a pirate site. I have hundreds of books. Ad movies too.” He held up his phone and there was my book, Tamed, in his library. Instead of being ashamed that he had just stolen my book, he was proud like he had gamed the system. The problem was I was the system. That fact was lost on him. He continued boasting about how he never pays for his media while I stood amazed. Now imagine that. A guy who, no doubt, considers himself a moral individual had no qualms about stealing my book right in front of me and, worse yet, bragging about it to the actual creator of it. There was no thought in his mind that this could be considered a dickhead thing to do. And that’s the problem. I asked him why it wasn’t stealing and he looked at me like I had suddenly grown a second head. I ended the conversation, made note that this guy was a fuckhead who I would avoid in the future, and went on about my day. But I admit I was a bit salty, if you couldn’t tell.

I come from a unique position on this topic. I’ve created art that has actually been stolen to the profit of others. Normalization of online thievery happened years ago and continues to this day. There is no way to fight it. Somehow, if you take a stand against stealing online material in this internet based world, you are now the pariah. You’re now the uptight prude. My friends roll their eyes at me when I call it stealing. I don’t know how we got here, but if you’re a creative person, good luck in the future.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a friend holding the movie theater exit door open and if I don’t get there soon I’ll actually have to purchase a ticket. Yikes. Gotta go.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Everyone We Love Dies - My Walking Dead Theory (Spoilers)

My Walking Dead Theory

*Spoilers galore* from the mid-season finale.

So, Carl is the next main character to die? The end of season eight’s mid-season finale all but guaranteed as much. To save him now would make the Glenn dumpster fake-out death of a few seasons ago look like genius storytelling and not the gimmicky fraud that it was. Carl dying is shocking to the WD faithful because of the amount of energy the show has put into developing his character. He’s the next leader when Rick can no longer do it, right? Killing yet another well-established character becomes all the more devastating when you take into account the piss-poor job the show has done in building interest in any new characters after Michone showed up in Season 4 (maybe it was season 3). I mean, does anyone even think about Rick’s daughter at this point? What about the weird lady with the short bangs who runs the group that, if it only cost 10 cents to give a shit about, no one would be able to spare a dime?

Who’s left from when the show was at its best? Well, we have Daryl, Michone, Rick, Maggie, and Carol. I guess you could also add Morgan to that group. Imagine if Seinfeld killed off Kramer in season 4 and then tried to keep the fans interested with new, half-assed additions. That’s what The Walking Dead does regularly. I’ll give them credit for a few additions like Ezekiel, Neagan, and Jesus (Ok, you can have the mullet guy too, I suppose), but they’re not Kramer and they’re definitely not Glenn.

This in part stems from the show growing from a wasteland of very few survivors to a Georgia full of different factions with their own armies. On top of killing beloved characters in hopes of creating new Kramers, this flood of different factions dilutes the character development immensely and makes one not care about any of them. Hell, 30 people could be killed in a single episode this year and I challenge you to name one of them.

With such poor character development over the last few years, and the influx of meat (nameless characters) for the grinder, killing Carl is horrible writing at its core. There’s no replacements like when Shane died and we had Hershel and Maggie growing in our hearts. Killing Carl is a cheap, emotional grab. Like killing Glenn and Hershel before.

Or is it?

As fans, we all envision the end of the series happening in our own various ways, but I think most of us hope for some of our beloved characters to save the day. Maybe we’d lose one or two of them heroically at the end for emotional weight, but overall we expect Rick and Daryl to escort Rick’s baby (no use committing her name to memory at this point) and Carl into some sort of Utopia full of cured and happy people. Maybe Maggie brings her and Glenn’s baby along with Carol and Michone in some metaphor for a bright future. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

But that’s not the world the creators have created. And we’re fools to think differently.

Before I give you my theory on why I think Carl and Glenn’s deaths had to happen precisely when they happened, I want to add one more point. People often compare the show to the comic book and look for it to follow along in structure if not necessarily to a tee. But there’s a major flaw in that way of thinking. The comic is designed to run forever, but the show has a finite number of episodes by the nature of being a TV series. Unless it’s the Simpsons, shows like The Walking Dead will inevitably run its course and be in danger of getting cancelled. With an end of the series always in mind, killing our beloved characters throughout the series only makes sense when you consider that the story isn’t going to have a happy ending. Let’s pretend everyone is going to die at the end. Have you considered that very real possibility? If this is the case, you can’t be angry because the show has done a good job of preparing you for that inevitability. If a depressing, morbid ending is indeed the endgame, what would be the best way to work toward it? Would it be carrying all of the main characters to the last season and then having to kill them all in a short period of time? That might be more than we fans can handle. Or would you, as the show’s creators, want to get as much mileage out of each of the main characters’ deaths as you could? As a writer who knows everyone is going to die, then it makes perfect sense to kill them along the way for maximum payoff for each death.

This also makes sense when you look at reports of Chandler Rigg’s (Carl) anger over being killed off after being assured he was part of the show’s future. I think he even bought a house in Georgia earlier this year with a future on the show in mind. I believe he did have a future but something changed for the writers. What could that be? The show has been losing ratings year over year and, though I don’t know the ratings this year, the mess that the show has become can’t be good. If the creators have seen the writing on the wall that the show might have run its course, they might have decided to move up their kill-fest of our favorite characters. In this case, say "Good-bye Carl. Sorry you bought a house."

If my theory is correct, this does not bode well for our other friends, Daryl, Maggie, and Michone. If I’m right, look to lose another major character in the season finale next spring as well as a steady drop in main characters next season. We’ll likely lose Ezekiel or Jesus soon as well. I would expect reports to start circulating in the news in the coming weeks and months hinting at the end of the series. If you were sad to see Carl (a character obviously groomed to lead the group) die, brace yourself for what’s inevitably still to come.

Because in The Walking Dead, like in life, no one makes it out alive.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sweep the Leg

While my first two blogs on jujitsu have been about my experience in trying a new sport, in this blog I hope to show you how stepping out of your comfort zone can be worth the effort. In my blogging history I’ve been quite open about my failures, whether it be in my writing career or firefighting or whatever tickled my ass at that particular moment. This blog is the opposite. This is about a small victory I’ve had in jujitsu and how I hope it can inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try something you’ve always wanted to try.

As I stepped into Mr. Dale’s gym, I was ready for a new lesson. I’d been at it for a couple of months and was loving every minute of my experience. My friends are sick of hearing me drone on about my latest class which is why I’m now going to bore you. OK, hopefully not bore you.

While I was getting loosened up on the mat, two young ruffians (mid-twenties) entered through the main door. They spoke to Mister Dale for a minute and then took off their shoes and joined the class. I’d like to tell the story like these two newcomers were the villains and Mr. Dale and I were like Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san but, to the detriment of this story, these two guys were as friendly as they come. With a skeptical glare, I introduced myself. Who were these invaders to our gym? One of the guys, Jeff, was 6’4 and about 230 LBs. The other guy, we’ll call him Frank, was smaller (maybe my height) with a decent build and a strong handshake. They said they were on leave from the military and wanted to learn some jujitsu. Damnit. Military? Another kink in my good-vs-evil storyline. These guys were coming off as Mother Theresas and I’m starting to look like the real jerk here. I should probably drop this particular narrative.

After warm-ups, Dale paired off with the big guy and told Frank to roll with me for two minutes. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, but figured I’d just try to improve whatever position I found myself in. Frank and I faced each other and he spit on my outstretched hand . . .

Still not buying it? Alright, no spit. So he shook my spitless hand and we began on our knees. He immediately swarmed, aggressive and strong. I tried to draw on my last couple months of training and stay calm. He was stronger than me—I could feel it—as he pulled and pushed. Instead of matching strength, I dropped to my back and let him have the top position. I focused on getting my legs around his hips so he was in my guard.

He yanked at my legs and tried to get around them, but I focused on getting him back into my guard and, amazingly, I was successful each time. I tried a sweep I had previously learned to reverse our positions and end up on top, but he was too strong and not in the right position and fought it off. I stayed calm and pulled him back into my guard. He feverishly tried to pass my legs but by some martial arts magic I was able to reposition and keep him where I wanted. I tried another sweep and that time, somehow, I ended on top of him in the mount (one of the better positions to be in). He immediately bucked his hips and pushed with all of his strength. I calmly held firm and remained in the mount. I used very little strength to rebuff his escape attempt which further emphasized the benefit of technique over brawn.

I leaned my chest close to his face like Mr. Dale had done to me and put my weight onto his chest. I’d say we were about a minute thirty seconds in. While I know about three submissions from this position, and I’m sloppy with all three, I wanted to try something. I isolated his left arm in hopes of securing a shoulder lock. He fought it off well, mostly with strength. Then he whispered, “I need a rest.” I grinned. I knew the feeling from when Mr. Dale had smothered me two months earlier. (Yes, that’s what I’m saying—after two months I’m now as good as Mr. Dale. Don’t tell him I said that.)

I relaxed for a few seconds. He took a couple of deep breaths and then said he was ready to continue. I spent the last 10 or 20 seconds attempting any submission I could come up with, but I had no luck. Dale called time and we untangled ourselves. We shook hands and thanked each other.

Dale said to switch and Jeff, the behemoth, made his way toward me. “Really?” I said.

Dale nodded.

I was about to be screwed.

Jeff and I shook hands and began. I took the same tactic as with Frank and pulled Jeff into my guard. He seemed to have some knowledge of jujitsu because he knew how to break my guard with his elbows. Plus he was as strong as an ox. . . An evil ox.

Jeff was too big and strong and I was too tired, which caused me to be defensive most of the first minute. I thought I might die. With about a minute to go and, since neither of us were getting anywhere, we fell into me showing him a few of the sweeps I’d previously learned.

While Jeff was a beast and I was tired, it was my experience with Frank that I’m drawing on for this blog. Though I didn’t do anything spectacular with Frank, I had more success than I ever could have had merely two months before. It shows me I’m learning a ton. Here was a young guy, stronger and fitter than me, yet with even my limited knowledge and technique I was able to somewhat control him and have success.

And that’s the point of this blog. Not so much as to talk about what could come across as boring jujitsu positioning and technical blah, blah, blah, but more to show you how any ole’ slob could work toward a goal and have some success. It sounds easy but I know it’s not. For a lot of people it’s that first step that’s the killer. It’s the confidence to try something new. I’ve lacked confidence in my life, so I get it. If you’re reading this and there is something you’ve always wanted to try, or maybe you’ve been inactive as of late and aren’t happy with gaining a few pounds, I’m here to tell you to find that something you want and work toward it. Just like I’ve found jujitsu.

Have you always wanted to swim? Go join a YMCA and learn. Take that first step. Or plunge. Don’t worry that you won’t be able to do it, because I’m telling you that you will. Don’t worry about looking foolish or beating Michael Phelps either, because none of that matters. I promise you two months from now you’ll be better than you currently are, and you’ll be glad you tried. You may even enjoy yourself.

It’s not all physical either. Do you wish you could write a book? Go write one. If you don’t like how it turns out after the first draft (no one ever does), work on it until it’s something you’re proud of. Read books on writing. Draw on your favorite authors. Do whatever it takes to work toward a goal.

My friend, Tony, just went to Africa and hiked the trails of Mt. Kilimanjaro. That sounds insane to me. I used to say I could never do something like that, but at 44 years old I’ve learned that, if hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro becomes my passion one day, I could totally pull it off. Maybe not tomorrow but, if I worked toward that goal, it could happen. You could do it too is the point.

I’m an average guy at best. There is nothing spectacular about me. Just ask my wife. If you’ve had a week of jujitsu training, you might still whup my butt on the mat. That doesn’t matter. I’m still going to work at it for the foreseeable future and maybe someday I’ll actually be good at it. Or maybe I’ll decide to play a guitar. If that becomes my next passion, then I’ll give it my all. I imagine after two months of guitar, like with jujitsu and Mr. Dale, I’ll be as good as the teacher.

I’m just kidding, Mr. Dale. Please don’t hurt me in Friday’s class.

Sometimes I talk too much.

Update: It’s been over a month since the military guys stopped in and I haven’t seen them since. Maybe they found another gym or maybe jujitsu wasn’t as fun as they hoped it to be. Regardless, I’d like to believe it was our stellar defense of Mr. Dale’s gym and the villains have moved on to easier targets. Good guys-1, Bad guys-0.