I’m Easy!

It’s true.

Thanks to the SEO work I do when publishing each blog, I will be forever searchable using tags like: easy author, easy writer, and a few others I haven’t thought of yet. When a female reader comes along, I cannot help but crush on them a little. If they are reading my book, I can feel my heart beating in my chest as they give me their impression of my work. Often, they update me as they read—a blow by blow if you will—every encouraging word softly stoking my psyche.

It’s not that I’m an egotist.

Praising a writer is like showing love to an abused animal; they quickly return that love any way they can, and it’s an honest loyal kind of love . . . until the leg humping begins.

As for the extra special ones who took the time to write a favourable review. . . well . . . they could have me with a snap of their fingers.

Why be a starving writer when you could be a starving naked artist.

I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.

Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?

I can do other things.

The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and  divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.

Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.

Where is that art supply store?

I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.

Antisocial Media: 10 Awesome Protocols Nobody Talks About

Rated R.

Warning: this content contains Reality. Reader discretion is advised.

Social media tips from an antisocial misanthrope?

You are definitely spending too much time online.

Tip 1: You must do what everyone does to be one of us. . .

one of us. . .

one of us. . .

These online “societies” have rules and will not welcome, nor do they tolerate, anyone lacking their level of sameness; yet nowhere are their expectations of your behaviour written down so you might quickly learn how best to conform. There is a reason for this.

Tip 2: They want you to fail.

They are eagerly awaiting their opportunity rant over your misstep whether you goof up publicly, among friends, in groups, or in private messages—for you have proved yourself an unfit miscreant who needs to be beaten back into submission, if not ostracized completely, in the hope shame will drive you back under the rock from whence you came.

Tip 3: Being “friended” on flakebook or “followed” on twatter should be considered an honour not to be taken lightly.

It means you can DM (Direct Message) an egotist anytime of night or day. WAIT! I’m just kidding. Back when PC’s were the tool of choice to hop on social media, this was okay, but now that smartphones dominate and control their owner’s every thought, they are rarely ever out of reach and almost never turned off, so the likelihood of waking someone up becomes very real. Besides, it’s way too early in the relationship to be talking privately. Take it slow; you’ll be able to show them your boobs or penis soon enough. You must build up to a DM by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts for a period of not less than thirty days. Take it from me, this is how to get a narcissistic egotist turned on enough to get them naked.

Tip 4: Liking

There is a fine line between being a devoted follower and a stalker, and the line is different for everyone. I like to visit pages to see if people are really as uni-dimensional as social media algorithms make them appear—before I dump them. I am absolutely certain that on occasion, I have liked enough of their posts to be considered a creeper, but I don’t care. I’m a social media heretic. Don’t over-like or you may be cast out—leaving you no choice but to attempt to build an online relationship with people like me . . . and really, what are the chances you’ll make the cut?

Tip 5: Sharing

Twigger people want you to retweet their tweets so their thoughts might reach a wider audience. Conversely, fakebook people are often incensed when you “steal” their posts, which they found elsewhere on the internet all by themselves. Somehow, to them, searching for and saving a post grants them copyrighted proprietary ownership of a meme created by someone else. People have actually timidly asked me if it was okay to share posts I had already stolen from someone else on f-ckbook—so sweet, nice, and polite—I wonder if any of them survived this year’s slashing and burning of the deadwood?

Tip 6: Commenting

If you are following a hottie on social media, you will never get anywhere by telling them how gorgeous you think they are in their latest of a long string of half-naked selfies they just posted. The best you are likely to get for your effort is a liked comment. If you really want to have any chance of getting on their list of possible candidates for an online fling, you will have to follow them closely—a.k.a. stalk them—to find out where their passions truly lie.

Tip 7: Engagement:

In the olden days, engagement meant you had a fifty-fifty chance of getting some action. The same is true on social media. When you see them posting, it is a safe time to engage. Once you have stimulated your crush’s interest enough, by publicly commenting on their passion projects, or by feigning empathy and compassion when they are unhappy, they will begin to engage with you. This is public banter, flirting, or intellectual foreplay so it’s best to only be offering to stroke their ego at this point. Pretending to be truly fascinated by whatever you have been commenting back and forth about publicly, creates an opening to DM them with more private thoughts on the subject. Congratulations! You are alone with them. No, you can’t send nudes yet . . . unless they have confided the are lonely, drunk, and horny—even then, you should encourage them to go first. Most of the time, you will have to cultivate the relationship further before the sexting begins, but at least you can talk dirty a little. Remember, Mark Zuckerberg can watch the show, so you might want show some restraint.

Tip 8: Just the tip.

In this age of immediate gratification, there seems to be some added urgency placed on online sexual activity. It’s as though these participants are afraid their WiFi signal will be lost just as they are about to climax. Do they think they will never have another chance like this again, so they just get right down to business? Perhaps they are hiding in the washroom trying for a quickie behind the back of their significant other. Who really knows? You wouldn’t believe how many times I was flirting harmlessly—or so I thought—only to be gifted a spread eagle pussy pic with the classic two-finger labial parting stretch, when I was really just angling for a nipple pic. I’m not complaining, but a little bit of A to B to C makes it better. While I have only a dozen or so such experiences notched into my laptop, I feel it is safe to say: The younger the woman is, the quicker she will be whipping out the pussy. If I were to use a baseball analogy, they are getting a hit and running straight to third base.

Tip 9: Non-sexual DM’s?

I suppose a case can be made for such utilization of Messenger. I have some platonic online friends I chat with now and then, as well as a few business clients. The one thing I can tell everyone is: If you run a business of any kind, NO ONE wants to be pitched in Messenger. I’ve even been bitched at for sending people event invitations through Messenger. Apparently, the protocol is you must have chatted a little before any business can be discussed which goes back to what was said earlier about the cultivation of a relationship.

Tip 10: Wrapping it up.

There are a few redeeming aspects to online hookups:

  1. You don’t have to wrap it up. Apparently, computer viruses are not considered STD’s.
  2. You can have a wide variety of casual meaningless sexual encounters, but it’s best not to mention you do while it’s happening, if ever.
  3. For you cheaters out there, this is the safest, easiest, and most forgivable way of trying to satisfy the emptiness inside you.

As I inch ever closer to parting company with social media, with the exception of blogging, I try to find some highlights from the four plus years invested to take away with me. Aside from getting to know a handful of truly good people, only a couple of moments stand out. Years ago, I triggered a viral post with my comment which reached over 22,000 people. A short time later, I was one of a very few people Taylor Swift followed on twister. I thought it was kinda cool, and I used it to poke fun at, my then, semi-significant other who was, and likely still is, quite literally insane when jealous. Taylor, who I now laughingly refer to as “the bitch”, dumped me shortly after I tagged her in a tweet. She probably followed me by accident or expected me to behave like a guru with a PHD in psychology. I probably should have dick-pic’d her when I had the chance. The thought never occurred to me because enough famous female performers have already seen it—live, up close, and in a very personal way. Perhaps this is why I struggle to understand the males who engage in this behaviour and their reasoning behind perpetuating this phenomena.

Being “social” implies people are: approving, welcoming, approachable, jovial, and cordial.

I just do not see how this applies to social media sites.

 

Bad breakup? Need closure? WTF, try an email.

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How to write the ultimate GO F-CK YOURSELF email to a cowardly ex who denies you closure by going into hiding.

Yeah, I wrote an email like this, and I would do it again if ever I am stupid enough to fall for another selfish narcissistic sociopath who refuses to make a call to end things properly.

Why do this?

It is simple really, you need to get the rage out, and this is infinitely better than burning their stuff in the backyard. The neighbors look at you even more weirdly than normal when you do such things. More importantly, this allows you to process their evil deeds, and the pain you are feeling through carefully chosen words when a long relationship ends horribly. In other words, this is one method of speeding up the recovery process when you have had enough of their bullshit. IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU and your wellbeing. Don’t be polite; they weren’t, and they will not suddenly start appreciating you if you take the high road now. It is time to sink to their level to get through to them. THEY BROUGHT THIS ON THEMSELVES. At times like this, it is not narcissism—it is a survival mechanism.

Essentially, we are aiming to hook them, call them out, and then crush them like the cockroaches they revealed themselves to be.

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To use this article as a template, ideally (and sadly) you would need to have experienced lies, deception, and betrayal which led to you ending a relationship. This is not about revenge. No, this goes deeper. This is about retribution which factors sin into its meaning.

The first line needs to grab their attention, and spark their curiosity so they will continue reading.

Don’t scare them off with a nasty first line; appeal to their humanity in case they have any. Aim to create guilt and remorse whether they are capable of feeling those or not. Go with something like:

Hey, remember me? The person you won’t talk to who. . . 

You then add a reasonable number of important things you did for them—the more life-altering the better.

In the next section, you want to point out why you felt compelled to write to them.

You want to subtly shift from continuing to pile on the guilt to pointing out how their spinelessness forced you to take this action.

I really thought you would step up and talk to me at least one final time. But no, as with every decision you make, you chose poorly once again. You probably will never tell me the whole truth to help me with closure, and even if you did, I would have a hard time believing any of what you might say.

This mild slap in the face will show them how low your opinion of them has become.

Next, remind them how you had noticed their suspicious behavior for some time, and then shift to the possible conclusions you have reached as a result of their lack of communication.

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You can get nasty here. It’s character assassination time. (Woohoo!) You could begin with questions:

Are you on drugs? Are you having a mid-life crisis of epic proportions? Did you fail to take your meds? Are you attempting to sleep your way into money and security rather than working for it? Were you dropped on your head as a baby? etc.

Personally, I prefer statements. You could begin with:

Now that I know the depths of your depravity and duplicity, I think the following are probable:

Your list can be “on the money” or you can take “creative liberties”. You get the idea. Have some fun with it, while making it clear what a loathsome piece of crap you now see them as. Also indicate how you will continue to believe all of these possible truths until such time as they explain their actions.

Add an image of how you now view them for a more dramatic effect.

You could (or perhaps should) go straight to a porn site for an impactful and distasteful image which exemplifies your view of them. Other possibilities might include images of various STDs from a medical book. I went with a less vulgar illustration myself, but it’s your call.

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If they have made it this far, it is time to write your heart out.

Admit you weren’t perfect while driving the stakes in. Take a little responsibility while showing how minor your character flaws are when compared with theirs.

I always wanted what is best for you, and it was out of love and caring that. . .

Show how their behavior has left you pitying them. This, of course, presumes you truly know their history or pathology and were not lied to about everything.

It’s sad—so sad—you are incapable of true love and gratitude. I blame. . . 

Don’t be afraid to make unfavorable comparisons with your previous exes or especially people you know they dislike.

My other exes had some class and most knew at least a little of what is appropriate decent behavior. You are a total hypocrite. You slander [Insert name here.] while behaving even worse.

Dive into decency, morality, scruples, ethics. . . whatever you can sink your teeth into which best fits their behavior.

A soft warm up to your closing statements is next.

You could use a bulleted list.

  • I am sad for me for being duped.

If there are children involved, you could add:

  • I am sad for [Child’s name.] because he/she will most likely be raised by the likes of you two.
  • I am sad for your new significant other if you manage to get your claws into their heart, or on the keys to their house and vehicles, or worst of all, access to their bank accounts, insurance policies, and will.
  • And yes, I am sad for you as well, because despite all my efforts to repair the damage done to you, your ability or willingness to retain anything new is abysmal. You will continue on YOUR CHOSEN PATH, unconsciously following your base programming, and this trail will not lead to happiness. On the upside, I have finally figured out my fatal flaw. No one can fix you. Only you can do that, once you trade in self-obsession for self-awareness.

It’s important you leave them to the end of the list so it ties in with the big finish.

Enough of the body blows, it’s time to close with a throat punch because punching the heartless in the chest is pointless.

Here’s an idea for you:

At the end of most of my relationships, I would usually say farewell or good luck in your future. It would be disingenuous of me to say either of these to you because I know Karma is going to tear you a new one over what you have done. YOU ARE SO F-CKED!

I will just say goodbye.

Did it work?

In my case it did. I got most of the poison out. She confirmed the magnitude of her deception and offered up a lame apology. Regardless, it was enough for me to shed any residual affection and desire . . . allowing me to quickly move on to healthier greener pastures.

I can’t wait to see the comments on this post. I expect the miscreants to be outraged, and every person who has dealt with betrayal to love it. We will see.

 

Getting more from facebook: 20 useful tips for authors and normal people too!

How to eliminate everything that sucks about facebook.

 

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Choose your “friends” wisely.

If you think someone on facebook must be popular and interesting because they have 5000 friends, think again. Most likely they or their “people” are just too lazy to clean out the dead accounts on their friends list. Lazy might be an overly harsh choice of an adjective as I found out when I took on the monumental task of visiting more than 90% of my 3000 “friends” profiles to see what they were about. It took hours per day for weeks but what I found out and the actions I took would make flakebook entertaining for the first time in my four year battle with it. In all likelihood, these mostly writer types I accuse of being layabouts above, are smart enough not to care too much about social media and only show up for a short time each day to feed the insatiable beast.

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Why make the effort to clean it out?

A few months back I was oh so close to deleting my fakebook account completely, but I stopped just short of doing this in favor of re-purposing MY site into an “entertainment channel” for myself and the lucky few “friends” who survived what I now refer to as:

The Cleansing or Friend Pocalypse 2019.

Why did I put MY in upper case letters? The answer is simple really; many of us forget that our facecook account is ours to do with as we please. Authors often feel an obligation to accept friend requests from just about anyone who sends one in the naive hope these people will become readers of our books. Worst of all, you probably think you will hurt someone’s feelings by unfriending them, when in truth, they probably don’t care and may never know.

I dumped just over 2650 “friends” in about three weeks and here is the data I collected:

  1. At least 50% of those were abandoned accounts.
  2. Approximately 50% of the abandoned accounts have been high-jacked.
  3. Sadly, you will find out some people you once engaged in conversation with have passed away.
  4. 5% were deactivated accounts.
  5. Not one person objected via DM to their termination.
  6. Your followers are not related to your friends list.
  7. Post engagement went up.
  8. My news-feed is now full of posts which actually interest me.
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Rant, whine, whinge, complain. . .

Authors in particular love to complain about their posts not being seen or interacted with, and how facelook limits the number of our friends who can see our posts; yet they never consider how this corporate giant is, or should be, motivated to send our posts to our dead “friends” accounts in order to save big on server usage. If there is no interaction on a post, server costs go down. The 7% claimed maximum post reach is quickly cut in half most of the time by your dead accounts, and it is conceivable that some days our posts get shared into the news feeds of nothing but these dead accounts. It’s way easier to blame facenook (I love to every chance I get.) than it is to clean out all the dead accounts YOU FRIENDED. Yes, your “friends” list is your responsibility; ergo, your post reach is a reflection of how well you manage your facetook account.

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Because I no longer care about the publishing dream we are sold, I have turned “unfriending” into an art form.

Here is my criteria:

Mutual friends with my ex? GONE!
Mostly political posts? GONE!
Mostly religious posts? GONE!
Mostly kids and pets? GONE!
Mostly book promotion? GONE!
Unanswered birthday messages? GONE!
Infrequent posting? GONE!
Over the top patriotism? GONE!
Allowing people to post ads on their wall? GONE!
A whiff of racism? GONE!
Over the top sexism? GONE!
Posting in languages other than English? GONE!
Posting violence? GONE!
Posting animal cruelty even if you are an animal lover. GONE!
Unceasing negativity? GONE!
A lack of engagement: Likes, Comments, and Shares? GONE!

I wasn’t as merciless as the list above might make it seem, although I did relish terminating vocal Trumpeter supporters and old rich white guys whose view of the world is just too f-cked to bear. I must also confess how much I enjoyed unfriending real best-selling authors who I envied for catching a break but who turned out to be boring as shit. In fact, I visited over 90% of the profiles I dumped looking for reasons to keep them. If you made me laugh, made me think, posted something meaningful, or showed yourself to be a caring person with some depth, then you probably made the cut.

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Where did all these fake or abandoned accounts come from?

In most cases, the author contracted a P.A. or book marketing services company to create and manage their profile and possibly pages, but when the term of the contract was up, these authors found out they did not own the account. From that point forward, the promoters continue to post there from other accounts they create, leaving you to scroll back months or years before you find a post from the author whose page it was. This wreaks of a scam by companies claiming they will get your book in front of hundreds or thousands of readers, when in fact most of us unfollow these accounts as soon as the first ad for sunglasses appears. If you are a budding author, create and manage your own accounts and consider what you may leave behind. Do not allow other people to post to your wall; let them tag you instead.

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There are different levels of cleaning.

A Level 1 Cleaning is just scrolling your friends list and deleting the deactivated accounts. This hour or so will make room for new friends.

A Level 2 Cleaning is the dumping of all the people you unfollowed. Why keep them if you don’t like their posts? This will take a few hours.

A Level 3 Cleaning means going to profiles to see if they are real and active accounts managed by the author. For most of you, this will happen over time as this can represent days of work if you have thousands of friends. Keep notes on where you left off, and keep at it because these accounts are hurting your post reach.

Level 4 is a total reboot. I downsized to create a small but interesting group who entertain me. In the process, I scrapped three pages as well, due primarily to abysmal engagement, but also to eradicate all evidence of my former significant other. I visit these remaining friends profiles when the mood strikes and I’m usually pleasantly surprised with their posts. It’s like having 350 pen pals.

I will leave you with some facebooking 101 tips.

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Be really careful of the groups you join.

Just sit back and watch what goes on in the group before actively participating. If you see gossip and drama, RUN AWAY!!!

Only some of these are author specific:

  1. “Friend” readers—NOT AUTHORS OR WRITERS (at least not too many)—people who review, blog, promote, and talk books. i.e. members of book clubs.
  2. Activity (posting) and engagement (commenting) is key for both you and anyone you “friend”; otherwise you will never see anyone interesting to check out as a possible new quality “friend”.
  3. “Friend” ONLY people who seem real, who fill out the About Section of their profile, and ideally who show pics of themselves, friends, and family etc. Of course authors writing under a pen name may need an exemption from this rule, but you can get a sense of their legitimacy by the size of their following, their number of mutual friends, and how long they have been around.
  4. NEVER TRUST ANYONE OR ANYTHING YOU SEE on f-ckbook, or anywhere else online for that matter. This is a world of pretenders who, except for a rare few, do not know the first thing about being truthful. Lies and deception rule their pathologies.
  5. UPLOAD content daily to your Author Page. i.e. a good morning meme, and share it to your profile’s wall. This will increase your page reach.
  6. Update your Status daily on your profile, ideally with something amusing or interesting which can be shared publicly. Status updates are seen more than posts you share to your wall.
  7. INVITE people to Like your Author Page. Before long you will have a following who will read the tweets and blogs you send to your page. I made the mistake of creating followers of my public posts from my profile’s wall instead of creating an Author Page right from the start.

Best of luck.

She showed you mine so I’m sharing hers.

“Turnabout is fair play.”

A 1755 English/Irish proverb which suits my purposes here.

I have a friend; a really cool friend; an honorable friend; a supportive friend; an aware friend; an empathic friend; a scary smart friend who writes on a level so impressive I asked for her hand in marriage after reading only a thousand or so of her words. It was in jest, I think, and years ago now, but as I recall, she didn’t exactly say no. . .

Since that time, she has purchased, read, and favorably reviewed my book; an act which showed her to be good to her word; a person of substance; a person of character rising out of a sea of pretenders who made similar promises without delivering the goods. Such is life as an author. You become accustomed to it while paying close attention to the solid people you meet in your journey.

Today she made some noise about my book on twitter so I thought a little surprise reciprocity might be in order.

Her name is Shelby Kent-Stewart

a.k.a. The Sultaness of Snark

(I just made that up.)

and I’m proud to call her my friend.

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So when a friend you admire, or perhaps adore—I’m still working that out—who you are slightly intimidated by as a writer asks you to write with her, you get butterflies in your stomach reminiscent of your first school dance. Your palms get clammy, your mouth goes dry, your respiration becomes quick and shallow, and you struggle with words that seem to want to form sentences written by a chimp.

I gathered myself as we discussed the possibilities and we settled on a starting point. A simple blog post from two points of view to see if our styles, philosophies, attitudes, and perspectives could somehow mesh into something worth reading without destroying our friendship.

We did it.

In my heavily biased opinion, our first collaboration is Blog of the Year material, if that’s a thing, and we hope you enjoy reading it this weekend as much as we enjoyed producing it for you.

Go straight to our article. It should be up late in the week.

Shelby has six 5 STAR rated books available on amazon.

Like and Follow her on facebook.

Get to know Shelby on twitter.

Watch for her new book: For Love of Honor coming soon; part of the Wicked Tails Stories series.

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Thanks for everything Shelby. You are appreciated, and I’ll try to keep up.

 

 

 

 

Nonfiction Blows Sometimes

I TOTALLY get why people read escapist fiction.

 

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I am a seeker. I read nonfiction to find answers to big questions.

One big question of many that perplex me when it comes to the State of Israel and Jewish people is: Why are 14.2 million people more newsworthy in the West than the other 6.86 billion people of the world? Is there more to this than media control, ownership, or the claimed disproportionate number of Jewish people working in Western media? I don’t know. When I don’t know something, I read, and keep on reading until I find answers. This tiny segment of the world’s population endlessly reminds us of their stories of persecution; some of these stories are based on historically documented facts, while others have so little empirical evidence they border on the mythological. A media spotlight affords a tiny state some protection from transgressors, but in doing so, it can also cast a shadow on any freshly dug graves.

If you want to truly get a handle on a culture, you must dive into their indoctrinations.

The world’s religions mastered indoctrination long ago, so this, I thought, would be a good area to acquire a better grasp of a people without diving into the more volatile areas of politics and economics.

Yesterday’s read began with enthusiasm as I found a book which was touted to be: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom; something that appealed to me on a couple of different levels even though I am not Jewish, and have—putting it mildly—a general dislike of almost all religions for their exploitive,  for-profit business model which excludes aid to anyone who is not a paying customer. Firstly, this book appealed to the researcher inside me as I am usually forced to open dozens of books over several days just to find puzzle pieces which I then have to make notes on and later assemble into something that makes sense. It’s a good day when you find an author who has done all the work for you. Secondly, I have not given Judaism its due, relative to the volume of reading I have done on all of the larger religions. Oh sure I have skimmed the Tanakh and read the greatest hits of the Torah in my fact-finding missions to compare stories from other religions, but I really did not have a “feel” for this group’s beliefs. I really hoped this book on the mystical side of Judaism: Kabbalah, would give me a better understanding of the big picture.

A great many authors should thank their lucky stars I don’t publish reviews or ratings below three stars on a five star scale.

This book dodged a bullet. When we choose a nonfiction book to read, we are encouraged to pay attention to the credentials of the author as though only a credentialed person can put forth a valid thought—or so the publishing world a.k.a. print media would have us believe. The author is a Rabbi and an educational psychologist so I expected a balance of theology with logic and reason. What I got was a heavy dose of mysticism, magic, and the supernatural with a smattering of references to empirical research that, at best, offered a weak endorsement of how the magic worked. The spiritual mumbo-jumbo, of course, told the believer how to think and live “correctly”:

‘You must be a giving person.’

In fact, there was an entire paragraph on how to appropriately greet and compensate a Kabbalist or Hassidic rebbe if you were ever fortunate enough to garner their attention.

‘You must not be an egotist.’

And yet the author saw fit to publish a photo of himself with the Dali Lama instead of one where he was feeding or counseling “displaced” Palestinian children.

In fairness, I expect hypocrisy in all books from theologians, however once you strip away the nonsense, there were about fifty pages of good reading where the author succinctly explained: The Ten Sefirot, the meaning of the Star of David, and he interpreted a number of commonly used Jewish religious terms while passing along some insights into Judaic “philosophy”. The book was just 200 pages so I’ll give it a 1.25 star rating.

Every book will give you something.

What did I learn? Nothing Earth shattering, but it would appear that Judaism:

  • Is a very complex belief system which requires significant interpretation.
  • Has a significant number of teachings related to self.
  • Places women closer to men in terms of equality.
  • Has roots in Zoroastrianism.
  • Is open to different planes of existence, science, and multiple universes.
  • Believes they have all the answers.
  • Believes Hebrew is the Holy tongue—necessary to enter a higher reality.
  • Believes their religious men are above the average follower.
  • Believes the Torah contains a hidden spiritual code supported by mathematics.
  • Codify beliefs into law in much the same way Muslims do.

This lackluster book did however point me at a new target of inquiry. It seems that in the 1700’s a scholastic elite were the only ones with access to Jewish literary works. This wreaks of potential tampering akin to Constantine or King James. I’ll let you know if anything interesting turns up once I have chased down this lead.

I’m no Chad!

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Just as with the Trumpeter winning the US presidency, an attack in my hometown of Toronto required me to take some time to process my thoughts before I would weigh in on this latest example of extremism. Thankfully, there is no religious indoctrination associated with this incident which killed ten and injured thirteen. I have flogged that dead horse enough over the years anyway. No, this one is truly “new”, and would require some research on my part. By “new”, I mean a new take on a 5000 year old idea; men should rule and be the masters of all that is in their domain. What I found bothers me more than Trump and his bandits. So let’s take a look at the latest scourge reaped by our downward spiral in parenting and education.

misogyny – a hatred of women

How to make a misogynist:

  1. Uncaring; absent; ignorant; abusive; immoral; non-supportive parent(s).
  2. Early indoctrination into an organization or society where women are not equal to men.
  3. Early objectification of women through video games and pornography.
  4. Inadequate sex and relationship education.
  5. Unguided teen years.
  6. Exposure to the sex trade.

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In my book I toyed with misogyny while exploring my emotional damage from past relationships and coming to terms with how I feel about women, North American culture, and humanity as a whole. It started as a humorous idiot’s guide to manhood for my nephews, but it became something else . . . a complete instruction manual for life as a decent human. Sadly, I did not know how few men read such books when I wrote it. They are conditioned to appear as though they have it all figured out-causing most to actually believe they do. North American culture is of course an oxymoron as few of its citizens are cultured by definition.

cultured – having or showing good education, tastes, and manners

I will not give the perpetrator of the attack any mention other than to say it is doubtful he is sane. When something horrific happens close to home people want to know why and it is here where things become dark, murky, and disturbing. There are known to be approximately 40,000 others like him out there who share similar beliefs. They call themselves Incels.

Incel – a person who thinks of themself as being involuntarily celibate

When trying to imagine the membership of this group, one would naturally think of unfortunate individuals with deformities or who were disfigured in some way; thereby limiting their chances of attracting a romantic partner. However, this does not appear to be the case.

Misogyny + Entitlement + Dehumanization = Incel Extremist

The following excerpt is from an article by By Rebecca Jennings published on Racked.com which gives you a sense of what they are about.

Incels see women as either “Stacys,” who are hyperfeminine, attractive, and unattainable and who only date “Chads” (muscular, popular men who are presumed to sleep with lots of women), or “Beckys,” the “average” woman. Women in general are also referred to in dehumanizing terms such as “femoids” or “FHOs (Female Humanoid Organism).”

https://www.racked.com/2018/4/28/17290256/incel-chad-stacy-becky

Allegedly, these are nerds, geeks, dorks, dweebs etc. who have been publicly shamed and bullied to such an extent they are now stigmatized, leaving them socially awkward and incapable of engaging effectively with women they desire. They apparently use math to support their contention they only have a shot with the castoffs of the Chads. They think this is wrong and unfair.

I smell rationalization and I call BULLSHIT!

These morons have not earned the right to call themselves nerds.

pexels-photo-247899.jpegNerds, geeks, dorks, and dweebs are typically smart. Smart people know how to research to find a course of action which solves a problem. I have been called a nerd and a geek, mostly because I read and spend time in libraries, but it was time well spent. I did the work. I LEARNED. I understand women, human behavior, and our society which makes me very interesting to a Stacy who is tired of Chad’s shit. The more you learn, the more aware you become which leads to personal growth and change

These guys have LEARNED NOTHING!

They were ill-prepared for life. Sadly, they have formed an online group where they denigrate what they want the most-women. It is a support group gone wrong.

I object to them believing themselves to be nerds. A nerd is far more than a sci-fi enthusiast, gamer or comic book collector. These guys are pretenders; and just as their feeble minds did with women, they missed yet another point entirely.

Here is why an Incel can’t get laid:

THEY do not know how to stimulate a woman’s erogenous center.
THEY do not know where that is.
THEY do not care and are too lazy to find out.
THEY equate real women with their rubber porn star vagina sex toy.
THEY think women are just a collection of holes for their pleasure.
THEY do not respect women because they were never taught this.
THEY believe women won’t pick up on their misogynistic vibe.
THEY think they are superior to women.
THEY believe they should be entitled to any woman they wish.

I have news for you Mr. Rapey von Dick-Picker, it’s YOU not them.

Not getting sex is just nature’s way of saying you are not worthy and your genetic line stops here.

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I do pity them though. It’s not all their fault. Poor genetics, bad parenting, a low quality education, and unresolved emotional scars all combined to make them what they are.

At best, Incels are throwing the world’s biggest pity party and of course none of it is their fault. They are not happy with natural selection, nor are they willing to improve themselves in order to get in the game. Essentially, they are damaged and lazy with entitlement issues. In the worst cases, as with the Toronto incident, dangerous sociopaths are in their midst being primed for action.

Of Squirrels and Airplanes

It’s been a long, long, long time since I have had a day like this-literally years since I published a slightly impaired blog titled: An Intoxicated Tirade, or words to that effect. A conscientious blogger would create a link, but I don’t care.

Life as a struggling author is tough, and full of duties and obligations. Today was different though; I fulfilled all those daily tasks by 2:00 p.m. on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon which allowed me a shopping trip including a visit to the liquor store.

1

It should be noted that I mark the return of warm weather with a cocktail we Canadians call a Caesar-made from tomato/clam cocktail, vodka, and spices, including salt, pepper, celery salt, Worchestershire sauce (Did you seriously expect me to spell it right?) and Tobasco sauce. (Ditto.)

I spent TWO magical hours alone with my thoughts (and the booze) in direct sunlight which has always been my drug of choice when I needed to re-energize and refocus. There was a part of me who screamed I should have a book with me or what will the neighbors think? F*ck ’em.

ancient-arched-window-architecture-532902I moved to this neighborhood to be amongst the poor and down-trodden. Granted, houses in this area sell between one and two million dollars, but that does not mean the people here are rich; they just have good credit. As property values have gone from ridiculous to insane while I have been here, it led me to think about the retirees on a fixed income being displaced because they could not keep up with their property taxes as their property’s value exploded, forcing many to take out equity loans just to keep their homes.

After the second drink, I noticed a deep exhalation that I am certain has not been a part of my existence for some time. Some people meditate to accomplish this state-of-being, but I have not been making the time for any spiritual journeys of this nature lately. I am just too damn busy.

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So, about the squirrels . . . Ever notice the squirrel who is busting his (or her) ass (Who can tell?); digging up chestnuts and running across a busy street to bring home the bacon? He/she is unlike the other squirrels who have trained humans to feed them, and who unknowingly have become reliant on their trainees. I respect the hustler’s choice. I hope he/she doesn’t get squished by one of the vehicles travelling much too fast in our school zone.

It occurred to me upon sipping my third drink, I could really use more days like this. This prompted a revised want ad stolen from my book.

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WANTED: A good woman.

  • This old dog is tired and in need of a porch to sleep on.
  • Please send photo of your porch.
  • Applicants with a wrap-around-porch will automatically advance to the next round.
  • A porch swing will score bonus points.
  • If you have both a wrap-around-porch and a boat, you are gold. Please send photo of the boat as well.
  • If your porch overlooks a unicorn ranch, it is important you include this information.

Dinner Update: One part is burnt, and one part is still frozen. Balance is key.

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On to the airplanes-you can’t help but notice them while you are positioned to be face-first into the setting sun in the West, which coincidentally, is also where our airports are, relative to where I live. There are fast-movers, a.k.a. military stuff, at serious altitudes leaving twin contrails. Those are our F-18s. I did however see a fast-mover with a single contrail; I hope we didn’t buy one of those piece of sh*t single engine F-35s.

FYI: The texture of my chicken patties can be best equated with cutting cardboard with your standard cutlery. And again, I don’t care. Two hours of direct sunlight and four cocktails will do that to a person.

My man-bun-daddy neighbor with way too many health issues for his age and I just talked about using some of our more useless neighbors as food when the apocalypse comes. I suggested a barbecue sauce.

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What are the passers-by thinking as they acknowledge my smile, nod, or wave as I sit in my lawn chair basking in the sun? Are they jealous of my leisure time inactivity, or do they think I am hurting property values in the neighborhood? At the moment, I can confidently state I don’t give a flying f*ck about what others think.

One neighbor who regularly parks her car in front of my house chatted about her court day with our street’s bandit parking cop, and how she was kayaking on a river today. She does lead an interesting life.

autumn-beautiful-blur-658945I chatted briefly with my hot neighbor about how confusing this time of year was for her when it came to choosing what to wear. She was in sandals and a sweater coat. I suggested she remove the coat.

I saw some kids playing road hockey while armed with squirt guns. I guess I didn’t get that memo.

Birds chirping; the sounds of motorcycles and children at play; and the guy with saws. Dude, give it a f*cking rest already.

I thought up a killer book idea, but I’ve thought that before . . .

Much can happen in two hours if you go outside to figuratively stop and smell the flowers.

I admit I have been neglecting this blog, but sh*t happens. My Ms. Creant site blog has kept me busy with a ten-ish part series on the book publishing game. If you are a soon-to-be-published author not picked up by the big 5, you would be well-advised to tune in.

It’s now 10:30 p.m. and my nightcap is almost gone.

Ever notice how I only use contractions when I’m drinking?

Talk soon.

How to fix America: I did your homework for you.

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s easier than you think to create change if you keep your eye on your GOAL . . . and get off your butt.

466 days have slipped by and what have you done?

You have just 994 days left to make your move.

https://days.to/election-day-in-us/2020

Big problems MUST require big solutions, right?

WRONG!

Any problem-solver will tell you that big problems are made up of a number of smaller more manageable and completely solvable issues.

Here are some big problems:

  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the antics of their President and his gangsters.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the possibility of elections tampering.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by what appears to be the rise of fascism.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by racism.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by sexism.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the lack of federal government assistance to Americans hit by natural disasters.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the loss of American military personnel being used in foreign lands allegedly to “protect” American interests; or to bring “freedom” to people nearly bombed into extinction.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the ever-increasing loss of privacy in the emerging security state.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the lack of senate and congressional oversight and accounting for the 21 TRILLION DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER’S MONEY spent primarily by the military and security agencies in recent years.
  • http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/msu-scholars-find-21-trillion-in-unauthorized-government-spending-defense-department-to-conduct/
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the deportation tactics of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who are willing to “just follow orders”.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by how “normal” mass shootings have become and how quickly they are forgotten.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the exceedingly poor quality Presidential candidates offered up by both parties in the last election.
  • Many Americans are OUTRAGED . . . we could go on and on, but it is time to look at what they all have in common.

Americans are OUTRAGED, and they should be!

But the sheer quantity of things causing them to be outraged is what keeps them from getting off their butts to do anything about ANY of these issues. There is a new big problem, reported in their media, which causes them to be outraged almost every day—new threats—new scandals—new protests. . .  Their news sources bombard them with new and exciting things to be outraged about to keep them from becoming FOCUSED on any one GOAL.

It is time every American became FOCUSED on their own personal GOAL to aid in fixing America.

This will require that you not be DISTRACTED or DIVERTED or DIVIDED by the daily nonsense being pumped out of Washington.

You will need to be PROACTIVE, because merely being REACTIVE just helps those in power maintain the status quo while moving their agendas forward.

Let’s look at why being reactive has not moved America towards positive change for over 60 years; while also looking at some of the time-wasting ineffectual reactive responses of outraged, but well-meaning, Americans who simply lacked a clear vision of how to create change.

  • PICKING A SIDE is a reactive response. We see this all the time on social media where Democrats are attempting to inform the public of the government’s latest insult to the American way of life, as though they are some kind of trusted news source. Some of them believe they can change the views of a Republican by informing them of the latest dirt on their party’s members. Some will engage in debates with GOP, Tea Party, and even white supremacist members, and then will resort to petty name-calling when they fail to make a dent.

None of this accomplishes anything because the GOAL is to convert people. You will only get a few rational fence-sitters for all your efforts, and this is not nearly enough to fix the big problems.

  • SUPPORTING A CAUSE is a reactive response. IT FEELS GOOD to be a part of a protest march for women’s rights, or to stop a pipeline, or to occupy Wall Street.

If the march only accomplishes a heightened awareness or rehashing of the issues rather than producing immediate results or an actionable plan; then we have no choice but to stamp it “ineffectual”.

WORKING A CAUSE within an organization of people with a clear GOAL is the proactive response.

It will mean getting up, showing up, and joining up. Some of you might even throw some money at it.

  • If you vote Republican without joining the party so you have a voice; then you are not helping.

https://www.wikihow.com/Join-The-Republican-Party

  • If you vote Democrat without joining the party so you have a voice; then you are not helping.

https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Registered-Democrat

  • If you hate both of those? Check out these alternatives.

http://www.reformparty.org/contacts/join-the-reform-party/

http://www.constitutionparty.com/

http://www.gp.org/index.php

Almost all of America’s biggest OUTRAGE inducing problems are a result of a government representatives lacking either a conscience or the bravery to stand up to the bankers, agencies, corporations, and other groups who believe themselves to be out of the reach of the taxpayer’s wrath. Keep this in mind when you are asked to choose, nominate, or support a candidate.

Only YOUR INVOLVEMENT can create a tidal wave of change.

  • You need to get EVERYONE out to vote.

https://www.voterparticipation.org/our-mission/

  • You need to REFORM your electoral system.

http://www.fairvote.org/solutions

  • Here is a directory of 37 organizations that are working towards electoral or political change. I am certain there is an organization whose GOALS for America parallel your own.

http://bigbatusa.org/electoral-reform/strategy-tactics-activist-elements/e-other-reference-points/

The days of being an observer on the sidelines are over.

It is up to you, and the other 235,248,000 people who are of voting age in America to get busy on something meaningful.

If you do, you will scare the crap out of all the reprobates currently working on Wall Street and in D.C.

Taxpayers and voters are the most powerful people in America, but politicians and bankers don’t want you to know that.

Please get off your butts and create change while you still have the freedom to do so.

Most of the other 6.7 billion people on Earth are very concerned about you.

 

Manifest Destiny? How is this still a thing?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Man·i·fest Des·ti·ny

noun

the 19th-century doctrine or belief that the expansion of the US throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable.

Back in the day:

You fought.

You lost.

You got over it!

Well, mostly.

Germany and Japan did, and look at them now. They are shining examples of “team players” who became allies, and as a reward they get to share in the “American dream” just a few generations later.

Conquered peoples need time to adjust to their new reality. This is best done by firstly assisting them in rebuilding; it keeps them busy and takes their mind off what being conquered actually means.

  • Of course, rebuilding does not come cheap so the first order of business is to infuse the conquered country with the necessary cash—enter the international banking cartels. An indebted country is a “team player”.
  • In order to do all this building, they will need a great many automobiles that burn fossil fuels—enter the automakers and oil companies.
  • A conquered populace is likely to be malnourished and in need of medical attention—enter the food, drug, and water purification companies.
  • Next, you will want to indoctrinate them into Western culture a.k.a. The New World Order. This must be done VERY SLOWLY so as not to alert them that it is happening.
  • Of primary importance is letting the conquered people BELIEVE their culture has remained intact. You allow them to keep their religious beliefs; language; a form of government which seems familiar; a carefully controlled perception of freedom and national identity; national sports, and other forms of entertainment which help to keep them distracted when they take some time off to recuperate from their building job.
  • You will want to “stimulate their economy” by investing in building projects, and what better way is there than to build new types of houses of worship, new sporting arenas, and foreign owned places of business—not to mention banks—so many banks. Do not underestimate the need of all these different houses of worship as there is no better way to keep the populace divided than through religious ideologies.
  • Schools are the key to producing the next generation of “team players” and legislation should be drafted which makes attendance in public education mandatory. The last thing we want are unindoctrinated free-thinking individuals.
  • All these building projects acclimates the conquered people to the idea that foreign investment and control means steady employment. Being conquered doesn’t seem so bad when you have some extra money in your pocket.
  • You will want to encourage other forms of escapism as well. The very first imports should be alcohol and drugs because, as everyone knows, addicts are not capable of, nor interested in, civil uprisings.
  • In just three to four generations, everyone who was present during the war will be dead from natural causes. If you wish to expedite this, just keep veterans impoverished by red-tape and over-priced medications, while delaying medical procedures for as long as possible. The sooner they are gone, the sooner a new version of historical events can be introduced without any opposition from first-hand witnesses. Do not worry about the tiny number of aware researchers who came later as they can be branded as conspiracy theorists by academics and media loyal to the system. Eventually, we will have our publishers remove these old “outdated” history books from their catalogs.

This has an eerily familiar ring to it.

Was western civilization conquered economically without a fight and nobody told us?

 

A Holiday Message

My present fron Kat

Times are tough.

There is a great deal of uncertainty, at the very least, if not fear or outright paranoia in our world at the moment.

Please try to reign in these thoughts, especially over the holidays.

If you are able to read this on-line, it most likely means you can afford devices and services which connect you to this online world. These are luxuries you should be conscious of. This also implies your immediate security needs of shelter, food, and clothing have also been met. Be grateful for what you have as there are a great many others who are not as fortunate and who will not be able to read this.

The holidays are a time for giving—our way of expressing love, caring and thanks to people we know.

Even strangers sometimes treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both hands full of shopping bags. Acknowledge these small kindnesses. It’s too easy to be self-absorbed—preoccupied with finishing the damnable shopping so we can jump right back into the hustle and bustle of travelling to parties and family gatherings. We might overlook this tiny kind gesture which is really what this season is about. Seize the moment to look them in the eye, smile, say thank you, and wish them a happy holiday. It might be the only present they receive this year.

The holiday season puts increased demands on our time because of all the commitments we make to family and friends. This causes us to be stressed and possibly irritable. We need to remember that we are fortunate to have those friends and family members with us as many others may not.

Some people will not be able to travel to see their friends and family this year. They may feel very alone. They can change that by volunteering their time to a cause they believe in. Many worthwhile causes do not close during the holidays and spending time with the other volunteers will almost certainly turn into new friendships.

We pick up the holiday spirit by being compassionate. Give some canned goods to the food bank, give some blankets to a shelter or contribute to your local toy drive. The smallest things make a difference in this world. We often forget this. We do not have to solve global warming to improve the planet; the kid who receives your toy this year might be destined to do that, if they are not emotionally scarred by Santa missing their home. This is how we are all connected.

Goodness spreads like a virus through all walks of life, across all religions, and it does not see the colour of someones skin or their gender. By spreading that which we know to be good, we spread hope. The hope we create can alter the path of another, and they in turn influence the 10,000 people they will meet in their lifetime.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who have followed me online—both past and present. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

So What Is Mid-Life?

Another birthday has arrived. They are coming faster it seems.

A writer in his late forties shares a little too much.

At this point, I am well into mid-life and spend a great deal of time dealing with issues that ONLY people of my age can relate to. Younger people should read this however, as ALL this stuff is just around the corner for you, and it will be here faster than you can imagine.

My book explores the subject of MANOPAUSE nicely, so I will refrain from being repetitive. Instead, in this post, I will explore the tragic comedy of my personal situation.

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Your birthday should be a time to be a little introspective but do not obsess or be unhappy about your circumstances just because another year has passed.

Just like having an old house, MAINTENANCE seems to consume more of your time these days if you want to remain attractive to the opposite sex. However, you do realize that you will eventually reach a point where the ones you are attracted to will view you as TOO OLD. That scares me. The upside of that day arriving, is that you will be able to let much of the maintenance slide.

Mirrors are your enemy!

My advice is to reduce the size of them or remove them from your place altogether.

If you are not ready to make that move, then you will have to face what appears there on a daily basis and do what you can about it.

The pessimist within, looks at my body in the mirror after getting out of the shower and notices that my mid-section has a layer of fat that was not present in my thirties. My pectorals need work but that is do-able. A little more walking or sex and I can shed some lbs. and tone my midriff up… some. The optimist within, realizes that I still have a better body than half of the guys out there that are still in their thirties, so I have that going for me. Most of those guys are chasing women in their twenties anyway, which leaves women in their thirties and early forties more readily available and vulnerable to my intellectual stimulation tactics.

Rogue hairs are showing up everywhere.

F. S. H. (follicle stimulating hormones) are present in guys too.

The pessimist within says this is a real sign of old age being just around the corner. The optimist within realizes that a razor and tweezers are all that are required to make the problem go away so you can continue to live in denial for another week or so.

Grey hair has been an issue for me since I was in my thirties. My Nazi dominatrix hair-dresser insisted on eliminating them back then and has been doing so ever since. I don’t dare disappoint the mistress. The pessimist within, notices that my beard is about 50/50- salt vs. pepper now, but it can be colored as well. The optimist within reminds me that there are plenty of guys in their thirties that are losing their hair while I maintain a healthy full head of hair. Additionally, my grey is confined to only those two places… so far.

Your libido is not what it once was.

THANK GOD!

I remember getting hard with every slight breeze, sexy picture or beautiful woman that I came across. It was a very unproductive time in my life. The pessimist within notices, that I can sometimes go a couple of days without wanting sex. The optimist within me sees this as an opportunity to get stuff done.

Middle-age forces you to consider your mortality.

Your health will be noticed more often now.

The pessimist within looks back over this past year and remembers back issues, joint pain, a few colds or flu’s that seemed to linger, too much coughing and head congestion due to anything but my nicotine addiction (Denial, denial, denial.) and a fortunately short- relatively minor bout with the shingles virus. The optimist within realizes that it could have been much worse. My cardiovascular system is still quite good despite the abuse and I see many younger people in far worse shape than myself.

My Dentist and I will develop a new friendship due to my paying him far more regularly now. Smoking, sugar, wine among other things have wreaked havoc with my once white smile, but as my grandmother often said: “At least I still have all my teeth.” I did loosen one recently and that has me a little worried.

My energy level is at an all time low but I have discovered napping and really enjoy it.

You must fight off the urge to be critical.

You were incredibly “young and dumb” too.

It does not help that your patience is at an all time low, but if you are conscious of yourself, you can pretend that you still have the thick skin you once had. Every time I want to take a strip off someone younger than myself, I flash back to what I was doing at their age and it helps me to keep my mouth shut… most of the time.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how YOUR ATTITUDE AND GRATITUDE WILL KEEP YOU YOUNGER LONGER.

Enjoy your birthdays… there may not be that many left.

Be as young as you can, for as long as you can.

E. A.

Shit To Avoid Doing On Social Media

A concept created by Author Angora Shade.

 

Actors are famous; some with millions of LIKES and with FOLLOWERS numbering in the hundreds of thousands on social media sites. Meanwhile the writers that supplied their lines remain mostly unknown.

That is the world that writers live in.

In an often vain attempt to be noticed, Authors are required to have an online presence that includes (at a minimum) the following:

  • Tweeting daily.
  • Updating their Facebook status frequently.
  • Blogging weekly.
  • Maintaining a website.
  • Being an active participant in many organizations and groups.
  • A book trailer on YouTube.

For most, the commitment to social media is over twenty hours per week of a writer’s time, assuming they did not get drawn in- endless surfing. You see writers are inquisitive by nature. We wish to experience new ideas that make us think. We may later write using this new found inspiration. We also want our words to affect others. There is a certain power that we feel when others are moved by our words. It can be a teachable moment.

THIS IS THE TRAP.

We cannot stop ourselves from commenting on interesting posts and we cannot stop surfing for those posts. If we stop, we might miss something that could have changed a life or gone viral. We are like kids begging to stay out later. Surfing social media can become addictive. If you are not careful, you will find yourself unwashed, in three day old underwear, still looking for the next opportunity to contribute. Books do not get written or published that way.

I have made many mistakes in my short time immersed in social media that I will now share.

1) DO NOT OPEN YOUR SITE UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I bombarded my early followers with friend requests over and over again. Bless them for sticking with the newbie.

2) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ALTER THE THINKING OF OTHERS. I am well known for my anti-substance abuse stance, so in one post I questioned Australia’s idea of legalizing or decriminalizing drugs harder than pot. The group that posted seemed to think that by making these drugs more available it would remove the burden on law enforcement, reduce the backlog in the courts and empty the prisons ultimately saving tax dollars because drug treatments are cheaper. They kind of missed the point that habitual drug users do not wish to be treated. Always one for being philosophical, I suggested that “Mankind makes enough mistakes without being intoxicated.” If it was a jail, I would have been gang raped. Their responses ranged from “Your parents should have used protection.” to “Go f@ck yourself.”

3) DO NOT PRESUME THAT YOUR ON-LINE “FRIENDS” ARE LIKE YOUR REAL-LIFE FRIENDS. I think of writers as well educated thinking people in search of noble things like awareness and understanding. The ones I have associated with in real life have open minds, have journeyed into their inner selves and who freely engage in friendly banter that may include jest. They are witty. They understand and appreciate sarcasm. Recently, an author that I had conversed with several times on-line, posted the results of one of those “Who is (Her Name)?” tests that came back as being perfect in every way imaginable. You are smart, beautiful, sexy, an amazing lover… yada, yada, yada. The photo on her page (if actually her) was of an extraordinarily attractive woman. I was sarcastically questioning this personification of perfection and was almost immediately swarmed by others on the post. I was told that “If I had nothing nice to say, that I should say nothing at all.” I attempted to explain that my comments were a tease but to no avail. The Author told me that “she would be happy to stick her eight inch heels up my ass.” I had run into someone with a “mirror mirror on the wall…” complex who believed her own press. She obviously has some self-esteem issues that manifested in her oversensitivity. Her worshipers- presumably readers, would not allow a non-worshipper to talk to their goddess in that way. None got the joke and that is the moral of the story. The UN-FRIEND button was used on this occasion.

4) DO NOT PLAY DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. Recent world events have polarized many people into “for” and “against” and neither is willing to look at the opposing viewpoint nor are they interested in finding any common ground. It does not seem to matter whether the group is talking politics or religion- there is no give in their stance no matter how inhumane or ridiculous that stance may be. Do not waste your precious time.

5) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EDUCATE EVEN WHEN IT APPEARS THEY ARE ASKING FOR HELP. Offering up unsolicited advice is never welcomed in the “on-line community”. Despite your “friend” status, you are a stranger and they probably do not know anything about you. When you are asked, you must weigh your words carefully- remembering that people tend to ask for your input to help them be more comfortable with a decision that they have already made. They are looking for peace of mind and not looking for answers that may require them to strike off in a new direction.

6) NEVER ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS AFTER MIDNIGHT- ESPECIALLY ON WEEKENDS. People get hammered and go on-line thinking that they are smarter and more communicative when they are in that condition. These are the same people that use liquid bravery to meet others in bars. In either place the results are the same. Incoherence and impaired cognitive function does not make for good conversation. The key to identifying them is by their tangents. I say “The dog is red.” and they come back with “You don’t like dogs that read?” Do yourself a favour and log off right there.

7) DO NOT ENCOURAGE ON-LINE CRUSHES. You do not know if this person is real or an axe murderer serving a life sentence. All you have is a profile that they wrote.

8) DO NOT BELIEVE ANY POST ON THE INTERNET. So far I have seen a city in the clouds, a massive underground ancient city, more blurry UFO’s and apparently there are four different species of aliens that are running everything. Research everything to establish whether what you read is fact or fiction.

9) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE THERE. For most of us, it is part of the job. Do not let your addiction get the better of you and do not let some fools take the fun out of it for you.

10) IF YOU NEED TO RANT; DO IT IN YOUR BLOG. Your blog readers probably enjoy your personal views but Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should not be used for rants unless they are comedic.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT FLUFF.

If you want to be on-line without any grief, simply do the following:

  • Keep things light.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Tell people what they want to hear.
  • Never get involved in controversial posts.
  • Post pretty pictures.

It is not what good friends do, but that is the point.

When you have put in your twenty plus hours a week on social media, sit back, pour yourself a stiff drink and weep for humanity… but for the sake of all that is holy, do not go back on-line.

 

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as HOW EACH OF US MUST ANALYSE OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

 

Go make some friends… ideally in the real world.

E. A.

 

 

Taboo Subjects: Politics

Politics, Sex and Religion!

An age of enlightenment will have to include these talking points.

president obama
Photo by Daniel McDonald on Pexels.com

Throughout time, ALL THREE have been co-mingled yet “proper society” does not allow us to discuss these topics openly. You are not supposed to talk of such things at dinner parties or in the workplace or in “mixed company” for fear of causing a heated debate amongst the guests that could lead to one or more of the guests being OFFENDED.

I DO NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS!

“Offense is the best defence.” or visa-versa. I really do not know the correct reference and really do not give a rat’s ass.

By not talking openly about politics, sex and religion, mankind has stunted its growth.

Propriety has us hiding the facts; while living pretentiously helps to keep us in the dark ages.

Let us start by pulling the plug on “appropriate” language: EVERYONE SHITS; FARTS and MASTURBATES!

Women do not GLOW; they sweat just like men and horses.

Women do not FLUFF; they fart like beaned up cowboys when they think that no one is around, or worst of all, when they fall asleep while you are spooning them.

Politics:

Politics is simply the appointing or voting in of SELF-SERVING LIARS and DESPOTS that the general public naively expect to have their best interests at heart.

Political Correctness- THERE IS NOTHING CORRECT ABOUT POLITICS! The two words should never be found in the same sentence.

PANDERING is the correct terminology.

Politicians pander to voters in all demographics. Business, women, minorities, the working class, the middle class, the upper class and all the special interest groups will be told exactly WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR in order to garner votes and campaign contributions.

An honest politician will not have a successful career.

Only dishonest politicians advance from Municipal to State (Provincial) to Federal politics. Along that path, these politicians discover that the real power lies with the wealthiest most INFLUENTIAL people on the planet- people that our lowly politician would be wise to befriend. Once done, our politician becomes a puppet doing the bidding of the PUPPET MASTER.

Our politician has seen what money looks like and wants that life for his or herself. Their ENTITLEMENT issues kick in and they start taking more and more WELL HIDDEN MONEY to sway their vote.

WHEN not IF, a politician bows to public pressure on an issue, they will find themselves out of favour with the puppet masters who will then discredit them or if the politician is the leader of a country, may actually assassinate them for their lack of obedience.

So how can we fix this broken system?

WE MUST REMOVE MONEY AND INFLUENCE FROM POLITICS.

WE MUST REPLACE ENTITLEMENT WITH PRODUCTIVITY.

WE MUST NOT HAVE A TWO OR THREE PARTY SYSTEM where well-intentioned politicians are forced to tow the party line.

It is well established that we should all vote for the best person who would best represent our interests in our area rather than voting for parties or leaders. Few of us take that route as it seems futile to go up against a well established well funded candidate from one of the big parties.

Early on in the formation of democracies, most countries wrote passages into their “Bill of Rights and Freedoms” that would not allow military action on domestic soil.

These passages were written by PEOPLE WITH INFLUENCE to protect their interests and we have suffered with corrupt politics ever since.

It would require a MILITARY COUP D’ÉTAT to wipe the slate clean.

Blood would be spilt.

Economic chaos would ensue until the plan was completely understood by global markets.

Without the security of the military, the ousted puppets and their masters would start a murderous campaign to regain control.

This plan would require INCORRUPTIBLE MILITARY LEADERS.

Unfortunately, there exists a political system within the military and all this coup may accomplish is placing a different puppet on the throne. Under martial law, this top General could decide to keep the throne as a dictator doing the bidding of the puppeteers once again- only this time with absolutely no public voice.

But let us presume that we can find incorruptible military leaders whose only wish is to create a new government free of INFLUENCE, what then?

You would still require SOME bureaucracy at various levels of government but it could be streamlined dramatically to reduce wasteful governmental spending.

This would also create huge unemployment numbers as the government appointees and employees that lost their jobs and pensions as a result of our “down-sizing coup” would now be forced to work in the real world and that would not go well for them.

ALL POLITICAL PARTIES WOULD REMAIN but the candidates would have to campaign using their own audited assets.

This would of course continue to bring wealthy INFLUENTIAL people into politics if they choose to be there, but the upside is that we would actually SEE the puppet masters- they would not be hiding in the shadows any longer.

THE FORMER PUPPET MASTERS ARE NOT LIKELY TO RUN FOR OFFICE as neither they nor their candidates will have any CONTROL over how government monies are spent.

Once in office, governments and democracy will operate as before BUT WITH ONE KEY DIFFERENCE.

Bi-laws, Laws and Bills will be drafted as always but once approved by local, state (provincial) or congress (parliament) they will go to the NON-POLITICAL FINANCE DIVISION of each newly reorganized level government.

THIS EFFECTIVELY TAKES AWAY THE POWER, CONTROL AND INFLUENCE OF PUBLIC OFFICE.

Only genuine people wishing to spend their lives building a better country would be interested in the job.

The N. P. F. D. will be made up of the most brilliant financial minds that may include the top CFO’s in the country. They, WORKING ANONYMOUSLY IN TEAMS OF THREE, would be RANDOMLY SELECTED from across the nation, to take on the task of reviewing and approving a democratically produced Bill. If two of the three see the Bill as GOOD FOR BUSINESS and GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY then money will be released and the Bill will become law.

So why, would these CFO’s be interested in tiny municipal politics OUTSIDE THEIR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE? Answer: because they would NOT have to pay taxes that year for participating. Believe me when I say: they will line up to apply to be participants.

Taxation would be simplified:

EVERYONE living above the poverty line will PAY 30%. That is every BUSINESS and every INDIVIDUAL over the age of 16 in the work-force. Eventually a surplus would be built up that would reduce the percentage.

THE MULTI-BILLIONAIRES WILL PROBABLY LEAVE and I say: good riddance to them and their INFLUENCE.

TAX INCENTIVES to attract business would be abolished.

If you want an off-shore mega-corporation in your backyard, give them land, utilities and a trained work-force as enticements but EVERYONE PAYS TAXES- especially them.

Of course the Senate would also be abolished to save the tax-payers vast sums of money.

ALL levels of government would be restructured to work WITHIN THE TAX BASE.

Deficit spending and inflation would be halted PERMANENTLY.

THE ECONOMY WOULD IMPROVE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY with many people having increased disposable income.

ALL non-productive public officials and public servants that spend the tax-payers money as though it was their own can be dismissed at any time REGARDLESS OF TERM and without pensions by PUBLIC VOICE.

Whether it is a town Mayor caught with his hand in the cookie jar or a President (Prime Minister) that is trying to go to war; both could be jobless upon a six month performance review and PUBLIC OUTCRY.

Can any of the above be accomplished within our existing system?

IT IS DOUBTFUL!

The system was created BY THE PEOPLE with influence FOR THE PEOPLE with influence and for 200 years they have had the LEGAL BRANCH of government drafting laws to create and protect their right to INFLUENCE.

Alas, I am but a writer of silly ideas, but perhaps there are young idealistic political scientists out there that have the determination to create the reforms needed without the need for chaos.

If only this youthful group knew how powerful they could become in a short period of time.

THERE ARE 17 MILLION OF YOU IN AMERICAN COLLEGES ALONE.

There are 46 million eligible voters that are under 30 years of age in the USA.

So, if each college student secured just 5 votes, you would have 85 million votes and YOU CAN CHANGE THE SYSTEM.

Create a reform party!

It only took 69 million votes to put Obama in office in 2008.

JFK was made a President by the young people of America who were tired of the status quo.

Our Universities are loaded with young dynamic and aware people that feel that there is no point to making the attempt.

THAT IS THE VOICE OF YOUR PARENTS TALKING IN YOUR HEADS.

You can do what they did not.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as HOW MIDDLE AGED MEN STOP GIVING A RAT’S ASS.

Enjoy your week and go pull down a government if you can.

E. A.

What Really Went Down In The Garden Of Eden?

Really?

I have to do this in the 21rst century?

Fine.

WARNING: This blog is not suitable for religious fanatics nor is it for people who do not understand and appreciate satirical witticisms.

Over 2000 YEARS have passed since the death of Christ. Had humans learned anything from his words and life, I would not have to put a warning label on a blog that was written to entertain. However, there are a great many people in the world who cling to dogmatic religious beliefs without questioning the author, translator and presenter of their chosen book of faith. That is their right. Hopefully these people are GOD fearing and do good deeds in order to have a nice afterlife. Religion is arguably better than substance abuse for escapists. Acts of religious terrorism aside, you never hear about a person drunk on religious fervour crashing into a school bus full of kids.

I have a private spiritual side to my being.

It need not be discussed.

I do not require you to believe as I do in order for you to be one of my readers.

Anyone who has read anything I have written knows I embrace satire. It is what I do. I seek to see humour and spread laughter wherever possible, and I understand not everyone gets the joke. Just the other day a neighbour down the street had an underground water pipe burst that was bubbling to the surface. I teased her by saying she had her lawnmower set too low and I was going to have to tell the owner. She did not get it. I had to explain it to her.

satire   noun   1: ridicule, irony or sarcasm in speech or writing.

I am totally throwing this out there based on distant memories from my childhood Sunday school classes. I will not fact check this ridiculous story, so if it is misquoted, SO BE IT!

“So let it be written. So let it be done.”

. . .

In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the Earth and they were good.

Next, HE created man in his own image.

After six of HIS days of hard work, HE took a day off. HE deserved it.

It does appear men were here first. We also presume men lived a very long time—nearly immortal—living pain-free in the Garden’s disease-free environment where entropy was somehow slowed way down or switched off.

So what would the life of a man be like in such Utopian conditions?

For sure there would be gambling, scotch, and cigars. The things between our legs were just used for drainage. Men would gather to play cards, drink whiskey, and smoke each evening after a day of eating a nearly vegetarian, if not vegan, diet of everything one could want; EXCEPT APPLES! We were told not to touch those, and we were good with the rules as back then, as when we talked to GOD, HE answered us. Who knows, maybe HE sat in on poker night occasionally on HIS day off. I am not certain if fish and bread were on the menu yet. Smoking and drinking did not hurt us back then.

Years—perhaps even centuries—passed this way, and we created all the various art forms and practised the ones THE MAKER had intended for us. HE enjoyed our finished works, but as time continued to roll on, you could see HE was getting bored with us. HE would not pop in as often and did not get as excited about our works as HE once did. Perhaps HE thought we would grow faster as a species and was disappointed with our progress.

We men are not as oblivious to the feelings of others as some may think.

We were concerned about this development and called a general meeting to get some ideas as to how we might shake things up for HIM. HE was a cool guy who was really smart. HE could answer any question, and we wanted HIM around.

Here was our problem at this point in history:

  1. The sculptors had sculpted everything in The Garden.
  2. The builders had built everything imaginable with the materials available in The Garden.
  3. The artists had painted everything in The Garden.
  4. The musicians had created every note and played every combination of notes.
  5. The writers had written every story of life in The Garden.

We were stumped. Not a single guy at the meeting could come up with something truly new and exciting. What would happen next would change all that. It is not clear if HE had a divine hand in these events or if they happened when HE was not paying attention.

The Adam’s rib story just does not hold water, but it is a great rib joint. The talking serpent is a little far-fetched too.

This is what may have really happened:

One day, a large flying craft that was not a bird, landed in The Garden. It was made of something not found in The Garden. We were all very curious as this NEW THING could be the answer to our concerns. Men from all over The Garden gathered to view this new thing and apply their talents to the inspiration it offered us.

After only a short time, a door opened and out came beings similar to us, but different.

They called themselves women, and explained they had come to The Garden from the neighbouring planet of Venus. They were prettier than us. They smelled better than us, and for reasons I cannot explain, suddenly we were more interested in them than poker night or our artistic pursuits.

Note to self: Ask GOD what a planet is?

The only concern we had was they came from OUTSIDE of The Garden, but so did GOD and HE was cool. They showed us many new and wonderful things. Especially nice was another thing to do with the stuff between our legs. Now our dangly parts would actually point to them, like some kind of direction-finder. They made us feel very good; even better than before.

They asked us about the apples and could not understand why we would not touch them. They were not afraid of GOD and did not seem to know HIM. They ate the apples and nothing bad happened when they did. They talked most of us into eating them too.

For some reason these women were able to get us to do just about anything they desired.

Note to self: Ask GOD why we wish to please women like we once tried to please HIM?

The answer to that one came to me all by myself. Women were easier to please than HE is, and they stick around.  They liked our works, and everything about us was new to them. They were excited by us—not bored; at least not yet.

GOD eventually stuck HIS head in, appearing tired from building universes—whatever they were—and looking to unwind with the boys, but some of our poker buddies did not show up. GOD asked why, and we told HIM all about the women and the apple tree, and I asked HIM what planets and universes were. HE stood up, and with a wave of HIS hand, threw the poker table across the room and left without answering my question.

This was upsetting to those of us who were there. We had never seen HIM angry before. We figured HE would eventually cool down and come back; after all we had been buds for centuries—whatever centuries are.

BOY, WERE WE WRONG!

HE came back as mad as ever and booted us out of The Garden. HE used a new word that day as he watched us go forth to multiply. In what sounded like a warning, these were HIS final words to us as we left:

“Be careful of MANipulation my little brothers.”

We did not know what HE meant, and we had no one to ask except the women. At least HE let us keep them.

So here is how things have gone for men ever since:

  1. We age and die way faster now.
  2. GOD has not visited since.
  3. He may be listening, but he never answers anymore.
  4. We miss him.
  5. Women can make us feel good for a short time, but we used to feel good ALL THE TIME in The Garden.
  6. We have defined the word manipulation, but we still do not see it until it is too late.
  7. We kill our fellow man now. That never used to happen. Men do this often in the name of GOD, but we know HE never wanted this.
  8. We have gone forth and multiplied so much that the planet will soon be at risk, but at least we have figured out what planets and universes are.
  9. We get drunker now than when we were in The Garden, and now we get hangovers.
  10. Scotch and cigars can kill us now, but we continue to use them.

Here is the conspiracy theory version of events:

  1. Women have been in on it from the beginning.
  2. Their arrival is nothing more than a carefully conceived plan to conquer the planet SO SLOWLY we do not notice how things are changing century to century.
  3. They got us thrown out of paradise.
  4. They have always been able to MANipulate us with sex.
  5. Initially, they followed most of our wishes.
  6. Later, they would become educated and not do as much for us.
  7. They started to get jobs and earn their own money, and did even less for us.
  8. After that, they would get to vote and did even less for us.
  9. Later they would hold public office and lead countries, and use that as a reason to do even less for us.
  10. Now they are CEO’s telling men what to do, both at work and at home.
  11. Many men are now staying at home to raise the children; a job that was once exclusively their thing.
  12. Men are no longer running everything.
  13. Soon, as women become even more powerful, they may keep the male children from attending school and making money.
  14. At that point in the not too distant future, women will have completely conquered the planet, and men will be just the workforce of the female dominated globe.

GOD help us.

We know we are a constant source of disappointment to GOD, but the worst thing is many of us no longer care.

It seems, just as with HIM, we are now a constant source of disappointment to women now as well. We try very hard, but it is never enough. Could it be that women thought we men would grow faster than we are, and they too have become disappointed with our progress?

Why does everyone seem to want more from us?

Perhaps we should call another general meeting.

It seems new things can be our undoing.

. . .

My ridiculous version of events aside, a belief system of some kind is a necessary component of good overall health.  You do not have to believe broken telephone STORIES PASSED DOWN VERBALLY FOR GENERATIONS before WRITERS applied their take on them—much as I just did. You do not have to buy in to the INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TRANSLATORS who assembled a collection of stories. If we have learned anything in the last 5000 years . . . it is not wise to put your faith in EDITORS who did, or do, the bidding of Royalty or Religious Leaders because such people usually have an ungodly agenda.

Have a good week and go to a House of Worship IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. That is why we still have them. Pray for my ruination if it helps, but don’t allow yourself to be MANipulated into giving them money you cannot afford.

If you are not into the above, make art. It is the only thing we have left to remind us of our time in paradise.

 

“We Are Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.”

Fishing tips from a good Ontario fisherman who no longer likes fishing.

Just another day in the Great White North. . .

A thirty something friend really wanted to go fishing. As an Irish immigrant who lived most of his life as a musician out on the prairies of Canada, this is a new thing for him, and he enjoys the short breaks he gets from his hectic life. He is a new father and business owner who is often overwhelmed; and of course, is short on sleep.

How to get “mommy and me” time when camping with the kids:

I, on the other hand, wear the “Been there done that.” shirt; having started fishing at around eight years of age with my Dad. I remember even earlier, my sister and I using willow branches with fishing line tied to the ends which led to a cork bobber holding the hook and worm about two feet below the surface. We would fish from an old gas barge and catch Perch, Rock Bass, and Sunfish any time of day.

A good fishing boat:

I was learning to fish even before we got our first boat—a little 12 foot tri-hull with a 9.9 horsepower outboard that would eventually become my first freedom machine. It rode on top of the car to and from our summer holiday camping destinations. From age ten, I would learn my boat piloting skills with my father sitting up front, on a lake in the Trent Severn waterway. There, cabin cruisers would create some massive waves our little boat would have to climb on one side only to surf down the other. I was fearless, but Dad was visibly nervous at times. The boat was stable enough to allow you to stand up in it when the lake was not that rough. It was anything but tippy. Its light-weight construction meant the hull flexed at your feet when you were heading out on a choppy day.

Catch more fish:

We fished often, sometimes with all four of us crammed into the little boat. Dad liked trolling so he could see changing scenery as the day went by. Mom and I liked still-fishing or drift-fishing as we always caught more fish that way.

Finding the bottom:

The “fish-finder” had not been invented yet. We checked the depth of the water by attaching a big home-made weight to our line and then dropping it over the side while watching how much line came off of the spool of the early “trolling reel” as the weight travelled to the bottom. When your line went slack you were on bottom.

Where to find fish:

Pickerel, now called Walleye, liked weeds so we dropped our baits down into loose weeds close to the bottom or just above heavy weeds to get them. We found fish by looking for the mouth of a stream or river as well as weed beds near shore where humans had not yet developed. Bass were easy to find near Bulrushes, fallen trees, and under docks.

Good fishing line:

The fishing line back then was quite thick and anything but invisible. I do not remember ever breaking a line, and I had caught some three to four-foot-long fish weighing as much as twenty pounds on a few occasions. One Muskie in particular pulled the boat, motor, gas tank, anchor and me about a half of a mile up a shoreline into the wind before he tired himself out enough for me to get him to the boat. On that occasion I found out we were going to NEED A BIGGER NET. The total weight it dragged would have been about three hundred pounds and the line did not break. When you got snagged on a submerged log you would have to cut the line if you could not pull the lure free.

The other meaning of leader:

We learned that using a steel leader when fishing for the large toothier varieties of fish like Muskie, Pike and Pickerel was better than watching them chew through your line, usually just as you were trying to get them in the net.

When to fish:

We learned the best time to fish was from dusk to dawn. We also learned bad weather means the best fishing. Worse still, if you are getting eaten alive by flying insects, the fish will be biting.

Rods of steel:

In my childhood, fishing rods were about five feet long and made of steel. They were a one piece design, or in other words, they did not come apart in the middle as they do today. We could feel the fish nibbling at our worm, even with little Rock Bass, Sunfish and Perch. Those rods stayed in the family for about thirty years until rust got the better of them.

We never stop loving our first:

The little boat also stayed in the family for many years. Even when I owned much bigger and more comfortable power boats, I would take out my Speed Racer (mostly just to entertain my friends) bouncing across the lake with its blinding twenty-three mile per hour speed. I met many girls and found a bunch of all-night parties in that boat.

Fishing is not always about the fish:

I fished very little as a young adult. About once each year I would take out one of my power boats, anchor it in some quiet little bay and just recline on the plush upholstery in the sun, often reading, and not caring whatsoever if I got a nibble. It was more about the rest and relaxation the outing offered than it was about fishing.

The two happiest days in a man’s life and catching the fishing bug:

By forty, I had parted with all of my boats; a story for another time. Suffice to say there is truth in the old saying: “The two happiest days in a man’s life are the day he gets his boat and the day he sells it.” Oddly, it was at this time my then new significant other told me how she loved to fish. Her excitement about catching even a little one became infectious, mostly because I would have to get out of my lounger on the resort’s beach and go take the fish off the hook for her. It had me wanting to catch some again.

Girls fish differently:

We would frequent fishing gear stores where she would buy the craziest lures for ridiculous money. Fifteen dollars for a lure with a light in it IS JUST NUTS!

Tips from the pro’s:

We became caught up in the Sunday morning fishing programs on television that left the impression you were not a fisherman unless you had a $50,000.00 bass boat, a half-dozen different rods with different reels, and a tackle box the size of a beer cooler containing a virtual treasure trove of every type, size, and colour of lure, for every species of fish, in any depth of water. Oh yes, we cannot forget the high-tech fish-finder which shows pictures of sunken boats on the bottom.

As with all things “modern” and “high tech”:

Expensive rod designs claiming to be: THE ULTIMATE IN SENSITIVITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND STRENGTH never quite measured up to the advertisement. I had a one-hundred-dollar rod break at the handle with a five pound Large Mouth Bass on the line. Its replacement split at the two-piece joint with an eight pound Lake Trout on the line. The one after that kept damaging the line when casting; causing many lost fish, lost lures, and a ridiculous number of line changes per season. I am convinced it was DESIGNED THAT WAY just to increase sales from really stupid fishing fanatics, like me. Its replacement was billed as “INDESTRUCTIBLE” yet only carried a one year warranty. It kinda makes you utter: hmm.

During this foray into “modern day” fishing, I discovered the more money you spent on gear, the less fish you caught.

99% of the fancy lures and artificial baits DID NOT WORK nearly as well as a minnow or frog on a hook, or a worm on a three-hook worm harness. The 1% that do is a secret I thought about taking to the grave in order not to bury a thriving bullshit industry, but then it occurred to me the Sport Fishing Industry has sold me a pile of over-priced over-hyped crap for years, and I OWE THEM NOTHING! Screw the lying marketing bastards and their poorly made off-shore products.

I like to be kissed before I get f-cked:

By publishing this I hope to tear down their empire built on the exploitation of the desperate weak-minded fishing fanatics who are so addicted they will purchase every shiny new brightly coloured thing the manufacturer PAID TO HAVE ENDORSED by a guy who makes a living by fishing on TV.

The three lures that actually work:

You only need three artificial lures or plugs and all are “split” or “jointed” Rapala models. For Bass you want a 3 inch floater with yellow on top and silver/white on the bottom. For trout you want a 2 inch deep diver with blue on top and silver/white on the bottom. Lastly, for Pickerel and bigger game-fish you want the biggest shallow to medium diver they make—five or six inch, I think—that resembles a Perch. It is greenish with black stripes on top and has a silver/white bottom.

A fishing tale of woe:

This brings us to the other day when I took my friend out to prove to him there were indeed fish in this lake, if you know how to fish, and contrary to what he has been told by a frequent guest at his cottage.

With new “INVISIBLE” 8 pound test line in my “old school” casting reel mounted to my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” graphite rod, and the tiniest tackle box money can buy, I headed off to meet this enthusiast who, by the way, has severe fish allergies.

Mistake number one: You will need what you don’t have.

As we were loading up his boat, he asked if we should bring a net to which I replied: “No, we are just going after Small Mouth Bass.”

Mistake number two: The fishing gods were speaking but I didn’t listen.

The wind was gusting to 40 miles per hour creating 3 foot high waves with white caps so we had a bite to eat and made a couple of old school worm harnesses hoping the wind would settle down. It did not. His boat might not survive conditions such as these. It is an old twelve foot aluminum fishing boat powered by an eight horsepower engine that is prone to stalling. This boat is also as tippy as any canoe so we donned life jackets. I piloted the craft to the nearest good fishing spot which only meant about five minutes of pounding waves with spray from the bow hitting me in the face before we would get to calmer water.

Mistake number three: Anchors away!

Even in the sheltered bay, his little boat was being blown all over the place from one shore to the other. I asked if he had an anchor and he said there was one back at the cottage. Retrieving it would require another ten minutes out in the surf so I started looking for alternatives. To get him started, I baited his worm harness for him so he could see how it was done. I then set us up to drift-fish and let the wind take us back through the choppy conditions almost to his dock. He found the anchor as I removed knots from a rope and we set out again to pound the waves and my kidneys. Upon returning to the fishing spot, I anchored us so the changing winds would let us fish both shores.

Action!

We started getting little fish under six inches almost immediately. He snagged a tiny Perch while I had a succession of varieties including a Rock Bass and a Sun Fish before getting a Small Mouth Bass that might have been all of nine inches.

Fishing etiquette is a thing:

My fishing com-padre had his worm picked clean by some others and then expected me to bait his hook once again. As he was not nine years of age, I explained that fishing etiquette dictates you bait your own hook—momentarily forgetting his well-known weak stomach. Upon losing his second worm, he would switch to artificial baits for the remainder of the day.

Next, I too would get a tiny Perch that had been picking my worms to bits for some time without my being able to hook the little bastard despite many repeated attempts at setting the hook.

This is where the story gets interesting:

Instead of removing the little douche bag, I said to my fishing partner: “Watch this.” and cast the little worm thief out into deeper water where I knew some big Large Mouth Bass had lived in the past. In only a couple of minutes something big ate him.

You should know your local fishing regulations.

It may be illegal to use a Perch as a bait fish, but I rationalized he got on my hook more or less by himself. I did not technically put him there.

Karma is a bitch.

I set the hook a couple of times and I could sense it was a big fish, but it was not peeling off line. Still thinking Bass, I thought it was just swimming toward the boat where the fight sometimes really begins. I did not want the fish to run too far in case it found the anchor rope to wrap my line around. I slowly kept winding him in closer, and then lifted my rod to get a look of what I had on there.

It did allow a glimpse.

I saw a flash of orange from a fish with a large girth. I never really got a full view of its length, but the orange area I saw was about two feet long.

Cascading problems:

I was now thinking I had a big Pickerel; with NO NET; an inexperienced fishing partner who could not handle fish without wearing gloves; and we were in a very tippy boat. As my brain was just beginning to wrestle with these problems, Karma took over once again. The fish did a violent side-to-side head-shake like a Large Mouth Bass or Lake Trout would, but it never broke the surface. It did however break my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” rod and line about a foot from the tip.

A rod; possibly a near record Pickerel; the Perch; and my custom worm harness were all gone in that instant.

Quietly sitting staring at my broken rod, I lit a smoke and wondered what I could have done differently. Nothing came to mind,

I did remember why I do not fish anymore:

  • Sitting in a crappy little boat sucks.
  • These days the fishing equipment is garbage.
  • Worms crap all over you.
  • You get bitten by mosquitoes.
  • You get sun-burnt.
  • You get rained on.
  • There is NEVER A BIG ENOUGH NET when you need it. Additionally, when someone asks if they should bring a net, ALWAYS SAY YES!
  • The biggest fish ALWAYS GET AWAY!
  • The only fish you remember are THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY.

It is a sport for masochists.

My best fishing memories are of the times I did not get a bite—no torment—just relaxing alone listening to the waves fighting a losing battle against the substantial hull of my cushy boat. From now on when someone asks me to take them fishing, they better have a $50,000.00 Bass boat with a canopy, 6 rods, and a selection of nets or I will say: THERE ARE NO FISH IN THAT LAKE!

I may try spear-fishing next. I have a score to settle.

Unraveling The Mysteries Of The Universe

What if the great mysteries are not as difficult as we are led to believe?

What if the flip-flop is the key to everything?

Physicists are directed by mathematics which seemingly contain a logical consistency within the formulae.  They then attempt to prove their theoretical ideas. Lately, they have had some successes.

But what if the sciences are just a racket?

For the last 5500 years since Mesopotamia, the most brilliant minds pitched the wealthiest people around, usually kings and religious leaders, and played on their FEARS; promising them answers to impossible questions in return for MONEY.

We call this the grant system today.

Paranoid governments fear the other inhabitants of Earth and will pay anything to the person who can offer SECURITY. I guaranty if you can show you are close to being able to put an energy shield over the USA, you will quickly have incredible amounts of money raining down on your head.

What if THE ANSWERS TO EVERYTHING hinge on just one answer in a different discipline, and what if almost nobody is studying that area?

I believe ALL THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE will be unlocked the day we understand why women need SO MANY shoes.

It is summer, and with this season comes the clicking of flip-flops. A young girl who could actually run in hers inspired this writer to attempt to motivate the scientific community to make a serious study of this bizarre phenomenon.

Early man learned that foot protection meant he could hunt and gather in places where others feared injury. He could walk on jagged rocks, and fish in coral shallows just by wrapping his feet in the skins of the animals he hunted.

He learned successful hunting strategies:

  • Hunting by stealth meant blending in and not standing out.
  • Sneaking up on your prey meant being quiet.

Women were probably once equal to their mates thousands of years ago when humans were migrating to warmer climates following their food supply. They most likely went hunting and gathering with their mate for mutual advantage. Simply, a pair could hunt better than an individual.

Inequality and glass ceilings did not exist in this period of human history.

That would all come later.

This is the prehistorical life of Oog.

(This is also about how some academics spin a tale; often on the flimsiest early evidence.)

In most cases, the men of the time did notice that their mate could not lift as big a stone as they could. There were other differences too. The biggest being that for about three moons, after three seasons together, her belly swelled causing her to not want to travel or hunt until she produced a new little hunter. These new hunters were too noisy to take hunting until many moons had passed.

On some hunting trips, Oog would also notice his hunting partner was looking for prey where he would not think to look. She would stop to smell the prey often near brightly coloured flowers. She would stop and watch brightly coloured flying insects to learn their secrets. She would stop and listen to noises made by a brightly coloured bird. Oog knew SHE WAS INDEED IN TOUCH WITH POWERFUL MAGIC which was beyond his understanding.

Oog would hunt alone most of the time now, and was not travelling as far as they once did prior to the little hunters. He would arrive back at the cave to find that his hunting partner had been busy. There were hides covering the ground in the cave and she would make him take off his foot-wrappings before he could walk on them—especially when it had been raining. She had brought the brightly coloured flowers into the cave to attract prey so that Oog would not have to travel so far to find food. SHE WAS WISE so he complied with her wishes.

One particular day in Oog’s memory, he returned to the cave to find his hunting partner wearing something other than foot-wrappings on her feet. She had scraped fallen tree branches on rocks until she had made two small wooden planks the size of her feet. Then she had taken the tip of her spear and spun it until she had made two holes in each plank. Finally she tied strips of hide through the holes creating a loop that was just big enough for her big toe. As she walked they slapped the bottom of her feet and made a clacking sound that was surely designed to ward off dangerous animals. Why else would she have gone to all this trouble? With the top of her feet exposed they were not warm, but now she could walk over the sharpest coral for hours without cutting through the new foot protectors. Oog decided this was why she did it, and IT WAS A GOOD THING.

A short time later, she had applied the juices of a plant to her wooden foot protectors making them brightly coloured so her feet would be camouflaged when she hunted in the fields of flowers she spent so much time in. Oog thought he must be the most fortunate hunter of all time to have a hunting partner AS SMART AS HIS. He asked her to make him a pair.

Some moons later she presented him with a set of his own. He put them on and immediately noticed that stepping on a small stone no longer hurt his foot. He squeezed her affectionately as SHE OBVIOUSLY CARED SO MUCH ABOUT HIM that she was trying to take his pain away.

He could not wait to go hunting with them on his feet.

At the earliest light, Oog put on his footwear and attempted to run after the prey in the flowery field. After only his second stride, the wooden plank of his right foot caught a tree root which tripped him up and caused him to fall hard to the ground.

His big toe was bleeding.

Undaunted, and shaking off the pain in his big toe, Oog began to stalk the prey much more slowly being careful not to make the clacking sound associated with his new foot protection. He sneaked up on many prey birds that day, and had the most successful hunt ever. His amazing hunting partner had forced him to become a stealthier hunter, and it had worked. Oog was beaming with pride in his hunt, and IN HIS SELECTION OF A SUCH AN AMAZING MATE. It was at that instant a sabre-toothed tiger attacked and killed him. It seems the killer cat had been following the blood trail from his injured big toe.

Oog was the first FLIP-FLOP FATALITY.

Oog’s widowed hunting partner would soon find another mate to wear the flip-flops, named Ugg. He would later die at the base of a cliff after losing his footing on some loose stones and falling to his death.

Years later, some tribesmen in a hunting party would stumble across Ugg’s skeletonized remains and remove his unusual footwear. The flip-flops were well-preserved by the colour applied to the wood. The hunting party, upon returning to the village, would present them to their tribal chief who would wear them proudly. His warriors would have their mates make them some as well, to emulate and honour their great chief.

They began to lose many battles after that, and they knew not why. Eventually, all the warriors were gone and the victors took the women of the village as slaves and mates. These women knew how to make flip-flops, and they did not like their conquerors.

Skip ahead 40,000 years to our modern times.

The flip-flop is still with us.

Women continue to love them, and some men still attempt to use them—especially now that they come with bottle openers built into their soles.

The flip-flop related fatalities continue as well.

Today, thanks to fashion magazines, yearly changes to seasonal colours drive up the quantity of flip-flops you will find stored throughout your house. Your mate will tell you some needed replacing because of wear while others were needed to keep up with colour trends, but the collection can grow by as much as ten pairs per year and rarely are any parted with.

Similarly, flats, pumps, runners, boots, and the close relative to the flip-flop: the sandal, all apparently require the same upgrading and storage process to await their eventual return to fashionability.

Statistics indicate the average woman owns 21 pairs of footwear. I guess I know above average women. A study also shows women also usually own 9 pairs of shoes that were purchased for a singular occasion, and these too must be stored for years as a keepsake to remember the event.

From the data collected we can establish the following:

Formula

As this equation clearly indicates, women’s shoes will grow exponentially until they consume the planet, our solar system, our galaxy and finally our universe.

We must stop this threat.

Do not let yourselves be fooled gentlemen; women have been in on it from the beginning.

My book talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics—even physics, as well as HOW WOMEN CAN BE YOUR UNDOING.

Have a good flip-flop-free week.

P. S.

I have absolutely no idea if the formula says anything at all, but would it not be amazing if in the moment I was writing this the universe spoke to me. I just took a Fourier equation and plugged in the numbers 21 and 9 and then added a well known sorority.

I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 2

What if awareness and obliviousness are more closely related than we think?

Why then do I persist in swimming against the current?

My study of people led me to become slightly detached socially. I would prefer to sit on the outside looking in so as not to influence the outcome of the experiment I was observing. While I had, and have, the ability to mix and mingle with the best of them, my preference is to watch others make the attempt. It is far more entertaining. Live social interaction between young men and women in clubs was at the top of my list. A room filled to bursting with horny people and yet only a very few leave with someone. Two attractive people lock eyes; one musters up enough nerve to approach the other; one says something stupid and then they part. Few will make the effort again after one failed attempt.

There is a paradigm in psychology which states:

‘People with the highest IQ’s are the most prone to substance abuse. They abuse alcohol or drugs to come down to the level of the rest of humanity in an effort to better fit in.’

Is it possible all the alcoholics and drug users I encounter are the pinnacle of human development? As a youngster, I was told I possessed a genius level IQ. I rarely drink and never do any type of drug. Could it be the substance abusers are so far above me intellectually, I cannot comprehend their thought processes? Perhaps I have had it all wrong throughout my entire life. Maybe I am the “dim bulbon the tree struggling to understand humanity without the necessary smarts to comprehend what is right in front of me. It would explain much.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

IT IS SIMPLER to follow your glands and have a child at an early age; be a slave to your job in order to pay the bills and get divorced ten years later only to do it again with someone else. You will never have idle hands and your brain will reorganize itself to the life you have chosen so you have a hard time changing. Most of the inhabitants of the planet choose this for themselves. It is why they nest and attempt to hide from the outside world usually without success. They romanticize their relationships with significant others, pets, and children, picturing themselves surrounded by loving creatures in their golden years without ever acknowledging the realities of their choices until it is too late. This is why old ladies are found dead with their corpses half-eaten by their pets.

IT IS BETTER to live obliviously? Regrets will not surface until middle or old age, if at all. Without introspection, you will not look back and wonder if you could have done more with your life, had you only chosen differently. It is possible to live, die, and be forgotten like billions before without leaving a timeless legacy.

The young well-educated people who could change the world end up too busy with their diversions to make a difference. They genuinely embrace being oblivious. I hope they like the oblivion they are helping to rush humanity toward.

I push awareness in a world content in its obliviousness.

I push knowledge in a world content with misinformation.

I push tolerance in an intolerant world.

I push change in a world resistant to it.

I push rationality on the irrational.

I push for abstinence in a world of full of addicts.

I push responsibility to irresponsible people.

I push being scrupulous in a world where everyone angling an agenda.

I push spiritual health in a world without conscience.

I push physical health in a world craving drug soaked fats.

I push mental health to people intent on doing crazy things.

I push emotional health to people with an endless capacity for self-absorption, self-obsession, self-doubt, and self-pity.

I push for excellence in a world striving for mediocrity.

I push humor on people who rarely laugh.

Perhaps it is time I started PULLING.

Is the Dalai Lama aware or just oblivious because of his meditative serene environment?

Are any of the sciences aware or are they oblivious because of the singular vantage point of their discipline?

Is a family guy who is a good husband and father oblivious or is he aware he is doing what he was meant to do by always swimming downstream?

I am a flawed human as all humans seem to be. I pose questions looking for answers and am rarely surprised by the facts when they are published. I genuinely hope I will have learned all the requisite lessons in this life so I do not have to come back here again. I appreciate the fleeting bits of love, joy, goodness, laughter, happiness and SERENITY that come my way, but overall, this place is no fun. If there is a higher plane of existence, I hope I am ready to be allowed in. If Earth and this plane of existence were a vacation destination, I would rate it one star in a five star rating system.

I am incapable of following the words of Reinhold Niebuhr. Instead, I remain the UNWISE one who cannot ACCEPT mankind must go obliviously into oblivion. I will continue to swim upstream in the hope I can influence a select few to go out and change the world before the human race reaches the point of no return.

I wrote this on a dismal rainy day. I am fine. Really, I am. I know this reads like a suicide note. {He wrote, laughing out loud.} Writing a blog is a better way of venting than getting drunk and having a domestic; which, should you not be aware of the statistics, is the number one call to the police across the planet on a daily basis.

I promise to write the next one on a glorious sunny summer day after getting laid just to continue the experiment with a different set of controls.

See you then.

P. S. Does anyone have a morally loose woman you could refer?

I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 1

What if awareness and obliviousness are related?

What if the oblivious automatons were created with a subconscious awareness that life in a bubble is infinitely happier? This would explain why it is so difficult to pull them outside of their happy place.

Why do I persist in swimming against the current?

Did I chose the wrong electives in the human trait lineups prior to being born?

There are some words I recently posted on my Facebook page as a reminder to myself that I am obviously not as wise as I would like to think.

“God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.”

Known by some as “The Serenity Prayer”, these wonderful words were written by a theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr.

This brings me to my first problem.

I CANNOT ACCEPT I CANNOT CHANGE THINGS!

Nothing remains the same. Change is a part of nature. Evolution and entropy prove this. Everything is in a state of change; except it seems . . . us.

Being aware sucks!

In my next life I am shooting for oblivious because it looks as though all the bubble-dwelling ostriches seem much happier than I am. My personal hell was created partially by my choices and partially by genetics. The choice part is I maintain perpetual hope for humanity. As such, I have EXPECTATIONS for humans which are almost never met, and still I continue to fight the good fight”. I do not know why. It is my nature. Someone once said, and it may have been me:

“If you do not have ANY expectations, then people cannot let you down.”

I believe the underlying message here is you must be self-reliant, self-assured, self-aware etc. These are good “self” words—not on the same list with self-obsessed, self-serving, or self-indulgent.

This brings me to my next problem: I do not believe one individual can change the world; it will take a massive team effort which will force us to EXPECT things from others once again.

It is a paradox.

Humanity as we know it cannot survive without an unprecedented level of cooperation from its fractured and divided membership.

I was born with the ability to learn and retain both useful knowledge and the ridiculously trivial. A short time ago, I was in my car with a friend talking about The Monkeys song I’m a Believer when to my amazement, I discovered I could remember the names of all four members of the band and the instruments they played after more than forty years. This from a middle-aged guy who regularly walks into a room and does not remember what prompted him to be there. I am inquisitive by nature, endlessly asking questions and thirsting for knowledge without, it seems, any control over what will be stored in permanent memory. The human brain is fascinating.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

School was too easy for me. I found it incredibly boring so I rarely went; yet somehow I managed to just scrape through. My sister by comparison, worked incredibly hard for her average grades, and I could not understand why she found learning difficult. It seems that as intellectually capable as I was, I was not that AWARE. I ASSUMED every human had it as easy as I did. This is yet another character flaw I would carry throughout my young life.

In my teens and early twenties I lived to party. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and Rock & Roll music were my regular escape from reality—a reality I am all too aware of now. I was oblivious but happy.

At twenty-five, I had to clean up my act, cut my hair, and put on a business suit to work with many people who were consummate professionals, and who, on the surface at least, appeared to be my intellectual equals. Almost all had a University degree of some kind so I LEAPT TO THE CONCLUSION they were intelligent people. I did however begin to notice how they frequently “dropped the ball through, what I ASSUMED was, inefficiency, a lack of vision, planning, and/or organization. I could see patterns emerging that would lead to problems for them both professionally and personally, but for some reason they did not seem to see these indicators until things reached the crisis point.

I recalled a physics law which states:

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I was applying this to the humans I met. They would take action without considering the possible outcomes. This is where I became conscious of the fact I had inadvertently become an  student of human nature. I began in earnest to study people while hitting the books to learn about human behavior.

Pre-destination?

In no time, I was becoming keenly aware of the actions and reactions of others while remaining completely and happily OBLIVIOUS that I too had a subconscious program running. I would remain this way until my early forties when I would finally get around an exploration of self where I discovered I had PATTERNS of my own.

The various academic disciplines all have different view-points about how our being is developed. Psychologists and sociologists believe, initially, we are a blank slate and we learn our behavioural patterns as we mature. Geneticists and the brain sciences see us as little more than the sum of our genetic and chemical health. Theologians believe a soul is placed in a human body by a deity. Spiritualists believe we are part of something bigger, a “cosmic being” if you will. Not one of these disciplines has unlocked the truth of the human mind, and some have been at it for hundreds of years. The truth is most likely an amalgam of all of them.

The CONSEQUENCES of my own actions allowed me to write a book and change career paths in mid-life. “The jury is still out” as to whether or not that brave move was a good idea. Did I lead my life according to a plan programmed into my being just so I would arrive at this point—to supply the world with a book encouraging readers to become more aware? I hope not as this makes me feel used, manipulated, and diminished—little more than a character in a “SIM” game—just entertainment for some advanced intelligence, the universe, or whatever.

Reincarnation and or karma:

Somewhere along the line, and I know not where, I picked up a personal philosophy I will share.

We are here to learn lessons, and we will continue to return to this existence until we learn those lessons.

I have had many precognitive events in my life to date suggesting:

1) I have lived these events before.

2) I have a some kind of disorder encouraging me to believe I have seen these events in advance.

3) I have subconsciously imagined ALL the possible outcomes of my actions, and when in a semi-conscious state, I occasionally glimpse a few of them. Later my conscious mind interprets this as actual memories.

I am good with 1 or 3.

Blogus interruptus . . . continued next week.

Have a good week and be brave enough to take notice of something going on in the world around you.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 2

This is part 2 of my first written rant about Canada and politics from 1991 addressed to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future.

“Talk about job creation; Batman!”

Recycling:

Currently, we can recycle aluminum, some plastics, glass, news-print, and corrugated cardboard.

________ Draw a light-bulb in the space provided.

We can create and manage STORAGE SITES for Styrofoam, rubber, used petroleum products, paper products and plastics that cannot be broken down with our existing facilities. These products are still in abundance in our land-fills, and most unfortunately, in our lakes, streams and oceans.

“YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY!”

Spend $25,000,000.00 (I wonder where that number came from?) {Ed. note: The cost of the Spicer Commission.} on the plan below, and no Canadian with a conscience will object to spending that amount or even more, every year from now on.

1) There will be A NEED FOR neighborhood containers for all the above mentioned recyclables with sections to allow the public to do the sorting- enabling more efficient collection.

2) True or false? Municipalities will more readily welcome a RECYCLABLES STORAGE FACILITY far more quickly than a landfill.

3) DEVELOP the recycling TECHNOLOGIES right here in Canada for those materials that are not easily broken down with our existing technology.

4) When new processing methods have proven themselves, BUILD the FACILITIES in various municipalities, districts etc. as large as necessary based on the recyclables produced in that area now, and in the years to come.

5) TRAIN people to operate these waste management plants. Many people, who are on UIC because of plant closures, may be well-suited to these new jobs.

6) Once the system has proven it is efficient, we could OFFER to take sorted recyclables from other countries that are DESPERATE enough to rid themselves of waste any way they can. Ocean dumping is popular among these countries.

7) SELL the recycled RAW MATERIALS to the highest bidder.

8) SELL the system to other countries as we would sell high technology or nuclear power. Unlike nuclear power stations, recycling plants cannot melt down.

Word Scramble:

Take all the upper-case words above and write them down.

Reads like business doesn’t it?

How the jobs are created:

1) Local plastics, fibre-glass and metal fabrication companies can BID for the work of making the collection and sorting containers.

2) Universities and laboratories looking for FUNDING could develop the processes needed to break down what we currently consider non-recyclables.

3) Building trades from architects to painters would be needed in the CREATION of these new plants.

4) Manufacturing people, laid off as a result of companies closing or moving, can be RETRAINED to collect, process, and manage these recyclables in the new facilities.

5) Trucking would be needed to bring recyclables from the USA if a DEAL can be struck.

6) Canada can hire out consultants to countries that are PURCHASING our new waste management systems.

Now was that so difficult?

{The governments set themselves up as “watch-dogs” for ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION rather than getting their hands dirty. Everything to do with waste management has been PRIVATIZED where it cannot be easily REGULATED.  The government sells LICENSES to a handful of firms. The biggest of which is an American company worth 30 billion dollars. They missed a huge OPPORTUNITY, and continue to spend money South of the border. When did we decide governments must be a COSTLY enterprise rather than a PROFIT generator? I must have missed that referendum.}

Education and Who is Alvin Tofler?

With few exceptions, the majority of our current educational system in Canada was designed in a post-world-war era to supply people for manufacturing jobs in a budding “industrial revolution”. Like the “agricultural revolution” before it, the “industrial revolution” has run its course. Due to our lack of DECISION MAKING, (more on this later) or outright laziness, we have allowed the Japanese and Germans to take over high-technology markets that could be dominated by Canadians. If you do not believe me, check their money against ours on world markets.

It is not too late. We are now in the early stages of a TECHNOLOGY BASED society and must NOW strive to NOT take a classroom filled with potential, and prime our youth for industrial jobs. The fact that many plants are leaving Canada for “greener pastures” in the USA and Mexico soon eh, {Free Trade reference.} could prove to be only a minor setback if we start exploring the INDIVIDUAL TALENTS of all young Canadians NOW! It is time we tapped Canada’s greatest resource: our youth, and STOP THE EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTION LINE that is our present school system.

Example:

Imagine if Wayne Gretski was raised in India, his talents would most certainly have gone un-noticed.

Those people in charge of developing a better educational system for Canada, (Are there such people?) should read Alvin Tofler the author of Future Shock and The Third Wave, available at enlightened book stores everywhere. No, we are not related. However, I stole most of my ideas for this section from him. Thanks Alvin.

{Well, change is slow. Today Canada’s high school kids rank in the top ten in the world. Not bad, but never above sixth in any one subject. We can do better. Also, there is NO SIGN WHATSOEVER we are working towards a system that IDENTIFIES APTITUDES at a young age. Most of our young people head into their post-secondary education without a clue as to what they truly want to be doing in the near future, nor do they know where their gifts and passions lie. Canada has embraced the high-technology sector which has helped the economy a little as we continue to wave goodbye to manufacturers.}

The Little Country that Could!

Part A: Foreign Policy

There is no time like the present to strengthen the U.N. so “super-powers” are not calling ALL the shots. The majority of nations COLLECTIVELY should be able to “police” conflicts anywhere in the world.

Problem 1:

The quote-unquote “super-powers” are some of the worst AGGRESSORS in the world, yet they are the countries with the power of VETO in the United Nations.

Problem 2:

Canada must stand on its own two feet and NOT blindly follow US policy and initiatives. If memory serves correctly, we used to do fine without the US holding our hand. However, since the Free Trade deal, they seem to be able to “pull strings”. WHY IS THIS?

Problem 3:

If Canada is going to survive—literally—we MUST NOT follow the US policy in the Middle East because we have ALREADY SEEN their foreign policy is governed ONLY by a multi-billion dollar “defense” (“offense” more correctly) industry that will sell arms to the highest bidder with little regard for how they will be used.

It is my feeling Canada acted correctly in the FIRST PHASE of the Mid-East war, but it is “not over ‘til it’s over.” DON’T KID YOURSELF, WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK AGAIN.

That region of our world is so volatile, and the policy to deal with it so wishy-washy, we haven’t heard the last from the Middle East. I recall Israel telling the world that “they reserved the right to strike back at Iraq” after the first SCUD attacks. Is the war over for the Palestinians? I think not.

Why didn’t “The New World Order” do anything about:

  • Syria invading Lebannon?
  • Turkey invading Cyprus?
  • Tienamin Square in China?
  • Russia invading Afghanistan?
  • The US invading Panama or Guiana?

Perhaps the “peace-nicks” were not so wrong when they said THE WAR WAS ABOUT OIL.

The Persian Gulf war propaganda machine made a big deal of the oil slicks in the Gulf, but I don’t see anyone stopping the US from dumping garbage into “their part” of the World’s oceans for countless decades.

“What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.” should be the new policy of the UN and perhaps Canada can play a constructive part in bringing this about.

Part B: On the Home Front

Problem 1:

“Tell you a secret.” PUT A STOP to “closed door” bargaining sessions on ANY topic that could dramatically affect Canada’s future. The Canadian public HAS THE RIGHT to be consulted on matters of VITAL importance to the country.

Problem 2:

“I’ll scratch your back if you will scratch mine.” Environmental Regulation CANNOT come from a GOVERNMENT APPOINTED OR RUN AGENCY. “Interference” is almost certain. The same is true of government audits, and just about ANYTHING that can be BENT to appear “rosy” at election time.

Yes, I could fill a book about the problems we and the world have; but who would read it?

{24 years later, I look prescient. The simple fact is that everyone in my age group felt the same way at the time. A girl I had dated took a copy of this to a writer friend at The Globe and Mail but was told “The paper would never run a piece like this.” She insisted this was exactly how young people felt, but it made no difference. We were young and naïve without any idea the news agencies we trusted were a part of a societal control and conditioning mechanism.

  • We wanted the UN to be a global government. We did not know who owned it.
  • We were tired of our spineless leaders doing the bidding of the US.
  • We hated US foreign policy; in the Middle East especially.
  • We knew the war was about oil.
  • We knew that Saddam was calling us cowards for stopping at the Iraqi border and that it was not over.
  • We saw secret deals, a.k.a. Bills, being put into law when the opposition party was not paying attention.
  • We saw that Environmental Regulation was corrupt.
  • We saw that politicians will say anything to get elected.

I wrote that book about the worlds’ problems, and I’m still wondering if anyone reads anything meaningful anymore.}

Government Leaders: A Definition

WIMPS too worried about losing their positions and the associated POWER that comes with those positions TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE.

Opinion: History favors people who make positive change over dictators, and yes, even Prime Ministers who used to talk to the dearly departed.

New Governmental Theme: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few {Ed. note: or the one.”}  – Milton I don’t know if there is a Milton, but the Star Trek episode where I first heard the name, was quite good. Two thumbs up, and yes, I will steal from anybody.

{I blew it on this one. The quote was incomplete and the author cited was wrong.  I was thinking this quote, made famous by Star Trek, was attributed to Milton when in fact it was Dickens. The upside is it is doubtful the readers at the Spicer Commission would know better. This is laughable in retrospect. At the time I wrote as though the P.M. might actually read it.}

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

The intent of all this nonsense was, and is, to draw attention to several areas of concern for Canadians. My attempts at humour through sarcasm are there in the hope more people will read my letter, thus making them aware of their own feelings towards Canada and what lay ahead in our future. My feeling is IF Canadians look at themselves lightly, and FAR LESS conservatively, without losing site of our goals and aspirations, then there IS hope for this country yet.

We should face the fact that the only times in history that a government has turned to its people for advice or opinion, have been in times of great difficulty.

{I am pretty sure this is the line used in a Mulroney televised address.}

The Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future should not be taken lightly as it sounds like a CRY FOR HELP. Our present government should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL to heed the words of Canadians, and should recall the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I love our country; however, there are plenty of reasons for concern.

Formula:

Concern squared = Worry.

Worry squared = The need for a good gastrointestinal specialist.

To anyone who found this work offensive, insulting, or belittling . . . my apologies.

To the government leaders I slapped in the last section I can only say: PROVE ME WRONG, I’D LOVE IT!

D. T.

Of course I used an alias. Where does it say “stupid” on my forehead? I have no wish for sudden audits from Revenue Canada; or to be “black-listed” by the R.C.M.P. as a “commie pinko” sympathizer; or WORSE YET . . . they ask me to work for them.

{I believe it is the line above in bold type that later came out of Mulroney’s mouth on TV to my shock, horror, and amazement. That guy had never had an original thought in his life—a talking head—and hearing my words come out of his mouth made me feel like I had been shot in the stomach. My naivety and innocence were lost in that moment. It would open my eyes as to how bereft of intelligence our puppet world leaders really are. In point of fact, I believe I was careful not to give them a set of finger-prints as well. I was a silly naive youngster.}

24 YEARS LATER, I AM STILL CHALLENGING HUMANS TO DO BETTER.

Science Fiction writers give us a multitude of possible outcomes when we are finally confronted by superior beings from another planet, galaxy, dimension, or universe. If the last 2000 years are how humanity is to be judged, then it does bode well for us as a species. WE ARE NOT IMPROVING.

We are a terminally petty and manipulative species lacking forethought and conscience.

Despite our leaps in technology and minor improvements in civilization, we are little more than a plague on this planet, and it is time for a more worthy species to take our place.

I am rooting for dolphins.

The reason I no longer follow politics and current events is I have always been Utopian in my hopes for humanity. I am still trying to reach humans with a message of hope and change twenty-four years later, in a world that has lost hope and is resistant to change. You get tired of swimming against the current.

I hope you enjoyed this “blast from the past”. Go out and make a difference this week. Take a case of canned goods to the food bank, and then go get to know a dolphin.

 

A Study In Positivity

Having spotted a blog group looking for “positive” messages, I will attempt to put a positive spin on everything I write in this blog.

I am too pragmatic to do rainbows, daffodils, unicorns, and Zen. I do not know if this will make their cut. It is a challenge for me being a student of human nature. As such, I all too often see the glaring negatives of mankind without acknowledging the more subtle positives. I suppose I take the easier path that pairs well with my attempts at sardonic witticisms. Sarcasm is a tool used by comedians and writers alike to make light of serious subjects, but for the purposes of this blog, I have to explore humanity’s “up-side” and that just may end up being good for me.

To a poor unpublished author, a blog becomes an outlet for pent up frustration so I will not go out and buy the assault rifle I sometimes wish I owned.

Upside 1:

Not all sociopaths carry out attacks on their fellow humans.

A personal philosophy which has yet to be disproved goes like this: 33.3% of the world’s population are genuinely good people with good hearts. 33.3 percent of the population are evil malevolent creatures; and the remaining 33.3% can waffle from one side to the other on any given day.

Upside 2:

Therefore we can extrapolate there must be days when almost FOUR BILLION people on Earth are doing good things for their fellow man and the planet.

Place a new-born baby in the hands of the most case-hardened worldly-wise man and you will see the inspiration for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. His heart will grow ten sizes in that moment as he gazes at the little creature who is totally innocent; a blank slate and free of evil. This subconsciously engages his protective instincts. Not to be sexist, if it we substitute out man for woman in the above, chances are that subconsciously she will find her nurturing side bubbling to the surface.

Upside 3:

Almost all humans, regardless of the hand life has dealt them, are capable of having their soul touched by innocence, goodness, and joy as we naturally covet these attributes.

On the subject of the more politically correctly named “Holiday Season”, in the G8 countries at least, Christmas carols and old holiday season songs are infectious—playing on the human desire for peace, joy, and our yearning for simpler times. People smile a little more easily and they are a little nicer to strangers despite the hustle and bustle of crass consumerism, and the plethora of social obligations. I was hoping to report that crime rates fell as a result of “good cheer”, however the statistics indicate there is a huge increase in alcohol consumption which netted an over-all increase in the crime rate.

Upside 4:

For a week or so each year people are generally nicer to each other, even though it appears to be alcohol induced.

In a world filled with stupidity, waste, and evil there are continual stories of “random acts of kindness” from around the globe which is evidence of them being a natural human trait. Humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy which when taken to extremes, can manifest into tremendous acts of bravery and sacrifice. There are countless stories, especially in conflicts, where someone laid down their life to save another. The person who made the sacrifice, did so in the belief the person they were saving was indeed worthy of their sacrifice.

Upside 5:

The person saved feels a huge burden of responsibility to the one who sacrificed him or herself.

They feel they must live a good life from that point forward in an effort to be worthy of the one who saw something in them worth saving . . . even if the saved individual could not see it in themselves at the time. Better humans are created through “random acts of kindness” whether they witness a supreme sacrifice or a minor one.

Love:

We all want it. Few can hang on to it.

Those without it are jealous and envious of those who flaunt having it. Young love is rarely more than a hormonal overdose. {The following are excerpts from my book Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!} DOPAMINE is the love hormone. Just seeing the one you think you love will cause its production. It is interesting that its production naturally sags after approximately two years with the same person. If you want to “Bring back that loving feeling…” boost intake of vitamin B6 and magnesium. PEA- (Phenylethylamine) has been nick-named the “Molecule of Love” and the “Love Drug”. Found in chocolate and your brain, this organic compound creates the stirrings of sexual excitement including that rise in heart rate that we all have felt. Studies indicate that the onset of DEPRESSION may be due to decreased concentrations of PEA.

Upside 6:

When I see an old couple holding hands on a bench after living a lifetime of hardships together, it proves the existence of true love.

It is more than companionship. It is loyalty, trust, mutual respect and a sparkle in their eyes when they look at one another that is eternal. SOUL MATES ARE REAL.

Artistic types are typically more damaged, flakier, more anti-social, and more oblivious, but they can also be more talented and more cerebral than the average human.

Upside 7:

If there is any part of humanity that could warrant our continued existence, it is our capacity to appreciate and create beauty.

Film, photography, paintings, sculptures, theatre, music and literature occasionally capture or help us to envision the stunning and wondrous.

“Pay it forward.” or “One good turn deserves another.” are proven concepts that may define humans. We all live in a hell of our own making, but when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves just long enough to smile or hold a door open for another, we prove that we do not belong in such a place; and that we are capable and worthy of existing on a higher level.

Hope leads to belief;

Belief leads to optimism;

Optimism leads to learning;

Learning leads to wisdom;

Wisdom leads to growth;

Growth leads to increased hope.

IT IS A CIRCLE!

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 4

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

ADDITIONAL POINTS OF INTEREST:

For those of you who have not yet changed your mind about living fulltime in The Great White North, and called a time-share real-estate agent somewhere down South, I will dispel a few more myths of the Ontario North country.

“YOU WILL MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE.”

“Interesting”, if you are a sociologist writing a book perhaps, but you should expect to meet uneducated, unwashed, unkempt, alcoholic, drug using scammers, and gossips anywhere you go.

The area’s “best and brightest” have left for greener pastures and better lives, and they rarely return.

THIS SHOULD BE TELLING YOU SOMETHING!

The locals left behind have a huge inferiority complex that makes them jealous and envious of “citiots”; a term they often use that refers to anyone who left the confines of the area or who is new to the area. They will take your money when you hire them, but will gossip endlessly about you as a “thank you” for employing them. They will always happily take your money in their shops, but will not reciprocate by supporting your business.

The rampant morbid obesity is a tell-tale sign of their low self-esteem and self-worth issues. Anxiety and depression are also common, and of course made worse by alcoholism, illegal drug use, or going off their prescription meds. The closest town has two methadone clinics servicing an area population of only 20,000. This says a great deal about area residents.

YOU CAN BUILD A NEW LIFE IN THE COUNTRY.”

If this means working at a career or job requiring the support of the locals; forget it. If you did not grow up there, they will resist employing you or supporting your business. They think that by hiring you, they are taking food out of the mouths of a local boy’s family. If you bring specialized skills that are unmatched in the area, they will hire several locals before finally caving in and hiring you to fix their problems. They will try to negotiate your invoice AFTER the work is done, so be careful who you work for, and don’t trust a hand-shake deal.

If you think your big city experience is marketable, you are sorely mistaken. They do not embrace knowledgeable people; they envy and ostracize them. Women and minorities will have it even worse as the local folks are about 100 years behind in their thinking. THEY ARE LEARNING TO HIDE IT though, thanks to the societal movement towards political correctnessTheir sexist and racist ideas have been a part of their upbringing and are subtly evident in how they do business.

You will hear things like: “We have tried all this before.” even though they have not. You may even hear my personal favorite: “That’s not how we do things up here.” which shows how they cling to ignorance and resist change. This, of course, is why they struggle so. If you attempt to “raise the bar” they will reject your ideas in favour of continuing to crawl under it. Their inferiority complex makes them petty and small-minded. New ideas that did not come from one of them just makes them feel inferior. They ask for suggestions but view answers as CRITICISM. Their idea of success is survival; NOT GETTING AHEAD!

ALL BAD THINGS HAPPEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT:

  • You will run out of propane at 3:00 am.
  • Your furnace will quit at 3:00 am.
  • Pipes burst at 3:00 am.
  • Trees fall across your driveway at 3:00 am.
  • Drunk, crying women will show up in your driveway at 3:00 am.

“THE FRESH AIR WILL INCREASE YOUR APPETITE.”

You may be hungry but where can you go to eat? Restaurant quality may be my biggest reason for getting the hell back to civilization. Roadside converted service stations selling DEEP FRIED EVERYTHING with “Home Made” GOOD SOURCES of FAT and SODIUM litter the area. You will have to drive some distance for a truly good meal. The smell of the forty-year-old grease and oil impregnating those old concrete garage floors “pair well” with the grease and oil these “greasy spoons” are cooking with.

“LIVING THE DREAM”:

If you think you are headed to a place of serenity, then most of you will find you were WRONG unless you buy acreage away from lakes, trails, roads, and PEOPLE. With ownership, you are simply TRADING city stressors for country stressors.

GIVE ME SMOG, IDIOT DRIVERS, AND BLACK SNOW-BANKS ONCE MORE AND I PROMISE I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT CITY LIFE AGAIN.

I will rent or buy a condo and let someone else handle all the maintenance. I miss restaurants, spare time, movie theatres, income opportunities, and women who look after themselves. If I never see another snowflake or pine needle again, I would be just fine with that too.

The new dream is of sand beaches, palm trees and warm temperatures.

I wonder how long their bug season is?

See you there!

P. S.

If anyone has a large estate on a tropical island or a huge yacht you rarely use and you want someone to watch over the place, please get in touch. FYI, I am very experienced with boats and would make a good motor-launch pilot. I could probably get used to “hanging” with women named Missy and Muffy.

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 3

A “living the dream” in the North Country rant.

Do you know why most tall strong men are gentle giants? If we weren’t, there would be none of you mouthy little f-ckers left! It must be wonderful to be five-foot-six and sixty-five years of age or more, and be able to say anything to anyone without there being much of a chance of getting a badly needed wrap in the teeth.

Here is the background dirt I dismissed, AS I ALWAYS DO, as gossip. People who gossip are usually a waste of skin, but in this case they were relaying accurate information. I believe you should judge people by their actions rather than what you HEAR. Some people are trying to change and improve. I am someone who encourages those who SEEM to be making the attempt. I have hired ex-cons, reformed alcoholics, and former drug users, and some made the transition back to productive members of society. Some did not.

My former neighbor has a small horse farm he runs on a pension. He is a total country boy. He was born here and he will die here. He traps, hunts, has a vegetable garden, mills lumber, and slaughters his own livestock—a very self-sufficient guy. These are traits I admire. I have hired him on several projects and found him to be reliable and hard-working. I have been invited to his yearly barn party that was a very “rural” thing to do, while not really my thing. When he had a heart problem, I offered any assistance I could give.

I had heard alleged reports of spousal and animal abuse. A good friend said simply: “He’s an a–hole.”, though I never knew the reason. I do know he has children who never visit. I recall he was always grumpy, even twenty-five years ago when I first encountered him at a local bar’s pool table. He was a bad loser who would get angry and leave without uttering a word that might have gotten him knocked out. It was that kind of place.

He exhibited the classic Napoleon complex—possibly abused, probably picked on or bullied, and unhappy his entire life at the hand he was dealt.

A couple of years ago when he was stressed about his health issues, he had been snarly with me. I let it pass because he is much smaller and too old for someone like me to bother with.

Strike one called.

Recently, I introduced a young friend to our little Napoleon to get some chainsaw chains sharpened; bringing him still more business. A couple weeks later, the same young friend had brokered a house trailer sale between his client and Napoleon. His client, whose wife was in hospital with terminal cancer, asked us to retrieve some blankets from the trailer which had sentimental value so off we went to Napoleon’s to get the keys. When I asked if we could get the keys to retrieve some items, he flatly said NO. I asked if he was kidding to which he replied NO and told me to F-CK OFF as he closed the door on us.

We left, a little stunned by what had transpired. My young friend was enraged. I was still in a state of disbelief. My rage would bubble up later. I explained to my young friend that this little twerp would gladly involve the police were he to do anything, and any judge who saw the age and size difference would not rule in his favour.

I was the voice of reason for a change.

I, on the other hand, am only ten or so years younger than Napoleon, but would not consider pounding him into the ground like a tent peg for the same reasons. I explained he is likely a sociopath, and punching him out will not fix his condition.

Strike two called.

I know the readers were hoping for the strike three call to see what I would do, but we will ALL have to wait to find out. Even I am not sure what I might do. I may be writing that segment from a prison cell.

What do we do in our tolerant and overly-policed society with a provocative prick who uses his small size, age, and the law to run his mouth, and who is such a piece of shit that he would keep f-cking blankets from a dying cancer patient?

I got nuthin’.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE KARMA IS A REAL THING.

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 2

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

PEACE AND QUIET:

For most people considering a move to the country, peace means SECURITY—worry free living. You can leave your door open. You will be moving to a place where neighbours get together to help each other out, just like “the olden days of barn-raisings and quilting bees. Right?

There was a reason that EVERYONE CARRIED A GUN BACK IN THOSE DAYS. Some guns were actually named: Peace Maker. Back then, just as today, about 33% of the people you met were good people who would help their neighbor. Unfortunately the other 66% are people you must keep an eye on. 33% are out to screw you over. The remaining 33% are either indifferent or could waffle from one side to the other on any given day.

If you think there is no crime or less crime in the country, THINK AGAIN!

You are moving to the POT GROWING CAPITAL OF ONTARIO which means organized crime. While exploring trails on your ATV, you may cross paths with a biker-type carrying an automatic weapon. When he tells you: “You should not be here.”, LISTEN TO HIM and go back the way you came—QUICKLY!

Add to this the local teens with little to do to kill the boredom, who will get drunk, high, or both, and come up with some really bad ideas as to how to keep the party going.

Lastly is the saddest group, the alcoholics, drug addicts, sociopaths and schizophrenics displaced by cut-backs to the Ontario health system. They too are here for low-cost living. THEY ARE YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS. They are easily managed if you BUY A GUN AND FIRE IT OFTEN to make them think twice.

The “QUIET” will make up for these other minor negative points, so long as your idea of quiet includes logging trucks that literally shake the place when they go down a nearby highway, chainsaws and gunshots just like in The Red Green Show, ATV’s every weekend for 8 MONTHS, snowmobiles the other 4 MONTHS, plus heavy power boat traffic for 2 MONTHS, and the never ending over-flights of commercial, military, and police aircraft THAT WERE NOT THERE TWENTY YEARS AGO. Oh yeah, do not forget your neighbour who is building a mansion with diesel powered heavy equipment.

FRESH AIR AND SUNSHINE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

If by “fresh” you mean COLD, then yes. Northern Ontario has some of the freshest air short of the Arctic Circle because THAT IS WHERE MOST OF OUR AIR COMES FROM.

The winter of 2013-14 was horrible everywhere in the province, but here are some statistics from my area:

  • In each of the 8 months beginning in October and including April, it snowed.
  • In that same period, the temperatures NEVER HIT POSITIVE DOUBLE DIGITS. In other words +10C or 50F was not seen for an 8 month period.
  • For 4 consecutive months the temperatures NEVER WENT ABOVE FREEZING.
  • For that same period the typical night-time temperatures were -20C to -40C or -40F (they are the same at that point on the scales).

For most of 6 months, “dressing up” meant putting on your “good” long-underwear and snow pants.

Sunshine happened occasionally for 30 minutes a day, if you were lucky, and you may have had to travel to see it. In winter sunshine comes with a price. Clear skies often mean extreme cold. There were entire weeks that went by without seeing the sun. A favourite joke when it did come out was “What is that fireball in the sky?” SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) runs rampant without the sun and its natural vitamin D production. In December you will get four hours of sunlight, if you are lucky, and you will not want to be outside. “Feel the burn” is usually a phrase associated with a work-out, but here it means frostbite or sunburn due to the giant hole in the ozone layer overhead.

BEING SURROUNDED BY NATURE:

The fantasy of having rabbits, foxes, and deer playing in your yard was my reality. So was the more disturbing unwanted less cute critters like bears, wolves, fishers, skunks, raccoons, snakes, and what some people thought was a cougar.

YOUR FANTASY OF RUNNING NAKED THROUGH THE FOREST MIGHT GET YOU KILLED BY NATURE.

Being surrounded by nature means GOOD HUNTING: BUG SEASON is open all year round!

Black fly season begins as soon as the snow melts and lasts for 2 TO 3 MONTHS! For those not familiar, this is a CARNIVORE about the size of a flea that does not like their homes being disturbed by anything; especially raking. A distant relative of the piranha fish, they will attack in great numbers and devour ANY EXPOSED FLESH. Working outdoors means covering up or using massive quantities of CANCER CAUSING AGENTS a.k.a. bug spray to keep just some of them away. Locals like to make black fly season even scarier to tourists by making jokes like: “The black flies are so big this year I just saw one humping a partridge.”

Some years you will be given a choice between bleeding bites from black flies and lumps from the West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes. Mosquito season can last for 5 MONTHS and it begins with the heat of summer that will kill off most of the black flies. However, the mosquitos will only be killed off by cold.

In July, the mosquito will be joined by other man-eating species like deer flies and horse flies. Deer flies are about the size of a house fly, but they are a fast delta-winged biter that lives in wooded areas.

The horse fly likes, you guessed it, horses, but have now adapted to eat other mammals as horses are not as common as they once were. Horse flies appear as an over-sized house fly until he takes a chunk out of you. They are relatively slow which means you can often swat them with your hand. They do not drown easily and yes, I have done this experiment. The horse fly loves a sunny day at the beach, especially when humans are on the lunch menu. If you want a high kill ratio, then wait until they start to bite before swatting. Like a human eating a good steak, they are savouring the taste of your meat, and are not paying attention.

Dragon flies, bees and butterflies are often COLLATERAL DAMAGE when using insecticides. Though they are beneficial, sometimes they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never used these products as a camper, but once you live in the woods fulltime, your views on environmental impact change.

Just there to piss you off are June bugs, moths and ants. Enjoy the hunt and the kill. FYI: moth season is open year-round as somehow they will last into December when all the others have died or are in a cryogenic sleep.

Spiders, ants, and house flies are available for hunting year-round without having to go outside.

The stinging varieties are many:

Wasps, especially ground wasps that nest under rotting logs, hornets and yellow jackets are like ISIS members: TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY. It is them or us. In late summer or early fall, many of the stingers cannot cope with the idea their lives are about to end so they act insanely and commit suicide by attacking you for no reason . . . the suicide bombers of the insect world.

Enjoy your week. I have to go kill something.

Blogus Interruptus… continued next week.

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 1

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

“MOVE TO THE COUNTRY.”, they said.

Your unknowing weekend guests will envy the VISTAS you wake up to each day. On the surface, life in the country appears to offer: low cost living, time to enjoy the simple easy life, peace and quiet, unlimited fresh air, and the beauty of being surrounded by nature.

I moved to the country near the southern-most tip of Algonquin Park to write a book. After TWO YEARS getting settled, I began writing a book. I met a woman. I stopped writing the book for another TWO YEARS. She finally left and I continued writing the book until I finally completed it after another TWO YEARS; which begs the question:

Why does everything take so long in a lifestyle that was advertised as slow-paced?

The simplest answer is: ENDLESS HARDSHIPS!

For most of us here, with the exception of the very wealthy, there is an endless list of daily chores that must be dealt with just to avoid catastrophe.

Once you have taken the plunge, just as with marriage, you will post these incredible photos of your amazing life on Facebook in an attempt to LURE OTHERS into the same NIGHTMARE.

There is a reason alcoholics and pot-heads flourish here; and that is because alcohol and drugs help you to forget how much IT SUCKS TO LIVE THIS WAY.

snow-11

PICTURE POSTCARD SETTINGS: VISTAS come with a price.

Snow on evergreens means two things: you can make your own Christmas cards and when the wind blows in the middle of the night and that snow falls out of those trees onto your roof; it will sound like London during The Blitz.

photo0339

In summer those same trees will secrete a super glue-like substance all over your car, skylights, garden furniture etc.

Nov 11

For ONE WEEK each fall, hardwood trees will have their leaves brightly coloured creating a magnificent splendiferous display, and then for the next 24 WEEKS they will look like a POST ATOMIC HORROR.

Pine trees are the bane of my existence. Their needles seem to fall endlessly as does their sap. If nature has a smart-weapon, it is the pine needle. They build dams in your eves-trough as well as any beaver could and they can worm their way into every nook, crack or crevice in a 150 foot radius from the base of a single tree. The pine needle is like a leach that loves to travel- hitching a free ride on vehicles by attaching themselves semi-permanently to rubber seals, wiper blades, carpets and air-vent holes in order to travel the countryside with you.

Murphy’s Law of the North Country:

The wind will not blow the snow out of the trees until you go outside.

There really is nothing as “refreshing” as having pounds of fine powder snow land on your head completely filling your coat collar as it makes its way down your back.

LOW COST LIVING:

Property in general is cheap to purchase but less so for lake-front property.

Property taxes are cheap for acreage zoned agricultural but is absolutely ridiculous for water-front property zoned recreational. $5000.00 to $8000.00 annually is not unheard of. MPAC (our tax assessment organization) is like a black helicopter black-ops group that covertly looks over your property and figures out how to charge the MOST they can. If you have a large puddle in view then they will mark your property as having a water-front. If you have a wood-shed, they will call it a garage. If you have a dog house, they will call it a guest house.

They never talk to the property owner because they might get shot for their obvious attempts at over-taxation. They get away with their tactics because people with recreational properties are either oblivious or too busy to spend an entire day in a cottage country MPAC office trying to sort out the monkeys working there.

Just as with Hydro ”ESTIMATING” your usage, the government will get INTEREST FREE MONEY by over-assessing a property until the owner gets around to making a fuss. I know of one case where two, nearly identical lake-front properties that were side by side had a $3000.00 per year taxation difference. One owner fought and one did not. Oh yeah, if MPAC have had it wrong for years, THEY WILL NOT REBATE YOU. They will merely credit your account.

The governments like to keep their ill-gotten gains.

On the subject of Hydro, your Hydro bill will be MORE THAN DOUBLE that of the city due to the low population density, the number of tree and weather related emergency outages, as well as aging infrastructure. $3000.00 per year is not uncommon.

If there is a planned Armageddon as conspiracy theorists claim, then Hydro is leading the charge to herd people from the country back to the city with their ridiculous rural rates. At least once they release the pathogens in the cities; you will not have to pay your cottage Hydro bill again.

DIY: Your maintenance costs will be higher than most high-end condos in a major city unless you do most of the work yourself.

If you choose this road, you will become a full-time maintenance person and contractor with an endless list of things to do seven days a week. You might get some time off when it is blowing, cold, and raining but because your production schedule will be set back by the bad weather, you will work ALL the nice sunny days that follow. This is how you can become a slave to your property and the reason you will not have any time to enjoy the simple easy life.

SIMPLE and EASY:

There is nothing SIMPLE or EASY about life in the country other than many of the people you will meet.

  • Using an outhouse at -40 is not simple or easy.
  • Not having running water in the winter is not simple or easy.
  • Having drains back-up because the septic tank froze is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning up after multiple daily snowfalls is not simple or easy.
  • Plugging your car in for at least 60 nights is not simple or easy.
  • Dealing with a deer-hit car insurance claim is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning splattered insects off the front of your car is not simple or easy.
  • Getting pounds of sand out of your car interior is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping your propane flowing below -30C is not simple or easy.
  • Getting suitable work is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping from being eaten alive by bugs is not simple and easy.
  • Going weeks without seeing the sun is not simple or easy.
  • Having cold feet for a third of a year is not simple and easy.
  • Priming the water-pump and keeping it going is not simple or easy.

Becoming “countrifiedmeans: You will let most of the above list slide in favour of getting drunk, going fishing or both.

On the subject of running water; if by RUNNING you mean:

  • It RUNS down the drain and freezes there- then yes.
  • That a pipe burst in the middle of the night causing water to RUN all over your new finished basement- then yes.
  • When the snow melted quickly in the spring, it created a moat with RUNNING water around your home- then yes.
  • It RUNS everywhere except into the cottage where you need it- then yes.

Blogus Interruptus … continued next week.

 

The first signs of spring: an intoxicated tirade?

Drinks on the deck!

I just had a large two-fingered scotch on the deck today. The temperature was fifteen degrees Celsius or almost sixty degrees Fahrenheit at lake level with a bit of wind.

Thirty-eight words in and I have used spell-check twice and a dictionary once. This does not bode well for the rest. Undoubtedly, my first attempt at impaired blogging will be a challenge so we will see how it goes from here.

I remember many years ago making recordings in my recording studio when the band was impaired. We thought we had “rocked out”, but the taped evidence reviewed the following day proved otherwise.

I can hear kids in a playground not far away. I just saw my first chipmunk. There are song birds again. I just came back from a long walk, and am rewarding myself for some achievement not yet apparent or accomplished.

My day was mixed with both failure and success; having lost an important paying gig, but also having very few issues with my ever expanding network of social media addicts.

It was a null day.

My twelve year old liquid friend and I sat out there for some time… mostly listening. Kids and birds aside, I noticed an ever-present high pitched whine or ringing in my head. I have not been near anything loud for some time, so I am not sure of its source or cause. It could be the universe down-loading these ideas into my head.

There is a damnable kid on a dirt bike interfering with the sanctity of my happy hour.

I think I will pour another.

The air is heavy with ozone. It is a Thursday afternoon. I do not typically touch “the stuff” until Friday evenings, so what is the deal?

I have had two verifiable concussions in my life to date; perhaps that explains the ringing. Perhaps it is a brain tumor, or perhaps it is just the result of an elevated heart rate from the exercise mixed with alcohol. I really do not care.

My back pain which has been nagging at me all week has magically disappeared, temporarily at least.

A friend just dropped by on his ATV to swap a few stories about vehicles, their manufacturers, emissions, the government, and run-ins with the law. It was a nice diversion.

I just processed a thought: just 200 more words and I’ll have a blog post.

Do I really have some unspoken warped sense of responsibility to put out a minimum of 500 words each week to a group of people who do not really know me, in order to garner some form of favor with some publisher that has yet to make their presence known?

I am having trouble spelling words, or at the very least, typing them.

If TV and movie stars can get into hot water by tweeting when they are impaired, then why can we not allow a relatively unknown author to write a blog in the same condition?

Who is he hurting?

An appropriate answer would be: himself, his reputation, his professional credibility, and the impeccable reputations of all “Indie Authors” around the world.

I don’t think so.

We writers, as a very large group, do not get noticed because WE ARE ALL TRYING SO DESPERATELY TO CONFORM to some theoretical ideal of what a writer should be, in order to gain the interest and APPROVAL of an agent or a major publishing house that in all likelihood will never read this crap anyway.

At 575 words, I have done my duty. Now 577- now 579. FYI, it is impossible to publish an accurate word count while continuing to write.

We authors should be celebrating and promoting our individuality.

I assure you that you will get the attention of publishers as a non-conformist. Have a sharp edge. Have a style. Be bad. Be special. Be different. Be unique. Be noticed. Be a ROCK STAR! I have known several throughout my life and I assure you there was not a single ORDINARY thing about them.

I am sure this blog will get me on a list of sites which are NOT KID FRIENDLY, and some code writing dork will be more than happy to keep this away from the impressionable minds of our youth. So be it.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY otherwise there would not be thousands of pictures of nude actresses on the internet that, “coincidentally”, are “leaked” just prior to their film release.

Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Poe, Williams, Chandler wrote under the influence fulltime and they still sold books, so I should be forgiven for my minor lapse. Besides, it could be worse, I could have followed in the footsteps of writers like: Cocteau who did Opium, King who did Cocaine, Dick who did Speed, Burroughs who did Heroine, Kerouac who did Benzedrine, Stevenson who did Cocaine, and Thompson who did Acid.

I would like to thank the unofficial sponsor of this blog: George & J. G. Smith Ltd. makers of The Glenlivet and other fine products.

I see an endorsement deal in my future.

 

What is it all about anyway?

After a ridiculous amount of rest I am back in the “writing chair” at 5:45 a.m. on a Monday morning. I was a couch potato yesterday afternoon and throughout the evening watching DVD’s.

Having a smoke out on the deck a few minutes ago, I thought about writing something on the need for global consciousness, but I think I need to be more awake for that.

Drinking my first cup of coffee and writing in a semi-conscious state, I wonder why I am so driven to be putting down still more words. You see, I am about a month ahead on my blogs and tweets so there is no real need for this.

Am I about to be run over by a beer truck?

Is this the universe’s way of making that moment more palatable? So when the end comes, I can say I have left behind some good words for all of mankind. But these are not those words. These are idle ramblings at best, I think. Or are they? Perhaps allowing your semi-conscious mind to spew words all over a page is therapeutic or beneficial in some way. I have no idea.

In actuality, I rarely drink beer anymore. That saying was from my youth. A more appropriate saying today would involve a single malt scotch truck or a fine bourbon truck, but they do not have the same impact and probably do not exist. Speaking of impact, I am almost certain a truck will be involved in my demise.

The universe has bigger things to deal with than one writer of millions, on a tiny planet of billions, in one galaxy of millions, in one universe of an indeterminate number existing in some of at least eleven dimensions. THERE IS THE REASON!

I feel small.

I fight to rise above the crowd and be noticed before I die. I would give my life meaning. Not that my life has been without meaning to this point, as I know I have had a mostly positive impact on those who have known me; but more like it still is not enough of a legacy.

O.C.D.?

What is the difference between a compulsion and being passionate and driven? There is probably a very fine line between the two where I tend to hover. I have previously admitted I have a touch of O. C. D. Occasionally, I catch myself counting steps as I walk. I do try to keep a semblance of order in an otherwise chaotic life. For me, there IS a correct arrangement of, and place for things, and that is okay.

For me O. C. D. has a different meaning:

O. C. D. acronym- Obsessive COMPLETION Disorder.

“Finish one thing before starting another!” are a few of my father’s words that actually stuck. I am a completion addict. My behavior proves it. I reward myself for the completion of milestones with cocktails, cigars, dining out, and massages.

Multi-tasking requires splitting your focus, and therefore produces a lesser quality product. I am surprised employers encourage this. Getting everything done will not improve the bottom line as much as getting everything done WELL, even if it takes longer. I will argue further, that getting most things done well without completing everything is also better for the bottom line. Do not create a work environment which encourages your people to strive for mediocrity. Many employees will do this naturally anyway. Any of them who say “It’s all good.” are really saying it is all fair to averagely mediocre.

I don’t like my breakfast cereal, but I am either too cheap or too lazy to get a better one. I hate waste so I will keep on eating it.

I am on my third cup of coffee, one-hundred and five minutes into this, and I still do not know what I am writing about or why. Do any of you?

I envy writers who have a block and can spend a month staring at page 1. I would use it as an excuse to take a vacation.

 

What it’s like to finish writing a book: The Regurgitation

Poets have it easy.

They can wrestle with one page and then type those two magic words: THE END. For any writer who is trying to produce a book, it is a far greater undertaking.

I took about a year just researching and making notes. It took about a month to assemble those notes into a very rough chapter outline. I wrote early versions of the Preface and Introduction to use a compass to keep me from straying too far off course which was necessary, as any of my readers know, because I love to travel tangential lines to see where they lead.

Thoughts come faster than fingers can type. You must have a pen and paper near you at all times for that moment of clarity when it arrives. There were sticky notes everywhere.

I wrote all the basic Ms. Creant stories next, and then placed them in those rough chapters with related notes. To begin the writing of those chapters, I only needed to put the notes into sentence form; building on thoughts and ideas as I went. You never stare at a blank page this way, but it will add a huge amount of editing time at the end.

After three years I had five chapters completed, but stalled there as another Ms. Creant came into my life. A couple of years later, she was gone and I had another story to add. I got back to writing the book. In one massive push over a three month period in the fall of 2014, I completed the last three chapters of what I now call “the First Edition” and wrote the two magic words: The End.

I poured a single malt scotch and lit a Cuban cigar because that is what my influences would have done, and then sat back to bask in the afterglow of this tremendous accomplishment. The feeling is akin to having the best sex of your life, but the feeling stays with you for weeks instead of hours. You wear a silly grin all the time. You pat yourself on the back, A LOT!

I took three days off and just watched a favorite TV series; seven years of it; full time.

“The End” is just the beginning.

The word count was just over 51,000 words at that point in time. The editing began. With every pass through your work you will add to it, improve it, and make it longer. As a nonfiction book, Ms. Creant required a Reference and Index. By the time I had the First Edition e-book completed, the word count had reached 60,000 words. The Second Edition which I thought would be in print, had an extra chapter with an “alternate ending”. It sat at 65,000 words. The Third Edition added another chapter and I expanded on a number of ideas throughout, creating a new word count in the 80,000 range. I nervously sent the manuscript off to an editor, and what came back made me realize I had to take my writing more seriously. Another two chapters with at least twenty proofreads to this point and I sent it off to the publisher with a word count topping 100,000. There are still two rounds of revisions remaining in the coming weeks prior to the September release. Nonfiction writers should plan a week just to get a handle on the most basic Index. I took a nine page article and practiced on it before screwing with 100,000 words.

Fantasy vs. Reality:

As I wrote my first book, I thought it was good enough to get me an agent who would work hard to get me a publisher. This publishing company would produce a well distributed book that would attract the attention of a publicist who would get me on the Times Best Seller List. This would of course lead to a guest spot on The Daily Show which would garner to attention of a producer who would get me a television or film screen-writing deal. All this attention would have managers clamoring to my door who would arrange speaking engagements at major universities leading to a fellowship with an honorary degree, landing me a tenured professor position.

This was “the dream”.

Here is the reality:

When I had completed three chapters, I decided to fire out a Query Letter to the top agents in New York to shake the proverbial tree to see what fell out. In a word: nothing. Stock but polite rejection letters came back from most of the over twenty agencies I pitched. They did not even ask for so much as an Outline nor were they curious enough to ask for some chapters. In some future blog after the book is published, I will explain why. For now we will just say the publishing business is a tough business for first time authors.

YOU WILL WRITE THOUSANDS OF WORDS AFTER YOUR BOOK IS FINISHED!

Query 1:                                  395 words

Query 2:                                  416 words

Overview:                               747 words

Marketing Platform:              1611 words

Competitive Title Analysis:  1290 words

Chapter Outline:                    1004 words

Author Info:                             499 words

Agents mailing list:                421 words

Publishers mailing list:          989 words

Facebook:                                1000 words per week (easy).

WordPress:                            25,000 words / year (estimated).

Twitter:                                    5500 words / year (estimated).

6 miscellaneous sites          6000 words / year (estimated).

Website:                                 4788 words (and counting).

TOTAL:                                   Over 100,000 words since writing the book.

I am developing and identity crisis.

I set out to be an author but have become:

  • a media copywriter,
  • a blogger,
  • a mail room clerk,
  • a publisher,
  • a social media student,
  • and a full-time time manager of all of it.

I now resent all things which keep me from writing; especially when I am “on a roll”, including the seemingly endless maintenance of my middle-aged body. It is common for me to have two sinks full of dirty, but rinsed dishes (I am not a cave man.), as well as a herd of dust bunnies roaming the floors. I tend to neglect showering because it is hard to make notes in there. Shaving is the first thing to go, and the brushing of teeth drops to once a day on occasion. This does not go on for long as life and the biz will force you to make yourself presentable to go outside again. Perhaps it is for the best.