Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 8

Are “solid” people disappearing?

I know that if I choose to BELIEVE this, the universe will conspire to make this my REALITY so I fight this negative thought despite the overwhelming mounting evidence which seems to surround me. If I were to make this a personal belief, it could forever change me into someone I do not like. I could become bitter, resentful, and wary of the intentions of the people I meet. Truth be known, I am wary. I accept this about myself and simply view it as a defense mechanism―a result of living a long life among other humans.

What is a “solid” person?

Everyone will have a slightly different answer depending on their life experiences and their personal code of conduct which reflects how well developed their super-ego is. Freud first used this term almost one hundred years ago to describe the part of us that is supposed to moderate the wants of our id and ego. Some call it a moral center or compass, but it is also made up of the ethics and scruples taught to us which are also key components to a conscience. When we assess whether or not a person is “solid”, we are JUDGING them based on our own set of values.

People usually want to surround themselves with people possessing similar values but we cannot expect others in our social circles to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or else we set ourselves up for disappointment―a mistake I keep making.

I set very high achievable standards for myself, even though those standards often require a significant effort on my part in order to clear the bar. I have always wanted to be a good person―a “solid” person. When I was young and naive, just a couple of years ago, I actually thought most people wanted the same for themselves. However, life has a way of showing you just how wrong you can be.

Traits of “solid” people:

  1. They are honorable. Their word is their bond. It means everything to them.
  2. They care. They will drop everything to help a friend, loved one or even strangers.
  3. They give. They are grateful to be in a position to help.
  4. They remember everyone who ever helped them.
  5. They have your back. They know your worth. They stand up for you when gossips attempt to assassinate your character when you are not around.

I am fortunate to have a few such people in my life. Sadly, the number has dwindled over the years as the true nature of some fair weather types was finally revealed to me. If we are to use the above list to JUDGE others, we absolutely cannot fail someone for not achieving a perfect score. There are caring, giving, appreciative people who just cannot keep commitments they make, usually because they lack the organizational skills to keep track of their lives. While these good people may not live up to our Utopian expectations, they are nonetheless well meaning. They will frustrate us when they fail to come through on time, but the point is . . .  they do come through eventually.

Some say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

If we must KEEP SCORE in order to gauge the quality of these relationships, I believe we should measure intentions vs. deeds expressed as a ratio. You can very quickly separate the talkers from the walkers in this way.

If you are over forty and have to deal with millennials or younger people on a regular basis, you will be frustrated by what appears to be a total lack of honor―where their word means nothing. Give them time. Eventually they will see the importance of being honorable. Until then, keep an eye on their intentions vs. deeds ratio before you say they are not solid.

 

 

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The Holiday Vibe

I knew I would be spending Christmas time away from family and friends this year but I was very determined to FEEL festive. I started playing Christmas music and posting nothing but holiday related things on Facebook. I rejected thoughts of posting about serious topics in favor of spreading some laughter and joy.

IT WORKED! I got the Christmas spirit or the holiday bug, whichever you prefer, and I did not have to buy or receive gifts in the traditional sense to achieve this state of hope, wellbeing, and willingness to smile at strangers.

I awoke this morning thinking about all the children who would be excited about Santa’s visit and how they would either wake their parents or creep quietly to the tree to see what was under it. I forced myself to dwell on the POSITIVE.

For those readers who do not know me, I am more aware than most about the plight of humans around the globe–especially children. I know there are many who did not have this experience this morning, but for today at least, I will not dwell on this as I do during the other fifty or so weeks of the year.

This is not an act of selfishness, but one of self-preservation. Your spirit, soul or chakra, whichever you prefer, can become tired and you need to take some time occasionally to recharge it. Some do this through religious practices while others explore their spiritual side through the development of a personal philosophy of life–whatever works. The key is to acknowledge that you have this part of you, and to listen carefully to it in this world full of craziness which is designed to test this part of you.

Early this morning, I went outside for some fresh air just as a woman was passing by walking her dog on the sidewalk out front . She looked at me and said, “Merry Christmas.” I smiled and returned those same words back to her. Both our days will be better because of this moment. This is the KEY which we need all people everywhere to get back in touch with.

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD but you have to be aware of them when they are happening, and acknowledge each and every one of them.

This chance meeting created a moment of clarity within me which I will share with everyone here.

This “Christian” holiday which has its roots in Pagan rituals, need not be yet another reason for division, because the FEELING of joy to the world and goodwill toward all humans is a global, if not universal constant. The FEELING transcends the labels we mere humans use in our feeble attempts to quantify, understand, and compartmentalize everything in and outside of this world. The FEELING of Christmas will fade only when we let the evildoers of the world engage us and affect us. This does not mean you can live inside a bubble of obliviousness and remain happy in there–quite the opposite in fact–you must go out into the real world to influence it with the VIBE you project.

The evildoers on the planet are a dedicated group who work really hard to spread NEGATIVITY in the form of lies, hate, deceit and propaganda to illicit a response that will give rise to fear. Only our worry and fears can lead us into violent conflicts–something they know all to well.

In 2017, those of us around the world who want peace, freedom, and security for all people, need to start anew to beat them at their own game. Smiling and wishing people well, no matter what the circumstance or how difficult it is, will undo them because of their lust for attention. Self-important egotists are shattered when they discover they no longer have an audience. Let’s turn off their media. Let’s disengage from their debates which are just another form of conflict which only serves them. Their use of these tools has conditioned us to believe we live in a state of perpetual conflict which is simply not true unless we allow it.

FEELING, carrying, and spreading peace and joy is a CHOICE which does not have to be reserved just for the holiday season, and it is the most powerful weapon ever created to wage a war against war.

To all who wish for Peace on Earth, just show goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; Saint Nicholas Day; Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe; St. Lucia Day; Hanukkah; Three Kings Day/Epiphany; Boxing Day; Kwanzaa; Omisoka; Yule; Saturnalia–whichever you prefer–we are not so different.

I know I had previously posted that I probably would not be writing again until the New Year but let’s just say the spirit moved me.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

A Holiday Message. . .

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 on-line world. This also implies that 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 tend to treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both of our hands full of shopping bags. Our preoccupation with finishing the damnable shopping, so that we can jump back into the hustle and bustle of the season, might make us overlook this tiny kind gesture. Seize the moment to look them in the eye and 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 color 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.

This almost certainly will be my last blog post for a while.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who follow me on social media. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

Your Weekend Excerpt

“She found someone who was a far worse problem drinker than herself, so SHE COULD FEEL GOOD ABOUT HERSELF in the relationship. She RATIONALIZED her alcoholism. She could continue to live in denial without having to face her demons—a perfect model of CO-DEPENDENCY.”

The human propensity to embrace denial and escapism through well told action-adventure-romance stories has led us to where we are in Western Civilization today.

We now deny everything. We cling to fantasy rather than cleaning up our mess. We look for external causes of our suffering rather than working on self-improvement.

Self-awareness is the key difference between living in the dark ages or an age of reason.

Mass denial will lead us to mass extinction.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is the most entertaining way to begin to understand men, women, relationships, societies and human civilization.

The book is available everywhere, but I like the idea of supporting that tiny local bookstore. You know the one.

Have a great week.

E. A.

 

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

Question: Why do books need to be returnable?

Answer: To protect the few remaining major traditional publishers.

ATTENTION INDIE AUTHORS! This one is for you.

 

I am actually entertaining not being listed on Amazon because of their return policy.

I will not support their READ AND RETURN policy.

I will not support their PIRATE AND RETURN policy.

By rebelling against “the man”, it will hurt my sales by REDUCING EXPOSURE to my book in the world’s largest online book retailer.

AM I NUTS?

The jury is still out.

IS IT CAREER SUICIDE?

My career as an author never had much of a chance. I just did not know this when I began the journey. I thought I was getting into the business of writing.

When I finally gave up on finding an agent or publisher for my book, I began my journey into self-publishing which is a misnomer. You cannot successfully self-publish if you wish to be taken seriously. I wrote a serious book which delves into serious subjects—albeit in a non-serious way—that I wanted to be taken seriously. Ms. Creant had to come out in e-book, large print paperback and large print hardcover in order to have any chance of SUCCESS.

I re-labelled myself as an indie-author.

I was “thinking green”, and as such, I have a huge issue with the WASTE of returned books. I chose Print On Demand for environmental reasons, but I now see it for what it is–a way for the publishing industry to print a huge number of books without taking any responsibility for returns. They put this squarely on the poor indie-author.

THE SELF-PUBLISHING & INDIE PUBLISHING GAMES ARE RIGGED!

IT IS DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU FROM COMPETING WITH MAJOR PUBLISHERS IN THE STORES THEY CONTROL.

THE COST OF YOUR POD BOOK IS MORE THAN TWICE THE COST OF THE SAME BOOK TO A HIGH VOLUME MAJOR PUBLISHER.

The low initial pricing of my POD books to my readers has already eliminated any chance of my books being picked up by any mass merchants–GREATLY REDUCING MY CHANCE OF SUCCEEDING. The discount I offer to bookstores is deemed too low. If, on the other hand, I were to raise my retail price to accommodate their huge discount, it would price my books out of the rational book buyer’s price range and into the stratosphere–ENSURING TINY SALES NUMBERS.

Additionally, I would have to accept the retailer’s RETURN POLICY on unsold books; many of which would be dusty and damaged. I WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE SHIPPING COSTS to have the books returned to me, rather than trusting that those books would be “recycled”, which is the word they throw around, but unsold books from large retailers regularly end up in landfills. THEY REFUSE TO DONATE THEM TO SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES OR THE UNDER-PRIVILEGED because it would hurt the sales of the big publishers they are in bed with. Instead, they again put this on the poor indie-author. It is the same reason why food stores do not donate to food-banks. They want YOU to buy the food donations which the food store profits from. They further encourage you to buy and donate food by having a food-bank donation bin in their stores, but I digress. . .

Are e-books the answer?

NO!

  • As an e-book only author, you reduce your number of potential readers by 70%.
  • Your book will not qualify for prestigious literary competitions and awards.
  • Your book will not be reviewed by the most trusted literary critics.

So what is the answer to SUCCESS as an indie-author?

1) GIVE UP THE DREAM OF BEING A WRITER.

2) Set up a business to SELL your books.

3) Be conscious of your time and/or money invested vs. the REVENUES generated from the activity. Social media is the equivalent of a printed flyer delivered in your mail. You can expect only 3% of those followers you reach to buy your book.

4) You must TARGET book sellers, book buyers; reviewers etc. and REACH OUT to them.

5) You must INVEST in putting out a quality product. This requires: Editors, cover designers, interior layout specialists, ISBN management, Copyright management, royalty management, e-book formatting, Point Of Sale site management, social media site management, e-mail services, marketing strategies, merchandising specialists, publicity specialists and perhaps a mailing company. THIS IS WHAT GOES ON INSIDE A LEGITIMATE PUBLISHER.

6) IT WILL BE A FULL-TIME JOB!

I will pay for nine of the thirteen listed which leaves me to wear four hats without even considering the administrative side of any business. I am considering an online store of my own on ebay or Shopify at a minimum cost of $10.00 / month.

My twenty plus years as a business person tells me I have only a 50/50 shot at SUCCESS, and it will have little to do with my capabilities as a writer. My experience also tells me that it will be a long slow climb to a respectable sales level without those major retailers.

It worked for J. K. Rowling. It might happen for me.

Lightning might strike twice.

E. A.

P.S. Hello to my feeling forgotten friends on WordPress.

The book is about 30 days away from its release date so I have been swamped.

Look on the upside, if my book tanks, you will be the first to know as I will post my farewell here.

😀

 

Blog 13: “We are gonna need a bigger boat”.

Fishing tips from a good fisherman that does not like fishing.

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 that is often overwhelmed; and of course, is short on sleep.

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 that led to a cork bobbers that held 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.

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 that 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 that the hull flexed at your feet when you were heading out on a choppy day.

We fished often, sometimes with all four of us crammed into that 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.

The fish finder had not been invented yet. We checked the depth of the water we were fishing in 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.

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 and weed beds near shore where humans had not yet developed. Bass were easy to find near Bulrushes, fallen trees and under docks.

The fishing line 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. That was when I found out that we were going to NEED A BIGGER NET. The total weight that he 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.

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. We learned that the best fishing was from dusk to dawn. We learned that the worst weather also meant the best fishing.

The 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.

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 twenty-three mile per hour blinding speed. I met many girls and found a bunch of all-night parties in that boat.

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

NOW THAT WAS A GREAT FISHING TRIP!

By forty, I had parted with all of my boats- a story for another time. Suffice it to say that 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 that my then significant other told me that 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 it off the hook for her. It had me wanting to catch some again.

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

We got caught up in the Sunday morning fishing programs on television that would seem to indicate that you were not a fisherman unless you had a $50,000.00 bass boat, a half a dozen different rods with different reels and a tackle box that the size of a beer cooler that contained 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 that shows pictures of sunken boats on the bottom.

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

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 that broke 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 that 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.

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 did work is a secret that I thought about taking to the grave in order not to bury a thriving industry.

But then it occurred to me that 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 of poorly made off-shore products. By publishing this, I hope to tear down their empire that is built on the exploitation of the desperate weak-minded fishing fanatics that are so addicted they will purchase every shiny new- brightly coloured thing that the manufacturer PAID TO HAVE ENDORSED by a guy who makes a living by fishing.

I will tell you that 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 (5 or 6 inch I think) that resembles a Perch. It is greenish with black stripes on top and has a silver/white bottom.

This brings us to the other day when I took my friend out to prove to him that 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 on my old school “casting” reel mounted to the “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.

The wind was gusting to 40 miles per hour creating 3 foot 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.

As we were loading up his boat he asked if we should bring a net and I replied “No we are just going after Bass.”

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 that 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.

Even in the sheltered bay, his little boat was being blown all over the place and from one shore to the other. I asked if he had an anchor and he said there was one back at the cottage. To get him started, I baited his worm harness for him so he could see how it was done. I 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 unknotted some rope and then we set out to pound the waves and my kidneys a second time.

Upon returning to the fishing spot, I anchored us so that the changing winds would let us fish both shores. 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.

My “fishing compadre” 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 that 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 him; despite many repeated attempts at setting the hook.

This is where the story gets interesting.

Instead of removing the little bastard, I said to my fishing partner “Watch this.” and casted the little worm stealer 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.

It may be illegal to use a Perch as a bait fish but he got on my hook all by himself. I did not put him there.

Karma is a bitch.

I set the hook a couple of times and could sense that 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 closer and then lifted my rod to get a glimpse of what I had on there.

Well, it did allow a glimpse. I saw a flash of orange from a fish with a large girth. I never really got a view of its length.

I was now thinking that I had a big Pickerel with NO NET, an inexperienced fishing partner that could not handle fish without wearing gloves and we were in a very tippy boat.

As my brain was just beginning to wrestle with the problem at hand, Karma took over once again.

The fish did a violent side-to-side head-shake like a Large Mouth Bass 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? Instead of an answer to that question coming to mind, I remembered 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 sunburnt.

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 that I did not get a bite; 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!

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 the need to BE PREPARED for what life throws at us.

 

Have a good week.

I am going spear fishing for that Pickerel.

I have a score to settle.

E. A.

Blog 11: My BIGFOOT Encounters: Three spooky tales for camping out.

Fear not parents; the myth is dispelled at the end so they will go to sleep.

The Bigfoot LEGENDS are told all over the world in remote areas. In North America we mostly call them Bigfoot or Sasquatch as they are known to some ancient native peoples. In snowy mountain ranges as far away as Tibet, they are called Yeti or The Abominable Snowmen.

These creatures are always at eight to ten feet tall, super strong, known for throwing rocks and are capable of driving humans out of their territory- even humans with guns, it is said. Apparently they have a bad pungent odour and make high pitched screams that will make your blood run COLD.

There must be some truth to these stories or else why would grownups keep talking about them for hundreds of years?

Living in Central and Northern Ontario Canada, means that you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake that leave little dorsal fin waves as well as those that create a little surface splash leaving ever expanding ring-waves that mark their location.

The crack of dawn is most likely your last chance to see larger animals as they go into hiding deep in the woods as man gets busy with his day. Around here deer, foxes, rabbits and even moose are commonly seen at that time of the morning.

During the day and not in tourist season, the lake is a playground for aquatic mammals like otters, mink and weasels, foul like ducks, geese and loons and reptiles like frogs and snakes.

But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. Lions and tigers and bears- well lynx and bobcats and bears at least, with the unproven claims of cougars. Wolves and coyotes should not be forgotten either; nor should potential attackers from above like bats and owls that feed mostly at night. NIGHT-TIME IS WHEN HUMANS SHOULD BE INSIDE. WANDERING OFF ALONE AT NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

On weekends from May to October the number of humans in the area can swell by a multiplication factor of ten. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS- BEING AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.

But if you go deep into the wilderness or are here after tourist season, you can have unexplained encounters with wildlife or something FAR WORSE, and they usually happen when you are ALONE.

Last night I had my third Bigfoot encounter and this was a close one; just fifty feet or fifteen metres away.

It was 9:30 at night and THE AIR WAS DEADLY STILL- meaning that there was no wind to stop me from hearing everything. I live up here year-round so I am used to most of the sounds of the wilderness. There was a clear sky with a half-moon that cast DARK SHADOWS EVERYWHERE.

SUDDENLY in the blackness, I heard a loud KER-PLOOSH and a splash like the sound of giant boulders being thrown into the lake in front of me. I WAS FROZEN WITH FEAR. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because THIS HAD HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE.

My first thought was that it could be a bear going after a fish. But only seconds later it happened again. The sound of these huge boulders hitting the water told me that no human or bear could lift them and be throwing them into the lake so fast and so far. This was obviously A HUGE INTELLIGENT CREATURE that did not want me around.

It was time to HIDE INSIDE until whatever it was went away or CAME TO GET ME.

I was lucky that it decided to go away..

I survived the night to tell this tale.

As mentioned, this was not the first time I had encroached on the territory of a BIGFOOT.

A few years ago, I went fishing in the evening on a little secluded lake that does not have any cottages on it. The fishing was good so I did not want to leave, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS GETTING DARK. I built a big campfire at the edge of the lake so I could see better and the fire is SUPPOSED TO keep wild-life from coming too close.

I was concerned about bears being attracted to the fish I had caught and eaten. I did not have a tooth-brush with me and I had heard stories of people being attacked by bears because THEY HAD NOT BRUSHED THEIR TEETH- it is said that a bear could smell their breath.

It was a moonless night so I could not even see my car that was parked just a short way up the road.

Everything became very quiet as though something had scared the birds and frogs into hiding. It was TOO QUIET; EERILY QUIET.

In the BLACKNESS just in front of where my fishing line disappeared in the DARK BLACK NIGHT, I heard something HUGE hit the water with a loud KER-PLOOSH! Although it did not splash me, it sounded very close. I was the only human for miles around and it seemed like something was throwing giant boulders almost all the way across the lake, and THIS THING WAS NOT AFRAID OF THE BIG FIRE I HAD GOING.

I told myself to calm down because a really big fish could have charged out of the water to try and catch a low flying bat or dragonfly and could have made a sound like that when it landed back in the water.

But then it happened again. Now I was SCARED. I did not want to fish anymore. I reeled in as fast as I could, picked up my fish and ran for the car. The boulders were landing every few seconds now SO THERE HAD TO BE MORE THAN ONE CREATURE throwing them. Whatever it was, it could have my container of bait that I left behind on the beach.

At the car, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car- there was no time to put it in the trunk and then I closed the door as fast as I could. It was then that I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake; then they could destroy a car if they attacked by throwing smaller boulders that would fly further.

There was a big problem. I couldn’t speed away. I HAD NOT PUT THE FIRE OUT.

I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.

I searched the car’s glove box for a flash-light and turned it on, only to find that the batteries were weak and it was producing a dim light. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT.

I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around frantically at all the nearby trees but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk that was intended to hold the fish that was now lying on the front passenger seat. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge and BACK INTO THE RANGE OF THE CREATURES.

It was quiet again; too quiet; eerily quiet; DEAD QUIET.

Just as I had completely doused the fire, THE NEXT ATTACK COMMENCED- but even closer than before and now I was being SPLASHED with water as the boulders continued to land in the water. Whatever it was, it had moved in closer now that the fire was out. I ran for the car and tripped on a tree-root dropping the flash-light. IT WENT OUT!

NOW IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead and back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road and into the wilderness I could be LOST FOREVER. I expected to feel a giant fur-covered CREATURE in front of me blocking my path, but instead I banged my knee on the bumper of the car. I quickly got in and drove away- never to return to that lake again; AT NIGHT.

I survived that night to tell this tale.

My very first encounter with a BIGFOOT was the most TERRIFYING of all as you will see.

I had just moved from the city into a friend’s cabin while waiting to get a place of my own. His cabin was on a lake but without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway and longer still to find other people if YOU WERE IN TROUBLE.

I was getting used to living like people did in the 1800’s. I carried in wood for the fire. I brought water in from the lake for washing and I was catching fish for dinner right off the dock.

It is the dock that is the location of this story, but not for the reason that you might think. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders this time. This time he would be RIGHT BEHIND ME; waiting for me on the beach while I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK.

As the sun set, the fishing from the dock was really good; I was catching a fish with almost every cast of my rod.

It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting and I was having fun SO I STAYED OUT LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. That was my mistake.

Because the fog was so thick and close, I could not even see the shore behind me. I might as well have been on a raft- adrift on a lake in the fog because that it what it felt like. Later, I would wish that I was afloat on a raft and not near shore.

My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up the hill behind the cabin. I thought that it was probably a moose and kept on fishing.

My second WARNING SIGN was the sound of a large animal exhaling and then it made a snorting sound. I was convinced that it was a moose or maybe a bear so I stayed quiet hoping it would wander off.

My third warning SCARED ME TO DEATH. IT WAS A BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM followed by a high pitched YIKE, YIKE, YIKE that sounded like it was close to the cabin.

So there I was, with whatever it was, between me and the safety of the cabin. I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK with nowhere to go except into the cold lake. I would not last long in the frigid water of spring WITHOUT A LIFE-JACKET.

I had a flash-light in my tackle box and found a pair of fishing pliers that I would use for self-defense if this CREATURE came after me.

With the fog, the flash-light beam came to a stop about six feet or two metres away. I worked my way slowly down the dock, hearing every creak of the old boards with each step. I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS after only a few steps by an awful smell. It was like the smell of honey but not so sweet and nice. It was a sickly sweet smell that seemed to be all around me just hanging in the fog.

THEN THE WORST HAPPENED; the dock boards nearest the shore started to creak with me standing still.

IT WAS COMING FOR ME!

I did the only thing I could think of and tried to communicate with the creature by screaming as loud as I could- and following it with YIKE, YIKE, YIKE. Before too long, the smell went away and I CAREFULLY made my way back into the cabin.

I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she or it never returned.

I survived that night to tell this tale.

(Parents: Keep on reading to teach your kids about fear and how it can be used against you.)

Now here is why stories can scare you:

When it is dark and we can no longer see, we pay more attention to what we hear.

Everything seems louder and bigger and closer.

We let our imaginations get the better of us.

When we encounter something new that we do not understand we are naturally a little afraid of it.

Even grown-ups do this.

It goes back to a time even before our cave-man days when there really were giant creatures trying to get us.

Those early men learned when to fight and when to run and hide and this instinct is still with us to this day.

Now here is how stories can be made to scare us:

FIRST:

You were told that the writer had encountered a Bigfoot in the title but did he?

NO.

He HEARD things, SMELLED something and even was SPLASHED by something but did he ever see it?

NO.

SECOND:

You were told about a legend. A legend is just a story or tale that SOUNDS REAL. We call it fiction. There has never been ANY scientific proof found that proves the existence of a Bigfoot.

THIRD:

The writer began to scare you with CREEPY WORDS like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they come out at night.

FORTH:

The writer TOLD YOU that this was the third time he had run into Bigfoot so you thought it could be true.

FIFTH:

In the first story, the writer used more SCARY WORDS like: alone, the air was deadly still, dark shadows everywhere and suddenly in the blackness.

You were told A GROWN-UP WAS SCARED AND WENT TO HIDE but nothing actually came to get him did it?

NO.

Did he ever see any giant boulders?

NO.

He just HEARD SOMETHING that his imagination associated with that sound.

With all three stories he tells you HE SURVIVED THE NIGHT to tell you the tale.

SIXTH:

In the second story, the writer told us to build a fire because HE WAS AFRAID OF ANIMALS.

He used lots of SCARY WORDS: he told us a story he had only HEARD about bears so we don’t know if it is true.

HE SCARED US WITH WORDS like: no moonlight, eerily quiet, dark black night, something huge, he was alone and scared and something was not afraid of fire.

The writer told us there must be more than one creature throwing rocks to play on our FEAR OF BEING OUT-NUMBERED.

He could not run away. HE HAD TO FACE HIS FEAR. All that happened was he got splashed.

He tripped because he was scared. He broke his flashlight and imagined bumping into a fury creature but did he?

NO.

He just bumped into his own car.

SEVENTH:

THE WRITER SCARED US SOME MORE, talking about being alone and far away from people.

He used words like: right behind me, trapped, dark, foggy, could not see, boards creaking and a bad smell.

Did the writer ever see an animal or creature?

NO!

So why did he make up a scary story?

Scary stories can be exciting and fun if we DO NOT BELIEVE TOO MUCH OF A STORY.

Here is the true story behind all three tales that are not as exciting.

While startled and leaving after the KER-PLOOSH sounds began , mostly because it would scare the fish away, the writer looked up what he had heard and found out that beavers do this when you are too close to their lodge.

So in stories one and two there were not any Bigfoot monsters with giant boulders; only beavers using their tails.

In the last story, a moose came through the forest crashing trees and we know this because the writer found tracks the following day.

The horrible scream COULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING from a barn owl to raccoons fighting to a lynx or bobcat or possibly even a fox.

The huffing, the loud exhale sound and the bad smell was most likely a bear attracted by the smell of the fish he had caught.

The writer now knows that if you are going to fish after dark you should do it wearing a life jacket with a fire on the shore or better still fish from a boat.

Now he always brushes his teeth before going to sleep in a tent.

WE ARE ONLY AFRAID OF THINGS THAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, whether it is animals or people from different countries.

A note from the Author to parents:

Please do not help to make your children live in fear.

There are trying times ahead for future generations and we must stop passing our more ridiculous fears along to our children.

Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.

Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.

Being terrified of anything is ridiculous.

HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.

Do not create people with irrational fears who put rubber boots on the posts of a bed and then hide under it in a lightning storm.

Your children learn how to manage fear from you.

How you handle your fears will have a directly impact on them.

If you fear something, research it.

Knowledge is the key to overcoming fear.

E. A. Barker