Leaving is never easy, even if it’s only Facebook.

I do feel lighter though.

It’s no secret I despise the flawed technology everyone else seems fine with. Even while writing this blog I had to deal with a sketchy Internet connection which wasted the better part of an hour of my life; an hour I cannot get back as with all the hours spent online doing what we authors are told is necessary.

This Sunday I will be pulling the plug on facebook forever; not merely deactivating—not just taking a break—but deleting my account.

Why would an author or writer ever do this when “experts” tell us we should be on social media to create a following which may lead to people reading our blogs who then might decide to buy our books? Should, may, and might are words used by politicians and other con-men to dupe the unsuspecting, the uninformed, and the gullible. I am none of those any longer. I did however willingly join in the lie of social media five years ago, and stayed two years longer than I planned. Perhaps this was out of a false sense of loyalty to relative strangers on the Internet, or it’s possible I’m more of an egotist than I thought. Maybe solitude finally got to me? Nah. I’ll let you know if and when I figure it out.

Many of the people I’m leaving behind were kind and supportive and they have all been thanked for their encouragement along the way.

Some shared my warped sense of humour and we had some laughs. These people will be missed. Just like childhood friends, former co-workers, or old neighbours, they are genuine when they say you will be missed, but they will get busy with their lives and soon forget about you. It is the way of things.

I have been a harsh critic of social media and facebook a.k.a fakebook a.k.a. flakebook in particular, for its practices i.e. privacy, data collection, and mental conditioning algorithms. I realize now my preaching abstinence there was as effective as a priest giving a sermon on morality in a whorehouse.

It felt hypocritical and it’s time to cut the cord.

I hope my remaining facebook friends, who might stumble across this, find the peace and joy I once had and am attempting to get back in touch with again.

I wish you well.

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.

When Will We Get It?

Most days I root for humanity . . . some days I root for space rocks.

If you enjoy reading about patriarchy and the puppet masters, you are in the right place.

In my storied online “career” (?), I was a good, not so little, author who played nice in the early years. I “friended” and/or followed approximately 10,000 people, sites, and pages because that was what we were told was necessary to promote our books and build a platform to launch us. However, as I delved deeper into the publishing world, I found out it was all a sham to keep us busy, and, most importantly of all, to keep us blowing money. Now, after five years and spending months cleaning out my social media accounts, I have about 300 interesting “friends” and follow about 300 others.

Some of the people I axed were butt-hurt.

If they were true supporters, they were given my reasons, but most were people who never engaged in all the years I kept them around. This idea of “friending” or “following” just to have impressive numbers is laughable, and anything but social.

My new antisocial media program is simple.

If I am ever to make enough time to write seriously again, social media has to go—except twitter—I love my twitter in the mornings over coffee, and I can “misbehave” there. I have a new ‘boobies and books’ theme I am thoroughly enjoying. Do I care some will be offended? F-ck no. Do I care about the imagined publisher or agent passing on me because I don’t conform? Hells no. It’s just bullshit “they” feed newbies. The right agent or publisher will get me, or I will self-publish again, but in a much smaller way.

Here is the plan for this summer:

  1. Create and blog out memes daily, if possible.
  2. Power tweet on Fridays.
  3. Facebook on Saturdays.

In a perfect world, this system should:

  1. Drive up website traffic.
  2. Give me more monetized hours each day.
  3. Let me work on my tan.

Have a great summer.

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.

person reading the daily fake news newspaper sitting on gray couch
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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.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 things I learned in my years on facebook, or how many “friends” can I lose in one post?

FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL

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“Live and learn.”

Conservatively, I estimate I “invested” 1400 hours of my life into Facebook over the past four years which is 500 hours more than it took to produce my book. Let that sink in a moment. I have dwelled on this for some time now. It is because of this significant amount of time that I did not just delete my Facebook account when the final straw arrived. I was close though. For better or worse, there is a legacy we leave behind on Facebook for our “friends”, if not the general public. However, if you posted as I did in a willy-nilly devil-may-care sort of way, you will spend days trying to clean it all up in order to leave a “best of” collection of posts worth scrolling before saying your final farewell. Be prepared for Facebook to “limit” your profile and page(s), a.k.a. putting you in Facebook jail, when you attempt such radical changes.

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1) Some people are not who they claim to be.

I am not talking about authors writing under pen names - which is absolutely necessary to avoid harassment - I am talking about people with multiple online personas. Don’t make the mistake of PROJECTING your level of integrity or values, a.k.a. honesty, discretion, and honour onto people you meet. It will bite you every time.

You can protect yourself by using a free deep web search at: pipl.com.

If aliases appear, search each one. If you know multiple locations where they have lived, search each city by each alias. It could take a while to compile all the data, and you should prepare yourself as the results can be nothing less than staggering. Look for, and even search, relatives, known associates, and phone numbers to confirm the site has not made an error. There are pay sites starting from $2.00 that generate a full report including criminal activities. You might want to consider one of these if you are in deep with someone you met online. May your god be kind with what you find.

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2) Don’t be naïve.

If you look up naïve in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see my picture there. I viewed joining the author communities on social media as an opportunity to connect with bright, engaging, open-minded seekers of wisdom . . . kindred spirits who would share thoughts as pen pals would, only using modern technology. Overall, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, you will encounter a few worthwhile decent types, but in a game where we count followers in the thousands, they represent a minuscule percentage.

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3) “Haste makes waste.”

I remember being excited about making “friends” on Facebook when I first started out. So excited in fact, I would send friend requests to anyone who had the words author or writer on their profile. Back then, the prevailing theory suggested the key to success was a numbers game; the one with the biggest following would get a publishing deal. People were actually buying followers 10,000 at a time. I didn’t buy into this. I viewed social media as a popularity contest which does not translate into book sales ─ the equivalent to putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes. I have yet to see data which is convincing enough to see it any other way. If I knew better, I would have cultivated relationships with influencers, readers of my genre, publishers, publicists, agents, reviewers, and bloggers ─ all the people I did not have as “friends” but who might have made a difference to the success achieved by my book. Had I known then what I know now, my friends list would look very different than it does today.

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4) Cocaine would have been a better choice.

If you are going to choose an addiction, social media is the worst possible choice. THERE IS NO HIGH, and the more time you spend on social media the less happy you become. Anyone who has read my book, knows I am anti-escapist regardless of whether the high is produced naturally or artificially. Regular cocaine users know the drug has a diminishing return. The high is never as good as the first time they tried it unless they increase the quantity used; and the more they use, the more frequent their cravings become until it affects their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hypocrite. I let my demons out for an occasional stroll, but I pick my poisons carefully to ensure that none take charge of my life. Social media hooks us on being connected and never being alone. It is dangerous because humans must be alone in order to think, learn, and grow. Social media stagnates the mind and, Facebook at least, seems bent on depressing the populace. Endless distractions thwart creativity and productivity. If you: feel obligated to post on social media; look in regularly for comments on posts; have never turned off Messenger or notifications or your device, then you should pick different poisons for a while until you get a handle on the monkey on your back.

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5) I kept my promise.

I used my Facebook profile page as a playground where I could share multiple aspects of my personality. This allowed me a place to vent . . . and vent I did; or more correctly, am continuing to do here in what will become my last post to Facebook. Early on I promised the real me would be on display at all times to my “friends”. The people on my friends list did not get an artificial construct or watered down perfect illusion of who I am. Nope, they got the full Monte, or at least as much Monte as Facebook would allow. My inner bad boy posted what little nudity Facebook community standards would tolerate for two reasons: Firstly, I am a rebel who sees freedoms dying faster than the planet is losing species; and secondly, nothing in the world is more beautiful to me than the female form. I shared my sense of humour as well, even when I knew it might be crossing someone’s line every now and then. I also shared my philosophies, and those from others which resonated within me, in what I now see as a futile effort to awaken the sleeping oblivious sheeple. The proof is in the likes. There were next to none. Recently, I wanted to find out if I was out of Facebook jail so I posted: ‘Somebody, anybody, tell me if you can see me.’ This post got more attention than a year’s worth of meaningful posts, and at the same time, it made a sad statement on the superficiality of the average Facebook user.

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6) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As an author, I should have divided my time equally between Goodreads, twitter, and Facebook because Goodreads has proven itself to put your books in front of readers, and unlike Facebook, you can reach out to everyone and anyone on twitter. Time is the one thing you can never get more of and it does not allow do-overs. Spend yours wisely.

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7) Nazi hamsters! WTF?

Fuckerberg, and the Nazis in the shadows behind him, are using facebook for data collection on each and every one of us, as are most of the major corporations in Silicon Valley. The difference is Facebook knows far more about us than Google, and possibly even the makers of our devices and the companies that supply operating systems as long as they do not breach their published privacy policies which most have already been caught doing. Facebook considers EVERYTHING you share to be their property. This includes Messenger. Yup, your selfies and home-made porn videos are all sitting in a data farm somewhere and you can never truly delete them. They lured us away from My Space with the promise of something better. A promise which was never kept right from the beginning. Their endless adjustments to the algorithm, have severely limited our outreach to readers while they stayed busy categorizing and compartmentalizing us into something reminiscent of a box filled with hamsters where everyone is climbing all over each other. Good luck. I’m out.

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8) Let’s see Facebook for what it is: a societal manipulation site.

That doesn’t have the same innocuous ring to it as social media site, does it. In my time on Facebook, I have been appalled by posts in my News Feed ranging from animal cruelty to the shooting of an unarmed man by police, with a far too great number of others in between. Were they fake news as with the Trumpeter’s election campaigners who mysteriously showed up only to disappear shortly after the election? We can never know. What is clear however, is we are affected, influenced, and manipulated by what we see and hear in all forms of media. Worst of all, we become desensitized to atrocious human behavior and I believe this is NO ACCIDENT; but where they are intentionally herding the minds of the sheeple. When three billion users worldwide have been programmed to no longer give a shit about life, the world can easily fall into anarchy. On that day, the frightened sheeple will willingly turn over the last of their freedoms for safety. The single biggest difference between other forms of media and Facebook is there are no restrictions placed on what Facebook is allowed to broadcast. Facebook can do what they want with the get-out-of-jail-free-card of being a social media platform not responsible for the content created by users. There is no Editor In Chief to hold accountable for what is thrust before our eyes. Facebook’s new take on morality is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.

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9) Some people make it bearable.

If I look at my years on Facebook as I would my life, there are some parallels. I have a few regrets but there was also a great deal of laughter. There were a handful of people who made the time spent on Facebook almost seem worthwhile. I hope they keep in touch. There were also some standouts who stepped up when it really mattered, and they have my deepest gratitude.

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10) Facebook is what you make of it.

If you are just an individual who wants to keep tabs on people you already know in the real world, or if you want to find people you have lost touch with, then have at it while being VERY cautious of what you post or message to people. Keep your circle small and be wary of people you have not met in person when they send you a friend request. If you have the misfortune of being a writer who is following conventional wisdom, a.k.a. forced kicking and screaming into the social media spotlight as I was, then things will be tougher. Absorb and retain the previous 1800 words and I will leave you with the immortal words of my favorite Zen master: ‘Mind what you have learned; save you it can.’ – Yoda.

Rationalizations: What to do when the Internet is down.

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

Turkey News

Dinner conversation for know-it-alls:

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Contrary to popular belief, tryptophan induced turkey comas are not a result of turkey containing a greater quantity of the amino acid than other foods, but only our overindulgence at this time of year. You most likely do not go back for seconds when you eat other poultry, nor do smaller birds allow for days of leftovers in sandwiches and soups or stews.

Enjoy your holiday.

Gather ’round kids, so cocky uncle E. A. can tell you a story.

Cocky? Cockier? Cockiest?

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While I don’t live in the United States of America, Canada and most countries in “the West” do share common legal approaches. My OPINIONS should not be considered legal advice, but should make for a good starting point for those of you who have been witness to the latest travesty in indie-authordom. Unless the reprobates currently running the U.S.A. have completely flushed America down the proverbial turlet, then what I am about to share with you will probably still be upheld in their courts.

What is a Trade Mark?

I rarely use Wikipedia as a source, but they did offer a sound definition in this case.

“A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.”

IF some poor misinformed soul did want to Trade Mark the word cocky, they are completely within their legal rights to do so. HOWEVER, as no person or corporate entity may hold title of a commonly used word, the Trade Mark office requires that the word in question be presented in an original form, a.k.a. artwork and even a custom font or in an existing font USED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.

You can Trade Mark a LOGO containing a word, but not the word itself.

We might as well cover all the bases while we are on this ridiculous topic.

What  is a Patent?

“A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.”

So unless the individual in question INVENTED the word, they can’t go down this road.

What is a Copyright?

“The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.”

Every time a writer PUBLISHES, they are protected by Copyright law. HOWEVER, we live in an age where everyone sues their neighbor over the slightest thing. Thanks for that America. This translates into a shit pile of lawyers making money on every tiny fender-bender or slip-and-fall. Authors would be well advised to actually get Copyright protection in their own country at the very least, as it carries a bit more weight than a mere publishing date.

Can you Copyright a word?

Yes, if it is the title of your work and no one has ever used it before. HOWEVER, this only protects the Copyright holder from having others use the EXACT SAME TITLE. It does not give the Copyright holder EXCLUSIVE rights to the word.

pexels-photo-726478.jpegWhat is a frivolous lawsuit?

They are not called “sharks” for nothing.

“Is the practice of starting or carrying on lawsuits that, due to their lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won.

Yes kids, this is probably what is going on here. Some law firm is exploiting this poor author knowing full well the case has no chance.

So why is Amazon allegedly pulling down books with the word cocky in the title or in the key words?

There are any number of possibilities. But first, why am I not worried about using the word Amazon in this piece? It’s simple, they don’t own the word—just the presentation of the word as a Trade Marked corporate logo in context with a certain type of business. The Amazon river was there long before the company, and it will be there long after the company is gone.

  1. Indie authors are not that important to Amazon as they represent only 16% of the company’s total book sales. (See the Publishers Weekly article.)
  2. Lawyers are expensive; even to a corporate giant. There is no upside for Amazon to challenge the alleged letter sent from this author’s law firm. It is easier, and w-a-y cheaper, to just piss off a few inconsequential indie authors than it is to wage a legal battle on their behalf.
  3. A less likely, but plausible reason might be that some middle manager panicked when the legal notice arrived on their desk, causing them to make “an executive decision” without running it up the flagpole first.

Smashwords and Ingram Spark are looking better and better, aren’t they?

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If and when . . .

. . . I get a cease and desist order telling me to take down this blog because it contains the word cocky, I will have my lawyer fire one back telling them what a cocky prick I am, and that I suggested ‘they should all have intercourse with themselves’. Of course what I would actually say to my lawyer in this hypothetical instance would be: Tell them they can all go f*ck themselves.

And here kids is the moral of the story.

A frivolous lawsuit is there to incite an EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. My lawyer is there to START A NEGOTIATION, as is the lawyer of this author. My lawyer will water down my message to make me appear more reasonable so A RESOLUTION CAN BE REACHED.

Both authors pay.

Both law firms get paid.

Amazon was the only one to make a good business decision.

As usual, my mind is questioning the motivations involved here. Is this a PR stunt? Did the-powers-that-be create a new distraction just for indie authors so we won’t pay attention to a US administration just itching for a war with anybody? I guess time will tell. Until then, stay cocky everyone.

 

 

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.

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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.

Radical Christian extremists are active in my neighborhood—A Christmas Story

I just witnessed an act of Christian terrorism on my street.

While many of us were erecting ladders to put up Christmas lights, others had even more politically incorrect intentions.

A woman with her three girls from a few doors down, just skulked passed my house carrying a large standup carboard cutout of Jesus which they covertly placed in front of another neighbor’s house, a few doors up the street from where I live. I am guessing this mom is an artist, and the girls all participated in this craft project. I do not know either of these neighbors, but I grinned as the perpetrators ran by in a full retreat. A short while later, the terrorist leader mom walked by again to take a picture of their evil-doings; presumably to be used in a propaganda victory speech which would undoubtedly be posted on their radical facebook page tagging the victims. As she returned from her photo recon bomb damage assessment mission, she commented to me, rather matter of factly, “He hates religion.”, to which I replied, “Oh my.”, still wearing my amused grin but laughing hysterically on the inside as this woman had no idea who she was talking to. To me, this Sunday was quickly becoming more entertaining than any of the ones spent in the hundreds of Houses of Worship I have visited in my travels. It would not take long before a woman, who I presume is the wife of the aforementioned “He”, would walk by looking a little embarrassed as she carryied the big Jesus back to the terrorist’s encampment. I suspect this was just a good-natured prank among neighbors as big Jesus was leaned carefully against a tree in the yard of the terrorist’s command and control bunker, and no hostile words were uttered or shots fired as she departed.

This is how battles of religious ideologies should be waged.

We must now look at the victim of this atrocity who was targeted by these extremists because “He” believes differently. “He”, who apparently “hates religion”, could be an atheist, and if this is the case, we should be respectful of his choice of belief system. But what if “He” is not an atheist? What if “He” is like me? What if “He” has come to despise most religions as I have, because they have corrupted the messages of God and their various prophets in order to amass wealth and power—often promoting division, hate, the subjugation of women, and even violence. Am I next? How long before I can expect big Jesus in my garden? I  think it’s time to pick a religion just to be on the safe side.

So. let’s see what comes up when I google: What religion should I follow? Oh look, Belief-O-Match; they should be able to tell me. After taking their quiz, they decided I am a Seventh-day Adventist? I don’t know this one. Let’s find out what they are all about.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-seventh-day-adventism/

Oh, I don’t think so.

Not even close. So much for Belief-O-Magic.

Back to the drawing board. I will eliminate all religions with significant wealth that don’t spend most of it to feed starving children. Let’s see what google has to say.

https://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/the-10-richest-religions-in-the-world/

Well that really shortens the list of possibilities.

Let’s try googling the most charitable religions. It is interesting that this search netted little of substance; just a few articles about do-gooders, putting Muslims, Agnostics, and Buddhists well in the lead. You would think that some of the other major religions would step up and single-handedly save a famished nation just for the bragging rights, but none do or have.

Although I could probably squeeze my beliefs into the Agnostic box, as a historian, I feel as though I should be able to find something—and I did—but unfortunately it is in decline with just 190,000 followers left. Maybe it is not about the popularity.

Zoroastrianism worships a single deity: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and The Supremely Wise. This religion predates most all of the best known prophets with its roots going back to 2000 BCE. (I like that.) It has no major theological divisions. (I like that.) In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to: “Be among those who renew the world; to make the world progress towards perfection”. (I like that.)

Its basic maxims include:

  • “Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta,” which means: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. (I like it.)
  • “There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.” (I like it.)
  • “Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.” (I like it.)

I am now a religious man, safe from big Jesus.

I am a Zoroastrianist . . . I think.

I have much reading to do, and perhaps I should check my terminologies while I am at it, before telling everyone. Once I have confirmed that Zoroastrianist is actually a word, I’m going to go tell the neighbor up the street—maybe he is one too, and just doesn’t know it yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism

 

This is it for a while.

To everyone, regardless of your philosophies, faiths, beliefs, and indoctrinations, I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta.

I like it.

😀

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.

 

A sinister plot by the world’s elites, or just more stupid human tricks?

 

I think I might have been put here to sort stupid humans out before they destroy themselves. I never have all the answers, but it does seem like I have many more than the average person surfing the Internet.

I will preface this by saying that my entire belief system was shaken by the recent US election. My mind has been reeling ever since. I am now questioning everything and reexamining all the things I once thought to be TRUE. I had believed that no FREE DEMOCRATIC country would ever vote in a known reprobate, let alone make him the leader of the FREE world. Boy was I WRONG! I had dismissed the need for reiterating the example of Germany in 1932 believing it to be a lesson learned and remembered, but I obviously got that WRONG as well.

To disconnect from my personal concerns, I spent the entire weekend immersed in pseudo-documentaries looking for facts amongst all the conjecture contained in the popular conspiracy theories floating around these days. Some I knew to be TRUE. Some I had long suspected to be TRUE, but most I viewed as implausible for a variety of scientific reasons. However, because I have been SO WRONG lately, I felt it necessary to review all the beliefs I had once clung to.

Section 1: The top 10 things I know to be TRUE:

1) Money makes the world go round.

2) Money is power and power corrupts without exception.

3) Wars always turn large profits for a small group of people.

4) For at least 5000 years religion has been a big money maker.

5) It was religion that switched human civilization from matriarchal to patriarchal more than 5000 years ago.

6) Coincidentally sexism is the same age.

7) Humans incapable of rational thought will embrace the irrational.

8) Fearful humans will throw the rest of mankind under a bus to save themselves.

9) The wealthiest people are also the most fearful.

10) I like dogs better than humans. Dogs understand the different meanings of humanity better than humans do.

Section 2: The top 10 things I have long suspected to be TRUE:

1) Freedom may have always been an illusion.

2) A democratic system which is incapable of legislation and change benefiting its populace is totalitarian, and elections become nothing more than a show.

3) Only 33% of humanity is worth saving and the people who will decide are not in that group.

4) Putting economics ahead of ecology and society; the genetic manipulation and waste of food; water treatments; inoculations; burning fossil fuels; wide spread drug use and allowing our governments to spend us into servitude to the world banks and their New World Order is ALL our own doing. You lived too well for far too long. Don’t whine about it because some smart immoral pricks are making a buck from your stupidity. Parties don’t last forever.

5) The grant system and field of study specialization has rendered scientific research ineffectual and the compartmentalization makes it controllable.

6) Advanced human civilizations have been coming and going every 12,000 years or so and perhaps this has been going on for 120,000 years.

7) Mother Earth flushes her toilet periodically as the need arises.

8) Fearful humans feel the need to look for external causes for their problems rather than looking at how they themselves have contributed to or created those problems.

9) Obliviousness is easier—at least until the end comes.

10) We need a female only think tank to combat the madness.

Section 3: The top 10 things which are not quite as implausible as they once seemed, but you will still have to PROVE IT even though I have been WRONG quite a bit lately:

1) The Flat Earth group created the biggest face-palm of my entire life—next to the American election that is. I really thought humans were better than this—exhibiting such a preponderance of infinite denial. There I go being WRONG again. I want this bunch to get back to me when they have done any of the following experiments: Sail up to any edge of the Earth, lean against the dome and take a selfie or play catch by bouncing a ball off of it. That would be fun. Next, if the world is not round, try to fire a laser from one continent to another near sea level and see how that goes for you. Now, about your GPS issue, there are 31 moving satellites at an altitude of 12,550 miles which manage 95% coverage of the planet most of the time. That is one tall dome you are proposing by the way, and how do the satellites move without crashing into it? They cannot stop or back up. At 12 billion dollars each you might be more understanding of minor lapses in low traffic zones especially when new satellites have to be launched every day to replace the ones destroyed by hitting the dome. This would help to explain black budgets though. Now some astrophysics 101 for the group: Why are we not ripped apart by the speeds we are said to be travelling at? Why can you not feel the Earth spinning? You were born at a galactic speed of 1.34 million miles per hour in a  solar system traveling at 514,000 miles per hour within the Milky Way on a ball traveling at 66,600 miles per hour around the sun in the vacuum of space while spinning you and everything on it at 1040 miles per hour. This is your natural state. If we ever hit something, I guaranty you will feel it. When you jump straight up, why doesn’t the Earth spin away under you? It does an infinitesimal amount, but due to the huge size of the planet and the fact that you are still moving at 1040 miles per hour along with the Earth while being held by her gravitational pull, you land in the same spot when gravity pulls you back down. Gravity is also the reason you do not fly off the spinning ball. Gravity is not fully understood by our present level of understanding—or so physicists claim publicly. Finally, yes there is a massive resort in Antarctica where the extremely rich will live with aliens after they kill us all. They deserve the skin cancer and minus 80 degree temperatures for all their evil deeds.

2) UFO’s are real. They are unidentified flying objects as advertised. This does NOT make them extraterrestrial nor extra-dimensional—just unknown to most outside of the military industrial complex.

3) Aliens! Where to start? This is the embodiment of the need for irrational fearful humans to invent evil doers instead of looking for the real human ones. Antigravity flying saucers DO NOT prove their existence; nor do a million blurry photos; balls of light or a million stories of government cover-ups.

4) I do keep the door open a tiny crack for ancient aliens—especially the benevolent teacher types, but until we dig one up, we are simply inventing a new mythology to replace the long existing ones we have grown out of. Mysterious symbols and loose interpretations DO NOT an alien make.

5) Hollow Earth subterranean beings are right down there with number 1. Kill one and drag its body up to the surface. Dissect it revealing an anatomy we have never seen before and you will get my attention. Better yet just capture one or invite it out for lunch.

6) Bigfoot, Yetis, Sasquatch etc. You people are way behind the UFO guys in your body of questionable evidence, but I like the idea of a missing link anthropoid. It’s not cool to ride on their coattails by saying that a Bigfoot was seen shortly after a UFO was sighted in the area.

7) Secret societies: The Knights Templar, Free Masons, The Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Ordo Templis Orientis, Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn, Opus Dei and Yale’s Skull and Bones are ALL religious based. Refer to Section 1, Number 4.

8) Billionaires pulling the strings: Carlos Slim Helu, The Rothschilds, Liliane Bettencourt, Bernard Arnault, Queen Elizabeth, The Pope, Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and about 1800 others who when combined, are worth about 6.5 trillion dollars. They meet regularly as The Bilderberg Group for a general accounting audit called for by their Decepticon alien overlords. They also plan false flag events and dream up the media scare tactics to pull them off.

9) The New World Order where less than a billion people inherit the Earth. I could be WRONG about this—especially these days—but I cannot comprehend the level of survivor guilt that this new society would carry with them after mass genocide. It would destroy them. If that is not enough, the wealthiest people on the planet are also the weakest, most fearful, least scrupulous, most immoral, least ethical, pettiest, and are replete with entitlement issues. They would quickly turn on each other causing the sun to set on yet another advanced human civilization that will be dug up in another 12,000 years. Perhaps their descendants will be taught to see the error of their ways before their new civilization dies out, which can then be passed on through an accurate oral history which later can be carved into stone tablets or written on papyrus.

10) Dog spelled backwards is God.

When we do not want to talk about sex to a child who overheard a sexual reference, we simply let them spin. This is what people with actual knowledge do to the conspiracy theorists. They use you as a vehicle for disinformation so they can continue whatever they are up to without prying eyes. They leak just enough information to make you waste your life in a quagmire of misinformation without resolution.

This has been both fun and cleansing.

I am off to the pet store to play with puppies.

E. A.

P.S. If I don’t write anything else before the holidays, I want to wish you a safe and happy festive season.

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.

cropped-book-display-jpeg-2019.jpg

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.

12 tips for a Merry Christmas or Holiday Season or what have you.

This is my Holiday Greeting Card so pay attention!

. . . he wrote, amused by the overt slap he had just given everyone.

The holiday season, like every day in your life, is what you make of it. You have the choice to make it special or a time to be unhappy. I choose the former.

The best messages of the holiday season may help more than ever this year, so here are some of my favourites:

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”Eric Sevareid

“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always be kind.”Helen Steiner Rice

“He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.”Charlotte Carpenter

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” Hamilton Wright Mabie

“Christmas is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.”Phillips Brooks

“Christmas is not a time or season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”Calvin Coolidge

“Christmas is not as much about opening presents as opening our hearts.”Janice Maeditere

“Do give books- religious or otherwise- for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.”Lenore Hershey

“For the spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind.”Loring A. Schuler

This one is perhaps the most needed now.

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold

Is the glass half empty of half full? Either way there is only half of a glass, so top it up to the brim with cheer and read on. Yes, it is okay to augment your positivity with some artificial peace, love, joy, and goodwill . . . just don’t drive.

My “half full” view of the world works like this:

Recent world events have brought to the surface the best traits of mankind.

In the darkest places on Earth where the most inhuman acts occur, there are acts of selflessness and compassion which continue to shine through the bleakness. The media pays little attention to these stories as it appears to be in violation of their directive to sell fear and despair all year round.

In response to this, I have locked the cable box so only the fireplace channel, Christmas movies, and Christmas music stations can be played.

My “half empty” view looks like this:

Recent world events have also brought to the surface the worst traits of mankind.

There is sadness, hate, calls for retribution, racism, fear, paranoia, isolationist thinking, and divided opinion in most countries of the world. It has wormed its way into my circle of friends and even my family so I may choose to spend my time elsewhere this year.

In social media, I have fought many losing battles in an effort to bring balance and rationality to hotly debated issues. Apparently, rationality is not in high demand these days; lesson learned. It has left me drained emotionally and thoroughly disappointed in my fellow man.

When the going gets tough, strike out in an attempt to find people who are doing for others; whose hearts are full of joy. Staying home alone with the news won’t help you or the world.

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night.

 

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.

 

 

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.

My BIGFOOT Encounters: Three Spooky Tales For Camping Out

Fear not parents or camp counselors , the myth is dispelled at the end so they will go to sleep.

Stories of huge hairy bad smelling apelike creatures 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 Abominable Snowmen.

These creatures are always 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 nasty pungent odour, and make high pitched blood-curdling screams certain to make your blood run cold.

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

Living in Central or Northern Ontario in Canada, means you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake leaving little dorsal fin waves, as well as those creating a surface splash and the ever expanding rings in the calm water to 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 this time of the morning.

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

But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. ‘Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my.’ . . .  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 or more. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer, but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS;  ALWAYS AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS; especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.

If you go deep into the forest, 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 IN THE DARKNESS.

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 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 casting 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 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 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 this time as 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 without 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 said to keep wildlife from coming too close.

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

It was a moonless night. I could not even see my car parked just a few steps away. 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 past where my fishing line disappeared into nothingness, 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, whatever it was, did not seem to be afraid of fire.

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 which could cause such a sound 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 the fish I had caught, 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 the container of bait I left behind on the beach.

After frantically trying to find the door-handle, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car; then I got in and closed the door as fast as I could. There was no time to put things away in the trunk. It was then I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake, then they could destroy a car if they attacked with smaller boulders that would fly farther.

There was a big problem. I couldn’t just leave and speed away. I HAD NOT PUT MY CAMPFIRE OUT. I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.

I searched the car’s glove box for a flashlight and turned it on, only to see a dim light because the batteries were weak. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT. I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around at all the nearby trees, but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk intended to transport the fish now lying on the passenger floor of my car. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge, and BACK INTO RANGE OF THE BOULDER-THROWING CREATURES.

It was quiet again; too quiet; DEAD QUIET.

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

IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead; back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road 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 felt my way along the side of the car and found the door-handle. I quickly got in and drove away; never to return to that lake again AT NIGHT. I survived to tell this tale.

My very first encounter with a BIGFOOT was the most TERRIFYING of all.

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 without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway, and longer still to find 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.

The dock is where this terrifying story took place. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders from across a lake as in the previous two stories. No, 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. It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting. 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 adrift on a raft in the fog. That is what it felt like. Later, I would wish I was afloat on a raft, and not near shore.

My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up in the hills behind the cabin. I thought 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 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; which sounded like it came from 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 knew I would not last long in the frigid waters of spring WITHOUT A LIFEJACKET—a lifejacket I never thought I’d need.

I had a flash-light in my tackle box which I thought might warn off this CREATURE if it continued to come after me. In the dense 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 or nice. It was a sickly-sweet smell which 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. I 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. I CAREFULLY made my way back to the cabin and safety. I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she, or it never returned. I survived to tell this tale.

Myths and legends are merely enthralling stories people keep telling through the ages.

Being scared can be fun because it’s exciting. A good story lets our imaginations go to work to make you feel like you are in the story . . . and sometimes a scary story can get the better of us causing our imaginations to runs wild. This is why reading is so much fun. Stories help you use your imagination to entertain yourself. When we encounter something new that we do not understand, we are naturally a little afraid of it. Even grown-ups do this. When it is dark, we can no longer see so we pay more attention to what we hear. Everything seems louder, bigger and closer. It goes back to the time of cave-dwelling humans when there really were giant creatures trying to get them. Those early people learned when to fight, and when to run and hide. This instinct is still with us to this day.

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

  • You were told the writer had encountered a Bigfoot in the title but did he? He HEARD things, SMELLED something, and even was SPLASHED by something, but did he ever see it? No.
  • You were told about a legend. A legend is just a REAL SOUNDING story or tale. We call it fiction. There has never been pure scientific proof of the existence of Bigfoot. That requires much more than shaky videos or out of focus photos.
  • The writer set out to scare you with CREEPY WORDS like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they all come out at night.
  • The writer TOLD YOU this was the third time he had run into Bigfoot so you thought it could be true.
  • 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 his imagination associated with a sound.
  • In all three stories he tells you HE SURVIVED THE NIGHT to tell you the tale.
  • In the second story, the writer essentially told us to build a fire because HE WAS AFRAID OF ANIMALS.
  • 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, 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 to put out his fire. 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.
  • THE WRITER SCARED US SOME MORE, when he spoke of being alone and far away from people.
  • Did the writer ever see an animal or creature? No!

Here is the not-as-exciting truth behind all three tales:

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 at the library and found out 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.

  • 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: If you are going to fish after dark, you should do it wearing a lifejacket with a fire on the shore; or better still, fish from a boat.
  • He always brushes his teeth before going to sleep in a tent, just in case the bear STORY has any merit.

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

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 irrational fears along to our children.

  • Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.
  • Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.

HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.

  • 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 any fear.

 

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.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 1

I had never been serious about writing before this, and my grades proved it.

In January 1991, the Canadian Government asked for my input. Well not me specifically, but all Canadians were invited to submit their ideas and concerns to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future. Only 400,000 of 20,000,000 did so. Since the 1950’s and Diefenbaker, Canadians have lost faith in government, seeing politics as pointless, corrupt, stupid, and wasteful. This explains why only 2% of the more NAIVE types, like me, participated. I genuinely thought they were trying to make the country better.

In 1991, you could cave in the skull of a mugger with your cell phone. NAFTA would not be ratified for two more years, and the internet would not be born for a few more months.

If you were wealthy, you had a home computer with a price tag of at least $3000.00. On-line dating did not exist.

WE WENT OUTSIDE.

Bars, restaurants, parties, laundry mats, shopping, and playing sports were how we met other people. The Gulf War had just ended. WE DID OUR FACT CHECKING AT THE LIBRARY actually seeing printed facts in BOOKS.

As a young bachelor, living in a Miami Vice inspired beach apartment in Toronto that all too often smelled like sewer gas, I sat down to write my ideas and vent my frustrations to this Spicer guy who claimed to be trying fix Canada on behalf of the Brian Mulroney government, or so I thought. In a previous article somewhere, I mentioned how the P. M. ’s speech writer had ripped me off, and I will bold that section for you, if I can remember it.

This was the first time in my life that words poured out of me faster than I could write them down.

Apparently, I had much to say about being Canadian and where the country was heading. I remember papers everywhere. The living room floor and furnishings were almost completely covered in notes, headings, sub-headings and rants. I did not have a typewriter or a home computer back then, so everything was hand-written.

Upon discovering this relic and giving it a read, I found that as a first time writer, I was “a little rough around the edges”; but I also found out my sarcastic humor has been with me longer than I thought. I sometimes have to work to be less serious these days because I have become jaded by the years, but back then it came more naturally. Now, I consider the potential ramifications of my words; however back in the day you got the “full Monte”. I may have been better then than now. You be the judge.

I AM NOT UPDATING THE BODY OF THIS REPORT. I am however, giving it a minor line-edit as I go, as it seems in my haste I did not pay much attention to punctuation and grammar. You will see it (in italics) more or less as I sent it, so many years ago.

WHAT IS TRULY FRIGHTENING IS A QUARTER OF A CENTURY HAS PASSED AND NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE HAS CHANGED.

This is why I have no respect or use for government types, and why I am so sick of their lies, pandering, and self-serving nature. The idea of politicians being Public Servants is a joke. The public now serves them.

Politicians and government employees DO NOT appreciate that:

  • it is the tax-payers who employ them.
  • it is the tax-payers who own the country.
  • it is the tax-payers who own and build the country’s infrastructure.

Politicians and government employees are PUBLIC SERVANTS who need to remember:

  • they are only there because WE PAY.
  • their house of cards can be brought down if WE DO NOT PAY.

Spicer Commission

Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future

The Tuesday Report

Dear reader or is anyone in there?

Enclosed is a personal vision of Canada that encompasses past, present and future which originated in my heart and then was edited by my remaining grey matter.

I have taken great pains not to “candy-coat” my feelings, ideas, or observations while openly displaying contempt for non-productive government. This could pose a problem to closed-minded individuals or to a reader who believes in earnest that ANY government in this century has been truly effective at anything other than riot control.

Though I have many more topics I could have addressed; consider the ones found herein as the greatest hits. The underlying messages contained in the section headings to follow are intended to be positive in nature as I have endeavored to identify problems, solutions, and benefits in overview so as not to be considered “just another whiner”.

I must confess a few “cheap-shots” are taken in the interest of humour for which I will apologize later. People become more humorous in direct proportion to the money they DO NOT have.

A few late nights were spent on the pages to follow. It is my sincerest wish they not “fall on deaf ears” or become condensed so the fun is squeezed out of them or (horror of horrors) they find their way into your waste basket.

I wish you well in this open forum style of government.

May you enjoy reading these pages as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Contents:

Canadian First: What a Concept.

Foolish Behaviour:

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Brain Dead.

“Talk about job creation, Batman!”

Education and who is Alvin Tofler?

The Little Country that Could:

Government Leaders: A Definition.

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

 Canadian First: What a Concept.

Immigration and Multiculturalism

I cannot believe I am about to write this next sentence. Canada can learn from the American system of immigration. There I did it.

The American system, while allowing a person to maintain their religion, heritage, and customs, leaves little doubt of the fact that: where ever you came from YOU ARE AN AMERICAN NOW!

Most people of ethnic origin I encounter say they are Italian, Greek, Chinese, or from virtually any other place in the galaxy EXCEPT Canada. If Canada is to continue, we need to increase our level of national pride. The people who want to live in this country should feel a sense of pride in saying they are CANADIANS of Italian, Greek, Chinese, or Martian descent.

By creating a Canadian immigration system where incoming people are ORIENTED SUFFICIENTLY to allow them to LEAVE ANIMOSITIES BEHIND due to their partially severed ties with their former country or planet; we will have fewer race related problems when they settle in Canada.

The importance of immigrants KNOWING Canada’s history, our heritage, our direction for the future, and what part they are expected to play in that future, CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH. Once done, new Canadians will be able to live together HARMONIOUSLY in the years to come.

BE A CANADIAN FIRST.

It won’t hurt a bit.

{Well they did not listen to me on this one. We let “THE TAIL WAG THE DOG” and now we have a country full of people who take no pride in saying they are Canadian; if they even think to mention their citizenship at all. We have different sections of our cities for each “distinct society”. The new Canadians are pandered to by government people. Reverse racism is everywhere, and it is the predominant weapon of choice in our ridiculously politically correct tolerant society.}

Foolish Behaviour:

Quebec

The “Quebec Question” can be equated to looking for an answer to the question “WHY” or trying to find the last digit of Pi (π).

Here is a textbook example of what happens when a small group of people are not (and perhaps never were) Canadian FIRST.

Canadians of French descent are constantly coining the phrases “French Canada” and “English Canada”. They refer of course to the languages spoken predominantly however they leave out one small aspect: that being neither France nor England has anything “real” to do with our country or government any longer. Nor do I imagine they want anything to do with our country or government.

If a group of Canadian citizens living in the Canadian Province of Quebec want so desperately to be French; we should arrange for their ship to sail immediately. In France, home of the guillotine, guilty until proven innocent, and “Let them eat cake.”, I am certain these EX-PATRIOTS will find the life they so richly deserve.

This “Pandora’s Box” (of which I believe we have already broken the seal) can easily be compared to existing problems in the Soviet Union and the Middle East. For fun get a fifty or one-hundred year old map of the Middle East; you will not recognize very much.

Quebec has had countless millions of CANADIAN DOLLARS not French Francs dumped in its lap for years, and now some Quebecers decide they want a distinct society with or without sovereignty association.

Didn’t a war decide this once already?

It is time the rest of Canada explained to Quebec they have to PAY to acquire CANADIAN ASSETS as they have NO RIGHTS to the lands of Canada.

Enough about Quebec. . . what action do you suppose a STRONG GOVERNMENT would take if Native Canadians decided to reclaim their rightful lands and oust some newer Canadians doing it? Well that is another story; or is it?

{This was written prior to the Quebec referendum. “English Canada” was pissed off and we actually considered the possibility of a civil war. It is interesting I foretold the Native land claim issue though.}

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Consider: A Canadian citizen who drives a car, smokes cigarettes, is a social drinker, and earns less than $40,000.00 per annum (gross), pays in excess of 50% of his or her earnings in one form of tax or another.

Government Position: ridiculous, absurd, preposterous etc.

Check it out! IT IS TRUE.

The rich are still getting richer and the poor are still feeding the wealthy.

The people who work in the only busy departments of government: the tax section of Parliament Hill, should be tied to chairs and forced to watch Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version) until they scream.

The “well-to-do”, unfortunately, are the policy makers in Canada. The same people election after election talk of tax reform but inwardly know that fair taxes for all Canadians would mean the new Jaguar for the Mrs. would have to wait. We cannot have that now, can we?

A publicly APPOINTED group is needed for effective tax reform. Meaning other than the publicly ELECTED group now “addressing the situation”; if you get my drift.

STOP TREATING THE SYMPTOMS AND CURE THE DISEASE.

Formulae:

Work + Productivity = Good Economy

Inflation + Unemployment = Bad Economy

The unemployed are living comfortably on U.I.C. and Welfare to the tune of $40,000.00 for a family of four at a maximum. Why am I eeking out a living on my own?

What do you imagine would happen to the unemployment figures if it were to become law that: ANY able-bodied person without dependants under the age of forty be inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces after receiving the appropriate above mentioned benefits for a period not exceeding 120 days?

They could provide an inexpensive work-force, and learn a skill at the same time.

Another human resource that is costing incredible amounts every year, and is being wasted, is the convict guilty of non-violent crimes. These people, given a choice, may even prefer the C.A.F,. and may participate in road building or some other necessary project. God knows our roads need work.

The RECOVERED REVENUES should be allocated to the Canadian senior citizens who made this country what it is (or was) with their blood, sweat and tears—great cliché and great band. These people’s old age pensions would have them living near the poverty line. This, I find embarrassing as a Canadian.

Besides, if everyone is working, then even people on assistance and convicts cannot help but be productive which will net us a good economy; if my formula is correct,

“Out of the mouths of babes.”, oh never mind.

{This was too totalitarian for the weenies in power. My theory that being a “productive citizen” means you remain FREE to choose your destiny; while the “non-productive” types would lose their freedom, did not sit well in the weak government of the time. Today there are generations of welfare recipient families, criminals have far too many rights, our armed forces are under-manned, and our roads are still f-cked.}

Brain Dead.

G.S.T. and Canada’s Manufacturing Sector

IF the Goods and Services Tax is a necessary evil (and the jury is still out on that one), then why not take a lesson from any kind of sales professional who can readily overcome an objection. I objected to the G.S.T. and was overcome. Turn a negative into a positive (integers), and MAKE BUYING CANADIAN MANUFACTURED GOODS G.S.T. FREE.

When the tally was taken January 1, 1991: products from Japan, the USA and U.K. all had prices down 6% to 16% while Canadian built goods generally were HIGHER than their pre-G.S.T. price. Was the intent of the G.S.T. to STOP people from buying Canadian or was that what Free Trade was supposed to do?

Let us use our brains shall we. Work with me on this one.

Should a company wish to MANUFACTURE in our country (rare these days), EMPLOY CANADIANS and SELL their product in Canada; would it hurt to encourage them to STAY in Canada by making the purchase of their raw materials G.S.T. FREE?

If a wholesaler wants to SELL this CANADIAN MADE product across Canada, would it hurt to make his cost G.S.T. FREE?

When a retailer decides to MERCHANDISE this CANADIAN MADE product for SALE, would it not be an added incentive to make the retailers cost G.S.T. FREE?

Envision if you will, a consumer confronted with a product tag which read: “BUY CANADIAN AND SAVE: GST FREE!” Do you not think he or she might SHOP CANADIAN and quit spending millions across the border? This plan might even encourage consumer spending, which “I believe” has a positive effect on the economy.

I would like to thank my Basics of Economics & Marketing 101 instructor and the Academy.

{Well some credit is due, as there was a push created to “Shop Canadian”. However, the GST (now HST) was a nightmare for Canadian businesses to adapt to, and it created a taxation imbalance provincially. It did generate A SIX BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS the government “LOST” somewhere, and I am not certain if they ever reported finding it.}

Blogus interruptus… to be continued.

 

 

 

 

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 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.