Monthly archives: June, 2016

This is going to be a Rough Week

 

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Well, it’s already apparent. This is going to be a rough week for me. I’ve got eight days to survive tippy-toeing around a husband who, home for a much-needed rest from driving big rigs on nasty, congested highways rife with ignorant, rude, in-a-hurry 4-wheelers, is taking exception to almost every word and phrase I utter. So I’m taking a vow to remain silent unless asked a direct question. It seems the only way to avoid huge, ugly conflicts. I am hoping that he’ll mellow out in a few days, but that might be asking too much. As he gets older, he gets less tolerant and more and more testy, and I’m about the only one he feels ‘safe’ to blow off steam around. But I don’t like it; I find it hard, sometimes, to just shut up until he finally mellows.  Other than leaving for the week, which is an option I’m prepared for, silence seems the best plan until and unless things start getting very ugly. It’s a good thing I’m good at silence and zen.

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Caring About a Stranger

Forrest_1-13-2015_900webMy husband sacrificed his first vacation day and night because he cared. A stranger is taking over his weekly LTL run through Canada’s Alberta and BC provinces this week while he takes a short vacation. But, upon reaching the shipping dock, Forrest discovered that, instead of the usual load he’s been getting the last couple of weeks, it was one of those “loads from Hell.” The load topped the weight limits, and even getting it loaded right took hours with the forklift driver so the rear axles weren’t overweight. Then, even with the load shifted as far forward as possible, the rear axles are maxed.  And, of course, the run includes just about every tricky, nasty receiver on the list of possible delivery locations. It was the kind of run that Forrest says can push him to the limits.  And, so, he worried. For the driver taking it, a driver who’s never done this run, or even one like it, a driver who has about one year of driving experience and has never driven a heavy haul.

So Forrest sat down with the driver, and they went through all the problem areas–all afternoon, five hours worth. Then, because the driver’s GPS doesn’t do Canada well, at all, and he wouldn’t use Forrest’s because he didn’t understand how to use it, Forrest came home and spent all night till 5:45AM this morning typing out explicit directions and reminders of ‘how to’ so this guy had a reference sheet on where to go, how to best get there, what problems to expect, and how to negotiate all the very nasty potential problems as well as regular, legacy problems at each receiver.

Caring about a stranger–I wish all of us did that…for everyone.

Thank you, Forrest.

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How I See It, the Super Short Version

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A friend of mine, with no intended malice, labeled my perspective in a particular thread on G+ as providing “a yummy dystopian outlook.” At first, I was taken aback, surprised that he would consider me thus, and a bit hurt, too. Then, he went on to explain when I challenged the charge. He said:

I find that many of your outlooks on society verge on the dystopian.

Personal opinion of mine, but I’m not ready for my robot overlords to take over or a Basic Living Wage. That’s very nightmarish to me although incredibly realistic in regards to how fast society is buzzing along.

And, yes, thinking on it, I tend to agree with his evaluation. I, too, am not ready for robot overlords or robot servants, for that matter, and, while the basic income model may make some sense, it’s neither practically functional nor possible, not in our present economy, neither the national one nor the global one. It’s beside the point, though. Yet, I will provide you my response, which was:

What I aim to do with my ‘dystopian’ posts is to bring an awareness of potential consequences, consequences that we are already seeing. I’m not and have never been ready for some of the horrible, absolutely horrible, consequences that have come to pass since I was a kid. I’m watching the worst and the best unfold, and it’s a compelling experience.

But Ken Beghtal’s words stirred some thinking, always a dangerous thing, yes. So, here, in a nutshell, is my outlook encapsulated in two, short bullet lists:

The Awesome

  • Advances in technology and science across every field have opened up the greatest potentials for us to truly move ourselves from primitive savages to a responsible, enlightened, benevolent species, capable of achieving wondrous things.
  • Multitudes of us care, share, and work hard to tame our species’ destructive nature, promoting good for all, promoting tolerance and caring, preserving what’s best and what is wonderful and native to our planet, from nature and the biosphere, from cultures, our own and not our own, from intellect, reason, and, yes, even ideology, utilizing every tool possible, including artificial intelligence.

The Terrible

  • Simultaneously, advances in technology bring us ever closer to enslavement, loss of freedom, loss of our own free will and thought, along with hellish war machines and weaponry so destructive that we face planetary annihilation every moment of ever breath.
  • Multitudes of us fear and hate, craving violence and wishing death upon those, human and other, with whom we share the planet, but of whom we have no tolerance. From microbes to plants and every type of animal on up to other humans, we eradicate, destroying, in ignorance, greed, arrogance, intolerance, and callousness, life around us, life that sustains our very own existence.

We live in a wondrous age of extraordinary potential. We live on the brink of self-imposed and self-perpetuated annihilation.

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Weighing in on Harambe’s Killing & Negligence

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Harambe just before he was shot to death with the 3 year old who climbed the fence and fell into the habitat’s moat.

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Michelle Gregg, the negligent mom of the 3-year-old who fell into Harambe’s habitat, and the child’s father, Deonne Dickerson.

I said I wanted to stay out of this one. But it’s impossible, so here goes–short and to-the-point.

  1. The mother of the three-year-old boy who fell into Harambe’s habitat, Michelle Gregg, was negligent. She’s got five kids. She’s not a first-time mom. She knows how easily and quickly a three-year-old can disappear. This is why they make child tethers. She should have been using one if she was prone to being distracted by the tears of another of her children, who, it was reported, was throwing a petulant fit about leaving the zoo.
  2. It was inevitable that Harambe would be killed once the child fell into the enclosure. Inevitable under the circumstances of a hysterical crowd and the lawsuit the zoo would face if they didn’t act decisively. Was the gorilla going to hurt the boy? I doubt it. I watched the videos repeatedly. I listened and read what several experts said, pro and con. But doubt doesn’t secure the life of a child in danger and all animals are going to protect their young, first and foremost. Therefore, I say it was inevitable that Harambe’s life would be sacrificed.
  3. The zoo was just as negligent as the mother, Michelle Gregg. The animal habitats are those animals’ homes and territory. (Unfortunately, the Castle Laws don’t apply for the animals living there.) The zoo has an obligation to keep stupid, dangerous predators–humans–out of those habitats. If that means an eighteen-foot unscalable fence with razor wire on top with another high-voltage fence inside that, then do it. Remember, the wild animals–the humans–you’re admitting into gawk at these captive animals are the real and present danger to the zoo animals’ safety.

Life 6-2-2016

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Just finished this piece. I like it, therefore nobody else has to. Isn’t that called artistic arrogance? =D

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People Ask ‘When’.

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People ask me ‘when will the next [book title] sequel come out’?

Well, here’s the thing. I’m not sure. I’ve got sequels completely drafted, yes. I’ve got full manuscripts ready for the re-writing phase, yes. I’ve got new stories begging to be written, and writing them doesn’t take me that long since I can produce a 90k novel in less than thirty days.

But.

There’s a lot of effort to releasing a novel. There’s a lot of hard-earned money–my money–that has to be spent to launch another novel. There’s even more time–my time–to be devoted to that launch. And, when, out of more than ten thousand ‘downloads’ of just the eBook version of one title nets me less than twenty-five cents per downloaded book because the majority of those eBooks were stolen and continue to be stolen, why should I put more books out to suffer the same fate?

I could go the DRM route, but that wouldn’t solve the problem. I admit I made a HUGE mistake in using Smashwords for two of the titles before bringing them back to Amazon’s Kindle Select program. But even the KS eBooks are out on the free download sites. They get there within hours of release.

Of course, I could spend my day writing cease and desist orders to all the sites presently carrying my titles, but, tomorrow, all those sites will have removed my titles and those sites’ databases containing my titles will have moved to new addresses, so I’ll have to start all over again.

No thanks. I’ve got better ways to spend my time.

So, I’m not sure I will release any more novels. What’s the point? It certainly isn’t paying the majority of my expenses, even the cost of producing those novels. It’s not rewarding me in any way. It’s just providing content for scammer sites and making me resent the people who steal from me.

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The Start of Today

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I wake up, refreshed and looking forward to a productive, happy day. The air outside brings joy. The wind brings a freshening. The sky is bright and overcast, feeling of potential storminess. It’s wonderfully invigorating.

Downstairs, I clean up the usual disasters from my mom’s misfit dogs. I clean her bathroom, so, when the CNA arrives to give her her shower, there’s no trace, no sight or smell, of Mom’s bad habits. I change her bedding once the CNA has her in the shower. Done, I grind coffee and set the 40 cup percolator to doing it’s job…after having drained the last of the previous batch into my carafe.

I head upstairs to my office. My cell phone rings. It’s Forrest, the love of my life. Unfortunately, hubs is Mr. Grumpkin, today. He spilled his coffee.

I suggest a different cup. (Because, damn it, he’s always spilling his coffee, though I don’t mention that.)

He gets grumpier, bellowing at me that he doesn’t need my advice.

Okay. Sorry.

Silence.

I share tidbits about his favorite cat’s antics. I mention some of the latest discoveries in science. I talk about one of his pet interests, our music project.

Silence.

It’s a non-conversation. I tell him so, beg off, and end the call.

He’s on vacation, starting Saturday. I think I’m going to have to find another place to stay for those eight days he’s going to be home. I really do.

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A Rape Culture? Humans ARE Specialists.

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I’m so tired of “new” feminists and their male proponents. I’m tired of the attempts to culturally castrate men…and other women, for that matter. I’m tired of people mouthing the words ‘rape culture’, when, honestly, they have their heads up their varied anatomical holes about rape.

I was raped–sexually, in fact. I didn’t talk about it for years…decades. I rarely speak of it, now.  Why? I was traumatized. Brutally. Because the rape was brutal, done by a bunch of jocks–yes, gang-raped by those privileged boys, black, brown, and white, whose ‘bad boy’ behavior and aggression society–almost ALL human societies–encourages and celebrates.

Do we live in a ‘rape culture’? Really? You bet we do. And it ain’t just the men.  It ain’t just them who have a penis and testicles. Women rape, too. And I’m NOT limiting this to sexual violation, folks. Rape is an act of domination, of overpowering and subjugating others. And it isn’t limited to males dominating, overpowering, and subjugating women or even men dominating, overpowering, and subjugating other humans, regardless of gender. Women are just as guilty of raping those around them, both women, especially women, as well as men. They may not commit a sexual violation to do it (though some do that, too, and, yes, even to men) but they do, in fact, practice forms just as or even more onerous…because they are HUMAN.

Humans are specialists in domination–dominionism. They are specialists in subjugating others–hierarchy. They are specialists in overpowering anyone and anything they can–oppression. It’s the nature of humans to do so. It’s how primitive humans survived hostile environments to become what they think is the top of the food chain–by subjugating, overpowering, and dominating.  To change that, you’re going to have to change YOU and the entire species. Genetic tampering would do it. Attempting to dominate, subjugate, and overpower your perceived victimizer is only perpetuating more rape, that is you raping–subjugating, overpowering, and dominating–those you blame as YOUR rapists.

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