Why is Music so Popular?

I spent the last few days, even weeks, listening to some of the most incredible music ever composed. It’s all around us. Every generation added to the list from as far back as the dusty pages go. Indeed, even back further than written music exists. Universal music. Every culture, village, and group made their melodies, some more complicated than others. There are many times when simplicity floats majestically through the air and brings the most blessed tranquility.

At other times, the heart was enraged to fierceness by the drums’ beat, and art-felt strains inspired battle and killing. With music, things like these occur in crowds who lived through both the great happiness and most tragic portions of their lives.

Even as death attends, so does birth. Gorgeous sounds encompass all things, whether we realize it or not. 

I know this blog is different than some I’ve written, but the truth of music is so much brighter, deeper, and connected to more things than most imagine. Yes, we all dance. And we’ve cried. But those things only show the sounds that raise the world. Other sounds build, lifting and filling the empty with purpose and solidity. That music constructs everything and makes us believe time flows like a river.

Did you know that scientists posit thesmallest most essential thing happens to look like a string and not a dot? Their theories reach down beyond the microscopic to say the smallest thing possible is a minute tendril. What I find most interesting about that is the way these strands vibrate. That is entirely correct. They move back and forth, shaking. Here is what fascinates me about it — vibration creates sound. Indeed. I’m sure the noise is not even close to being within the frequencies our ears can hear, or even those that our instruments can detect, but it is there.

I suppose the background noise that radio telescopes detect may be the remnants of the sound I’m talking about. I think the current thought on that noise is it is the echo of the Big Bang. Whatever it is, there is a sound out there.

Does this make you curious? The above passage is the kind of thing I write about in my upcoming book, I’ve Been Thinking, only I really dig into things. The non-fiction book delves into metaphysical ideas about the universe. It’s not your average book, I’ll tell you. I talk about the things that fascinate me and the way I envision how the universe fits together.

Let me also tell you that I have been working like a plow horse trying to fix my Newsletter system. Many readers subscribed to it, but I wasn’t Tech savvy enough to maintain it very well. The result was no newsletters went out. I called in some professional help, and the people I buy my domain from came to the rescue. The name is JC Hosting, and the people there worked even harder than me during this last week. They are amazing people, and if you need a host for your website, get in contact with them. You can find them at:

Anyway, thanks to hard-working people, I think I’m ready to try again. So, I have deleted the subscriptions from before, and now I have a clean slate. Let’s give it a try. If you decide you want notifications when I publish a blog and when my books are ready to hit the stands, sign up for my newsletter. Same deal as before. It is free, I will never sell your name or email to anyone else, and you will get a notification of when each blog hits. Give it a try. There is nothing to lose.

I will love letting you know about whatever I have to say.


Is Everyone Afraid, or Paranoid

There are so many things to talk about, so I tried to keep the subjects limited. Even so, I still racked up quite a list of items with which to yammer. Some of my favorite blogs happen to center on broader areas, like recipes and some of the writing theories, while others talk about my personal life and perhaps even life in general.

Today, I chose to write about life on our homestead. Let me hasten to explain that it is not a homestead as in a traditional homestead. An example of that is the government gives so many acres to a person provided; they improve the land with a building and cultivate it somehow.  

My homestead id a knickname for where our home stands.

We have a small acreage, only twelve acres. It isn’t large by any stretch. But as little as it is, it is an enormous amount of work. Our current push is to be more self-sufficient. Yeah, I know everyone wants to do that. Most people say that, but they don’t want to do it. Let me clear something else up. Some of you may be thinking we’re Preppers, someone who thinks the world will end or some such. No. We want to get a hedge on anything that might prove a little trying. This year has opened our eyes to the need to be resourceful. To that end, we are fashioning self-reliance. Is being paranoid?

We lived through the toilet paper shortage, which was ridiculous. There was also a bread shortage here, so I became rather good at making bread, but yeast became short supply. Then it became hard to find meat. Milk became scarce after that. I’m sure all of these shortages had to do with people panicking. But I don’t care. I have ten children to feed, plus the wife and I. panic or not, those things happened, and they were uncomfortable.

So, now we have some animals — pigs, chickens, goats. We plan to add maybe a few cattle and a large garden along with everything else.

With all the silliness going on out there in the “real” world, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to hedge their bet. How many months ago were people hoarding food and buying toilet paper like Montezuma revenged himself in every walk of life. Keep in mind; people were only panicking. They weren’t thinking straight.

Now look around and tell me that people are thinking straighter. The election process has its stressful points, even in good years. This year has a massive amount of people believing the worst possible things about Them.

It doesn’t matter who they are either. Both major parties seem to have large populations that have succumbed to nebulous paranoia and, pointing to a nefarious they or them, and they all seem willing to sacrifice the entire nation to get what they want. 

I think this is bullshit.

Do I have friends on both sides of the equation? Why, yes. Yes, I do. Do I think it is in my best interest to distance myself from my friends? Hell, no. Do you honestly believe you will always have a Vulcan Mind-meld with your friends? The year is exceptional, you say. That’s a crock too. Every year has sickness, poverty, and untrustworthy people. I will give you the fact that it is a bit different dealing with a pandemic as it looms over everything. And yes, I realize many people see a conspiracy in the epidemic.

What makes this year what it is would make Lemony Snicket proud — a series of unfortunate events. There may be some dastardly enemy plotting destruction, and we may be in the clutches of an enemy willfully trying to dislodge us from a particular place. Have we forgotten about all of the safeguards we have in place?

In the process of all that has and is happening, there are a lot of people proving themselves untrustworthy.

What do you mean that isn’t fair? Life isn’t fair. If life were fair, I would be six feet tall, devilishly handsome with a full head of hair, and a bestselling novelist. Other things might constitute the concept of fair, but let’s say life isn’t fair. Look. I’m short and bald. And I may never have a bestselling anything while I’m still alive.

Such is the life of an artist.

 Well, it’s happened again. I started talking about how much work it takes to run our acreage, and now I’m dying before getting just sales for my books. Isn’t that strange, or should I say, unfortunately?

I will say this, though. I have no idea how farmers do the things they do. The work is herculean. For those who can’t figure out what that means, it references Hercules’ tasks. Farmers have to work as hard as Hercules to finish their work.

I know that every job I have ever done if it was worth doing, was hard. And that includes writing. I’ll further tell you that if I had any sum of money at all for every time Lana, my dance teacher, said one more time; I wouldn’t have to work now. Let’s settle on this. Every person alive has to be a perfectionist in some areas. If not, they would still be bussing tables.

I’m going to part with a snippet from a speech one instructor at the Field Artillery Officer’s Advance Course had addressing success. I’ll have to paraphrase — If you want to be a success, you need two things. Get yourself a tube of Give-a-Shit and squeeze it up your ass. Next, find a large tube of superglue, spread it liberally on your ass, and sit down. Now keep working until accomplishing more than what needs doing, and the superglue has worn off. Do it every day for years, and success might happen.

Okay, now I really have to go. I have a couple of Houdini pigs to catch and then fix their pen … again.


My Upcoming Book

School started last week, and all but one of the kids are doing virtual school. We are in the midst of quite an adventure. While trying with herculean efforts to make the long-distance learning work, it seems the school system may be upside down on the learning curve. I cannot blame the teachers, not one little bit. Let’s face it; virtual learning has not been done well before this.

Well, that’s not entirely true; there are whole companies that do it for their primary business model. The problem is our education system doesn’t like to take advice from the great unwashed. By that, I mean someone who has not been indoctrinated or been educated by the education system itself. I faced huge problems when I received my teaching license in the non-traditional track. What the non-traditional part means is I didn’t go to college to get a teaching certificate. I attended several seminars and classes presented by the State Board of Education itself so the board could ensure we had the right information.

Even though the big dog in the state taught me what they wanted me to know, that wasn’t good enough for many educators, whether they be teachers or administrators. It was much harder for me to find a job than the traditionally licensed teachers. It worked doubly, so when I moved to Texas. There, I had to take more tests and such to license. The thing was, the new tests covered the same information as the old ones did, but they were Texas tests.

The reason I brought this up was not to disparage the way things the system does. It was merely an example of how the education system works. They want to do things their way.

That brings us back to virtual learning. Several companies do virtual learning as their main product. They teach around the world, via the internet, and have great success at what they do. It would be easy for educators to check how those companies do things, but alas, our system’s canonization to mistrust anything from the outside is a hard thing to surmount.

This situation is not a new thing, either. For decades, our system has fallen further behind each year because of the same reluctance. We continue to push our students to be scientists and mathematicians and, at the same time, will cut funding for the arts. What is so strange about that is our system readily admits there are several ways our brains work. According to Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, there are different ways our minds might function instead of dominated by science or mathematics.

That means some brains work better in music, others in spatial and visual things, still others lean toward linguistics, and yes, some are better at mathematics. These are only four mentioned in Gardner’s theory. There are more. My point is the rest of the world seems willing to guide their students into the fields they are most suited for instead of what we do, try to force all of the students to try to think with mathematics and science.

I think that is a significant reason the rest of the world has kicked our assess in education.

Okay, I have again acted as if I stood in the speaker’s corner Hyde Park, London. Hell, I don’t even know if that practice still exists. Hmm. A quick trip on the internet tells me that the British still love tradition. One can always give public speeches there.

Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I have terrific friends over the pond.

I will calm down. To facilitate, I just made some Irish coffee with a little Jameson and will be the better for it.

It is now time for me to write about what I intended to discuss when I sat down. — that being my first non-fiction book. It is now teetering on the final stages. It is out to beta readers right now and will be back when they are finished. I will look over the comments and decided what I need to do about them. Then, who knows, send it off traditionally to an agent or publisher, or perhaps self-publish.

Both possibilities have good points and bad.

What I need to discuss is the subject matter. Throughout the book, I detail how I view the universe. That is not to say, “I look up at the stars and see some twinkling over here, and some over there, etcetera.” No, it is the other kind of view, more like, “I imagine everything works like this …”

I want to tell you that I tried to write it with most people in mind. I did not target geniuses. I did not target simpletons, either. I tried to write in a way that won’t lose people with twenty-dollar words; simultaneously, I tried not to lose anyone out of sheer boredom.

Some surprising moments from the manuscript occur in my chapter discussing time, and another chapter devoted to music. Those two chapters happen to be where my theories start taking a little thought to process.

I wrote in one of the initial blogs that I studied music in college. For those who haven’t read those particular blogs, I worked as a music teacher when I taught school. During my studies of music, I ran into several theories and odd happenings that stood out. From that, I have developed an approach to how life, indeed, everything came about.

Now, before anyone drops off into the deep end and misconstrues what I just said, I was not talking about the massive debate of Creationism vs. Darwinism just now. I will say that I gave my slant on that subject in the book. I see no reason to go into it further right here.

Perhaps I should say right up front that if you want to read my book to try to trip me up or find out if I believe the same way as you, stop right now. I will save you the trouble. I am confident my belief system is not the same as yours. I will go even further; my thoughts don’t mirror any others. Everyone believes uniquely. The trick is to realize the disparity, accept it, and move on. We are all one of a kind.

But again, my brain works differently than most. Throughout my life, I have become increasingly different. That doesn’t mean I can’t function. I can and do. What it means is, my brain sometimes works in another direction. It is a big reason I am a novelist. If I present something in a slightly odd or canted way, it can be remarkably engaging.

What I want you to come away from this blog is this. Please don’t pick up the book and think my thoughts will mirror yours. Chances are, not so much. I think you will read right along, and then it might go in a completely different angle than what you anticipated.

Yes, I know that it could be pleasant; it could also be a Greek Tragedy in the making. What it should be is an intriguing change. Now, let’s see where it leads.


Ah, Life!

Things are still sliding into a normal behavior, but that doesn’t mean we are heading back to the way things were. I think we can wave goodbye to all of that. I’m glad some things and methods of behavior, have gone on to never, never land, but we need a sense of normalcy. Don’t you agree? There is always room for improvement. Always that. However, there are some things that I’m sorry to see fade away—like respect for fundamental law and order.

There have always been indiscriminate assholes, sure. Like Voltaire, we can all imagine a perfect utopia, but there can never be a foolproof anything. The culture we had wasn’t ideal, and I suppose there needed to be a cleaning of sorts, but not an annihilation of all the procedures we used. If those things continue as they have been, we will find many more problems popping up that were brought to life because of the house cleaning.

Enough of that.

I have been working hard these last few weeks. I am close to sending my Metaphysical book off. It’s a different flavor of writing for me, non-fiction. I am partial to fiction, but a change of pace is good. Right? I think so.

In this new work, I explain how I view everything. That sounds like a lot. Doesn’t it? I suppose it is if you look at every, single, minuscule thing. It’s not, however, if you look at how those tiny things work and are connected.

I think everyone can benefit from the book. It will broaden horizons. Who knows? You may find something interesting in it. I’ll bet you will.

The closer I get to being done with it, the more excited I become. Anxious too.
I am also typing like crazy on my next thriller. It, like the one before, continues the Factor series. I’m about halfway through the rough draft.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but the first draft always holds an unusual excitement for me. That’s because when I work it through, that is when I find out what happens. It’s much like the first time you read a book, and you see how the plot folds, bends, and develops. My fingers seem to control themselves when it comes to that. My subconscious must drive it. Anyway, I always find surprises at this stage.

Another thing is the way my characters behave. They control the story much more than I. It sounds I know like the page is possessed, and the little beings that I create start dancing, squirming, plotting, murdering, and everything else that non-housebroken bastards do. Like I have no control over them. Of course, I do, but It is tough to make a character do something it would not do. Its limit could be like the supposed limit of hypnotizing, and you can’t make someone do something against their nature.

Anyway, these are some of the many things that make writing fun.
Of course, the most exciting thing is when someone says, “Hey, I read your book.” Okay, let me back up from that. That sentence is scary as shit. The fun comes after the next sentence, which sounds like, “Yeah, and I loved it!”

What makes the first sentence so scary is sometimes the next utterance sounds like, “Yeah, and it sucked more than the galactic black hole that doesn’t even let light escape!” Okay, I made have exagerated that last part, but that’s what many authors hear in their mind if there is even the slightest pause after, “I read your book.” Or, if there is no pause and they say, “Yeah, it was all right. It wasn’t what I expected.”

Don’t get me wrong. We need to know if it fell short of expectations so that we can fix the next one. It’s like getting a shot in the ass. If it must happen, okay, but you know damn well it’s going to hurt like a bitch. Know what I mean? You’re still getting the shot because you need it, but it doesn’t mean you will like it.

Man, I had a shot once while I was in the Army. It took place on an Air Force base, and the injection I received hurt so bad it locked my hip up for a day. No, this isn’t a metaphor. It happened. And I can’t blame the medical worker in the least, because, believe it or not, I was an asshole that day. The little darling smiled as she stuck it to me.

Now, let’s go back to the feedback.

I have had bad reviews before, and they are necessary to grow as a writer. But again, I didn’t like it.

Hey, you know if everyone out there read my books, there might be able to be lots of people who would have a good time. I include myself. But I’m also sure there would be several people who wouldn’t like what I wrote. What do you think? Perhaps?

Oh well, let’s get back too life. I know I said I’ve been typing like crazy on my next book, but I have to tell you my latest book is at a stalemate. There is no writer’s block involved. I know exactly how to proceed, even have the action in the next few chapters firmly in mind, enough to write and let the characters slug, stab, or shoot it out anyway. What stops me from writing is my progeny. You bet. The little fun-seekers try all of the silly things that we did and were lucky enough to live through. And why shouldn’t they? Four of them have my genes, enough said there, and the other six all belong to the human race too. Do you know anyone that wasn’t lucky to live through childhood?

Some of the things tried are minor irritations; when I’m concentrating and one or more of them tap dance their fingers on my shoulder with an insanely off the wall question. Something like Bugs Bunny asking, “What’s up, Doc?” If you take more than one kid (the ten I have span in age from four to sixteen) each asking an innocuous question on their own, it boils down to quite a sum of unique distractions in which I have to tear my thoughts away from what I want to do and perform a task or explain something.

One of them just ran up to me holding her finger with a river of blood running from it. Yep, they cut it really bad. They won’t loose the digit, but it’ll never look the same. Now, what was I saying? Yeah. We were all lucky to survive.

The ironic thing about being interupted by all of them is that to help them I end up doing something I love to do, at the expense of not doing what I love to do.

Crazy? Absolutely. I never said my life was sane. Now, did I?

I have read in several places that claim for a writer to be any good at what they do, they have to have a real problem to overcome, like alcohol, or severe depression, or perhaps anxiety. I don’t have those, well maybe one or two, but they don’t keep me from writing. What does stop me is my beautiful family, and that includes my older children that have my grandchildren as much as these!

I guess in the run of life it doesn’t matter. I will still put words to paper, and I will continue to send things off to editors, agents, and publishers, and I will always see something that we as humans overlook, either on purpose or by accident, which activates a compulsion to jot it down. I guess things work just right.

Ah! A kiss on the cheek from my littlest just now. Isn’t that fancy?


How Will They Judge You?

I’m getting back into things again, at least as much as is possible. Yesterday I wrote twelve hundred words or thereabouts. I have done a lot of work on the house and grounds. Ha, ha. Grounds makes it sound like the homestead is palatial, which it is not. We have a home and a little over ten acres. Most of the land is pastureland. We have a large yard, front, and back, for use by the kids, pets, and us. That is assuming the pony is not a pet; she has most of the pasture.

We now have a spot almost ready to house the two kids, Nigerian dwarf goats. They will arrive soon after weaning. Our pet Vietnamese pot-belly pig now enjoys our side yard and a small barn for shelter. We have other pigs we raise for feeder hogs that took her old pen.

We have several dogs. The latest to join us was dumped off on the side of the road by some asshole to have a slow starve. Let me say this. If you don’t know what to do with your pets and don’t want more, neuter or spay them. Failing that, grow a pair and put them down. It is so much more humane than dumping a puppy or kitten to starve or be torn apart by a predator. Come on, folks.

I don’t know why I say that. If people haven’t matured past the point of having tantrums and burning their neighbor’s businesses, why would I expect them to grow up enough to take care of their pets?

But I digress. Like the sea, things find their natural level. That doesn’t mean a new normal has broken through the chaos. We are now in the process of learning how to survive with COVID 19 around. We will have to expect the unexpected for a long time.

An example of that is what happened just this morning. One of my children presented with a temperature and a sore throat. That scared the shit out of me. We can’t get her tested for COVID until Monday. I also realize that strep throat is moving through the area. A year ago, I would fear her getting strep because it would march through the house and make us all sick. Today, I am hoping for strep.

Oh yeah, things are still happening, both reputable and vile, just like always. And, just like always, we will keep marching along.

If there is anything exceptional about the year 2020, I will say it is the unexpected. Every time things start to settle down, something unanticipated happens. What is enthralling about that is the unforeseen! Inherent in it is a fact for which we wouldn’t expect to prepare. Now the government is supposed to have answers for each unheralded event that would influence its citizens, in practicality that doesn’t happen. They make a reasonable attempt, but they fall short because no one can be ready for all contingencies. I suppose it is very much like our own preparedness for different scenarios. If we prepared for everything, then we would not have a chance to grow.

What do you think? Don’t we need the unexpected? I think we do. Just like right now. We have a chance for staggering personal growth. It all depends on what we do with ourselves during all of the upheavals.

There are so many things popped up this year; I wouldn’t be shocked if we had the first contact with an alien species this year. Well, that’s not entirely true. Some octopuses and squids look very much like aliens to me, but they’ve been here so long everyone assumes that they are terrestrial. Although I have to say I think our search for extra-terrestrial beings is too closed-minded. How do we know they are alive as we know it? Perhaps we are the odd one out, and most life out there isn’t as we know it.

Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to find out that most life is not as we know it, but much like what we know of as rocks and pebbles? I mean, what if most life expectancy could be thousands of our years long. Indeed, so long that we could not understand a single thought of theirs because they take so long to think a viable idea.

Now wouldn’t that be special? All of us are running around to find another species but can’t find them because they move, talk, and think slowly. We could be ignorant of what they have to say because we move so fast. Now that’s a hell of a note.

Long ago, I concluded that the higher the stress resulted in greater maturity and development. Do you think it a coincidence that the Greatest Generation had to find a way to survive the most significant war in recent memory?

Right now, many people want to wipe out any memory of history that they don’t like. There have been so many people in the past, both recent and far-flung, that tried that. It didn’t work.

What they did back then might be reprehensible by today’s standards, but that means we have developed as a people. Do I need to say that again? Let me take a different spin. If our ancestors did not act the way they did, none of us would be alive today. They survived long enough for their line to continue.

However, if you insist on judging our ancestors by our standards and not theirs, have you thought about how your descendants will pass sentence on you? What will their standards be? The only thing we know for sure is — they won’t have your criteria. They will have their own. What if they use future standards.

Kind of gives you a chill, huh.


What Is Going On?

I’ve talked enough bout the enormous reaction to COVID19, so I decided to get back to what I do and like best, and that is talking about writing and thrillers. I became sidetracked when the flavor of the country changed.

But, after looking at the news, I had to delete what I started to write. There isn’t anything ordinary about the happenings of today. Then, I began to write, and the further I did, I realized how much of a powder keg life is right now, so let me take a different tack.

When I did my time in the US Army, I worked as an Artilleryman. The way I phrased that makes it sound like I was in prison, inferring I hated the job. The Army confined me only with discipline, and I loved that job. It is one of the best professions around. To me, being a Combat Arms Officer was a total blessing. We had a clear-cut idea of what we were to do — kill the enemy and win any war that came along. We didn’t have to think about why, where, or even who we were to fight. The strategic thinkers always answered those questions.

We had to think about tactics and mold our soldiers into the fighting teams capable of completing whatever missions given to us. I like to think I was good at what I did. Common sense tells me that I probably wasn’t as good at it as I felt at the time, but I know I was excellent enough to win most of my battles.

Today I look around, and everything is jumbled. I rise early in the morning, and when I peruse the news, I find there are more cluster-fucks out there than there ever were in the service. We had more than our share of those too.

I have to admit that I see no earthly reason to defund the police. To me, that is insanity. I might understand police reform if a particular police force regularly overstepped their charter, such as the killing of George Floyd. But to defund and take police away? I hope they are using the wrong words.

The words they use sound like they want to kill all the cats to please the mice.
But, if a cat regularly lets mice raid the stores or eat the cheese. If the cat does not do the intended job, they should get a new cat, not kill them all. You need to know that I am not opposed to the death penalty. Civil servants should be subject to all of the rules by which everyone else has to live, plus some. There is no need to keep cats that don’t function as they are supposed to do.

As far as that is concerned, all public servants, regardless of the level they serve, should be subject to the written law, and the rules and regulations about them should be more stringent because they serve the people.

While I am talking about serving, I believe that only those that have served the people in some fashion or other should be citizens. They don’t have to serve as combat soldiers or even on a front line. They can be a clerk or supply person. They can be a mechanic or cook, medic, or doctor. There are so many non-combat jobs that serve the people; it should be easy to do. The point is, if someone can’t help the people, they don’t need to have citizenship rights. Honestly, I would make it, so everyone has to earn their citizenship. I would not count legislators, or any elected positions, as serving the people, either. Those offices should be held only by citizens and have term limits to boot.

If we did all that, I think things might be a hell-of-a-lot better.
We have been, and still are, watchdogs to ensure our armed services keep to the conventions of war. Why can’t we have watchdogs of the police, sheriff, legislators, judges? Right now, it looks as if the legislators are pissing away all the tax money while slinging mud at their rivals. It’s the biggest damn mud fight ever. And, everyone just shrugs and goes along without saying anything about them.

While I’m thinking about it, can someone explain the difference between accepting a bribe and accepting lobbyer’s money or gifts? For years we said Central America was so corrupt, but don’t our representatives collect money and gifts from lobbyists? Is the only difference that our people must tell the government they got it from a lobbyist? Does that make it alright?

If we are going to dismantle the system and let the mice play, why don’t we tell the legislators to take a hike? This November, we can do it. The only problem is what do we do if we make them go away. It’s the same problem we’ll have if we tell the police to go home.

Then what?

Then we’ll have the country descend into anarchy. It will be like the old west. We did it once. Only this time, it will be more inclusive. Who will be in charge? Who decides? If we react as France did in the French revolution, things will ultimately dissolve into a carbon copy reign of terror. Wouldn’t that be special? It was nasty enough when it happened over there. Don’t forget, Napoleon grew out of that.

I wrote when I first started my blog that I intended to steer away from politics, but now, it seems that everyone needs to be aware of what is happening and how dangerous life is during this turn of the Earth.

About all I know for sure is I don’t have enough information to make an intelligent decision. Personally, from what I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of smart choices made right now anyway. It looks like we are practicing rampant lunacy right now from the top to the bottom of society. Damn, I hope I am wrong. It’s possible. If I’m not, then the next most probable thing I see on the horizon is the buffoonery. Either way, someone needs to grow the hell up and quit being so damn self-centered. It has been decades since this much stupid shit has run so rampantly.

Basic history is full of times that the human-animal displays just how stupid and aggressive we can be, and that compounds when a person, or a group of people, think they will get ahead of everyone else. If someone sees a hope that they will have power over other people, their chances of making treacherous decisions multiply quantumly. If that happens, history is replete with the masses suffering at bad decisions.

Right now is the time for everyone to take a step backward and evaluate everything they control. We all need to pull our collective heads out, wipe them off, and take a good look around. If we don’t, we will run headlong over a cliff to our destruction.

I would like to get back to writing what I write best, fiction. Unfortunately, this is far scarier than anything I could dream up.


What Do We Do Now?

The pandemic is supposed to be past its peak. At least that is what the news reports. However, the next line in many of those same stories point to the grave possibility of a second, third, maybe fourth wave. To make the sting even worse, people gesticulate for our attention to tell us of the chilling thought that the second wave could be much more deadly. Others don’t believe there will be another wave, while those die-hards think the pandemic is fake.

Who to believe?

It doesn’t matter, because either it happens or not. If it returns, will it be like the second wave of the Spanish flu? That one kicked the planet’s ass. They still don’t have a reliable tally of the people that died in the second wave, but they do know way more people died in it than the first. Another possibility has COVID 19 fizzling out with little or no fanfare. I think the fizzle thing is not very likely.

So, what do the possibilities say for the potential of reopening the economy? It doesn’t give warm fuzzies to me. How about you?

There is also a considerable amount of conspiracy buffs that claim much ado about nothing, and what is happening is a ploy to steal our rights. These observations may be right; some of our freedoms have dribbled away, which is a significant cause for concern. However, if the conspiracy theory is correct, it is much bigger than taking US citizens rights away, it is more a worldwide effort. Spain, Italy, and almost any country imaginable has also had their “rights” softened to beat the pandemic. So, who would do that? Who could do that?

There is no doubt that life has changed. We would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that. But humans have gone through this kind of crap before. Like everything else, pandemics go in cycles. They visit every so often and run their course.

Now the COVID 19 is here raising hell, and it appears this pandemic may be around at least until everyone gets it. The question I have in that regard is, what do the COVID 19 anti-bodies do? They test for them to see if a person has had it, but what good is that? Is that the only use it has? They theorize immunity doesn’t automatically happen, so … That means you can get it, and then after you survive, you can acquire it again. Does that mean it will go on until huge populations succumb?

While I’m thinking about it, I have seen several accountings of how many other human activities have higher death rates, and on the bottom of each list is COVID 19, with only xxx deaths. Even the flu makes an appearance on the records with a much more significant death toll than this current pandemic. While I haven’t the time to research those other activities, I do know this — COVID 19 is much more contagious than many of those diseases, positively more contagious than the flu. 

My thought on this is: even the black death had a much lower death toll in the beginning. It just changed as the thing progressed. Please think that through. I’m sure several people didn’t think that was serious at first, but it happened.

I live in a small town. In that town, there is a widespread belief that we will not have to deal with the deadly end of the disease. Presumably, it only attacks large cities. I can’t figure out how in all the different layers of hell, a virus is supposed to do a quick census to know where to infect next. Anyway, there is a lazy attitude toward the whole damn thing here.

My wife was in a nationwide construction supply business in town the other day (we don’t have a Home Depot here), and there was an employee who ridiculed her for taking precautions. This business has already had at least one person infected, and they didn’t find out until symptoms showed. That means they could’ve both had and transmitted it to customers for two weeks.

To all those that don’t want to wear a mask to frequent a business. Is it that hard? Precisely what right, and how infringed? They demand you to wear shirts and shoes, don’t they? Does that infringe on your rights? I haven’t noticed any protests because they can’t shop around town in the nude. What the hell is everyone thinking? My rights end where yours begin. The other way around is also correct. Don’t, or can’t, follow a few rules for the greater good? 

I don’t understand why it is hard for people to grow up and follow a few simple rules. Is it because most people think it will never happen to them? Maybe they think the disease won’t affect them. 

Again, you don’t think it will happen to you, but how about your kids?

I know they initially said kids weren’t in danger from it. How shortsighted can you be? It is well within the possibility that children can be affected down the line. Just so you are aware of it. It is already happening. Also, do you think something won’t come and lay waste to you and yours in days, maybe weeks or months down the line?

As far as not affecting, I have read a couple of articles addressing the thought that although children don’t have a horrid time with COVID 19, several diseases come haunting children once they have had the virus, Kawasaki disease is one of them. I guess it works like taking aspirin in youth can raise the ante for Reye’s Syndrome, or Strep throat can lead to Rheumatic fever. We know some diseases and syndromes result after first having a viral attack of something else.

I wonder how long people will take a lazy approach when children start succumbing to related diseases?

Is it that hard for you to follow a few social distancing rules? We are on the verge of another enormous economic collapse, and the politicians all want to stay home where it is safe. Doesn’t that tell everyone what is truly happening?

I know it is a tall order, but is it too hard for everyone to grow up and work together


What will we do?

Here we are amid the Pandemic. A cloud of unease settled like a thick fog over everything. It is surreal. It draws memories of all the dystopian novels and movies I’ve read or seen.

My wife and I keep reminding each other that this is not a novel but the truth of life today. The sickness is everywhere, and the creepy part is, you can’t look at someone to tell they are sick. Unlike the flu, or a cold, or even food poisoning where you can look at the ill person and say, “Crap, you look bad.” This sickness hitches a ride on healthy, vibrant people and then attacks the next person.

In school, we read about the plague in the Twelfth Century, and we’ve heard accounts of the Flu Pandemic of 1918, but reading about a severe illness is nowhere close to living it today. The closest thing to this was when I was small, and we had the Polio epidemic, and that I’m afraid only those sixty years or older might remember. The sickness is here. It is not fiction; it’s happening. Several people we know may die by the time it’s over. The situation is a part of life, and it fits the cliché: You can run, but you cannot hide. Honestly, it is a bit unbelievable.

Those people that believe in Kismet may have to stare into destiny’s face, and it’s not the time to blink either. It is not quite High Noon on Main Street, but it is half-past eleven.
Are those enough stereotype images? Yea, I think so too.

The world has several things happening.

The first is the realization that the figures don’t add up. The state I live in is a quiet one. The news they put out once daily, touts how we don’t have much in the way of Covid-19 in the state, and we are winning the fight. Today they gave us the number of 1480 people infected and only thirty deaths.

Can we not test the elderly who show symptoms? I know we can’t check everyone over sixty-five, but honestly, the elderly that can’t stop coughing, have a fever, and all the advertised symptoms they’ve asked for us to watch. Are we that constrained in the number of tests? If that is so, why are politicians and celebrities being tested? Are the criteria for sale?

I’m wondering why the efforts of heroism that are shown daily on almost every corner of mass media need to be negated by the anti-heroic actions of a few assholes.

There are some counties that the people controlling the tests won’t let the doctors test. How can we know the total infected if we don’t check? And are the numbers so important? If so, are our numbers any better than the numbers we’ve received from China, Iran, or Italy?

Okay, maybe it’s a numbers thing, but if so, it smacks of the Viet Nam war, and the daily body counts. So perhaps it is an ego thing. There are no shortages of egos running rampant. Grab any article about our illustrious national leaders. It doesn’t matter which person you study either.

The world is in crisis, and it is much more than merely fighting a disease. The whole face of the world will change, which come to think about it, is not a bad idea. I certainly believe there are things we can change positively. It is already to the point of not shaking hands anymore, but there are unscrupulous bastards out there that want to prey on anything and everything. It’s true to life Mad Max all over again. The tenuous balance of the world powers before the Pandemic could shuffle with alarming speed.

The constitution charges our country’s leaders with the common defense, and I know they take their positions in that very seriously. The danger I’m seeing is other countries have leaders from the same mold, and what is right for us is not necessarily good for them. Again, it has a lot to do with egos, and they can be a megalomaniac.

That is only part of the problem, too. What we need, I’m talking about the world here; we need to act together. I know humans are violent, but can we curb our thirst for positional advantage and fight the real enemy here? Why are our leaders continuing to jockey for power at the expense of the population? Are they scared the world is so fickle they wouldn’t be considered a good enough leader?

Why must we see the constant maneuvering to position themselves for better appearance? Here is the truth of it. If the need arises that often, to make yourself appear better, maybe you shouldn’t be in that position. And I hate to reiterate; this is a global thing with leaders. Let’s stand back and eyeball the world. Perhaps the ones that need to lead don’t want to drive the vehicle? Possibly our world leaders should crave doing an excellent job over the money and power that filters uphill to them.

Covid 19 sucks. The people that perform at exemplary levels are the heroes. Those that screw around to look better need to be flushed, and I’m not talking about one party over another. Hell, one more time. I’m not even talking about one country over another. We live during a pandemic here — a universal sickness, and the latest figures I have seen say half of the population may have it without symptoms. They only carry it to others, and also, you can be re-infected. It will take a worldwide effort to kick its ass. The damn thing needs pounding into oblivion. Further, we need to fix all the bullshit that made this one so terrible and get ready for the next worldwide effort.

I’m not saying we can all live in peace forever, but we ought to figure out some way to live without a world-class balancing act of egos. That was the problem when the world had Kings and Emperors ruling the populations. They found a solution. Why can’t we?


We All Have Our Problems

I write this at home during the COVID-19 Pandemic. China’s cases are declining finally, and the U.S. cases are ramping up. The disease is in most states, including my own, Arkansas. The reactions I see by the individual governors are like the varied ways different commanders work their part of a significant war plan — some are good in the extreme, some are so, so. Our state governor said the CDC recommended all schools remain open until we have some cases of COVID-19 within the county. Don’t forget there is a long incubation time during which those already infected show no sign of it. At the same time, a neighboring state’s governor closed their entire state in one day. Hmmm …

The result of this mishmash will be some states mixing it up in a real battle with the dreaded disease while others get their ass kicked. That’s the way it works.

The survival of the fittest is not merely a catchphrase. The phrase catches the precise issue. We older people (you don’t have to say elderly — we know we are old) anyway, we older ones that have heart problems end up with gun sites drawing a bead because that causes the cumulative probability of death much higher than those who are more fit.

That Spector is here.

Let me explain this situation. It does not mean the younger citizens are immune, just like believing the disease will slough off all the old farts like the skin of a molting snake. The younger folks have their own problems. The things that come to mind are the decisions they make, like grabbing a cruise or going traveling now because it is cheaper to do so. That thought pattern will bite them in their collective buttocks. There are many reasons why someone might belong to the unfit group. Age and infirmity are simply two of them.

There is another thing that strikes me as a potential for the unfit group — the school systems. I’m in favor of closing them all, now. The reason is simple. I know the kids probably won’t die from it, but that situation hasn’t been thought through either. My information is the disease is not a comfortable one. The kids will not believe it fun by any means. Hell, did you enjoy your last bout with influenza?

But I digress.

Even if the kids aren’t affected, they will be like little, cute, Petri dishes. That’s those small dishes used in a laboratory to grow all kinds of unpleasant germs and viruses. Our little Petri dishes will carry everything home to mom and dad, gramps etcetera, or they will do the opposite and take what’s at home to the school. It will be like Grand Central Station for COVID 19. All the germs, viruses, and bugs we’re trying to eliminate will hitch a ride, wanted or not. Let’s not forget that the little Petri stinkers love to give those messy, sloppy hugs and kisses with no regard for the running spit and snot. Yes, I know that is a daily occurrence, but that is why the flu gets such a mighty grip on us every winter. That is also the way this thing transmits.

The whole thing results in a blanket of illness covering us better than a new-fallen blizzard.

The President is right in that we will get through it. All things pass in the end, sooner or later. The survivors will know much more about it than we know right this minute. That is a given. But to get there!

One of the benefits of being in my 60’s is that I remember a similar thing to the Pandemic from when I was a kid. Polio. That disease did not kill everyone either. One of my most vivid memories of childhood was a man I loved to visit. The man was a spectacular human being. One day, I asked my father why he walked a little funny. My father’s face darkened, and he grew earnest. “He had Polio when he was a kid. That is why he’s so short, and he waddles a little when he walks.” Shit, I didn’t even think he was short, but he was. He stood around three feet tall. I liked him so much because I could look him straight in the eye. Up until that time I never understood what a disease could do.

At least once every school year, the school had someone in to check us all for Polio. Then, when they developed the polio vaccine, wham-bam! There was a huge collective sigh from the adults. That was in the 50’s.

This kind of test has not attacked humans in a long time. Each time it does, we have to struggle through it like we are the first imbeciles ever to have this kind of problem. How many more times do we have to piss in everyone’s oatmeal? Why can’t we leave the political jockeying at home while we work on this problem?

I know, I know, China is China, and it is an election year. Those are reasons to grow up, not shrink into infantilism.

If your child is one who dies because the hospital is too full to help her through the flu (yes, that is still epidemic also), how will you take that? Still think it is okay to let COVID-19 run through the schools? How about if your mother or father passes in a most undignified manner, not that there is ever a refined way. There are only grave ways to die. Could that be the reason we call our burial sights grave?  

Please do not confuse today’s blog with my personal belief of what happens when our life ends. That is beautiful, as are many of your expectations. I’ll have a new book out soon that visits my beliefs in precise detail. In all honesty, my book won’t be like you expect, but I know you will enjoy reading it, if only to smugly say, “What a flippin’ buffoon.” However, It is non-fiction, and not a tongue in cheek work at that.

The Pandemic is here, and it is a no-shit event. It will take a pragmatic approach to solve its problems with a minimum of casualties. Please remember — the death rate thing is bullshit. It is either 100% or 0. Think about it.


On Writing Fiction and Non-fiction

Well, it has been a hell of a week or two. A lot has happened – the most significant thing was my laptop went crazy. Well, not stupid, crazy. It was more of a blank stare. The whole screen went black. I checked the symptoms online, and the article said it happened to Windows 7 O.S.

Before it happened, I had already been having trouble with my laptop. The damn thing had been shutting down at odd times for several weeks. The upshot of the random shenanigans is, they resulted in my backing up of my different Works in Progress (WIP). With that said, I had a good backup for the stuff on which I’ve been working.

God, It burns the piss out of me to have things break down. I have this ignorant rogue feeling as if there is a cosmic plan reaching out to tap me on the back of my head. I’m sure that isn’t true. It just seems that way. I’m neither a solipsistic person nor paranoid.

Oh, well, screw it. The experience is over, and I’m just glad that I had everything backed up on a zip drive. The result was I had a cosmic plan warning me the damn equipment was going bat shit.

Let me go back to my musings.

I have a slew of guppy thoughts swimming around in my skull. It is like fishing with a line and a hook to grab hold of what I want. There is the weather, kids at home (one is singing her favorite song from Frozen right this moment). You know, a slew of other things.

Amid these swimming thoughts I have three projects going, if you don’t count my blog. The Works in Progress (WIP) are I’m correcting the last edit of my next novel, I’m writing the first draft of my original non-fiction book, and I can’t forget the rough draft of my next novel. The hardest part of three WIPs is going from non-fiction to fiction and vice versa. For some reason, my brain must flip around to make that switch.

It puts me off stride. It is like when I first landed in Korea. I had to use the loo, the head, W.C., bathroom (although there was neither a bath nor shower in this comfort station). Anyway, I needed to use the urinal.

As I stood at the urinal, staring a hole in the wall before me, I became aware of a jolly-round Korean woman, much shorter than me. She was wiping down the porcelain I was utilizing. She looked up at me. “Nice day, today. Isn’t it?”

As I said, it put me off stride. Hell. I had to fall back and regroup. I wasn’t used to that.

A similar thing happens when I flip back and forth between fiction and non-fiction. I don’t think I will write both extremes simultaneously for a long time. Switching gears is much too hard to do smoothly. Wait a moment. It might be that I’m not used to it. If that is the case, I might be able to become used to it.

Does that mean I need to do it more? It isn’t uncomfortable for me when I switch to and from my blog, and that doesn’t bother me. Perhaps it is because the subject matter is so different. I love writing fiction, and when I write it, I feel like I am fulfilling myself.

The non-fiction is a bit different. Writing that seems more personal. It makes me scoop up things I found during heavy contemplation, stuff about which I don’t usually talk. This type of reflection happens when I meditate, and my habit with that is I keep silent. Years ago, I learned it is better not to talk about it. Anyway, writing this thing is like scraping my bones. While it is uplifting to put the words and ideas down on paper, it is also correct. There is a rightness about it. To understand what I’m talking about, you will have to read the book.

I hope those that do read it will enjoy what is said. Please keep watch here. I will keep everyone posted.