Monday, July 21, 2014

New Book Idea

A few years back, one of my first posts actually, I posted an email conversation that I had with an email scammer.  The conversation went back and forth for a few months or so, me making up a complicated story along the way.  I've since removed the posts because I have gone back and edited them and compiled them into an eBook.  The book is currently available in Amazon for the Kindle.  It is my first eBook.

Later this week, I'll be running a promotion, giving the book away for FREE!  On 7/26-7/28 you'll be able to download the book free on Amazon.  The hope is that someone will download the thing, leave positive reviews, and thus spring the masterpiece into fame and glory.

Here's the link to the book:

Be sure to download a copy and write a favorable review this weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reasons to Hate Huffington Post

I used to like The Huffington Post.  Lately, however, they are getting really annoying.  I don't think it's the actual Huffington Post, but instead their Facebook feed that shows up in my stream.  I suspect what I'm seeing is based on what I've clicked on before, so I guess this is more a problem with Facebook than Huffington Post, but either way, I hate it.  So, here are the reasons I hate Huffington Post and their feed on my Facebook stream;

1. Lists (See what I did there, clever eh?) -  15 of this, 9 of that, top 7 of the other.  I'm constantly bombarded by numbered lists of something.  Can't you just write an article without turning it into a list?  I understand the Top 10 format, it's tried and true and OK with me, but looking at the main HuffPo page right now they have lists of 10, 5, 15, 9, 30, 10, 12, 5, 10, and 8.  Really?  30?  It's getting annoying, HuffPo.

2.  Sriracha - I guess the Sriracha crisis is mostly over, but HuffPo coverage drove me mad.  The company that makes the popular Sriracha hot sauce was being sued or something by neighbors near that plant where it's made.  Noxious fumes and the like as you can imagine.  So HuffPo had at least two articles every day about it as if the sky were falling.  Oh no, what are all the hipsters going to do if they can't have their hot sauce!  Every article was like that.  Whoever writes the comments for the Facebook page also had to insert some stupid comment too, like "No Sriracha!  The end is nigh!"

3.  Marijuana is Legal! - When Colorado and the other state (wherever that was) legalized marijuana, HuffPo could not refrain themselves from pro-weed commentary.  Yeah, I get it, it's mildly amusing, weed is legal in Colorado, "let's all move there."  How many times can you tell that joke before it gets old?  HuffPo sure surpassed that number, whatever it is.  I'm fairly liberal and I don't really care about the legalization issue, but I have no interest in smoking pot and never have, so really, that joke gets old very quickly.

4.  Stupid JPG Complilations - There are way too many "articles" on HuffPo that are just dumb commentary or opinion reinforced by even dumber and mostly irrelevant clipart and animated JPGs.  Most of the time it's stock clips that everyone with an Internet connection has seen a dozen times already that only marginally relates to whatever it is they are writing about.

OK, so I could only get to four.  HuffPo wouldn't care, they'd run the story anyway.  4 Reasons to Hate HuffPo.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Thumbs

Fail! OK, so I was supposed to post yesterday but I failed.  Now, I'm on vacation, without a laptop, typing all of this on my phone, with two thumbs.

Yesterday I was preoccupied with vacation preparations and did not find the time.

Today, I made to the beach and now chilling in bed getting ready to sleep.

I have nothing else to say, especially having only thumbs to say it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Time Wasters and a General Update

So the other day I'm sitting there in front of the TV watching the Tour de France and thinking, "Gee, I'm wasting so much time just sitting here."  I'm on summer vacation so I don't have to work.  At the beginning of vacation I kept telling myself I'll do something productive, like write every day on my blog (at least semi-productive) and here I am, the third week into the summer break and I've written nothing.  I should do something about this, I thought.

Lo and behold, the next day, a quick but powerful wind storm passed through and knocked the power out.  We usually don't lose power for that long, if at all, but this time it was out for at least a solid day and then some.  Now I really have nothing to do!  So during the day, I went outside and read the latest copy of Outside magazine.  The copy before that one (and probably the one before that one) I didn't read because I was too busy (watching the Tour de France and playing Minecraft on my phone), now in just an hour of solitude with no power I was able to knock out the entire magazine.

Still plenty of daylight left, since it seems time has stopped along with the power, I start doing the "extra" yard work that I hate, like pulling weeds in the flower beds.  I was able to knock out two flower beds and pull up a couple of tiny maple saplings that I'm going to try to use for bonsai trees.

A day later and the power is back on.  Hopefully that little episode will serve as the catalyst I need to get me away from the screens and doing something productive (like writing in this blog, because that's productive, right?).

Now that I'm back, here's an update on the hiking trip I wrote about earlier.

The plan was to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail with a friend of mine who was later planning to hike a much longer part this summer.  April, spring break, 4-5 day hike, that was the plan.  Spring break for me was whittled away by snow days during the winter so I could only commit 2-3 days now.  My friend, however, decided, "April! Are you kidding me? It's too cold to hike!"

OK, so how about July when I'm out of school?  "No, I have to push back the hike" for various family reasons.  Now it's looking like an August start.  But then, "August is probably going to be too hot!"  So, no long distance hike for me just yet.

In the meantime, to occupy my time and spend more time on the Internet wasting that precious time, I've been researching another future project: the sailboat.

If I could, I would live on a sailboat, work odd jobs and write to make money, and drift from port to port around the world.  Of course, with a wife who is a little more practical than I, that is not possible.  So I've been planning to buy a sailboat at least to have to take on weekend and summer trips.

Freeing the money to make such a purchase and maintain a boat has proven difficult.  I've been taking every spare $20 I get and putting it in an AmeriTrade account I have dedicated as my sailboat fund, but that isn't growing very quickly.  Then a thought occurred... I own a small half acre wooded lot in a "resort" (using the term loosely) and we've been trying to sell it for the past year or so.  What if I could trade that for a boat?  How I can I convince the wife?

My question goes; "So, here's an idea... what do you think of trading that lot for a sailboat, you know, just so we can get rid of it?"  Shocking reply, "Yes, just get rid of it, I don't want to keep paying the taxes and HOA fees.  You can trade it, sell it, whatever, the proceeds can go to your boat fund."  Score!

Now I have to check with the Realtor to see when our contract is up and so I would be able to trade the lot.  I search to get the details on the lot and what do you know, it's not there.  I emailed the Realtor, "Hey, what's up with that?"  Her response; "The listing on your lot expired Aug 30 of last year when extension agreement was not returned."  That's it, nothing more.  Really?  I know we returned the agreement.  Wouldn't a good Realtor follow up on something like that, maybe give us a call and ask about it?  Bottom line, we don't have a contract (and the lot hasn't been listed for almost a year, unbeknownst to us) and I can sell or trade the lot as I see fit.  It's now listed on Craigslist.  Hopefully that will give a boost to my sailboat plan.

So that's the update.  I'm going to try to come back every day and write something new.  See you tomorrow!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Somewhere, beyond the sea...

Yes, the Kraken Rum commercial with the Frank Sinatra song is stuck in my head.

"A writer writes, always."  So it goes in a great movie, "Throw Mama from the Train."

And in a drunken stupor, the writer writes... always.  Or, dot, dot, dot, always (for emphasis).

I just finished reading a couple of books related to that somewhere beyond the sea.  The first was Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around the World."  Decent book, but written in the early 1900s so a bit old.  That guy sure was full of himself.  But I guess you'd have to be to sail a boat like his around the world with no modern technology, getting shot at by aboriginal South Americans and such.

Second book was Cap'n Fatty Goodlander's "Buy, Outfit, Sail" book about buying, outfitting and sailing (hence the name) a modest vessel around the world at modest expense.  So you can see where this going.  A plan is being hatched.  Not a new plan, per se, but an old plan among many being re-energized.

More to come on all that later, of course.

More importantly, however, is life.  Yes, life.  People say it's middle age.  Does things to you.  You do weird things, buy corvettes, pick up hot young chicks, as you pontificate on your own mortality and the very real recognition that your days are indeed numbered.

I don't think that's the whole story.  It's not about realizing mortality but understanding life.  It's about becoming more aware.  A heightened awareness.  A learned awareness, learned only in years of experience.  You recognize what's important, if in fact there is anything that is "important."

Dot, dot, dot, and so on.

Yeah, I know, I say it every time.  Gee, I don't post on here enough.  Oh, but I will.  I will.  Just you wait and see.