Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sleep Well and Have a Better Tomorrow

What is great about a new year are the possibilities. Hope springs eternal.

So many sage quotes it is hard to coin a new one. I wanted to write a Christmas poem and all the starts I thought were taken. Rhymes so embedded in my thoughts it takes an effort I have not wanted to do to create a new one. Sort of like discovering an undiscovered ten digit prime number.

The Macon Telegraph had an article how Amazon had a new $9.99 a month service that would allow readers to read all they want from their collection. For 9.99, exactly how many books will that person read. I am a dedicated reader and I am lucky to finish four a month. My fits and starts at novels leave much to be desired.

My reading has been disrupted more by an ever changing Facebook feed with links I constantly click. Reading up on the upcoming divorce of two celebrities I've never heard of give me pause.

A friend of mine is excited, she can forgo the sorry freebie novels on Amazon and subscribe. The writers are not making as much money with the new service. One problem in the fictional world is that Amazon has about 3 million titles versus their start with 600,000. The world is glutted with stories. With a world population at 6 billion and growing, no wonder we got so many stories.

With one out of every five people in China and another one out of five in India, maybe writers need to think outside of the box. Perhaps have all stories translated into Chinese and published in China. English is the franca linguae in India. Just getting your work into the mass market in India may help. You just might have to adjust your characters norms to that of those in India.

I wonder if the Chinese will read almost anything. I mean you know the joke that they will eat almost anything. Our eating fried eggs is one of the grossest things to some foreign people. I have to warn you. Never read the ingredients of potted meat or hotdogs. It is not true that McDonald hamburgers contain ground eyeballs.

But back to the writers, were you going to make any money from this market? I know having a 99 cent eBook will draw readers to your more expensive books. One person I read is selling each chapter for 99 cents and each chapter is a short crime who done-it.

I have oodles of great books. Some I purchased at regular price but I browse the books of a thrift shop which has great titles. I skip the A-listers. Mid-list authors and classics are more varied and frankly more interesting. I don't know if it is my American yearning for the underdog. At the thrift store, many of the A-listers look as unread as so many others. I check out the dog-eared copies of any book. I think that is a good sign of quality.

I made my resolutions on an earlier post. I supposed if I thought hard, I could recollect them. But as my older brother says goodbye on the phone in the evening, "Sleep well and have a better tomorrow."

Have a good new year. I have heard it is full of promise and hope.

Later Gaters. I got some good video of redwing blackbirds wintering in a pecan grove. I will try to post it soon.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

For all the tea in China

How fast our focus from Christmas to New Years. At a Christmas dinner for people in Macon an elderly woman said with full bellies, heat and the children playing made Christmas day fun. Totaling your possession and family seem ridiculous in comparison,

New Years, the review of what happened the past year is mostly people who passed. It just goes to show that the people are what matters.

The eighties went by quickly for me. Each year paced by unrequited wishes of mine. In this part of my life each year shines brightly. 2013 was a good year in that I was born on the 13th. 2014  has flown by.

So I stand with 2015. I normally don't do resolutions because I don't do them. Unlike in the 80's when I did not want to see time fleeting before me, this year is going to matter.

So, I resolve to

1. Slow down. Look at what I am doing and not worry about what I haven't done. If you are in your twenties and thirties. Heck no, you can't do this. You'll never get what you need. You can slow down later.

2. Get my two books completed.

3. Resist clutter. Don't bring it in the house in the first place. Sleep late on Saturday so all the good stuff is sold at yard sales.

4. Appreciate the people in my life.

5. Talk about getting a stray pregnant cat and keeping it outside. But don't do it. Donate money to a cat shelter.

6. Walk daily.

7. Be patient.

8. Enjoy having lived this long.

9. Get back up when I fail and not look back.


Contentment cannot be bought with all the tea in China.





Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmastime

Christmas is not the holiday it was for me as a child. The fact that the holidays lead some to depression is understandable.

When you look at the images of Christmas with cherubic children delighted by their toys and you are not a participant but a spectator to the holiday.

For some struggling financially, not being able to give their children or grandchildren a nice dinner much less gifts, Christmas turns it back.

For people involved in domestic turmoil due to no provocation, well some provocation, or the perpetrator, Christmas is not the season of love.

For those who lay dying or have a loved one dying, Christmas is lost in the business of life's ultimate destiny.

All the hassles of traveling or deciding with which family you celebrate when you really just want to stay home, or being alone once again at Christmas

Christian stories to the skeptic can make the holiday as difficult as the crass commercialism to the faithful.

As an adult some Christmas are better than others but you never know. Because Christmas is the combination of all Christmas pasts jumbled together. The memory of Christmas past can bring sadness or peace in the present.

The excesses of Christmas in the celebrations we all share. Buddhist and Jews merrily celebrating the secular aspects of the holiday.

I know the fact that I will put a Christmas outfit on an unlucky dog may seem sad to some. Not having children and their children is a disappointment for me. I don't know if I am disappointed for never marrying. A good husband would be wonderful but the obedience would have been difficult for me. I have a jerk neighbor and I do feel sympathy for his wife. He pointed a gun at me and I bet he has pointed one at her.

I am a cultural Christian. There is much to improve your life with the philosophies. My dad said the Bible was a book of wisdom more than a book of truth. Living in the bible belt where so many of my brethren believe a literal interpretation of Bible makes me feel alone.

A family I know had a daughter placed in hospice during November. They have had good times and solemn moments waiting for the end. The eleven year old got to return home with hospice care. It looks like she is going to get one more Christmas.

I enjoy each Christmas. It is not a milestone, counting material possessions, a feel good blessed time with family and friends for me, or a particularly religious moment. It is day of being glad for what I have, knowing that I have another day to appreciate, and thankfulness for the wonderful Christmases I have had.

You bet I'll go to a movie on Christmas. I hope you have an equally good Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

I haven't read Hilary Mantel's book Wolf Hall which has been adapted by the BBC and spawned the following article in the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/12/wolf-hall-film-codpieces-status-sex?CMP=fb_gu

The size of codpieces used in 15th century Europe will be modified for US audiences. With all the f words, cursing, violence and sex in movies, the fact our puritanical roots need to be considered is what can I say, unbelievable? useless? ironic?

With money a driving force in filmmaking, this is why there are so many save the world action thrillers. They are sold worldwide, hence the business in show business. And yes I stole the last phrase.  A thoughtful historical piece or comedy has a more limited audience,

In acknowledgement of the ridiculous sensitivities or political correctness. And my puritan forebears, never mind Nicki Minaj's booty,

Cod pieces of the 15th and 16th Centuries.



   . Pencz Portrait of a Seated Youth by George Pencz (1544)



Archdukerudolf Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf of Austria (Coello)



Henri2 Henry II of France (workshop of Clouet)Louvre



The Soldier and his Wife Soldier and his wife (Hopfer etching)




Giorgione 011 German origin, National Gallery, London by Holz




PhilipIIofSpain Phillip II of Spain



File:Sir Francis Drake The Noblest Knight.jpg

Sir Francis Drake taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sir_Francis_Drake_The_Noblest_Knight.jpg




Servant walking two boys Servant walking two boys by Jost Amman


Henry Howard Earl of Surrey 1546
Howard Earl of Surrey 1546 by William Scrotz

Thank to Wikimedia Commons for all of these pictures. I need to donate a few to give back.

Anyway, with what we see on movies, you got to be kidding. What matters most is a good story.

I agree with Hilary Mantel, don't dumb down history.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/12/hilary-mantel-approves-bbc-wolf-hall-dramatisation

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another bogus Email.

Below is another bogus email. I have received others. One gives the name and address of the United Nations. These scammers can be bold with their claims. Of course if you are fooled, you can be scammed more easily.

Always search these letters. This is a web address warning about the letter below. http://www.419scam.org/emails/2014-07/21/00704467.83.htm 

My writing is in color below.......

Greetings,(Oh Glorious Sacks of Money - Electronically transferred of course)
In appreciation (well I have no work ethic, being a con artist is my way of life) of your esteemed contact (your email address was found) received through a reliable source (another scammer like me) and the choice of your country(Super dumb Americans, dumber than dirt) I wish to introduce myself.My name is Alex Zunaga  (fake name of a thief) the SON of late Mr Anthony Zunaga (son of a dirtbag - how else do I know dirt is dumb.) of Zimbabwe (Nigeria 419 scamsite).

Our father late Mr Anthony Zunaga  (You mean slime; You mean you did not ooze from the nose of a parasitic worm) who was recently murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe alongside with my mother Carol Zunaga on their way to church on a Sunday morning (Sunday morning, such pious religious folks who walked several miles in the snow to give their last dime to keep their parish alive. Now how did folks like this give birth to a fraudster)  by some Government instigated assassins (You mean there were no underworld spies available). My Parents were among the few blacks Zimbabwe rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the agents of the ruling government of President Robert Mugabe for his alleged support and sympathy of the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the whites. (He works on my sympathy for the downtrodden.)
(Then attempts to infuse this with some truth. Of course how much of this is true? From what I read Robert Mugabe sympathized with his friends. As a result, large farms were owned by people who knew nothing of farming and the Gross National Product of Zimbadwe dropped dramatically which caused extreme poverty for the most downtrodden. The original people who were to benefit from land redistribution. This land problem arose when President Robert Mugabe introduce a new land act which wholly effects the rich white farmers and some blacks vehemently condemned the modus operadi adopted by the government that resulted to rampant killings and mob action by the war veterans and some political thugs, precisely more than sixty one (61) people have been killed. Heads of government from Western World especially Britain and United States of America have voice their condemnation of Mugabe's plans.

Please log on here to see for yourself,
I took his link out and replaced it with his. With spam, never hit links. They can load malicious software on your computer.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe

Before his death, he informed me of ($25 Million dollars) (Most farmers are dirt poor. They run huge farms but have very little cash on hand. ) he deposited with my name as the beneficiary with a private Security Company as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. The money was deposited as a consignment in a box (That is a heck of a box to hold that much cash. That much cash would probably need a huge cargo box.) to the security company to avoid seizure, and to avoid much demurrage from the security company. This money was meant for the purchase of new machinery farm tools and establishment of a new farm in Swaziland.

Since our life is in great danger, we fled to UK (LONDON) as asylum seekers it is against this background that my sister and I are ready to accept any considerable condition to however that can help us receive this money and invest it . I promise to abide by your instruction to retrieve the money our father deposited in the Security Company(Just send any cash you can get your hands on. You will never hear of me again.)
I will give you further details ( a load of baloney) you might like to know regarding this transaction (to convince you to risk your life savings) including some documents from the Security Company (my printer) as proof of deposit of the fund once I receive your approval (or appeal to our common sense of greed) to assist us.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards,
(Your loving Charlatan
Alex Zunaga(MR) (Probably a fake name)
Email: On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 10:57 AM, Alex Zunaga(MR)

If for some reason you use the following email address or phone number, use a disposable email address and phone number. You will be contacted by numerous scammers as  result.
<alexzunaga@tm.net.my> wrote:
(+447 045 734 345). (phone number may be real)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Catch a falling star.

Bad moods are contagious, bad news too. I have not watched the news tonight. I don't know the news about the man killed in the chokehold in New York. I'm hiding from reality as hard as I can. It is a relief to watch a funny move, pump gas, pull weeds and do anything but listen to the problems of the world.

On NPR, Boehner was threatening to shut the government down because President Obama is not going to be his lapdog. And of course there are the riots with clever agitators at every corner of social media.

One woman stated she could feel the frustration of one protestor that no change was going to happen. You have got to be kidding me, the world flips on a dime for people?

This is a good CHRIS ROCK INTERVIEW  What I like most about the interview is it shows some depth of thought. He talks of the problem of pushing the envelope with the creation of a comedy show. He would hate me. I would like his comedy much better if he dropped the curse words.

Change is happening; African Americans have been saying racism is a problem and it is registering that their statement is credible. The problem is the sophistication and wisdom of the hearer. Simply agreeing is not the answer. Changing your behavior is.

People learning to hate is not going to be the answer. You forgot about social class news media. This is the gist of the problem. Everyone has disadvantages and roadblocks.

The wisdom is recognizing that some roadblocks are more difficult to surmount.

Protests are not productive in the short-run. I don't like the damage in Ferguson. I do like that people have the right to protest. I do like that police procedures will be reviewed to reduce the danger to all of us in a misuse of power.

Volunteering or donating money to help those in need is my preference. I give money to people begging on the side of the road. At least you know it is going to someone who needs it. How they use it is another question.

Anyway, we all need to find anything we find funny or gives us joy. This bitterness is going to kill us all. There is no privilege from negativity. Chris Rock says that Woody Allen writes dramas with jokes. Isn't most comedy drawn from tragedy. I mean when times are tough, we all do better with some wry laughter.

Locally, people seem to be stopping to be friendlier and more courteous to one another.

Just a curiosity, do people seem more cooperative and friendly in parking lots with slanted spaces or those with squared rectangular parking spaces. On the big grocery shopping day which my mother loves, the grocery with the slanted design seem to have more patient people.

My mom wears one of her jangly necklaces to the grocery story. She says people tend to stop and talk to her more. I think many are just touched by a woman her age is shopping in a grocery store and not wasting in a nursing home. She reads labels and studies all the merchandise. We try many items because it is on sale and she has a great coupon.

Some of the biggest lessons I have learned came from a painful experience. Our country will learn from these problems.

And - new problems will emerge. Such is life. No one person or happening can define a person or society.

Here's a link to test your prejudices    PREJUDICE SURVEY

Monday, December 1, 2014

Praise God, no one is interested in some of the dumb things I have said.

Elizabeth Lauten, laudy, laudy girl.

I was offended by the meanness of the comments. The reference to being dressed to go to a bar and having lousy role models as parents was almost unbelievable from a Representative's social media director. 

Bored looks from a teenager, I would have had a hard time looking interested in the affair. If Sasha and Malia were boys, they would have to be bribed with a extra hours of video gaming or someone told them they would take them on a turkey hunt afterwards. I have thought the Presidents having girls worked in their favor.

Then the pictures of the Bush girls, doesn't some people realize that the President's children get to be human like everyone else. How is posting their college social activities equalizing.

I'm guessing Elisabeth Lauten is 31. She was charged with shoplifting in December 2000 when she was 17. 

I have stuck my foot in my mouth and feel some sympathy for the beating she is taking in press.

Stepping down from her job is appropriate.  Her reasoning that several hours of prayer did not cut it. She should have know as soon as she posted how catty it sounded. Cattiness is a lifestyle and she should have learned better to not let the public know it.

I can't wait for the Saturday Night Live Sketch, Elizabeth Lauten's line of clothes for the bar room.

I feel relief with all the nastiness of politics that the general reaction is Ugh.

God has forgiven me of my sins and he forgives us all. I will chuckle at the punch lines; but, I do think Elizabeth Lauten should be given another chance. I think she has learned a cruel lesson that we all get in real life.

I also think the Obamas rock. They are a beautiful family to be admired.