Author: The Timedok

Why should you be in a writer’s group?

Why should you be in a writer’s group?

I joined a writer’s group for the same reason I found an art teacher, to take things to the next level.

Inspired by Happy Trees and Clouds, I opened my first paint tube.

Folks, my first attempts at happy anything sucked. Mom was the only person who said anything nice about my ‘art.’ She was less than objective. Possibly that is why moms are so endearing.

The cliché about starving artists is indisputable. It matters not how good you are. The only people who benefit financially from your gift are your heirs or perhaps those who discover an old painting in an attic long after you have decomposed.

The rich might hire you to feed their narcissistic needs if you are genuinely gifted.

I was never interested in art for financial gain. Painting and doing it correctly forces you to analyze every stroke. Much like writing, you become lost in the story.

Yes, I said story.

A picture or painting is worth a thousand words. Encouraging flash fiction (a thousand words or less) from a photo is one way to become lost in another world.

Those of you who write will understand this.

A story that is well crafted only occurs when the author lives in the enchanted woods, the old castle, or perhaps the dungeon with all the creepy dripping sounds from leaking pipes. From musty odors to the echoes of screams from a tortured soul down the corridor, place us there.

Our own creative nature turns us into introverts.

One of my stories starts the turning pages in the anthology that the Carrollton League of Writers produced.

Ralph is different in many ways. An intellectual living in a world of testosterone-laden peers puts him at odds with almost everyone. Linking an abundance of hormones to behavioral issues should be the focus of those going through puberty. I digress.

The protagonist in Jupiter’s Song is a nerd.

While creating Jupiter’s Song, our critique group had different takes on it. The story was called a Hallmark story by one and another related to Ralph. A line in the story offered by my friend made it into the story. ‘I am good at warming the bench. Why would you want me on the team?’

Like my fellow art students, fellow writers offering lines that charm the readers are paramount to creating a better story.

One would be surprised how many people told me how they related to Ralph, and many related to the bullies in the story.

Sudden onset of hormones in both men and women are often reflected in behavioral issues. Much like drinking too much or doing drugs, hormones affect mood. The effect of testosterone or estrogen is usually displayed in aggression. Immediate course correction in middle school is paramount to keeping our youth out of the judicial system. That, in my humble opinion, is where we have screwed up when it comes to our progeny.

You might hear the following phrase about this time in your teenager’s life. ‘I hate you, mom.’

Of course, they don’t mean it. Their systems are flooded with hormones that change who they are.

Jupiter’s song is about how a teenager like Ralph makes it through school. Not only does he change his behavior to affect change in his peers, but to stay the course of who he is as a person.

True leaders lead by example.

Writers, although introverts, should be around others who are also striving for success in a very competitive field.

If you have read our anthology, please leave a review on Amazon.


Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

$900 objectivity…

Not everything is as it seems.

There is something called the WOW factor that realtors depend on when advertising a home. It starts with a photographer with an eye for composition and finding that WOW factor.

From wide-angle lenses to angles that omit white elephants, good photographers know how to get pictures that will pique the curiosity of a potential buyer. Then there is software that listing agents use to dress up the white elephants turning a desert into a golf course.

We authors do this with book covers, but I digress.

While a book cover should entice a reader to at least look inside the cover, these pictures are to incentivize the buyer to request a tour. A recent potential home has lots of wow. Objectivity can get lost in the ‘wow’ if one is not careful.

Once you decide this ‘home’ is right for you, get some objectivity. More importantly, be prepared to walk away.

It started with a few curiosities. An indoor pool that was in less-than-perfect condition. A building that was rusted to the point of possible structural failure. Shoddy workmanship to cover flaws with minor cosmetic repairs that did more damage to the property than help.

Then there were multiple windows with what appeared to be bullet holes. They were, in fact, bullet holes.

Hiring an inspector is one of your best expenses for purchasing objectivity. It is not his or her job to say, run, don’t walk. Their job is to locate flaws, structural deficiencies, other modifications that won’t pass muster, and cosmetic repairs that put lipstick on a pig.

Google reviews and, yes, Yelp are paramount in finding a good inspector.

The inspector recommended by the realtor had more negative reviews than positive ones. Pictures of nail holes from pictures hung vs. screwed-up roofs were their standard. Attempting to sell you services after the fact, instead of doing their job, was also part of the standard operating procedures they followed.

The inspector we found went above and beyond, pointing out things that must be addressed before proceeding.

A move-in ready home went to no less than $100,000.00 in necessary repairs before an evaluation from the mortgage lender could proceed.

Some notifications were minor electrical updates that had changed with codes. Others were a roof that had been damaged by hail. Still, others were air conditioners that had been disconnected because they were dead.

After I requested previous bills, I was shocked to see their electric bill hit $800 in August.

Finding both AC units in the home varied the input air to output air from 12 to 15 degrees on a 58-degree day, respectively, answered my questions. The winter months would not be much better, from heat pumps to heat strips.

The bottom line is this. Don’t fall in love with a property until after a quality inspector does his job. Look for reviews of your choice of inspectors, and don’t depend on your agent. A listing agent will want the one that finds holes from pictures hung. You want an inspector that will crawl through the attic or under the home looking for anything that could bite you in the future.


Who is your audience?

Who is your audience?

At some point, the discovery writer (pantster) must decide who their audience is?

Plotters have the advantage of planning to create a story for a group of people.

For instance, if I were to write a picture book, my audience would be young children.

If I were to write a romance, ladies would be the audience. Sure, some men also appreciate Hallmark-type stories.

As an example, I wrote a story called Jupiter’s Song. I targeted science fiction buffs, however… It is really a coming-of-age story that belongs on the Hallmark Channel. Almost any ‘nerd’ will commiserate with Ralph.

A young child (nerd) finds that his interest in science puts him at odds with society. That makes him a target of bullies. How Ralph navigates the social world of ‘humanity’ is the focus of this short story which is available in our writer’s group anthology on my amazon author site.

Marketing your book is critical to the process.

From the inception of your idea, an author needs to remember who their audience is. Most YA is written in the first person.

Many subject matter experts (SMEs) tend to put what they know in their stories.

One writer I know wrote a novel where they put tons of information on bicycles in the narrative. The story has nothing to do with that subject other than one of the characters rides one as a hobby. Does it move the story along? Is technical information on different types a distraction? Does it help or hurt the story? Do we care about the brand and the specifics of the brand when it adds zero value to the story? The focus of the book is aliens.

No, that is where a content editor is worth what you pay for. Whoever they used failed at their job.

‘Predators and editors’ is another topic I will cover in the future.

Another author is an SME on guns. What they ‘show off’ in their narrative has nothing to do with the story, plot, or what will happen. Those are just two examples of what not to do.

I don’t think we can pinpoint who coined the phrase ‘Kill Your Darlings,’ but they are correct.

In the movie industry, there is something called the cutting room floor. What ends up there are parts of the movie that don’t move the show along. Killing your darlings are things that the author loves but either detract from the plot or don’t move the story along.

Earth’s Last Hope is a science fiction fantasy with a strong female lead.

Romantic involvement as the subplot introduces the reader to the protagonist. Advanced writers will recognize the negative arc before it turns positive. There is no muddy middle, and I would start this book early in the day, so you are not up all night.

As a side note, I completely destroy the Earth, kill off 8 billion people, and we have a happy ending. In fact, you will love the finish. Don’t spoil it by attempting to read the ending first, as you won’t get it.

Read it one page at a time, and just enjoy it.

From that description, who is my audience?

I will give you a hint. It is written for today. 2023

In our anthology, I have a story called The Star People. ‘The Star People’ is the introduction to Dr. S. Richards. The negative arc comes from her brokenness from her dysfunctional family life as a child. The story in the anthology is a PG version of those chapters in Earth’s Last Hope.

If you are a writer, author, or want-to-be, I am the Carrollton League of Writers Executive Director. We meet in person and on Zoom.

After the pandemic, we decided to keep Zoom. Streaming services such as Zoom allow us to reach speakers, authors, and other creative types from around the globe.

If you want to speak with our group, please drop me an e-mail.

Frequently we have authors join us to talk about their work, how they got there, and so on.

I had a thought as I was closing this blog. Isn’t it odd that the UFO they shot down in Roswell in 1947 was later claimed to be a balloon? Where is that guy with the wild hair that screams Aliens? It seems we have a history with UFOs and balloons.


Scott Taylor

What the hell is going on?

What the hell is going on?

To start this blog, let me first tell you that what you think is the truth is probably anything but.

As an author, I do my best not to be distracted by the news. Why?

First, the news is either broadcast through a lens of bias or is straight-out propaganda.

I like Bill Mahar, and I also like Ben Shapiro. Where have you been if you don’t know those names?

Bill is a classic liberal, and Ben is a traditional conservative. Both are intelligent people and worthy of your time.

Republicans and Democrats are dehumanized and marginalized by the media. If you have been brainwashed by the left, you won’t consider listening to a conservative. If, on the other hand, the right has bent your ear, you will dismiss anything you hear from the democrats.

It’s not enough to divide us along political ideologies. They need us divided along racial lines too.

Our current administration is going out of its way to curry favor with people who typically lean left by demonizing white males. I find what our leaders say offensive and, in the words of this generation, cray cray.

Bill went on Ben’s show. He clearly had based much of his ideology on talking points by the left.

I don’t think Ben shifted his opinions by anything Bill had to say. On the other hand, I moved some of my thoughts by what I heard. While both men are articulate and funny, I think Ben’s opinions are based on history and reality vs. what Bill heard on CNN.

The first lesson in life is,

  • Don’t believe everything that you hear.
  • Follow the money.
  • Just maybe you can judge a book by its cover.
  • Watch what someone does, and discount what they say until their actions match their values.

The world is a crazy place. Megalomaniacs with Nukes hold the entire world hostage. Weapons of mass destruction should be outlawed worldwide…period. I touch on this in my latest novel, Earth’s Last Hope.

If you wonder why there are so many shootings, you must follow where people get their input.

  • Hollywood
  • The Media
  • The gaming industry

Garbage in equals garbage out.

When we think of a time when the world, or at least this country (USA), was at its peak, Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver were what we watched. Shows with moral construct.

Acting up in school would get your butt warmed up rather nicely. It was both painful and humiliating. It should be.

Gun Reform is not the answer. Mental illness is.

We will never fix the problem. Both the entertainment industry and the gaming industry own too many lawmakers.

Until we clean up DC, the world is in peril. Money is the root of all evil. Money turns into power, and power is addictive as any drug that was ever conceived.

While Elon thinks occupying Mars is the answer, we must look past Mars. Read my novel for my thoughts on the subject.

My thoughts are my own; I am not for sale. My book is.

If you like it, please give it a review.

You can find it on Amazon and the E-version on Smashwords.


Are We From Mars?

Are We From Mars?

Are we mistaking climate change for evolution?

Stay tuned and be forewarned, I am a SciFi Author, and I think way outside the box.

I have studied Climate Change to some degree for years now. The first thing one must do is take politics out of the equation. Politics equals power and money. Corruption goes hand in hand with power plays, so one must remove the bias injected into the equation by discounting those with anything to gain.

When Greta came on the scene, the science she was parroting was faulty. You can make the graph say anything you want when you overlay data from different data sets. Hence the infamous hockey stick.

Politicians attempt to use harmful sound bites to steer the conversation, as people will more than likely click the headline that predicts the end of the world.

For the following few paragraphs, I want you to take a deep breath, sit back, and relax. I want you to clear your mind of the bullshit that has been spoon-fed to the world.

Again, I am a science fiction author. I think well outside the lines that those who educate us would like us to color in. I am not that person; I color outside the lines. I try to be the most argumentative person on the block if I think you’re wrong. Someone must stand up to the robots who want us all as slaves. I am that person.

There are solutions to the world’s difficulties that we may not look at because those resolutions are not inside the box. Those who own the media are controlled by oligarchs. Those people who got rich from screwing the little people. People like you and I, they want us to be smart enough to be useful idiots. When you are too old or damaged to be helpful, like a broken tool, they toss you in the dustbin. In this case, the dustbin is the end of the line in a disease-infested nursing home run by people who treat you like trash.

In my latest novel, Earth’s Last Hope, I weave into the tapestry of my story some primary hypotheses with fiction. The story is not heavy science and is more about us today and where we are headed if we don’t turn this ship around. To be clear, there are aliens, lusty ladies, space travel, Area 51, Roswell, and forbidden love. Before the main character’s arc goes positive, we live in the head of a person who is broken by her father and life.

You will love the main character and be impressed with the supporting cast.

There are many characters. Each plays an integral part in the story. As I wrote the book, I made notes of who was who, and for your enjoyment, I included that list of names. I know them each by heart. You might like to reference the ‘manifest’ in the back.

Many surprises, twists, and turns will keep you turning the pages.

If you want to know where the Earth is headed, look at Mars. If you have the ear of that climate change Greta person, tip her to this novel. Even she would like it.


Yes, my friends, I have a pretty good idea based on a hypothesis that this planet will eventually go the way of Mars.

Someone will read my book or this blog, take the ideas, and claim them for themselves.

I can guarantee that plagiarism, theft of ideas, and so forth are rampant on the internet.

I have had novels stolen, translated into different languages, posted in other countries, and sold. I don’t make money. Someone else does.  

Copyright means nothing outside of the US.

I am going to address climate change…I will also tell you why this planet has headed the way of Mars.

Are you ready?

Are we going to be flooded by rising oceans?

Is the weather more intense because your grandfather drives a hummer?

No… We are in much more danger of humanity being snuffed out by lunatics who think you can win a war with Nukes. …

Again…look to Mars… Mars was once a blue planet. How can that be?

Are you scratching your head yet?

Do you want to know how that can be?

Here is a hint, if you want to know the future of Venus, look at the Earth.

If you have read this far and are intrigued, you could do me a solid and buy my book. I get a small cup of coffee for every book sold. Bezos makes the bulk of the money. With enough coffee, I can keep thinking outside the proverbial rectangle.

As a side note, Greta just released her latest book on climate change after talking to experts.

The mature adult Greta just got into a pissing contest with Andrew Tate. Pffft. I wonder why there are nukes in the world; I just can’t figure it out. SMH

The media will make Greta rich by hyping spooky stories about the sky falling. Her biased opinion invalidates any science she purports to consider relevant. They will make her rich because they like to push negative stories like Climate change to control the narrative. Chicken Little and Greta have lots in common. Too bad she never read the children’s book. Had she studied science from an unbiased source, not the IPCC, she might have tempered her scowl.

I think you will find my work of fiction much more entertaining than hers. Scientists will probably find my theories closer to the facts than charts and graphs based on screwed-up data.

We lose 90 tons of atmosphere every day thanks to the cosmic wind. That atmosphere contains thousands of gallons of water. Could the droughts, dried-up rivers, and even our Grand Canyon that look like the canals on Mars be signs of things to come? Could those spires of land poking out of lakes and different oceans be a precursor to the fact that we are losing water and not going to have sea level rise?

Do you really believe the White Cliffs of Dover rose from the depths of the abyss? Do you really think that the Grand Canyon pushed up from somewhere below?

Read my novel.



Earth’s Last Hope and/or The Hills We Climb

Film at 11

Film at 11

Don’t you hate clickbait?

Admittedly one would have to be willfully stupid to fall for the antics of the ratings-craving media. If you put Trump in the title, the haters will click to see who is suing him now. The MAGA crowd will click to hate on the haters. It’s a win-win.

An article in the news today is about the Earth’s core that has stopped spinning. Top scientists agree that it has stopped. And…

Here is the pitch…I wrote a book called Earth’s Last Hope…Follow the link.

In my humble opinion, we have it all wrong. Scaring the shit out of people to change their behavior is how they control the masses. Film at 11.

Tectonic plate movement pushed the land together, causing it to buckle and rise out of the slime. There is also land that is now high and dry, caused by water loss due to the cosmic wind. The inconvenient truth that is making Gore a billionaire is a damned lie.

If you want to know the fate of the Earth, take a look at Mars. Yes, folks, that’s the future of the planet, no matter how much carbon dioxide you fart.

Unlike the x bartender, self-acclaimed climate expert, AOC, or the infamous Greta watch me scowl thorn in the butt berg, they are willfully stupid.

Allow me to elucidate.

Once upon a time, the Earth had much more water than now. Not just two thousand years ago when Jesus was doing his thing, or when Noah was searching the hardware stores for gopher wood, but a long time ago. We are talking about little land being above the water line so long ago.

I get a kick out of the flood story in the bible. Where did the water go?

Listen up. I believe that I know.

There is this thing known as the cosmic wind. Yes, wind, but not the kind that blows your hair around.

We lose 90 tons of atmosphere every day.

“WHAT?!” That (?!) is an Interrobang, btw.  Save the interrobang… 😊

Yes, (90) ninety tons of atmosphere is blown into the vacuum of space every day. I suspect the water levels will continue to recede, and the climate might warm up because there is less ice. The ice melts and fills the oceans, but the weather will change as the ice melts, and there is less of it.

Again if you want a preview of what is to come, look at Mars.

If you don’t believe me, think again.

Greta, listen up. Fifty-odd years before Galileo studied the heavens with a telescope, a guy named Copernicus determined that the planets revolved around the Sun. The church was not happy with him or Galileo.

This is important, Greta. Pay attention.

Let’s admit that religion gets in the way of the facts without throwing this whole post into a rant on religion vs. science. If God has a language, I think it would be math. That is just my opinion.

Now to the meat of the issue. Why is the Earth headed the way of Mars?

If you study the Sun, you must have at least wondered what fuels that big ball of light.

Without the math, which you wouldn’t look at anyway, the Sun burns, uses up, 5 million tons of its fuel every second. Go back and read that sentence again.

Why is that important?

Back to Newton and Copernicus, the Earth is falling. Each body in orbit around the Sun is falling. When you add in velocity, you have an orbit.

Our moon is falling, as are the space station and all those satellites up there. Along with the space junk, it is all falling. When the space junk slows down, it loses its orbit or decays, and then we have to worry if the sky is falling.

The Earth has a velocity of about half a million miles an hour. In my book, ‘Earths Last Hope, our alien friends capture Venus and tug it into a higher orbit by increasing its velocity.

Back to the Sun. If the mass of the Sun is decreasing by 5 million tons a second, sooner or later the orbits of the bodies that are falling will do what?

If you said they move into higher orbits, you are a star. Well, not a star like the Sun, but you get a proverbial gold star.

If a body such as the Earth, which is more or less in the goldilocks zone, goes into a higher orbit, what do you think will happen to the climate?

Take your time; I can wait.

On a cold night, when you back your butt up to the fireplace to warm yourself, you might notice that the further away from the fire you get, the cooler it gets.

As the Sun loses mass, the orbits of all the planets will change and move outward. Venus one day might be where humanity ends up. I hope we stop killing each other and grow up so we can tackle the tough questions and not ‘he who dies with the most money wins.’

The climate will get cooler as we move further away from our star. Since the process is so slow, you will never see it. I would wager that Mars was once much closer to the Sun, as were the rest of the planets.

If Al who didn’t invent the internet, Gore really gave a shit about the climate, he would not be flying his private jet around the globe. Scaring the shit out of you is his ‘film at 11’ moment. (that is the absolute inconvenient truth.)

You can read my book. It is a page-turner. I might have other thoughts on Mars in the book…spoiler alert…


Why Write…New Release

Why Write…New Release

Why Write,

As I publish my latest novel, ‘Earth’s Last Hope’ people ask me, why?

That’s a head-scratcher.

I will couch this next paragraph with blunt honesty. Everyone thinks that they can write.

While you might have made it through high school English and college, that doesn’t mean you can write. It’s not impossible, but it takes practice. It takes more than just practice. It takes passion.

When I think back on all the hours I spent learning to paint or play the guitar, the passion drove me.

“Why?”  That is the question that drove me.

Since I began my writing career, I have written over forty-five million words. Yes, that’s quantified.

Much like my early painting, I cringe when I look backward at my previous works.

‘That is how it should be.’

Some predators thought they could write. Since these predators can’t, they pose as SMEs in a facet of writing.

I know of nobody that doesn’t think their first novel isn’t going to be a New York Times Best Seller.

Reality is a sucky thing, but don’t stop dreaming. Dream big. Be real… Get beta readers that you trust.

These posers know that if you spend time writing a novel, you are so involved that you will spend money to make it big. While they laugh all the way to the bank, your hopes are what you got for your money.

I get that same ‘feeling’ when I purchase a lottery ticket. My dollars’ worth of entertainment is this. “What will I do with all that money when I win?”

Friends, that is the only reason to spend that dollar. If you paid attention in your statistics class, you understand that the house always wins. Stay out of gambling joints unless you have money to piss away.

Yes, I go to Vegas but have an ‘oh shit budget.’ The key is to realize that the ATM is not a slot machine.

When those wheels don’t end where I wanted,” Well, Shit.”

When the house wins….”Well, shit.”

Vegas is an atmosphere for entertainment. Not a retirement strategy.

Writing novels is not a retirement strategy; it is entertainment. Firstly, it is entertainment for the author. Secondly, it is a stepping stone toward being better at your craft. Thirdly and lastly, it is entertainment for your audience.

With those few words of wisdom, let me expound on my latest novel.

Earth’s last hope, in short, is this… Hope.

In this novel, I kill off 8 billion folks and destroy the planet, and …the story has a happy ending.

Please don’t spoil it for yourself and read the last chapter first; it won’t make sense.

For you writers, the characters had negative and positive arcs. The story has negative and positive arcs.

For you readers, it’s a page-turner.

The story is light sci-fi, a thriller, and a romance with a strong female lead.

I hope you read my book, give me feedback and if you like it, please go to the place you purchased it and leave a review.

Over a million books are put into the marketplace every year. Trust me, few of those books are worth the time to read.

The Star People is the backstory of the main character. I published a version of it in our league’s Anthology to whet the appetite of readers like yourself. In Earth’s Last Hope, those few chapters are included but modified to go along with the rating and theme of the book.

Some names changed, as did the rating. MA 14.

Thanks for reading the blog and for following me.

Follow me if you are interested in writing. I pick different topics and expound on them, cutting through the BS. Just free info from me to you.

Much Love -Scott

Earth’s Last Hope
Toxic Twitter

Toxic Twitter

Around 1982 I ran a BBS. For those who were not into computers (or alive), in 1982, it was an age when personal computers became affordable. They were still damned expensive. If you were to adjust for inflation, the cost of a PC back then would be equivalent to $15K today.

Bill Gates had just bought DOS from a fellow in Seattle for five thousand dollars, repackaged it, and leased it to IBM.

A BBS hosted at home meant a dedicated phone line, a UPS, and other hardware and software. A BBS was a hefty investment.

Water seeks the lowest level; if you sleep with the dogs, you wake up with fleas. Two cliches apply to my efforts to spend this kind of money and time.

The idea of the BBS was a place to exchange technical ideas with other like-minded folks.

It wasn’t long into the process when the first pornography was uploaded to my rather expensive hobby. I suppose Cheryl Tiegs disappearing one piece is mild in comparison, but it was pretty surprising. Someone bothered to take the time to photoshop her picture from SI, make it a GIF, and upload it. Of course, it went viral, and I imagine that even today, you can locate it floating around on the internet.

It must have made an impression; that was forty years ago.

The BBS came down when someone uploaded porn that was more graphic and certainly nauseating. The fleas were rampant. I wanted nothing to do with depravity which some people found amusing.

Fast forward forty-odd years.

I get these messages in the e-mail from Twitter that tells me they miss me.

As an author, social media is essential. Telling people about my latest book release and getting them interested is a perfect application of the media.

I am in the finishing stages of writing a novel called Earth’s Last Hope. As an adjunct to this process, I went back on Twitter last evening to see if my accounts still worked, and so on.

To my shock and horror, what I found in a matter of minutes made a nude Cheryl appear godly.

Without the gory detail, I saw a man hanging from a bridge. It was real. I witnessed animal cruelty which I find reprehensible, and then I saw a video of an execution. Yes, folks, Twitter suggested it “for you,” and there it was. A man was killed with a backhoe.

There were other less shocking things.

The point I am making is this. Those kinds of videos will screw some folks up. You cannot unsee an execution.

There was another execution by a cop. The cop shot the man several times. The video showed him drawing up into the fetal position before he expired.

You cannot unsee this stuff.

This post is about mental health. We wonder why kids of a young age shoot their teachers or parents and blame guns. It is easy to blame something that you can’t control. It is much more difficult to glance at the mirror and think that you might be part of the problem.

We see teenagers do violent things with each other and wonder why. Could we be the role models that they are following?

I know a company pays people to scrub the internet of such stuff. I know folks who work for this company. Could it be that they have an axe to grind against Musk, so they are allowing this kind of crap to stay visible?

Back in school, we were thrilled to see a projector in the classroom after lunch. That meant a movie. Hmmm, we were shown the film ‘The Execution of Private Slovak. Why?

What compelled the teacher to think this was an appropriate film for kids?

All these years later, I remember the film vividly. I remember them telling the soldiers who would be firing the bullets into this man, where the heart was, and so on.

Vietnam was still going on, thanks to LBJ. The draft was still in vogue, and I suspect that since we were close to that age to be ‘conscripted,’ the film might be shown to keep us from fleeing to Canada. That’s a guess.

My point is the film was disturbing. Much like the things we see in these Tik Tok videos, much of it is disturbing to the core.

Garbage in, Garbage out is something I believe strongly. I am all for free speech. I think that age-appropriate free speech, much like age-appropriate situations, is necessary. How are young minds supposed to interpret things like snuff films? Now, if you add to the mix actual executions not made in Hollywood, how do they process something so grotesque?

Twitter, in its current form, is not safe for minors. I don’t want that stuff in my head, and I know how to process it.

Twitter should have a safe filter, much like Google’s safe search.


Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis

Why did it stop working, or why doesn’t it work?

Precocious doesn’t begin to define my childhood.

When my alarm clock stopped ticking, I carefully removed one screw at a time until all hell broke loose. Yes, gears and parts flew across the room, some lost forever in the dustbin of history. I never understood why the clock stopped working, as there was not much left to forensically examine.

The lesson learned was, don’t mess with clocks or things with springs. I didn’t understand that lesson as I have repaired more clocks than I can count.

Curiosity drove me to take more things apart that were discarded. I can admit now that I walked the alleys home from school on trash days to see what treasures were abandoned by our throwaway society.

TVs to Stereos, lawnmowers, edgers and a host of other things filled my storage shed with parts galore.

  • Why did they toss it out?
  • Why did it stop working?
  • What does it take to repair it?

I started a lawn service business using discarded lawn equipment I learned to repair. Knowing nothing about running a business, I cobbled together a plan. I made small advertisements to canvass the neighborhood using carbon paper, a ruler, and the best printing I could muster.

My teenage years were spent walking around the streets of my neighborhood, wagging a recycled lawn mower. My first car was paid for by my lawn-mowing efforts.  

When I moved out of my parent’s home, they were delighted as my collection of treasures went with me. I found a modest place to live where I rented a mobile home.

Millennials today would not step foot in such a place as they don’t understand the value of doing it yourself. I digress… I tried many jobs, from press operator to managing a Radio Shack and TV repair. All self-taught. I learned how to spell autodidact, the personification of who I am.

The library was my home away from home. From history to how things worked, they knew me well.

For years I worked as a field service engineer. I met some of the most significant people during that time. Presidential candidates to high-profile attorneys and even rich villains who were later sent to prison for murder.

Befriending some of the pioneers in heart surgery was rather unique. I was intrigued enough to overcome my repulsion with blood and gooey things. Had I had the funds, I would have become a doctor. I witnessed surgeries, autopsies, and a host of other medical procedures.

I could name-drop, and many of you would know the names.

One of the doctors I knew was at Parkland working in the emergency room when Kennedy was brought in after ‘one loan bullet did so much damage to so many people.’ Pfft

I await the day that our leaders tell us the truth. I won’t hold my breath.

We have dumbed down society to the point that people willingly buy that story. We have stopped asking questions that are critical to the community. If we studied the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, we would see that we are headed down that same path. Instead of worshiping Athena or Mercury, we worship the dollar and cheap shit from China.

Since I funded everything in my life with a job of some kind, I had to settle for jobs where one didn’t need a license or certification.

With the invention of the throwaway razor, society has transformed into a disposable mindset which is as catastrophic to the climate as private jet travel.

We fill landfills with things that should be recycled. Apathy rules. Nobody calls anyone out on it.

Other than those idiots destroying artwork to vilify those who actually work and drive cars, the educated have taken a back seat to chaos and victimhood.

I was known as the guy who could fix anything at my church. I ended up with all kinds of home appliances from my extended family. I did this to assist those in my extended family and to keep shit out of the landfill.

While that is another story, I had to leave the church and find another and then claim ignorance so I could have time to myself. Ying and Yang…we need balance.

I made notes on why so much of this Chinese-made stuff was suddenly on my bench to repair for them.

Cheap stuff from China has taken me back to my days of digging through the trash. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The Christmas tree this year has been adorned with the usual lights. Finding the one bulb that doesn’t work takes up more time than the tree is worth, but…why fill the landfill with a pre-lit tree for one 2-cent bulb?

We complicated the event with these little motors that twirl the ornaments around as if by magic.

Amazon delivered a package with these little plug-in devices, and guess what? They didn’t work or stopped working quickly.

The problem with this is equivalent to who I am. Most would take them back to where they would end up in the landfill. The makers of these things most probably have slave labor making them. The question was, are you smarter than a five-year-old Chinese kid?

Tiny clips held the front together, and this plastic thing on the back had the back together.

The root cause analysis of the failure is the gears on the lower part of the mechanism were assembled in a faulty shell. The pin that the gears spin on allows the axel to slide down to the motor.

Moving the gears to the other side, where the casing was in good shape, fixed the problem.

I found similar issues with the other motors, which surprised me.

If you look at some of my other blogs, you will find similar stories about cheap SHIT from China.

Why am I mentioning this?

I have examined many things from China that would not pass the Underwriter Laboratory or be UL-approved. They are not looking at things like this if they are still around.

Could this get hot enough to start a fire?

Maybe so on a real tree, which is a tinderbox in the making. The moral of the story is, don’t leave the tree unattended.

There are other devices that people should pay attention to, and those are what I call WALL WARTS.

Looking around your home, you will find many things powered by these square boxes that take up both outlets.

Many of them are not even fused. If your pet chews through the wire and it shorts, there could be a fire. Unplug those things that are not in use. They consume electricity even if they are not currently attached to an apparatus that is powered on.

Put down the video game and the remote control, and pick up a book.

Have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!


Insanity Run Amuck

Insanity Run Amuck

A sudden rush of noise distracted me from being careful of the truck ahead of me, which seemed to have trouble staying in one lane. As his tires crept over one white line and then over the other, clearly, the driver was not paying careful attention to what he was doing. Perhaps this truck was not updated with the safety devices, or the driver didn’t care.

The noise, however, was not from the truck. It was from not one, not two, but three sports cars weaving in and out of vehicles on the busy freeway.

Two were Dodge Chargers, and the other was a Ford Mustang.

Traffic was moving at the posted speed. These folks passed us like we were not moving.

The last of the three, a charger, came inches from my back bumper. Had it collided with me at that speed, the formula F=M*A would have applied.

It would have been like a ‘pit maneuver’ at highway speeds.

Folks, this was at 17:05 hours last Friday, the 18th of November, on Westbound GBT.

Since this was on the tollway, is there a way to check which vehicles were on the tollway? I bet there is.

I won’t state the obvious of how utterly stupid this action is. People go to events where fast cars are involved to see the wrecks. Much like boxing, it is a sick sport. That is my opinion.

I live over a mile from major highways. However, I can still hear the Ninja bikes and other loud cars occasionally on those highways. I listen to them as they put the proverbial pedal to the metal.

There must be a way to track these drivers after the fact. There will be some who defend their actions, although they are indefensible. If the death of your loved one was caused by their stupidity, you would not even think to protect them.

Think of the attorney seeking to defend such a deviant’s actions. How can they sleep at night?

Possibly I am oversensitive because an intoxicated driver almost killed me. A head-on collision at highway speeds changed my life forever. Over thirty years later, every movement is a reminder of that day. Whenever I get behind the wheel, PTSD reminds me of how tenuous life is. It is a struggle to leave the house and get on the road because of the actions of one inconsiderate SOB.

As we head into this Holiday season, I implore you to think before you decide to drive while under the influence. The life you save might be your own.

Even after the fact, I would encourage the traffic enforcement folks to go after stupid people like that. I am not interested in speeding per se but in reckless driving, including speeds far exceeding rated maximums.

As you travel this holiday season, be on the alert for stupid people. Statistically, there are safer times of the day and the week to travel.

Early in the morning (after sunrise) until noon is relatively safe. From noon to first light the following day, rates of accident increase logarithmically, tapering off the closer you get to morning.

Rush hour most any weekday, sees a higher number of car crashes. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are much higher in incidents of accidents than Monday through Thursday.

We can apply a little common sense to this equation and determine the source of the rise in accidents. They are lower when people are expected to be working or will need to return to work than on other days of the week. Holidays are worse for that very reason.

I wonder if we could sue the liquor industry like other idiots are attempting to sue gun manufacturers. It’s obviously the booze causing the problem, right?