Moses and pigs

So listen to this revelation I came up with and or was visited upon me due to boredom and excessive snow totals and yowling cats.
What if… Wait for it… What if Moses did not faithfully rewrite what God said to him about pork. Specifically, what if God said…

“Moses, thou and thou people shalt not eat pigs, nor boars, nor piglets, no guinea pigs nor anything pig named or sounding. And also thou shalt not ever suffer a video to play on the internet where someone pours a can of cola over a pork roast and worms crawl out of it… Got that, Moses?”

“Um yes, pigs, piglets, pork roasts.”
“Good,” says God. “Now, moving along to false idols and idolatry in general… Thou and thou people shalt…”

Now, as we know, when Moses talked to the people he left out the internet video part. We can’t really blame Moses, if that happened at all, of course, but for me and others it is a horror every time someone cooks pork now… I worry…

Was the pork cooked the correct amount of minuets? Hours? Days?

Does anybody really know what the time is?

Do I need meat so badly that I am willingly to eat meat that worms have taken up residence in?

Did all the worms die during cooking or did some make it through?

Did they evolve and now we need more heat or even something else to kill them?

Or, possibly, were they like my brother David F. Sweet and I, and did they build blanket forts over the registers and being thus protected were they then saved from heat stroke, or whatever killed all the other worms? And then, were those two living worms able to survive and infest me when I ate pork? … …

I only know that it could be… If only Moses had remembered to include the internet warning… I would still be infected, maybe, possibly, but I wouldn’t know it…. Oh the horror… The horror…



Learn Guitar repair and instrument building! https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Works-Big-Book/dp/1549716905



 

Uncle Geo’s homemade chili and jumbo dog dinner

Uncle Geo’s homemade chili and jumbo dog dinner.


This is the recipe for the dinner I made mom and I tonight.
First, go to Walmart and buy a can of chili. As a bonus you can then write a funny anecdotal story about the Walmart trip when you get home.
While you are there at Walmart buy a package of the Jumbo hot dogs that you know your mother likes.
Optionally you might want to buy a package of the jumbo hot dog rolls to go with the giant package of jumbo hot dogs.
Okay, try very hard to be good at Walmart so that when you write the anecdotal humorous story it doesn’t have any felonious descriptions in it or even worse have to be delayed due to an arrest warrant misunderstanding of some sort.
When you are ready clear a space on the counter top next to the stove. Get a few squares of paper toweling and place them there because if you are like me there is going to be one hell-of-a mess by the time you are done. And if you are a neat person, well, good for you.
So get the jumbo hot dogs out of the freezer and place them on the paper toweling. This would be after you have split the hot dogs into packages of two and thus made it easy to retrieve and use them. Um, I didn’t do that this time but I do it almost every other time… Sometimes. So get out the dullest butter knife you can find and carefully try to pry two of the hot dogs from the frozen blob. NO! Do not even think of using a butchers knife or a steak knife because, as I can attest you may lacerate a finger… Or two, or hell, even three before you pry lose two of those frozen suckers.
Okay, now open the cupboard door and retrieve one of the cans of chili (I purchased two because very often one will end up on the floor somehow… Damn, I wish we had a dog.).
Okay here I would like to extol the virtues of the ring-pull topped cans Walmart is now selling for some items like this chili I purchased. Grasp the ring firmly; no, not with the nearly amputated pinkie finger from the computer incident, use the ring finger which; let’s face it, is never going to have a ring on it again so if it is injured who cares. Okay now toss the lid in the garbage. Yes, I will be yelled at later about how it should have been rinsed and recycled and blah, blah, blah, yackity yack.
Set the can down and compose yourself because this is usually where the contents of any can I have opened ends up on the floor somehow. Get a spoon and spoon the contents into a saucepan. Yes, spoon them, because trying to shake them out into the pan has never gone well. Clean out the can, lick the spoon: Taste that? That is home made chili right there. Put the can in the sink and run some water in it and then peel the label off and throw it away outside in the garbage can so know one can ever find it.
Next take the two pried apart and pretty chewed up hot dogs and toss them into the pan also. Slap a lid over that. Turn the heat to very low, clean up the mess and go load a guitar video to Facebook… Unless you don’t have any guitar videos then you’ll have to load something else.
Come back a few minutes later; stir the frozen jumbo dogs and the chili and then take about a 1/4 pound of bacon ends and pieces and put them in a bowl, cover the top of that bowl with a saucer plate. Microwave that for five minutes. When done you will have crispy bacon pieces, give or take adding another minute or so to achieve that.
Stir that chili again, notice the hot dogs have thawed and are swelling. Wait another three or four minutes and then shut the heat off, remove the bacon from the bowl and towel it and then cut it into small pieces.
go into the living room and announce to all present that you have made home made chili and it is ready to be served. Add a tortilla to the plate as I did for myself, or a jumbo hot dog roll or just plain dog and chili as mom had it with bacon chunks spread on it. Top all of that with grated cheese and serve it hot.
Oh, deny you bought any of it at Walmart. Talk about how the tomatoes nearly failed this summer, but pulled through. Talk about how it was your first year growing Jalapenos. Everyone will be impressed including the dog if you have one. Cats, probably not so much, mine wasn’t.



Hey! Check out my Earth’s Survivors series. This series is only around for a short time longer and then it is gone forever. Get this book free while it is available, Geo…

Kate is trying to stay alive after most of the Earth’s population has been wiped out… She may not make it #eBook Click Here: https://goo.gl/y2fzZr



 More in this vein from Geo Dell…

Hash, beans, messy counters, Houdini the cat and ice cream

A basic trip to Walmart and free eBooks



 

Fixing my own car

Fixing my own car

A few weeks back we were on the way home and the muffler fell off the car. It decided to hang on by the barest of thread and so it dragged all the way home and made a hell of a racket.

I consider myself a do-it-yourself guy. Sort of like a modern day cave man: Even if I can’t do it well, shouldn’t do it; been warned not to do it, I’m doing it. So I got on-line found the parts locally: Muffler and tail-pipe turn down piece and after nearly having to take a nitro over the price I looked on Amazon, where I buy everything, and found the same parts for less than a third of the local discount auto bargain fix-it-yourself guys price. I determined that since I have Prime and free shipping I could get the parts in two days and so I ordered them.

The parts came after much finger clicking and tapping and cat petting (I didn’t have to pet the cat the cat just wanted to be petted). I spent two hours on a piece of cardboard from a shipping box wrestling the parts into submission. Ye-Haw, I thought. I know, not very caveman like, but I am not sure exactly what a caveman would say since they didn’t have Chevy’s to work on. I believe back then all they had was Fords.

Mom drove the car into town… Well toward town… She made it a mile and then I heard one hell of a racket out front. I was in the back in my office. It sounded like someone started a lawn mower: One of those old ones that the muffler had rotted off of. Well, I was half right, it did have something to do with mufflers. Curiosity lead me to the front of the house where mom informed me the muffler had fallen off.

If you are a caveman you do not believe in this. Things you fix stay fixed. Bears sleep through winter. Naked bodies should have hair on them… So, I refused to believe this. I went outside and looked under the car and sure enough the muffler had fallen off. Impossible I said, yet there was the evidence in front of me. A new muffler all scraped up from being dragged home by the tailpipe hanger.

This is the part where I said some cuss words we have all never used and then I got out my trusty cardboard and crawled back under the car. Hmmm, I said. And hmmm again, and then I looked forward to see why the muffler had fallen off as it was obvious the muffler had been torn loose as the clamp was still attached. That was when I noticed that the entire exhaust was on the ground. All of it… All the way to the front of the car at the catalytic convertor.

They pay almost $550.00 scrap for a junk car now and I thought, well, ol’ Chevy you are dead meat. I had visions of Breaking Bad and Walter and Jessie crushing up the Bounder. Sigh. But then I went back on-line, skipped the local’s this time and priced that front section of pipe to the header pipe. I assumed it was two pieces, maybe three. In the old days it would be, but it was all one piece. I found the same pipe, called the Resonator pipe because it has a built in resonator and a long pipe that joins to the catalytic converter and then extends to the wheel well and then all the way to the back of the car, for wide variances in the prices: From a few hundred to fifty bucks. I used a few more carefully chosen expletives having to do with things I use expletives for and then bought the pipe, a pair of ramps to drive the car up onto so my fat butt could crawl under the car, some clamps and some cat treats because the cat was right there and had seen the treats on my frequently ordered list and meowed. No stupid cat is my Houdini.

Yesterday I am editing a story and the last parts arrived and so I went out at noon and dragged out my now crumpled and smelly cardboard (It was rained on, and I think a neighborhood dog wizzed on it too) and went to work. Two things here: One; I am out of shape barely getting back on my feet, so I told myself I would go slowly, ha ha ha. Two, rotted, rusty pieces of metal are not having any happy thoughts at all, and this pipe system was no exception. I ended up having to cut the bolts off of the Catalytic convertor where the resonator pipe joins to get it loose, that was after an hour of prep work, um, crawling around looking at this and that and wishing it would fall off. After I cut the pipe loose I realized there is a reason they do these things in a garage on a lift. How to get the pipe out? So I jacked one side of the car up and gained enough room to get the old pipe out and the new pipe in. I called that car so many names it turned from silver to red.

Anyway, in with the new pipe, back on with the muffler, all new hangers, bolts, clamps and voila a new system was in place. I went back into my cave with the other cave men and grunted with satisfaction. Tomorrow we are going hunting… er editing…

Intolerance from Geo Dell…

Intolerance from Geo Dell…

I wanted to touch on intolerance a little bit today. The more I see intolerance in this world this more amazed I am. Does it take a truck to run over some people to get them to see? I tend to not want to shove my complaints off on someone else. I see that often and I don’t like it, you have your own opinion or you don’t. If you do and you say things like, “Well, this guy said that, or That guy said this.” Then you are just wasting time. You are arguing someone else’s position and hedging your bets so that you don’t have to say anything about it yourself. I would call that chickenshit, but if course that isn’t politically correct so I would have to call it Waffling or something, but we all still know it’s chickenshit. And if you read my blogs I would say you are already aware that I am not politically correct anyway, nor do I have any aspirations of being politically correct. In fact I think political correctness has its own place in the chickenshit lane. It says, I really want to say this, but I am afraid of what saying that can do to me.
Intolerance: I am a Christian but I am also part Native American so I kind of mix those two things. I could lie and say, No, I am completely this way, or, I am completely that way. But I tell the truth when it comes to that because I happen to think the creator would want it that way. The thing is, I have three different kinds of blood in me and I wonder about all three of those cultures.
I don’t really get anything to my face, and I have lived a while so there really isn’t too much that hurts my feelings, at least not when it comes to me. It is when I see intolerance towards others that I tend to get upset, especially if one of those someone’s is someone I care about, or it touches a nerve. Just food for thought about being a human being in this world we live in…



 

Earth’s Survivors box set contains the entire Earth’s Survivors series in one volume.

Book One: Apocalypse.
Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive. Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…

Book Two: Rising From The Ashes.
Earth’s Survivors Rising From The Ashes continues to follow the survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The small groups are growing, branching out in search of a new future. It chronicles their day to day struggles as well as their dreams as they search out new hope in their shattered world…

Book Three: The Nation.
This part of the story really concentrates on the formation of The Nation and the people who will build it and carry it forward, but it also brings along the side story of The Fold and the people who will build that haven. It gives a more complete picture of Adam and Cammy, and picks up the Tale of Billy and Beth, Mike and Candace, Conner and Katie as they work to sort out their lives.

Book Four: Home The Valley.
Home in the valley concentrates on the building of the first and most important settlement of The Nation. The valley settlement is where the people that run the Nation will come from. They will rise to leadership positions across the former United States. The first supply trip out for the Nation nearly turns to disaster, and more of the separate parties join and become one under the Nation Flag.

Book Five: Plague.
Plague outlines the sudden rise of the dead, chronicling the spread across the country. It follows Adam, Beth, Billy and Pearl as they head north looking for an antidote that can bring the plagues to end. It also sees the first babies born to the Nation, the formation of both the Fold and Alabama Island, and the loss of one of the founders of The Nation without whom the Nation may dissolve…

Book Six: Watertown.
Major Weston read the report twice and then carefully set it back on his desk. Johns or Kohlson: One of the two had stolen samples of SS-V2765. It was not a question. No one else had the access, no one else the proximity or knowledge of where it was stored. Two of the virus, one each of the REX agents were missing. Enough to infect several million people, and that was just the initial infection…

Book Seven: World Order.
This book steps back to the beginning to bring you the story of the Fold. Jessie Stone, why and how Snoqualmie settlement came to be. It begins in present day and then falls back in time to the beginning of the Apocalypse. The Fold becomes the biggest challenger to the Nations power. The community that can force the Nation into compromise, or bring a war that may destroy both societies…
Get a FREE preview right now!

https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-box-Dell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B01GULFBQA



 

Feel, thoughts about life

Feel, thoughts about life…

Posted by Geo 08-11-2017

Good morning to all. It doesn’t seem possible to me that this summer is nearly over with. Pretty soon fall will be moving in and then the holidays and then I’ll realize another year is shot.

Work:

I spent this past week working on non-writing projects. It feels strange to say that, but it is true. I did spend part of the week doing some Earth’s Survivors writing, even though the series is over. I realized that for me the Earth’s survivors books are not over. I am not saying they will ever be published, but I am saying the story is continuing. I spent a small part of the week writing the back story for a few characters that had no real back story. And the deeper I dig the better it gets for me. I want to know more about them. So I wrote a beginning for those characters too. I think when I can allow myself to get into their world I find that I know it so well that I get lost in it and want to know more, tell more, write more. It makes little difference if I ever publish any of it the story still has to be written out. I think that is what makes someone a writer as opposed to someone who writes for a living. And I no longer write for a living. That part is over with.

 

Questions I often get:

Family: I have been asked more than once about family as it relates to my writing. Where are they, what do they think, etc…

You may notice that I don’t have family members that read my writing, proof read it, make comments about it. I don’t know if that is normal or not. I think I have the same sort of quasi dysfunctional family as everyone else in this country has. I like a few of them, a few of them like me, some of us struggle to get along, a few I could do without and I am sure a few feel that way about me. Makes me wonder what it’s like in other countries, or maybe used to be like in this country. I can remember grandparents that were very strong people. They held things together; the fabric of the family. Now grandparents are shipped off to old folks homes, care centers that really do no more than house geriatric patients, and even places that abuse those patients and are rarely held accountable for that. And why are they there? Because family is a word that now means ‘this tiny, little, immediate group right here around or near me. Not grandparents, not parents, not siblings, just these few. My goals are more important than seeing after the well being of the man/woman people that raised me. And if divorce happens? Well then that little group changes too and the kids grow up without parents. Sometime I look at the world and think it’s pretty much junk. The more we evolve the clearer it becomes what sort of race we are aiming to be: Selfish, self centered tiny universes of our own. Spinning alone through the darkness.

I hope God kills me if I ever start thinking that way again. I take care of my mother here at home and this is a place for her until she passes or doesn’t want to be here. I think that because we are so far apart on our views of this subject there is too much between some of my family and I to work out. And I understand it all because I have been self centered, and thankfully I’m not now.

I had a friend once who made a remark to me about why I am single. I thought, that is a stupid question to ask me. Can’t you see what I am doing? I have traded all of that for responsibility, isn’t that they way we were supposed to be raised? Do you mean I should put my mother in a home so I can have a wife? I think sometimes people mean well, but they don’t think things out past their own small universe.

I guess I said all of that because I wanted to explain why there is no family involved in the process with my books. I don’t really think it is a surprise to anyone who actually lives in this world. And I wanted to say this clearly in a public blog. Everything I write belongs to me. Yes I had thought to leave it when I left, but no. I will decide what to do with it before that time happens. There is a legality in play here and the reason I wrote this worded they way it is.

Writing:

I also wrote the family part of this because truly my life is an open book, but I am also always asked who helped me get started, why I write, who is my support in my family and so on.

Many people want to write, but can never seem to make the grade. They have no support, no encouragement, no one to help them. I had/have none of that and I write. No one calls me up after a long day of writing and tells me how good that was, that they like it. There is no monthly encouragement letter in the box. I don’t have weekly support classes where everyone encourages me to keep writing. People ask those things of me when they write because they assume I must have had all of that. Nope. Didn’t.

Here’s the thing though, I still write nearly every day.

In school my English teacher thought I was an idiot. Music teacher the same. Family the same. That isn’t made up, it’s true. The same may be true for you and if it is then you have to do the work yourself. Love yourself. Praise yourself. Don’t give up. Keep going forward. I can’t say it better than that, if you want it you will have it. I know that sounds like bullshit, I used to think it was, but it isn’t at all. One foot in front of the other every day and keep the end goal in mind and you will get there.

I gave a cousin of mine a set of three books from the original Earth’s Survivors series last year. These were proof books, full of typos, rare, hey if I ever become famous they might actually be worth something too. I didn’t offer them, he asked, so I said “Here you go,” and handed him the set. The Covers were test covers and had Donita the zombie queen on them. He saw the covers and his mouth turned down fast. He took them, but a few seconds later he handed them back and said, “Yeah… I can’t read this stuff I’m a Christian.” “No problem,” I said. After all, I’m a christian too.

If you are a fan you know the books are about people and those people surviving, not evil. Yet I have close family that believes the same way. They can’t read them because it would be against their religion. These are the same people that watch movies and read books that have nothing to do with God at all.

I also got some disapproval because there are gays and lesbians in my books. That they have relationships, love, feel, are depicted like real people. Of course Christianity does not allow for gays and lesbians, so for some Christians it’s okay in their hearts to hate them, keep distance from them. In my real world there are only people. Some are this, some are that. I took what I know and I wrote it and so I couldn’t apologize to my Christianity for that. And my God didn’t ask me to, it was only people who felt that. I wrote about a real world rebuilding itself after a disaster and that world included everyone.

I guess things like that should have hurt my feelings, but they didn’t. It means that your family may only see you one way. Don’t pin your hopes there, go past that. Believe in you. Look at Jesus the Christ. Nobody in his hometown took him seriously at all. He had to go elsewhere before anyone took him seriously. You could be in worse company on your quest to be a writer that’s for sure.

Still, this is one of those places where you should have family or loved ones to count on, but quite often they are not there for you. That’s because sometimes, like you, like me, they are also damaged. Probably have self image problems too and so they can’t see others that might be doing a better job that they are. In effect they can’t see past their own problems, failures, successes. You tend to get stuck in that self pity mode and everything sucks, no matter if it is things you do or others do. So unfortunately for you and I we have to depend on ourselves, but one thing that solves is being let down by those same people.

If you get to know yourself, not the public or daily persona, but you, you will know what your capabilities are. You can start to believe in yourself. Don’t believe in bullshit, don’t believe in things people sell you, believe in you. Do you have a good heart? Good, believe in that. It’s a thing that you know about yourself. Do you care about people? Social issues? Are you artistic? Does music live in your soul? Get to know these things and you will have a real base you can believe in. You, not someone else, you. That way you can not let yourself down either. So that is my advice to people who want to write or accomplish anything else in their lives. I have lived that advice. It works. In the end you should write what you feel, what you know, what you want to write, encourage yourself and you will be fine.

Suicide:

That is a funny topic to ask me about. I can see the reasoning, but my answer has to involve so much of my life that the last few times I have been asked I ignored it. I assume you have read some other things I wrote that discuss that and that is where the questions come from.

Okay. Suicide. I really want to be careful in my portrayal of suicide. Modern Christians believe that suicide is forbidden. They will point to this verse or that verse of scripture as a backup. God says this or that about it, but my problem with that is the same problem I have with many laws touted by modern Christianity and said to have clear pronouncements in scriptures. They don’t. It’s that simple. Show me a clear scripture where God says that Suicide is unforgivable, or a sin greater than another, or even that suicide itself is a sin and I will eat my proverbial hat. It isn’t there.

The problems with modern Christianity is that almost all of it is interpretive. That is why there are dozens of Christian churches that do not get along with one another, even hate each other (In actions I have seen, although they will deny it is hate). If that’s the case I can also misquote or put a spin on some scripture and have my own church inside of five minutes.

There was a time in my life when I was younger and I swallowed all of this hook, line and sinker, but I don’t any longer. Show it to me in writing. Don’t show me scripture that is vague and could cover anything from picking on your sister to skipping school to getting a felonious arrest for dealing drugs or murder. Show it to me in writing, not the Old Testament, which is not about us, but written for the Jews as a book of faith and law, not for Christians. No one can do that, and they can’t show it to me because it doesn’t exist. I have argued it before and the end argument for the other side always comes down to, “Well, it takes faith.” Right. That is so close to “There is a sucker born every minute,” that I just can’t abide it.

So back to suicide and the practical persons understanding of it and God’s feeling about it we may infer from our understanding of God.

I am a Christian. Not a modern Christian but a Christian who believes Bible. What was really said, not all the icing the Catholic Church and a few others put on the cake. After all, the Catholic Church said Mary the Magdalene was a whore for a few thousand years. They finally admitted she wasn’t, but that is the church supposedly founded on the rock, Peter, Jesus’s own disciple, so how could it have gotten it wrong? Because, the church is not run by God. It is run by men and we are fallible.

I could distort scripture and come to the conclusion that maybe Jesus himself committed suicide. After all he knew he would die. He knew the Jews would kill him. Does that make it suicide when he knew these things yet went willingly to be killed? Is that obeying God? Is it suicide? I realize I may make a few enemies here, but my point is that this is not their decision, it is your decision, you and God and what you understand about your relationship. I absolutely do believe that there are some circumstances where it should be an option for you alone. Terminal disease being one of them and yes personal choice being another.

So suicide. I made my own position clear in other writings which I assume the reader is referring to, but for those of you who haven’t read that I’ll repeat it:

I get up every day and I find a reason not to do it. I deal with despair, let downs, tragedy, hate, petty bullshit, plain old uncaring attitudes, loneliness, depression and whatever else comes along. I look for some sort of good in the world. Yes I find bad stuff too, we all do, but every day I continue. I don’t call it quits. Sometimes that is because I feel I would be guilty of a sin if I hurt someone by those actions. I believe our actions are things we are held accountable for by God. So whether I hurt someone through deed or action it is on me and some day God will hold me accountable for that. Other days it is a kind word that keeps me going. And if I wake up some day and the reason to go forward is gone? I’ll make a different decision. It’s my choice.

I got some static for the scene in Earth’s Survivors book three where Molly killed herself after Nellie, her girlfriend was murdered. I think that is the first time I addressed the suicide option. I think that writing was about a real person feeling a real thing in the heat of the moment. Would Molly have killed herself if she had had the time to think it through? I don’t know. She chose not to take that time to think it out.

Is it an unforgivable sin? No. I don’t believe so. I think that although God is the giver of life he also gave us free choice for a reason. It’s our decision. As a human being I would consider murder a sin of a higher magnitude. That is taking someones life when you don’t have that right under any of God’s laws. You are not God and you are not the person. Yet this is a sin that nearly all Christian churches will tell you that God forgives. People who argue this with me will usually end up with, “Well, you’re dead, you can’t ask for forgiveness when you are dead.” I guess that is their Ace in the hole to win the argument. It doesn’t prevail with me though, because two times in my life I have been clinically dead. I have both continued to live and to talk with God during those times. I was not left alone, I had the ability to ask anything of God. There were no restrictions of any kind. If I had needed forgiveness, absolution, I could have asked for it and received it I am sure. In fact all that stuff we sweat daily turned out to be no big deal. And yes, one of those times was a suicide attempt of my own.

Does that mean we should all pull the plug? Stop fighting this crap every day that we fight? No. I think there is so much of the world we can discover, love, be part of it. It means that you should look for those reasons, your reasons the same way I do every day. Find them. Work, because although I did not continue onward into death itself and whatever is there for us, I did get the feeling that this might be a one go around deal. One shot. And you do take these memories with you. There is no hatred, no blaming any longer, just you once you are there. There are a few people here that I love deeply. A few there I want to see again. Why not take those good memories?

I appreciate the questions. I think over the last few years this blog has taken its own direction. I’m never too concerned with the things that are discussed here and sometime discussed further and at length after with some of you. It’s growth. I hope you share in it as well as I do.

Last:

Okay, that’s it for me. This is a little longer than my usual blog. The sponsors on this page are the same people who pay the bills, so give them a look. Want to be a sponsor on this page? Let me know. Feel free to send me feedback, yell at me, hate me, like me, I’m okay with all of it.

Be back soon, hope you grow a little every day, Geo…

A Good Plan

A Good Plan.
I have a plan. I think I spent a good portion of my life without a plan. Just sort of walking along, not really expecting much at all, at least nothing good. I had a larger view of the world that said, “What happens, happens. It’s pretty much ordained, and so there is little I can do about it.” Does that sound ridiculous? Well, it does to me too, now anyway. But for most of my life I had that thought in my head and so, true or not, I believed it to be true and it became true.
Then one day I woke up. I woke up and I looked at the world and I thought “What the hell have I been doing? Why am I in situations I do not want to be in? Where the hell is this car going? Who’s driving?”
After that I went through a period of cynicism. It is the world’s fault. I didn’t have a chance, someone should have told me: More in that vein. Then I stepped back, looked at it and I realized I had had good breaks. I had seen things clearly. I had looked at it. And I had decided that I didn’t want to drive. I had decided to be a passenger. Well, you got to go where the driver is going then. You have eliminated all of your other choices.
So I made a plan in four parts. My plan was pretty simple.

One: I will retain all the control over my own life that I can. As long as getting that control doesn’t cause me to hurt someone, doesn’t become all encompassing; doesn’t make me stop seeing that compromise is a part of life. I have thought out my actions rationally without simply reacting during the heat of the moment. Man, I thought. There is a lot to do to simply have control over your own life. And how come I have to give up some of that control to have control. Isn’t that the opposite of what I wanted? It is, but it is the way the real world works.

Two: I will set goals and work toward them. In that way the things that are truly important to me are attained. Great: That is great; a clear path to a clear future to… No. The problem is that we do not live in a vacuum. How do you set your goals and have them remain static? You don’t. At least you don’t if there are people in your life you care about. I remember someone asked me, what are your plans for the future, and I said well I plan to leave here, move to the middle of nowhere and live off the land as best I can. Maybe find someone who wants to do that and that would be great, a perfect life.
As soon as I said the words I knew I was not thinking rationally about it. If I love people that are in my life then they should count when I make plans for the future. Having lived most of my life in the vacuum that is alcoholism I had rarely ever considered others. Tough to admit, but true, so as I was saying the words they became untrue. I realized my family and friends were more important to me that anything else. And I realized I had to permanently alter my thinking. The people you love have to count. Compromise is a part of life. People who are living in the world know all about that. Those that are only in the world don’t really understand that. Which type did I want to be?
Three: Doors. I grew up on the streets. Yes, I grew up with a moral code, but chances are it was not the same moral code that most people that know me grew up with. On the street loyalty was a big deal. Men would say, “Hey, I’d die for you,” and they meant it. You could watch someone do the worst thing in the world and you would keep your mouth shut: Loyalty; it was a code. Somehow the cops became the bad guys and the bad guys became the good guys. Sounds like different subjects, but it isn’t. You are isolated from mainstream society. Disconnected: Mainstream society becomes incomprehensible. It makes no sense at all. Meanwhile the people you deal with come in and out of those doors you have. Those doors you can choose to open or close. Only you are so disconnected that you leave them open all the time and people come in and out. You become a doormat. You understand doormat. Doormat makes perfect sense. Use and be used. Except, when you come off the streets you still have the doors open: Wide open. You let everyone in, some you should, some you shouldn’t. Some who mean you grave harm, some who try to love you, but you don’t understand any of that. You only left the door open and the stuff is happening People are coming and going.

So one of things I did was shut the doors. Yes, at first, all the way. Then I realized those doors are there for a reason. A door is meant to be opened and closed. On a warm summer night you can crack it a little to let some air in: In the winter to close it to keep the heat in. And life is the same way. Sometimes you can decide to let that person in; others no. Still others; crack it just a little. Let that breeze in. Maybe leave the screen door shut to keep the insects out. Poor analogies I know, but I was a street kid: A street kid who was far from stupid, but I carried my ignorance like armor. I finally got it though, and I told myself that from then on I would choose how far I would open that door.
Four: The plan. I will sit down and look at what I really want out of life and begin to work toward it. I will realize that, long before I attain it, something might happen that will cause me to want to change my plans. I cannot be so rigid that I cannot look at it and realize that it needs to be changed. That my needs have changed. That someone in my life has needs that will affect my own needs and that I may have to sit down and do it all over again. Set a new goal. Come up with a new plan. That it’s okay to do that. That if what you are doing no longer makes sense you need to do something else.

That was how I came up with my plan. My plan was a multiyear plan. Save my money. Then go in one direction or the other: Land or sea.
Sea: Buy a boat; a big boat: Cast off and spend a few years, as long as I can, sailing. After all, the price of a house, it is about the same.
Land: Buy some land in the mountains. Build another house, I have done that before: And that’s it; retire: Walks in the mountains. Maybe do the Appalachian trails. Live as close to my characters lives in my books as I can.
Then I mentioned it to people in my life. By the time I got their reactions I realized that I may just have to scrap both plans and start over. Not because any of them said anything to dissuade me, but because I realized how much I loved them and would miss them if I did either of those things. How life really is about compromise. After all, I can rent a boat, can’t I? I can rent a cabin in the sticks, can’t I? I can walk the Appalachian Trail; I don’t have to live there to do that. So I made a new plan. My new plan is not to make any other plans until I sit down and think about the people I love and how it will impact them and me.
Hope you have a good upcoming week, Dell…

 


Earth’s Survivors America The Dead: The Zombie Plagues… FREE Previews! #KOBO #ebooks End days apocalypse

Check it out: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/earth-s-survivors-america-the-dead-the-zombie-plagues

CELL PHONES and TIN CANS

CELL PHONES and TIN CANS

Posted by TX Grant

Today the topic is Cell Phones, and I answered a few questions because I have been told I never answer questions. Is that true? I don’t know, but my initial impulse is to not answer that question. I was also asked what do I like? What do I dislike?

Cell Phones: Tin cans and string: This Cell phone thing is my generations fault. I’ll fess up right here. We tied string to tin cans, pretended they were loud and clear radios, and dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. Okay, I dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. I think a few of my friends did too, but I won’t put them on the spot. But someone must have besides me because we grew up looking for that tin can.

We spawned children with that tin can thing embedded in their DNA. That and the Communicator from Star Trek. If that wasn’t a glimpse into the future and cell phones I don’t know what it was. It was inevitable and we should have known it as soon as some fool back in the fifties gave us Walki-Talkies.

It was almost a reality right there. Probably good enough for some of us, but no not for all of us: Some said…

“Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to Tim, Ellie and even my sister Sherry with these things?”

“Well,” Bob says. “Why would you want to talk to your sister Sherry? She’s a girl.”

“Oh… Right… Never mind.”

But, then some other guy went… “Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to anyone I wanted to with this thing? I mean like anywhere?”

“Well,” Bob said. “We’d have to make them affordable… Put them in the hands of people everywhere.. We’d have to build relay stations… We’d… We could do it! We could!”

And so Marketing and the Cell Phone industry was born right there. And Bob probably headed it. Now we all have Cell Phones and we might as well be welded to them, or they to us.

Last week I remembered I had a cell phone for a reason. To make calls to people, or so that people could reach me. I was watching a really stupid movie at the time. Four young people stranded in the desert. The moron dude (There is always a moron dude who does the dumb thing that puts them all in the bad situation), so, the Moron Dude wrecks the truck and they’re stranded in the desert. So what does he do first? Tries his cell phone. And does it work? Of course not. And, I thought, hmm, I have a cell phone, what if I paid all this money for minutes, and, and (I tend to get excited when I think of stupid things that just might be possible) I get stranded in the desert, and I flip open my Cell phone, and I have, like, 300 minutes, so I sigh, relieved, I will not die in the desert and the young woman med student won’t have to pound a hole in my head to relieve the fluid buildup so I will live! That was what she (The med student) had just finished doing to one of the people in the movie, pounding a hole in her head to relieve the pressure buildup. Hmm. It didn’t work too well. The person still died. Now, my characters do things too. But I have yet to write a scene where one actually pounds a hole into another characters head with a frickin’ rock.

I’ll tell you, I was relieved. I have enough holes in my head (Some say). Then I remembered the scenario. Minutes don’t matter. Reception matters. So, in my head, in my little world in the desert with the Moron Guy, and the Med Student woman, I look down at my phone again. Damn. 300 minutes and no bars. But, like the Moron Dude I try it anyway. Doesn’t work. The young Med Student woman is looking at me funny. Like she can’t wait to pound that hole in my head. Son of a bitch, I think. This really sucks. Then I remember, it’s not real. I am relieved again, except I am still watching this pathetic movie, and I am looking at my cell phone and wondering why I welded myself to it.

Anyway, dumb movies aside, it really did get me thinking about my cell phone. I have this many friends. (I’m holding up fingers on one of my hands). Let’s just say it’s a small amount, I have fingers left over. Now, all of those friends never call me on my cell phone. If they need to reach me they send an email or call me on my land line. Yes, I have a land line. I know how pathetic that sounds. And I rarely ever use it either. But that’s another blog. So, my friends know my email address, and my home phone and my cell phone number, and they never call me on the cell phone. Yet every month I buy minutes and put them on the damn phone. So I must have thousands of minutes on the phone. Just then the phone rang.

“Hello?” I’m cautious. No one calls me here. “No one calls me here,” I say.

Turns out it is a new-old friend. IE: One I knew years before who just reconnected and does not realize no one calls me on my Cell Phone.

“Hey,” I say. What else can I say? “No, you’re not bothering me,” I lie. Then, the phone goes dead.

“Hello? Hello?” I take the phone away from my ear and stare at it as though that can fix it or at least tell me what is wrong. Nope. five bars. Hey, wait a minute, no minutes! How can that be? I just ran out of minutes on my cell phone. But I just put minutes on it. Hmm, a conundrum.

That lead right into the stupid movie, and I realized, if it was me, my luck would be that I would find I had a signal, and then discover that I had no minutes. And so, I asked myself, why is that? And that is the crux of the problem. Because, as I mentioned, no one calls me on my cell phone. So, where do all the minutes go to? They go to all the other calls. The ones I didn’t ask for. The Cell Phone Spammers. Yes. Those guys/gals/machines. They call all of the time.

“Hi! did you know that for just three hundred dollars a month you can get an unlimited number of minutes,” the voice asks?

“Really,” I ask?

The voice just keeps yacking. It’s not a real voice. It’s a machine. But I’m lonely, they know it, and they know I am stupid enough to listen to a machine… At least for a little while.

“Press One now for the Budget Plan. Press Two for the Super Business Package. Press three for the…”

I hang up. Cell Phone Hooker, I think. I think some other unkind things too, even though I know it is a machine. An hour later the phone rings. I think, ‘I shouldn’t answer that. They probably just want to sell me something.’ But I am stupid, or I have a defective gene, or both.

“Hello? Is this a machine,”I ask right off the bat.

“No sir,” a female voice. Heavy accent. “I am calling regarding your account.”

“Oh… Oh, sorry… I get these machine generated phone calls you see…” I shut up, because of course it’s the Cell Phone. Yakking is money. “My account?”

“Yes sir… My records show that you have the Thrifty Budget plan. And I wanted to make you aware of the Super Business Travelers plan..”

“Huh?”

“Your Cell phone plan,” she explains.

“I don’t have the Thrifty Budget plan,” I say.

“Are you sure,” she asks?

“Mm, yes,” I decide.

“Hold on sir.” She sounds upset, leaves the line, and like the idiot I am, I wait for her to come back. Ten minutes later she does. “Sir?”

Probably she is checking only to see if I was stupid enough to hang on. But, no, I answer. “Yes… Ma’am.” I’m even polite. What an idiot.

“My records show that you do not have the Thrifty Budget plan. Please forgive me.”

And I am ready and willing to forgive her. It’s hot over there in New Delhi, I watch Big Bang Theory. I saw Slum Dog Millionaire. I know it’s got to be a hard job working half way around the worl… She interrupts me.

So, Sir?” She waits until I answer. The minute monster is eating my phone alive.

“Yes?”

“So, wouldn’t this be a great time to get the Super Business plan?”

Finally it dawns on me. “Hey, are you from **** & ****?”(My phone provider)

“Well, no. I’m from **** *****.”

I hang up. I feel used. Dirty. ‘Damn,’ I think. I am even cussing. ‘Damn Dirty Ape. Frig!’ It is the most severe cussing I can come up with on short notice.

Okay, so I’m sitting there and slow as I am it finally dawns on me where all of my minutes go, they go to answering the phone so these guys can sell me more minutes so I can answer the phone, so they can sell me more minutes, so I can answer the phone IF one of my friends ever call, and, as evidenced, if one of my friends do call, I’ll have no minutes to talk to them. Boy am I dumb. Hmm… Then I think, Well, I could just let the medical student woman in the movie pound the hole in my head. Might be quicker, smarter too.

Light rain here in New York. Hope it’s better where you are. Okay, that’s my week. I hope your week was good. Check me out on iTunes: TX Grant