July 22, 2014

film crew

If you are a fellow self-publisher I do not have to tell you that marketing and production costs can add up pretty quickly if you don’t pay attention. That’s why I try to do as much as I can by myself.  Fortunately, I spent a lot of time working in marketing throughout my career so knowing how to package up promotional and advertising “stuff” helps offset costs.  I’ve also tried to teach myself how to do certain tasks that others want to charge me for.  That’s why I can pretty much prep my own manuscripts for printing and I don’t need to have someone else do it for me…for a fee.  Allow me to insert a brief advertisement for my guidebook, Build a Book, which is for fellow DIYers who want to learn how to prep their own manuscripts.  That’s it pictured to the right.

This week I took one more giant “self-step” by producing a video trailer for one of my books.  I have never had much involvement in television or film so this accomplishment really feels good.  One thing I might add is that I discovered a website that made my video possible because it sold stock photos at an incredibly low price.  Normally, stock photo prices are prohibitive if I need several.  BTW, the site is

For the video itself I used Movie Maker, a Mirosoft program that Hp almost unnoticeably includes on it desktop PCs.  This program was very intuitive and quick to learn…much easier than Power Director which I bought last year but could never master, even after watching a bunch of tutorials on YouTube.  Granted, Movie Maker is pretty basic and I missed not having a few more ways to display text.  But, overall Movie Maker did the job.  You be the judge!  Just remember, I don’t claim it to be a masterpiece of videography, but I think it’s presentable enough for Mom to post on the refrigerator door with the rest of my art projects!



July 20, 2014

AlienSign copy

A NASA scientist has announced he expects alien life outside of earth to be discovered within the next 20 years.  Well, even though lately I haven’t been spending much time in my thinking chair on the back patio, this got me to thinking.  I would have to assume that the arrival of aliens would be treated no differently from the way we Americans treat anything new that plops itself on our doorstep.  Think about it…

  • Right away our new immigration laws—which I guess MAY be passed by Congress within the next 20 years, will all have to be revised. Can you imagine the thousands of illegal aliens who will be entering into our space immediately occupying our schools, demanding food stamps, manipulating our health care system and working for next-to-nothing in all our labor-intensive job markets.  It’ll be inhumane.
  • Disney would have to build a new Alien Land at its parks and come up with all kinds of new rides, cartoon characters, movies, songs and stuffed alien dolls.
  • There would be a revival of the video game Alien Invaders which I would think will scare the hell out of the aliens upon seeing the intensity in our children’s eyes as they blow up every alien ship that descends on earth.
  • Our evening skies would be aglow with thousands of alien flying saucers hovering just above the horizon as each waited its turn to be processed by U.S. Immigration officials.
  • Our import industry would go ballistic salivating over the sale of all kinds of new products we would import from the Alien nations, not the least of which would be some kind of cheap fuel that will run our cars, provide us electricity and become an additive in just about every product we manufacture.
  • The aliens would begin clustering amongst themselves within our communities, creating mini-alien neighborhoods which displaced citizens would resent, except for the new alien restaurants that would feature unusual cuisine that we Americans would find deliciously trendy, especially the fly-through windows where take-out orders would be processed and packaged in little microwavable containers.
  • Aliens would prove themselves especially adept at playing a particular sport and would begin breaking all previous records, demanding outrageous salaries and almost overnight begin out-selling all sports memorabilia with custom products that contained  alien names and player numbers.
  • Our young will soon yearn to be like “them” and want to move to their planets where real estate will be incredibly cheap.  Our elders will become hostile and will initiate long-term prejudicial attitudes and alien profiling.
  • Vacation packages and cheap flights to the planets will soon dominate vacation destinations.  Alien resorts will pop up everywhere in the solar system and feature spectacular crater views and low gravity weight-loss camps.
  • Alien music will begin dominating the industry and the pop charts will be filled with a new, weird style of rhythms that American adults will not understand nor be unable to dance to.

I am sure there are many other things that will change.  The aliens will no doubt bring a new diversity to our culture which many of us will embrace while many others will try to fend off and avoid.  Twenty years will not be enough time for earth’s governments to prepare, but I am confident the marketing plans will be well in place by next year.  Personally, I’ll be happy just to take the T-shirt concession.





July 15, 2014


Trust me, I am not complaining…just making an observation.  When you move from the northern regions of the United States to South Florida you lose some sense of timing since there is no real spring or fall here.  A major loss is that there is no noticeable thrill each year when the first few warm days come along after a bitter cold winter.  Of course, what is not a loss is the bitter cold winter.  Nonetheless, there are no crocus or daffodils popping up out of the flower beds announcing spring.  Likewise, come autumn, there are no leaves to rake nor rush to switch from shorts to long pants.  Nope, there are none of these telltale signs of seasons changing.

Hence, once you’ve been living in South Florida for a few years you lose your sense of annual timing.  Trying to remember exactly when things took place in the past becomes a little blurry.  Up north it is easier to remember when events took place because they have the added element of season attached to them.

Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that time confusion has gotten even worse after I retired.  There is no alarm clock in my life anymore.  This alone has to be the grand prize you are awarded upon retirement.  But, as your days become less hectic and you have fewer things to do and people to see, you begin to lose your sense of week.  It is not unusual for me to spend a long moment or two attempting to remember what day of the week it is.  Weekends, too, get lost since they’re now no different from the weekdays.

Thank goodness we still have night and day and I still know which is which.  I suppose that’s next to go given the fact I am sleeping less, awakening earlier and doing more things in the middle of the night…like writing this post at 2:30 in the morning.  The only saving grace is that night is dark and day is light.  When I can’t figure that out anymore I don’t suppose it will really matter.  At that point I probably won’t have a sense of anything.



July 13, 2014


 I was going to go into a lengthy dissertation about my regrets having posted a challenge to earn 20 “likes” as described in my posting two days ago.  “Earn” is a key word here and I should not have expected to reach my goal without it.  I do dumb things every now and then…this was now. I should know better, but it’s not worth going into.  I apologize.  I will never do it again.  If I could gather all of us up in one room I’d treat for ice cream.  Okay, nuff said.  I’m in time-out!


TIME TO LIKE UP! (graphics from

July 11, 2014

Holy crap! I don’t know what to think. Only two likes!!!! I am not sure how to interpret this crisis. Either no one really gives a damn and no one really likes my blog very much…or most of you really would like to see me take the dive into the canal. What a dilemma! This sucks. I will punt for one more day and see what happens. For those of you who just got here and haven’t the slightest idea what the hell I’m talking about, just catch up on my latest posting from yesterday which follows immediately…

Today’s posting is a self-serving, narcissistic, egotistical attempt at a meaningless endeavor.  BTW, can you spell narcissistic right on the first attempt?  I never can.  Anyway, I digress.  Here’s the deal on today’s posting.  Either you leave a “like” or I will jump into the canal out back of my house and remain on the bottom forever and ever and only come up for air when needed.  I am not sure how I will do that, but I will have to figure it out as I go.

The point is, this posting is #219 and I have never had more than 13 “likes” generated by any one posting.   I see other bloggers post one sentence and a picture of a daffodil and they maybe get 40-50 likes.  Jealous?  Of course I am.  Fact is, the average number of “likes” I get is .00573287/posting.  Oh the misery I carry.

I must acknowledge that there are some of you who have been very loyal.  You guys faithfully leave a “like” on a regular basis.  I will forever cherish your little avatars and all that they represent.  Hugs ‘n kisses and all that stuff.

Now, for the business at hand.  I want to break my record of “likes.”  In fact, I want to set a new and astronomical goal of at least 20 “likes” for this posting.  If I have over 490 followers I would think at least 20 of you would have mercy and leave me a “like”…please! It’s not like we’re setting a Guinness record here.

Okay, I hope we are all clear on this.  Off you go–you do what you gotta do and I’ll go change into a bathing suit and sit on the banks of the canal just in case you don’t.

Desperate? Pitiful? Conceited?  Yeah, all those things apply.  I have lost all pride and self-respect.  I have become a beggar, a social degenerate and despicable human being.  But it will all be worth it if I can get 20 “likes.”  We can do this.   So, gee, c’mon and show me some love…or at least some like!


p.s.  Trash Update:  the junk that some crappy person left out back of my house is still there (see previous posting of this blog).  I have not seen any sign of the Code Enforcement person who was supposed to come and take a look-see.  I have not, however, given up hope that it will be removed…stay tuned to this site for further details on this developing story…or is it breaking news?  Whatever.



July 9, 2014


For the past two days I have been trying to sit in my thinking chair on the back patio and think.  But no.  No can do.  Someone has ruined all that.  Some thoughtless, lazy, raised-in-a-junk-yard kind of person(s) has screwed me big time.  Do I sound upset?  How’d you guess?

Mind you, I am not an environmental purist.  There have probably been times when I have thrown something in the trash that should have been taken to another planet or buried thirty feet under the bottom floor of the Pacific Ocean.  I am not proud of that; trash moments happen.  But I have also been known to go out of my way to do the right thing.  Right thing!  Hmmm, there is the puzzlement.  We all have different reference points as to what exactly is the right thing and therein lies the problem I am having while I attempt to sit in my thinking chair on the back patio and think.

Some semi-human creature—actually I suspect more than one creature—obviously wanted to dispose of something and decided the easiest thing to do would be to simply and quietly deposit it on the banks of the canal that runs behind my house.  It is an assault on Mother Nature herself and outrageously confronts every ounce of decency that personkind has accumulated up to this point in history.  I’m offended too.

Mind you, the view from my patio is not the most colossal scenic nugget you’d put in your treasure chest…but it is pleasant and I and the animals who live in it, like it.  There is the canal itself. Not a river or raging ocean, but a decent little tributary of water that fish, turtle, snake and foul all find quite satisfactory.  Most of the year the grass on the banks of the canal is lush green and there are a good number of trees too, a nice variety.

Now, something new has been added.  That’s it in the picture below.


I am not sure what it is.  It appears to be some kind of netting structure used in a sporting environment.  Wait, I almost forgot.  There are TWO of them, one nested in the other.  They are quite large, easily ten feet long.  That is why I think more than one perp is involved in this heinous crime.

I would guess these two thingies are some kind of backstop for baseball pitching practice or maybe soccer goals of some kind.  Whoever left them, did so deliberately.  They wanted to get rid of them and they did not want to go to the trouble of finding out how to do it properly.  So they dumped them in my scenic space and then quietly left the scene of the crime.  The Environmental Protection Agency did not protect me.  I feel violated.

So, now I cannot sit and think in my thinking chair.  I am too incensed and angry to think.  I can only sit and stew in what has become my stewing chair.  This is not a good thing.  I have called the city and they made notes and said that a Code Enforcement Officer would be assigned to the case and this person would soon appear on the scene to determine if a code is in need of enforcing.

I actually have some faith that the city may follow through.  It is, after all, not the United States Congress I am dealing with.  I am sure if I called my senator or congressperson the debris in question would be taken up in committee, debated along party lines and then tied up in the bureaucracy for the next gazillion years with absolutely no action ever taken.  Congress would show me no empathy for the ugly affront that I have suffered. Nor could any of my elected representatives relate to my grief since I am sure they would never allow junk to accumulate in their pristine backyards.

Alas, I will let you know how it all comes out.  You will be hearing more trash talk from me.  After all, I have nothing else to do currently as I sit in my thinking chair on my back patio…not thinking.




July 6, 2014


I have no smart phone, no i-phone, no android with apps,

I feel so out of it, so square and even obtuse perhaps.

My phone’s the basic model, it cost me less than half.

When others see it they look at me and simply laugh.

They say I suffer from some pitiful self-inflicted abuse.

But I just don’t need a fancy phone to serve my use.

I don’t like to text; the buttons are too small, my fingers too big.

I no more need to text someone a message than I need to wear a wig.

I guess it’s nice to have tons of info there at your fingertips,

I know I’m always having to look things up like postal zips.

But then I notice with all these new fancy cellular phones

Their users use them like controlled hypnotic drones.

They are constantly texting or taking photos called selfies.

I think many of them suffer from bats in their belfries.

They text messages describing almost everything they do:

“I’m eating lunch; here’s a picture of my food; what about U?”

They switch words to initials and abbreviate almost every phrase.

It’s like a whole new language that’s become the latest craze.

Being in a room full of people in whose hands is a cellular phone,

Is like being on a deserted island where you’ve been left all alone.

You’ll be totally ignored unless you join their sacred ritual

Of learning to talk with your fingers until it becomes habitual.

As for me, their incessant pecking puts my brain in terminal slumber

For when I need to communicate with someone…I simply dial their number!






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