Posted on

For My Fellow Scribblers

Before leaving Virginia, I was a member of several writers’ groups in the area. Sadly, I didn’t have time to attend meetings with all the groups. But I haven’t forgotten about you all. I know many of you are working on your first books or trying to make yourselves visible on google machines. And I know exactly what you are experiencing.

I’ve gotten quite the education in these last months in Mississippi. I occasionally wish I was still in Virginia so on the more bruising days, I could have turned some of you for help, or at least support. Still, in the process of gaining education, I finished my first book. It was published at the end of the summer and I am working to promote it.

Dave, from Writing as a Business on meetup.com, asked me to share some thoughts on the process.

To Amazon or Not to Amazon?

 Working backward through the process, the most difficult decision was where and how to publish. My work is political, and time-sensitive. I very much wanted the first edition to hit Kindle with the first televised debate. Having started the book in June, that gave me until August 6th to publish.

Though I had learned a lot from Dave Wood and the gang, back at Writing as a Business, Fredericksburg, a great deal of the publishing process was still a mystery to me. To be certain, with no previous books and almost no platform on my blogs (more on those in a minute), I was not going to score an agent to get my book out, even on Kindle, in the time I allotted myself. I learned, very late in the game, I wouldn’t even be able to self-publish a pulp edition in that same timeframe.

In addition to the time crunch, this project was on the most threadbare of shoestrings. So, I set what I thought was a fairly reasonable second goal. Get the Kindle edition online by 6 August and get the paper edition by 16 September, the night of the second big debate.

That left the final decision about publishing the pulp version. Do I go with CreateSpace, I process I really like, or a self-publishing service? With CreateSpace, all the marketing is on me. I have never had success with marketing anything. Self-publishing houses, with willing and energetic authors, stand a better chance of getting your work noticed. But they cost money! I lost sleep over this one for a few nights before finally deciding to go with a self-publishing service.

Note to the starving author: This is not a decision for the faint-hearted. By going with Xlibris, I wiped out the bank account. In order to be made financially whole again, this book must be successful. Accordingly, I will canvass every library and bookstore on the Gulf Coast to host events. When you are dangling from the end of the rope, there is nothing to do but start climbing, right? So I will be working my butt off to move books. I will also be seeking book events in Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania during the holidays, as I will back east around that time. Naturally, you will be all invited.

I still wrestle with the idea that my decision to go with Xlibiris may have been made out of vanity. CreateSpace would sell some books and I could have helped that along. And I would have made more per book. But I really believe that I need the marketing help to really make this a business-like effort.

Sadly, I was disappointed with the kind of help you get on my budget. You do get a press release and a list of all the outlets that received your release. That’s helpful. And they are making a pithy little video that I’ll use for marketing. Beyond some business cards, bookmarks and posters, that’s about it. If you want aggressive marketing help, you have to PAY. I’m not sure how confident they are in their own abilities, as they won’t market against future royalties. But they’ll promise the moon anyway.

So basically, all the marketing and promotion is still on me. While signing books at a local festival, I did meet a woman who said she was a promoter and publicist. She told me she’d send a contract around for me to look at. I hope she is the real deal.

More Lessons

Most publishing houses will tell you they can have your book out in no time ($$). But you must be careful. If my book was not written about current events, I could have taken my time, provided the publisher with a copy, gone around and around with edits and produced a perfect book. But…

First, you need to know that editing, even on CreateSpace is extra. The more thorough the edits, the more it costs. This too, I learned late in the game. So in order to stay on my timeline, I had to become my own editor. I am pretty sure that editing your own work is like performing surgery on the back of your own head. You might be successful, but it isn’t a recommended practice. I actually had to pull the Kindle version down and scrub it again three more times. I am not certain how well I did, but I just hope it is a smoother read anyway.

The same is true with the paper version. I am the editor. Once I had what I felt was the best product I could muster, Xlibris created copies (galleys) for me to mark up further. This part of the process went rather well.

Platform

Another thing I am doing to support the book is improving my presence online. I used to have two blogs languishing on Blogger and Hubpages while I relocated. I am in the process of migrating those works to supercyrano.com. I believe that using the blog and any other published work symbiotically; I should someday see something of an income. I am giving myself two years of hard work to see it through. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ll try another approach. And I’ll be fine-tuning along the way.

Also, I’d love to have guest bloggers. Especially liberals. I hate living in the echo chamber and would really enjoy putting together a point-counterpoint page. Every guest post will have a link back to the writer’s page and can be used to promote your work.

Finally this: The best advice I can offer is to WRITE! If you got to this link from a writers’ meetup, you are a writer. So do it. It isn’t right to have words you believe are important and not share them. Somebody, somewhere needs to know what you have to say. Take advantage of all the help available to you through your groups! Inspire each other. Promote everybody’s work on your social networks. I can’t tell you how gratifying – and rare – it is to get a notification that someone has shared XYZ Title with his or her friends[*]. It means someone cares about your work (or more importantly, cares about you) and there are people seeing it who otherwise wouldn’t have.

I will keep you posted on progress here and with future book projects.

About the present project, 16 20 24; this is not your daddy’s political book. You don’t have to be conservative or even political to enjoy it. And the principles I espouse for getting elected and reelected work for anyone in any party. I am somewhat of a Penn Jillette conservative. His philosophy is to turn left at sex and right at money and you’ll do okay. If only everyone had such a simple, honest approach to things.

[*] A friend gave me some advice about social networks. Most people are there as an escape. If you are writing about a serious subject, they may not want to deal with it. So if you are writing a book about injuries in UFC title fights, you may want to include a video of kittens playing with a shoe in your promotions. Cutsie stuff gets shared. I’m just spitballin’ here.

Posted on

Just When You Thought You'd Seen It All…Stupid is Redefined!

TV’s Most Dangerous Night EVER!

That’s the tag line for the stupidest thing TV producers have created since Jersey Shore…and it’s aimed at the same audience.

I have always tried to avoid being too abrupt discussing religion. I have no attachment to the spirit world, but I know some folks get a little touchy when you criticize too sharply.

That said, if Exorcism Live! gets even the audience an MSNBC panel discussion gets, I won’t be able to edit my reaction. Talk about circus-freak stupid! There is no dignified way to address how far entertainment has fallen in this country. We are supposed to be a post-enlightenment society. We used to, as a society, have a kind of dignity that would make putting on such a ridiculous program a laughable non-starter.

Oh, and get this: (cue deep spookey voice) They even take you to the house that inspired movie! In my heart, I am screaming in terror.

And OMG (pun intended), did you see the goons on the show poster? They look like carny barker meets Duck Dynasty meets MMA.

Some of us remember the movie Network. It was released in ’76. It featured Howard Beale, the Mad Prophet of the Airways, a fortune teller and a social militant. It was an entertaining movie, but the consensus everywhere was that this was Hollywood. No TV audience was dim witted enough to think any of that garbage would be interesting.

By the 80s, TV preachers who used to con people at county fairs were making millions on the boob tube and we had late-night fortune tellers on the air.  By the 90s, news programs looked like gossip shows. The following decade brought “Reality” TV.* We started watching other people living their lives in lieu of living our own. I use the word “we” advisedly. I was put off by this crap.

Here’s the reason I am so agitated. The people who create this garbage have marketing experts who evaluate their ideas, test them. They have a pretty good idea how many truly stupid people there are out there. And you need a lot of them to have a hit show – or even a profitable one. They are betting on you being that stupid. PLEASE disappoint them!

Was Idiocracy really was a goddamn documentary disguised as a comedy?

* For the irretrievably slow, Reality TV is like Pro Wrestling. It’s fake. It’s a set-up. When the characters act really ignorant and you think it’s really cool, they’re just pretending. Now go see if you can’t lose that extra chromosome.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here! A book on his travels in Mexico and Belize will be released in the Fall of 2015.

Find 16 20 24 on Amazon.

Find 16 20 24 at Barnes & Noble

Find 16 20 24 at Books-a-Million

Posted on

Is the Bikini the Burka of Western Culture?

NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK BECA– USE YOU AND YOUR COWORKERS PRETEND TO BE OFFENDED BY BODY PARTS WHEN, IN REALITY, YOU’RE NOT.

In the civilized West, Americans are hands down the most prudish about the silliest things. It seems hard to believe, but we are so squeamish about the female breast it’s almost embarrassing to any critical thinker.  Of course, there is the uncivilized world where women are beaten by sons of pigs for showing their ankles.  So by comparison we’re still pretty forward-thinking.

I just read the article about Elle magazine and the picture of a model breast feeding that was pulled off the cover.  Pathetic.

The last time public breastfeeding raised its natural and benign head, I guess around January, I was on my morning commute, listening to my favorite morning talking heads, Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor in DC. When the subject was raised these two otherwise worldly guys took a position that surprised me.  Still, they did poke a bit of fun at the visceral reaction such a simple and correct activity sparked in some of the listeners.

But then Larry, who is usually the edgier of the two said that while it might be okay to breastfeed outside the house, he suggested the mother find a discreet place to “do it”.  That was silly enough.  Then he said, “I mean have a little modesty.”

Modesty?  Really? Are we all so terribly delicate?  Is the fact that a child needs food a secret?  Is the source of the proper food an object of immodesty?  Well, come to think of it, in this twisted world it actually is.  Think about that.  How twisted is our sense of imagery? How odd are we in a world where the UFC is among the most highly rated sporting events, that a woman holding their child to her nipple should evoke the least reaction in all but the most stupid and backward among us.  Meanwhile, porn is still the most streamed online entertainment.  50 Shades, the Movie, sold out in record numbers in Mississippi and Alabama to mostly married, “Christian” women.

During that morning radio segment, a caller asked why women couldn’t go to the rest room if they – get this – thought they had to do that kind of thing.  Thought they had to?!  I’ll check the statistics and get back to you, but the actual feeding part is probably important for the baby.  And using your breast is not only considered the healthiest but also an economically sound idea.

And the restroom?  I don’t think you can sniff glue anymore, so the lady was probably doing crystal meth.  The restroom?!  Here’s a thought.  How about when you see a woman breast feeding, if you REALLY need to pretend your offended, how about you take your Big Mac in the restroom and eat it?  I’m sure the ambience will enhance the experience.

Soldiers blown into vapor?   Sure!

I just watched Saving Private Ryan on commercial TV.  The carnage depicted is both a cinematic achievement and gruesome.  Can you imagine the uproar, if they had a segment with the troops having a weekend pass before D-Day and one of them has realistic looking sex with his British girlfriend?  Oh, the do-gooders, most of whom would watch the rest of the movie and just say such is life, would be apoplectic that Ed Burns might have played with a woman’s tits and might have been shown humping.  

The director’s cut of Apocalypse Now had the sex scenes that had been deleted from the original because they were too racy for a movie about a half crazy soldier being sent into the jungle to kill a totally crazy fellow officer. There were beheadings, a brutal animal sacrifice and death in all sorts of entertaining forms.  But nudity? Gasp! We are at the point, as a society, that the human body and in this case, sex is off-putting.  The carnage? Meh…

Anyway, all his got me thinking.  What is our fascination with the female breast?  And why the phony revulsion?  And yes, it is phony.  Guys love boobies, so do lesbians and even most gay men and straight women can appreciate a firm knocker.  I believe the answer is a simple one.  It is the denial of the thing that makes it an object of lust and fascination.  The moralist, especially the religious moralist will tell you it is the other way ’round.  They are wrong, of course.  The simple fact is that long term exposure to a thing renders it mundane and hiding it, while ironically enhancing it as women often do, makes it a more valued commodity.

When put in those terms, the whole hide-the-tits thing becomes wrong on so many levels. First, it is clearly a dark ages prohibition and a loony double standard.  Why can a man walk down the beach without a covering his chest and a woman cannot? Who legitimately gets to enforce that one? This especially when many men work so hard to make theirs the object of desire and admiration and others are so out of shape that they have bigger, baggier boobs than many women.

It is because the milk they may sometimes contain is to feed offspring, which is a markedly female attribute.  When man discovered private property near the beginning of our agricultural development, the woman was added to that property.  That thing that feeds my young is not going to be the purview of competing males.  Thus, put a top on, bitch!

Some are finally saying, “Stop the silliness”

Did you know that it is legal for a woman to walk topless in Washington DC?  I wouldn’t recommend it considering the nature of some of the scum that populate the city.  And I don’t mean just the politicians. Having been taught the boob is an object of sexual desire and an exposed boob makes the owner fair game, they may grope you.  But every August, women take part in an annual demonstration for the right be as uncovered as men can be, and topless they do march.  Brace yourself!  There are boobies behind this link!


We tell ourselves that we make women cover more of their bodies out of respect for women.  Right.  And Muslims bury their women in blankets for, according to them, the same reason.  You don’t really buy that when Habib says it.  Why do you pretend to buy the notion here?

The answer is simple peer pressure.  Your church buddies will label your wife a hussy and you weak if she shows a goodly portion of boobie.  Your friends will secretly ogle your wife and envy you and then say that’s disgraceful.  The golf buddies, because of our dark ages prohibitions, would be fascinated and therefore a threat to your property.  If you are a woman, you may have a man with the insecurities listed above, as well as being around a lot of women afraid for whatever reason to bear their own chests. They will therefore berate the woman who would.

We pass this social silliness to our offspring and teach them to be ashamed of their bodies, telling them that god wants them to be, or that society expects them to be, ashamed.

Enough about pretending to be afraid of boobs.  Let’s return to the woman who breastfeeds her kid.  We’ll say she’s in a Pizza Hut. It’s time to feed the kid.  How many of you ever saw a woman stand, remove her shirt and bra and hold the kid up in the middle of the room to feed?  

None of you, that’s right, very good.

The fact is she will raise her shirt enough to let the little tyke get to the nipple, manipulate her boob just a bit to keep from giving the kid brain damage from a lack of oxygen, and some will even take the extra step of laying a small towel or cloth diaper across knowing that there might be a cry baby around waiting for a chance to be a loud, self-righteous cry baby.

She is hurting no one.  She is providing critical nutrients to her child.  If you are one of the cry babies I mention here, do the world a favor.  The next time you see a woman breast feeding her kid in a restaurant, grab your pizza and your 32 ounce drink and head for the restroom.

For the rest of us; it is time to demystify the boob. Unless you are prepared to admit that you are deep down, as backward as the old school Muslim, let women dress by the same standard we apply to men; at work, at the gym, on the beach, wherever.  I could go on with suggestions about quitting the prohibitions on the male or female body in ads and TV shows, but you get the idea already.

Enjoy the body for what it is.  Don’t pretend to be offended.  Let the bikini be the visual enhancement  it was designed to be.  You clearly love what it enhances!  Don’t make the bikini the burka of western culture.

 

Posted on

2014 – Then This Post – Then 2015

Resolutions

I have but one New Year’s resolution: EFFING WRITE MORE!  I have been remiss, especially in the last month or so.  

Review

2014 saw the launch of one of the most riveting and influential blogs in all of Thornburg, Va.  This one, Pedestrian Politics and Economics far outstrips the local competing blog Lawnmower Engines and the Men Who Love Them.  This morning I established the coveted Spotsylvania Award for Journalistic Excellence, sort of a Pulitzer for rednecks, and promptly awarded it to me.  
And why not?  In less than a year we made the case against the existing US foreign policy in the Middle East in three posts, discussed kissing, corruption, mob rat #7 and almost single-handedly brought an end to Jay Carney’s career (I have a few regrets there.)
2014 also saw the launch of Operation Moron, with the mission of dumping the top four in the House and Senate and positioning the Republicans for the White House in 2016.  Now that this blog holds the highly respected SAJE the Republicans will surely sit up and listen.

Preview

But if you think my previous, barely understandable rants were perhaps a bit too harsh, stand by.  I intend to piss off everyone this year.  Before the year is out, I will upset people from every race, creed and sex, or lack thereof.  It seems that the only way to motivate Americans is to tweak their noses and run away laughing.  I am just the man for that job.
I make this promise:  I will do my level best to present views that are at least arguable on a reasonable level.  While I will leave your nose feeling properly tweaked, it will be because my argument is strong; not because I think daisies spring out of my butt every time I post something.  I will also strive to be right.   But then, when am I not?  (For those of you just tuning in, I am always right…and damn good-lookin’!)  Further, I promise to do all these things more often, so long as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed has no objections or has no chores for me to do. 
I’d like to think that as the new year unfolds mentors like George Will and CK will look at this blog with pride; the kind of pride a man has for his 27 year-old son who stops licking windows and takes a position as a carnival barker – or Al Sharpton’s hairdresser – eew.  And I humbly hope that your New Year’s resolution will be to share and comment on every syllable this award-winning blog publishes in 2015.
Posted on

What People Really, Really Want.

Isn’t organized religion a handy contrivance?  There isn’t anything that you can say, not a single phrase you can mutter that can’t be tied into a phrase or idea in any grand holy book.  At the end of this article is a link.  For those entrepreneurs studying for the religion business, this link is a very poor example of how to structure your sermons.  It’s rather pathetic in terms of even religious symbolism.  If you want a high-calibre, self-serving sermon that’s going to make you extra relevant in the eyes of your parishioners, you might want to consult Joel Olsteen.  He’s got morons thinking they can find god on the radio for $5.95 a month.  Just a few platitude from a guy who learned his craft as his preacher Daddy’s sound man, and you too can find Jeeeeeeesus.

But the reason I included this clip at the end is because it demonstrates what people will swallow and what you can convince them of under the guise of “spiritual leadership”.  Most of the people in the “pastor’s” congregation that day knew that every word coming form his mouth was ridiculous.  A few, I’m sure, actually bought it.  There’s always a few.  But for all present, there was a reason to at least pretend they bought it.

At about 6:48 in the video, this “pastor” compares a punk and petty thief to that which is the model of perfection to Christians, the Christ figure himself.  This, he tells us, is the result of his conversation with the holy spirit.  His personal conversation that occurs because he is the guy on the podium and so much closer to the center of all existence than those to whom he speaks.  (If a word this guy said were true, you’d have to assume that the holy spirit has a serious problem communicating.) The comparisons he draws are even more stupid than the premise itself.  But, no matter, it was raw meat to those wanting to insinuate themselves into the narrative in front of the TV cameras. They wanted to be part of the hype supplied by this “pastor” and mob rat #7 and violent race baiter the “reverend” Al Sharpton.  This was a media party. This was the place, among many others, where people were getting “permission” from the charlatans to behave in any manner they wished with regard to the law and social norms.  And Al is a pro.  He has enriched himself making irresponsible accusations and encouraging hate and violence. He lacks the nads to take part in it.  But he didn’t mind seeing a Jewish shop burned down after he fired up some hate in a mob a few years back.

And even now, so many weeks after people rioted, burned shops and stole merchandise (because some punk they neither knew or cared about broke a cop’s face and ended up shot) the people of Ferguson look for any excuse the speak nonsense to power and try to provoke a confrontation with police.

There was a time when this would have been shocking.  But it is now a rather tame example of what has become the norm.

If you can convince a large groups of people in the middle east that stomping babies and beheading people because they won’t validate you and your stupid god, well then you could probably convince a few Americans to try it too.  It has already happened here.  If you can do that, then you could probably persuade your credulous followers to picket funerals and denounce soldiers because there are gay people in the military.  It follows that you could also convince people, having not a shred of evidence, that a man dying of a virus with a 50% kill rate was the result of racism.*  And if you can do all that, you can certainly use race baiting and emotional manipulation to get people to act like animals and tear their own town apart.  All you need do is pretend a worthless bully is a precious flower and spew stupid chants like, “No justice, No peace!”

Why?  Because that is what so many people want.  They WANT to be lied to.  They want to be led by the nose.  They want to feel like they are moving with the mob and are therefore more important than they once were.  They want to subjugate themselves to celebrity and call it religion.  They want to vote for political whores (statesmen require the listener to think).  They want to make as many decisions as possible based on pure emotion.  And they never want actions to have consequences.  So, when guys like mob rat #7 and the “pastor” tell them it is okay, they want to behave like mindless children.

To the looters and screamers in Ferguson, grow up. (It cannot be emphasized enough that the overwhelming majority of this cadre never knew the punk, Brown and don’t really care about him.) Learn to resent those who would separate you from the rest of society based on your skin color and join the rest of us at the grownups’ table.  Tell Shaprton, Farrakhan, et al to piss up a rope and sell their debasing shit somewhere else.

To the responsible citizens of Ferguson, I can only wish you well and assure you that eventually the others will run out of cool shit to steal and give themselves migraines screaming mindless chants.  When that day comes it will be up to you to rebuild you city.  It probably goes without saying, “no matter what your skin color” because that isn’t what makes you responsible or irresponsible.

To the rest of the country I can only suggest that you not draw the MSNBC lesson from Ferguson.  Justice doesn’t come from emotionalist rants and riots and mob mentality.  It comes from deliberative responses to crime and social ills.  By all means, monitor you police and government.  But don’t pretend you believe that the proper answer to the death of a punk is to praise the punk.  Wait until there is evidence before you decide to burn down your own neighborhood.

*”Reverend” Jesse Jackson, in a desperate bid to rebuild his own relevance blames the death of an ebola patient on racism.  But hey, he got on TV!  The collection plate and the next Rainbow Push rally should net a tidy profit.

How the “pastor” made is nephew’s funeral all about himself and other stupid stuff

Posted on

The Weird Shit Humans Do – Part I (Kissing)

The best thing about hosting a political blog is that when I grow weary of covering the political zoo, when I despair of ever finding an actual statesmen in this intellectual wasteland, I can occasionally avert my attention and just have fun.  To wit:

Let’s Play Smashy Face!

Have you ever sat back and taken stock of human behavior and interaction from a critical point of view? Half of you just muttered, “Of course; stupid question.” Sadly the other half just said, “Huh?” Well, Supercyrano has been pondering this oddity that is the human being. And just for shits and giggles, I’ve decided to play with it here on the very blog that brought down Jay Carney…sort of.  My own lip is curling just a little bit.



Now this is one that I have been pondering for a while.  More than passing strange, is kissing.  As a friendly greeting or display of familial love, it is odd enough.  But as an action of passion, well, how did we hit on this?  Who was the first person to say,”Hey, I’m felling a bit horny.  Let’s see if there is anything to it.  Smash your mouth against mine and we’ll gauge the result”?

Seriously, what an odd development.  I have always assumed it was an outgrowth of us sniffing at each other as humans did before the Kennedy Administration.  I still do that.  I usually get kicked out of the bar, but I’m also drunk by that time so it’s all good.

I did some reading on the subject of kissing.  At Psychology today, Noam Shpancer (now there’s a name for ya), PhD says, “ A kiss brings us into close physical proximity with the other, close enough to smell and taste them. The face area is rich with glands secreting chemicals that carry genetic and immunological information. Our saliva carries hormonal messages. A person’s breath, as well as the taste of their lips and the feel of their teeth, signals things about their health and hygiene, and thus their procreative suitability.”

Dude!  Are you trying to put me off kissing?  Aren’t doctors gross?  How do they ever have sex?

So what, did people say way back when – before Whoopi Goldberg started shaving her eyebrows and Rosie O’Donnel started… shaving?  “Oh!  BLECK!  No, Sweetie, I don’t want you to be the mother of my uggles (caveman for babies).  I am not happy with the taste of your dental bacteria and your salivary secretions.”  Of course, what sane man- even a caveman –  would say that?  Maybe that was when they invented the line: “It’s not you, it’s me.”

But I digress.  

When kissing, who but the most socially maladjusted, analyzes the other’s spit and glandular output?  We are just hungry for each other.  We’re not sampling.  We’re trying to find out just how much we are going to get away with tonight.  At least the guy is.  The woman is criticizing technique and calculating whether she might put off mimosas with the girls to give this schmo a shot at the title.

But why kissing?  Why not thumb wrestling or the shot put?  Why not balancing baseball bats on our noses.

Doctor Shpancer asserts that maybe, “we bring that person into our vulnerable personal space and agree to take the risk of catching an infection or disease.”

Doc!  Seriously!  Okay, I’ll go as far as checking for halitosis and maybe hoping her double mint is still tasting minty.  But stop with the microbes!

You have to admit though, it is a damned funny activity.  Maybe there’s a stunt aspect to it.  It is something you can do with no hands; “Look Ma!  I’m only using my lips – AND I got my eyes closed!” 

Remember, I AM a Professional.

I would have to say though, that in the case of kissing, our hands may actually add a degree of difficulty to the execution.  You have to know where to put your hands for maximum effect.  While I pride myself on kissing ability, I used to get ahead of myself in terms of the hand placement continuum. For example, when kissing a person for the first time, it is unwise to showoff your one-handed bra hook technique, especially on a crowded subway platform.  It cost me half a paycheck just to make bail.  Oh, and you should probably know her name by this time.

So guys, I have found that the technique that works best (and avoids having to register as a sex offender) is to move slowly.  Remain a bit tentative.  This puts the prey, er – ahem! – uh, your date at ease.  It lets her think that you are not the presumptuous pig that most of you are.  As your lips meet, try the “one – two” technique.  One hand goes to the waist, the other to the side of the neck and just touching the jaw line.  First waist, then neck.  Try it in the mirror a few times until you are comfortable with it.  Then wipe down the mirror.

Now we move the actual kiss itself.  There is a lot to avoid here.  The biggest is simply not getting carried away.  There are people out there who think passionate kissing consists of placing your mouth over the lower half of the intended’s face and lashing the tongue about like it was a whale tail.  NO!  Bad dog!  All this does is freak out your date and leave her nose, chin and some clothing dripping with unwanted spit.

Video examples:  Don’t be this guy!

Another ‘fail’ is treating the tongue as a separate player in the project.  This is where one partner avails the tongue even slightly, and the other forgets the lips and tries to suck the tongue right out of partner number one’s face.  A well-delivered kiss is like a French desert recipe.  Tongue and lips must work together, balanced and subtle to have the desired effect.

Back when I was a world renowned lover, the technique that led the fewest arrests was to combine the peck and passion technique with the one – two maneuver.  You should proceed thus.  When you are ending a date or at a quiet moment when she registers clear affection, lean in slowly while holding her gaze.  A quick kiss (the peck), then One (hand to the waist).  Now, inhale through the nose. You don’t want to pass out.  Next, open your lips ever so slightly against your partners lips.  If still in the game, she will do likewise.  Now touch your tongue lightly to her lips.  Now Two (hand to neck).  This starts the passion segment.  Close your eyes.  Your date should respond and your tongues should just touch.  She may even lean into you; pure heaven.  Now you may kiss more urgently and firmly.  Just don’t drool or giggle into her mouth.

Whether you use my ideas here or find something nice that makes your best girl feel good, just remember that the most successful kisser is the one who seeks to give pleasure.  The pleasure returned will be exponentially greater.

I was hoping to follow this with a segment on fondling and necking.  But the judge signed a gag order, in force until the trial is over.  Ah, well.  On the bright side, I may get off with time served.


  

Posted on

Our Tradition

July 1st

On our lawn in Thornburg, Virginia.

July 4th

Same lawn, same flag pole.
Every year between July 1st and July 4th, Lyn and I (she is still Canadian and loyal subject of the Crown) stand on the lawn in period costume and beat the tar out of each other.  We call it a re-enactment.  Then on July 5th we become allies and trading partners again.  We seal the treaty with rabid monkey sex.  I’m not sure how historically accurate that part is.
Posted on

Living on a River

A post moved from my other blog.

I moved this one here because the wusssies that run my other blog felt it was too commercialized for their taste.  Meanwhile they provide all manner of ways to monitize your blog site as it grows.  If I wasn’t so heavily published there, I’d start a new one entirely.  But for this post, I decided to just move it over.

_____________________________________________________________________________

This will be a shameless plug. It didn’t start out that way. A romantic at heart, I was just inspired to sit down and write. You see, the biggest heron I ever saw just glided down the river at treetop level. This creature looked like a flamingo on steroids, a pterodactyl with feathers. So write I did. I waxed poetic about how this experience reminded me of seeing pelicans for the first time, gliding with the kind of cool only they can display, inches above the swells in the Atlantic, just off the beach in Dam Neck.  But after scribbling for a while I realized that there was an opportunity here.

Some Back Story

Almost 8 years ago, Lyn, aka she-who-must-be-obeyed, and I were evaluating our situation, living in Governor’s Green, Fredericksburg, Virginia. We were empty nesters, living in a large home, which had doubled in value in just 4 years. Real estate junkies that we are – we’d purchased that home on a whim and a 20% up-front discount – and knowing full well that we were at the peak of the market, we decided to cash out and find THE home. The search was on. I had many times looked at the home we occupy now and passed it up without the slightest thought. Lyn however found it on her own search and it had the magic ingredient. Water. True to the definition of her name, Lynette, she always want to live on water. When she pulled up the ad for this house on Realtor.com I was inclined to just say no. But the look in her eye had me saying yes. I bought here for two reasons: To let Lyn have the home she wanted and because there would be room to build a proper wood shop on the property. There were countless properties in this market where I could have built a shop. But they don’t light Lyn’s eyes the way this one did.

This is how the house used to look.  It was just a simple 
river house with four bedrooms, good storage and little else.  
                                                           
To be perfectly honest with you, it wasn’t much to look at when we got here. But it was SMALL. That is what we were looking for. A simple house in Thornburg, Spotsylvania County. After years of big neighborhood houses, creating lawns that people used to take pictures of and ask pointers on; after maintaining spaces for social gatherings and high living, we now had a little split level on the Po River that didn’t NEED anything and made us feel like we were living in the Pocono Mountains every time we came home. Not bad, not bad at all. We have an abundance of wildlife for our three little acres. There are deer, owls, red tail hawks, bald eagles, cardinals, heron, rabbits, groundhogs, foxes and on and on. As it was, we had a perfect little hide-away.

Not So Fast, Lazy Man!

My contentment was not to last. One day I came home and saw Lyn contemplating our west wall. “What are you doing?”, I asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.
“Ya know,” she said, “If we blew out this wall we could put in a big living room and a garage.”
OUCH! But what does a husband say to that. I took the profits from the previous house, minus what I spent building the shop and gave her a huge living room, a two car garage and three decks. I know, you can say it. I’m a sucker. But $100,000 later, we have more than doubled our footprint and beautified our home. My girl was thinking. The extra glass just below the new roofline was Lyn’s idea.  It came to great.

My Man Cave

Before there was a garage with a room-over, I had already added my dream shop. I make furniture as a hobby. I call it a hobby because I never sold very much. With the help of some friends to stand up the walls, I built a wood shop that occupied as much ground as the original house, 24′ x 36′. It stands at the opposite end of the property, near the road, on the crest of the next hill. I was surprised how quickly my tools filled it. But if you spend 25 years collecting shop tools they’ll have a big footprint. And for the first time I was comfortable working in a large shop rather than a garage or basement.
It has a wall-mounted heat pump that could use a shot of refrigerant, but fully charged it will just about chase you out with the heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Two cars can fit in the shop with careful maneuvering. By adding another bay door, or two you could easily fit two with rom left for quite a gear head heaven here. And there is a raceway going in as I write this not ten minutes from here. The track will be open to privates cars several times a week.

Work Shop

Or Next Adventure

Lyn and I have come to a new crossroads in our life together. We are planning our retirement. But we don’t want an ordinary retirement. Sadly, we can’t keep our hideaway on the Po River and maintain our present lifestyle. So we must let go.

Our river house is for sale! Shameless plug, I know. It’s my blog. It’s my laptop. I can do what I want.  We are presently interviewing for a new agent.

We will take a bit of a bath on the deal. The market is still flat. So somebody is going to get a free two-car garage with great room above, and a nearly free workshop. Poop! Personal pride notwithstanding, I can live with it. We will be one step closer to our retirement plan.


Main and upper deck and storage shed.

Lower Deck
Posted on

See?!?! This is Why I Can't Have Nice Things!

It’s been reported that there is, yet again, an activity and some tools that people are employing for pleasure which have the added benefit of helping them end an unhealthy relationship with something harmful.  And here’s the worst part; they are doing it on their own without supervision and taxation, beyond sales tax, of the government!  This must not stand.  There is no justification for anyone to do anything that isn’t controlled and limited by the imperial nanny state and its self-important, nosey, insecure busybodies.

The independent press, what little is left of it, is already criticizing the important steps local governments are taking to put these individualists under the loving thumb of the state, as they should be.

Here’s an example of dangerous people advocating independent behavior.  It should be noted that none of this was ever a White House talking point and is therefore unauthorized!  You are permitted to watch it, but you are not permitted to think and must fall back on government approved information as soon as the video is over.

Crazy haters who hate the good people who know more about everything than you do.


This whole e-cigarette craze is doomed to fail because it lacks many important elements of the kinds of successful programs Big Brother, er…uh, the United States Government and all those cute little, pretend state and local governments have forced into your lives for your own good.  First, there is not enough law surrounding it.  The Dodd-Frank bill, which took over the financial segment of our economy is a 1200 page law, tens of thousands of pages of regulations and costs employers billions of dollars in compliance (Good!  We hate rich people anyway.  And what have those mean corporations ever done for us anyway?).  The new immigration bill, designed to create cheap labor for weak-kneed republican populists and voting slaves for morally bankrupt democrat populists, is 1700 pages long. Obamacare, designed to end quality health insurance as we know it, is 2700 pages long.  Two of those pages actually deal with health CARE.  The rest is about placing power with the government where it belongs. It has already spawned nearly 30,000 pages of exquisite regulation that will keep those stupid, out-of-control doctors and insurers too busy complying to exploit the poor people of the nation.

What follows is beyond treachery.  While the lion-hearted mayor of New Amsterdam, Nanny Bloomberg fought for the banning of e-cigarettes in public places, cars, homes, sewers, etc., Bloomberg news (THE SAME NAME AS HIS HOLINESS) has an independent thinker actually talking on a TV program.  And the hosts are not banning or insulting her!

Warning: Contains information which may lead to free decision making.

Do you remember the debate about how guns independently leap out of their boxes, load themselves and kill people?  We were told to be frightened by the semi-automatic assault weapons.  (I know there is no such thing.  That’s not the point.)  Even though they can’t fire like a machine gun, they kinda look like one.  And that’s scary!  The guts are the same as any hunting or plinking rifle of the same calibre, but it is how you feel that counts; not pertinent facts.  Well, if all of that doesn’t give you the vapors, look at this!

Clearly, this product has been designed and marketed in such way as to be attractive to its end user; the, forgive my course language, individual.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Because I said so.  I am with the government and I am here to make you afraid.
And this from a doctor; see if he ever gets any Obamacare money!

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  It’s with big laws that the government finances the tens of thousands of little laws we use to tax you and punish you.  This e-cigarette thing has the potential of being really big. And the government needs your money!  Hey, cutting pay and benefits from the military and taxing medical device manufacturers only puts so much in our pocket.  We need more.  We’ve colluded with real cigarette companies for a century now.  We approve and handle their product and allow their market, while taxing the b’jesus out of YOU.  We say where you can smoke and make you pay for ever more pointless changes to the packaging and it’s still not enough.  We don’t care that wrecking this new concept will encourage people to continue smoking regular cigarettes.  We owe more favors to Marlboro than we do to some mom and pop vapor store.  By regulating and taxing the shit out of both houses, we get more of what we want; money and regulatory power, the latter which ultimately means more money.  We don’t care if nobody actually quits smoking.  We don’t have to.  We are the government.  And if you don’t see things our way, you are not patriotic.
=======================================================================
Disclaimer for the truly slow:  The author doesn’t wish to see the electronic cigarette interfered with by the government.  They F-up EVERYTHING they touch.  Lot’s of people will walk away from traditional cigarettes using this technology.  It follows that the e-cig popularity will eventually die off.  If Big Brother starts getting its incompetent fingers into the mix, people won’t go to all the work of using these things while paying as much as they do for real smokes right now.  They’ll just keep smoking.  We have to be careful what we are encouraging.
=======================================================================
Cheers.

Posted on

Toes in the Water

3 Mar 14

I have been reading The Economist quite a bit lately.  One might think with a name like that you’d find clear-eyed, conservative content; not at all.  It is a product from across the pond and is chock full of some of the most well-worn liberal drivel in print.  Last year they ran an article in which they made the case, not tongue-in-cheek, that the only thing wrong with Obama’s brilliant foreign policy programs is that they simple didn’t work.  Other than that they were remarkable.  The Economist has drunk of the global warming kool aid and gone back for seconds.  This exposure to “progressive” aspirations tarted up as journalism is not isolated.  But since the articles are well written the periodical has inspired me to a new mission.

I have decided to engage the political opposition in a blow-by-blow, ongoing discussion.  I will engage videos, satire, articles and entire publications in argument.  I will point out where they get it wrong and where they get it right.  I will be armed with my 55 years as a realist and an eye toward history.  I also invite readers from across the socio-political zoo to take me on.  You can push back on my assertions, suggest topics or lavish me with praise as you see fit.  I’ll get to as many as I can.  Early on that will be easy.  As we grow, it may become a challenge.  But we’ll make the trip together.

Look for posts to start appearing soon.