An American Phoenix?

Cover Image

Most of us are feeling the eternity of the pandemic. Wondering if the scars and damage will ever heal or if things will ever go back to some form of normal. A lot of people have either suffered harshly financially or have lived in constant stress and fear about their financial stability and survivability. In addition, many Americans are seeing the pandemic as shining the red-hot spotlight on American waning as the Economic Powerhouse of the World. And from watching the news and TV pundits and reading the business and economic articles all the experts agree with the common man.

But what if one ‘expert’, who makes his money from his own words, said The Rise Of America is something to come and not memories of the past…..

What if this ‘expert’ defies all the naysayers and points out what is really going on in the area of natural resources and exploitation of said resources…..

What if he explains the ins and outs of what is really going on with economies of the world, especially here in America….

Marin Katusa does exactly that in his work The Rise Of America Remaking The World Order. And it makes for a very interesting read. Most of us might think that economics and investing are truly beyond our understanding, as Katusa points out some of it is beyond the understanding of those in the middle of the wheeling and dealing as well. Thus, while you may not completely understand all the content of this work, you should understand enough to make you sit up and take notice of what you see and read in the news in a different light.

I have long held the belief that taking ANY currency off of the traditional gold-standard was a bad and destabilizing idea. I still hold that belief. But, unfortunately without a complete collapse of society on a global scale there is no hope of the gold-standard being returned and honestly, it would destroy economies to attempt to do so. My basis for supporting a gold-standard economy is the natural contraction that gold as a tangible and finite collateral placed on the economy. An economy could only grow to its limit of gold reserves, then it had to acquire more, plateau or rid itself of ‘dead weight’ and create new ideas, industries, and technology to fill those freed up areas, thus evolving and moving forward. Additionally, as a natural constrictor of the currency, gold-standard economies have a built in value feature that more modern economies lack. Those modern economic theories are the ones that Katusa focuses on in The Rise Of America and they are what we are stuck with for the foreseeable future, so we need to understand them and their impacts.

While America was the longest hold out of the major economies on the gold-standard; it was that coupled with their strong economic position after the war that made the dollar the economic franca lingua. This played into America’s ability to gain the dollar’s place as currency of trade for crude oil, even without a gold-standard. This is better explained in the pages of Katusa’s work. What we currently have is a fiscal-monetary coordination (FMC), which put too simply is the government agrees to provide certain “investments” whether they are tangible or not for the money supply that they are requesting. This is what I call a debt based system — all the currency is based on the future interest of current debt, or that a printed dollar today will be two dollars in 50 years; however, there is nothing backing today’s dollar other than the speculation of tomorrow’s profit and citizens’ ignorantly blind faith in it.

So what happens when this FMC theory becomes a near disaster? Well, that is when Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) can step in and be the (in my opinion) fake hero, saving the day. If it saves the day, how can it be a fake hero? In the same way that gloriously winning a losing battle does not win the war!

We have all used the phrase “money out of thin air,” which is at the very simplest level just what MMT is. The government or Wall Street needs money, just print it. The problem with that is two-fold; first, MMT is very dependent on the faith of the citizens of the currency, and second, there is no longer any real economic valuation for anything. Another words it really will not matter if a loaf of bread costs $1 or $100 cause the government will always have the ability to print the money that it needs for the loaf of bread. What will happen, more significantly than now, is how all this money, and make no mistake about it, there is way too much money in the system now, flows in the world of the economy.

All the economic theory aside, this book does focus on industrial needs and development and where and how America may or may not fair moving forward. And that should be of interest to all , American or not. Additionally, this book is a great companion read to Bright Green Lies, which covers some of the same topics as Rise Of America, from the opposite side of the debate.

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Post Apocalypse In The Bible Belt…

What could go wrong with that, right!

Cover Art

In this post cataclysmic world, The Church is not just the law, but has declared itself God and created an existence where The Church is everything and everywhere. In true church fashion anyone whom The Church deems an enemy is labeled a witch or heretic and is handled in the same way witches and heretics have always been handled by Godly Men! Torture and burnings.

To maintain order, The Church, controls all aspects of the people’s lives, from their education to their occupation. Additionally, The Church is a vast and powerful entity with no equal and has been for a thousand years, now. Maintaining complete control means that The Church maintains a vast army of enforcers.

In that, Malachi seems to be The Church’s Rising Star. He is their best witchfinder. He is one of the most loyal members of The Church. His life seems complete and fulfilled. But everything is getting ready to change. Malachi finds himself in unbelievable situations and extraordinary circumstances. With that his whole belief structure will be challenged.

He will have to question everything he knows and everything he believes; and he still may not make it out alive. However, he is not the only one to face turmoil. The members of his team, which he considers his only friends, will also find themselves in precarious circumstances. Day-to-day existence becomes constant life and death situations. Yesterday’s enemies and allies will become tomorrow’s allies and enemies.

Malachi will be swept from one crisis to the next, each with its own horrors and pitfalls. Some of his charges and team will make it and others will not. But they will all have to face unimaginable realities that shatter the facade of The Church. The justice they imposed will become the justice that they face. Yet, justice is only as just as those imposing it. And truth is only that knowledge and wisdom that you seek for yourself. Their journey is long and arduous and only beginning by the closing page.

*Copy Received For Review.

What’s happened with Science!

For years, and everyday in the last year, we have been being told to “Follow The Science!” In this last year the line has been that all the government measures have been ONLY following the science and or experts (read scientists). But, where did all this blind zealot faith in science come from? The foundation of science was not blind faith but ever present skepticism. However, the tower of science has become blind obedience with absolutely NO boat rocking. I have written on this shift previously, so I will try to not repeat myself, at least too much here, since this is more about someone else’s argument against scientism, specifically, material scientism.

via Amazon.com

I have long questioned the absoluteness of DNA, largely because if you do read the reports about the breakthroughs you can see holes so large that jumbo jets can be flown through them. Primary to me is how small the samplings are to “prove” a DNA trait, not to mention that the sample populations cannot be determined to be pure to begin with. Add to this the zealot dogma of science as being all-knowing and scientists as being infallible deities. The cult of science can be likened to Middle Age Catholicism in which neither the Church, nor her ‘holy men’ could be questioned or challenged.

Christopher points out that even in their labs they have tunnel vision, forget looking at the whole world with open eyes. This inability to even allow questions that might have physical, tangible, answers to exist and to crucify any one displaying such blatant impropriety has limited and distorted our understanding and knowledge of all things. Christopher points out that science has become a religion of materialism that only the physical attributes have value and, so much so in fact, that they are the only value.

We are being feed lines by the experts about everything about us and regarding us is “in the DNA”. The problem is that the research consistently fails to support that absolute and yet science still beats that drum so loudly as to drowned out anyone pointing that out or questioning it. Ironically, we used to consider those that could not understand the things that they could not see for themselves to be ignorant, currently we do not question those that will not attempt to understand anything they cannot see in their petri dishes.

Christopher presents valid arguments against the scientism of today. The work can be a challenging read, especially considering the author’s abusive love of the apostrophes. You will come across sentences that you have to decipher. Here’s your key….if the ‘s blows your mind, drop it and or add in ‘has’, that should make those sentences readable. In spite of the proof errors the information is worth the time.

*Copy Received For Review.

Struggling More With The Pandemic 20

If you are like most people, you are or have struggled with your weight. Dieting and trying to loose a few pounds has probably stressed you out on more than one occasion. It may seem like nothing that you do will truly make a difference not only with your weight, but your health, self-image, and most importantly your self-concept.

Cover Photo via Amazon.com

Unfortunately, the most common reason for our failure to reach those ideal images that we see in media everyday are two-fold. The first is the media onslaught of “their” perfection, which is an illusion. We seem to ignore that most of those images are actually unreal. They are of models and actors that have stylists, hairstylists, and makeup artists making sure that they are perfectly done. They have the resources and support (positive or negative) to achieve their “perfect” self (usually as they have been told it is or should be by others). Their perfect images are captured by professional photographers in studios or locations with all the lighting and backdrops needed to create perfection. And, after all that the images are still edited and manipulated to create an even more unrealistic “ideal” image.

The second aspect of our failure is something more personal that we can have more success in dealing with and turning into an asset in our life instead of the battle that it has probably been thus far. Our relationship with food can be either our best tool or greatest challenge in how we treat ourselves when it comes to food and eating. The truth is the more positive our relationship with food is the healthier and happier we will be. And this is where Daniel Zane Bryan’s book, Decode The Secrets To Weight Loss can help you out.

Bryan opens his work by explaining what some of us know and others may have never considered. That our relationship with food and how we think about food or eating is the foundation for a healthy life. However, he doesn’t just say that a bad relationship is bad so you need to change it and have a good one for success; he provides you with information that you can use to work on how you look at food and then how you choose what and how you eat. Furthermore, he goes on to provide you with tools that you can use to improve your relationship with food, improving your health and life along the way.

Food is one of the most important external parts of our life. We cannot survive without nourishment. To thrive we need food. It was this basic understanding that contributed to food, feasts and eating becoming such an important and social part of our human experience. Then somewhere along the recent way our millenniums long understanding of food’s importance to our health became warped and we not only became less healthy, we also became less happy.

We need to reverse this dilemma and the best way for a lot of us to begin this process is to pick up Bryan’s book to learn how to have a positive, healthy relationship with food. We need to bring food back to our hearts, souls and our dining room tables.

*Copy Received For Review.

On The Rebound

going for the rebound in basketballIt’s a fact of life that after a break-up we all look for a rebound. It’s human nature. We want hope. We want to know that “we still have it.” That there is still a chance at that fairy tale happy ending, even if we know the originals were dark and rarely with the Disney Happily Ever Afters. We want to feel the things we miss most about being in a relationship.

After my decision to walk away from Windows completely, I checked out a lot of Linux options. As I stated previously, I decided that Zorin and Mint were at the top of my rebound list. If you are still unsure about ditching Windows and making the leap of faith to a Linux distro check out both of these:

Linux Mint OS

and

Zorin OS

When it came to Mint, I loved the clean modern look and the DE (desktop environment) options. I also, liked that they had different options for differing machines/systems and one of the most active support forums of all the distros available. Almost all previous versions of Mint can still be found for download. Also, Mint always has a LTS (long term support) version, as well as beta/developer versions for advanced users. In addition, right out-of-the-box there are lots of ways to personalize everything about Mint. These were the reasons that Mint was on the top of my rebound list.

But, so was Zorin.

The first thing that any long-term Windows user will notice when checking out Zorin’s website is how comfortable it is. You get a very Windows’ish sense about everything and that is intentional. Zorin is the brainchild of two brothers from Ireland. Their whole concept is to create a Linux distro that the ordinary, non-tech Windows user can master as easily and comfortably as Windows.

One of the things that, I think, really sells Zorin are their focused versions. They have a Lite that is very basic and designed for older machines, think Windows XP systems, still hanging on. They have other versions that can be just as easily compared to Windows’ versions. If you are a simple Windows Home user then Zorin Core would be the cross-over for you. However, if you are a hard-core Windows Pro guru you will be impressed with Zorin’s Ultimate version. It comes packed with all the business, entertainment, gaming and content creation programs and apps you need. Zorin also has an extra version that is virtually ignored by all other OS teams, which impressed me greatly. Zorin Education comes pre-loaded with lots of programs and apps for learners of all ages and most interests. Of course their strongest areas are math, science, and programming, but they do have other areas covered or easily added.

For me, the advantage went to Mint, as my tech rebound.

Why, you ask?

The biggest reason, even though I found Zorin much more appealing and their Education version melted my heart, I was not, yet, quite ready to have a Linux relationship on my own. I needed the security of a loving safety net and D at the time was using Mint. So, I went with the safety and security of Mint. After all isn’t that what rebounds are all about?

It was a good choice for me. With blogging, taking classes, running FB groups and other ‘online needs’, I just wanted to get back to focusing on what was important to me, instead of having Windows changing my system when it suited them and creating chaos seemingly for their own entertainment. It was also an easy way for me to dump Windows without excessive stress; since I could always ask D to bail me out or make it work for me. Yes, I can be spoiled by D!

But, like all rebounds, comfort with Mint was a temporary fix for a growth problem. And after catching my breath and regaining my confidence, I knew that I wanted more than the comfort of Mint, especially as that comfort recreated some of the same annoyances that Windows had.

Don’t get me wrong, Mint is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distros available. And for most non-techy and tech savvy users alike it is a great choice and can provide many years of great computing. It just didn’t meet my needs after getting over Windows!

Intellectual Prowess with Feminine Flair

While most of what I read is in the non-fiction section of the library…

I Love A Good Novel!

So, what makes a good novel for me? Honestly, it depends on my mood, but for sure the characters have to have depth and intelligence and the plot has to have enough challenges and interest too that I don’t already know the ending before the end of Chapter 1.

I must confess, also, that I really love having that in a series! And I like being a little late to the series party. Why, you might ask? Cause, I am a committed reader. Thus, if I get a hold of a really good book, I can finish it in a weekend (please read here, couple of days) if not a night!  Therefore, it is in my emotional reading interest that I have at least a couple, if not the whole series published first, so I do not have to feel let down to have to wait for the next one.

For any authors that might be reading this; do not take me wrong, I know that those of you, with a passion for your craft put a lot of time and effort into your finished works and that to publish high quality content takes time. And I do greatly appreciate the time that you take in creating such joy for the readers of the world!

Book cover of Stalking Jack The Ripper
Book Cover via LibraryThing

Another fact that I should state upfront, I do not believe in “age-appropriate” books! Do not get me wrong, I would not suggest the 50 Shades series to a 10 year old, but from what I have heard the writing of the story is sub-par, I do not know, I have never read any of it. I think I was turned off by the trending of it as “Mommy Porn”; what is that, even? Either it is porn or it isn’t. And if it was porn that made mainstream, good on it! But, I digress.

Back to our focus, I have read and continue to read many books and series that are labeled as Young Adult, such as the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games series. So last year sometime, summer, I think, I discovered a series from  James Patterson Presents. The author is Kerri Maniscalco and the series is Stalking Jack The Ripper, also the title of the first book in the 4 book series. (I have bittersweet feelings about only 4 books in this series)

drawing of Audrey Rose Wadsworth
SJTR Character Card Teasers via author website

The main character is an intelligent, strong willed and minded, young lady from an affluent titled family in 19th century London, Audrey Rose. Maniscalco does a great job of not only weaving an intricate plot with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and sometimes even second guessing their suspicions, but, also, providing great insight into the challenges of being an intellectual and a lady in Victorian England and the world for that matter then and now.

The plot stays mostly true to the known or accepted facts of the case, where Maniscalco shines is her filing in the blank spaces that have been supposed and hypothesized for decades. Her version of the unknown aspects of the most famous violent murderer of all-time is both plausible and captivating for the reader. There are plenty of secondary plots to give the whole world of Audrey Rose depth and substance, drawing the reader into the pages heart and soul. And after you get through all the meat of the story, Maniscalco presents extras including notes on the historic liberties she has taken in retelling the story as well as juicy tidbits that while mentioned in the story were not shared, like letters to main characters.

The whole package and delivery are just extraordinary and completely refreshing in this age of seemingly reused, recycled and reduced repeats of plots with shallow characters and poor editing. While self-publishing allows for some really good writers with some not so mainstream works to make it to the public, it has also created the illusion that anyone can be a best-selling author. And Kerri Maniscalco is the whole package of a best-selling author. 

 

 

Did YOU Get An Invite?

One thing that the virtual world has, some would say, more than enough of is social media platforms and one thing that those same some would say social media platforms have more than enough of are influencers! And while it is true that a lot of most people’s waking time is spent on social media, wanted or not, this has somehow created influencers, the newest sensationalism profession. And yet there seems to always be room for one more. But how often does the next one more actually have the dressings of something more? That being said, there’s a new kid on the block that looks and talks and walks like something new; Clubhouse!

So what makes Clubhouse the cool new kid on the social media block? Well, a few things actually.

First, Clubhouse is brand newish (it’s actually been around for about 14 months or so), And everyone loves something brand new. But, being brand new only takes you so far and in today’s society not as far as it used to take you.

Second, Clubhouse is invite only! And the formula for the invites creates an air of exclusiveness (which might actually also create a limiting user base down the road). You can only invite 2 others and you have to know them well enough to have their phone numbers as the invite links are sent via text (SMS) message to the recipients’ mobile phones. Current users include both Oprah and Elon, but also includes more normal and or regular people, not sure how they got so lucky, but good for them! (Actually, we will touch on this later.)

Third, Clubhouse is audio only. What does that actually mean? Well, it is a mix between live talk radio/podcast and town hall type events. All interaction occurs in a talk or conversation; either a table forum for smaller and or private rooms or for larger rooms with more participants it works like the town hall type event with speakers and an audience. And like with live talk radio and town hall meetings lucky audience members get to ask questions or give feedback during the conversation. So you could actually interact with a celebrity or industry leader on a topic of interest to you.

Lastly, it is another place for influencers to build their clout by directly interacting with their followers. One way of doing this is that your Clubhouse account can be linked to your Instagram and or Twitter account, which is currently the only way that you can have private chats via DM with other Clubhousers. But by hosting or participating in talks you can gain more followers by demonstrating that you know what you are talking about or what you know about relevant topics to your field.

So you want to know more…… like how to get in on the action or what to do after receiving your invite?

While, I cannot give you the 411 from personal experience, I am not on anyone’s contact list that is in, so far. And honestly, it is likely to stay that way for a long time, I am not the type to give my mobile number to everyone or to anyone without some specific need for them having it. That being said, supposedly if you look hard enough or at least in the right places, you can buy invite codes and or you can put your name on invite chains. But, I digress; so, back on track, what I have shared comes from someone that is in the know personally.

I was given the opportunity to read a New Release by author J.L. Fehr, Influencer Marketing High On Clubhouse and after reading the book last night, I can say that I feel comfortable saying that “I know Clubhouse” even if I am an outsider! This work is efficient and informative. The focus is on what to do, how to do, and why you are doing. It is direct to those questions, but is not a bullet point list with NO personality. Fehr uses his own experiences both good and bad to provide real and accurate support for his advice. In doing so, he has created a valuable resource for those influencers or just regular users that find themselves invited to the Clubhouse!

*Copy Received For Review.

Bright Greens Apocalypse

Bright green lies

Many years ago there was an environmental movement. It began long before anyone knew Al Gore or Gretta and it was full grown before carbon footprint consciousness was trendy or cool. These activists that were screaming about every single creature lost and every blade of grass turned into concrete seemed about as extreme and crazy as anyone could be. Most were considered left over hippies with a new cause. In those long ago days, they were also treated like any extreme fanatical crazy would be treated. They were demeaned, arrested, sued and denounced by their opponents and they were mostly ignored or laughed at by the regular people.

The sad thing is that now we know that they really were onto something. It can be a really hard thing for someone who is busting their ass to pay the bills and maybe get just ahead enough to have some comfort to find the time, energy, and or motivation to give a damn about some disaster to the planet and nature half a world away. It is a challenging thing to understand that what happens in some remote mountain village in Asia or South American can have profound and direct impact on your life and or your way of life. Heck, it is even hard to care about what happens in places like Love Canal, New York or Picher, Oklahoma or any of the other more than 1300 Superfund Toxic Sties in the United States. The problem is that like a cancer in the body, if you do not care about what happens because the cancer is not somewhere important, by the time it spreads to somewhere important it will be too late to stop it. The same holds true with industrial practices that destroy the planet wherever they go. They strip out every usable resource and squeeze every bit of profit and then leave a permanent scar and move on to the next site with resources to strip bare and they will continue to do so as long as there is a profit to be made. No location on the planet is safe from their greed.

Even if you are proactive, unlike the cancer patient above, and go to the doctor and get the tumor removed; but now you have not a life but an existence scheduled around chemo treatments and down days and check-ups and tests and more down days you get a cure that is more damaging and destructive than the original tumor (depending on your priorities and definitions). There is NO perfect solution to ANY problem. That is part of the challenge of life, solving problems the best way possible and then dealing with not only the known or foreseen side effects but more importantly recognizing and understanding and learning from the unintended and unforeseen side effects. And there are ALWAYS unintended and unforeseen side effects. How do we make the best choices and decisions and pick the best solutions to the most daunting problems facing us? Hopefully, we use our minds, our intelligence and creativity, our morals, our sense of fairness and right over wrong, our hearts, our compassion and our humanity. Most importantly, we have to have clear worthy goals and be willing to make hard choices to reach those worthy goals and live with those solutions.

https://alizul2.blogspot.com/2015/03/10-worst-environmental-disasters-caused.html

In the environmental movement this is not what happened. Instead, the movement was usurped by opportunists that could see a whole profitable movement sweep the world. Enter the age of the trendy, shiny, and very cool Bright Greens. They took the 3 R’s of the Green Movement and reduced them to the 1 that would be inline with profit margins and consumerism. Well done Corporate America and Corporate World. The original 3 R’s were to reduce the amount of waste that one created, presumably by reducing the amount of things that one threw out by reducing the amount of consumption and or being aware of the waste from each purchase or product, to reuse or repurpose those things that no longer worked in their original role, but could serve another purpose which would in essence also reduce, and the surviving R, recycle, the R that could be made into profit for the corporate world.

Most people today, consider themselves to be environmentally concerned citizens, but when you strip away all the marketing and trending hashtags, do you know just how you stack up in your roll of Steward Of The Planet? You might think that you are doing your best, buying products that are “organically” grown and packaged in recyclable packaging. Donating to the right causes. Voting for the right candidates. Supporting the right parties. But are you still buying the latest iPhone, every release date and remote working from your favorite coffee shop on your Mac Pro? Going home and still binging Netflix most nights while you order take out Sushi or pho delivered by your Uber Eats, Door Dash guy in his electric Mini, your water from bottles, cause tap water, GROSS! You have sworn off meat cause cow farts are second behind humans for causing CO2 emissions. You’ve gone vegan cause all the pretty people are and science proves we are herd animals so we should be eating plants and fake things.

However, there is a kink in your movement! It is built on a foundation of half-truths with walls of lies surrounding delusions of a Happily Ever After that cannot be. For every scientific study that proves one of the Bright Greens slogans there is at least one that disproves and more that find flaws with it. No this is not an article to bash lifestyles or living choices, but to ask you to make them with your eyes wide open and to engage in preferred behavior understanding all the implications. How do you do that, you ask.

Simple.

Pick up or order the new work Bright Green Lies by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert. I recently received a copy of the book and wow. First, it is a long read, but it is worth it, so stick it out if you really care about Planet Earth. Second, if you read it with an open mind and with the intention of learning and understanding it is full of information, a lot of it stuff that we really truly should know, but we do not think about and some that we might have had some idea about but not the full and complete implications. To keep things balanced, the authors are original, dyed in the wool environmentalists, not the chic, trendy brand influencers of social media. So while a lot of their suggestions for solving the problem might seem out there and or crazy extreme, they, themselves, are aware that most of us cannot be that committed and or dedicated. And in that regard they show their humanness by openly sharing their short comings in reaching the ultimate goals that they layout. That being said, most of us can be more intentional and more aware and make better informed decisions about how we live our lives and how we spend our money and how we focus our lives.

While the book addresses most of the impacts of today’s most common way of life and supports their arguments regarding the pros and cons of all the popular trendy solutions, they also provide references to a multitude of other sources for you to research for yourself. Another words, unlike the politicians and CEOs and even popular activists their stance is not “take our word for it” but go do your own research and make up your own mind. To get your started I have included a couple links in the article that are short reads and barely scratch the surface of existing damage. Or you could continue letting industry lead the way to solving any environmental problems, most of their own making while claiming that they care.

I can honestly say that I will never live up to the goals of the book. However, having hard numbers and even theorized numbers from ‘expert’ solutions spelled out has brought details that I knew superficially into much better focus. The result is that I want to strive to live a much more intentional life and make more intentional choices in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, I want to be able to live with my choices, because I make them as informed as I can be. Will all my choices be perfect, no, they will not, but, it is my goal that they will be the best choices that causes the least negative impact all the way around. And that in my opinion is a very good start.

For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of strangers read Bright Green Lies and make up your own mind, based on the research and not the trending hashtags.

*Copy Received For Review.

The Beginning…

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I was and am one of the luckiest people in the world. I have managed to find the best best friend and the most perfect for me partner, both in the same person. This is something that I think we have lost and it explains why divorce has become such a common fact and people deciding to just live together or just date a more common reality. We now have the friend zone and the dating pool and they rarely, if ever, merge and that is a bad thing. If we want the most from a relationship, our best chance of success, we should only look for love in our friend zone! Think about it, these are already the people that we like, that we trust, that we have things in common with. Not to mention they are the ones that have seen our good and bad and are still there. All the things that we say we want from a partner, yet, we look at strangers in the club or on match-making apps for our perfect mate, completely ignoring the best resource closest to us.

Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying to tear through your Friend Zone like Hurricane Andrew through South Florida. What I am saying is that refusing to follow the chemistry and or natural desires just because the other is in your friend zone is setting yourself up for failure. First, if you are true friends, then seeing where dating will lead will not end the friendship. More importantly, if the dating leads to the happily ever after turn off, you have a much greater chance of success since you are friends first.

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My partner and I started as friends first, matter of fact, neither of us wanted more than friendship. And that friendship very quickly ignited into a blazing fire that shot like a rocket to the intersection of No Return and Happily Ever After! And sure because our little embers of friendship blew up into a raging wildfire we did have some growing pains and lots of challenges. Our best advantage for overcoming them all; our foundation was our friendship! No, we were not life long friends, but, we clicked from the “friends” part from the start and we have never lost it or forgotten it. And these prompts from the beginning are more true today than they were then:

An Engaging Conversation . . . . .

The last person that I had a really great conversation with is the same person that I always have really great conversations with, from the first day we met. That person is the love of my life. He is smart and engaging and one of the most interesting people I have ever had the privilege of spending time with. Words are not adequate to properly express how much I enjoy my time with the most important person in my life. I can honestly say that he is the first person that I have ever met that I truly want to spend every minute with. I have met others that I do enjoy my time with them, but I also enjoy my time apart. Not so with my favorite man, I never seem to have enough time to spend with him and unlike others where I knew that the interest was temporary. I cannot imagine ever losing any interest, matter of fact my interest grows everyday. I look forward to every minute with him and I dislike every minute away from him.

If I couldn’t be me with you…..

If I couldn’t be me with you,
I wish to have been a cotton plant
grown and cultivated
to be the finest thread of Egyptian cotton,
dyed your favorite shade of your favorite color.
To be spun into the strongest softest thread,
woven into sheets that wrap around you each and every night….
keeping your dreams safe
surrounding you with love
The nights with you would be the most perfect
I could imagine or hope for.
I would be the envy of every angel in the heavens,
to be able to be so close to you
to feel your skin
to bask in your warmth,
not even heaven could compare to you.

Getting To Know “Us”

We should all have some level of understanding about ourselves. It works best when we know ourselves better than anyone else; however, that is rarely the case. We need to learn about ourselves the same way that we would others. Get to know ourselves by asking questions that we answer about who we are and what we want and what our strengths and weaknesses are. Luckily for some of us, writing prompts can give us some of that and we work on our writing to boot! Win, win for us!

Here are some more of mine, and do not be afraid of the answers, you do not have to put them out in the world like this, they can be just for you, so be honest!

My 10 Best Qualities (well 5 anyway) ……

good listener
I have been told by lots of people that I am a great listener, that they feel they really can tell me anything and I don’t seem to be judgmental or negative in anyway to their issues.generous
If I can help or do for someone, I’m there. I sometimes don’t even think about the cost to me to be there for someone in need.

dependable
I saw an old friend recently that I hadn’t seen since freshman year of high school and she gave me the best compliment that I had had in a long time. She told me that I was the one friend that she always knew would be there for her no matter what.

loyal
If you are my friend, I will have your back no matter what. Sometimes, maybe even when I shouldn’t. I will always be there for you, in any way that I can.

down to earth
I hear that a lot from people that meet me. I just am me so I’m not sure what they truly mean about me being down to earth. No I don’t try to be something that I am not and I do not think that I am any better than anyone else. I just try to do right in all that I do 🙂

My Epic Road Trip . . . . .

I would travel the Panamerican Highway. It traverses two continents from Alaska to Argentina. It is almost 30,000 miles through 14 different countries and numerous climates and ecosystems, with spurs into 5 more countries. What more could one person want in ONE road trip than the diversity of traveling over two continents and seeing every season and experiencing snow covered mountains to hot arid deserts with tropical rain forests and seemingly impassible jungles in between. That would be a trip of a lifetime!!!

On Public Speaking . . . . .

I do not mind public speaking and I am efficient at it. I have competed in impromptu speaking in the past and even won competitions. I am not much for written speeches or memorized speeches. I think the speaker should know the topic that they are going to speak on well enough to speak without needing every word written on paper. I also think that the speaker needs to be flexible enough to read their audience and work with them to the common goal of disseminating the proper and accurate information so that the audience gains knowledge and leaves feeling better informed and even satisfied.
The manner in which the speaker presents his information will assist the audience in gaining the presented information. The speaker should show confidence in their facts and opinions, they should use examples to demonstrate the validity of their case as well as be an engaging conversationalist. The voice of the speaker should be rhythmic and fluid with minimal distractions or interruptions. Another technique that should be employed by the speaker is the use of visual aids to encourage and hold the interest of the audience and thus increase the probability of increasing the knowledge of the audience.

On Abandoned Buildings . . . . .

Creepy cool 🙂 I think that buildings like people have their own character and personality. Some buildings are inviting and tempt the curiosity while others make you cross the street when passing by. I also think that the stories (or lack of) can increase the creepy or cool or creepy cool factor. By nature we are curious creatures so we are always wanting to learn or know something for ourselves. We are also a competitive species and that enhances the natural curiosity of seeing if the ‘stories’ are real. Is the house really haunted? Can you still see the blood on the walls? Is it the wind or ghosts? Sometimes we just want to say we saw where something happened, it can make it real.
Being a history student I find old buildings and places more cool than creepy 🙂 and the older the cooler for me.

On Money and Happiness

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-15 at 09.14.52
No, money cannot buy happiness. If you are unhappy in your tar paper shack, you will be unhappy in your 6 bedroom mansion. However, money can buy unhappiness. It takes someone well grounded to get money and not let the side effects of money destroy their happiness.
Money is not the root of all evil, money is the tool that evil uses to usurp good; but, it is only a tool and like any tool is for good or evil dependent upon the hand that wields it.
Hopefully, not only does this give you a chance to learn about me and see how little random writing exercises can help with your writing, no matter what your writing goals are; but, that you can also get to know another really amazing person, yourself!
NOTE: These prompt exercises are from July 2013

How To Do When You Can’t Do

We all have our moments in time when we cannot seem to do those things that make us us, that make us happy, that give us satisfaction. Most of us that choose to pursue a course that uses our thing to share with the world and complete us, have phases where it seems like we are spinning our wheels or making no difference at all, that no one notices or cares. During those phases we struggle with continuing to do our thing and sometimes we even stop doing our thing while we are in that phasal funk.

As I have pursued my journey as a writer, I have had my share of funks for various reasons. I have dealt with the voices in my head telling that I am not good enough, or that no one is listening, to life becoming a train wreck and needing to be put back together taking all my time. And once I stop writing for any reason, picking up the actual or virtual pen again and composing the next piece is emotionally and mentally a monumental task! It isn’t a lack of desire to write again, it is truly a physical impairment to get the words down on paper. To get the thoughts to either come when you have pen in hand or to hang around until you get pen in hand.

One of the tools/practices/exercises that I used to get back into writing after one of those funks was a writing prompt sites. I do not remember which one I used to use, but I am sure that there are plenty of them out there with a simple search engine query. The one that I used would give you either a sentence that was more the opening of an answer to an unasked question or a clause to start the sentence. And to be honestly accountable, I did publish them…..

So, what to do with them now that we are merging all my random bits and pieces and D’s intentional pieces together?

I have decided to compile them into a couple pieces….some here and others in another piece or two if need be. I hope that you find them helpful for you on your journey, whatever it is and wherever it takes you.

When the Lights Go Out ….

When the lights go out there are several ways that we occupy our time. It depends on who is home and what time of day it is. If it is daytime then we might pull out board games and play or grab a good book and do some reading. If it is night time then we might pull out the flashlights and tell stories with shadow puppets on the walls or just spend time with each other.

The One Who Got Away

First off there isn’t just ONE that got away. I would have to say that there is not someone that got away that I truly wish I could go back in time and get back because I just know that they were so the right choice that I didn’t make. If I had to pick one choice that I do wish I could go back and redo I’m not sure that I could even do that. I know that had I truly applied myself in high school that I would have had a different life. I know that if I had done for me and not what others wanted me to do and enlisted in the military outta high school my life would be much different. But I didn’t do either of those things and there are things that I have now – – my girls being the best – – that I would never risk over woulda, coulda, shoulda. There truly is no point in what ifing especially if it makes you stagnant. Life is suppose to be about motion even if that means that we have to go backwards or sidewards to get there or even push up against the wall feeling like we are not making any progress. It is all about the journey and I have certainly logged miles in the journey of life.

If I Could Be a Character From a Book, I’d Be…

I would love to be Lara, she is smart, independent, adventurous, and wrapped in a very nice package.
Not to mention that she has all my interests and hobbies. I love history, especially ancient history. I love different cultures and peoples. And traveling is the best experience ever.

What’s More Important …..

‘Im not sure that one is more important than the other. Both elements should contribute to making you a positive and productive person that is happy and contributing to the betterment of your fellow man and community. And as individuals we have different needs to be positive, productive and happy. For me it is more about what I do rather than where I do it. However, there are certain places that after a short while I can feel the drain on my positive energy. Whereas I have been in other places where the energy is more supportive to my productivity and happiness. I feel that when someone gets too bogged down in where the are or what they do – – especially if it is for the wrong reasons they are destined to always feel a certain amount of self lacking. That feeling that something is missing that is because they are not balanced in a positive way. One should work in such a way that they strive for overall balance. I know that we have moments in life that can and do throw us out of balance or tilt our little world in a way that disrupts us and may even knock us off our path and that is okay. We just have to handle that situation to the best of our ability and then work our way back to our path and continue forward. And I even believe that it can be good to change paths when we find that the path we are on is no longer beneficial to us. That is the challenge of life.

A Children’s Book Every Child Should Read….

This children’s book is about the environment on the surface and the message is good; but, it also shows greed and the excess that comes from greed in the market society. It is timeless in its message, this book written in 1971 still speaks the truth that we have not learned yet as a race. You cannot keep taking from mother earth and expect her to remain the same.

Editorial Note: Cassi

WhatsApp Image 2019-02-25 at 13.16.54I am not a very intentional writer. No matter how much of a plan I may have before I sit down to write, I very rarely seem able to finish the planned piece. What I have when I hit the publish button is something that sometimes seems related to my original plan and other times seems like the flip side of the coin, like “today’s” (keep reading).

Then there are the ones that just go completely off the rails and write themselves. That also accounts for my randomness in how and when I publish. Something that I am trying to improve upon. I am not very good at writing for a deadline, even my own. I can not write on command, I have to feel it. I have to feel the need to write, which means that I also have to feel like the words need to be said. No only that, they need to be said in the way that I would say them.

Which, yes, I know, is at odds with the fact that I seem to almost never finish the original planned article. Thus, how can I have to feel the need to write and or the need to speak some thought or opinion or idea my way, if I know that the chances are very good that I will not wholly or entirely, if at all, speak them myself.

WhatsApp Image 2019-02-25 at 13.16.14I guess that is where trust comes in.

Trust in my muse.

Trust in my emotions.

Trust in my feeling/instinct.

Trust in my process.

The challenge is in trusting all those things and still being able to actually be heard. Heard in a world that is altogether too noisy to begin with. Heard in a world that seems to be more interested in insignificant noise. Heard in a world that hears but doesn’t listen.

As part of over-coming these challenges and more, I am trying to be more intentional in my writing while still listening to my feel the need voice and allowing the randomness the flow it needs. The hope is that by opening myself up more with my writing that it will increase the need and that the increased need will result in more content to provide less randomness in the when future articles publish.

2020-03-01 21.37.57 1faceinthecrowd.wordpress.com e257b8aee5e7Another step in over-coming challenges, was the seed of my own thought, in turn watered and nurtured into a seedling by my amazing, loving, supportive partner. I have written in some form for almost 15 years. I began my journey when a friend, K, tried to encourage me to write a book on current political and cultural issues of the time. I was in NO way ready to write a book. I did not believe in myself or my voice at the time. But, I believed in K, so I decided that I would try my hand at blogging.

Thus, politics and current news items of interest around the world were my first topics that I felt needed my voice. It was my belief that it was the duty and responsibility of each citizen to know and understand every thing that Our Country was engaging in around the world in Our Name. It was and is my opinion that as citizens that we have forgotten that governments should be limited in scope for the sake of freedom and that NO government should be so big as to not be answerable to their rightful bosses, the people served by said government. We also seem to have forgotten that we can not have freedom and a full-service government that tells us every little thing we can and cannot do.

2020-03-01 21.40.03 cassimerten.blogspot.com ff84388538faHowever, what I learned over the years was that most people do not want real freedom, as that requires self-sufficiency, as well as, self-accountability. Freedom or free will comes with the price of living with the choices that you make. So I shifted my topics as I realized that I seemed to be the only one caring about all the wrongs in the world and all the erosion of our freedoms and rights happening daily in the name of safety. In addition, my personal life fell apart in a very damaging way.

I lost myself and all that I had built inside me from K’s encouragement. When it was hard enough to hold things together every day, finding time to write was impossible. Add to that, it became self-torture for me to sit down to write pieces about the current state of the nation and the world, which seemed to be as broken and disheartened as I was.

2020-03-01 21.38.54 cassisrandomthoughts.blogspot.com 3f82c27b8011But, I had discovered that writing did give me a certain sense of satisfaction and pride; in addition, I wasn’t half bad at it, either. So, what do I do about it? For awhile, I did nothing. Life and time went on, then I was blessed to meet D. In him, I found someone that I could be comfortable around and that I could trust. Not only that, but D encouraged me to open up and share things that I had not before. See I am a nerd at heart, but I was raised and surrounded by more of the warrior, action-hero in the flesh types, not that I could not hang with them as it went. With D, he actually showed sincere interest in my random nerdiness.

So back to what to do about my desire to write again…with D’s support, and having time I took a chance to share my random nerdiness passion with the world. What is my random nerdiness passion? In very general terms it is history. The older the better and all the topics that go with it! And of course I had been writing some personal pieces as well here. What that meant was that I was up to 3 blogs! Which has recently become 4! (Want to know #4 check out Linux For You And I.)

My varied and random interests and life caused me to have feast and famine cycles with my writing and splitting that 3 ways meant that each area was shamefully neglected. The neglect was such that I felt like the best thing would be to give up my writing lock stock and barrel. And I really did try, more than once, more than twice, more than that. But each time that I did, it eventually would feel wrong, or more I would feel that old have to need again.

That is where the seed to try to link all my writings together more germinated. Yet, it was D that took my little seed and gave me a seedling. And as with any beautiful, amazing grand oak, it will take time and sun and rain and love and patience to get there. Where is there? It is ONE place for all of my writing. ONE place to have all my topics for everyone’s views. I hope that putting all my old blogs (and D’s couple too) in one place that it will make things easier for you to find and enjoy as well as helping me be more intentional in my writing life.

It will happen in steps. Steps that I will take in full view. We will become Random Thought and we will have a new home for everything. We will have a more professional look and higher content quality.