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Media Monday, The AT: Appalachian Trail Thru-hike, Written Words Wednesday: Books

All In One (Media Monday, Words on Wednesday, and AT)

My wife and I have this concoction we make for dinner when time is not so handy. We called it “all in one”. You boil your pasta, brown the meat, and then combine the two, throw in your vegetation, sauce, cheese, cover it or throw it in the oven for a few, and you are done. We’ve made that meal at least once a month since we have been married. It saves money, because to be honest there just isn’t that much meat in it, and if there is it is ground. It saves time because macaroni boils fast, and a jar of tomato basil only requires me to open it. I know it sounds like Hamburger Helper. It’s not. Okay? It all comes down to money and time.

Lost a finger when a truck rear ended him while mining for boogers. Alabama fan, by the looks of him.

Lost a finger when a truck rear ended him while mining for boogers. Alabama fan, by the looks of him.


The Media Part: Stuff we need to watch about money and time

Affluenza: You can watch it on YouTube (here it is). All about buying stuff, and then not having a sense of gratification. Self absorbed, greedy, and spending ourselves into a pit. Consuming as a disease. I watched it on PBS when it came on in 1997 and thought to myself, “What a bunch of liberal dribble.” The documentary came true. A banking collapse, bankrupt mega-corporations, and McMansions sitting unoccupied. Who has a three car garage? Who uses a garage for their car?

It only hurts for a little while.

It only hurts for a little while.

If you watch it (for the first time, or give it another go) you might want to conduct a web search relating to simplifying your life. Before you do that have a look at where the politics of all this takes us. A wealthy teen in Texas gets drunk and kills two people with his car. A few weeks in a facility and probation. A teen in California shoplifted socks and received life in prison. Not making this up. Money means privilege. The reason we spend might indicate how we wish to be perceived by those in power. If I act like I have a privileged lifestyle the system might go easy on me when I step out of line. I certainly can’t find too much to refute that in the news today.

“They make many laws which the rich may break but the poor may not, and the love of possession is a disease with them.” Chief Sitting Bull, 1877

The Ascent of Money: Another PBS offering. This one is more recent. Financial collapse recent. It also gives a look at the history of economics and how this “science” shapes civilization, for the better or worse. You can watch it from the website, two hours in all. I will probably use the website during lessons with my son. They have resources to teach your offspring about banking, insurance, entrepreneurship, and the stock market. Sit down and prepared to be boggled at how simple it is for large economies to crumble.

The Money Fix: I have not watched it, but it is on my list. It sounds interesting and offers “alternative wealth” ideas. It is foolish, when you think about it, to put so much in a piece of paper that represents something you cannot see.

Michio Kaku blows my mind. Black holes, tenth dimensions, time loops, and unified field theory. It’ll take you a little while to wrap your head around it. The documentary he did for the BBC (available here) goes into some of it. He does try to answer the nagging questions: Why does time fly when you are having fun? Why does time slip away as we get older?

This one is not a documentary, but a YouTube “audio movie”, which is nothing more than a recording of Coast to Coast AM. If you are not familiar with Coast to Coast then you were probably never a police officer or truck driver. That about sums up the mainstay of the demographic. The show airs on the east coast from 1:00 am until the news comes on, and generally on AM radio stations. It’ll keep you awake. The bulk of the programming is dedicated to the strange and mythic. Bigfoot, aliens, ESP, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories, demonic possession, and occasionally time travel. Each show has a theme, and guests lined up. Turn it off when people start calling in or you will have to sit through people who didn’t get to the pharmacy in time to have a prescription filled. Even though I am no longer a police I will still tune in on my Surface RT if one of the topics sounds interesting (that means it would make a good plot for a story or screenplay). One of the most controversial “guests” was a man named John Titor. His name was a pseudonym (TITOR= Time Traveler). He had been on several internet message boards and people took notice of him because he discussed time travel in a manner that appeared coherent. Not only that, but he had done it. He said he was from the future (2036), and that the U.S. government had been toppled during a civil war. He was sent back in time to find some sort of IBM computer. I’m pretty sure this has been debunked, but it still makes for a fun time. Here it is (YouTube link).

Finally: Terminator franchise. This was the best time travel epic, ever. Ever. I mean it. I tried to watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles on television, but they screwed the thing up. The movies, however, have the best story line. Good news! He wasn’t lying. He’s back. Terminator Genisys is wrapping up filming in New Orleans and San Francisco. July of 2015, in the not so distant future.



Written Words

Wool by Hugh Howey is short, but he designed it that way. It is a serial, in the tradition of those magazines your grandparents read. The solitary lawman of a society living in what might be empty missile silos has had enough. His wife found out something, years ago, and decided she wanted out. Wanting out is a crime, so they obliged her. Is it safe outside the silo? Well, he decided to go the same route. It is short, sweet, and to the point. You can probably download it free on Amazon. Howey develops the character well, and puts him in a no win conflict. I will download the other stories to find out what happens, but I’m going to warn you regarding this one. It does not end well. There are nine parts to the entire series, and as a book that will lean out to around to a little over two hundred pages maybe. I have not read the entire catalog (just the one short story), but Ridley Scott thought enough of it to sign on with 20th Century to be a director for the film adaption.

The Heretic (Templar Chronicles Book 1) by Joseph Nassise. Quick read, mucho action, and a decent back story. I liked it, but this was the first time I read “urban supernatural”. I was informed that genre is somewhat new. The action takes place in cities, there might be a paramilitary element, and the fate of the world is in the balance. This one filled all the niches. If you like military fiction you will find this enjoyable, and cheap. I got mine for free. Nassise, btw, was the president of the Horror Writers Association, and he has several awards to his name (Bram Stoker and Horror Guild). I will probably download some more from him. Since I am already committed, I’ll keep to the Templar Chronicles.

Upcoming: This week I am deviating from Sci-Fi/Fantansy/Supernatural and returning to YA. I never read “Fault In Our Starts”, and I do not intend to. If you have a television you saw “Love Story” (1970), and there is no need to rehash true love and cancer. Besides, I’m a guy. Paper Towns, by the same writer (John Green). After that “The Crossing” by Cormac McCarthy.

Here is how I’ll handle it: Background on the book (need to know info before it is read), Characters, plot, any themes that are present, who would like it, what to read if you like it, what to read if you didn’t. Deal?

AT Hike

We will be going out on a shakedown/deer hunt in October. Might do it again in November. I’m not saying where because we actually want to harvest at least one this season. The last few deer seasons have turned out pitiful, as in nothing. If you see a doe it’s not a day when you can harvest it. The bucks have all been small or too far away. We did see wild turkeys, but we don’t hunt those and they were not in season. My father-in-law is arranging these hunts, which means he will bring an enormous tent, coolers, Coleman stoves and lanterns, and fuel by barrel. I’m opting for testing my set up for the trail. With the temperature dropping, and the location, it will give me an accurate picture of what to expect in March. The time frame will be right, four days. No cabin, just woods. And lots of hills. I do want to hit a few trails in my general area. Red Top Mountain and the Pinhoti.

We will begin making videos this week. Gear list, set up, and general discussion/antics. Bailey is the director/producer, I am only an extra. Check out part one of Damn Truckers on Wattpad, part two will be up at the end of the week. Still clawing my way through my main project, which is totally unrelated. Wish me luck.





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