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Jun
22

Gathering the Top Ten Slogans Rejected by X-Box was a long a difficult process, but when the pale faced employees couldn’t figure out how to light their firewall, because they’d never gone camping, and kept trying to get the matches to work by clicking on them, we were able to sneak around them by surrounding ourselves with women all the men were too sacred to talk to. Once inside we had one of the IT guys give us everything we wanted in exchange for letting him take a selfie with Brittany.

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  1. Doing our part to lower teenaged pregnancies
  2. Making all races as nerdy as white teenagers
  3. Helping make fodder for the wealthiest .1
  4. Objectifying fake women to the point where men are do busy to objectify real women
  5. We teach your kids to kill so you don’t have to
  6. Your electricity bill might be up but think of all the money your saving on food, clothes, and toothpaste
  7. We’re almost better than drugs
  8. Now you can stare at a rectangle even longer
  9. It’s now easier than ever to ignore your children
  10. Your kids may be a hundred pounds overweight, but no generation had ever had stronger thumbs

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For more laughs, check this out

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Dak was a loner until he met his lover. But there is a problem, Erin is a Clone. Clones are illegal and it’s Dak job as Enforcer to hunt them Down.

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Jun
21

The first thought going through your mind could be, why desert and are there going to be more 7 Things I Learned about forests, lakes, grasslands, the winter wastes…  These others could come up, but there’s something special about the desert for me.  When younger, I had a choice, or at least a chance, to move into whatever environment I wanted, and I choose the desert.

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I’ve traveled through most of the areas in the American deserts, but one can never know any of them completely, the best of us are still just scratching the surface of the mysterious wonders they conceal. I’ve managed to get to the Serengeti and I’ve left footprints in the northern dunes of the Sahara.  I’m not trying to brag, I’m just proving I’ve been drawn to the desert for some time and have experienced more than a few.

And now I live in Tucson and its June. So here goes…

  1. Life will do anything to Survive

Yes, life seeks to make it through the harshest of circumstances in order to survive. Even when it means suffering, the most effort, and meager rewards, it never relents in its search to continue. Makes one wonder why some humans choose to take their own life, when even the roughest environments breed animals and humans who struggle against all odds to keep breathing.

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  1. The Environment Owes You Nothing

The desert doesn’t care if you live or die. If it does anything to help you, it is only by the purest luck you’re able to take advantage of it. If you screw up in the desert it will come down on you like a hammer. The heat doesn’t let up, there’s no mercy from the dry winds draining you of your precious moisture as soon as you enter its burning sands. Like the animals, if you’re going to survive in the desert it is up to you and don’t expect it to be easy.

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  1. How to Prepare

I once walked 32 miles in the desert stretching into Escalante Staircase in June—not an easy or perhaps sane feat. Knowing what I needed, or at least what would help me to survive, was the only thing which allowed me to endure the relentless sun. The cold isn’t the same. Err, put more clothes on and wear boots with a good grip. In the desert, things need to be the right color (white), you need the right supplies (at least a gallon per person and salty high energy foods), right footwear (Snake and cactus proof is more important than style), and gear (hat, sunscreen-if you’re lucky, Leatherman for pulling out thorns, a backpack to carry it all in, and a great cooler to keep your beverages cold for when you make it back) Unlike in the cold, if you don’t have these things, you might not make it. You can’t build a water to keep cool, baby.

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  1. I Learned About Silence

In my experience, nothing embraces silence like the desert. You reach a stillness there. A sense of age touches you. With forests, for example, sights and sound abound and much of it is currently living or very recently dead. Not as much to draw the eye in the desert save long vistas of ancient stone. The quiet hits you and leads you into introspection.

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  1. It’s a Spiritual Place

Call it spirituality, self-reflection, or following Hermes, the desert allows one an inner focus which is not as readily found elsewhere. Alister Crowley called deserts the most mystic places on Earth. The dryness awakens your body to its most basic of needs. This becomes your baseline as the silence and the growing feeling of isolation takes hold.

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  1. Not to Expect Things to be Normal

I will give you a few examples of what I mean. The Grand Canyon is crowded with people from across the globe daily and can be a bit pricy too. Or you can drive down an old road in Utah and camp above the Colorado without anyone within miles of you for free. I found a place in northern Arizona with billion-dollar views better than almost anything I’ve ever walked through, and you can go there and camp all weekend and not see a soul. Canyonlands in Utah is one of the most rugged places on Earth, but with a little forethought you can hike there all day and then find a campsite at 8000 feet which is only 20 miles away. Normal human processes and assumptions about nature should be thrown away before you head out into the lands of heat.

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  1. How to be inventive and use everything.

Since resources are so limited, you must take advantage of anything you find, especially shade and water. Whether for drinking or cooling yourself down, water, what we take for granted most of the time, becomes the keystone to survival and on a lesser degree, enjoyment.  But it isn’t nature’s bounty where the story ends, you need to calculate what you have and how quickly your supplies should be used. Will it be worth it later if you wet your hair and shirt now? Can you make it another two miles if you don’t?

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The desert tests you like nothing else can. With care it can open your horizons, but carelessness will see you enter a world of blazing heat, thorns, and poison. Enter it at your own risk. Leave it enlightened and with the satisfaction of surviving a place few animals and men can tread.

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Alex of the Gods

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Dak was a loner until he met his lover. But there is a problem, Erin is a Clone. Clones are illegal and it’s Dak job as Enforcer to hunt them Down.

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Buttes

Jun
01

As I sit in my self-made campsite near the top of Arizona’s second highest peak, Mount Graham I see two choices spreading out before me. To my left the mountain stretches through the tall ponderosa lining its steep cliffs. A difficult journey into its mysterious shadowy depths awaits. To the right I can just make out the road which drops 6000 feet and would return me to the desert and the small town of Swift Trail Junction. Left or right, wilderness or civilization.

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What is more noble, the freedom of the wilds or the charity of civilization?

I already posted one WildernessPunk piece where I thank Trump for the one good thing he’s done for us, which is giving us a clear picture of the true percentage of people who can’t evolve past the asshole/idiot stage. (See One in Three, WildernessPunk for more details) I intend to take things further and really get down to the meat of human development and explore how easy/difficult it will be for humanity to save our planet.

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I used to firmly believe people could, if presented with the correct information, be able to change their minds. I often debated the preachers shouting out bible quotes on my college mall. I would argue with others until late in the night. I studied history and anthropology and thought, despite the horrors our world has seen, people were moving toward a better future. Like many liberal leaning folks, I’ve been heartened by the lessoning of racial injustice and the greater acceptance of the GBLTQ individuals.

Yes, things appeared to be improving, but now I also see the rise of neo fascists not just in the USA, but in many countries around the globe. I also realize one would have to be a fool to think the increasing populations of people expecting more with less to go around, mixing with a deteriorating environment, won’t be creating global situations ripe for this to grow worse.

So what’s going on?

How can things be improving overall for most of the world while simultaneously so many are embracing emotion based lies over facts and true problem solving? I have a theory and most people aren’t going to like it.

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There may be a deep and ingrained reason people are dividing and less able to come to an agreement than ever before and I’ll get to outlining this, but first I want to toss something else out there.

The USA. like most countries. is dividing into two camps. Really three with the third camp being both ends of a bell curve, either folks who have risen above such well-established rhetoric or are too dull witted or too involved with their personal crisis to care. But let’s move back to the publicized two. Most tend to call them, Right/Left, Liberal/Conservative, Red/Blue. I’m going to make it even simpler and label them Group A which = Red, Conservatives, Right etc… And group B which = Blue, Liberal, Left etc…

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Let’s discuss the basic values of these groups.

Group A

 

  • Belief in the truth of preindustrial dogmas
  • Government should be used to control others
  • The government should be used to control and use other countries and peoples
  • Their religion of choice should be the baseline used to determine how the government controls its civilians
  • When it comes to the military, the bigger the better
  • Some groups, religions, and races are not to be trusted and are mostly comprised of bad people.
  • The past was better
  • Some people and groups are out to get you, your family, and anything you have
  • Emotions and beliefs are more important than facts
  • Everyone has an equal chance in life and hard work is all it takes to reach your goals.
  • Wealth and power is the yardstick in which a person’s success is measured

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Group B

 

  • Overall, our culture is improving
  • The purpose of the government is to help people
  • Discrimination is wrong
  • All people are created equal
  • Happiness is the yardstick by which a person success is measured
  • Facts should drive decision making
  • One’s opinions should remain flexible and if presented with updated information be able to change
  • The government can be used to help increase economic equality
  • We can make the future better
  • Although we are all created equal, random ills/benefits and situations brought about by our culture give everyone a different circumstance which they must adjust to when seeking success

 

And what about Group C? I’m not going to go too far into this group here, but let’s just assume the more apathic due to being dull witted tend to fall in line with Group A, while those who attempt to evolve to a higher rational state still tend to have a soft spot for group B.

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I said I had a theory as to why these two groups can’t agree well and I’m not the only one. Although I do intend to take it a step further.

There has been more research going on in recent years as to why some people support Group A or Group B and the data being gathered increasingly points to this being caused by a physical aspect of brain development. Much as how we’re born either male or female, it appears we may also be born into Group A or B. A person’s choice on which group or lifestyle they chose may be determined before birth.

Not to get all Dungeons and Dragons or call up the paradigms created by English writer Michael Moorcock, these groups have also been associated with Law and Chaos. Group A is Lawful and seeks to keep things the same. The world is working for me, why change it? These are my beliefs why change them? My family went to church when I was growing up, so will my children.

Group B is Chaotic. If there is a way to make things better, we should figure it out, so we can improve. If I am presented with new facts which prove an assumption I had is wrong, then I should change my mind.

Alright gentle readers. I hope I wetted your appetite for more, but I also try to keep these articles under three pages, so I’m going to have to return with some factual data and research, which has been done to support the ideas I’m laying down for you here. I’ll also reveal my more advanced theory on the subject. Wow, what a cliffhanger. I hope you can handle it.

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Dionysus Neutral Space

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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May
31

I’ll jump into to the Seven Things in a moment, but since this is, by definition, an article expanding on personal experience, I’ll give the reader just a quick update on my ability to speak on this subject.  First off, I should mention throughout the majority of my life, I haven’t spent much time alone. Certainly, I’ve been on solo hikes and road trips and spent quiet nights here and there just as most of us have. However, knowing after getting married and becoming a father at a young age, I then started a second marriage before my daughter had begun college, should prove I haven’t had much solo living.

Over two years ago this changed, and I found myself, not without friends, but without employment or housing. I still enjoyed my family and comrades but began my own journey into the wilds and solo survival camping. (See #WildernessPunk for more on this) Also, even when I reentered a more ‘civilized’ state, I found myself living alone for the first time in my life. I know this may seem strange, but for me the past two years were a new experience.

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Perhaps I’ll be outlining and exploring things many of you learned long ago, but there is also a chance my fresh look upon the subject could help illustrate concepts people living solo for longer periods of time have become so used to, they have overlooked their significance. Also, since I’m in love with the best girlfriend I’ve ever had, I better get this onto the page before the butterflies, unicorns, and rainbows I’m feeling cause me to forget some of these things. Just kidding, the point is to discover what works best for the real you, so you can use this data even when your life becomes more chaotic with the additions of a mate, children, and jobs.

  1. You want something done you can just do it

This may seem obvious to many, but our most simple desires become complex once others become involved. As I sit here on the peak of Mount Graham, it has occurred to me that, although I might have finite choices, I can do them in any manner I choose, focus on just one, or perhaps ignore others completely. Yet once roommates, children, and lovers become involved things get less simple. Something as basic as heading to the store because you forgot to get enough of your morning drink of preference could be a major issue if you’re caring for children or in a demanding relationship. Either you have to dress your children and maybe drive instead of walk or end up with a laundry list of things to get before you’re allowed to head out the door. On a happier note, a delightful relationship might leave you not wishing to leave your lover behind or waiting for them to be able to come with you.

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I know I might be stating the obvious, but just being able to hang a picture whenever or wherever you wish, make lunch at any time, or just grab a few things and head out to the mountains on a lark, can feel strange for a person who has been used to endless coordination for most of his life.

  1. You set your own Rhythm

Be it fast or slow, an early start or a late slumber, you can find your own eternal clock and pace. Hell, if nothing else this is good data to know. I think everyone should give themselves the freedom and time it takes to discover what your true rhythms are. How much sleep is best for you? How much exercise gets you feeling better, but doesn’t tire you out? It will be good to know later when you’re with someone or living with your children how far you might be branching from your real pace when you adjust to theirs.

  1. Discover your peak performance Levels

Do you work best in the morning or after you opened an ale? Can you work within a crowded public place or do you work faster when completely alone? Is silence good or will blasting tunes help you motivate? These are all things we need to know about ourselves and if you don’t it is time you figured it out. Sometimes living with ours deludes our true understanding of how we function best. I for instance write well with music blasting, television in the background hinders me, and I need silence to proofread (and as you can often tell, this still isn’t enough). Since, we all have things we need to be doing and goals we want to achieve, this knowledge is personal gold.

  1. I can understand my daily schedules and eating habits

Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook for and eat with others and will do so as much as possible, but again it is important to know your own body. For instance, I don’t really need a huge breakfast and would rather have a monster sized lunch. This doesn’t mean I can’t roll with what other people are doing, but one needs to be aware of their own body requirements. I can have more, but I shouldn’t have less if I can help it.

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Also similar to 3 above, one should try to determine what times of the day see you functioning with better efficiency. If you aren’t a morning person should you be planning a big presentation at 8am or should you go for a 2pm open? The answer is obvious. Know your peak performance times and hit them as much as possible.

  1. You can decide the best time to take breaks.

Whether it is hiking, working on the computer, or reading a book. You just stop when you want to stop without barely thinking about it. I’m not sure about you, but when I’m writing or working on almost any project, I have in front of me, it helps me to get up and move about every forty-five minutes. I stand up and pace around maybe grab some consumable and then sit back down. Many of my major inspirations happened when I am away from the task I seek to complete.

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  1. Your best way to Multi-Task

Many say Multi-Tasking slows down one’s productivity. Although, it is also said women are better at this than men. However, I’m not suggesting working on more than one project/task at a time but switching through those you need to work on periodically throughout the day. This way you get some of, say ten things done, instead of obsessing on only one. Again, knowledge of your own strengths and limitations without interruption lets one rise toward their maximum potential.

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  1. When to call it quits

We all have a breaking point. Whether it is putting the work aside for a movie before bed or heading downtown for a happy hour on the way home from work, we all need to throw in the towel.

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As Dionysus would say, Why seek to Achieve, if there is no Reward? Strive to Succeed, so then Pleasure can be Lord. When spending time with lovers, friends, and family, we often mold our needs with theirs and this is good, but it is also important to know what your true self is capable of and keep this in mind throughout all social situations. Lovers, Allies, and Family are all important and more often than not help us reach our goals in life, but it is still up to us to steer the ship until we have to take it into port.

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Keep at it and let your passions burn bright.

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Dak was a loner until he met his lover. But there is a problem, Erin is a Clone. Clones are illegal and it’s Dak job as Enforcer to hunt them Down.

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erin

May
30

Genre:  Fantasy

Publisher:  Random Books

Published: 2018

Reviewer Rating:  5 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

 

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French is quite a novel. I really enjoyed this one to the point where I read the last 166 pages in one day. I doubt it hurt I am playing a Half Ork in one of the current Dungeons and Dragons games I am lucky enough to be a player in. My character Muleturd is pretty cool, but not as cool as the fast thinking Jackal, his might buddy Oats, and the female badass, Fetching.

The plot here is very complex and really a bit hard to describe without giving away the multiple twists and turns which occur to Jackal along his way to do what he can to save the people of the Lots. The Lots are the badlands given to the various races by the giant human empire to the north. These races are pledged to keep the mighty tribes of Orks from traveling north. And Orks in the novel are nothing to sneer at. More like Ogres than Orks, these huge beasties are giant and hard for a one person to put down.

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Jackal becomes involved with intrigue and although smart, he finds himself in over his head as this Half Ork warrior peels away one layer only to discover two more mysteries. All the while, his tribe of hog riding Half Orks could be facing doom and hardship on multiple fronts. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends as the plots moving against him and the other Lots are revealed. Soon the question becomes if Jackal and his allies are smart and strong enough to not only live through the conflicts but have their way of life survive as well.

If you enjoy fantasy, not much to complain about here. This novel does contain a lot of dirty language and nasty images. Fine for Half Orks, I mean come on, but you might not want to buy this one for your ten-year-old nephew who just started playing Dungeons and Dragons.

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Yeah, I enjoyed this one. It may be a little corny, but I like reading things set in a Dungeons and Dragons spin off world and nothing is more D + D than Half Orks. I also liked not being able to guess what was going to happen next but really wanting to find out. This one was a real page turner to me. By the time I had reached page fifty, I was hooked and read it faster than any book this year to date. 5 flipping Stars and well deserved.

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The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French ii

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Learn more here

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

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The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French iiiii

May
25

 

Clade, by James Bradley

Genre:  Science Fiction

Publisher:  Titan Publishing

Published: 2018

Reviewer Rating:  4.5

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

 

Clade, by James Bradley is a Science Fiction novel which might turn out to be a literary novel when his very accurate predictions most likely come true. The novel is person focused and follows an extended family as they grow up during the colossal changes occurring to the planet and society from the results of global warming.

During the novel, decades pass as family members come and go. All the while, the crisis created by global warming grows and creates problems ranging from domestic issues to a giant flood a team of three generations fights to escape from. The effects of globing warming increase slowly over the years, but often family matters still come first.

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Yet as the tension level of the governments escalate, so does the potential danger to their lives. At other times, a slow burn begins to evaporate the standard of living for even the more well off. In other places, they are finding half of their country submerged. As some countries fall into crisis, more governments seek to limit immigration in the hopes to save the dwindling resources for their own people.

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This book is well written, thoughtful, and researched. Not too much to whack with the critic’s stick here. If you are hoping for a disaster movie type of thing, you might need to look elsewhere. This novel focuses on people with the backdrop of a planet moving into danger. This is more of the thoughtful Oscar season flick then the summer blockbuster tidal wave thing.

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The characters were thoughtful and well developed. The POV changed often, but this reader enjoyed when earlier characters would show back up. The novel also lays out a probable global warming process and educates the reader more than a bit along the way.

I enjoyed this one. Good chance to read a well written novel and learn more about global warming at the same time. Great effort. Titan strikes again!

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Learn more here

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

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global-warming

May
17

Hello ally and enemy. Welcome to the 7 Things I learned by being an Atheist. Just a quick background to explain certain attitudes or bias I could possess, for those who might care. I’m a second-generation atheist. Unlike most of my friends, I didn’t start my younger years by going to church and then put my illiterate ancestors’ myths behind me. I grew up with the profound lack of respect for dogmas and honestly, I couldn’t believe in any of the major religions, even if I wanted to. I just don’t have this kind neurological wiring.

I’m a post dogma dude.

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  1. I understand how the majority of a group can think something is correct and be completely wrong.

Whether it is a country or a classroom, knowing the majority of the people are wrong in one of their important beliefs becomes an interesting situation for a child during his formative years. People should be more careful throwing complete nonsense out there and then claiming they believe these random bronze aged peasants’ magical beliefs should guide their morality. If the majority of people can be so completely wrong in this case, what else are they telling which is full of what bull’s leave behind. Well what do you know, they were wrong about weed being bad too. The majority used to think owning slaves was normal, we evolved past such ideas in most of the world, too bad we can’t evolve past these imaginary paradigms of outdated mythology as well.

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  1. Religions are created to force people to act in a certain manner. Observe the manner and know how they wish you to behave.

Religions were created for a reason and it isn’t all a pre-scientific method for explaining the mysteries of the cosmos. This aspect could be a small part of the overall picture, but in the current major belief systems it gets less than 10% of the stage time. These desert herders were more concerned with molding the ethos of a population which was beginning to move into cities. Laws weren’t enough. They only worked if you thought you’d be caught. They needed something else to guard the wealth of the richer people. They had the stick, but they needed to control the souls. They had to create a morality which would support their positions of power and protect their property.

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Two of the major religions are clear evidence of trying to subdue the general population. Christianity asks its followers to respect other’s property and don’t overturn the apple cart. Some of these ethos might be sound, but telling the downtrodden not to worry because they’ll be rewarded after death sounds like grifting to me. Islam took a different bent. Quite to opposite and declared there should be no peace as long as lands are still controlled by infidels. Created by a warlord, it seeks violence and death for any who disagree. Sometimes it’s a sad world we live in.

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  1. People will argue about anything.

This one is simple. Once you learn people will go to great length to argue and passionately defend something so obviously fake, you can then imagine how headstrong they could be about something real or even half reasonable. This gives one a certain freedom, because you learn some folks are too far gone to waste your time on and not everyone can be saved from ignorance. This can streamline your life, give you less people to concern yourself with, and less things to do, how nice.

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  1. People have no problem lying.

People will lie to their children. Leaders lie to their people. Religious leaders lie to thousands and in some cases live well by doing it. Similar to 1 above, if they’re lying about this imagined nonsense, what else might they be lying to us about? It seems to me, if you can pretend to care about some stone aged prophets and their magical worlds, lying about anything else would come with much greater ease.

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  1. People do not enjoy opposition to their cultural world view.

When you present an opposing view to any concept, you put another into a crisis for you create the possibility they could be wrong by just suggesting there is another choice. One can fell secure if everyone around them is the same. Since everyone I meet agrees with me, we’re obviously right. Just being an atheist (or gay, of a different culture, sometimes of a different race, age…) means a person can survive and enjoy their life without some dark ages mythology to guide and control them. If I can, it means I could be right and then you’re wrong. Just my existence calls out your aged system and a big part of you feels it might not be a fight you can win. Don’t worry, violence has often worked for your religion in the past. I’m sure Jesus would be cool with it. Hell, you know Mohammad is.

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  1. Being an atheist is a quick method of determining if a person has an open mind, is intelligent, and most likely cool.

And to opposite is true. I’m not trying to be narrow, but if I know someone actually believes silly ideas, I know I probably can’t be too tight with them. Friendly banter at work, but I’m thinking camping and poker games are out. Sorry, but if someone can swallow two thousand years of nonsense, we aren’t going to be able to get too close, which is sad because I’d love to argue with them.

Conversely, I don’t like every atheist I’ve meet. Still since all my friends, I mean all of them, are atheists, being one can’t hurt your chances of being invited to my next BBQ.

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  1. People will do anything to figure out a way to control you and make you do what they want.

I believe the same nonsense as you, so vote for me. The meek will inherit the earth, so don’t fight back no matter what we try to do. We are the best, right, so obviously anyone who disagrees with us should be put to the sword and doesn’t have rights. Things may have gotten better over the centuries. Not as many religious wars happen these days or at least they are disguised better. Slavery has been outlawed in most religions, although Islam still is down with it in many places. Outside of Islam, woman are gaining more rights and respect. Yeah, things are getting better, probably because…

We have more atheists than ever before.

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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May
12

This is my new thing, at least for the next month or so, I’m heading out into Arizona’s desert badlands on the week’s most off-days, Monday and Tuesday. Some people think you should only explore the desert in the winter. Forget such nonsense. One should experience an area’s true nature. You don’t become one with the saguaros hiking through them in January. This would be like trying to discover Mardi Gras in New Orleans in September. Also, with Phoenix now being the fifth largest city in the USA, if one wants a little Desert Solitaire, you need to avoid the spilling of the hundred thousands into the wilds by dodging the weekends. I want to be the only non-local around, damn it. Non-local = El Loco.

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Saquaro Clouds

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Before I go any further, I’d like to elaborate on something. I’ve had a few nick names throughout my life, but I’m sure Alex Bone isn’t one of them… When I was in middle school, my large feet and tall frame earned me the tag of Bigfoot. Later in high school, oh what a lovely time, I was called The Ghost due to my pale complexion. Is this reverse racism, being too white for whiteys? So since I endured the label of The Ghost for several years, I think I have the right to keep the term as I explore some of Arizona’s backroad quasi-ghost towns. (Side note: I did enjoy a heathy amount of retribution against the culprits who labeled me in my 90% jock high school, but as they say, this is quite a different story.)

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After spending the afternoon looking for a former mining town, small and old enough to draw me in, but also modern enough for me to have a roof and a bite for a least a night, I settle on Superior Arizona. Sean Penn stared in Uturn which was set here a few decades ago. Hollywood liked the looks of the place and felt it represented Arizona strangeness at its finest, but does the reality hold up to the fantasy? Still, it could be worse, I could end up at that Wrong Turn place with all the cannibals with bows. Such events can be very exciting as well, unless you get eaten and then it just bites.

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Waiting until nightfall, The Ghost heads into the what remains of Superior’s downtown. I travel under a bridge complete with a Troll’s lair and then move over the undulating streets which crumble under my shoes. The tangle of roads leaves me feeling disoriented until a glowing neon sign peeks between the burned-out shells of houses. It reminds me food and drink are possible if only one can find their way past these half-abandoned houses. A break in the fence later and I’m moving over brick streets and up old staircases lining the sides of empty buildings.

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Superior Path

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I’m woken up the next morning with a manic knock on my door. A young woman saw my children’s clothes in my car and came to the natural conclusion I had them locked in my trunk. I quickly realized this was schizophrenic logic and this poor gal had a serious mental illness. She wanted for a light for her smoke and took my lighter while asking me to open the trunk to prove there were no children locked inside. I figured this act would be better than a crazed call to the sheriff and obligated her. She walked away satisfied and yep, I got my lighter back before I headed off to the one open restaurant on a row with nine closed ones.

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Last Scene Update:

While at lunch, the aforementioned female broke into people’s rooms and was chased off by a very angry woman. Somehow, I’m the most paranoid guest who actually keeps the door locked?

Oh, another update. Last night’s quest for grub and dud, had also failed due to the twisted alleys and a shut down time of 7pm (It’s a small town). The long, also half lost, journey back to the hotel left me needing to complete my trek to the town’s one functioning tavern. Porter’s Saloon had been around a while. I can feel the whispers of the long dead miners mixing with real cowboys as they paid out their earnings on a small slice of civilization and four surrounding walls filled with a different kind of spirits.

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Bone at Porters

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Another type of ghost haunts the place now. The living ghosts clinging to a dying town. Little in the way of jobs or money comes in, but low, to no, rent as fourth generations cling to former miner’s homes balances this enough for many to stay. They bake through the low desert heat avoiding the chain stores, strip malls, and shopping in return for this blessing, they keep their original aspect. Nothing here is duplicated, the town is as individual as the people who made it.

Are people like towns/cities?

Some are just copies of other things we see, a mass following of ideas, fast food chains, exercise studios, and cross-country commodities. From Miami to Seattle kids can dress the same and follow the same trends. While in some towns there’s an indifference to commonality.  People follow a similar path. Many let themselves be taken in by mass movements which spread over countries and continents. Whether one is Christian, Liberal, or into War-Porn, opps I mean Sports, you’re all waiting in the back of a huge line with millions if not billions of smucks.

FYI the bigger the line the more smucks.

Some people, like Superior, use whatever resources they have to shape themselves in the best manner they can manage. They borrow and trade with the outside world, but after they mold it to their needs, it is unique and unrecognizable.

.hat river

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Many mass thought patterns and movements have merit and one need not waste their whole live reinventing the wheel. However important issues, concepts and movements should not be taken for granted. It is when we insist the way a huge group of people think is right, when we are most likely to be wrong. Things like avoiding racism, environmentalism, and a positive based life are examples of philosophies I hope the whole species will evolve into embracing.

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Bridge

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So what is the answer? How can one know the right path to tread and which is a huge waste of time or worse… evil?

Here is a handy backward paradigm checklist. If you follow a system or leader who does these things duck, cover, and then run away.

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Bridge View

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Backward Paradigm Warning Signs:

  • Paradigm is based on Fear
  • Is inflexible in regards to how it has all the answers
  • Hate and blaming others rules the words of the leaders
  • Seeks to eliminate outsiders
  • Ignores facts
  • Asks one to take things on faith instead of proof

How can we balance the individualism of avoiding interference with the bombardment of the modern world while it’s now more important than ever to be involved with saving our planet and way of life?

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Trump's favorite Nature View

Trump’s Favorite Nature View

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I really think we will either have to evolve our consciousness or die. How many planets have failed when they reached this stage and how many have moved ahead? I would love to know the odds before I start placing my bets. Just kidding, I’ll bet on us every time. I’m a glass half full kind of a…

Oh crap, what am I?

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Boneand Yig

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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Superior Sunset

May
04

Prelude:

I sit at the eastern edge of the Cochise Stronghold. I’ve camped in the Stronghold many times, but this is the first time I’ve camped on the east side of the massive sky island. It’s also my first solo trip. Blue birds of happiness steal my food, I’m hoping they trade some of their happiness for it. It’s been a long while since I went solo into the wilds and as usual the quiet sets my mind into action and as I look up from my Daily Action Dash of goals, the choice for this instalment of WildernessPunk becomes clear.

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Goals:

We all have goals or at least I hope we do. A life without goals seems like it wouldn’t be worth the effort for me. Why bother getting out of bed in the morning if you didn’t have a reason to or in my case about eighty reasons. Yet, like most of life, what I consider a goal might not be the same as my son, or neighbor, or enemy, or you. So let’s try to define them first.

My definition would be: Goals are a measurable task or project which can be achieved and upon completion will make one’s life or the world better.

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This being said, I would also go forth and add we could have very different types of goals we’re out pursuing during the same day. A parent could work to earn extra money for their family, exercise, help their child learn math, and finish a sculpture all within the same day. These goals are all quite different, but each benefits the parent and most likely others.

This brings up another type of distinction, the length or perhaps the repetition of our diverse goals. Deciding to exercise for thirty minutes a day is not the same as seeking a publisher for my new novel.

Length of Goals:

  • Daily: Exercise, Educating Children, Cleaning, Reading
  • Weekly: Creation, Social Time, Maintenance Tasks
  • Long Term: Finish Writing a Novel, Learn French, Prepare for a Big Vacation, Add a Deck to Your Home

Sometimes one might have goals which could be done daily, but might be better to record on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Creative goals fit into this. “I want to have three new paintings before the month is over.” It’s a defined and measurable goal, but I might work eight hours one day and then skip doing anything for the next three.

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Some might wonder why having a goal be measurable is so important. Being able to measure a goal creates accountability. It also allows you to know how well you are proceeding toward your end game and also when you are complete. Goals like…. I’m going to be less depressed, be a better parent, or find love are difficult if not impossible to measure. Why have a goal which is so nebulous you can’t even determine when it is complete?

On a personal level, I feel it’s a strong plan to have weekly goals while keeping track of your long-term goals. In life it is your long-term goals which set you apart from the herd and allow you to accomplish your bigger dreams, while your weekly goals give you the ability to do so.

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I collect data on my weekly goals twice a week roughly covering the weekdays along with the weekend. Why collect data? As I hope to illustrate, with the use of well organized data collection, I am able to easily determine how well I’m doing in regards to living the type of life I wish to live as well as calculating how well I’m accomplishing my personal goals.

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Alex Bone’s Weekly Goals:

  • X = Exercise: The equivalent of 1400 sit-ups a week.
  • W = Writing: 20 pages a week.
  • R = Reading: 200 Pages a week.
  • CWN = Commune with Nature: Be outside a minimum of 7 hours a week.
  • WL = Write Letters: Stay in contact with family, friends, and allies 28 times a week.
  • A = Alternative: Accomplish daily tasks or make steps toward long terms goals at least 7 times a week.
  • B = Bonus: Make extra profit and reward myself for each time I accomplish all eight goals daily.
  • Ki = Ki: Attend to spiritual goals and/or make time for my mental health

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I’m certainly not suggesting people should imitate me or my goals are better than those held by other people. I just do what works for me and since I’m coming up on my 20 year anniversary of measuring my goals, I guess I’m either pretty good at it or have a higher level of OCD than most people you’ve met. (I suppose both of those statements can also be true.)

Just because I measure these, doesn’t mean I attain them each week or limit myself in the level I might accomplish them. I often write less than 10 pages a week, (Don’t tell anyone) Reading also fails below my standard more often than not. However, things like Alterative can reach as high as 100 for even a bi-weekly measure.

So… what is the point of all this? Again no one is required to follow my path. It probably wouldn’t work for most people. However, it might be useful to think about your own goals in long term and short term formats. Perhaps writing them out and setting benchmarks would also be useful.

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When I see I had a bad week I can try to figure out why and adjust my life accordingly. Same is true with a great week. I can look back and see what worked so well for me.

Also, if a particular goal is doing poorly, say I only read 30 pages during the weekends, I can try to figure out why this occurred and change my schedule or adjust my modalities.

Jumping on the accomplishment bus never hurt anyone. Life it to be enjoyed, but part of our happiness comes from our feelings of accomplishment. Also, when we reach many of our goals, new doors might open for us or we may rise our standards of living in other manners. With a bit of forethought and the proper effort, who knows what you might be able to do?

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Bone hat

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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0

Apr
18

Genre:  Horror

Publisher:  Samhain

Published: 2012

Reviewer Rating:  4.5

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer is a horror novel which takes it up a notch by combining as many different types of the horror subgenres as it can all at once. This creates a dangerous explosion of more types of terror and villains than you can shake a dozen sticks at. I had never read anything quite like it and enjoyed this novel more than most.

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B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer

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Andy is the nephew of a stage magician who mysteriously brought about the death of dozens of people. His Uncle Ned asks him to take over the house of the dead magician. Andy thinks this will be a great place to review a bunch of old horror movies for his professor, but when his projector breaks, and he uses the dead magician’s cursed one, all the monsters, villains, and undead he views come to life and begin to destroy the small town.

Soon only four survivors are left to do their best to shut down this projector. The horror movie villains range from serial killers, to supernatural serial killers, vampires, plagues of flesh devouring locusts, zombies, giant rats, and many more types of human slaying nasties.

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I really enjoyed how this gave us an excuse to have so many archetypes of different terrors in one place in one book. Very interesting concept and quite a bit of fun if you are a lover of horror movies. I liked how sometimes these evil groups would also work together, which just made it all the harder for the few survivors.

If you love horror movies and novels, I have a hard time seeing to many downsides. The characters could have been a bit stronger, some of their backgrounds seems to be more of an afterthought.

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Yet, nothing took away from the entertainment of this explosion of deadly chaos erupting on this small town and seeing how ill prepared they were to deal with this influx of monsters and mayhem. This should be something all horror addicts enjoy.

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Learn more here

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1111

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

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