Monday, February 27, 2012

Gender Bender article

I was recently in a writer's group on LinkedIn and was contacted by another writer about something I had posted regarding a story of mine, and Rutger Hauer. She was very curious about the story that Mr. Hauer had liked so mcuh, and I ended up sending her the story and another I had just finished.

She found the whole story about Rutger and my story intresting and asked if I minded if she posted an article she had in mind. I pleased to hear what she had in mind and told her to please feel free to write and post it. She has. It was fun and very pleasing to read.

I thought you might find it entertaining too and I wanted to share it with you. If you go to her aticle Gender Bender, on, you can read what she wrote and see my reply posted beneath it. The two stories of mine that she references will be in a book I'm preparing this week to release, so if you are really curious, it won't be long before you will be able to find out what all the fuss is about.

As posted in her article, the stories in question are "Poor Lord Ritchie" (short title) and I had also sent her "The Fall". Both stories will be out in my new book any time now.

It's a very nice article. I hope you check it out. I've been on IndiesUnlimited for a little while now and it's a pretty cool site.

From the About page:

We are at the beginning of a technological revolution in how books are written, published, marketed, purchased, and read. This site is dedicated to the independent authors, publishers, reviewers and readers who are on the cutting edge of that technological revolution.
A major challenge for any indie author is the lack of established infrastructure in place to market indie books. It can be challenging and time-consuming to get the word out about your book, to find reviewers, and to drive traffic to your website or Facebook page. As a new author, I was delighted to discover a very high level of mutual support and camaraderie in the indie author community. This platform is born from that spirit of mutual aid and support.
Please make Indies Unlimited your home for engagement with others who are interested in the Indie Author Movement. Be sure to “play nice” with others. Write informative, educational, or opinion minded comments, guest posts and other contributions. You can promote your books or yourself by participating in discussions and providing valuable content. Please do not spam us or use this system to send unrequested self-promotion, marketing, or sales materials. Instead, please use this platform to engage, inform, discuss, and build quality relationships.
I hope you will find this site both entertaining and informative and you will make a visit to Indies Unlimited part of your daily routine. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Stephen Hise

It's okay to write

Someone was just pointing out that perfectionism stifles writing and creativity.

I hadn't really thought about it that way, but I think that years ago, between that and a kind of fear of exposure or being called out as being substandard in various ways, it made it almost impossible for me to write.

I loved to read when I was young. To be a writer was the highest goal I could think of. But I didn't really consider it. I "believed" I wasn't capable. But in 10th grade, my English teacher recognized my ability and tried to get me on the school newspaper. But I came up with reasons not to out of fear and a belief I was unworthy, incapable, or just too stupid. See, I had a step-father who told me that on a regular basis, "You're stupid." he would say when I was frustrating him. So I believed him. I don't believe him anymore.

When I started college, my first English comp teacher told me that of anyone in our class, I had to be a writer. He said that I had a skill and passion for it whether I knew it or not. He could see it in my class assignments. He had said that I had an energy that was undeniable; I had ideas that jumped off the page. I remember the lighthearted gleam in his eye, the energy he had for me to go on writing.

But I told him that I knew I didn't have a good, conscious comprehension of the rules of grammar. He smiled knowingly at me and said, "Look, just write, don't worry about all the mechanics and peripheral things; just write. Then go back and worry about all that later."

Once I heard that from someone I respected, that it was okay to throw caution to the wind, and just write, I tried it. It felt like dipping into a cold lake, naked at first, but after a while, the waters began to warm (or I to it) and it got easier, and easier. That stage lasted for me for a few years. But it allowed me permission to continue with the practice of writing, for it to happen more frequently; and more importantly perhaps, for it to happen more enjoyably. Until and so that eventually, the quality of what I wrote began to increase.

If not for that one English teacher giving me permission to write horrible prose, I may never have gotten past that initial fear of not being perfect. The rest really just took practice-- and listening productively to criticism.

He made it clear to me that it wasn't that hard. If I just did that, "listened", I would get better. He took the fear of writing, almost completely away for me, so that I could simply enjoy doing it. I didn't have to be perfect. I could just enjoy myself; and of course, try to become better over time. No matter how long it took. Because the other element in being a writer is, perseverance.

The fear of outwardly being perceived by others in a negative light, took a different kind of practice to overcome. I don't think it was so much growing a thicker skin as it was learning to accept people's criticisms. To recognize that criticism was a tool, something to divert from my feelings and instead over to making changes during rewrites. Then incorporating those learned components into future writings. One should also be aware and recognized that some criticism should be thoroughly discarded.

It is important to learn to recognize useful criticism as useless criticism. Some people are either mean spirited, or are fools and simply don't know what they are talking about. They are certainly out there and sometimes they can be emotionally close to you. They either have standards far higher for you than are useful to you; they want you to fail; they simply believe you will fail; or THEY fear that you will let THEM down. Because as we all know, with those types of people, it's all about them, right? Just ignore them. Move on. Instead zero in on those who are useful to you, to move your writing along, onward and upward

Criticism isn't about your feelings. It's about using comments on your writings as a tool. Use that tool to forge your current and next writings into a far better piece of art, or production. The trouble is, like in learning to ride a bike, it's scary, sometimes painful; but if you keep at it, you will get through it. Every professional writer, or rider, has had to go through that painful period.

They just had to learn how to make it through to where they finally ended up. To turn things around to where they buoyed themselves up and carried them forward, instead of impeding their progress, which can be all to easy to let happen.

Perhaps most people, most of the time, give up. Since most people do not seem to continue on after initially being shot down; and we're almost all shot down by someone in the beginning, This is especially true for writers, artists and musicians. Sometimes we get stuck in that first stage of fear and pain. Sometimes, we deny ourselves our own greatness.

Of all those people who will tell you that you can't, don't be one of those who believe them. There are enough people out there already who will tell you that you can't. Can't make it, can't do it, that you can't be what you want to be.

At this point, let me say that I've finished editing my new book, Anthology of Evil and we are working on the cover art. It should be out soon. Very quickly after that will be a second book which has an interesting connection to the first. I have recently gotten my first work up as an epublication, on Amazon and Smashwords.
Cover image for "Simon's Beautiful Thought"
It's been a long time from my first short story in 10th grade to now with this short story "Simon's Beautiful Thought" and it is a very rewarding time for me. I'm not even quite sure how I got to this point, except to say that it took a lot of hard work and immersing myself in what I love to do.

For yourself, if you wish to write, or anything you think you would love to do, just remember that it's okay. Work through that first stage and work hard to make it be as short a period as possible. And don't forget that the more you ride that bike, the faster you pass that painful and scary training period.

So-- write. Do you Art.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Simon's Beautiful Thought" cover art reworked

Update: My brother kindly reworked the cover art on my Sci Fi short story, "Simon's Beautiful Thought" both on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. And this was a good reason to mention it again....
Cover image for "Simon's Beautiful Thought"
FYI [Tuesday 2/21 - 11:15AM] It looks like uploading the new cover graphic last night put the Amazon KDP version into draft mode which may take a couple of days to come on line. But the Smashwords version is still available. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Check it out. It's visible on Smashwords, Amazon is taking their sweet time replacing it the graphic.
I worked massive hours this weekend on my Anthology of Horror and have 100 pages left to get through, then I will be getting it out to be published. I was slowed down by a birthday party on Sunday and ensuing events, as well as the short story in the anthology titled, "Andrew", which is written in a difficult to edit style but I believe to be a good work.

Once I finish the Anthology, then I will finish up my book and get it out to the public and then it's back to my "America" screenplay that I've been working on with Producer Chris Soth.

Have a great week and for those of your who only have a four day work week, congrats and enjoy!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Lying to get a job

First of all, I try never to lie to anyone about anything. It's my thing. :) The only place I've lied is on a resume and in an interview and honestly, I probably wasn't lying, but it was close enough to me, that I felt like it was. But I got the jobs, I succeeded, they were always very pleased with me and my results. Win, win.
It takes more intelligence to always tell the truth than it does to lie. Unless you are a professional liar which is a conman, but I've found few who could keep track properly and they aren't people to be around; unless you're a conman, too.

I was once told that you're a fool if you don't try to sound better than you are in the interview / resume process, to strive to get a job as far above you as is reasonable and possible. How close to a lie or beyond is up to your credentials and skills.

You can lie to get a job, you cannot get caught in the lie; so the easiest way is not to lie. Plus in some jobs, you can find serious repercussions if getting found out. I'm not saying break the law, I'm saying use your discretion and shoot for the sky. And if you do lie (or stretch the truth which is much safer), you'd better be able to perform when tasked to do so.

I understand people want to be better than what they are and I praise that effort. I know some people can do more than they have been and just need the chance to show what they can do. I like when people who are striving to rise. I don't hold a resume against someone as long as 1) they succeed in what they have claimed and 2) that is the only place they are being so inaccurate. That being said, you have to check out that resume, check their skills. If it all proves true (even if it's not) you may be getting a good employee that will be a plus for both you and them. Win, Win.

Now, all that being said, it can be a fine line, you can end up with a very questionable employee who will lie to get the job. Like that woman we hired that time. If she had fooled me, quickly learning, showing what an expert she was, fine. As long as I didn't notice, I don't care. Good for her!

But she failed and therefore had to accept the consequences (but wouldn't); and she was questionable in many other areas aside from work. Funny, if she had succeeded in her lie, I would have respected her and her skills. There are geniuses out there who can do or quickly pick up almost anything and you could luck into that. And others who will lie and walk all over anyone to get up that ladder. So in her lying and failing, I lost all respect for her.

Just being honest here. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Simon's Beautiful Thought" now on Kindle Direct Publishing

My story "Simon's Beautiful Thought" is now on KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing.
Cover image for "Simon's Beautiful Thought"
Please feel free to pick it up and if you like it, or not, leave a review. If you prefer Smashwords, well, it's on there too.

It's been a long haul to get here. And I'm just getting started. This, is only the first. Two books are coming pretty quickly after this. Well, an Anthology and a book.

I started trying to get published back just after I got out of the University and simply never got anywhere with it. It's odd too, because if you knew what I went through and how close I came to things taking off several times over the years, well, it's suprising it never happened. Once I get things going, if someone says, "overnight success", I'm going to shoot myself.

Years later, I tried again and spent a lot of money (it was a lot to us, new family, working two half time jobs) to get one story finally published in a magazine. But sometimes our biggest hurdles are the ones closest to us. We didn't have much money back then and my wife (at the time) was annoyed at my spending money and time on sending out stories, making copies, postage and all that. So I stopped at the time. Every so often over the years, I would try again.

Sometimes good things came of it, however. For two years, I got an unpaid position working with a production company as a writer and although I never got anything on screen, I got experience working with Producers and well, that was indeed valuable. It's good to get used to feeling your guts torn out by work that is considered unacceptable. One has to remember in that situation, if you are qualified, it's not that it is bad work, just the wrong work, or not what they are looking for. You pick up, and continue on. But it only lasted two years for reasons with in the studio and not me.

The internet has been a great help now a days. Three years ago I started writing full time again (working around my full time job) and I've made a lot of new friends and connections and gotten published again a few times.

And this time, I'm not going to let anything stop me. This, is just the beginning.

I'm working on my anthology this weekend. I'll let you know when it is ready. My writings are different (or so I've been told), someone said I have a unique style (one can only hope). That works against you too, until you get enough people who understand where you are coming from. So, we will see how that goes. And, I'm still writing my screenplays.

Thanks to those of you who have been so supportive.


DVR taking our control?

I just experienced something very disturbing. I VOD'd the show, "Who do you think you are?" (NBC) The season three premiere (thought I never heard of this show, or never paid attention, probably). I just wanted to check it out. Zip through it, see if I wanted to watch the series or not. But that's not going to happen.

The first thing I see is a black screen with the statement that I may not be able to use fast forward during the show. That is one of the main reasons I OWN a Tivo DirecTV DVR. I mean, Excuse me? This does not bode well for viewers. This is half of the functionality of DVR that I have it for. Not just to skip the ads, but to zip through the boring crap, the filler, the banal, the irritating.

Some peopel have said you can use the page up and down buttons but that doesn't work for me. Nothing is working. It's disabled. Plain and simple. Below, at the end of this article, I have added some comments from people about this.

I want to hurt something small and fuzzy and stuffed with sawdust.

I should also mention that yesterday I VOD'd this program. I also VOD'd the very funny, quirky, "An Idiot Abroad" (Science Channel), Ricky Gervais' show. I can FF on this, no problem.
If this is the beginning of a trend, we're screwed. Is it? We'll have to start building our own DVR's with all the functionality we want in them. This is an issue I knew was a trend back when DVD burners first came out and they were not allowed to hit the market until the manufacturers agreed with the film and TV industry to fix it so you cannot burn copies of prerecorded DVDs.

Sure, they should protect their intellectual property, but then they should remove that Damned FBI warning, or at least, put it at the end. PUT IT AT THE END! You can't zip past it. They should also, on the functionality of DVDs, give us control. Ever try to fast forward or skip the commercials on YOUR DVD that you paid for and got a note that this function is not available at this time? Why NOT? Pretty annoying.

I don't have any solutions here, just notification on this matter. We are being abused as consumers. We need to pay attention. Speak out. Get mad as Hell and not take it anymore. All that kind of stuff. Does it have to be this way because THEY have all the power? No. Not if we demand better treatment. Will we? Probably not, but then if this continues, we will only have ourselves to blame in the end.

Cover image for "Simon's Beautiful Thought"

On a side and more entertaining note, check out my quirky little Sci Fi story, "Simon's Beautiful Thought", available at Smashword's minimum price of 99 cents. I won't try to control how fast you read it. The written word is still wide open to its reader.

UPDATE: I looked around and found some discussion groups who had posted last year about this. Some said that FOX demanded FF be disabled because you have to watch the adverts. Some said on some shows you can skip forward (I just tried this, it said you cannot fast forward, it's not FF it's skip, but, whatever). Someone said, you shouldn't pay again for what you are paying for to begin with, then someone said the VOD are free and separate so they can do this. So it appears to be an ongoing controversy I'm only now becoming aware of.

I just found this:

10-05-2011 02:01 PM
We apologize for the inconvenience but the fast forward option was disabled as requested by the networks to allow full commercial advertising from their programming partners.
 Thank You

Another on there said (and I have to agree):
"We are all paying for on-demand. It may be advertised as a 'freebie' and not broken down in the price, but we are paying for it. I understand the argument that on-demand is a different service, but I believe that the ff, rw, etc functions on my DVR (extra cost to me) should function with all aspects of programming and not be controlled by individual networks."

Another said this, which is interesting:

"I'm sorry to be the purveyor of bad news, but both FOX and NBC DENIED Mandating anything, It was something the Cable Company offered instead of what was termed "routine royalties" being paid by the competitors to Cable.
In otherwords, rather than paying as their competitors do Comcast choose to force us to watch commercials.
 My argument to the County Commissioners is quite simply this is an illegal decrease in services I previously enjoyed... if you will Comcast is passing those routine royalties on without proper review!
 Still the option is mine, I've complained to all the government offices I can think of, and I boycotting any show both in "On Demand" and live broadcast who chooses to show this same greedy posture Americans are marching in the streets to protest!
It's not about being a captured audience, it is about a slippery way to increase my cost to watch! My Time and mental faculties do have value."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My new short story, "Simon's Beautiful Thought" on Smashwords

To celebrate St. Valentine's Day only, I had put up my new Science Fiction Romance short story for download. I had been getting asked about when I would start publishing my writings online and well, I'm finally there.

In honor of romance and St. Valentine's Day, I had set this quirky little Science Fiction Romance story, "Simon's Beautiful Thought", to be a free download through that day. But it is still available at Smashword's at their minimum price of 99 cents.
Cover image for "Simon's Beautiful Thought"
From the story's open:

“I love you Simon. I wish I didn’t, but I do. It’s destiny, as if I were made for you.” She looked up at Simon, her eyes big, twinkling, passionate, and tracking him perfectly. He felt as if he could fall into them. “I love you too,” Simon said. “But sometimes, love is not enough. Sometimes, loving someone, is just not-- right....” 

It is a story I wrote recently as a writer's group theme of "Obsession". Simon was my offer to that group. They really seemed to like it. Simon is perfect in several ways, except that he is unable to make an ongoing romantic connection with women. You know, rough childhood issues. And so he has found other ways to feel "normal". Ways most people would find-- odd. Thinking he has finally found a way to work things out, of course things change for him and leave him having to make a major decision. 

This is my first time putting a piece online for sale as an epublished work. I hope you like it.

The next thing I will put up online is an anthology of my short stories. I will get it online as soon as I can get it edited. Hopefully within the next week or two. 

This will include: "In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear", "Quantum History", "Gumdrop City", the novella "Andrew", "Sarah", "Poor Lord Ritchie's Answer (To A Question He Knever Knew")", "The Mea Culpa Document". 
Original graphic from "In Memory..." being published
"In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear" was my first short story ever to get published in a magazine back in 1992. I have updated it as its technology was getting dated. And I had to update it before I was published as I had written it some time before it finally had gotten published even back then. Originally it was written as a proof that I could make any storyline work. My friends chose a concept they thought couldn't be made to work and I wrote it. I also wrote it in an attempt to start writing more simply, after I finished that story, that is. For all intents and purposes it should never have gotten published, but I must have done a good job on it.

"Quantum History" was done as a friendly experiment between three friends. There are two other versions of this theme floating about and I'm willing to bet that other than mine, those others will never see the light of day.

"Gumdrop City" was published in The Undead Nation Anthology back in 2010. It was a story I was told by a Professor in an Abnormal Psych class. It is a true story, however, I fictionalized a father and daughter in it, and a few elements inside the serial killers house. What was found in the secret room in the killer's house is all true.

"Andrew" is the story of a very young boy and how he tries to deal with an event more traumatic than anyone should ever have to experience. This is then juxtaposed with how he learned to deal with it as an adult and his choices at that time.

"Poor Lord Ritchie's Answer to a Question He Knever Knew" was chosen by Rutger Hauer as a winner in an International Short Story contest he ran for two years back in the late 1990s. I entered it because I just knew he would like that story out of all of my stories. It is about a lost Medieval Lord and his descent into either time travel, or madness. When Rutger read the story, it had three acts. It now has four and the ending I could never figure out back then.

"The Mea Culpa Document" was originally written back in college with the help of a Theater Professor into medieval literature. It is about a great burden that an idealistic Witch Hunter has to bear. A Mea Culpa document is one that some used to write out all their sins on and then burn. But in this case, they were stored for posterity. My Professor had wanted to do it as a one man show and he would have been brilliant in it. But I was never able to get the play just right. Over time I ended up writing another story based on this document that I started to build into a novel but never finished. That happened several times, meaning, I have several unfinished novels laying around. One in a similar format to King's epic novel, "The Stand". I've called the story from the document,"Vaughan's Theorum" and it will be in my book when it gets published.

Sarah has been built into my screenplay, "HearthTales" which I've been sending out to production companies. It is about a woman lost in Alzheimer's Disease. I had heard about this from a girl in an Abnormal Psych class at my University. She told me about her grandmother and these were such moving stories, I had to find a way to share them. 

I've been working hard on my book, "Heaven" (tentative title). I'm not sure what direction I'll take with it being published. I would like to see it done in the traditional way, if I can get it worked out. I have a few publishers who have been suggested to me today as possibilities.

Then I have to get back to finishing my "America" screenplay that I have put off in order to get these works ready to go. I've had all these writings sitting around that I needed to get out there to be seen. As my Professor from college said, "You'll never sell a book that is sitting on a shelf in you house."

So, Happy St. Valentine's Day! And I hope you like my story. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fringe - The TV show

I started watching J.J. Abrams show "Fringe" back when it first aired. Some of my friends did too. After a while some of them lost touch with it, lost interest because it got, well, weird. And for a show that was supposed to be weird, even being considered a distant descendant of the old "X Files" TV show, which we loved, that's saying something. This isn't a review, and I'm not critiquing the show here. I just wanted to point out a few things I find fascinating about the show now and where it is headed.

First let me point out that I'm not always a fan of shows that take weird directions or try to confuse the viewer. I did not like "Lost" from the first episode and didn't watch it. I liked the first version of "Lost" a lot better when I was a kid and they called it "Gilligan's Island". I could not get into "Prison Break", especially once they broke out and kept going.

But I'm liking the direction that "Fringe" is going. It has now settled down and morphed into, an interesting exercise in characterization. One of my friends stopped watching it because they were getting confused, there were too many "alternate" or "parallel" universes to deal with. I was getting frustrated myself a while back. I was wondering if the show's producers and writers even had a handle on what the Hell they were doing.

But now I see, that's the point. Things have, or are, finally coalescing into something tangible.

This show has now got to be a kind of actor's paradise. What you have now are multiple universes, with the same characters in each one, but with different personalities and varying histories. The theory being that other universes close to the primary (one we started with), are almost exactly the same as the primary, and as you get further from it you have greater variations. It should also be easier to get to one more closely aligned with the primary than one more distant.

The theory being, as a decision is made you branch out into another universe. Whether you agree with how they are doing this, or what theory they are using, they are doing it, making it work, and serving up a story that entertains. Just don't get too caught up in the theory over the entertainment value or you will lose out on what they are doing.

Once you get into sync with it, it's really kind of amazing to watch and follow. If you have ever watched a show and wished a character would have this or that kind of attitude about something different than what they are doing, now is your chance. It is a different way to watch a show with reoccurring characters. And it's kind of fascinating. It has to be interesting from the show's writers, too.

In writing a character on a show, you have to strictly adhere to the character's path. But here there are multiple paths and ways to play out their decisions in the show. You get to stretch your acting, or writing (or producing) "muscles" in different directions. This has to either be killing people on that show (and it probably is some of them) or they will never want to leave a show like this and couldn't be happier. I'm talking the format of the show, not how people are being treated as employees on a set. If your producer is a nightmare, well, that's a different consideration.

But from a viewer's perspective, I'm enjoying what they are doing and I hope they can keep it up for a while. It just took my getting over the transition period from the intial orientation of the show to where they have not arrived. Although, I'm still really not sure where that is. And for once on a TV show, it's not irritating me.

In closing, I'll offer this:

Tomorrow morning I will have a St. Valentine's Day blog about my first short story to go online for sale on an epublishing site and how it is free through St. Valentine's Day on Smashwords. Cheers!

Monday, February 6, 2012

There are no teachings of a "Christ"

I've heard all my life a lot of talk about this "Christ" person. For decades, I've refused to call "Jesus", "Christ", for several reasons.

There are no teachings I can find of a "Christ", just Jesus. This label Christ was actually officially given a few hundred years after the death of the man when they were trying to justify who he was. It's alleged that Peter called "Jesus" Christ, but that is in a book that was created far after that moment, the bible having been written down so long after the actual incidents that it is basically, hearsay.

And a guy named Yeshua (there are various forms of it) was actually who people call, Jesus. Which is important, what others called him, or what name he heard when someone called his name? Did he turn to look at you if you called him "Jesus"? Uh, no. Does that matter to you? Probably not. But shouldn't it? Do you want to believe in what was, or what people said what was?

Then he was so named officially as "Christ" at Emperor Constantin's Council of Nicaea in order to solidify an empire that was being torn apart by all the different religions. This creation of The Bible was a vested interesting not in seeing the truth in the book but in maintaining an Empire. Think about that for a moment. So to justify using this Yeshua guy as the focal point in their new Bible, which was becoming very popular in the realm, they scoured in the old Hebrew books for a prediction that fit Yeshua's life (and altering it wouldn't have mattered too much to them to fit the prophesies), they did indeed find one from a hundred years before "Yeshua" was born, and so they made it work. In fact they killed people to support their version.

Thus, Yeshua became, Christ, "Jesus Christ" as if that were his last name or something. But Jesus, is Yeshua and a blue eye, blond haired, white guy was actually, not that. It makes you wonder just what all is wrong in the teachings. All of which have been subverted from day one by those in control of the religion and then all the splinter groups degenerating down into even Mormonism (started by an affirmed con man) and other pretty foolish beliefs.

Constantin also saw to it that they killed any texts that made their new "Christ" figure sound too human and not God-like enough. It's why this is all such a ridiculous discussion. They put to death anyone who had any of the texts they wanted destroyed that disagreed with who they were building up this prophesied, Christ figure, the Son of God. That is why Christians, trying to justify their religion through quoting the Bible, holds little or no bearing on their argument. If you have a text that has been built to only support a created position, you are supporting your argument on a text that has little in the way of being an absolutely ironclad document on the actual history of what transpired during a time far before the text was solidified.

I truly believe if Yeshua, or whatever his name actually was, were to appear here now, he wouldn't even recognize what he had been trying to start way back when. He had a pretty simple message, few rules, mostly, be nice to one another. And think of "God' as a dad, not a mean spirited, well, all powerful spirit.

And if he were to be told about all the genocide Christianity and it's offshoots have fomented over time, he'd be horrified and simply disband the religion that grew from his original and subverted teachings. But so called Christians don't want to talk about that, they prefer to believe in their fantasy religion because the actuality of it no longer has any bearing upon what they now want to believe in.

And in a way that's understandable, because if you believe in something that is ridiculous, but you're practicing something that is basically nice and means well, why change, right? Even if these contentions are wrong, doesn't it make sense to check out what you are believing in, if you believe in Christianity or any of its bastardized forms? But probably not, realistically speaking, right?

But that is the evolution of religion. If it's not true, it really doesn't matter in the least. Does it?

I truly think the world will be a far better place once we start basing our decisions in reality, with compassion, and understanding bordering on elightenment.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Guinness Black

I've been a fan of Guinness for decades. Being half Irish has nothing to do with it. Okay, maybe, a little bit.

I just tried Guinness black.

At first taste, I was surprised. I wasn't sure I liked it
But then I tasted it again and I did. But it tasted like beer. This wasn't your Grandfather's Guinness.

Then I tasted it again and realized I did kind of like it.
It was weird though because I could taste Guinness in it, but it tasted like... beer.

I tasted it again.
Then it hit me.

For years I've complained about bars chilling Guinness.
Like I said, I'm Irish, and I know a full blooded guy, who is Irish but born there, I was born in Tacoma, Washington after all.

He said about cold Guinness, "Sacrilege! If you get it cold for God's sake, put it under your arm, in your armpit, what ever you have to do to warm it up before you drink it!"

Then I started seeing "cold" Guinness ads... from Guinness!

So wrong. When I asked the barkeep, he said, cold Guinness was designed to be drunk cold.

But this Guinness black, IS different.

Guinness should be served room temperature, so that when you drink it, Americans would think, this is warm. Well it's room temp anyway. But I like it where there is just a hint of coolness somewhere within it the middle of it. Typically there is only one or two bars in town who get it "right".

But this new beer is perfect. It WAS designed to drink cold. It is in my book, the first Guinness "cold-serve beer. And, I do like it.

There was a posting on Facebook where Guinness was asking what nickname we have for Guinness. I had to say, mine is:


On the Guinness web site it says: "In spite of Guinness’s many nicknames that refer to it as black, such as “The Black Stuff”, officially, Guinness is a dark ruby red color, which can be seen by tipping a partially full pint up to the light."

Anyway, I had to post this on their Facebook posting:

"I tried Guinness Black recently, by the way. I think Guinness has finally found a way for people (we trogladyte Americans) to buy Guinness and drink it cold. And be drinking it appropriately for a change. It's anethma seeing people drink Guinness cold, worse if they want to push it upon my esteemed self! But hey guys! Good job! Now we have a choice and there will be no burning in Hell for dirnking it incorrectly."

I still prefer Guinness, and at room temp.
But if I wanted a cold beer and I wanted a Guinness, well, finally(?), I think this, is it!