Monday, August 26, 2013

Work Is Killing Me!

I apologize for not being able to make the rounds and visit your blogs like I should. It was a crazy week where I logged nearly 1000 miles in my car, and this week looks to be more of the same. It seems I'm losing visitors every week, but such is the nature of the blogosphere.

Craziness is the nature of my job, and when I'm in town, it's great. But I travel 50% of the time, and my travel is usually by car. Not so fun, although it does give me plenty of time to sit there and think. Or sing along to the radio.

Which got me thinking, how do you manage your day job and pursue whatever your passion is? Most of you are writers, but I do know some of you also love music and/or art. I know of some writers that don't have to work a job, per se, but do run a household. That can be a big time and energy drain too.

So how do you juggle a busy schedule, a hectic work week, and your true love you wish you could pursue full time?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thank You For Not Breeding!

Work is really pulling me away from the other stuff I want to do, like blogging. I'm going to be scarce these next two weeks. Below is a re-post from seven years ago. It stands as the one post that generated the most HATE mail I have ever received. 

I'm also making history, as this is my 500th post.

Members/supporters of the group I talk about actually threatened me for writing this, so enjoy!

"May we live long and die out."
"Thank you for not breeding."

Who on earth would be putting these two ridiculous messages on bumper stickers and T-shirts? If you can believe it, there is a group based in San Francisco that is calling for the extinction of the human race. Yeah, you read that right. They want all of us - including themselves - to be extinct for the good of the Earth.

VHEMT (pronounced vehement) - Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell the "T" stands for in VHEMT. I think they just stuck it on their so they can go around saying "vehement." Of course, they still need an "N" in front of the "T." It seems these morons can't spell.

Here's their argument in a nutshell: We humans consume and therefore ravage the Earth. We destroy the ecosystem and cause thousands upon thousands of other animal species to become extinct through our consumption and pollution. This movement is calling for the long range extinction of the human race in order to save the earth. When you look at the staggering statistics concerning human beings, they make a compelling argument...

*16,000 humans are born every hour on the world
*Each human creates 22 million pounds of liquid waste and 2.2 million pounds of solid waste (you can thank all the pro-fiber people for that one)
*Each human will consume 4,000 barrels of oil, 1.5 million pounds of minerals (which easily converts to more solid waste), and 62,000 pounds of animal products
*40,000 children died each day of malnutrition
(all stats from www.vhemt.org)

So VHEM(T) believes we need to stop breeding, get old, and all just die. And that will save the Earth.

BRILLIANT!


Les Knight, founder of VHEM(t) had a vasectomy back in the 1970s when he was 25. He says,"We can't be breeding right now. It's obvious that the intentional creation of another [human being] by anyone anywhere can't be justified today" (SF Chronicle, 11/16/05).

On their website, they have several justifications for their views coming from all different perspectives: the economic impact, overpopulation issues, morality and religious issues, and environmental perspectives. They one day hope for: "Gaia completely cured of pox humans. Without us meddlesome humans, all other species would get their fair chance at survival."

I don't know about that, Les. I think cockroaches LOVE all the stuff we leave for them...as do mice, rats, and other species that eat our scraps.

Here are just a few of my personal observations:

1)What the hell is the "T" for in VHEMT? Come 'on Les...tell me. It's really bothering me. Does it mean "team?" Maybe "terror" or "troopers."

2)What good is a perfect Gaia without any humans? It just sounds pretty idiotic to me. You want us to be ecocentric? Forgo the human race to save Earth? Isn't that like falling in love with your car?

3)The biological urge to have children is our innermost base desire, removed from our conscious mind at times. Even two VHEM(T) members shed their movement's beliefs for their own needs. Mike and Mary Brune (Mike is the director the Rainforest Action Network and Mary is founder of Making Our Milk Safe) went against their own movement's manifesto and had a child after 7 years of marriage. Mike+Mary = Olivia, 15 months old now. How you like that Les?

4)They're against our species' survival! That goes against every fiber in every human being's body. Survival is perhaps our strongest ingrained instinct. If I had a gun and started shooting it at Les, he's going to duck...he's going to run and try to take cover. Why? Because he doesn't want to die. It's a survival instinct that takes over. We can't just turn off that instinct to survive as an individual, as a family, as a community, and as a race of beings.

5)The human race will go on. Yes, we alone stand as the only creatures on earth that is capable of exerting some limited control on the environment. With technology, we have the power to preserve, the power to heal, and the power to replenish. Biotechnology holds vast potential to feed the world. We will no doubt develop interstellar travel in the next 200 years. The human race will continue to grow and evolve, not become extinct as your movement so desires.

6)Mother Earth can take care of herself, thank you very much. Ever heard of a tsunami? How about an earthquake? Read about the bird flu lately? Gaia has her own population control, as Mother Nature has her own ways to balance things out. She doesn't really need your help in this manner. I think she can handle this on her own.

7)The Earth is better of without humans? Um, no. The Earth would be better off without any more semi-celebrity reality shows, that's for sure.


I wonder if there's a growing "movement" out there to perhaps help expedite the extinction of the human race. Oh, wait, there is. Philip Morris makes cancer sticks, which have killed millions. Maybe VHEMT and Philip Morris should work together to create a perfect Mother Earth through human extinction.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blog Friends Play Tag

So I got my rights back last week, and I purchased the cover art because it's so awesome. I can't wait to show all of you. Once I have a wonderful friend of mine help me with the typography, I'll have to do a fun cover reveal and see how far I can spread it all over the blogosphere.

Speaking of friends, I had a little epiphany recently. I think it was a combination of celebrating eight years of blogging and going through yet another publishing heartbreak that made me stop and think. Stop and think really hard about many of YOU out there.

I've had the pleasure of only meeting two blog friends in the last eight years. Just two. Despite that, I consider many of you true friends. Throughout this tough road, you all have offered your support, encouraging words, and even reached out to help me. There's just not enough words in existence for me to describe how thankful I am.

When I first started blogging, there was a high degree of anonymity on here. But these days, it's easier to really connect to all of you in blogland.  I feel like we're all kindred spirits, and I'm a lucky guy to be a part of such an incredible blogging community. Thank you for everything!

* * * *
I was tagged by Mary Pax to answer a few questions. So here I go:

What are you working on right now? I'm working on a bazillion things right now. Going indie is expensive, so I was picking up aluminum cans to save up enough money to pay for all the stuff I'm going to need to do this right. As far as writing goes, I'm editing the second book in my Asian-inspired steampunk series, The Mechanica Wars. This 110,000 word novel is titled Shadow Warrior, and I'm on the hunt for beta readers.

What experiences have influenced you? That's easy. My teachers. I was so fortunate to have wonderful teachers that have inspired me, taught me, and encouraged my artistic expression. I grew up surrounded by books, and my teachers continued to foster my love for reading.

What is the hardest part about writing? Time. It's tough to find time to write. I work a very high profile job that includes travel. I have kids, and they're pretty demanding too. So it's a challenge to make the time to do this.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet? You know, I'd like to write a sex scene from a male's point of view. No offense, but I've read lots of love/sex scenes written by female authors who attempt to write them from the guy's perspective. Not even close, ladies. Maybe it's because if done accurately, the scene would consist of five words. Six tops.

Monday, August 5, 2013

8th Blogiversary...The State of THE BLOG

Social Media changed blogging
Technically, Saturday was my blogiversary, but you all know I don't post on Saturdays, so I decided to celebrate the birth of this blog today.

When I started this thing eight years ago, I really did it just for fun. I love science. And I'm a funny guy with a good sense of humor (although my writing is pretty serious). So I started blogging about it. Thought I'd do it for a few months. Then a year went by, and two...and I did have a hiatus or two, but I come back here because this is a great way to express myself.

So what I want to do is to talk about how blogging has changed since 2005.

1) Blogging experts told us to post every day. Or try to. I posted every other day. It was hard to do, but I grew my following by posting so often. Readers could count on me for 3-4 great posts a week. These days, life is just too crazy. I post just on Mondays now. I wish I could write more, but life gets in the way.

2) There were all kinds of cool crazy gadgets and widgets bloggers put on their sidebars. These days, some bloggers still do it. Even though many of us have DSL, these extras slow down loading time. And they clutter your blog. To me, putting all that stuff on sidebars is messy and distracting. But back in the day, I was guilty as charged.

3) Blogrolls are pretty useless to readers. Up until 2010, my blogroll was HUGE. These were my faithful readers and good blog buddies. That was when readers were on the prowl to find new blogs. Not anymore. We now stumble on good sites, or maybe click a URL on someone's comment thread. Blog Hops are also a great way to find new blogs to visit.

4) Most of the blogs a few years ago were online diaries. Some of it was mundane, others had a theme. Many blogs were filled with some pretty heavy posts. People who went through tragedies or great triumphs shared their lives on blogs. Facebook pretty much replaced all that.

5) Almost all the blogs I loved are gone. Only a handful of us old timers are left. I consider these bloggers great friends, and I've been fortunate to meet a couple of them in person. Our online friendship wasn't limited to the interwebs, and I had such a great time connecting with bloggers face to face.

6) Social media was online bulletin boards, MySpace, and blogging. These days you have YouTube (which launched the same year I started blogging) vlogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Posterous, Google+, and I know there's more. So much noise, so much to choose from.

7) My posts used to be pretty long. I was told by many readers that my funny science posts were long even for 2005, 2006 standards. But they loved them that way. With the explosion of social media and microblogging, writing long posts is no longer feasible. People just don't have time to read long posts. In fact, I bet a bunch of my readers skim through my posts!

8) I used to write about the funny side of science because at the time, I worked for a company that was an offshoot  of NASA. My company worked with research & development and legal for all kinds of huge companies. My employer was an outsourced research company. It was fascinating, and it fueled my love for science. But around 2011, I decided to pursue writing again and completely revamped my blog to reflect that.

So lots have changed, but I resolve to remain in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks so much to all of you who keep coming back here. I appreciate it, and I look forward to the next eight years!