Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sheep vs Pigs

I glanced at an internet forum this morning and I saw all sorts of horror about how the Chinese government crushed some protestor with a steamroller.


A particular comment caught my eye ... someone stated that the Chinese government views its citizens as disposable. I don't know this person, but I do believe they have touched on one of the most basic truths about all governments.


The American government views its citizens as sheep to be sheared, as often as possible. Occasionally they eat one or two in order to keep the others in line and complacent enough to be sheared. In many other places, tyrannical governments view their ctizens as pigs, to be raised as efficiently as possible and then devoured.


The sheep look on in horror at what is happening to the pigs without realizing that they're ultimately in the same boat. When the government no longer desires to shear us, they'll eat us the same as the pigs.


We were warned that this would happen when the government ceased to fear its citizens.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Story Campaign So Far ...

For the short novella "Year of the Wendigo", so far we've given away 125 copies on Kindle Direct Publishing. Not too bad. I don't really know what a free campaign is supposed to yield so I'm impressed that we've given away any at all.

Writing is an enjoyable exercise and I continue to do it, time allowing. These days there's a lot of demands on my time and it seems like I never get much done but when I do have spare time ... I drift back to writing. I would be well-pleased if it bore some fruit and the readership gained a little traction.

I remember when I first started writing on this blog, I was getting over a thousand hits per day and generating a substantial ad revenue. The readership dropped dramatically when I stopped posting the BI every day and even more so when I began to speak more solely about religion. Is this not the very nature of mankind though? There's a narrow gate Christians are told to be seeking, and I suppose an even more narrow readership for those authors out there. I don't really write "Christian" literature and many of my stories span the past two decades of my life so they certainly run the gambit but I notice that there is a more Christian trend as I continue to age in the craft.

How do each of us use our gifts towards Christ? I suppose this is something we are to be continuously asking ourselves.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Short Story available for Free

In an effort to promote some of my short stories on Amazon's direct publishing, I'm putting some of them out there for relatively free and some of them for actually free (for a short time).

"Year of the Wendigo" will be freely available for Kindle users to download from Amazon until the 5 day promotional period ends. I would be very pleased if you would also write a review.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Glacier Bay,

I am writing to you in regards to your oak finish toilet seat which I purchased today. I am very pleased with this product.

It fits over the top of a 5 gallon bucket right and proper and the finished surface is smooth and comfortable, unlike some of your competition's products which can get a bit splintery. The hole through which a man's private business is conducted is just the right size and the seat is perfectly conformed. I have to compliment your craftsmen on this particular feature. It is so perfectly crafted that it grips a man's butt in what I proudly call the "toilet hug".

I hang your product proudly on the stub of a broken tree branch next to where my bucket sits and beside an old stump where I place my reading material and the toilet paper. I shall be very pleased if it stands up to the weather and vigorous use over the next few years. One can only expect so much from a toilet seat, but your product delivers the goods.

My hat's off to you!

Ernie Lee of Possum Creek

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review - Micro by Michael Crichton

My oldest son is a big fan of Michael Crichton. I'm slightly less so. Somehow this book ended up in our cabin, unknown to me, and was only recently brought to my attention when a friend borrowed it and then returned it. His excitement at it as he chattered back and forth about the plot brought me to pick it up.

As usual, Crichton writes about complex science concepts on about an 8th grade level. This is probably why he's a bestseller. It's entertaining fiction, not a science textbook.

His characters end up getting shrank down to smaller than insect size and then cast into the Hawaiian forest where they are then forced to deal with all manner of predatory insect life. This is not a new or novel concept. I seem to remember a cartoon from my childhood days that had an entire family battling bugs every week as they struggled to survive in small form. Crichton's exception, representing the current zeitgeist perhaps, is that the shrinking is done by an evil CEO instead of a mad scientist. Interestingly enough, society now considers scientists to be essentially naive but good-natured fellows doing their all to improve the human condition and CEO's represent bad and evil capitalism and are the ones dragging us all down. Oh my how things have changed since the 1950's when it was usually the capitalists who had to come in and save us from the raw evil and menace of the scientists.

Crichton died in the middle of this novel and someone else picked it up. I hate to judge an author by his photo on the book jacket, but this prissified dandy writes about as goofy as he looks. He's playing in someone else's sandbox, and it shows. Boy does it show. The two different writing styles conflict heavily. I don't know what else this second author (who will remain nameless because I don't want to be too mean-spirited OR go find the jacket to remind myself of the name) normally writes about, but I suspect it may involve vacations to a tropical paradise and illicit affairs with the cabana boy. I get the feeling that Crichton's tough science is out of his normal parameters.

This book redeems itself only if you like bugs and enjoy a speculative yarn set in the micro-universe where bugs live. Or if you like seeing greedy capitalists and ignorant grad students get what they so richly deserve. Either way, it's a fun read but not very deep.

Despite the fact that I'm adding an Amazon link to the review, I recommend picking this one up at the local library and getting your entertainment value out of it that way. You won't care to reread it but you'll be glad to have read it once.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


A year ago I self-published a short story through Amazon's Kindle direct publishing model. As of today, I've not sold one single copy. Ever.

Yet there are 5 bad reviews. One person announced that this was the worst thing they've ever read. Really? I'd be hard pressed to say which story was the worst I'd ever read.

So I'm lowering the price and changing the marketing scheme to let Amazon market this for me. I'm also posting a link to it here. After years and years I essentially gave up writing fiction because finding a publisher was so ridiculously painful. Is self-publishing equally painful?

If you wait until tomorrow to look into this, you'll find the price has been reduced from $2.99 to $0.99 in an attempt to increase sales. At the current royalty rate, Amazon is supposed to help market this story as well. I'll put more (and older) stories up soon and I've got an older novel I'm editing up now to put out there.

This is sort of a sea change for me. I used to focus almost everything I had on writing, then I just sort of stopped for a few years. Now I'm getting back into it, but in a much more leisurely fashion. I just want to write fun, interesting stories and put them out there for people to read. I'm going to be writing anyway, so a little money flowing my way doesn't hurt. I don't expect to become a bestseller, but my writing certainly isn't doing me any good just idling away the years on my hard drive where nobody can see it.

Book Review - Fiction - Tailchaser's Song

I haven't read this book for years, but I found it on the bookshelf and picked it up for a reread. The weather has been gloomy and I've been stuck unable to do much gardening or outdoor projects all week and I needed something to read.

Tad Williams explores the rich and vibrant world of cats in this one. He crafts for them their own society which feels very real and populates it with conventions and a mythology unique to cats. It's a very entertaining read and you lose yourself in the story very quickly. I also find it very refreshing to just pick up a good book that resolves itself between the front and back cover. So much of modern fiction, especially fantasy, works itself out in these sweeping epics across 15 or so novels. Unless you happen to stumble upon an unknown author who wrapped up his sweeping epic before you were born then you end up waiting for the story to resolve itself over the course of two decades, as my wife and I had to do with Robert Jordan's series.

As a rule, I keep only Kindle versions of books I don't plan to reread. Tailchaser's Song earns its permanent place on the bookshelves though as my large family will end up rereading it every couple of years. I highly recommend this book if you've got a day or two and want to kick back and relax.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Need More Proof?

I've not been chronicling the continued decline of America as a world power, but you ought to be paying attention.

An American ambassador was brutally murdered by a mob in a country our government helped overthrow. The mob was most likely armed with weapons we provided them for the purpose of deposing their dictator. Then they turned their weapons on us.

The ambassador's body was then paraded through the streets.

I guess the naysayers will have yet another rationalization when the murderous Muslim horde begins to massacre people within the borders of the United States.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Challenge Song

Over the past couple of nights here we've had a drama unfolding. Maybe not big in the grand scheme of things, but to our ears and in our small little world it's huge.

A new male coyote has come to town. For the past couple of nights we've heard his challenge song around 5am. As it's still fairly warm here, we sleep with our windows open and this newcomer (I call him "Bub") has wakened us up each night.

Up on the rim of the valley we're in, the local pack holds a nightly serenade, normally just around or after sunset. It's a very social time for them. Coyote packs are normally small family units consisting of mother, father, and last year's pups. They howl together as a social event, to locate members of the pack who have gone hunting, or (apparently) just for the fun of it.

We're still a couple of months off before mating season, but Bub is apparently a persistent newcomer. The first night he woke me up by howling his challenge down in the creek bed. It's a very aggressive, short howl followed by a trilling noise. It's unmistakable once you've heard it. When you're laying in bed at 5am and you hear it within a couple of hundred yards, it will chill your blood.

The pack answers Bub with a series of aggressive barks and shortened howls. I think they're telling him "Come get some, punk" because they go on back and forth like this for a little while. Bub is calling out the adult male in the pack and the pack is calling for Bub to come up to the ridgeline to fight like a man ... er ... coyote.

Last night I heard Bub far off beyond the ridge instead of down in the valley with us. He may be moving off to find some other territory. Not sure, but the noise factor seems to be dying down. We'll see tonight.

On a sadder note, one of our cats is missing. She was a rather pampered housecat we brought with us from Illinois. She had taken to roaming around outside at night and was becoming harder and harder to keep inside. As any cat owner knows, keeping a cat inside who doesn't want to be inside is a real challenge. Nothing short of an airlock will do. She has been gone about 4 nights now and almost all hope of her safe return is gone.

Normally the local pack of coyotes stays up on the valley rim. We don't see them down on our place or hear them. I've only once found their scat on the far side of the pond. However, I think Bub might not have been so accomodating. If our cat roamed too far from the house, she might have been caught by an opportunistic coyote and been unable to move fast enough to get to a tree. She liked to go into the treeline and mill around, but I hadn't observed her going out too far before. Speculation is useless but as anyone who has ever had a missing cat knows, it can't hardly be helped.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Uplift

As you go through your day today, ask yourself in every situation, "What would Breckenridge Elkins do?"

You might not actually want to do it, but it'll lift your spirits.

(If'n ya don't know who Elkins is then I suggest you reacquaint yerself with some fine literature.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

History Buff

I love Civil War history. Love, love, love it. I enjoy all history, but why this patch of American history above all others? In 10,000 years of recorded history, why do I focus so much on one small set?

Because it impacted (and continues to impact) my family so much.

I come from the union of two family lines ... the Irish "Freels" and the Scottish "Kincaids". Both families arrived in America around 1700 but continued to bring family members over right into the 1930's. We were primarily in the hills and mountains of Kentucky, like most of the other Gaelic immigrants. Until the Civil War when the Federal Government burned us out. My family fled to Oklahoma where they stayed until World War 2. I have kinfolk scattered from the Kentucky hill tribes all the way to Southern Texas now.

Civil War and the heavy-handedness of a tyrannical government broke my family to pieces and turned us out of our land. This is an important piece of history which shapes us all. It is the lens from which I view government today.

On Bracken's Piece

What has had me thinking lately is the author Matt Bracken's article of how the disintegration is likely to happen which I found posted over at Western Rifle Shooter's.

Now Bracken writes fiction and has about 3-4 novels which completely cover in a very realistic way how the United States falls apart, so what he has to say isn't much of a surprise. If anything, I think his vision might be a little too optimistic. I don't see any likelihood at all of competent, skilled militias taking to the streets and dealing with the massive riots. At least not beyond their very limited AOR.

Another issue to be concerned with is the racial division illustrated within the article. I'm not saying it's unrealistic or racist ... it's neither unrealistic NOR racist to speculate on racial division ... but in my area the lines are not so clearly drawn. I'll try to explain.

So if we have rampaging hordes of youngish black people, they didn't just spring up from the earth overnight. In an urban environment, I really have no clue how things will go down, but out in my part of the country, if you have a young black hooligan then they are the son, daughter, or grandchild or someone else who may be a pillar of the community. Everyone's related and everyone knows each other. If someone is trying to burn my cabin or steal my pig and I shoot them, then I might have just shot the nephew of a friend, such as the elderly black Christian man who repairs my small engine equipment (generators, pumps, etc.) and who prays with me from time to time.

We moved out to this part of the country, at least in part, so that when the collapse comes we'll be better protected by geography, environment, and low population. Once the roads are cut, I really do not see urban ghetto violence boiling out into the desert where I am, even if they are hungry and looking for food. And the county I live in has about an 8% black population. So I have a hard time seeing how Bracken's scenario would play out in my area.

The Hispanic population is much higher, probably even closer to the number of locals who identify themselves as "white". (I don't know what white means, really. It may be the color of my bare arse but it's not the color of my neck or my arms. My people are from Ireland, Scottland, and intermarried with both Cherokee and Choctaw. You can trace members of my family (the European ones even) who were in America as early as 1702.)

But the Hispanics out here have had generations to become integrated with "mainstream" society. Another laughable word that doesn't really apply out here. 90% of the privately owned restaurants are Mexican. Every store sells Mexican food. Many of the old ranchers speak at least some Spanish and the style of dress among the older generations is a mix of Texas cattleman and vaquero. The younger generations are a mixed bag in their style of dress.

So one might argue that Hispanic culture IS the mainstream out here. At least Mexican culture. Hispanic is a very wide word that the American government (and silly urban people) use to cover all brown people who speak some derivative of Spanish. They cover the Carribean culture of Puerto Rico with it, as well as the Argentina gaucho ... two cultures which couldn't be more different though they speak roughly the same language.

While we would have some problems out where we are should the collapse come, they should be relatively easy to deal with. Once the roads are cut from the main highway then foot and vehicle traffic will be at a minimum. My neighbors are "old Texas" and while they may enjoy their Social Security benefits and air conditioning now, I have every expectation that they'll rise to the occasion when it becomes needful to do so. There are others whom I have spoken with over the years who will see the coming collapse and realize that I'm absolutely right and the time is nigh and they'll show up on my doorstep one dark night. We'll serve some coffee to go with their humble pie but they should know that a place has been prepared for them already.

So in summary, Bracken's visionary article is a very likely scenario to play out here in the United States. The naysayers can't say it wouldn't happen when it's already happened in Rhodesia and South Africa. "Oh, but that's AFRICA," they might say. Yes, but then you get to explain the even odder divides that created bloody civil war, rape camps, and genocide in the nation-state which used to be known as Yugoslavia.

Whether you divide yourself from your fellow humans among religious, racial, or ideological boundaries or claim to be above such nonsense, the fact remains that there are those who will do so and they will divide YOU into a category whether you wish it or not. Many people are going to be held down on the carpet and butchered for sport while they scream some dribble about how they donated to the United Negro College fund last year.

The mob will know no reason and it always wants blood.

Should you deal peacefully with one mob and it leave you in peace then the counter-mob will show up some point later and murder you for "aiding" their opposite number. There will get to be no neutral parties. Everyone is going to be forced to take a side. Even in my sparse region we have the everpresent threat of the Mexican Cartels. They are an unknown variable in all this mess and we don't have a clue how they might play out in the Southwest.

So it's time to plan, think, and act accordingly. Build your communities. Establish your networks. You aren't going to survive on 6 months of stored rice. The little old lady preppers, God bless 'em, who have helped to establish and build the survival movement through their memories of the old skills and methods are going to be destroyed all alone in their small redoubts. Anyone who tries to go it alone will face that same problem. When the enemy can surround you for 5 days and nobody comes to your aid then you will eventually succumb. You'll be trapped in your house while they loot everything that's hidden from your view or outside of shotgun range. You need at least three trained and disciplined adults in your household or community who can stand watch. Do you have a plan on how to stop traffic on the road? A lot less mayhem will be committed by those who have to walk in and walk out. Do you think your local government will survive longer than the FedGov and will hinder you?

I haven't been following politics for months now, preferring my own interests. However the little snippets I hear from people or glance at on other blogs tells me that the time is drawing much closer. China can end our nation with a phone call at this point. How? All they've got to do is suddenly announce that the dollar is worthless and that they want gold in exchange for their debt. By morning you'd see $9 gas (in the stations that still have it) and the grocery stores would empty out by noon.

Prepare accordingly. Stop fooling yourself. You're not going to survive in the suburbs right next to 5 million potentially starving people. Even if they all come peacefully to your garden (which they won't) then they'll still strip you clean and starve you out. If your only food preservation technique depends on cheap canning jars from Walmart then you're screwed. If the extent of your gardening is a tomato plant growing in a decorative planter on your backporch then you're going to starve. If you think you can board up your windows and hide in the darkness from the mob because you've never learned to shoot or don't own a gun then you're deluded. They'll search every house. If you think you can singlehandedly fend them off because you own an AR-AK-AM-FM whatchamacallit lead-spitter which can do umpteen rounds per minute then you're also fooling yourself. The mob knows no reason. In Rhodesia the white farmers would kill a dozen raiders at night and then spend the day hauling off the bodies and burning them, only to have a dozen more try the fences the following night.

So again, prepare accordingly. If all you've been preparing for is a 3 day blackout in which neighbors all come out and sing songs by candlelight while they help each other remove downed tree limbs then you're going to be taken offguard by what happens when it's permanent, and how swiftly what happens WILL happen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hat Tip to "Free North Carolina" Blog

Which can be found here ...

The Decline of American Civilization

Talking to a friend today, I become aware that he suddenly "gets it". For years this fellow has gently chided me on my "doom and gloom" attitude, my gun collecting, my survivalism bent, and my general practical nature.

No more. He has become aware of the situation. And if this fellow suddenly gets it, I wonder how many more have suddenly gotten it as well.

Some points to ponder as you reflect upon the coming unpleasantness:

1. Can everyone in your household shoot? Do you have enough weapons and ammo to go around?

2. Can you be attacked hit-and-run from vehicles on the road?

3. Are your neighbors of the same mindset as you and capable of defending that perimeter? Or are they old and feeble or ideologically incapacitated?

4. Is your home bulletproof? Fireproof? Home invasion proof?

5. Can you bring your livestock in closer to the house in order to be better defended?

These are just a few points. Think of the white farmers in South Africa, some 20,000 of whom have been raped, tortured, and murdered in their own homes since 1994.

If you live rural, you are a target. You have food, shelter, tools, guns, possibly some money, and are isolated enough to provide hours of "entertainment" to the bad guys.

Better get to work.