Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kids Revolt Over Michelle Obama's Revolting School Lunches

School kids are on twitter posting pictures of their revolting school lunches with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.

The kids are doing the job the mainstream media refuses to do: truthtelling to power. It's a good lesson for the kids to see that those in power love to control others despite their own ignorance of both problems and remedies.

No one elected Michelle Obama as the nation's food czar, yet there she is, dumping her lack of wisdom on other people's children. Meanwhile, the Obamas' own kids eat cheesesteaks at their DC school. Rules are for other people.

The kids have learned a lesson not to silently accept mandates served on their plates accompanied by dishonest reasoning that it's for their own good.

Those in power, like Barack and Michelle Obama, have no clue about problems and solutions.

President Obama has been serving "school lunches" to the country for six years, and now we are all revolted at his ignorance and misguided ideas. And just like the kids, we shouldn't just silently accept what he serves us when we know he's a lousy chef.



Friday, November 14, 2014

CNN's Small Captive Audience

Recent TV audience numbers reveal CNN with about one-third the audience of Fox News. My only recent experience with CNN is as an unwilling, captive viewer.

When I go to an airport, CNN is on all the TVs in the passenger waiting areas. You can't change the channel to Fox News, or anything else, sadly. If you want TV, you are held captive to the CNN channel, and some of their shows can be painful to watch, even for a short while.

My other CNN experience is on the way to work in the morning at Crystal City in Arlington, VA. In the underground shopping mall, a few large-screen TVs are set up in two common areas. In the first, there is one TV and it is turned to CNN, and, as usual, you can't change the channel. In the other area, there are 3 TVs screens roughly 5 feet apart from each other. Two of them are turned to CNN while, amazingly, the one on the far end is tuned to ESPN. No, you can't change the channels. 

How much of CNN's small audience is due to their captive audiences in airports and malls that force customers to watch?

I think the continued leftward drift of CNN contributes to a smaller audience as well. Over the years, it has shifted from somewhere near the middle of the political spectrum to somewhere closer to the fringe. And the fringe enjoys many players, MSNBC among them. And when you move to the fringe, you lose a lot of people who notice you're no longer in the realm of the political center and its environs.

Without question, Fox News speaks to many more Americans than CNN or MSNBC combined. I think Fox News gives viewres a sense that they are somewhere in that middle area--on the right side of it, but still within the environs of the political Middle. CNN isn't. And it needs hardly be said MSNBC isn't either.

Expectations of CNN are different from expectations of radical leftist websites, such as Daily Kos. CNN, in the minds of Americans, isn't supposed to be a radical news and opinion outlet, yet it seems more like it all the time. 

As for airports and shopping malls, I wish they'd turn the channel to something like the Food Network or A&E. Or maybe even America's news choice, Fox News.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Building My Online Empire

I'm planning on reviving a website of mine from the late 1990s as it seems it would be useful as a foundation for my online empire and conglomerate. It would tie together several of my current websites. I'm considering starting up other "channels" that would fit in with the overall concept.

Working on the "Tom Clancy/James Bond" thriller novel. It would be the first installment in a projected series. Stay tuned.

I'm planning a nonfiction book on "The Year in Espionage News 2014" or some such title/concept as a companion piece for the thriller novel.

Still working on finalizing the anthology of classic short stories with my groundbreaking ranking system.

*****

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Thriller Novel Coming Soon

I'm working on a new thriller novel. Hope to have it done by December 2014 or January 2015.

It's in a vein similar to Tom Clancy or James Bond.

Other upcoming projects:

My anthology of classic American short stories. But this isn't like the typical anthologies. I am ranking the stories based on scholarly activities, readership, etc. Don't see where anyone has done that.

Putting together a 2014 world espionage news roundup that should go well with my thriller novel.

Afterward, novels upcoming include Attack of the Manikins, The Elevator, The Sucker List, The Warning Bird, the second book in the thriller novel series, etc.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My New Book: Queen of the Chess Cult and Other Stories

My new book, "Queen of the Chess Cult and Other Stories" is now available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon. The print edition will be online soon.

Table of Contents:

Foreword

Notes on writing short stories and the ideas behind this chess-themed collection.

Queen of the Chess Cult

The search for a beautiful queen who presides over a cult with a sacred book listing the moves of the perfect chess game.

Pawn Storm

Falling from the sky are snowflakes like chess pieces.

A Wasted Life

A man gives up chess but is continually reminded of it to his chagrin.

Klooster

A sunny day at a lake house reclining in beach chairs with chess, sandwiches, beer, and a pretty girl.

The Chess Plague

A mysterious plague devastates a town and especially its chess players.

A Bowl of Stew

A man and woman enter a cafe and discuss their personal interests while waiting for their dishes to arrive.

City of a Thousand Chess Clubs

A town with many unusual chess clubs unlike anywhere else.

A Dimly-Lighted Cafe

An old man waits vainly for chess opponents at a cafe.

A Legacy for Jim Zorn

A chess player from the 1970s dies in a small Ohio town and the locals recollect what they knew about him.

The Prisoner's Tale

Terrorists capture a prisoner who explains his life story to his cellmate using chess pieces instead of words.

The Screaming Cry of the Chessbird

A giant bird terrorizes a metropolis.

The Unwrapping

Friends unwrap gifts at a Christmas dinner.

The Infinite Chessboard

This world is a chessboard whose squares change in size, number, and color.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Upcoming Book "Queen of the Chess Cult"

My upcoming collection of short stories called "Queen of the Chess Cult and Other Stories" should be ready in a month or two. Here is a listing of the stories with a short summary. I'm still finalizing some of the titles. I could add or subtract one or two stories but this is the likely lineup for the book. No knowledge of the game of chess is needed. The stories are literary with aspects of other genres such as detective, science fiction, horror.

  • Introduction
    My ideas on the art of short story writing.
  • Queen of the Chess Cult
    The search for a beautiful queen who presides over a cult with a holy book listing the moves of the perfect chess game.
  • A Bowl of Stew
    A man and woman count down the progress of their dishes as the chef cooks them.
  • Klooster
    A sunny day at a lake house reclining in beach chairs with chess, sandwiches, beer, and a pretty girl.
  • Pawn Storm
    Falling from the sky are snowflakes like chess pieces.
  • The Chess Plague
    A plague devastates a town and especially its chess players.
  • The Old Player's Estate
    A chess player from the 1970s dies and his house and belongings are examined.
  • The Prisoner's Tale
    Terrorists capture a prisoner who explains his life story to his cellmate using chess pieces instead of words.
  • City of Chess Clubs
    A town with hundreds of distinctive chess clubs unlike anywhere else.
  • A Dimly-Lighted Cafe
    An old man waits vainly for chess opponents at a cafe.
  • The Man Who Gave Up
    A man gives up chess but is continually reminded of it.
  • The Screaming Cry of the Chessbird
    A giant bird terrorizes a metropolis.
  • The Unwrapping
    Friends unwrap gifts at a Christmas dinner.
  • The Infinite Chessboard
    This world is a chessboard whose squares change in size, number, and color.
  • Afterward
    My notes on the stories, their inspiration and so forth.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Writers Don't Need a Quiet Place to Write

Famous authors counsel aspiring writers to "find a quiet place to write."

I've been searching for this proverbial quiet place my entire adult life and haven't found it. That's why I stopped looking for it.

Most people, like myself, live in big cities, and therefore so do most writers. Noise is a common feature of modern city living. Many people live in apartments and condos. People live in close proximity to others. Noise is a common feature no matter where you go.

Who has an isolated log cabin in Vermont 50 miles from your nearest neighbor? Who has a soundproof room? Or an anechoic chamber? Very few.

Noisy surroundings are the daily reality of the modern city dweller and writers must adapt or simply stop writing except when you find that elusive quiet you "need" to write "your best."

The lack of a quiet place can be just an excuse not to write. You need to wait until you enter that rare environment where you have a bit of silence, otherwise you just can't write.

How can you be a writer if you only write when it's quiet? Writing while it's noisy allows you more time, more places, and more opportunities to keep writing. You aren't confined just to your "quiet den" at home, if you are one of the few who can claim to possess such a thing.

How much more writing can you accomplish if you wordsmith in a public place like a cafe, on public transportation, in a noisy apartment building or business office?

Every morning I write at various cafes around the DC areas, usually Starbucks. These cafes are always busy and people usually sit at the tables right next to me and converse with each other, yak on their cellphones, play music and whatnot. Yet I do most of my best writing right there in the midst of the noisy chaos. Most of the time I couldn't tell you what the people around me have said. That's the difference between listening and hearing. I hear all of it but listen to nothing but the words in my head.

I don't "wait" for quiet because, like Godot, it never arrives. I don't need quiet, and my advice to any writer today is you need to train yourself to write under noisy conditions because otherwise you won't write nearly as much if you wait for silence.

I've become immune to noise around me. It doesn't affect the words I put on the page. You create a "zone" for yourself despite the outside distractions. The point is to not be distracted by any type of noise. Anyone can do this. It takes the acceptance that the noise isn't going away and you need to spend time writing, and that means writing often while you are inundated with noise.

Train yourself not to be distracted or defeated by noise. Remain victorious over it. Write your best while people are shouting all around you.

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