Advertisements

Archive

Author Archive

FREE DOWNLOAD OF EATS AND TREATS

November 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Just a quicky for all my friends and supporters. I’ve put the new memoir up for four days free to download. It’s a pretty decent read, even if I say so myself. (Which I do!) It’s 188 pages and should give you a bucket of laughs and a pail of tears as they say. I want to prove a point from a discussion I had with a friend who said that if I offer this for free for four days I’ll get about 1000 downloads! Well I said not and we’ve got a bet on that if I get 1000 downloads of the memoir she will pay me the entire cost! (Not!) But there you go. And here you are.

Below you will see that you were unable to load the preview. I think it is time for writers as a whole to begin to tackle the problem of the many thousands of illegal downloads. As an experiment I reduced the price to 00.00 for four days to find out how many downloads there would be. Over 1000+! Many more thousands have been downloaded on illegal sites as .pdf’s. Either we take a stand, or we stand to lose our very livelihood. I have now taken down all legal avenues to download this book, and it will remain available only in print. Sorry, I know this will result in less sales, but at the same time it will encourage only those who want to read a good book and are prepared to pay something for it. It has been priced in such a way that there is NO profit to be made. However, all downloaded versions are illegal, and I would greatly appreciate your comments if you have downloaded any copy from any site that is not Amazon. I promise I will not get mad, or get even. I just would like to know, because I have already noted several thousand downloads that were unpaid for.

Advertisements
Categories: an eclection

TIME FOR A STATUTE OF LIMITATION?

November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Things are out of hand. Thirty two years ago Dustin Hoffman allegedly “sexually harassed” a seventeen year old intern. Only now are these accusations being made against people who might not actually have committed any offence. That is not to say they did not, but surely there must be some burden of proof. Something recorded, something concrete?

This girl in question was seventeen. She has not made clear what the sexual harassment was, but today is not thirty two years ago. Cultural norms are different. That is not to say that any kind of harassment is even close to reasonable, but what does it actually mean?  Why suddenly are these accusations coming out of the woodwork? And what exactly is sexual harassment? Is it asking a girl if she will sleep with you? Or is it putting your arms around a girl and blowing in her ear playfully? I don’t know.

What I do know is that whether true or not, these ancient accusations throw mud at anyone who cannot defend themselves in any way because today with such accusations one is guilty until proven innocent.

It’s really not on. Not on.

I admit personally that back in 1970 I pursued a girl. I would not take no for an answer when I asked her out. For coffee, for dinner, for a drink. Over a period of time we talked a lot. She was a bar manager and was used to being spoken to in a bit of risque manner by the customers. She gave as good as she got. She was flattered mostly that I might say that her hair was nice, that she had lovely perfume, that her skirt showed a lovely pair of legs. She was a strong woman with a mind of her own and an ability to say no. She was a feminist of the time but described herself as an equalist. She often gave me banter, saying that no man could be a feminist simply because they were not women. They could though, be equalists.

I pursued and pursued. Then one day she gave in and we went out on a date. Had I not pursued her I would not have been happily married to her for twenty seven years, and would not have a beautiful son. Sadly she died in her young fifties.

Today, if I were famous I can imagine being accused of some kind of harassment by someone who decided to make an accusation  thirty or more years later. I always appreciated beautiful women. And told them so. Sometimes we flirted. In fact, quite often we flirted. That’s the way it was.

I plead guilty. As sin.

I am sorry if I offended someone thirty plus years ago. I am not aware of anyone. At least, not anyone who felt that they were harassed. Is it not time to call for a statute of limitations on these accusations? Surely it would be reasonable to put a limit of (say) ten years on such things.

IN MEMORY OF MY BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, FLIRTY, STRONG PARTNER WIFE. MARGARET.

Categories: an eclection

IS EVERY ACT OF MASS MURDER NOW AN ACT OF TERRORISM?

November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

MURDER OR TERRORISM?

The watchword of all media in these days of fear is that any attack publicly carried out is a ‘Terror Attack’. Such that the meaning of ‘terror’ has been devalued. If we are to suggest that everything is a terror attack, then surely all the school shootings, the killing of many in Sandy Hook et al, are acts of ‘terror’.

Originally the use of the words ‘terror attack’ was assigned to any group with an ideology committing an attack on the public at large.

Yes, of course every attack on the public at large is a terror attack. Of course it is. What we have done though is to suggest that behind every attack on the public, is an organisation with an ideology opposed to our own. Planning by a group or organisation with intent to disrupt and sow the seeds of fear into our culture.

A friend of mine Mark Anthony Rossi, a poet and writer, recently wrote a blog about fear. He was timely in his remarks.

The most recent attack in New York when a lone man, armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun had hired a “truck” (in fact, what we in Australia would call a Ute). He paid with his own name, at the cost of nineteen dollars a day, and drove the rental into a bicycle lane, killing eight and injuring many. It was said that this man was a truck driver. He then rammed a school bus.

The question I would ask the media is ‘Was this really within the bounds of a terror attack?’ Was it organised by a group like ISIS? Or was it simply just another disenfranchised, angry, crazy individual acting alone? I ask this because it would seem that any organised group would have had access to real guns. The fact that this man was unable to purchase a real gun suggests that he acted alone and unaided. To rent a ute when he had the facility to drive a large truck into people just seems crazy. Then to ram a school bus, (a heavy, solid vehicle) with his small, empty ute was an act of stupidity that makes him look like nothing more than a stupid, enraged individual.

That is not to say that he did not terrify.

He did.

The problem we are now facing is to ask ourselves who the real terrorists are in this case. It was an act of murder, but the news media have much to answer for in their reportage of the event. It gained hours and hours of ‘breaking news’ with entire programmes dedicated to interviews, commentary, and live crosses to the scene of the incident.

The media is terrifying the public. Social media takes up the cry as it always does, and the incident is escalated beyond what it really appears to be. Just another crazy engaging in an act of murder. Perhaps the news media and social media encouraged this madman to commit the offense. It seems quite insane to rent a vehicle under his own name, rather than hijack a vehicle, or use the truck he was employed to drive. It seems insane to be armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun. Any ‘terrorist’ organisation would easily be able to supply guns, and they would not use a rental car. Not when a truck was available. It just does not make sense as what one should call a ‘terrorist attack’. After all anyone can shout allahu akbar. It does not always mean ISIS or other Islamic group had anything to do with it.

I call the news media and social media to account. We are making murder into terrorism, and in doing so we are devaluing the use of the word terrorism.

We may as well call everything terrorism. Any act committed by anyone which terrifies anyone is an act of terrorism. That’s a fact.

The politics of fear is alive and well. The more these acts are reported, in the way they are reported will only encourage more madmen and madwomen to commit these acts.

 NOTATIONS: None of these were reported as “terrorism”

 April 28, 2000. An unemployed immigration attorney named Richard Baumhammers who believes “non-white immigration” should be banned shoots and kills five people in the Pittsburgh area.

Sept. 15–Oct. 4, 2001. Mark Stroman, a lifelong criminal with connections to the Aryan Brotherhood, shoots three South Asian men in the Dallas area—killing two—in what he describes as revenge for 9/11.

July 27, 2008. Jim David Adkisson shoots and kills two people during a childrens’ performance of a musical at a Unitarian Univeralist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, telling police that he intended to target individuals who had voted for liberals and Democrats.

April 4, 2009. Richard Andrew Poplawski, a frequent poster on the white supremacist Stormfront website who apparently believes a national “gun ban” is imminent, kills three Pittsburgh police officers.

April 25, 2009. Joshua Cartwright kills two Okaloosa County, Florida sheriff’s deputies. Per a police report, Cartwright’s wife says he was paranoid about the U.S. government and “extremely disturbed” by Barack Obama’s election.

Feb. 18, 2010. Joseph Andrew Stack flies a plane into an Austin, Texas IRS office, killing one person.

May 20, 2010. A father-son pair named Jerry and Joseph Kane (who conduct “seminars” about how “sovereign citizens” can evade debt) kill two West Memphis, Arkansas police officers.

Sept. 26–Oct. 3, 2011. Avowed white supremacists David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Ann Grigsby kill Pedersen’s father and stepmother in Washington, a man they believe is Jewish in Oregon, and a black man in California.*

Aug. 5, 2012. A white supremacist named Wade Michael Page kills six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Aug. 16, 2012. “Sovereign citizen”-movement adherents Brian Smith and Kyle Joekel, who are now awaiting trial, allegedly kill two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies in a trailer-park ambush.

April 13, 2014. Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old with a long history of KKK activity, kills three people in the area of a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas.

June 8, 2014. Jerad and Amanda Miller kill two police officers in a random attack at a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas, then kill a customer at a Walmart. The Millers had spent time on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s property during protests related to Bundy’s dispute with the federal government.

June 17, 2015. Dylann Roof murders nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nov. 27, 2015. A 57-year-old religious fanatic named Robert Lewis Dear shoots and kills three people, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

May 26, 2017. Two men are stabbed to death on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon by a “known local white supremacist” named Jeremy Joseph Christian.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/10/2/16401510/las-vegas-shooting-deadliest

Nov 5th 2017  Devin Kelley murders 25 in Baptist church. Unknown motive.

Categories: an eclection

CALLING AN ANGEL.

October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

CALLING AN ANGEL.

What the hell have we become!? It is a tragedy. We were a bunch of geeks playing with electronics. Trying to make things smaller and better. When the internet came into being, we were ecstatic. Some of us had a BBS. For the younger, that is a Bulletin Board Service. Information, games, ideas were stored on hard drives and if you subscribed you could log in via a modemthingy and access those drives.

But things got faster and faster, and more and more geniuses, thieves, grabasyoucan’s, came to see the future.

The only happiness is in being connected, and buying. The faster we can connect, the more useless stuff we will buy. Who cares? No one can service the debt they have now, so why care? It only makes us unhappy. Why not log on and buy something?

But what are we buying? Mostly it’s data, among stuff you buy because you got caught up in some clickbait and bought a thingy that does whatisname.

There are those who search around to get as much free stuff as possible. Offer something for free without the effort of having to go and get it, you’ll be swamped. They do this so they can save the money to buy a new pair of jeans, or a lipstick. It’s alright, the card is chipped, and you can scan it up to one hundred dollars without any checks. What’s a little more debt on top of that we already have?

We can be connected to our friends twenty-four-seven. We can insult, troll, harangue. We can even torment someone to the point of suicide. We can gang up on someone, joining in conversations into which we were not invited. No matter that the conversations are between your friend and another one of theirs. Or not. That person could be a friend of a friend. Or triple that.

We have anonymous personas that expose exactly who we are. Many of us are rotten to the core. Others, sweet and decent. There is a problem here.

Because we have become what we have become, we have invoked the greed and ruthlessness of the very rich.

I asked what we have become. I know the answer. One day, someone better than I, will formulate an idea, write the software and call us to order. Not government, not the rich and powerful. They are already feeding off the teat of we the people. No. Someone with care, and compassion, and an ability and facility to bring people together.

There is no figure on the number of suicides which would not have occurred had it not been for the internet. That’s a lot of nots, but there is truth in it.

I’m waiting.

Categories: an eclection

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

October 30, 2017 4 comments

I GIVE UP!

I like writing. I do it because of a need to do it. Being bi-polar (a term I hate and would prefer Manic-Depressive) I write the voices in my head.

But I am insular. Getting out on the hustings to promote and sell what those voices utter is anathema.

There are millions of writers out there now. Pleas, personal messages, begging letters to please obtain some of these works have not gone unheeded. Adding up total dollars spent on such works would give a single indie author a few lattes and meals at Hogs Breath, including the lobster and steak special.

Now, after 61 years of writing, I give up. Being a sucker is not a crime. It is however, stupid. I do understand that. Perhaps my judgement is bad. Perhaps few people write the kind of story, the kind of poetry, the kind of fiction and non-fiction that I love. Simply speaking, of all those dollars spent supporting “authors” there is little to enjoy.

My most recent acquisition was a book of poetry which, from Amazon cost twenty-five dollars plus postage. Thirty nine pages printed on one side only, each poem no more than fifteen short lines. It was poetry written with a first person angst that quickly became a misery to read.

Authors promote their new novels, citing wonderful reviews. Few of these novels go beyond thirty thousand words. Why does everyone think that writing in the first person is what most people want?

Spelling, grammar, even the most ordinary precepts of English are ignored, or not learned. (Learnt?)

Then there are those peddling “books” on how to write books. Written with little or no knowledge of the process of writing. They are cobbled together using paragraphs from internet blogs or facebook posts. Some almost cleverly couch the information in their own way, and bless them for doing so.

I give up.

A month or so ago I left Facebook. It had become a cacophy of noise, skiting and harangue. “Writer” pages abound, many of them with over forty thousand members. Are all these people writers? All of them? Well, they may write, that is, put words on facebook. Many even publish. They extract praise and “congratulations” from friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends.

So I gave up on facebook. Then there was a learning curve. It seems that one cannot really give up on facebook, or google+ or social media per se. Every time one commits to a blog, there is a setting that ensures that your post is sent to social media. If you don’t enable these settings, all you have is a blog with no one to read it because you have not made your work public.

I give up.

Recently there was a post on facebook by a very saddened lady who had deleted her literature page because no one likes ‘literature’ these days. Her posts on her page were largely inane and disappointing to her. This lady deserves massive kudos. She took the bull by the horns and deleted it.

My novels, my stories, and my poetry are all written to my blog. My published books, (all of them exceeding fifty thousand words of careful plotting) receive good reviews. Then come the requests for free copies. Hundreds of websites offer Pdf’s of my books for free.

I give up.

Writing will always be the second most important thing in life. Only family comes first. There will however be no more published books. The work is not begrudged. The many months dedicated to research and writing, then editing and sharing with beta readers is not begrudged. It has become quite obvious though that the kind of writing I do is no longer wanted.

Being an ‘old’ man now, I do understand that I have had the best of the world. A wonderful career as a journalist. Many stories told. Once, in the mists of time, people even paid for those stories and poems. It’s been a good life.

What has driven this old man back into his dark cave? Not the posts on gun control or mad politicians. No. Just one single sentence. It came from a disenfranchised youth who felt that we the older folk, no longer belong in their world. “Why don’t you just die?” it said.

I give up.

Categories: an eclection

ISMYPLACEPINK.COM

October 22, 2017 Leave a comment

This blog is for Australians only, but I think it’s something that should be said. It’s not an advertisement (as such). It’s not being paid for, and I’m not getting anything out of it. Well, I am actually, but not cash, and not profit.

Many of you will have either connected to the already infamous NBN and found that your internet speeds are either dire or non existent. You have been forced off your old-fashioned (they tell you) ADSL and on the the NBN simply because the government owned NBN CO tell you that there is no alternative. Their ads on television are almost threatening.  (That man with the little balloon telling you that your service will be switched of, and that you MUST go to the NBN.) Well, it’s not entirely true. Yes, you will HAVE to go to the NBN within eighteen months of it being ‘available’ in your area. There will be no choice. Unless!

The tens of thousands of complaints about the NBN are something that the current government are having to defend on the floor or parliament. The fact is that they have completely stuffed up.

Many of us believe that any government owned service is always going to be crap. “They” come back at us to tell us that NBN CO is only a wholesaler of bandwidth and that the service is crap because the ISP’s are not purchasing enough bandwidth to service their customers. Well, that’s as maybe. It doesn’t however mean that if it came to the crunch, NBN CO could control what you do, what you see, and the service you get. What most people are getting right now is not what they were told they would get. Always the same with government huh?

Some of you may be paranoid, as I am, but there is more. The fact that you have been promised high speed broadband and there are people who have switched to the NBN that still don’t have any internet at all after months and months of waiting. Others have found to their cost that they are paying the same or more for a service that is actually pretty crappy at best. Slow, glitchy, incredibly frustrating. It’s bad enough right now with ADSL but delivery of the NBN over HFC (old tech cable) is a joke at best! Here’s a quote from Gizmodo “HFC NBN is not great; you’re dealing with one of the highest contention ratios on a relatively slow technology, which means that while your peak download speeds may be acceptably fast, they’ll slow in busy periods. Upload speeds are consistently terrible on HFC. If you have it, you have our condolences. But hey, at least you have the NBN in the first place?”

HFC is the rather old technology that you used for something like your Foxtel. In many places you won’t have a choice.

SO, what do you do? Many many people, being forced into using NBN are being screwed by inefficient and old technology, pretending to be new technology.

OK I’ll get to the point. While I haven’t used it yet, I’m waiting for UNITI WIRELESS to provide us locally with an access point. I’ve spoken to users and not one single user is unhappy with it!

Here’s what to do. Go to   ismyplacepink.com.

When you get there, simply put in your address and find out if you can get UNITI WIRELESS. The more people who register, the faster you will get a really genuinely fast network in your area without being on the NBN.

I hope this post works for you. As I said at the beginning, this is not and ad. I can’t yet get the service. But the more people who register the faster we will get it, and the faster speeds will be worth it.

Take care now. Let me know your experiences.

PS: This post was dated 23d October. Last night the ABC Four Corners programme investigated the NBN. Earlier in the day the PM Malcolm Turnbull announced that the NBN was “a mess” and of course blamed the previous government. What he said was not true. Kevin Rudd, back in 2009 made the announcement about creating a network that would be similar to the Snowy Mountain Scheme. He wanted a fast, fibre to the home network. This was howled down and blocked by the Libs and completely re-jigged to the mess we have now. I’m not political, just observing. Four Corners went to New Zealand where they have super fast broadband, with fibre to the home and astonishing speeds. New Zealanders look at us with some sadness that such an appalling mess has been created. I personally am very very MAD that Malcolm Turnbull, the arrogant and frankly LYING Prime Minister of Australia, has not only been a major player in creating the appalling mess that is the NBN, but that he, like a child at school points a finger at someone else, crying, “It’s not my fault! HE did it!”. What absolute B…. well, I won’t swear here. I honestly believe that the NBN will either be quickly sold, to defray costs, OR closed down and quietly forgotten. It certainly cannot be salvaged.

I also believe that TELSTRA (which has been complicit in the creation of the awfulness that is the NBN is silently bailing out, and starting to use it’s 5g network to create a big wireless network nationwide. Time alone will tell. Meanwhile ismyplacepink.com might just be a good thing to try right now. The more people who register, the more likely you will get an access point, and a decent internet experience.

Categories: an eclection

BOUGHT A REAL BOOK RECENTLY?

October 21, 2017 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I lost my faith in buying books from new or unknown authors. Being a writer myself I like to support new writers. Trouble is, the last few paperbacks I have purchased from Amazon have been less than satisfying. In fact, the last one I bought arrived two days ago and I eagerly made myself a cup of coffee ready to sit down and have a good read. I flipped the package open and for my twenty five bucks (US) I had it read before my coffee was half drunk!

Now, I don’t like to complain. My own books are quite, well, book sized! I can now understand why people don’t want to purchase or download books by new authors anymore. Most of them could be written on single sheet of A4, and to be respectful to the writers, probably on both sides. I don’t want to pay twenty five dollars for it though! Nor do I want to pay .99c and download it. I don’t have a kindle, and I like to read on paper. That’s just me. I can settle down to the latest Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or Michael  Connelly and feel satisfied that I’ve had a good read. And many cups of coffee!

I have to admit to being a bit worried when I wrote my memoir. I thought, ummm, well, it’s only 188 pages, I could read it in about twenty five cups of coffee and a couple of donuts! I need not have worried. It was priced right, it’s a good read (I have been told.) Reviews are good, and, having bought a few copies to give away it’s got a good hefty weight to it.

Remember the old-fashioned Penguin Paperbacks? Or the Mills&Boon romance novels? Eats and Treats is sort of like that. I’m happy with it.

When I wrote my first major novel The Girl From Kosovo, now that was hefty. Over 450 pages and around about 120,000 words. Guess what? I got messages from folk who bought it saying “I don’t like long books.”

Well I can understand not wanting to read long books, that’s fine. But I don’t hear that many young people complaining about Harry Potter! In fact, many of them say they were disappointed to reach the last few pages!

What a joy it was to read in the guardian that young people are driving sales back to paper and print rather than downloads.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/14/ebook-sales-continue-to-fall-nielsen-survey-uk-book-sales

Well, boys and girls, men and women, people of all genders, what a pleasing thing that is to find out. People are beginning to enjoy once again the feel and smell of books. More than that, they are beginning to understand that books are highly collectible! A first edition of Stephen King’s Carrie can go upwards of five grand and more! Lovely when you can get it!

Anyway, that’s my gripe for the day. I really really really really really would like anyone who wants a good fun read with lots of laughs and probably an equal amount of tears to buy the paperback of Eats and Treats. I promise, it’s a real book, with some good reading and hardly any ‘white space’. If you want to download it, that’s OK too. But I would prefer that you actually paid something for it, even though you can read it on Kindle KDP.  I just paid twenty five bucks for a slim volume. Buy this paperback for twenty one bucks or under four bucks if you want to download it. I promise you will actually get some value for your money! Take care now. Thanks for the time.

 

cover-image

Categories: an eclection