What if???

We do away with all the nasty petroleum?

There is just a ‘little’ issue with doing this…

If there is no petroleum, there will be an estimated 6000 products that will no longer be available!

Partial list, HERE from Ranken Energy. And more from Canada, HERE.

And a partial list from US DOE-

 Adhesive Air mattresses Ammonia Antifreeze Antihistamines Antiseptics Artificial limbs Artificial turf Asphalt Aspirin Awnings Backpacks Balloons Ballpoint pens Bandages Beach umbrellas Boats Cameras Candies and gum Candles Car battery cases Car enamel Cassettes Caulking CDs/computer disks Cell phones Clothes Clothesline Clothing Coffee makers Cold cream Combs Computer keyboards Computer monitors Cortisone Crayons Credit cards Curtains Dashboards Denture adhesives Dentures Deodorant Detergent Dice Dishwashing liquid Dog collars Drinking cups Dyes Electric blankets Electrical tape Enamel Epoxy paint Eyeglasses Fan belts Faucet washers Fertilizers Fishing boots Fishing lures Floor wax Food preservatives Footballs Fuel tanks Glue Glycerin Golf bags Golf balls Guitar strings Hair coloring Hair curlers Hand lotion Hearing aids Heart valves House paint Hula hoops Ice buckets Ice chests Ice cube trays Ink Insect repellent Insecticides Insulation iPad/iPhone Kayaks Laptops Life jackets Light-weight aircraft Lipstick Loudspeakers Lubricants Luggage Model cars Mops Motorcycle helmets Movie film Nail polish Noise insulation Nylon rope Oil filters Packaging Paint brushes Paint roller Pajamas Panty hose Parachutes Perfumes Permanent press Petroleum jelly Pharmaceuticals Pillow filling Plastic toys Plastics Plywood adhesive Propane Purses Putty Refrigerants Refrigerator linings Roller skate wheels Roofing Rubber cement Rubbing alcohol Safety glasses Shampoo Shaving cream Shoe polish Shoes/sandals Shower curtains Skateboards Skis Soap dishes Soft contact lenses Solar panels Solvents Spacesuits Sports car bodies Sunglasses Surf boards Swimming pools Synthetic rubber Telephones Tennis rackets Tents Tires Tool boxes Tool racks Toothbrushes Toothpaste Transparent tape Trash bags Truck and automobile parts Tubing TV cabinets Umbrellas Unbreakable dishes Upholstery Vaporizers Vinyl flooring Vitamin capsules Water pipes Wind turbine blades Yarn 

And a comment from a friend who had to take a child to the ER- “ER visit with a child last week. I just looked at all the tubing, barf bags, oxygen regulators, gloves, bandages, furniture and fixtures in the room and tried to imagine the hospital going back to glass, leather, metal and wood for everything. Not to mention the computers and sensors. Casts would go back to plaster-only.” And this was JUST in the ER. Add in syringes, IV bags, medication, etc…

Hopefully, the idjits in charge actually do a ‘bit’ of research before they continue down this particular path!

Readin’, writtin’, and ‘rithmatic…

How much time do you, as a writer put in on the various ‘skills’ necessary to get your book/story written? How much is your time worth? $10/hr, $50/hr, or???

How many books on ‘how to write’ (insert genre here) have you purchased and do you follow them?

How many hours do you spend in research? Do you go down ratholes? Do you use research to ‘verify’ something you put in the story, or do you do the research first, THEN write the story? Internet, actual books, or for research, or some combination of all three? Do you take road trips to visit locations (if you’re writing based on actual places)?

Do you have a schedule and stick to it? Write daily? Have more than one project going at a time? How do you handle writer’s block?

Outliner or pantser (you write the story as it develops in your head/characters)? Do you ‘argue’ with your characters?

Do you write the entire story first then edit, or do you edit the previous day’s output before writing the next day’s word count? Or some other variation (edit by chapters)? Do you self edit or pay an editor?

Who roofpreads your work? Spouse/SO/family? Asshole alpha and beta readers? Nobody except yourself? Are you a member of a writers or critique group?

Do you do your own covers/blurbs/keywords? How long does that take you? Or do you pay someone to do that?

Do you attend conferences? What tracks do you attend/follow at conferences? How do you ‘justify’ those costs?

How much marketing do you do? FB, blogs, newsletters, Twit, Instagram, other? Do you have business cards, bookmarks, or other swag to give away?

If you’ve made it this far, make a list of how you write, do all those other things, and track the hours you spend on each for something like a week. Now multiply that by how much each hour of your time is worth.

That will give you options if you’re spending too much time on specific tasks (specifically covers and editing). Remember, any hours not writing/researching may not be the ‘best’ use of your time.

Are there a set of answers? NO,THERE ARE NOT!  Now that I’ve confused the hell out of you, the real answer is we are all different. Each of us has different ways of doing all those things (or not as the case may be). As a writer, you have to do what works best for YOU! Advice, self help books, etc. are all well and good, but YOU have to develop your own ‘style’ if you will.

This one IS one that has an answer- Can you/do you write to deadlines and word counts if you’re involved in an anthology?

If the answer is yes, then you will probably be invited back to other anthologies. If you can’t, or have to keep asking for extensions, you may not want to try for anthologies.

Failure to meet deadlines and word counts will give you a negative reputation among other authors/publishers/etc.

I seldom recommend stuff, but I WILL recommend the Writer Dojo, HERE.  Larry and Steve cut through the BS, offer sound advice (you can take or leave it), and don’t pull any punches. I’ve followed them since they started it, and I have learned a number of very good things from these two guys!






Oh damn…

This truly sucks…

The Boeing 737 was on a flight from Kunming to Guangzhou when it suddenly went into a steep dive and crashed into a mountainous area in Guangxi, China. All 123 passengers and nine crew members were killed.

The Chinese counterpart to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, did not see any mechanical problems causing the crash, and neither did the NTSB. There were other indications that led American investigators to the conclusion that the plane was deliberately crashed.

Full article, HERE.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time this happens. Prayers for those families dealing with their losses.

I just don’t have the words to express my hatred for people that willingly kill others this way…


How many times must we ‘reinvent’ the wheel???

A couple of different threads in different groups have once again resurrected the proverbial dead horses…

And the ‘new kids’ are determined to show they know better than any old farts/fogies/dinosaurs.  Even if said old farts, etc. were there… Sigh…

Of note, all of these ‘wheels’ were dissected, flayed, and buried ten or more years ago (at least once if not more).

One is a discussion about a particular rifle based on an old ad by a well known company (dated to the late 70s) alluding to a military rifle designation. Said rifle was prototyped by a particular company, but never entered service. The company did advertise it with the ‘designation’ it would have had, had it entered service.

Remember how Ruger ‘sold’ the 5.56 range rifle? Said it was a ‘mini-14’ which looked strangely like an M-1 carbine…

Image 1 - 1976 Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Auto Rifle Gun Ad - Rugged

This particular kerfuffle around the ad and whether it was real or not, and was put to bed back around 2010, if I remember correctly, But the new kids ‘know better’, hence it reared up again. After probably 25-30 comments, including folks that actually built the prototypes, the new kids finally disappeared… Sigh. But never admitted they were wrong.

Another surrounds a pistol holster that a kid ‘invented’ and crows about how neat his holster is. But it’s a copy of a thirty year old holster, just in a different material. Same same… ‘They’ are honest and upright, and us old farts are just trying to ‘tear them down’…

And a military thread about how us old farts couldn’t find our asses with both hands, a flashlight, and a map, but the new kids can because… superior equipment, better training, more ‘knowledge’, and, and, and…

Of course they skip over the whole knowledge thing, never admitting that what is in the database is stuff ‘we’ collected back in the day, and the TTP they are using today are what we developed over 30 years ago based on thousands of hours of actual interactions with the bad guys.

Nor will they admit the new equipment they are using was, by and large, developed by us old farts after we retired and went to work for various companies. Unpossible! Y’all are out of touch with reality, ‘we’ are the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) because we say so (even though the entire community has less interactions that probably six or eight of us old farts)!

I’m sure there are plenty more of these ‘reinventions’ going on every day out there, but damn, it gets old… Why do these people not do the research, and when information is provided they refuse to accept it?

Are they that insecure? Or is it because they’ve been coddled to the point that they’ve never failed? Or expect a ‘participation trophy’ for showing up? Or were they never told they were wrong?

I really don’t understand this mentality…

What say y’all? Am I that far off base?

That’s gonna leave a mark…

New York lost in court over the latest gerrymandering attempt back in March…

And a special master was appointed to step in and redo the map, since NY is losing a seat this year due to the latest census results.

New York’s court-appointed special master unveiled a congressional map proposal that would wipe out Democratic gains in the Empire State and make apportionment far more competitive than a prior enacted map.

If enacted, the map proposed Monday would likely result in a 15-5 Democrat-Republican split, with six seats being competitive — a significant dip from the likely 22-4 majority Democrats previously procured that had been struck down by a state court in late March.

Full article, HERE from the Washington Examiner.

Frankly, I’m surprised the Dems got shut down since they pretty much control New York, but maybe, just maybe this is a wake up call for John Q. Public to step up and take back control of the government.

I know there are people who say we’ll never see another honest election, but I hope/believe that what happened in 2020 has gotten the silent majority’s backs up and they are tired of being ramrodded by ‘professional politicians’ who only care about constituents at election time, then go back to doing what they want with no consideration of their constituent’s desires.

I’ll be the first to admit I could be wrong, but I hope to hell I’m not…


Another food ‘shortage’ on the horizon, as if we didn’t ‘see’ this one coming…

NEW DELHI (AP) – India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to its food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine.

A notice in the government gazette by the Directorate of Foreign Trade, dated Friday, said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries.

A key aim is to control rising domestic prices. Global wheat prices have risen by more than 40% since the beginning of the year.

Full article HERE, from the Daily Mail. Funny how the Brit media seems to do a better job of covering not only US stuff, but worldwide issues…

When you add in the ‘issues’ with Russia (sanctions) and Ukraine (war), there is a significant loss of production.

Ukraine and Russia produce a substantial amount of grain and other food for export. Ukraine alone produces a whopping 6% of all food calories traded in the international market. At least it used to, before it was invaded by the world’s largest nuclear power.

Full article HERE, from The Conversation.

Why, you may ask, am I pointing out the obvious?

That was brought home yesterday morning at our local Cracker Barrel. Peter, Dot, and I usually get a plate of biscuits at the start of our meal to tide us over until the food actually shows up. Cracker Barrel has done this for years at all meals, for any kind of bread (as long as it was biscuits or cornbread). Yesterday, the waitress apologized and said she had to charge us for the biscuits as a ‘side dish’…

So, what was once a give away, cheap product has now become a price point due to the rise in raw, processed, and delivered prices, with the expectation that scarcity and MORE price hikes are ahead.

And I went to the store after breakfast to pick up some distilled water. I checked the aisle and there was a definite lack of anything other than plain flour. There was also a surprising lack of product on a lot of aisles, mainly the breakfast cereals, juices, and soups (again)… sigh


Yet another mass shooting took place yesterday in Buffalo, NY. Ten dead, three wounded.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An 18-year-old man has been arraigned in Buffalo City Court on Saturday evening, charged with first-degree murder in connection to the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo on Saturday.

Full article, HERE. And there is already a ‘Wiki’ page on it, HERE.

Ten people were killed in a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday by a suspect in tactical gear who was livestreaming the attack, law enforcement officials said during a news conference.

Full article, HERE from CNN.

A few questions come immediately to mind-

What motivated this kid? And what signs were out there that got missed?

Where did he get the gun? Was it ‘registered’ in NY under the ‘Safe Act’? Was it legally purchased, and by whom?

Interesting how the FBI has immediately jumped on it as a hate crime and he’s already been named and ‘tied’ to white supremacists!

Prayers for the families of those that were killed and those who were wounded.

Now, HERE is the coverage from the Milwaukee shootings on Friday night. Compare and contrast the difference in coverage/identifying those shot and the shooters…

And the left is already dancing in the blood of the victims of both shootings and calling for ‘gun control’ again.

One wonders whether we will ever hear the ‘details’ of where/how the guns were actually gotten in either shooting…


The weather…

Got a ‘bit’ sporty last evening…

These first two shots were taken about a minute apart as I watched two thunderstorm cells merge right over the house.

The cell on the left was building ‘quickly’ and the updraft was evident from the ‘boil’ in the clouds as it sucked the ‘little’ cell on the right into the bigger cell.

And this was the radar plot while this was going on. A little ‘hook’ was developing just north of us, and tornado warnings, flood warnings, etc. were going off at the same time. Itchy Paw Falls got almost 2 inches of rain in a half hour, according to the NWS, and we got maybe ten drops.

Once again, the ‘joys’ of living on the dry line! But at least I’m at home and sleeping in my own bed!

And now…

Back to reality.

Fun time is over, the symposium is done, and heading home. But it was great to see old friends and see the kids who are now shouldering the burden.

Hats off to them! And prayers that they don’t have to go through what we did over our careers. Many of the kids are veterans of OIF/GWOT, etc. already. And now they are having to learn how to track submarines all over again.

Normal blogging, etc. will resume on Saturday.

Fun times…

We had our heritage dinner last night…

With a bit over 300 folks attending…

One of the most arresting speakers was a young twenty something Afghani woman who escaped from Afghanistan in the airlift last year. She one of over 7000 who were routed through Isa Air Base in Bahrain, and was ‘hosted’ by the MPRA community (with less than 24 hours notice). She, her sisters, and a brother got out on a C-17 with over 500 others, sadly her mother and father did not make it out. BUT, she spoke eloquently about the fight against the Taliban, and how much she appreciated the US Navy’s care and assistance in getting them through the process (along with 5 kids born either in route or on Isa with basically no support, and over 70 Afghans who were cared for medically by the Navy with very limited facilities. She and her family members purposely moved to Jacksonville when she found out that it was the ‘home base’ for those who had helped them.

Needless to say, she got a standing ovation…

Today is more meetings and other stuff.

Go read the folks on the sidebar, they write good!!!