The only way to make effective change in our nation will be to engage in war. — The Evil Overlord It all started the day Andrew and I were scheduled to cast off for a twelve day sail from Vanuatu to Papua New Guinea. Our six weeks in Vanuatu had been some of the most interestin
I reviewed Westside Lilo’s here once upon a time. It’s a good review, you can check it out here. This is an update to that review, because they’ve gotten a new sign. Wouldn’t want anyone to miss the best Chicken Fried Steak I’ve ever tasted just because the sign looked wrong. So, here’s a picture of the new sign:
I think it looks better, but you can click to see the review and judge for yourself. When we went in today, we walked through a large group of people all speaking German. And, Lilo was there, herself! Good times!
Keyboard. Maybe you dictate. Use a pen. A pencil. Point is, I’m back to writing.
(Sort of a shame. That rant last week got a lot of attention. But, anyway.)
Regular readers of this space will have noticed that I post more items from Odd Godfrey than I do from myself. The reason is simple. Leslie is out in the middle of the wide ocean, with plenty of time between watches to compose things. I have stuff to do. (If she reads this, I’ll tell her that some hacker wrote that line.) No, of course she has much to do. Read her post from October 10th if you want to get a better idea. And she writes. A lot. Which brings me to my point.
All of my working life I managed to incorporate writing into whatever job I had. “A newsletter? I’d be happy to make one!” “A new manual for operating the furbermeizer wrangler? Coming right up!” It didn’t matter what the job was, I’d write something about it. In short, I have been a writer for my entire life. I’ve been a serious writer of bald-faced lies for only the past ten years, maybe less. It took me years to learn how to create lies in a manner that people (may) want to pay for. I persist, due to the one piece of advice I hear from every published author I meet: Keep Writing! I do! I do keep writing! Look, I’m writing this as I write! Leslie Godfrey is also a writer. She writes from the vast expanse of the oceans. (Plural oceans. Read her stuff if you wonder why I say that.) If you’re wondering if you’re a writer, here’s a clue. Do you write stuff? Even when you don’t have to write stuff? Do you feel bad when you don’t write the stuff you meant to write, or maybe not on time? If the answer to any of that is “yes,” then, you, madam or sir, are a writer!
I aspire to one day being able to write advice from the point of view of someone who has sold a raft of books. That day hasn’t happened yet, but I keep on writing. So, this may seem like an obvious way to get back on topic after two weeks ranting about disasters and gun control, but this week’s advice is simply this: Close your browser right now, open your word processor, and write something, dammit!
You may have noticed that my posts have slowed to two days per week rather than three. You may have noticed I am dealing with some pains, sorrows, fears more than usual; my post about our time in Papua New Guinea held darkness. When my home city was hit by a very dark and evil man in my abs
We escape Papua New Guinea’s outer reef and head out into open ocean. It’s a strange feeling to be in new water. For the first time in almost twenty years, I don’t know what to expect. One might think ocean sailing is ocean sailing, but that actually is not true. One of my most striking me
I promised a post about writing for this week. I remember that, but after the past weekend’s events in my city, I just can’t do it. Because I am royally pissed that this happened here, and that it happens anywhere in this country at all, after all the chances we’ve had to learn better. So, I am going to write about what I am upset about, and writing fiction will have to wait at least one more week. Some asshole shooting people out of a hotel tower is, unfortunately, not fiction at all. It’s all too real.
Before you read on, read this article from the Washington Post. It contains the names, and brief bios, of those killed Sunday night outside of Mandalay Bay. If you believe that free access to guns and ammunition is worth those people’s lives, you’d better damned well stand up, in public, look people in the eye, and state that flatly. Because you, and every sane human, knows that it isn’t. It isn’t worth it at all. I know Congress is full of scalawags who have been bought by various sources of cash, but anyone not in Congress has no excuse! We could stop this easily.
This particular incident was made worse by the shooter’s use of automatic weapons and hollow-point bullets. There is absolutely no use for hollow-point bullets in any context other than destroying human beings. There is no reason for them to be available outside of the military anywhere. You don’t need them to repel a home invasion, and you sure as heck don’t want to shoot your deer with one, unless you want deer hamburger with metal shards in it. That’s the first point: we sell any damn thing to anybody, and it’s a bad thing. So far, only a friend-of-a-friend is among the victims, but the week is young. I had a passenger yesterday for whom the brother of a friend was shot, as was his cell phone. Luckily, in his case it worked out, but an automatic weapon with expanding bullets does a lot more damage than is necessary for any civilian use. We can start by banning such things.
And an automatic weapon? Seriously? How many shots do you need to put into a deer? Or an intruder? And you mean to defend yourself against the United States Government? You mean that government with the mightiest military that the world has ever seen? That military? What makes you think they’d come shooting at you, anyway? If I were them, I’d just drop a bomb on your ass and be done with it. You got a defense against bombs, do you? Worrying about a government takeover is beyond silly. Hell, the reason you have the means to purchase your firearms has much to do with the way our government has, over the past centuries, enabled our prosperity and wealth. There is no civilian use for an automatic weapon. Ban them!
And finally, how about closing the huge loophole of private firearm sales? We tried in Nevada to do that, but so far all we have from the State of Nevada is excuses. There are no excuses! Nobody, and I mean that, nobody, wants to take your guns, Mister Responsible Gun Owner. I certainly don’t. (But armed response didn’t help on Sunday, because he was 32 floors up and well hidden from view from below.) And, since you are law abiding, you will have nothing to fear if we do a background check on you. Right? I hear you: maybe it won’t always be so. Maybe it’s a slippery slope. Sure, maybe. But in life you actually have to trust people. Apparently that’s a difficult lesson for some, but it’s true. The key to trusting people is to be trustworthy yourself. That’s it! And on the level of government the key to trusting those people is to involve yourself in the process. Join a party, doesn’t matter what one, call their offices, get to know your local government especially (and I mean know them in person.) And, as I said, be sure that you can be trusted, and, of course, make yourself useful.
Shit! Okay, that’s about all the space I can take up in one post. Sorry for the rant-like qualities of this one, but dammit all that asshole attacked my favorite city! We offer a great vacation! The best anywhere! We have attractions big and small, urban and rural, vice-ridden and Sunday School worthy. Sure, you’ll spend money here, but dammit all, you are safe! (And you will be, I guarantee it.)
Just let’s stop being stupid about sensible weapons controls, okay?
Another piece by the lovely and talented Sonrisa. She makes me smile!
As I write this, I am in a new ocean – an ocean filled with excitement, adventure, and squid boats. But, don’t let me get ahead of myself. For our last week in PNG, I wasn’t so sure we would reach this next stage. Could Andrew really be serious? Could he want to ship me back to the state
Here’s the thing: I’ve been watching The Vietnam War on PBS. Actually, on the app for my Kindle Fire TV, where I watch the unedited for broadcast version. So far, I’ve heard the term “piece of shit” applied to the M-16 rifle (not for the first time,) “shit sandwich” applied to a platoon between a rock and a hard place (to use the more polite metaphor,) and the correction of “No more planes, you’re killing us,” to “No more fucking planes, you’re killing us.” Not that evil. But, I still prefer unedited versions of whatever. Perhaps for broadcast they also remove some of the more graphic violence, although I saw it all on TV when it was still news. Damn it all, but that was one stupidly conducted affair!
I am a Baby Boomer, myself, but an older one. One that a sociologist would call a member of an “early cohort.” (In Sociology, a “cohort” is everybody born in a given year.) That’s important, because generations come and go in cycles, and in each generational type, the various pathologies belonging to that generation get worse as time goes on. So, I am of the “less pathological” end of the boom, for what that’s worth.
Boomers are an example of an “introspective” generation. If you’re old enough, you may remember lyrics such as “the answer lies within.” That’s true, if the question is “where can I find 10 meters of slimy intestines?” Otherwise, looking within for your answers makes you an idiot, basically, and that’s just what the big bulge of the Boom does. That is how they manage to keep up obviously wrong beliefs in the face of incredible evidence to the contrary. The truth doesn’t match what they’ve “found within,” so it can’t be valid. Ho-lee-cats! This is why you hear my generation so frequently intone that _______ is the worst _________ in all of History! (Capital H intentional.) No, it isn’t. For instance, in the summer of 1968, during the Democratic National Convention, Chicago was a police state. Not close to one, but actually one. Everyone knew it at the time; nobody did anything about it, except yell and scream after the fact. Which, for the record, did not help. The country was incredibly divided, possibly more divided than we are today. Violence against blacks was worse than it is now. Violence against dissent was the norm. It was, in a word, horrible. Probably not the worst ever, but horrible.
I am not suggesting that things aren’t bad today. From many perspectives, these times suck big time. But, times have been as bad or worse, no matter what the latter cohorts of my generation try to tell you. Want to feel better, then stand up tall, inhale the free air, and get some perspective on things. If you’re a Boomer born in the 50s, try not looking within for answers. Instead, study some real history, out of old books at a library, and see what others have done in similar times in the past. I’ll give you a hint: in the end, the world has been better, a lot better, once all the dust has settled. But you’ll only know that if you reject that introspective take on knowledge, and start taking your cues from something closer to objective reality.
Okay, enough rant. I’ll post something about writing next week, I promise. Peace out, brethren and sisteren!
If I only had one phrase to describe my experience in Port Moresby it would be “hanging on for the ride.” Each day, Andrew or Ernie or Brian have some place or another we are traveling, and I am just waiting for my very own carjacking experience. Would a trip to Port Moresby be complete w
Me: This place is starting to grow on me. Brian: How so? Me: I don’t really know, I was afraid of everything when I first got here, but the more time I spend here the more comfortable I feel and the more I like it. Brian: It’s the chaos! Port Moresby, PNG