Man, That Ad Really Stunk.

I don’t watch a lot of broadcast television these days. Time just doesn’t allow that luxury. (More on that soon…) But when I do catch the local ad inserts in the cable news shows, I’m torn between laughter and pity. This also applies to radio.

Let’s start with radio. If you are doing a spot on radio, the local station might talk you into doing your own spot as a play to your vanity. Restrain yourself. It will stink. You will sound stilted and stupid unless you’re a professional voice over talent.

The station might offer you the services of their own vocal talent. Again, run from that offer unless it’s a known quantity. Many spots are cut by Jeffy and Tameesha, the station part-time engineers. Both of them really want to be on radio and have taken great care to offer to do every ad possible for $50 each. They need the money, the station bills your company $200, and reminds you that not only do you have a “professional” doing the work, but you saved $300 over what a voice over artist would charge through an agency.

There is a reason Tameesha and Jeffy aren’t on the air. They are rotten. They don’t care about the product. They care about doing 20 spots a month so that they can pay for their e-cigarettes and super-cool Mini Cooper. It’s not their fault, but there’s a reason they work so cheap.

So, what should you do? I’m totally prejudiced, but I think you should hire a professional. You see, we are gifted liars. We lie on your behalf and sound convincing. We can actually read copy and make it sound natural. If we do it right, you will never even know it was on a script. Moreover, for an additional few hundred bucks, you have a commercial that won’t make people gag.

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Television. This one is going to be short. It applies largely to car dealers. I don’t care if you and your kids are zany. I don’t care if you have a giant iguana as your mascot. I do care about where you are located and what your service hours are. I would like to see interior shots of your maintenance bays and showroom. I would like to see your consumer ratings on a crawler at the bottom of the screen. I do not want to see you sitting in a director’s chair talking to the giant iguana about your new hot tub.

Which brings me to the final ad that drives me nuts: the hot tub place. I know a lot of it is manufacturer stock footage you use to show what the hot tub does. I even admire the models you use. As a guy, it’s always a pleasure to see fetching females, especially ones my age, in bikinis. Yes, sexist. But I don’t care about their husbands and grandchildren frolicking nearby. However, that is not why I would buy your product. I want to, again, know about your delivery program, maintenance crew, consumer reviews, and a good map of where you are located. The silver-haired woman in the bikini is nice, but I’ve got a wife and last I looked she’s not letting me go shopping for a new mate. Nor do I want to do that. But a hot tub is always a possibility.

Put your website on the commercial. Put your product on the commercial. Lose Jeffy, the giant iguana, and the bikini clad AARP member. I might just listen and check out your product.

Oh, and remember: I am available to do all of the above next time you shoot a commercial. I don’t look that good in a bikini, but if the check cashes I’d certainly consider the offer. Contact my agents.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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The Crinkle Of Paper, And Other Sounds I Have Missed.

Several years ago I was in the mandatory diversity class that most employers force you to take. My concept of diversity is not being too big an idiot with anyone. Color, creed, gender, none of it matters: just be polite to everyone.

So, to make a longish story short, my coworker, who is still my friend to this day, was sitting next to me when the instructor asked if anyone at the table would like to disclose that they were disabled. I raised my hand, and felt an immediate jab in my ribs. My friend, who is Latina, gave me the full Elaine Benes treatment: “No way. Knock it off. You are not disabled.”

I slapped my disabled veteran identification card down on the table in front of her with a smile on my face. She was horrified. “I have hearing loss from my time in the Navy. It’s not bad, but I do have serious ringing in my ears.”

The instructor was now in a quandary of Biblical proportions: do I chastise the Latina or apologize to the disabled vet? We were both laughing now, so it passed without need to act. That’s how friends deal with awkward stuff.

I mention it only because I could still hear pretty well back then. The intervening two decades have not been so good on that front.

jPlease follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Many years ago, the V.A. adjudged me to have tinnitus, and gave me hearing aids to help deal with that issue. A few years after that, they said it was worse, and gave me a disability rating of 0% on the hearing issue as well. That meant that they knew it was service connected, and it would get worse. This past month, I had a full exam, and the hearing was much worse. New hearing aids were ordered – and they had Bluetooth capability.

I’ve had them now for 10 days. You may have seen this ad. It’s exactly how it is when you have hearing loss. Including the look on his face. More than that, there is a lot of anger because you can’t hear and obviously other people should be speaking more loudly. Here it is:

My problems were exacerbated by the fact that I worked in a place that was very noisy. Lots of ventilation racket and white noise generators. For those of you with hearing loss, you know how awful that can be. As a result, I quit wearing my hearing aids at work years ago. Since I wasn’t wearing them at work, I quit wearing them altogether after a time. Yeah, nobody’s fault but my own. Yet it began to isolate me even more. I got a lot of names wrong, heard things that were crazy sometimes – but it was just my brain trying to piece together the fragments of the sounds around me.

Last year we moved to a new building. A quiet building. I began to really notice the loss of hearing when the vents weren’t roaring all the time. I resolved to get my hearing rechecked and get new hearing aids.

In the past ten days, I now realize that one of my female coworkers isn’t totally silent. I can hear her soft voice over the divider.

My dog, whom I love dearly, makes music as she walks: I’d lost track of the fact that her tags jingle.

Paper crinkles. My God, what a simple thing to forget.

The floorboards in my old house creak all the time. I love that new noise.

I can hear jets in the sky again.

I can hear my wife without being angry that she speaks so softly. Her soft voice is a gentle caress on my soul in times of darkness. I need that voice.

I can hear clocks ticking.

Most of all, I can hear the blessing of my actions again. Coffee cups clinking, drops from the shower hitting the curtain as I warm it up, the rattle of popcorn in my snack bowl at night.

If you have hearing loss, or live with someone that seems to have that problem, go get an exam. Or get them to an exam. Hearing aids are very small now, and do amazing things. Most people are completely unaware that I even wear them. Heck, I forget I have them on – they are that comfortable.

I’m thankful for my newly restored hearing. It’s nice to be back in the world of jangling keys and sparrows.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Get Those “Unfriend/Unfollow” Fingers Limbered Up!

I have a confession to make: I make a lousy Christian author by many standards. At least, the standards of social media. I don’t love everyone. My books reflect that. (Just one published so far, but I promise to hate on new people in the new books. They’re written, but not yet available.)

Nope. Jesus said I had to love everyone, but I’m quite sure that He’ll take me to the woodshed when I get there (hopefully) and have to account. I have a short list of people I don’t love, including killers and rapists. And terrorists. A few others. For the most part, I’m good to go. But evidently I’m a lousy Christian, and probably a lousy author of Christian fiction, because I judge people and lifestyles.

Recently there has been a great deal of back and forth in social media among my fellow Christian authors about the new Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. No links, sorry. (You have to do some of the work!) I have been told, if I read the tea leaves properly, that I’m a hater and a jerk for thinking that I can skip the movie based on the revelation that it has a gay subplot.

I wasn’t going to see it anyway, but yeah, I’d probably skip it for the same reason that I rather regret seeing The Crying Game: I thought it sucked.

Yes, I wasn’t enamored of the plot, characters, social point, or the musical score. In addition, it wasn’t something that I’d go see now: I used to try and keep an open mind about such things, but no longer. I was told I needed to do so, or I was a bigot and a jerk. Seems I still am. Hollywood has fallen a long way since The Maltese Falcon, an elegant movie with a serious homosexual subplot. But it was subtle enough to be missed, and that made it a fabulous addition to an excellent film.

More importantly, I’d rather spend my money on Mexican bakery. Yes, that’s probably cultural piracy as well, but man, I love churros. And those red/white/green cookies that are supposed to be Mexican flags. Don’t even get me started on the cheese Danish that they make. And for what it costs to go to a movie I won’t enjoy, I can get a lot of bakery that I know I’ll love. Enough to share with my Asian/black/gay/nerdy/white/straight coworkers. See, I do love them. But I guess I don’t get any extra credit for trying to get along with the people I meet: it must be absolute. If Facebook is correct, that is.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Since I’m coming out (so to speak) as a hater, I’d like to share some other hates with you. I think it’s best, at this point in our relationship, to get it all out on the table so that some of you don’t accidentally like anything I do without knowing what a rancid beast I actually am. I have found, by watching the antics of Hollyweird, that your work has no merit if you ever say a bad thing about Lady Gaga or something. I’m not sure – I get confused by the rules. But I’ll make it easy for you to keep track of my demise: here’s a link to my Facebook author page, and the number of followers is currently 627. If it drops, or increases, I’ll know my self worth. Again, strictly according to the standards of the entertainment industry.

Let’s start with a person! I think that Mary Walling Blackburn has quite possibly written the worst children’s book of all time: it glorifies the wonders of abortion. Again, no link. But the very twisted, sad, depressing tale of her ugly world is called “Sister Apple, Sister Pig”. If you ever want to know the kind of twisted person I’m going to take to task, she’s the poster child.

Yes, I did read the book. I’ve seen things in my life, and been privy to secrets that would curl your hair. They’d make you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress. (I was already unhinged, so it didn’t seem to have that impact on me.) This book gave me a bigger case of the creeps than most of that other stuff.

You see, I don’t need to do, or experience, or tolerate certain things to know that I find them morally wrong. Not just “shady” or “dim” but wrong. A word we don’t use often enough in 2017.

So, here are a list of things I think are wrong, people I don’t approve of in any way. Unfriend/unfollow me as you see fit.

Sex with children. No matter how many of you enlightened idiots say it’s just part of the spectrum of sexuality, there is no justification for having sex with minor children if you are an adult. Not just drawing the line at four, or twelve, but let’s go with eighteen. Let’s cut out the gray. It’s wrong. It damages kids. It wrecks their lives. It hurts them. It destroys their own sexuality.

Cannibalism. Never acceptable. Not even if your some smart-aleck CNN reporter who thinks he’s the stuff. Besides, it isn’t Halal.

Sex with animals. Goats, dogs, gerbils – all of it is off limits. Unless they can type out their own consent form and prove they are eighteen.

Rape.

Murder.

Human trafficking. Slavery. Call it what you will. I don’t care if it’s workers in a Chinese restaurant, five year old slaves in Haiti, or blonde girls from Minnesota lured into prostitution at age fourteen. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Drug dealing. Either on the street, or corporate opioid slingers, who have hooked a huge swath of America on prescription pills.

Drunk drivers. Yes, I have driven drunk a whole bunch of times. But not in over 35 years. I saw what it did to a family I knew well. I was in my early 20’s. Quit doing it that night. Never done it since. Damned near got hit by one on Thursday. (At 7:15 in the morning. Those “W” plates in Minnesota tag you as a repeat offender for drunk driving. He missed me by inches. He was going really fast and I was on foot. In the crosswalk. At a stop sign.)

Animal abusers.

Social Justice Warriors. (This is the one that will lose me followers.) If you demand the right to define my beliefs, what I can say, and whom I can associate with, you’re no better than Adolph Hitler. He did that you know. If you tell me I must tolerate your spitting in my face, deriding my political views with violence, destroying my ability to earn a living with a smear campaign, or banning me from laughing at jokes and having friends who are complete jerks, then you are on the list. Persuade me, don’t demand of me.

People who eat artificial onion flavored rings you can buy in a vending machine.

I think that’s enough for right now. I’ll probably add some later, but that should do to get the counter falling on the page.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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The Times Have Changed. Please Pay Attention If You Value Your Freedoms.

This past weekend I attended a rally for President Trump at the state capitol grounds. I went as an observer. Yes, I support the president, but I also wanted to observe and report.

Well, here’s the report:

Suspected white supremacists spotted: 1.
Alt-right guys: 1 (pretty sure he was a troll for the left, he had a sign that offended everyone.)
Anti-Semites located: none.
Pro-Israel flags and signs: dozens.
Black guys: 1.
Guys from Mainland China: 2.
Assorted people of varying shades of white and brown: most.
American Flags: dozens and dozens.
People with home-made signs: hundreds.
Polite people: about 500.
Anarchist/leftist disruption teams who visited violence and hate: about 50.
Witches: 4. But good costumes!

They’d be horrified if they knew most of the people there agreed with the signs they held.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Here’s the typical person who came to rally for President trump:

There were no flags carried by the disruption teams from the left.


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They brought a flag, or a sign. They were there because they agree with the duly elected leader of this nation.

But there was another group mixed in among the rally. There if you have a sharp eye. They were the sheepdogs.

These were the people who came to defend the little old ladies, and men, from the anarchists. The sheepdogs had martial arts gloves, steel toed boots, bandannas of their own, and weapons. Some of them were turned into signs. some were in holsters. Some were up a sleeve. Some wore mouth guards and crotch cups to protect themselves. All were committed to keeping the rally goers safe.

And the anarchists found this out the hard way. (By the way, for anarchists, they march in formation better than most sailors I ever knew. In step. At a chosen moment. Seems far more than random to me.)

When the anarchists pulled out the teargas, the sheepdogs pulled them out of the crowd and held them on the floor. When the anarchists pulled out the tasers, instead of backing off the sheepdogs surged forward to challenge them. And it was beautiful.

For a long time in this country, the people on the conservative side of things have avoided confrontation. Saturday, March 4th, that came to an end. The rally was ready. There would be a price to be paid by anyone who attacked them.

That makes me a bit sad: that we have to arm ourselves to enjoy our free speech rights. NOT. For heaven’s sake, people, the first amendment has always been backed by the second amendment. The left thinks that they can disrupt a rally and call it free speech. They clearly don’t understand what that actually means. It’s not accomplished by drowning out the speakers, throwing fireworks indoors (Tim Kaine’s adult son, “Woody” was the one. Yeah, that Kaine – the guy who ran for vice president with shrillary.)

But armed and ready the right is. That’s bad. It is unstable. It has the potential to explode. But the left has pushed so hard, and so viciously to destroy our right to speak that it’s become a must.

So, to the anarchists, I would suggest you look at who has the guns, military training (I’m not counting your two weeks in Hibbing with “Tweezer” and “Gorp” showing you how to use bucket drums and bear spray), and the ability to take it to the next level. If you want a starting place, look at the electoral map that shows what color each county went, and what color the surrounding counties went. The red ones? Most of the country. Fear those people if you attack them. They fight back. They know how to fight back. And they play for keeps.

This is not a call to civil war. Instead, it is a warning that unless the left dials it back it is inevitable.

People who voted either way in November are not evil. But if you continue to paint everyone who voted for Trump as Nazi stooges, you might just get said stooges to deal with the next time you attack their rally.

Everyone needs to calm down. Talk, not scream. Listen. And, no hitting. That’s how we’ve made it the last few centuries.

I’d like to think it continues long into the future. But if civil war kicks off, it will stun the left with the ferocity of the cause of freedom.

Me? I’d rather talk. I’m not so sure about the other side of the aisle.

(Oh, and an addendum: The feckless dimwits in our local prosecutors offices have so far declined to file charges against the anarchists for assault, arson, battery, etc. If you want to make things worse, keep the police away, and then don’t prosecute the people presented to you for charges. Promise you, someone will take it into their own hands.)
 

Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in evil, government, law enforcement, political, popular culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

1,000 Posts & A Rant

Today’s post makes #1000 since I started this fiasco years ago. In that time, over 2,000,000 hits on the website. Most of them me and my mom.

I apologize for the light posting lately, but it’s with good reason: I’ve signed two contracts that tie up a lot of my time.

The first contract is to write a book for someone. There is a strong NDA (non-disclosure agreement) involved, so that’s about all I can say. Except I get paid. And have deadlines. I am having fun.

The second contract is to do some audio book work for Michael DiMercurio: Attack of the Seawolf. Michael is not just a great author, but he’s a friend who mentored me in writing Assault on Saint Agnes. I’m thrilled to be doing this work. It should be done in the next few weeks, and it will be a great audio book if I’m any judge. But it means getting up before 0400 every day to record and edit. This paragraph is being written at 0434 – a little break before I put up the microphone.

Thank you for your understanding. Yeah, all of that in addition to the usual whirlwind of nonsense I participate in, including writing the sequel to AOSA (Assault on Saint Agnes.)

To celebrate, I’ve made up a new list of things that annoy me.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Let’s start with Mr. 173 pounds. Dude, it’s fantastic that your weight is so stable. Now put the freaking weights back to zero on the scale before you abandon the locker room with your towel on the floor. (Could someone explain how that scale works to this rocket scientist?)

Bozos with Yassir Arafat beards talking on their cellphones and cutting me off in the merge lane. Yes, you, you hipster nitwit. You almost killed us both. Grow a real beard, put down the phone, and… forget it. You’re mentioned again here and I hate to repeat myself.

The glowstick kids on the race course. There is a reason that the race asks you not to wear any lights: they spend days putting together 1,000 candles for the course. See, if you only have candlelight, you can enjoy the night sky and the amazing stars. But selfish jerks with tent-lighting glow sticks strapped to their legs rather defeat the whole point.

The person ahead of me in the line at the grocery store who decided they didn’t want the frozen dinners and just put them under the end of the conveyor belt. Listen, nuclear brain surgeon, that wastage ups my grocery costs as well.

The drone in sector 7G at the Ramsey County offices who had only one response when I inquired as to the status of a plot of land: There are back taxes on that lot. There are back taxes on that lot. There are… Really. Never would have guessed. I just wanted to know if the city, or the county, actually owned the property yet. But I’d wager that there are back taxes on that lot.

The two women who hopped up as we approached the bus stop and stood in the back door. And then didn’t open the door. They were getting ready for the next stop. So those of us getting off had to push past them. Thanks, Ladies!!!

The list will continue to grow. Updates later. Today was just a drive-by posting to prove I’m still alive.

Now, to record for a few hours before I go to work.

Be well.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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