An Invention A Day…

Today I’m meeting with a marketing professional to get some highly paid advice concerning a series of inventions I have, and how to get them out in the marketplace. It dawned on me, as I was contemplating this, that I’m too old to be fishing around for a new career.

That might have been true 30 years ago, when people hit 60 and started to think seriously about retiring and taking it easy. I will be able to retire with a pension in less than 16 months. I am far from taking it easy at this point.

Now, will I work a few more years and really balloon up the 401k? Will I run for the door the minute I am able to do so and try some other things? Not really sure. But what I do know is that I have some ideas and want to explore them.

Among those ideas is an advanced career in audio books. Am I one of the greats of the industry? Not yet. But if you look on Amazon and Audible, you will find quite a few titles I have done, especially for the books of Michael DiMercurio. You see, he was kind enough to invite me to do his back-list and get them out there as quickly as possible. He’s a forgiving task-master, knowing that I have the full-time day job, Santa, and writing. But my 6th book on his series is coming out in the next few weeks (someone else had done book #1 years ago), and I’m excited. Once I finish his back-list, I’d like to work on some other peoples books as well. That requires more time: the kind you get when you retire.

I’d like to expand the time I spend as Santa. I’m at the point where I can really work as much as I want, and thus the main restriction is the – you guessed it – day job. Santa makes about 8 times more per hour than Joe, so I’d like to have him work a bit more.

I’d like to get back in with my theatrical agents and work more as an actor/voice over talent. I realize that I’m new in many ways, and that I need to put in some more dues, but I’d like to work more in that field.

Writing. What can I say? I have so many books that I want to write, and that I have under wraps on the hard drive, but not enough hours in the day to do them all. Again, not working 40 a week at the day job would help with that! And, for those wondering, the sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes is in progress, to be finished this year.

Finally, as I started this thing, I have a handful of diverse inventions that are, frankly, brilliant. They are mundane things that I’ve designed that will dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in a special profession in one case, and in the other they’ll protect your laptop and your lunch coffee much better than current products do the job. Yeah, kind of vague, but if this thing goes like it should, there will be a retirement at an early date.

Then again, perhaps none of it will pan out. Perhaps the audio books die off, the inventions flop, and my agents hire better actors while reading someone else’s books. But if I don’t give it a shot, none of it will happen.

I’m going to try my best to make it work. On all counts.

Just by the way, if you’re a best-selling author who needs their audio books narrated, or a brilliant manufacturer who wants to make a serious pile of cash off of some inventions, give me a shout in the comments.

In the meantime, go buy the audio books I’ve recorded, and the books I’ve written, to help me finance these dreams.

Thanks. Oh, and say a prayer.

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NEW BOOK IS OUT!

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, is now available. Go fetch your credit card for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.

Audio book cover on the left, Kindle cover on the right.

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.

Posted in acting, audio book, Nicholas of Haiti, Santa Stuff, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things. (Well, That’s A Lie.)

I’ve been walking about 12-20 miles a week, April to November, for over 2 years now. During those hours of ambling, my brain works to come up with topics that need to be dealt with and couldn’t possibly be handled while I’m hoofing it down West Seventh Street. Naturally.

So, now that I have some time on my hands, I’d like to put them down on this blog and make them your problem. I hope they are as annoying to you as they are to me.

Let’s start with secret pooping. Yes, that treat that greets you when you come downstairs, keys in hand, ready to head out the door. The one the Sheltie left on the rug because there is a serious chance the back yard has monsters before noon. If there are monsters, you can’t possibly expect her to go out and deposit waste in the yard. Consequently, secret poops on the rug. She’s lucky to have seen another year. Good thing we love her. It’s also a good thing she doesn’t do this very often.

“Who me? Are you sure Dad didn’t do that?”

People who try to kill you in the crosswalk. I know it’s hard to believe, but people get way too close all the time. I’m rather hard to miss, especially when I have a 100 liter backpack on, which is covered with reflectorized tape. But the morons who aim their cars (drive is too nice a term) through a pie-plate sized hole they scraped in the windshield, or around their cellular phone as they scream at someone on the other end, or – best of all – do their email/Facebook/LinkedIn on the laptop open next to them, seem to miss me in their peripheral vision as they hang a violent left to beat the oncoming traffic. I actually followed one of these bozos to his destination a few weeks ago, as it was downtown and I could watch where he went. I shall forever prize the look on his face as I got within shouting distance of his car. I suspect he may change his ways. Or get a restraining order.

Helicopter parents. Every Santa season I’m reminded that there are a lot of people who probably shouldn’t be raising children. Most of them are second generation helicopter parents. When the child whimpers a little as they approach Santa, the mom snatches up her soon-to-be-useless adult with the words, “I’m not going to traumatize little Ergon for a picture.” Mom, here’s a word of sage advice that I recently passed on: Your child will not die if Santa holds them for 10 seconds while the photographer takes the screaming photo. This is a golden opportunity to show that some risks have rewards: your child experiences a minor trauma and goes back into the safety of mom’s arms. Life is often not fair. What a great opportunity to learn that you don’t die when things are not perfect. I think it’s like working with certain metals:  a little heat following some minor blows will do wonders for your strength.

Office Lunch thieves. While there are lower forms of vermin, I’m hard-pressed to name them at the moment. We have one at my day job right now. An eclectic diet this weasel has created, running the range from steamed vegetables to chicken-fried steak. I keep my lunch in a cooler at my desk. But a friend has given serious thought bringing in a delicious laxative pudding that might just cure this person. I hope she puts sprinkles in it for beauty purposes.

The Christmas Shoes. I don’t really have to explain this, do I?

Now that I’m on a seasonal music rant (things change fast around here) how about Last Christmas by Wham? Truly, I’d rather be on the grinder in San Diego.

Okay, one final rant – the two worst Christmas songs I know might as well go on this list.

Madonna’s version of Santa Baby:

John Lennon So This Is Christmas

Back to the mundane. No. Never mind. I need a drink or something after that last one. Maybe one more…

Health Club Pigs. Yes, these are the entitled few who have decided that it’s perfectly fine to throw their towels on the floor for the maid (there is no maid, morons), pour water on the dry sauna (because the steam room is over four feet away, almost six), and the nitwits who pour cold water on the steam room valve cover to make “extra” steam (Let me ‘splain heat stress on metals…). Undoubtedly, these are the same miscreants who leave the scale set for their weight and never zero it out. Also, the odds are, these are the same bozos who leave the locker locked when they leave so that “their” locker will be available tomorrow when they come to work out.

I’d snap a picture of them, but for some reason I seem to be the only one observing the no-using-smartphones-in-the-locker-room rule. Not that I’m a gem, but there’s bound to be a market for pictures of naked fat guys with tattoos somewhere.

Door blockers. In Minnesota people stand in doorways. Either side, in the middle, but right in the danged door. And then they chat. The only version of this menace that’s worse is the kind on public transportation. Most loathsome is the sort, usually found in pairs, that get on the bus, and the stand in the constricted space immediately behind the driver where the front wheels prevent seating. They don’t want to go back and find a seat, so they just stand there – making the entry and exit of every passenger a major pain in the butt. They have a third tribal member, the back door blocker. That idiot scorns open seats, wears a stupid facial expression, and looks at their phone while standing in the small area designed for leaving the bus. To get past them you must dance with them. Or elbow them in the face. (Hey, accidents happen.)

I feel better. It’s always good, any time of year, to give stress rather than receive. And considering it’s April 10th, and it’s snowing like crazy outside, today is a beautiful day to share.

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Posted in Christmas videos, dogs, Santa Stuff, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Might Actually Be Here. But I’m Not Putting Big Dough On It.

Every winter leaves Minnesotans craving spring sometime around Valentines Day. By then we’re so fed up with the snow and cold that an apocalyptic sun spot burst would be welcome. This year was even worse than usual, with a record-breaking snow fall during February. That, naturally, came on the heels of a record cold January.

To compensate, the state has elected to flood it’s rivers. Yes, the Mississippi is over its banks in downtown Saint Paul. It’s a special time of year in Minnesota: almost spring.

Even the trash is pretty in spring…

I say almost spring because winter has wandered back around in the night before to break windows and turn over the dog house. Last year we had a full-scale blizzard on the 14th of April. That was fun! I always enjoy going to spring weddings while attempting to hurdle the plow rows in the street.

But, I digress. Some of the signs of spring are obvious – birds in the yard, melting snow, etc. But have noticed other things – the sparkle of dried salt on every artificial surface in the state below knee level, a handful of the same salt in my jacket pocket that came from when the 40 pound bag I was spreading burst a seam and exploded over my shoulder. Lake Poop emerges in the backyards of thousands of homes where dogs live. (I can’t blame Stormy for all of it, the rabbits left an equal volume in the yard.) And piles of trash, cigarette butts, and forgotten car keys emerge from the ice. Some are almost poetic in their justice, as shown in the picture above.

There are some positive things as well. I was able to walk to work for the first time this year, as the sidewalks and intersections are finally free of ice. It was joyous, and I have almost 6 months to do this before it goes back into the toilet.

The most positive thing is that even after a very sedentary winter, I managed the three miles in just over my normal time. I also, (Somebody notify the Pope on this one, it might be a miracle) managed to work up the courage to put on a pair of the “skinny” jeans (that’s a relative term considering they are from the big&tall section of the WRANGLER catalog) I bought last summer – and they fit. With that surge of adrenaline going, I got on the scale.

Frankly, my expectations were low. It had been a long winter of Tim Horton’s for this boy. Yet I had managed to lose 5 pounds since the fall. I darned near died of shock when the scale stopped banging against the restraint at the health club and I had to reduce the little sliding weights.

We made it. I made it. I may not look any skinnier, but I am. I am also looking forward to not shoveling snow. I figure I only have about 25 days left where its a real threat. I can make it.

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NEW BOOK IS OUT!

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, is now available. Go fetch your credit card for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.

Audio book cover on the left, Kindle cover on the right.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weather Whining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Spring Might Actually Be Here. But I’m Not Putting Big Dough On It.

Dear Fake News: You Can All Shut Up Right After You Apologize To The President.

For the past two years I have been remarkably taciturn about my contempt for the lying weasels that comprise the Fake News industry, and their co-conspirators in the Democrat party. I have, in large part, laid out no comment about the vile lies and smears they have levied on President Donald Trump.

Now, with the release of the Mueller (and why this name isn’t pronounced Mewler is beyond me) report, I have a few choice words for a gigantic percentage of the working press, and for those “Never Trumpers” who deny the fact that he was elected President of the United States in 2016, and currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.:

Get over it. Apologize for your insane attempt to bring down a sitting President. Find something useful to do with your lives.

My, but that felt good.

The simple fact is that they won’t quit. But here’s where my brilliant skills as an analyst come in handy. So, are you ready?

If I accused you of molesting children, and encouraging others to do so, while pilfering from coin boxes at McDonalds, how innocent do you have to be before you get really angry and punch me in the face?

I would think immediately if you are innocent. But now I’ve raised the standard to you having to prove you are innocent. Consequently, I hire some investigators, each of whom despises you for some reason, and send them out to audit the coin boxes at every McDonalds in the world. They must conclusively prove that you didn’t take any money from the boxes meant to fund the Ronald McDonald house in your area. As to the child molestation charge, they are required to speak to every child that has ever been molested and make sure you weren’t involved. Moreover, they have to definitively prove nobody you ever met, or corresponded with, or worked with, had molested a child, or stood mutely while someone they knew did so – even if they were unaware of it.

That’s the level of idiocy that has been thrown out as what the President needs to do to placate the left/press (but, I repeat myself) in this country. You can’t prove your innocence when such a wide, and bizarre, conspiracy has been accused. The argument will always be that there must have been some coins unaccounted for, and that you stole them. Or that child molestation goes under-reported, and you probably were involved in those cases.

The same thing has happened with this “Russian collusion” fantasy the left has inflicted upon us. For starters, there is no crime known as collusion. Secondly, Mueller has definitively told the world that there was no conspiracy with the Russians to influence the 2016 election involving any American.

End of story. Obstruction of justice you say? Well, the same Rod Rosenstein the left has held up as an icon has signed off that there was none. You see, it’s mighty hard to obstruct justice when the whole thing is a travesty of justice.

It is tragic that we, as a nation, have wasted two years of our lives on this crap. People’s lives, fortunes, and marriages have been destroyed by this witch hunt.

Oh, before you ask, I have read the Barr summary. I will read the Mueller report when it is released. I fully expect there to be large sections redacted to protect national security issues, and to protect the integrity of the 6e (grand jury) information. That’s fine: that’s how it should be in a world that has not gone mad.

Me? I’ll be smiling wide for the next few days while this all rolls out. You see, I fully support the President. He’s a cad, he’s crude, he’s a taunting-jerk sometimes. But I like having a winner on the track, and that’s Donald Trump.

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NEW BOOK IS OUT!

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, is now available. Go fetch your credit card for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.

Audio book cover on the left, Kindle cover on the right.

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.

Posted in evil, government, political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Was I Going To Say?

I’m now heading into the second full week of having this stupid virus. I’d like to say that it has given me a lot of time to think deep thoughts. Mostly I think about things like, “How much longer until I can take another cold tablet?”

Deep thoughts indeed. Even the dog is bored with my coughing and fatigue. Tonight’s big plan is to head to bed at 8 and sleep for 10 hours. Whoopee. The exciting life of an author and voice over artist.

Seriously, between the lunatic fringe that’s running for the Democrat nomination, and this cold, I’m at the point where a rapture is overdue.

But, since it isn’t imminent, (Like I have a clue…) I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we’d all be better off turning off the news/social media for a week and see how we fare.

Having said that, I am now turning off social media for one week. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over there with the dog working on my book. Yes, there is hope of a sequel this year, and another project *or two* that I’m working on as well.

See you all in a week. Take some time to ignore the media. I’m sure that by next Tuesday we’ll all be obsessing over something else even less important.

*********************** *********************** ************************ ************************ **************************
NEW BOOK IS OUT!

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, is now available. Go fetch your credit card for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.

Audio book cover on the left, Kindle cover on the right.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Was I Going To Say?