Publication Announcement: The Christmas Book

I am pleased to announce that my third book, The Christmas Book is available now, at Smashwords, as a pre-order and will be available for download November 1.

The print edition will be available soon at Amazon, and CreateSpace.

Patrick Winter is a teenage orphan who gets into a fight with his foster brother. As a result, he loses his home in that foster home. He moves to the Malone home where he receives an old book. Soon after getting the book, he starts hearing a voice in his head that tells him that he has to read the book. He is the son of Santa Claus and must learn the magic in the book so that he can return home and begin learning how to become Santa Claus when the time comes. Pat’s troubles have only just begun. His foster brother is still against him. One of the prettiest girls in school suddenly notices him. Why would he want to mess that up? Besides, Santa Claus isn’t real. Or is he?

Check out the first chapter and see what it is all about, The Christmas Book Chapter 1. It’s in PDF format so you can download it and read it. I hope you like it.

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Posted in Fiction

Letting go

I had to let go of some fear when I published my first novel, Accidental Colony. It did rather well, I think, for a first book that had no promotion for it. In case you didn’t know, it’s available as an eBook at Smashwords and in print form from CreateSpace and Amazon. I enjoyed writing it and decided to publish it. So I took my fear and sat on it.

That’s not quite letting go, but it worked well enough. Once I’d made the decision and started the publication process I felt more confident. That’s the key. That’s when I let go of the fear. If you are afraid of doing something, just start doing it. you may find that as you do it, it’s not as scary as you thought.

I started writing these blogs after letting go of my fear of doing so. My fear was that I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. That’s one of the reasons that this bog is a weekly bog. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up a daily blog. So I didn’t let go of all my fear. I just tamped it down. That worked for me.

Letting go of fear is hard. You have to keep in mind that the fear is what is holding back your dream, assuming that’s what it is doing. In any case, fear can hold us back. let go of the fear and move forward. You often don’t need anything more than that.

The problem is that often the fear doesn’t want to let go of you. you have to toughen yourself up and decide that you want to do whatever you’re afraid of and just go for it. let go of the tree branch and swing out on that rope swing. Leap off the platform and ride that zip line. Jump out of that airplane and trust that the parachute will open. I think you see where I’m gong with this. If something scares you that other people do with no visible fear, just do it. Note that I said visible fear. Some people are good at hiding their fear. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear.

Bravery is doing something you need to do in spite of fear. Get up. Get out there. Take control. You can do it. All you have to do is to let go of the fear of failure, which is all your fear is. Tamp it down, or sit on it, whatever you have to do to let your fear go, do it.

Let’s not forget that fear is not a bad thing. It can work in your favor, like keeping you from running out into traffic. Letting go of fear means choose what fears to keep and which to let go. It’s all about finding what works for you. Whatever you are afraid of, if you want to do something and fear is halting you. Do your best to overcome your fear and let it go. Just find out what works for you. You’ll be glad you did.

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Posted in General Opinion

Climate Change

Climate change is real. I won’t say that it’s here because it’s more of a process than a thing. We are undergoing that process. Humankind will have to adapt or go extinct. That’s why we have the weather we’ve been having all over the world. Did we cause it? Well, no, but I don’t think we have helped it. Can we stop it? I don’t know. I don’t even know if we should try to stop it. Nothing stays the same so why should our climate? It has changed before and it is a simple, natural phenomenon.
There are things we can do to mitigate its effects, though. We can look for alternate forms of energy. Some of us are doing that. Others just try to find more of the same sources. That’s causing issues, as some people hoard what they have. I’m not talking about the survivalists, individuals who fear the worst. I’m talking about nations. If it’s on their land, it’s their right. They should consider the future for their own people.
That said, I would say that they might find, if they cling to the past too tight that they will get left behind. New forms of energy are available. They are becoming more common, where they were once scientific oddities. Electric cars are on the road even now. There’s talk of powering those cars from the roadbed itself, which would be a boon. The air would be cleaner and we’d have a zillion toll roads, but that’s a price we must pay. We are a mobile society. I’m talking the US here.
Going back to the world. Can humans pull together and change as a group? Going by the news reports, I’d have to say no. so it will likely be everyone for himself or herself. Whether the human species will make it through this climatic change is debatable. Should we make it through? That’s a moral dilemma. We are not the nicest animals on the planet; then again, climate change is not a moral decider. It doesn’t care how good or bad we are. It will kill us if we don’t make the right changes or it can make us stronger if we do. It’s our choice. There’s no putting it off. Gather the facts. Make the choice. Change or die.
Humans have to adapt. We can’t cling to the old ways because things are changing. So what do you think? Should we cling to the past and try to stop climate change, something we might not be able to do? Or should we embrace the challenge and evolve to meet it. Change with the climate or die, that’s the choice we have to make. We stand on the threshold of the future. Our decision here will not only affect us. It will affect future generations. We must choose with wisdom.

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Posted in General Opinion

Feline Freedom League October 2014 Report

From: Agent Cuddlebug To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 5 October 2014
Subject: October Mission Report

I would like to register a complaint about my fellow agents. They have no respect for the senior agent, myself. They treat me as a junior agent and I have more experience and seniority. I live by the regulations and I don’t think it is too much to ask that the other agents in this place live by them as well. I would even settle for them onlyabiding by the regulations regulations pertaining to the treatment of senior agents by subordinates. They act as though Agent Storm were the senior when he is clearly not.

I formally request that my fellow agents be required to review and acknowledge the regulations manual, with discipline should they fail to do so. I will begin my own review of the manual forthwith. I believe this is necessary to recapture the discipline that has slipped since the arrival of Agent Probie. Some agents feel that his arrival means that they can play more. Nothing is further from the truth.

I further request that Agent Probie be placed on report for behavior unbecoming a Feline Freedom League Agent. He has become corrupted by Agents Smudge and Mulder, who feel the need to play stupid pranks on unsuspecting agents. This behavior is unacceptable and must stop immediately. They do not obey my orders to stop this pranking, in fact, my order to desist generally results in escalation of the pranks. They must be brought to understand that our mission here is a serious one and they should settle down and do what they are here to do.

From: Agent Snickers To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 5 October 2014
Subject: October Mission Report

I respectfully request that Agents Smudge, Mulder and Probie be placed on report for assault. I cannot be expected to do my job when they keep jumping me if I move. This is intolerable. I cannot even eat my meals in peace. I can’t rest either.

With regard to Agent Cuddlebug’s request, while I am grateful for his support on this issue, I do not think they will actually review the regulations. I am not that fond of reading regulations myself and don’t feel that I need to memorize them as Agent Cuddlebug has apparently done. That said, perhaps a little refresher training for Agents Smudge, Mulder, and Probie would not go amiss, so if the review is only directed at them, I would be satisfied. They need to learn respect for their fellow agents, not just the seniors.

I also do not believe that Agent Cuddlebug is the Agent in Charge. Could we have some clarification of that, please? I think clarification would go a long way towards helping us with our discipline problems. . I do agree that someone ought to be in charge. Someone clearly needs to be in charge, but I am not certain that Agent Cuddlebug is the agent for the job. He does tend to nod off a lot. Perhaps Agent Luna or myself should be in charge. Please advise on this matter as we look to headquarters for direction.

Michigan Humane Society: Somebody here needs you



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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

Common Sense

They say common sense isn’t so common. I don’t know about that. I think common sense is more common than people realize. It’s just that we only hear about those who don’t have it. The vast majority of people just use their common sense and get on with their lives. They don’t get the same amount of attention that people who don’t exercise common sense. That’s probably for the best. Could you imagine what the news would be like if they focused on the people who weren’t doing stupid things?

It would be boring. It would be intrusive. Nothing would get done because the camera crews would be in the way. So perhaps it’s better to have the news crews and press hounding the idiots who don’t have a lick of common sense, or don’t exercise it enough. Don’t be fooled by that though, everyone has common sense. It’s just that some people don’t use it. Fortunately, you can avoid them because you can usually see them coming.

That’s not to say that everyone who gets into a pickle don’t have common sense, sometimes accidents happen. I’ve had it happen to me. One minute I was bopping along all eager to get into the Mall and the next, I’m on my knees. That curb had been there as long as the Mall, but I still managed to trip over it. If I’d just picked up my feet, it probably wouldn’t happen. Do I still drag my feet? Sometimes, yes, I still do it. The thing is, that most people don’t have issues every day if they just exercise common sense.

Life is a learning process and sometimes it takes a while for the lesson to sink in. that’s how you get on the news. Common sense notwithstanding, people often don’t think before they do things. In most cases, it turns out OK, but there are the few that end up on the news. Those are the people we say don’t have common sense. That’s wrong.

Everyone has common sense, but not everyone takes it out and exercises it. like your body, your common sense needs exercise. There’s another old saying, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” That’s just another way of saying that sometimes people don’t think before they act, or speak out. The evening news is full of them. in addition to the weather, the economy of the world and the fighting that goes on, there are the little people getting their fifteen minutes of fame through a lack of a developed common sense. Do yourself a favor and take your common sense out for a bit of exercise. You’ll thank yourself.

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Posted in General Opinion

Pierre Robert, My 7th Great Grandfather

Pierre ROBERT was my 7th great grandfather. He was born 21 September 1671 in Ste Famille, Boucherville, Chambly, Quebec, Canada. He was the son of Louis ROBERT and Marie BOURGERY. He married Angelique PTOLEMEE on 27 January 1697/98 in Lachine, Quebec, Canada. The couple had 7 children, Marie Louise, born in 1698; Jean Baptiste, born in 1700; Angelique, born between 1700 and 1710; Pierre, born about 1708; Madeleine, born in 1711; and Antoine, born in 1712.

He died 16 August 1671 most likely in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, but I have no proof of that.

I don’t have many facts on this individuals, as you can see. I have done some research online but I need to gather sources from parish records and other sources. To that end, I have done some work on this individual. I have taken a look at things others have done on this individual.

One file has his birth date as being in August. Many more have him born in September. This sort of discrepancy is what you have to watch for when you are doing family history research. There are many errors that creep into the data that is on line. You have to evaluate each piece of information as you get it. I have several pieces of the puzzle that was Pierre Robert dit Lafontaine.

As I find more information, I will have to evaluate them to determine which date or item is the correct one. That’s why it is so important to document your research. It’s why the research journal that I wrote about a few weeks ago is so important. You will need to work on your research carefully and try to figure out where your research is taking you.

In the case of Pierre Robert born in 1671, in Quebec, I have a lot of research to do. I have some resources, but they are mostly second hand sources. That means that the source is either compiled from other records, like an index of parish records, or the information did not from the person directly involved with the record, like the informant in a death record. That is, the person was not an eyewitness to the record event.

If you work on your family history, you will run into this kind of situation where you are not certain which one of several different individuals with the same name in the same location, is the person that you descend from. That’s the hard part. Whenever you find a piece of the puzzle that is your family history, you have to question it. Is it correct? Is it a record on your ancestor or is the record on an individual with the same name.

If you do that diligently, you should be able to determine whether the record belongs in your family file or not. Document everything. If you take the time to do that now, it will ultimately save you time in the end. A well documented family tree is a correct family tree.

WordPress Tags: Robert,Ste. Famille,Boucherville,Quebec,Canada,BOURGERY,PTOLEMEE,Lachine,Detroit,Wayne,Michigan,parish records,history,Lafontaine,journal,index,death,location,ancestor

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Posted in Family History, Hobbies


Several years ago, I nearly became a weather forecaster. I would have been one of those people who tell when a storm is coming, and when. Sometimes I regret not going down that path. If I had, I would know how they can say when a storm will hit. Sometimes they even state an exact time. I’m sure that’s based on wind speeds and directions, but they often make it sound as though the storm has a schedule to keep. I’ve yet to see a storm wearing a watch or carrying a clock. Usually if a storm is carrying anything, it’s best to remain indoors and under cover.

Now I hear that there is a prediction saying that we will have another Polar Vortex this year. If they could really predict something like that, why didn’t they predict the one we got last year? So I have my doubts. I’ll keep an open mind on that subject, but I am, by no means, certain that will happen. After all, they have trouble predicting the weather for next week.

This is no slam against them, weather is composed of so many factors that it is hard to corral them all and analyze them. We don’t have a computer capable of that as yet. That may come in the future but we aren’t there yet.

That’s the part that I think I would find most interesting. How can a computer model can predict something as complex as the weather. OK, I really mean how can a computer model try to predict something as complex as the weather.

I didn’t go that way because that was going to require that I join the United States Navy and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do that. In retrospect, I don’t think I was mature enough to join the Navy. They wouldn’t have wanted a child like I was at the time. Maybe it would have made me grow up sooner, I don’t know. I certainly would have been able to explain what the weather was going to do. That I regret not doing.

Weather is something that everyone has an opinion on, but what do we really know about it? Precious little, really, I suspect. Of course, since I’m not a meteorologist, I don’t know that for certain. I’m just guessing from the past track record that we are not yet able to be accurate beyond the next couple of days. I don’t believe that humans have reached the point of predicting what the weather will be beyond a few days. It just boils down to guesswork a lot of times. Weather forecasters get it wrong more often than not. They guess, but those guesses are educated ones.

The next time you are stuck off a topic of conversation, try the weather and see if you can find someone who may know a little of how it works. If you find someone, let me know. I’d like to learn how weather actually works.

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Posted in General Opinion

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