From typewriters to computers to distraction

I first started writing by longhand, still do, in fact, then graduated to my mother’s portable typewriter, right down to the sticking keys and overused ribbon, then moved upwards into the electric world having a pair of IBM electric typewriters I bought from one of the places I worked as second-hand cast-offs.

Just remembering those days gives me the shudders, from the tangled ribbons and messy hands to using carbon paper, how many times before they were useless?

Then the age of the electric typewriter went the same way as the manual ones, simply because I could no longer buy ribbons for my IBM Selectric, so it, too, had to go the way of the dinosaurs.

It was a good thing, then, that computers and word processing software started at about the same time.   Word Perfect, to begin with, and then, in the early days of Windows, Word, and others.  Sometimes it was easier just to use the text editor, and for convenience, it’s often by choice to get ideas down, quick and dirty.

This was before the days of the internet, where you physically had to do something about finding inspiration.  And that, sometimes, was more difficult that it seems.  I do not have a writing room with large windows looking out on a rural or urban panorama.  The window looks onto a fence, and the house next door.

So much for my dream of owning a castle and having a writing room on the second or third level, with astonishing views.

Which leads me to today.  Enough with the reminiscing.  I have all the tools I need to get on with the job, but that isn’t enough to switch on the brain and start typing perfect prose.  I have to go in search of some inspiration.

It’s just that in that short distance, from, say, the couch where you were reading the latest blog posts in the WordPress reader, and the writer’s chair, your preparation for writing ends up getting confused at some of the blogger’s points because it’s hard to find anything relevant that backs up their assertions, or how things work for them.

I guess success form anyone’s standpoint, is what worked for them.  In relaying that to others, two things come to mind.  It worked for them, but in telling a million others, and they all take the same approach, no, sorry, it ain’t going to work no how.  The other, there’s usually a fee attached to gain the knowledge, and, yes, the same proviso applies.  If everyone does it, it ain’t going to work no how.

But, there you are, my attention has been distracted, and unless I’m about to indulge in writing a version of how to achieve success myself, which I haven’t so I’m not, I’m off track, with an out of balance mindset, and therefore unable to write.

Perhaps I should not read blog posts, but the newspapers.

Or not, because they all have an editorial policy that leans either and one way or another, which means their views are not necessarily unbiased.

I was a journalist once and hated the idea of having to toe the editorial line.  Or as luck would have it, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.  It lends to the theory that you can never quite believe anything the media tells you, which is a very sorry place to be when there are no external influences you can trust.

I’m coming around to thinking that it’s probably best left to the dark hours of the night when you would think all the distractions are behind you.  After all, isn’t that what daytime is for?

Except that’s when the ghosts come out to play.

I think.

Was that the lounge room door opening?

It’s just another Sunday

Outside it’s sunny but cold. We have had better days, but winter has been struggling to get through about of reasonably warm weather. Now it’s going to hang around for a few days, before it’s gone forever. Well, till next year. Wednesday is predicted to be 27 degrees centigrade, and will no doubt be the start of a very long summer.

Of course, we were all dreading winter because of the possibility of a second wave of COVID 19, but in Queensland that didn’t happen. It was further south, in Victoria and New South Wales.

And, oddly, over the seas in New Zealand.

It put a dent in our travel plans because we were planning to go there as soon as the borders opened, but that’s gone by the wayside. They had it stamped out, lasting 102 days before it insidiously came back.

It’s nasty this virus. It apparently came over from China as part of a container of frozen chicken wings, the virus surviving in sub zero tempertures so that it can infect anyone who picks up an item. It got into the food distributor’s factory, and ran riot after that. One infection has turned into 40, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

So, now we have to beware of imported frozen food, and there is a lot of that here, and more than likely, its all over the world as time, a hidden threat to everyone.

Perhaps its time to stop looking at the news, because it’s all depressing.

Instead, it’s time to go back to reading thrillers, starting with James Patterson.

I’ve lost the will to work on my latest book, mainly because the draft is finished but I don’t like some of what’s written, so I’ll let it sit for the time it takes to read a few of my favorite authorsg and see if I can draw some inspiration, or determination, from them.

Or maybe tomorrow I’ll feel different.

I’m glad I’m not in America…

Sadly, it’s true.

The problem is, I don’t know what to believe.   Are there more cases of COVID 19 there than anywhere else in the world?  Are there more deaths?

I read some reports that say that everything that is reported about COVID 19 in the US is nothing but lies, I believe the actual term used is ‘fake news’.

What is fake news?

From another side, that of the fake news outlets, yes I tuned into one of President Trumps political speeches (sorry, COVID 19 updates), and discovered that CNN and the New York Times were the leading culprits of spreading fake news, it seems that everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

Democrat lies, I’m told.  The President, on the other hand, says the US is moving ahead incredibly, the economy is booming, everyone is going back to work, school is in, and COVID is just a distant memory.

Who is right?  How do you make an informed decision?

I’m confused.  I want to visit New York, but one side is telling me it’s not safe, that infections and death is not going away, and the other, come on over, everything is fine.

Why, then, does my government tell me I can’t go anywhere?

Have the Democrats invaded my country and now telling us what we can and can’t do?

Will they be forming a radical left movement here and start up the looting and destruction of our cities?  And move onto defunding the police?

That’s another thing I don’t understand.  If your police departments have been defunded, and all the police are quitting, who is in charge of law and order, for that matter, is there any law and order?

Can someone PLEASE tell me what’s going on?

Grasping at straws or a pie in the sky?

This is to be willing to do, say, or believe anything that offers even the slightest hope in a desperate situation, even though there is almost no chance for success.

Sound familiar?

We all have a preferred position in any debate, sometimes a pre-conceived notion that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong.

And, just to prove it we will grasp at any straw, no matter how wrong it might be, how big a lie it might be, simply because it fits our narrative.

Politicians are good at it.

Salespeople are too, and they will tell you anything to make a sale.

Seems politicians are little more than salespeople.  Especially when you hold up a foot-thick pile of paper and call it a policy.  Of course, it is.  Look at all this paper!  And you can find it on the internet.

I’ve found incontrovertible truth that aliens have landed on earth many times, and walk amongst us, on the internet too.

Add to the straws the notion that if you throw enough mud some it will stick.

Likewise, if you say the same thing over and over, no matter how wrong it is, people will begin to believe it.

You read it, and see it, and read it again, ten, twenty times a day, over and over until you have been brainwashed.

Nobody repeats the truth, have you noticed that?

The truth usually appears at the bottom of page 17 of a newspaper, buried by the Ford, Ram Truck, and Coca Cola advertisements.

But the lies, the narrative that you are supposed to hear, it comes at you from every angle, papers, magazines, all over the internet, cable channels, everywhere.  It will be on roadside billboards soon.

The CIA and the KGB came up with that little idea.  It’s called brainwashing.

It’s made to sound authentic, that it’s come from ‘experts’, people allegedly with degrees in everything but UFO technology, and because it sounds authoritative, we believe it.

Especially after we’ve been told hundreds of times.

A case in point, I can tell you almost word for word some of the most obnoxious advertisements on television going back 50 years, yes, 50 years, because we were inundated with them, day and night, all the time, for years.

Of course, with fake news and political lies continually being spoken, printed, and hurled at us ad infinitum, no one really knows what the truth is anymore.  I tried looking at the bottom of page 17 for it, but it’s not there.

Like I said, no one is willing to tell the truth more than once.

So, whilst being told by one side that I’m in a vulnerable group and COVID 19 will kill me if I get it, the other side is telling me there’s no such thing as COVID 19 and it’s just an elaborate hoax.

Whoever created this elaborate hoax has done a good job, though, managing to enlist 218 countries worldwide, all their medical authorities, and all of the governments.  That’s some incredible effort.

So, my two cents worth, if every country in the world can partake in a hoax, why can’t they band together in world peace, free trade, and no wars.

Is it a pie in the sky moment?

Or just a little bit idealistic?

 

And we thought it was over…

Until two people decided to lie about where they’d been, and then spend the next eight days running around infecting as many people as they could.

A potent reminder that it only takes one person to flout the rules, and cause utter mayhem and madness on basically around 2 million people who were beginning to get their lives back on track.  That is now all on hold.

COVID 19 is an insidious disease that proliferates when carriers do not know they have it, or in this case, when the carriers have it, and not tell anyone or go get tested so they can be put in isolation.

In other words, these people do not care who they infect, and as a result, who they kill.

This, in my view, makes them guilty of murder if anyone dies from their actions.  And, since it is premeditated, in other words, their intent was to deliberately conceal the fact they had it and still went on a spree, makes them eligible for the highest sentence the court can hand down.

More’s the pity we no longer have the death sentence, because sure as hell, these two deserve it.

It is a very valid reason, in times like this, to bring back public hangings just to get the message across to the fools that still believe this disease is a hoax or a joke.

It is not.

And I suspect, if this turns out to be a runaway disaster, there’s going to be a lot of people baying for their blood.

What’s in the news other than COVID 19

Other than the fact that the recent twitter storm of untruths and white lies is covering up something far more sinister that certain people don’t want you to find out about.

Well, we’re on the quest to find out what it is…

There’s the discovery of a perfectly preserved ancient Roman mosaic floor under vines near Verona in Italy that dates back to the 3rd century.  This is the same site that remains of a villa was found in 1922.

And thankfully there were very few people in Rome when a sinkhole appeared in front of the Pantheon where seven travertine slabs were found 2.5 meters beneath Piazza della Rotonda.

Hardly earth-shattering, but interesting none the less.

Also, I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that scientists were looking for a parallel universe in Antarctica, not that they found one, but it would have been interesting if they had.

For that matter, since there is nothing down there but ice and snow, would they have realized they had passed to another parallel universe that was exactly the same?

What they did find were neutrinos, which are tiny high energy cosmic particles that are often referred to as ghostly because they can pass through anything without changing.

Pity about the parallel universe.  I’m sure a lot of us tired of this one not working out so well, would like to go to another where we’re hoping things will be better.

Though, if you watched Stargate SG1, you’ll know parallel universes are not always good.

Lastly…

Today I discovered the humble light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison 129 odd years ago, and made at Edison General Electric Company (now better known as GE).  In 1935 the light bulbs had evolved so much they could light stadiums, a fluorescent bulb was created in 1938, and a halogen lamp in 1959.  LED lighting was invented in 1962.

 

What’s happening other than the Coronavirus?

Since a great deal of what we see in the media is about the Coronavirus, that means something else is going on, we’re just not getting to see what it is.

So, that being the case, I’m on the hunt…

Of course, the now non-royals are still in the news, because if they suddenly lost relevance, then they wouldn’t be able to exploit the name, and this week’s epic headline – a move from Hollywood to New York.

How long it takes sensible people to get bored with them, say two days, will mean they will no doubt be moving on by the end of the week.  Wouldn’t it be a surprise if they go back to London?

But meanwhile, in outer space where the sun is losing its lustre and making us normally hot people cold, there’d another phenomenon going on, what is being called a ‘cosmic ring of fire’ which happens when two galaxies collide.

Now that has to be better than reading about Brazil’s problems.

And speaking of life imitating art…

Sneaking under the radar is the successful test of a laser weapon, you know, the sort of thing we see in movies like star wars.  Albeit, it’s on a conventional ship and it’s shooting down a drone, but how soon before we have space ships, and we’re heading to outer space?  No, not any time soon.  The economy is currently circling the drain, and besides, there’s more important stuff that’s needed.

Maybe next year.

And here’s something I didn’t know, the world’s largest volcano, now extinct Pahahonu volcano sits between two small rocky peals in Hawaii.  How large is large?  About 171 miles long by 56 miles wide.

Of course, as interesting as that all is, I’m still looking for a place in New York, that is, when the pandemic is over and we can once again go there.

I was looking at warehouse lofts but ran out of fingers counting the zeros in the price, so I’ve had to come back to earth.

Would I like a 627 square foot pre-war condo in the financial district for about $600,000?  It’s got a doorman, and I’ve always wanted to live in a place like that.  It’s in the city, so no traveling, maybe.

How about a $550,000 house in the suburbs, namely a 46-year-old, 3,000 odd square feet over several floors on an acre?  I’m not sure I like the hour or so’s drive, or over 2 hours by train.  Ideal of course if you work from home.

And then perhaps the $645,000, 2 bedroom apartment in Hoboken.  Yes, it might be appealing to live in the town Sinatra came from, or be somewhere near Buddy’s cake shop but I think I’ll keep looking.

 

An editorial of sorts

I always wanted to write an editorial.

A long time ago when I spent time at a newspaper, I wondered what it was like to get to write what essentially was an opinion piece.  Did it have to tow the newspaper owners’ point of view?

I was idealistic then.  I believed in freedom of the press, and that cornerstone of democracy, freedom of speech.

I did not realize then that freedom of speech also meant the freedom to spread ‘plausible’ lies, dressed up to be the truth, to achieve a particular result.  In just one instance, and editorial, and the editorial line of a newspaper had the opportunity to influence an election, favoring one party over another.

With age came wisdom?  Perhaps it was more cynicism because now I tend not to believe anything I read in the papers, when I deign to buy a paper which isn’t often, or read online, or listen to on the television or radio.

What happened to factual reporting?

What happened to opinion pieces being labeled as such so that we know that it is not a representative opinion, just the columnists?

What we all tend to forget is that everyone makes mistakes.  Whether they’re deliberate, or stupid, they happen, and they can cause a large number of casualties, or cost a lot of money.

What’s lost in all the screaming and yelling is the fact we should be looking for answers so that it doesn’t happen again, not blame every man and his dog, or those in opposition, for everything that is wrong in the world, and, quite likely, your own mistake.

What’s also lost is the truth.

In every ten tons of rubbish that are coming out of the media, so-called reported directly from the horse’s mouth, there are just a few grains of truth.  That’s what we should be listening to.

But, drowned out in all the lies, half-truths, and outrageous statements that on the surface doesn’t make any sense, we get to a point where we no longer know what the truth is.

Or do we?

We all have one thing in spades, common sense.

Unfortunately, we sometimes suspend it, because we all have our biases and idiosyncrasies, and beliefs and these can sometimes get it not the way.  Now is not the time to forget that common sense or the fact we should be using it to filter out what is not relevant and get to what is.

And what is relevant?

You.

You matter.

Your life matters.

The life of others, whether you like them or not, those lives also matter.

And when we all realize we are in this together, and then rise above the petty and stupid lies and fear-mongering that is being peddled, will the world, yes, the whole world, finally overcome the worst assault on it ever devised.

From typewriters to computers to distraction

I first started writing by longhand, still do, in fact, then graduated to my mother’s portable typewriter, right down to the sticking keys, then moved upwards into the electric world having a pair of IBM electric typewriters I bought form one of the places I worked as second-hand cast-offs.

Until that is, I could no longer buy ribbons for my IBM Selectric, so it had to go the way of the dinosaurs.

It was a good thing, then, that computers and word processing software started at about the same time.

So…

I didn’t get to sit down in front of the computer, well, to write that is.  I thought I would go searching for some inspiration.

Bad idea.

It’s just that in that short distance, from, say, the couch where you were reading the latest blog posts in the WordPress reader, and the writer’s chair, your preparation for writing ends up getting confused at some of the pro-Trump and anti-Trump bloggers because it’s hard to find anything relevant to the man and his politics.  This is even more prevalent in the midst of the COVIS 19 crisis (or, what crisis?)

People seem to be radically for or radically opposed and there’s no middle ground.

But, there you are, my attention has been distracted and unless I’m about to indulge in political satire, I’m off track, with an out of balance mindset, and therefore unable to write.

Perhaps I should not read blog posts, but the newspapers.

Or not, because they all have an editorial policy that leans either and one way or another, which means their views are not necessarily unbiased.

I was a journalist once and hated the idea of having to toe the editorial line.  Or as luck would have it, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.  It lends to the theory that you can never quite believe anything the media tells you, which is a very sorry place to be when there’s no external influence you can trust.

I’m coming around to thinking that it’s probably best left to the dark hours of the night when you would think all the distractions are behind you.  After all, isn’t that what daytime is for?

Except that’s when the ghosts come out to play.

I think.

Was that the lounge room door opening?

Is there anything else going on other than COVID 19?

It’s an impossible bot to find the lead running on any news medium being about COVID 19.

Certainly, there’s enough stuff out there, from the outrageously rediculous, to the downright horrifying.

There’s 5G causing coronavirus, though I’m not sure how.  There are the unorthodox cures like injecting disinfectant, and there are lies, like there’s a cure just around the corner, to solemn truths, the number of people dying from a head in the sand attitude in Brazil.

How can people who are elected on the basis that they are supposed to look after their people, make such horrifically wrong decisions?

But enough…

It’s time to look at what’s really going on, and what all this hoo-har about COVID is covering up.

Fortunately, the Washington Post thinks the same as I do.  Oops, that was on the 16th March, obviously, in Washington, nothing else has happened since then other than the coronavirus, which is actually quite sad.

But…

Megan Markle and Prince Harry are always in the news, and I didn’t have to look far to see what the latest is on them, and, sadly, it’s never good.  Oh, and it’s their second wedding anniversary, a surprise, to some, they lasted that long.

We got a recipe that Queen uses for her garden parties, so I don’t have to try and get to one now, I can just make the scones myself.

The sun, yes, that bright yellow thing in the sky that makes us hot or cold depending on the season, is in a lease active phase at the moment, and the last time it happened, we had an ice age.  It’s called a solar minimum.  The last time this happened was between 1650 and 1715, a little ice age.  Our current problems with climate change will prevent that from happening, so perhaps climate change is a force for good???

We’ve found footage from 1935 of the last known Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, which is now thought to be extinct.  Every now and there there’s an alleged sighting, but not none have been scientifically verified.

And, yes, one for the thriller writers, man killed by hitmen in mistaken identity shooting.

There’s a story, right there!