Archive for February, 2018
I miss this cat. His name was Sammy. He was the genesis for the story I wrote called It’s All About Happiness.
Here’s the cover of the book, if you click here you can get the whole short story as a file. I tried to figure out how to set a download up here on WordPress, but I can’t seem to get it right (keeps looping to nowhere). The link is to a mailing list I got it right on a while back, so by all means, sign up, grab the version of the story you’d like and then unsubscribe, or don’t. I don’t send much out yet anyhow, no production and product. I’ll cover that in a minute.
Now, back to topic, I miss Sammie. He was the first cat I actually liked, and while we’ve had cats since then, he was the last one I’d actually say I truly liked. Sammie had a ‘too bad, I’m a cat and this is my decision’ attitude. He knew how to get what he wanted to do done.
I can’t do that. I have five kids living at home, a beautiful and rather amazing wife (she doesn’t believe this when I tell her but she really is), and a full time career, not to mention the volunteer positions I try to do justice to, my life is best described as being nibbled to death by ducks. Thanks to the talented Sarah Hoyt for that imagery.
Anyhow, to consolidate the message because I’m rambling, I decided to become a writer, a real writer, and write books in addition to what I do for a day job.
This lead me to the blogs of Jeff Goins and so many others; titles like-
“Your first 1,000 subscribers”
“Grow your e-mail list by 10,000 in a year.”
“How to write a best seller in a month.”
– and so on ……..
This was the start, and I get sidetracked into spaces involving Gear Bubble, Convert Kit, and Wealthy Affiliate… all to make money online, move away from the J.O.B. and break free of the corporate grind.
I was chasing phantoms. Now, don’t get me wrong. People make money doing these things. But let me ask you a question first. How many hours are in a day?
Now, if you had five kids and a wife whom you just needed to spend time with, how many hours do you have left in a day? Ok, now subtract work and sleep time… Are you in the negative hours yet? I sure as hell would be. So how to spend time building and making for all these different sites when I can’t even finish what I need to do as a dad and husband?
I have in the last four days, unsubscribed from just about everything that looks ‘too good to be true’ and realized that a dream is a plan without actionable steps. Now, there are a great many things I learned over this time,
*nods to Shaunta Grimes, Jeff Goins, and so many others,
*tips hat in the diretion of Convert Kit, Mail Chimp, Upscribe and Medium
, but for all that, and the skills and knowing of things that can help, nothing was happening. To be a writer, one has to start by writing.
So time to build some steps.
I want to be a writer.
I want to tell my stories (I have sooo many). I want to self-publish them to the Net and maybe meatspace through on-demand services.
I want to get paid for my stories.
How to get there?
Umm.. Let’s come back to that. We’ll call it tomorrow’s post. I’ll try to write it up tonight.
Thanks for bearing with me and I’ll go figure out mailchimp and online repositories in a little while. I like Sarah’s webpresence, and I love the sleekness of Jason Cordova’s wordpress site, so there’s a pair of good starting points.
Cheers, and I guess I am still Jaded from a year wasted in getting nowhere while chasing the dream of success without a path.
Consolidating my goals into a single place, and exorcising all the phantoms that have sucked my life away for the last twelve months is important.
So. Up tomorrow or the next day at the latest, a series of steps to tackle the impossible before breakfast.
Remember, as long as you keep waking up Chaos is winning and Entropy hasn’t won yet.
Duke of Chaos.
I’m not going to repost this whole article, go read his. It’s very well written, or at least I think so.
See I’ve been having issues lately with how I feel about gun ownership.
On the one hand, I worked damned hard to get the PAL I carry, and I am considering getting the RPAL just because it’s a difference of $20 per year without any real downsides and it allows me the option of owning and practicing with some of the handguns and historical pieces I’ve thought fondly about over the years.
On the other hand, owning firearms on the whole, and specifically some of the more restricted options (ok, restricted in Canada) seems insane. I mean, what’s the point of having a gun that can carry 30 or 50 or 100 rounds in a magazine? And the AR-15 platform is just a glorified 22 cal system that is designed for only one thing, efficiently harming human beings. I get that people want their toys, and they don’t take well to limitations, but here in Canada we are severely limited already with what can be bought and by whom.
Guns exist, and as a tool for a specific objective they do fairly well. Do I feel the need to own more guns? Not really. I have a few my father left to me, and a couple more that I picked up from a cousin who’s PAL expired and he wasn’t in a place to renew it, (financially or family wise). Do I feel that my rights are being threatened by legislation to reasonably address gun control issues?
Here’s the kernel of the problem isn’t it. Let’s get real. I don’t live in the United States. I don’t want to. It’s scary down there. Here’s my two cents. I had to be 16 to even train and test to be qualified to drive a vehicle. 16 years old. Since I acquired my licensed privilege to drive they have made the qualification process even more stringent. I will neither support or object to such measures, that’s not the point of this. But my kids, when they take their qualifiers and eventually hopefully get their licenses to drive, I will know that they’ve been vetted and are not just piloting a 4000 pound projectile down the highway.
Alcohol, Prescription Medication, Narcotics (medical or otherwise), all are regulated to a greater or lesser degree in Canada, and it makes sense, much the way Anna details it all in her article (she’s referring to the US I would assume). In Canada we have a tiered system for gun ownership as well, which I am learning is absent in the USA.
To own a firearm here, you have to check a few boxes, the first is age. You have to be 18 to even start thinking of this. Before that you can test and be certified to borrow a firearm from a valid PAL holder for specific purposes. Even that doesn’t kick in until a person is 12, and presumably accompanied by a responsible PAL holder.
Second, as noted just now, you have to have qualified for and been issued a valid PAL, which is only good for 5 years (10 would be more useful and less onerous but it is what it is). At the end of 5 years, you need to reapply, at which time, if you’ve been good, and all the checks still clear your name (mental health, stable, etc, etc, no criminal issues arising), then you’ll be issued a permit for the next five years.
Third, did you catch the mentally stable psych check. You need at least three other (also stable and upstanding) people who are willing to vouch for you, as well as having no other issues on record with any of the agencies that would be involved ( Police, mental health agencies, watch lists of any type, etc.).
I gloss over this stuff and make it sound simple, but even for me, a CPA, married for over a decade, with five kids and a paid off home, it was a day or two’s work just to get the paperwork in order after passing all the mandatory training. I undertook this ordeal just so I could legally possess the firearms my father left me when he died, without that I’d be required to surrender them to the RCMP or sell them to a licensed PAL holder myself.
To go buy a new gun? A standard non-restricted hunting rifle, while expensive, is relatively simple if I have my PAL in good order. Guess, what, the guns you hear about on the news? The don’t fall into the category of non-restricted. There are two other classes of firearms in Canada, restricted and prohibited.
First, the prohibited, to simplify, you can’t buy Prohibited. Well, you probably can and I’m interested to see if it’s even possible, but I’d lay good money on the paperwork and red tape being insane.
Second, Restricted Firearms, or in other words, AR-15 style guns, shortened shotguns, and all types of handguns that don’t fall into the restricted category. You need an RPAL to get one of these types, and since I’m in the process of figuring out how to do that, I can’t really speak to it, but it’s possible, and I aim to figure out how, then I’ll come back and talk about it.
But to summarize, I started out conflicted with ownership of firearms, especially in the wake of the recent tragedies experienced by our neighbor in the south here. But having thought about it, there are checks and balances in place.
1- it’s moderately difficult to actually clear the bar to ownership of regular simple hunting firearms.
2- to own anything like a handgun or an ‘assault rifle’ style gun, you have to clear a harder set of qualifiers, and prove you have a membership at a range to be able to play with said shiny toy.
3- the licensed privilege, like a driver’s license, expires periodically and you need to be re-cleared to keep playing the game.
4- notwithstanding the regulations surrounding owing and acquiring firearms, there are additional storage based regulations that must be followed (trigger locks, removed bolts or actions, secure safes and cabinets, separate storage for ammunition, etc, etc.)
5- we have a reasonably capable police force (they’re spread a little thin around these parts but that’s a geography issue rather than anything else) and don’t need to have our firearms to hand at all times, we lock them away until we’re going to the range to practice or going hunting. Hell, most issues are solved by talking, even when the police are involved.
So, do I worry about gun violence? Not here at home.
Do I have issues owning a firearm or five? No, because I have them stored securely and I am the only one at any given point who has access to the keys to even get to the dang things.
Does our system need fixed? That’s a topic for another post.
But as it stands, our system is a dang sight better than that of our neighbor to the south. I believe that this is so because of the mentality that this is a privilege, and one that responsible adults can be trusted with, without prejudice. (key note there, healthy responsible adults that are to be trusted with the privilege, just like driving a car is a privilege).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I like to say I have to go clean my guns, but it’s late, and I need to get a couple hours sleep before my kids get up for school.