Friday, December 31, 2010

The Happy New Year Philosophy


Every now and then, I come across something really cool to share. It was attributed to Charles Schulz, but you know how these things are on the internet: chances are it didn't really come from him. So I'm calling it the Happy New Year Philosophy. Here it is:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In my Quest to Offend You


I can't very well let the year end without offending as many people as possible, so here you go: Merry Christmas!

Apparently it's offensive to wish someone the best. Silly me, I thought only people in southern California were allergic to well-wishing (unless they can make a buck off it), but it's beginning to look a lot like even Santa is going to get censored everywhere he goes. Why? We all know what Santa's two favorite words are, and one of them will soon be struck from our Newspeak lexicon.

Personally, I don't get why we're suddenly on this anti-Christian crusade. (Or is "jihad" the proper term here?) America is an inclusive place. We accept pretty much everybody here. Our Founding Fathers were largely Christian. Our government is built upon Christian values. Each of our states' Constitutions mentions God and thanks Him for existence. Why are so many people trying so hard to hide these facts?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everlasting Trains


It's now been 12 years since it was unleashed on the world, and it's still popular enough that there are still a handful of internet places you can go and get your computer-railroading urges satisfied. I'm talking about the best of the railroading games, Railroad Tycoon II.

Not only do I continue to make updates to my own strategy guide now and then, but there are others who keep the flame alive in their own special way.

You may not think 12 years is an especially long time, but computers age even more rapidly than dogs, and computer games age more rapidly still. In computer game years, Railroad Tycoon II is nearing 150 and still kicking, which is quite remarkable when you consider the incredibly high infant mortality rate; few computer games are on the shelves longer than two or three months, and even fewer survive their first calendar year, but Railroad Tycoon 2 is still selling just fine, despite being superceded at least twice. Off the top of my head, the only other game I can think of which has equivalent staying power is Diablo 2, which I'll talk about some other time.

Allow me to introduce you to some of the resources still at your disposal:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Writing Exercises


You guys know I'm part of a couple writer's groups, and one of the things such groups like to do is writing exercises. The one I go to at the Daytona Beach library has been doing one where they pick 10 words at random from the dictionary and you have 15 minutes to write a short story out of them. I posted my first such exercise nearly a year ago, and now I'm posting my last one because they've changed the rules.

The words given last month were these: flamboyant, acrid, morale, usher, stonewall, country, ale, discount, reservoir, bile. I'll post what I wrote in the comments section as I did last time.

The exercise we did today was to write a sympathetic character. Writing characters is something everyone tells me I'm good at, and is one of the few compliments I receive which I have no difficulty believing I deserve. Creating believable characters is something I strive for. I know a lot more about the Human condition than most people do and enjoy making my characters real.

This one came to me slowly but surely. Here's what I wrote (keep in mind I didn't get to do any editing):

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Problem of Emotional Investment


Have you ever loved something so much, you couldn't let it go? Perhaps a favorite toy, or a favorite scarf, or even a car. Whatever it was, you held onto it a lot longer than most of your other stuff. Perhaps it's old and needs to be thrown out. Perhaps it doesn't do anything for you any more. Perhaps your significant other wants desperately for you to give it away. You know you should get rid of it, but you can't bring yourself to do it.

Why should we have this problem? Why do we hold on to junk we don't need?

It's called emotional investment, and it affects a lot more than our closet space.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Expose Yourself #3 - Evil Can't Hide from Jim


In this series of articles, I talk to people who have been successful at taking control of their lives, making a name for themselves, and helping others to do the same. I’m very fortunate to have met them, and very thankful they have agreed to spend a few minutes talking with me to share part of their stories. We’re going to delve into what it took to propel these people from ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. We’ll find out where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going as each guest is asked to “Expose Yourself”.

You may recall that I was stationed aboard the USS Bataan, affectionately known as a Gator Freighter because we hauled Marines and their gear around the globe. Today’s guest was never one of the guys who crowded me out of the chow line, but he probably did it to someone else a few years back when he was a Marine.

Nowadays, though, he writes books. He’s already written two: Hidden Evil and Mysterious Lady, and is finishing up the 2009 RPLA award winning Rusty Steele, and he spends his time helping other writers perfect their craft as he heads the Port Orange Scribes. As if that wasn’t keeping him busy enough, he’s also webmaster for two chapters of the FWA, regularly volunteers for Hospice in Daytona Beach, is president and CEO of JollyOne Enterprises, and still finds time to be an avid scuba diver. Let’s give a great big OORAH to J. W. Thompson!

JC: Hey Jim, thanks for stopping by. Glad you’re not wearing your tree disguise; it would’ve brought back too many bad memories of walking through the forest on the ship.*

Genre Sales Trends


Starting last Tuesday (Nov 30) and running through to (probably) this Friday, Eric over at Pimp My Novel has tallied a list of eight different genres and how their sales numbers are doing. If you're writing a book, you might want to take a quick peek at his series of articles. This is his first one. As some of you know, Eric is in the sales department of a major publishing house, so he's got a finger on the pulse of publishing that few of the agent blogs I follow have.

Good luck on your book, and stay tuned, I've got something else to say today too!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Watch your Words

In my writer's meeting yesterday, one of my friends asked me, "How many different meanings can you ascribe to the phrase, 'He eats shoots and leaves'?"

I wondered for a moment where he was going with this, and then he continued, "You could say, 'The hunter eats, shoots, and leaves,' to say that he ate something, shot something, and left. Or you could say, 'The panda eats shoots and leaves,' which describes the panda's diet of shoots and leaves. It all depends on where you put the commas."

At which point, I said, "How about, 'He eats shoots, and leaves,' to say that he ate some shoots, and then departed?"

"Ah, but are we talking about the hunter or the panda?"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Loud TV commercials to be CALMed


Fresh from the excitement of having reached 100 articles, I discovered that Congress has finally decided to give us Americans something we've been asking for for decades: normal volume commercials!

Dubbed the CALM Act, for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, it finally answers about 60 years of complaints to the FCC about commercials blaring into the silence of a regular TV program. And who says government doesn't work?

Of course, in the year in which the advertisers finally have to get their act together, I can't help wondering: is it even relavant?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Centennial Celebration


This here post is my 100th since moving the site to, barely 14 months ago, and we've come a long way, baby! A lot has changed, in front of the scenes and behind them. To celebrate this, and our next 100, and because I've gotten several questions about this lately, I'm going to tell you a little about the story behind the story.

In 1995, I joined the Navy. It was great for a while, but things slowly got out of hand, and it was starting to get hard to maintain a sense of humor about everything. Finally in 2000, the powers that be finally had enough sense to put me in the computer repair department, which was where I was supposed to have been put in the first place. By then, though, I was pretty sick of everything - I wasn't nearly the positive person back then as I am now and didn't fully appreciate all the good stuff I had going for me - and needed to blow off a little steam. What better idea than to register a really cool domain name?

So I cranked up the internet, which was still pretty new back then, and found There was only one name I wanted to register. It was a name that was cool, that I'd been using for some time on the internet elsewhere. So I tried to register

Unfortunately, it was already taken.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You are What you Consume


Over on Arstechica, where I used to hang out quite a bit, they have an article about how the California Supreme Court was hearing  Oral arguments in violent game case focus on nature of violence. (Okay, yucky English skills; I blame them for making the headline so poorly.) The thing is, states keep trying to single out video games as the root of all evil and that they must be legislated against. This is California's laughable attempt. Why laughable?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 'Israelification' of airports: High security, little bother


I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of all the crap involved in flying somewhere, and I don't even fly! The long waits, the unnecessarily invasive body searches and scans (which are getting leaked), the reliance on shaky technologies and people who don't follow procedures... it's enough to keep my feet on the ground.

Enter Israel.

Israel is a tiny country that you'd think would take about 5 minutes to drive through, much less invade. Surrounded by enemies who cravenly and hypocritically send their followers to suicide, you'd think it would be impossible for Israel's airports to do business at all. And yet, they're the very model of efficiency, with an extremely effective, non-invasive security.

Read this to find out why. Then push your lame-ass Congresscritter to put aside his bribes from the people who are co-opting him or her into ruining this country and SERVE his constituents for a few minutes. Saving the airline industry by using common sense security procedures is a much more effective and much cheaper way to create new jobs.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can't Hardly Stop


Man, I've just been so freakin' busy lately! I'm now in about 15 different groups on a regular basis (at least once a month), ranging from being a better writer to starting up your own business to improving your love life to regular exercise and healthiness to social outing groups. I spend a lot of time studying up on these topics, and I've been working on a book or two about them, plus writing out instructionals to help others pursuing these areas, and I've started a new public speaking career, with several events under my belt already and several more on the way.

And I update this site once in a while with interesting stories, particularly the Expose Yourself series. And I spend a lot of time thinking up new ideas to promote the site and myself and the people I want to see succeed. And I visit other websites to leave links back to me. It's all a full-time job now, and the pay is pretty lousy, but in time it will get better. Meanwhile, it's a lot of fun!

Thanks for your support! Without you guys out there checking me out and telling your friends about me, it wouldn't be nearly so rewarding. Please, keep spreading the word, and I'll keep being so gosh-darn helpful and entertaining!

Now I'm off to do my semi-daily five mile walk.


Other articles you'll find interesting or helpful:


Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Make More Money


Yesterday evening I spoke to the Port Orange Scribes about self-promotion and blogging. I've also got other speaking engagements and training sessions lined up with groups that aren't writers, and last Sunday I led a discussion for a group I started about modern relationships. It was pretty exciting to do!

Though my speech last night dealt mostly with how to get your writing career jumpstarted through blogging, the precepts apply to any creative endeavor, be it singing, acting, painting, interpretive dancing, and so on. In fact, many of the precepts translate well into ANY kind of business.

As an interesting aside, I made the news! Here is a link to a bunch of Port Orange news stories, and they've got one about me! (It will probably only be there for another few days, so look quick!) When I found it this morning, it was most of the way down the page. Just search for my name and you'll see it (if it's still there.)

This is what I said to the Scribes:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Breaking personal records is fun!


It's fun to break personal records. It's downright awesome to SHATTER them!

Last week, when the temperatures came tumbling down, I took a run around the block in the evening. A few months ago, I was able to run about 3/4 of a mile. Then last month, I made it to a mile and a quarter, which was a pretty darn impressive improvement. But last week, I shattered my record again and made it to 2.1 miles!

Upon reflection, I recall that this isn't actually the best I've EVER done, if you don't count that one time about 12 years ago at Keebler Elf Force Base (aka, Keesler Air Force Base) when I was just "in the zone" and I did about 2.5 miles. (And no one believed it, since my previous best wasn't even a mile.) So if I get to three miles, I'd definitely beat it. Which I will, possibly by the end of the year at the rate I'm going.

Then today, I got to the gym again. I've been slacking on that score because I've been so busy, but today I went and made some serious gains from the last time I went, which was two months ago. I didn't break my personal lifting records today, but I did a lot better than last time, which had a delay of about three months since the last time I went.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Speak, Jaycee, speak!


Jim Thompson, leader of the Port Orange Scribes writer's group, has asked your favorite Jaycee Adams (as opposed to all the others out there using my name) to speak to his group about something I've been learning a lot about lately: blogging and self-promotion.

No matter what kind of artistic business you're engaging in - writing, singing, acting, painting, TV or movie making, miming - you need to get the attention of LOTS of people if you plan to live off it. There are lots of ways of doing this: blogging, social networking sites, getting into the news (paper, TV, radio, internet, telepathy), and being interviewed through the various media, to name just a few, and the more you use, the more people you reach, which means the more chance you have to make it big. I'll be going over these briefly, and then focus on blogging for three simple reasons: writers write, blogging is good writing practice, and you get to say anything you want to.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Mel Gibson


Dear Mel Gibson,

I know recently you've had some troubles, and people like Jay Leno making fun of you just makes it worse, but I'm here to tell you that it's not as bad as it seems.

Yesterday I saw something that, if true, looks like you were having a nervous breakdown, caused by something that none of us would ever have thought someone like you could suffer from. We here in the real world see people like you having a bad day and some of us think you deserve it, while others can't comprehend the pressures you're under, and still others wonder what could possibly be so bad that you'd feel unable to face another day.

I am not (yet) a household name like you are, so I won't claim I know exactly what you're gong through, but I am here to tell you that, if I'm right, you have a very common affliction, and it is curable. It's very easy to cure, in fact.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Profiling: Is It Good or Bad?


For some people, "profiling" is a dirty word. For others, it seems like the solution to all our problems. Which is it?

On the one hand, there's well over a billion people half way around the world who have declared, not just war on us, but HOLY war on us. It seems perfectly sensible to distrust anyone who professes to believe in a deity who supposedly wants us dead, especially when nearly all of them propounding this war are of the same race and are happy to die for their belief. (Why an all-powerful being can't take care of that himself is never satisfactorily explained.)

On the other hand, there are plenty of insane people who aren't Arabic, and choosing to distrust ONLY Arabic people seems a wee bit on the short-sighted side of things. The Oklahoma City bombing, the Waco siege, pretty much anything to do with the KKK... these are all terrorist actions that weren't hatched by Arabs or Muslims either one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nicholas Marks - 2010


Back in 1999, while I was in the Navy, my boat, the Bataan, was doing its Med Cruise and one of the places we pulled in to was Tarragona, Spain. While there, a couple busloads of us had the chance to ride up to Madrid to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.(Apparently it's closed, because I can't find a link to it.)

It was a great experience, much better than the one that's here in Orlando (which itself is pretty good), not just because of the cosmopolitan audience which came from all over Europe, but because after the main show, we were then moved to a ball room where we were treated to an outstanding display of Spanish culture, including music and Flamenco dancing. I really liked the music then, but I never really thought about it that much until 11 years later. This past Saturday, while at the Downtown Disney Halloween party, my friend and I came across a guy who really made his guitar sing and dance.

Did you vote?


Because, you know, it's that day. If you haven't cast a vote, you've voted for the winner, whoever it is. Way to go.

I probably should've started my political campaign sooner than right now, but it only occurred to me that if you don't like your candidates, you could use me as a write-in vote. I'm pretty sure I can't be accidentally elected since I haven't registered to run for any office, but I do make for a good protest vote, and if I did get elected, I bet I could do a better job than most people we've got in office. I'm certainly qualified to be President, or at least I am since the last election.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Expose Yourself #2 - Straight to the T.O.P.


In this series of articles, I talk to people who have been successful at taking control of their lives, making a name for themselves, and helping others to do the same. I’m very fortunate to have met them, and very thankful they have agreed to spend a few minutes talking with me to share part of their stories. We’re going to delve into what it took to propel these people from ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. We’ll find out where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going as each guest is asked to “Expose Yourself”.

My guest today was rather unexpected, but I knew when I saw her that I had to talk to her. Hailing from Portugal, she spent many years of her life building businesses to the break-even point and then selling them off for a profit, so she knows what it takes to build one. She's been to several countries throughout Europe in this pursuit, and even came across the pond several times a year for vacation, until she met a restaurateur in need of her specialized talents, and found in him something missing in her own life. The two married and she took over his restaurant and turned it into something special. For the last six years, she's been in Palm Coast, doing what she does best: making her customers glad they came to her.

Currently she's running the Taste of Portugal restaurant in Palm Coast, Florida, which has great food and a relaxed environment; allow me to introduce Maria Diamanfino!

MD: Hello, everyone!

JC: Thanks for talking with me, Maria! Wow, are all Portuguese women as pretty as you are?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chumming the Waters


Yesterday, I took my first deep sea fishing trip in about 25 years. My dad fondly remembers he and his dad going out on the ocean to fish, and I recall going out there one year with them and being somewhat bored. I've never been that interested in fishing, but it's good time to spend with my dad, so I was happy to do it.

The ride out there took the better part of two hours, and I ALMOST made it before I had to chum the waters.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10-4 Good Buddy!


It's that time of year again: National Talk like a Trucker Day!! Ahoy there mateys! Er, I mean, hit that hammer lane and watch out for the four-wheelers, you got bears in the air, gators on the zipper, and the chicken coop is open, so watch your back door for diesel weasels and stay out of the pickle park.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Civilization 5 Got Blasted


Over on CivFanatics, they linked up a review of Civ 5 done by a guy named Sulla, who is known for his unbiased reporting and for giving very good walk-throughs for the Civilization series. Unlike the big-name magazines and websites, Sulla doesn't have a personal stake in deceiving anyone to buy a bug-ridden, poorly made game, so he doesn't have an obligation to hand out high ratings. He doesn't get insider information or kickbacks, which means he doesn't have previews and giveaways and such, but then if you guys had an iota of patience and waited for the honest reviewers to have their say, you wouldn't be pre-ordering a game and then feeling ripped off by it.

Things aren't always what they appear, you know. Just because a bunch of people tell you something is good, that doesn't mean it's actually good. If you stop and consider that all these sources of information have a vested interest in lying to you to get you to spend money, you'd realize you're being played for a fool. Kind of like how a friend got played when a girl he met once had been preceded with raving compliments, but when he met her, he found out she was just a phony. It works the other way, too; a guy I know was constantly being bad-mouthed something horrible, and then when I met him, I found out he was actually quite a decent fellow. When someone sees themselves as your master, they lie to you to get you to do something you otherwise wouldn't.

You know what I think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Attack of the 10's!!


OMG! We're being attacked by 10's! And I don't just mean hot girls, either!

It's 10/10/10!

Worse, it's also 10:10:10! Fear! Panic! End of the world!

Forget 2012, the zombie apocalypse starts NOW!!!


Friday, October 8, 2010

What makes for good TV?


Everyone who knows me is aware that I watch very little television anymore. I was born in front of the TV just in time for Primetime and I didn't move until I was 23, when I joined the Navy. (A tough time to do it, too, because Babylon 5 was in the middle of its run! I missed a lot of critical episodes.) Since being in the Navy, I found I didn't need TV at all. When my dad came to visit me, he had to buy a TV for me because I didn't have one. Lately, I've started watching it a little, mostly educational stuff like Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, and some History Channel and Science Channel stuff.

My roomy watches a lot of TV, and sometimes I sit in the living room with my computer so I can write stories and such, and he's watching almost everything they put on cable now, so I get to see a lot of shows in a bystander sort of way.

One show he introduced me to was Burn Notice. OMFG, that's the best show I've seen in a long time!

OTOH, you'd think something like Ghost Whisperer would be good TV, what with Jennifer Love Hewitt showing off her cleavage all the time. She's talented, the others on the show are talented, and it's got a topic I find a little interesting. But I don't watch it, and the roomy doesn't watch it anymore either. Why?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shh-it's a Secret!


Thanks to Jay Leno for that headline...

I just wanted everyone to know that THIS GIRL LOVES ME!! (So nya!)

You may be seeing a lot more of her around here later, so start liking her, or I'll write you out of my will. (You guys ARE aware you can click on the pics for a closeup, right?)

Shortly after this picture was taken, the tree fell into the water. She started flailing and screaming about how she was drowning, and wanted me to jump in and save her. I rolled my eyes. I wasn't going in there after her, there could be gators in that water! Besides, climbing on the tree was HER idea.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Writing is Easy


They say everyone has a story in them, but not everyone knows how to tell it, and not everyone knows how to sell it. Wouldn't it be nice if you could tell your story in a way that others found interesting, entertaining, even gripping? And heck, why not make some money at it?

Today, after attending a great book-debut party put on by a local publisher, I had the pleasure of reading through a very interesting new book, written by four fun people, about how to write.

Why am I, master writer that I obviously am, reading a book on how to write?

Because it's not one of those typical books on how to write. It's better than that, and this is why:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winning the Aussie Way and the Scottish Way


YouTube - Winning the Aussie Way

Ya gotta love it!

Also, I just noticed Susan Boyle now has a CD out! I'm totally in love with the way she beat the crap out of Simon Cowell... metaphorically speaking, of course. Looking her up for the above links, I see she's got TWO CD's out, plus a couple DVDs and a book, and I'm proud to link them up for you. Congratulations to you, Susan, for making it so big, and especially for wiping that smug scowl off Simon's face!

Lastly, let me throw out some birthday greetings to a couple of my friends. One turned 16 yesterday and another turns 28 today.

Other articles you'll find interesting or helpful:
"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI
You know you feel good when...
Hey baby, what's your sign? (Updated!)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Site Metrics Unveiled


Hey, everyone! I thought I'd clue you in on what's been going on around here, because it's pretty fantastic!

The other day, I discovered that Google now includes a modest suite of site-metrics for websites! Outstanding! I've been reviewing them, and you'd be shocked and amazed at what I've found.

For one, I get visitors from all over the world. The bulk are from the USA, of course, but a suprising number come from elsewhere. Canada, The United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Romania, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia, Chile, Ghana, and New Zealand all generate a surprising amount of traffic.

Another surprise was that 50% of my visitors use IE, 28% use Firefox, and the remainder are made up of the usual suspects (Safari, Chrome, and Opera), but with a couple surprises, such as Java and Netscape. The real shock, though, was the operating systems and the way the numbers have changed over the past few months.

87% of visitors use Windows, and 6% use Mac. What about the other 7%? I was SHOCKED. SHOCKED, I tell you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nelson Mandela isn't THAT good


You've heard of Nelson Mandela, the black African from South Africa who was a political prisoner stuck in some hole for 27 years. He used the time to read and learn about human nature and managed to figure out how to heal his country, so that when he was finally liberated, he soon after became President of the very country which had taken away so much of his freedom.

Most of us would probably be very angry about such a circumstance happening to us. Most of us would probably look for retribution. Most of us would retaliate. But Nelson Mandela built his presidency and his country on forgiveness and enlightenment. He understood that the past need not impact the future, that people can put aside their differences and focus on something much more important.

There are two ways in this world to get ahead, and I'll tell you what they are:

Monday, September 13, 2010

"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI


"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI

This is a short video presentation. It's pretty funny, but technically I wouldn't term it as safe for work.

Reminds me of a couple years ago, back when I frequented forums a lot more than I do now, when I got tired of all the horribly misspelled posts I had to read to get to an idea. I finally created a short saying that summed up my feelings pretty well. Then some over-sensative idjit said I was being "offensive". Here's the full text of what I was trying to say:

"If reeding you're techs tis all-most tore-chore fore pea-pull, pleas bee shore two ewes thee rye-towards too right hear inn thee four-umms; its aweigh too lettuce no ewer knot uh more-ron. It snot sew vary harred two due atoll. Thang-queue."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Up to 5.5 Miles, and a Computer Store in a Hairdresser


We've been walking a lot more. Last week, my buddy and I walked what I thought was 5 miles over the course of 100 minutes - that's a good walking speed of 3 miles per hour. I finally got around to measuring it on my map and discovered we'd actually walked half a mile farther! That's an even brisker 3.3 miles per hour.

I walked on the treadmill the other day and found out I burn 330 calories per hour when walking at 3 miles per hour, so for that walk I burned about 600 calories.

That's about one bowl of cereal with almond milk, which is what I have for breakfast. Free breakfast! Calorie-wise, anyway.

An hour of walking is good for your circulation and helpful for your heart and lungs, but if all it negates is a bowl of cereal, it's not a fat-burning tool. By that I mean you can't go eating tons of cookies and crap and think you're going to burn them off with an easy hour or two of walking.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010




I'll bet you're wondering why I'd link up something called "Captian Bootsie Bear". Read the article. It's worded for kids, but if the discoverer is correct, this archaeological find upsets almost everything we know about human history. What does it take to create a civilization? Agriculture? Writing? The wheel?

When you consider that the Sphinx may be a lot older than originally thought (if the geological evidence is to be believed), it makes you wonder what other fantastic discoveries are waiting to be made about our pre-history!

Civilization is generally accepted to be about 6000 years old. There are about a dozen games which will corroborate this. This Turkish discovery and the debate over the age of the Sphinx indicate there may have been civilization a lot longer than we thought, as much as 10,000 years ago according to a TV program about the Sphinx I saw a few years ago.

Tour around the site a little, too. The owner tells me she gets half a million visitors a month. I'd bet they're not all kids, either.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Expose Yourself #1 – Smilin’ Bill


About a year ago, when I moved my site to, I promised I’d bring to your attention some of the interesting people I know or have met. It took a little while to make this one happen, but I keep my promises.

In this series of articles, I’ll talk to people who have been successful at taking control of their lives, making a name for themselves, and helping others to do the same. I’m very fortunate to have met them, and very thankful they have agreed to spend a few minutes talking with me to share part of their stories. We’re going to delve into what it took to propel these people from ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. We’ll find out where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going as each guest is asked to “Expose Yourself”.

Today I’m talking to a real, living legend. Inspired by the likes of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tom Mix, he became a cowboy musician and horseman who performed across the Midwest, all before he turned 18. At 21, God came into his life and set him on a new path. Starting at age 29, he began a career as a highly successful environmental engineer, designing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of public works projects. During the next 33 years he married, started a family, and became a church leader.

He recently began to write and is now a highly acclaimed author with an award-winning book, creating his own publishing company in the process. Today, you might mistake this pillar of the community for a spry 60 year old because he’s so active in his community, but what got my attention was his super-positive attitude, an encouraging word for everyone, and a laugh that comes easily.

In the 1940’s, you knew him on stage as, “Smilin’ Bill and his Wonder Horse King.” Please welcome William Cummins!

WC: Hello everyone! Please call me Bill.

JC: Howdy, Bill, thanks for coming; I’m totally psyched! This is almost like getting Marilyn Monroe in the inaugural issue of Playboy, except you get to keep your clothes on.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ron Riekki - 2010


That's right! I met Ron Riekki! Don't you wish you had?

I started off my weekend a little early, on Thursday, when I attended my usual Thursday night positivity group. Lately we've been spending a lot of time on entrepreneurship and things like the Four Hour Work Week, and along that vein, one of the guys gave a presentation on how to get your book published and sold. There are so many options nowadays that anyone who wants to get published can be, and I don't even mean the pay-to-publish places (many of which are scams).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

You know you feel good when...


...when you walk 4.5 miles first thing in the morning and it INVIGORATES you!!!

All this week I've been reveling in how blessed I am, and today, one of my new friends came over and we walked 4.5 miles together! She left and I jumped in the pool for a while, and I feel so great, I wanna go out and do everything I've been putting off for lack of time! I've just got to get out and burn off all this excitement, put it to use, pump someone up!

For those of you into adventure hiking, and you're interested in knowing what the tracks are that you sometimes come across, I came across this handy little guide that may help you out. I'm amazed at how many NINJAS there are around here!

Get out and do something today! Maybe you'll see me out there! I need to borrow some exclamation points, anyone got some?!


More articles which may interest or help you:
To Your Health - Part 2
Space Links
Arizona You Evil State You


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Great Organic Myths


The great organic myths: Why organic foods are an indulgence the world can't afford

I wasn't especially convinced of the value of "organic" foods to begin with, but I was trying some out to see if they made me feel any different. Nonetheless, I'm a little unhappy about this article.

What's next? Will they declare that chocolate isn't good for you any more too? Is there anything left to enjoy eating?


Saturday, August 14, 2010

F-35B - Taking STOVL to a New Level


F-35B - Taking STOVL to a New Level

A friend sent me this. I haven't paid a lot of attention to these guys in a while, so it's nice to see some progress has been made. In 2000 or 2001 they visited my ship, the Bataan, to check out its suitability as a platform for the aircraft and to conduct some tests. I don't know if they brought a test aircraft or not, as us regular people weren't privy to such information, but I remember it because I managed to get a lapel pin shaped like one of thse aircraft. Recently, I lost track of it, but I'm pretty sure I've still got it somewhere. It was quite neat to look at.

Bataan currently carries a handful of Harrier II aircraft, which are flown by Marine aviators. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch one of them land from the air operations center once, and it was quite a show. I won't describe it here because I can't do it justice with just text, so you'll have to hook up with me at some event I attend and ask me about it then. If you're lucky, I'll've found my JSF pin by then too!

Here's a couple links to get some F-35 information and stuff, and one about the Bataan Death March, which my ship is named for. I couldn't find a model of the ship to link up for you. IIRC there's an F-35 Lightning flight simulator out there for the computer, but apparantly Amazon doesn't have any for sale right now. Anything you buy through these links helps keep this site running, even if it's not what I linked. Thank you for your support!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Imagining the Tenth Dimension


Imagining the Tenth Dimension - A Book by Rob Bryanton:

Ever wondered what the world REALLY looks like? What all this talk of multiple dimensions could mean? As long as you're not stuck believing the '50's way of thinking that an "alternate dimension" is a synonym for an "alternate world", you may find this very interesting. I found this a few years back, and I still watch it from time to time.

Those of you writing about sideways time-travel, this should provide some realistic technobabble for you.

Here's a link to get your own copy of their book, or a few alternate history books that looked interesting. Anything you buy through these links helps keep this site running. Thank you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

This Saturday Daytona Beach EXPLODES in BBQ sauce!!


Ya gotta love it when you've got a lot of good stuff on your plate!

View Larger Map

Anyone within driving distance of Daytona Beach, there's a festival going on tomorrow at 6:00. They're closing off Beach Street for the Beach Street BBQ Festival. Several of my friends have already said they'll make it, and since it's right after my FWA Writer's group meeting at the City Island Library and our after-party at Stavro's (on Beach street, walking distance from the library), I figure it's a great time and place to meet a bunch of new friends and enjoy the company of current ones.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Maps are freakin' awesome


Right here is your handy dandy list of places I've been. Call it an improvement over this map, plus I can update it fairly easily. Hopefully you can all see it without difficulty, and the link works the way it's supposed to. Let me know if you can't.

It's hardly all inclusive. Really what I should do is create a map showing the interstates and major highways I've been on, since I only drove through most of these places.

45 states, 11 countries, 3.5 continents. And probably 90% of the US interstate system. The only part of Mexico I've been in is Tijuana, but I've been within a stone's throw of many miles of the US-Mexico border. Not so with Canada - I've only been to Niagara Falls, didn't really go exploring, and other than that and when I was in Vermont earlier this year, I haven't been within miles of the border.


Further information you may find interesting or helpful:
Maps Maps Everywhere!!
Free Wifi Hotspots Accessible to Truckers
Solar System - Sun


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arizona you evil state you


I got something in email a little bit ago, and I thought I'd share it with you, and then my redneck stance on the whole thing.

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, Robert Sarver, opposes AZ's new immigration laws. Arizona's Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver's criticism of the new law:

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected. Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?" -Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Polycast 100 was quite awesome


I thought it was going to be run a little differently, including the introduction I got. I was a "mystery guest", and I thought everyone would be trying to guess who I was, so I had a few lines ready to go. But, most likely thanks to technical difficulties in getting connected to the call, Dan gave away who I was before I could get on, so I tossed out the silly voice and impersonations and just did a few gags I'd prepared in advance, riffing on Phil (The MEAT in Team) and Maki, our Nikki Reed impersonator. (This one, not that one.) Or would that be impersonatrix? I don't know that works. And I got one on KMad. I just thought of another one, but it's too late now. Maybe if we're ever on a show together I'll remember it and hit her with it.

It was a lot of fun, and when he releases the final version, I hope he keeps most of it in. Once again, I want to applaud Dan for his technical achievements, and this time I also want to applaud his assistant, MLS (sorry, I'm terrible with names) for keeping the show going so smoothly.

When it comes out, I'll be sure to let you guys know.

Today is Polycast Day


Greetings, y'all! And welcome all you dang foreigners from other countries. Dear Lord, be with our guests and prepare them for the butt-whoopin' they are about to receive! - Jeff Foxworthy, Intro to the Redneck Games.

I'm so excited! Today is Polycast Day, and I'll tell you more about it in a minute.

I should be congratulated because I'm finally caught up on the ebay shipping debacle! Last weekend I sent three boxes of goodies to paying customers, and somehow the post office managed to undercharge me, so instead of just sending the boxes on, they spent more than the difference to send them back, which, of course, cuts into MY costs and credibility too. And since I was out all weekend, I didn't have any way to take care of it until Wednesday. But I did manage to get them in the post, with the proper postage this time, and thsoe of you who bought box-games from me will be getting them soon. (They have NOT come back here, so they must be getting shipped.)

Also, I may have found a replacement to get the rest of my stuff listed. I was hoping she'd be coming over this morning, but I haven't heard back from her yet. She came over yesterday to check out the size of the job, then provided a BRILLIANT solution to the problem.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Damien Walters... DAY-AMN!!!


This guy is freakin' amazing! And whoever put together this video of his talents did an outstanding job as well. I totally love the music, though not all of you will. If you thought Parkour was cool in that James Bond movie, Casino Royale, you're gonna be flabbergasted by this guy. Check this video out:

YouTube - Damien Walters Showreel 2009

I found this out because I finally broke down and got on Facebook (here's me), and one of my friends from the Navy, that Guy guy, had this linked up on his page.

I've been hunting around looking for other old buddies, and managed to find a few. But after the initial burst of activity, what would be the point in continuing to play with it? So few people do, and this site here has plenty for me to keep busy with. But I might just try friending Damien, maybe offering him a job.

Today, I've been busy writing an outline for a movie script. Based on something I wrote several years ago, it's actually a complete story that got wrapped up in another, larger story. It's just about the right size that it could be made into a decent action/thriller movie, and Damien looks very much like the kind of guy I envisioned for the role all those years ago. I just hope he can act! (And if not, I hope he knows someone as good as he is who can!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

More RPG books went up


Here's the list of items available.

A lot more will be going up. I'm working hard to find someone to get this taken care of in the way I expected it to be taken care of in the first place.

With the way I just slammed Asus, I wouldn't be surprised if they declare war on me and start slamming me back, so to head off any of that, you can check my feedback, ask any of my customers or regular readers anything you want about me, and of course google for me and find out what kind of person I really am. (Hint: I used Sidewiki on their site after posting the flame directly below this post.)

I don't usually take stands like that, or even flame others, but really, charging my shop guy for something that's still in warranty, and not even sending me the computer I asked for, is pretty freakin' low, even for a faceless corporation. After all the garbage I've dealt with from them for the past 4+ years, I doubt I'll ever buy another Asus product again.
But anyway, there's a lot more that's going to go up in the coming days, both here and in my list of auctions, so keep an eye out. I've got a guest writer promising to start posting, among other things.


It's Official: Asus doesn't Honor its Agreements


You've probably heard of Asus before, right? They make some really neat stuff. Motherboards and laptops and Eee machines, oh my! In many ways, they seem to lead the pack in providing the newest features, and seem to be designed a little smarter than most. But unfortunately, there are several areas where they have a serious lacking: Customer Support and Quality Control being chief among them.

If you have a problem with one of your Asus products, which you will, don't count on getting it taken care of in a timely manner, and in some cases, not at all! Let me review a little history and I'll show you why I'm sick and tired of that company's poor excuse for customer service.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's not over yet


The fire sale on my gaming collection is still going. We've gotten about 1/3 of all the books put on Ebay over the past couple weeks. Some sweet stuff went for some really low prices, and the rest of it is lined up to go. I'm heart-broken that no one wanted a Star Wars movie poster puzzle, but eventually I'll relist it and be sure it's got a picture with it. My helper has promised to put more items up tonight and tomorrow while I'm at my business meeting, so we'll see if she really does.

I just sent off several packages to the winners from last week. Sorry it took a little longer to get them sent than I thought they would, but they're in the mail as of a few hours ago. Then I had to go and mark all those items as shipped, leave feedback, and of course, thank each person for their help in getting my teetering bookshelves cleared. One day soon, it may be possible to dust!

All the boxed games I intend to sell are gone. I'm holding on to Munchkin 1-5 sets and my recent-edition Axis and Allies game for now. I have dreams of playing it! We play Munchkin now and then. But I've still got a ton of Traveller stuff, GURPS stuff, some Challenge magazines, and a few Battletech items. And after that, I've got a few other treats in store for you, so keep on checking out my list of stuff, right here!


I'll be posting some other stuff soon too; I'm way overdue for something not related to getting rid of my gaming stuff. Frex, I redid the TrueFacts because apparently WYSIWYG doesn't strictly apply to internet applications. When I added a few new truths, I also needed to add another picture to balance them out. Somehow, it broke the page! Shame on you, Lacey! The only way to fix what broke was to change the way it looks, but at least now I won't have that problem again, AND different screen resolutions no longer see something totally different.

I also created a whole page for my Civilization 4 contributions, now that Blogger supports that. Check it out! There's a list of pages toward the upper-left corner. Right now there's only the two: my Civ contributions and the main site.

Be your best!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Beat Goes On


And so does the fire sale!

I hired on someone to help me list my items while Ebay was having their free-listing sale. I was expecting to get everything listed over the course of last week, but apparently she's not swimming in as much free time as I was lead to believe, so things are taking longer than I thought they would.

Rest assured, the items that were listed are only a fraction of all that's going to be available once it's all listed.

Here's the list of items still available.

A lot of good stuff has gone for cheap already, and more is to come.

We're combining shipping however you'd like and shipping via USPS. If you want it different, just say so.

Thank you all for your effort, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Putting my gaming stuff up for auction on E-bay


Hey everyone! A few days ago, I decided it was time to cut the cord. Over the past 15 years or so, I've been collecting all kinds of cool gaming goodness and books and other stuff. When I moved down here to Florida almost six years ago, I had to part with a lot of my stuff, primarily my Amiga and Commodore stuff, plus my model railroading stuff. We had a big house auction, at which I got rid of some of that stuff, including a TON of very valuable computer magazines and software, not to mention the computers themselves.

I took it like a man, but man did I hate to throw that stuff out. At the time, I didn't have the resources to find good homes for it all.

This time, things are different. This time, I've got the power of the internet behind me, plus a friend is helping me out. This time, my pride and joy will go to good homes like yours.

Up for sale we have things like:

Megatraveller - nearly complete collection from GDW
Traveller The New Era - damn-near complete collection, I think maybe it IS complete
Marc Miller's Traveller (T4) - most of the books
GURPS Traveller 3e - so very close to complete it's not even funny, some of them quite rare
GURPS 3e - assorted books, I don't even remember which ones, but lots of them
Traveller Novels - I think I have all 3 of them
Battletech - All kinds of stuff for Battletech!
Robotech - All kinds of Robotech stuff too!
And a few other tidbits. But that's not all!

I was a big-time playtester at Eagle Games back when it was run by Glenn Drover, and I've got most of their early games, like the Civilization Boardgame my group used extensively and with which I created my legendary ACR3 (Alternate Combat Rules), which are still available over at My Age of Mythology set is a customized set in that it's got all the components needed to play a NINE PLAYER GAME. Better, my Attack! and Attack! Expansion game is also customized and you can play with up to TEN PLAYERS! Use it for those big gatherings at the game store.

All of these boxed games were personally handed to me by Glenn Drover himself, so there may still be some DNA samples of him if you want to try to clone him and play the games with him. Also, I'm pretty sure Sid Meier breathed on my copy of Civ at least once.

EVERYTHING up for sale is in EXCELLENT condition, LIKE NEW, unless it says otherwise. There are a few books I got from other people, primarily in the Megatraveller range, which weren't in good condition when I got them because they were used heavily. One book was de-spined and put into a binder, but I've thrown in some free campaign notes and blank world sheets and stuff. The boxed games might have one or two pieces missing or damaged; as I recall, a Spearman took a bullet for me.

This is virtually my entire collection of gaming material, in outstanding condition, now available to you because I need the room to hide bodies, I mean, my bookshelf was about to break.

I'd like to thank you all very much for so many years of gaming goodness. If anyone wants mbe to autograph something while I'm only a few days away from becoming famous and my autograph becomes worth millions of dollars, I might be willing to do that if you ask nicely and get my PA to pass along the request. She will of course do her best to combine shipping to save you as much as possible.

Thank you, bid early, bid often. Here's the list of what I'm selling, check back often, as my PA is adding to it as she gets the chance.


Bob Parsons is a friggin' genius

. :: Bob's 16 Rules

This is kind of a follow-up to yesterday's post.

The day before yesterday, before taping my third guest-spot episode of Polycast, I had the most ape-stonkingly-awesome idea for a website. Something that almost literally spoke to me. Amazingly exciting! Dudes, I could hardly contain myself during the show, and when it comes out, you'll see I'm pretty excited, that this was the best show I've been a part of.

So I jumped onto and started to get it registered, along with a few other awesome domain names I've been thinking about lately. But a problem reared its ugly head, and due to technical matters, I wasn't able to complete my transaction before Polycast taping began.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Gullwing Does Barrel Roll in Tunnel


New Gullwing Does Barrel Roll in Tunnel | The Daily Capitalist

Holy guacamole!

A friend of mine sent me this video, and I had to immediately post it; doubly important since I totally slacked off for the past 33 days. Okay, not TOTALLY. I did get a lot of personal work done, bought a bunch of websites, and signed up for something that's finally going to start making a HUGE difference in my life and the lives of those around me.

We're all taught from the time we're teachable that the only way to live your life is to go to school, go to college if you can afford it, get a job, and work 40 hours a week (or more), hoping one day you'll save enough money to retire on.

People are starting to figure out the flaws in that plan, and they're rejecting it more and more.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wanted: low-maintenance nose


Every morning I wake up and I have to blow my nose. After every meal, I have to blow my nose, especially if it involves spicy food. If there's dust in the air, I have to blow my nose constantly. I'm definitely thankful I don't have to suffer much in the way of allergies, but I'd still like to not have to mess with all this mucus all the time. Does someone out there have a low-maintenance nose I could use for a while? Or at least do you know some way I can reduce how often I have to blow it? It's always those ineffective blows, too, that really get me, or worse, those times I blow and there's blood and now I've got to stop and let the bleeding stop.

So if you've got a low-maintenance nose, or some way to reduce the maintenance burden of this nose, please let me know. And who knows, maybe I can overcome all the noes for the right nose?

Friday, May 28, 2010

To Your Health - Part 4


Just in time for Memorial Day, I've got the 4th leg of the table I built my effortless weight loss on. In the first three articles, I talked about things you can eat and how to eat them to get effective results. You've probably already got your weight closer to what you want just from doing that, but there's one more thing that must be done to get your weight to the level you want.

If, like some people, "exercise" is a four-letter-word for you, then I've got good news: you don't have to "exercise" to lose weight. I didn't. BUT, if you sit around on your butt all day, it's going to be hard. I lost 50 pounds without doing any exercise routines, and I've kept it off without doing them too, but if I was also sitting on my butt all the time, I wouldn't be able to keep it off. I don't do what most people call exercise or working out, and I lost and have kept off 50 pounds for several months, but I'm at a plateau and I have to do something about that to get rid of the last 30 pounds I don't want.

That something is called "being active". It's not exercise, it's simply avoiding total laziness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The War on Cleanliness and Privacy


Have you ever been in a Texas rest area? Nice, aren't they, how they've got those really low walls that anyone can see over, and that they make it ridiculously hard to wash your hands after your done, ain't it? Of course, Texas is hardly the only culprit in this regard. Such humiliating public rest rooms are all over this otherwise great country of ours. It's getting so bad you about have to go to a truckstop if you want to take a dump in privacy or wash your hands afterward.

Here are some of the most glaring and disgusting lapses of common decency inflicted upon the public by both the builders and maintainers of public restrooms.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Curse cookies!


Man, cookies are evil! You know how I went 3 whole months last year without any serious sugar, right? Did really good about it, and then WHAM! Out of nowhere came a craving. Well, after my birthday I again decided to do without. This time I only made it a month before someone started stuffing cookies and chocolate and cinnamon buns down my throat like there was no tomorrow. Yesterday especially, someone really wiped out my ability to resist freshly-baked, chocolate chip cookies, and I'm forever going to be mean to her for it. Or at least for the next 5 minutes.

When you have a serious addiction to something you don't want to be addicted to, you've got to be a lot more proactive in overcoming that. For the most part, I don't even buy the damned things. Other people buy them, and then they're just THERE. Habits can be defeated by replacing them with other habits. Sometimes I make a point of eating a couple dried apricots before I go into a situation where I might want sweets. A big glass of water helps too. And having something else to think about other than "must not eat cookie" is the best. I went 3 months without a serious threat to my no-sugary-crap diet just because I didn't think about it. I can do it again. And I will, very soon. I'm not going to wait for some momentous occasion, either.

Friday, April 9, 2010

To Your Health - Part 3


Welcome back, sorry for the delay, but I'm here now, so fret no more. Last time, I talked about improving what you put into your body, because when you build your body out of crap, it tends to turn your body into crap. And before that I suggested you drink more water to help lubricate the machinery. Now I'm going to complete the trifecta of input by discussing HOW to eat.

"I figured out how to eat when I was a baby," you cry. Ah, but you learned wrong, and because you're eating the wrong way, you're triggering your body's starvation reflex, which makes it almost impossible to lose weight. The "traditional" way to eat was developed back when we had to do lots of work and sometimes had to worry about whether we'd miss meals; it allowed our ancestors to pack on fat when they needed it and burn it off when they didn't. Ever wonder why so many Renaissance paintings and sculptures are of overweight women? Back then, being fat meant you were wealthy and could afford to miss work; you never missed a meal. Today, though, it means you're not working enough and overeating. So let's change the way we eat to get rid of the unneeded fat.

You're Wondering what this Place is all About

Ever have one of those days? Ever felt like mouthing off to the world? What would it be like if Andy Rooney, Dennis Miller, and an angry teenager shared a brain? Let's find out. We're the scissors you shouldn't run with, the matches you shouldn't play with, and the dog you shouldn't tease.

Do us a Small Favor, Please:

If you like what you see here and you want to be sure you get the most out of it, here are some things you can do to make sure you don't miss out on anything, and help others make sure they don't miss out on anything either.

1. Join the site with Google Friend Connect. It's on the left side, where our other awesome Members are.
2. Add and our new Facebook page to all your forum and email signatures and tell your friends to Follow us on Twitter:
3. Link us from your websites too!
4. Leave comments, vote, and be a good neighbor to the other guests here.
5. Never be afraid to be the decent person you really are.

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