I am a people watcher. Not a stalker, not a creeper, merely someone who observes others around me as I do whatever it is I happen to be doing. I have a bachelors in psychology (classes centered mostly in perception and cognition) with an emphasis in sociology and philosophy. So, let's just say people and their social doings are an active interest for me. For the past year or so I've taken a particular interest in how people handle themselves in restaurants. It wasn't intentional at first, but something continues to catch my attention that I feel is a bit of a problem.
Something I've noticed is the lack of social interaction, at least with those in the physical area. Teenagers rarely speak to anyone in the local vicinity, too attached to their phones and tablets to be bothered with talking. On a rare occasion the teenager might share a silly picture or video with someone at the table, but the bulk of the meal is spent in silence. This isn't as prevalent in adults, but I can see an increase in it, albeit much slower. Here's what I would do:
If I owned a restaurant, I'd enact a no phones policy. If you get a phone call, answer it, if you need to make a call, make the call. Want to take a picture of your food, or jot down a reminder for something later, go for it. However, you have a five minute time limit. After that, you better start talking to the people around you. If you're eating alone, do what you want. I'd rather you sit on facebook than talk to yourself.
The people you are sitting with are family, friends, REAL people. Those 500 facebook friends you've got on your list: take a good, long look at that list and count how many of them you actually hang out with. Chances are you spend zero time with them in the real world. I also don't count people from the past who somehow lurked into the present. If you live in Colorado and they live in Florida, what you ate for dinner hardly matters to them. It's about as useful as a tampon commercial to a guy.
So in short, put the phones down people, talk to the people who are actually PART of your real lives and not the ones lofting about in cyberspace. You can bs with your cyberfriends when you get home and go back to ignoring your family in front of the television. <3
For the past several days I've been debating if I should jump ship on Smashwords, and by connection Itunes, kobo, sony, etc, and drop all my books into Kindle Unlimited. If you don't know what that is, Kindle Unlimited is a rental service of sorts for ebooks. $9.99 a month gets you access to every ebook that opts into the program - think of it as Netflix or Hulu for books. I THINK there is a cap on how many books per month you can get, but I honestly am not sure.
As 99% of my overall sales comes directly from amazon, I haven't exactly benefited from having it elsewhere. However, if I do move them to Kindle Unlimited, then I have to give Amazon exclusive rights to the books - 90 days at a time. As the people reading this are mostly readers of the series (or at least avid book readers), I am asking your opinion.
What ebook app do you use? Would you try out Kindle Unlimited, as a reader?
Book update 7/21
Here we are again!
So far, so good. The writing is coming along at the speed of awesome and I think it'll be a great addition to the series. Thus far there's been a ton of action with some of the usual silliness and mythology as the rest of the series - I doubt anyone reading the series will complain. I have added a few pictures on Pinterest to hint at what's to come, so check it out if you get a chance.
Mr. Yarbrough is finishing up Radiation Day #2 (a comic book series - there's a link in artist's corner) and SHOULD be really digging into the cover for Death Squad soon. Mrs. Stephanie Dagg (editor) is cranking away at the draft I sent her so that should be coming back to me shortly.
Book update 7/14
Didn't realize it had been two weeks since I did one of these. My mistake. I'm a little over 19k words into this book now and so far, so good. There's not a lot going on in terms of non-spoiler details this time around. I'm not experimenting with the writing style anymore than I mentioned in a previous posting.
I'm still working through the assault on Osiris, so to say this book is action-packed would be dead on. Based on that, I suspect I'll be about 1/2 way done with this book before this subplot is done with. Not to say that it's so much action that it's to the point of being boring, but there's a blend of backstory being placedin smaller chapters throughout the battles and the war itself is being shown from 2-3 different perspectives. So, with the jumping between characters and the backstory, I think it remains entertaining while still fully realizing the entirety of this section.
To me, often times in war movies you forget that it's even a war. Sure, they show how destroyed (insert city) is, and how its people are desperate and near death, but generally all you ever see is the perspective of a single team of people. When the focus is entirely on a single group, remembering that this is a war and there are thousands of people involved is simply not going to happen.
A (very) strange example of this would be a Where's Waldo picture. The amount of people drawn on one of those pages, the amount of work and time it took to set up this single, or double page is completely forgotten about in the split second the great Waldo hunt begins. I'm trying to avoid this, even if it's only for a moment.
Here's my thoughts on the seat belt laws: it's a bs excuse for the police to pull us over and give us a ticket. It's basically been put in place for no other reason than to fund the police departments and give the officers something to do when there's no actual crime. Here's how I came to this conclusion:
Laws are made to protect a person from other people. Theft, murder, and essentially all forms of real crime require 1 key component; other people. Freedom of speech lets a person say what they feel like saying, when they feel like saying it, AROUND OTHER PEOPLE. If there are no other ears to hear it, then the opinion lives and stays with the speaker. Heck, they might as well not have said anything and kept it as a thought.
So, if laws are here to protect us from each other, then why am I lawfully forced to wear a seat belt? Besides myself, who is harmed in my lack of seat belt usage? One could make the argument that my death/injury would effect my family/friends. If that's the case, then we better go ahead and outlaw alcohol, smoking, high cholesterol and anything else fun and dangerous.
I'm not opposed to wearing a seat belt. Ever since my son was born I have put one on every single time I've gotten in the car. That being said, there was a time where I didn't wear one. For a long while, I owned and drove an early 90's Honda Civic hatchback (the same pos M and Thomas drive around). Great car, good gas mileage, never had a mechanical problem. That being said, I felt safer flying out of the car and taking on a tree than being trapped in that tin can during a car wreck.
To me, this seat belt law has to go. If you don't want to wear one, I see no reason you should. It's your life to live and not wearing one endangers no one but yourself.
I think if companies in this country (USA) are treated like individuals, then they should adhere to all the laws (where applicable) that we individuals must abide by. Truthfully, this may be the case, but doubt it. I doubt it because I've yet to hear of a restraining order being placed on the media.
To me, following around a person all day long and taking pictures of them should be considered creepy, wrong and labeled correctly - as a stalker. For the most part this is true. If I did this to anyone, there's a very good chance the local police would have a word with me and then some. Yet, I see pictures of random actors and entertainers shopping for groceries all the time. It's not that I even go looking for these pictures, they are everywhere these days. A simple "famous people getting groceries" brought this up right away: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/celebrities-grocery-shopping-gallery-1.1720823
I doubt I need proof of what I'm saying here, but there you are. Why the heck are we following these people around? Are there really normal people out there who give a darn that (insert whoever) drinks skim milk over 2%? If (whoever) wanted us to know they have a baby coming, wouldn't they tell us? It's not as though these people don't do interviews, or can't pick up a phone and tell someone. I especially love the times when someone goes on a drinking binge and gets caught on camera doing something stupid. Because no one except the rich and famous get drunk and do stupid things. Please, they are normal people who make absurd amounts of money doing something they are very good at, that's it.
If I had some a-hole reporter snapping photos of me buying popcorn at Walmart, I would do everything I could to get a restraining order on the place they work for. I don't mind the idea of interviews, I do find it interesting how a famous persons mind works and how they come up with their ideas, but I DO NOT like the way we treat them on a daily basis. Just because they make millions we can invade their privacy? That's a load of bullocks and it's down right disrespectful.
Things I would do #2
If I ran a business, or was able to make a law on this idea I would. I would give smokers their own line, shared with lottery/scratch card people. I am sick to death of going to (insert any store), getting in the 10 items or less line (aka express line), and having to wait for some poor, non-smoking employee to find the (insert overly specific cig brand here), or some $2 scratch card with some asinine theme that makes zero difference and offers no more enjoyment to the buyer over the $2 card next to it. Believe all you want, you do not have better luck with one card over the next, you are playing predetermined odds and odds are you will lose.
Don't get me wrong, I understand preference. I would rather drink Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke, or Zebra Cakes to Twinkies. However, my preferences do not hold up a supposedly quick line, or even a slow line. Tonight I stood in the express line for 10 minutes because a-hole customer #1 in front of me thought pointing and grunting would get the job done when it comes to picking out cigarettes from afar. Every fraking time I go to a gas station I somehow get stuck behind the not-so lucky lotto player who also happens to be a smoker. I feel like I'm generally a patient person. If the waiter forgets to come back to my table for 1/2 an hr so I can order my meal, I don't say anything, but this nonsense has got to stop.
I'm not asking for anything unreasonable I think. A single line that handles lotto and smokers. I'd throw dumbasses paying for things in change (over $5) and people who cant figure out the debit card machine into that mix, but that happens to infrequently that I'm honestly not that troubled by it.
Things I would do to others #1
As an addition to the blog, at least for now, I'm going to add a segment called "Things I would do". It's a pretty self-explanatory name, so let's get on with it!
If I wasn't a halfway decent person, I would get on an elevator and wait for another person to get on. During our short moment together, I would do my damnedest to pass gas, preferably the silent variety. After which, I would then look at the other person like they were the most foul, distinguishing human being on the face of the earth. I would give them the kind of scowl that says "holy hell you are a wretched excuse for a human being and your mother should be ashamed".
Why would I do this? Simple. I just want to see the look of doubt on their face when I back away from them and off the elevator. They should know they didn't let the frogs out, they should know if and when their bodily functions operate. Yet, there's doubt. That slight hesitation (if not full out apologetic demeanor towards me) that maybe they did do it....that's what makes this funny to me. Who needs super powers when this kind of mind control exists with just a bit of acting and a potential brown stain?