Monday, December 26, 2011

Long life

On the public radio program On Point today, the talk was about the possibilities of people living for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.
I only heard a few minutes because of work but that was enough to remind me once again about how stupid smart people can be.
Here we are today in a world with a human population that is probably double of what it should be if you just happen to care about the health of the planet. And let us not forget that the marvels of modern medicine are pretty much limited to a person's ability to pay for the marvels of modern medicine.
Obviously, I am firmly against any and all research to prolong human life beyond what it now is. And this is not to say I wish death upon anyone. Rather, it is to say I do appreciate life with all its complexities and view death as one of its most needed components.
Death is a mechanism for change, for growth and evolution. We seem to recognize this fact when it comes to products bought and sold but have a hard time recognizing this when it comes to humans. Oh, sure there are some we are happy to see die, such as a Hitler. But would be satisfied with drawing the line with only the most unsavory of characters? Would we soon find ourselves deciding who gets to live a long, long time and executing the less desirable? And who determines who is less desirable?
But perhaps the more important question should be - would an exceedingly long life diminish the wonder and value of life? Already it seems the vast number of humans is reducing the value of a human life. You doubt that? Okay. How much are you willing to be taxed to house the homeless, feed and educate the poor? Face it. There is an economic consideration.
And what about the children? Would children become the enemy of a growing older population. Have children already become the enemy?
Sometimes you get what you ask for and then find out what you wanted and got is holy hell.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The American People


Listening to the news this morning, I once again heard some politician say, "The American people."

It should be a federal offense for any politician to use that phrase.

First of all, Americans are a very diverse group. There is no consenses about anything. Politicians claim a landslide victory if they get over 51% of the vote and they make that claim in spite of the fact that many who cloud vote don't vote.

Let's face it. Our politicians are clueless. Much of this is due to them being among the top 5% and some even belong to the 1%. They live in a different world and so don't know much about "the American people."

I don't claim to know what the American people think. Hell, I'm not always all that certain about what I think. I've been know to flip alot on issues but I haven't done much flopping back to where I flipped from. I do know people change and I think that is a good thing. If you still have the same opinions you had when you were ten, I can only guess you haven't lived much and certainly haven't thought much.

The American people. I can't say I know the American people even though I am one and have know quite a few. Each and everyone is different in some ways and alike in others. I kind of like it that way. I know they are American people because they look human, walk and talk like humans, and live here.

I guess politicians are American people too for the reasons stated above but I really hate it when they claim to know me when most of them haven't even met me to ask for my vote.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You can reduce the debt


I'll bet you didn't know but when JFK was president, he introduced a little known program that provides a way for anyone to help lower our nations debt. You might say the idea was to help individuals respond to his challenge, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
The challenge and the opportunity can be found at Treasury Direct
There you can find a link to donate any amount online or by mail.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tax me, please!

Here in NYS, like many other states, the cry is no new taxes and cut the budget. The Governor doesn't want to extend the so called millionaires tax but wants to cut the budget.
Talk about being courageous!
Being someone who doesn't want to pick on anyone, I have a plan. Rather than pick on the millionaires, why not raise taxes on everyone?
We have become a nation of selfish cowards. We thank those in the military for their service but don't join. We want our roads and bridges to be safe, our nation defended and our children educated but we would rather not pay for any of it.
The Greatest Generation paid for what we have (and are now losing) with their blood, sweat, tears and higher taxes.
Shouldn't our country mean more to us? Shouldn't we step up and be counted by doing more than shouting, "We're number one!"?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ebook prices lowered


INDIAN LAKE, NY, November 15, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Ravenwolf Publishing has expanded the formats available for its four books, with all books available and ready to ship in time for the Holidays:

Books available include: The Dancing Valkyrie, The Vampire Valkyrie, the second and newly revised edition of Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County, plus the recently published Confessions of an Online Male Prostitute.
The sale of ebooks now tops sales for paperbacks, due largely to the popularity of the Kindle readers from Amazon and the Nook readers at Barnes & Noble.

In the spirit of the gift giving holidays and in anticipation of the third book in the vampire series, And God Created Vampires, all four ebooks are now priced below the $5 mark.

"The Dancing Valkyrie" (ISBN: 1440432198 | ISBN-13: 9781440432194) begins and ends in the Adirondacks of northern New York. It is the story of a young woman who is an erotic dancer at a topless club in Schenectady, NY, who becomes a vampire while on a hike in the wilds of the Adirondacks. The novel follows her rapid acclimation into being what she was born to be - a vampire with a lust for both blood and sex, and draws to a conclusion when she meets with a vampire who lives to kill other vampires - and whose name is Van Helsing.

"The Vampire Valkyrie" (ISBN: 1452877793 | ISBN-13: 9781452877792) continues the tale of the vampire Mary Hoffman, a.k.a. Erica, the Dancing Valkyrie, who fights to protect her erotic dance club and her girls from mobsters who want to control her and her club - or kill her if she resists.
A Schenectady City Councilwoman wants to pass legislation to close down or strictly limit the operation of adult businesses, an a upstate crime boss wants control of Mary and her club and a New York City crime family seeks to discredit the upstate crime boss through Mary and her club. Many people die, both the innocent and the guilty, as a result of Mary's determination to save herself, her girls and her club, while wondering if she should stop being involved with humans and just kill all who infringe upon her freedoms as a vampire.

"Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County" (ISBN: 1453608141 | ISBN-13: 9781453608142) is the first published hiking guide aimed only at trails and attractions in Hamilton County, NY.
In addition to being a trail guide, the book offers tips on many outdoor activities, state campgrounds, local chambers of commerce and who to call in an emergency.

"Confession of an Online Male Prostitute" (ISBN: 145374245X | ISBN-13: 9781453742457) is about a middle aged married man whose sex life with his wife has been absent for a number of years. Yearning for some sex but not willing to go to bars or pay for some mutual fun and not yet willing to divorce his wife, he decides the Internet is the safe way to go and works up the nerve to see if he can get anyone to pay him to take off his clothes and perform what amounts to an online peep show. One day, one of his male clients asks him to exchange emails to talk and maybe meet. He agrees even though he doesn't consider himself gay. He does because he has unresolved, suppressed issues from his distant past and tells himself this may be a way to see and resolve those issues.

All the books are now available in print and Ebook formats from Amazon in its Kindle edition and Barnes & Noble in its Nook edition.

Pete Klein, author of the books who is now working to complete his third vampire book, And God Created Vampires, says, "Publishing is rapidly changing. Readers expect a variety of ways to access the written word. This is why I have chosen to make my books available in a variety of formats. The Ebook format is the least expensive way for readers to purchase my books. For myself, I prefer to read a printed bound book but have read several Ebooks and just figure there are many out there who like to read but want to save money during these troubled economic times. Ebooks can be quickly downloaded, either to a reading device or on the computer. Not only are the ebooks less expensive than the print versions. The ebook reader also saves on postage and the time it takes to receive a printed copy."

And God Created Vampires is currently scheduled for publication in late December or early January.

Website: http://www.petekleinvampires.com/

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jobs and Jobs

Jobs, Jobs. Every time you buy something you help to create jobs. Every time you sell something you help create jobs. Nothing happens until something is sold.
You can make something but until you or someone else sells it, nothing happens unless you purchased products to make what you made. In other words, trade is the grease for jobs.
I mention this because all the talk about creating jobs is darn near next to meaningless unless there is a demand for a product. We seem to be caught in a debate over which comes first, the chicken or the egg. But if there were not a demand for either the chicken or the egg, or no one had the money to buy either product, it wouldn't really matter.
When I was in sales, my employer told me to sell the sizzle, not the steak. With the recent death of Steve Jobs, I was reminded of those words of wisdom because Steve Jobs was excellent at selling the sizzle. We always buy the dream, or at least as much of it as we can afford.
Maybe we just need to dream again because if you dream, you usually are willing to make the sacrifice needed to achieve it. If you don't dream, nothing happens.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Expanding Universe

Yesterday it was reported that three U.S.-born scientists have won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics for their research on the expansion of the universe.
This is all very well and good but it seems to me the scientists are making the same mistake made by many theologians.
The mistake is thinking (presuming) nothing came before this Universe.
As I imagine it, this Universe is but the latest in an infinite number of universes that came before it and the infinite number of universes that will follow it.
The scientists pretty much agree with the Big Bang theory but see the expanding universe expanding forever. Here I disagree.
I propose that what is happening is very similar to the reclining 8 figure used to indicate infinity. Laying the lazy 8's side by side, you will see expansion followed by contraction to expand again. Imagine the breathing process. Exhale and Inhale, almost like the breath of God and you needn't believe in God to understand the process.
Maybe we could call this the Diaphragm Theory which could include the Big Bang Theory. This would also include the theory that matter is neither created nor destroyed as long as one understands that matter and energy are one and the same thing in but different forms, similar to the many forms of water - vapor, water, ice, snow.
We may and probably never will know the truth because we are within an evolutionary system and are unable to see outside of it - the Universe, the universe we are now in. But I do believe it is highly presumptuous of us to think nothing came before or will come after us and this particular universe.
As with the Big Bang theory, the Diaphragm theory neither proves nor disproves the existence of a Creator God.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pete Klein interviewed on vampire books.

Learn about Pete Klein and his vampire books.

Check out this link to read and maybe make comments or ask questions.
The link is: http://www.brendawoodystevetindle.yolasite.com/author-interviews/au...
Below is the actual interview done by Brenda Woody and Steve Tindle.
Author Interview - Peter KleinPosted by Brenda Woody on Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today and Thursday we welcome Peter Klein to our blog. Peter (Pete as he is called by friends) is a reporter by day and author by night. He is currently writing his third installment to the Valkyrie series. Vampires; his passion to write about. But his stories are very different and as you read on you'll see why.
I (Brenda) met Pete Klein through Freado.com. I won one of his books in a bid and Pete emailed me an ebook format. In return I gave him a review and posted where I could to help promo his book. My review is below. I found his email very friendly and quickly added him as a friend on Facebook, and of course asked if he would do an interview on our blog. He agreed and Wow what an interview this is. I know now why I'm drawn to him as a fellow author and glad he is an online friend.
So grab your favorite beverage, get comfy and enjoy our latest interview on our blog.
Brenda & Steve: Pete welcome to our blog! We are so excited you could join us. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.Peter: I have a long-time friend dating back to when we were in our 20’s who eventually became the owner of a major NY literary agency. She has encouraged me for many years and has on several occasions tried to find a traditional publisher for me. A few years back, knowing I wasn’t getting any younger and knowing that it can take years to find a publisher and even more time before the publisher finally prints the book, I asked her if she would mind me going the self-publishing route. With her blessings and me not getting any younger, that is what I have done.Brenda & Steve: I (Brenda) had the pleasure of reading Confessions of an Online Male Prostitute and submitted a review. We viewed your new book trailer. Wow, it was good! You now have released two installments from your Vampire Valkyrie series. Please tell a little about the series and when the books were released.Peter: The first, “The Dancing Valkyrie” was first published by Lulu in 2005. The second, “The Vampire Valkyrie” was published by Lulu in 2008. In 2010, I switched both books to be published by CreateSpace for cost reasons and because Amazon has always accounted for most sales anyway.I have had a long time interest in vampires, going back to when I was in the seventh or eighth grade and saw the original Dracula movie. Since my grandparents were born in Romania, I asked my grandmother if there was any truth to the stories. “Foolish superstition,” was her answer. But my interest continued over the years, last renewed by the Rice stories.Along the way, in both books and movies, I found myself objecting to two ideas running through all of the various stories, both centered on the idea of vampires being evil.One question I dared ask was, “Why is it not okay for vampire to kill people while it’s perfectly alright for people to kill vampires?” The second was more of a decision than a question. I came to conclude that if there were vampires, they would be natural creatures that have eluded discovery and confirmation by humans.

Brenda & Steve: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Peter: I view much of my writing as reporting (my day and night job that pays most of my bills). By that I mean I start the action and report on what my imagination sees as scenes unfold. There is an inevitability to life. One domino falls, then another and another. Characters are interesting. Sometimes they do the damnedest things but I let them go ahead and do it as long as it makes sense for them.
Brenda & Steve: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Peter: Since most of my stories take place in locations I know, that isn’t a problem. If going out of the area, I use the Internet to get the feel of a place. The Internet saves on trips to the library.
Brenda & Steve: True with the price of gas these days. What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
Peter: Seat of the pants and then it’s time to rewrite, review and edit. I’m guessing here but I think most writers wish they did more editing after the book comes out and you see mistakes you shouldn’t have made. I shrug and figure the same is true for any art form. You always think you could have done better. But as the old saying goes, “You either fish or cut bait.”
Brenda & Steve: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
Peter: As I alluded, I am a full time writer because I am a reporter for a weekly newspaper. That I have been doing for about 10 years now. Before that I have been a blacksmith, manager, cleaner and repairman at a small summer resort, an automotive parts salesman, have worked in a bank and did a short stint as a stock clerk on Wall Street. The oddest job I ever had was building church bulletin boards in a small shop in lower Manhattan. I also served as a corpsman in the Navy.
Brenda & Steve: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.Peter: Writing always begins with a blank page. It’s you against nothing. Coffee and cigarettes are my vices. The coffee goes cold and the cigarettes go out until I light them again and again. My cigarettes go out because I roll my own and the tobacco doesn’t have the chemicals in it that makes manufactured cigarettes burn without any help from you.I like the blank page, paper or computer screen, because it is so much like the real world in that you don’t know what will happen next until it happens. Life is more about reacting than it is about acting with any forethought.Brenda & Steve: Describe a typical writing day for you.Peter: Again, my typical day is mostly about going to meetings and then writing about the meetings I attend. Most meetings are at night, sometimes both day and night. On the days when I don’t have a meeting, I write the story about the meetings I have attended. My writing, the writing we are talking about here, is sandwiched in whenever I get the chance and am not too tired from doing the newspaper thing.I think I am like most writers who haven’t hit it big and wish that day would happen so I could quit my day job and just write what I want to write.Having said that, I do believe I am fortunate in the sense that I do make a living from writing and the newspaper writing has provided me with some training in how best to use words to make a point.
Brenda & Steve: Please give us a sneak peek at any of your future books.
Peter: I hope to finish and publish my third vampire novel before the end of the year. I’ll give away the title. Don’t anyone dare try to steal it or I’ll send my vampires after you. The drop dead title is – “And God Created Vampires”.I believe this title gets at what I have been trying to get at from the start. If there were vampires, they would be like all of the other major predators we fear in that they have the ability to kill us without regard. They will kill if attacked and they will kill if they happen to need our blood.I haven’t decided on what to write next. I have toyed with the idea of writing something more “realistic,” such as my view of what the 60’s in New York was really like. How could I not look back on a time when I was younger and could rent an apartment for only $40 per month.
Brenda & Steve: Now for the fun question! For the last three months, you have worked as a volunteer on NASA’s ongoing mission exploring other solar systems. You found a new planet which is habitable! How exciting! What would you name the planet? And give us a little description of the planet as seen through the telescope.Peter: Interesting! Just for fun, you say. How about Eden? How about a second chance to not screw up the second time around? How about if we insisted on screwing up by eating the forbidden fruit again, the next time we choose to eat the fruit from the Tree of Life instead of from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.As far as the planet goes, I imagine it would be much like Earth in its general appearance. Of course there would be some variations. Just look at all the variations of plants and animals on Earth. The experience could be compared to the variations one will see right here going from North America to Africa. Just look at the variations you see just going from San Diego to Yosemite – all in the state of California!
Brenda & Steve: Great answer! Tree of Life - *pondering if we would want to live forever* Probably. LOL Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Peter: Yes. Never give up the ship of writing. Do it because you love it, not because you expect it will provide you with fame and fortune. Realize you are competing with millions of writer and even more millions of books. You are a needle in the haystack but so is everyone else.In addition to being a writer, I also review some books. Most of the books I have read by unknown authors are good and some of them I have liked better than those on the best seller lists. There is something known as the fickle finger of fate. It is real. Personally, I prefer writing to reading. But we writers do do both. For me it’s the words that get me. Words have a power. Were it not for words, we would not be able to think. Think about it! Without words you would be nothing more than a mass of emotions, only reacting to pain and pleasure. It is the spoken and written word that makes it possible for us to think. Once you accept the power of words and come to understand how they can trick and deceive you, you will realize all words have pain and pleasure as their foundation.This was fun. Thank you for the opportunity to play with words.
Pete, thank you again for visiting with us and the awesome answers. It's been fun!
Readers, Pete has graciously agreed to give away signed copies of both of his Valkyrie books to one lucky commenter. Yuppers! So please, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment to make it easier for us to contact the winner. Pete will then email the winner for your snail mail address.

Blog - Pete Klein's Vampire Fiction

Blog - Pete Klein's Vampire Fiction
Pete Klein interviewed at Pete Klein's Vampires

Author Interview - Peter Klein

Author Interview - Peter Klein
Author Pete Klein interviewed by Brenda Woody and Steve Tindle.
Stop by a comment or ask a question.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turn off. Tune out. Drop in to reality.

If you are not too young, you might have heard of Timothy Leary who was semi famous back in the 60's and said, "Turn on. Tune in. Drop out."
That was before + 200 channels on the TV, the Internet, cell phones, Twitter, etc, etc.
Today the slogan might better be, "Turn off. Tune out. Drop in to reality."
As we become more and more connected and interconnected, it can be difficult to have any time for ourselves and those we say we love. Awash in a turbulent sea of "information" it can get to feeling like we are drowning in sea of words with out any real meaning.
When asked what he was reading, Hamlet said, "Words." There are times when I a lover of words feel words are all I am reading and hearing. They may be as different as snowflakes but who notices the difference in snowflakes when caught in a blizzard?
Dropping into reality? How is that possible?
I would like to suggest the following as a way to possibly answer the question.
We live on the Earth but live in many different worlds. Think of the Earth as the bottom line reality. The Earth, you might say, is the reality of flesh and blood, skin and bone. It is the physical reality that has its causes and effects no one can escape.
The reality of the World, on the other hand, is a total fantasy we ourselves construct or allow ourselves to endorse to varying degrees. Think of it this way. If you were up on a space craft orbiting the Earth, we would not be able to see religions,political parties, governments or any of the inventions of our minds. They exist only because we say they exist. This is not to say they do not have real consequences upon our physical reality. But it is to say they do so only because we collectively allow them to do so.
Of course it is impossible to totally dismiss these fantasy worlds we have created or have been created for us. But we do have the ability to see them for what they are. We should be able to notice the emperor is not wearing any clothes and thus, hopefully, step to the side and smile, and maybe get out of the way before our true identity is crushed under the weight of fantasy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Global warming = next Ice Age?

Global warming = the next Ice Age?
The question is not quite as dumb as it sounds. Here's why.
For glaciation to take place you need more snow to fall in the winter than melts in the summer.
For snow you need an source of open water.
Antarctica is blessed, so to speak, by being a land mass surrounded by an ample source of open water. The Arctic, on the other hand, is an ocean surrounded by land.
A good example of the effect of open water as it relates to heavy snowfall, you need only look at what happens along the eastern shores of the Great Lakes before the lakes cool and begin to freeze. What you get are snowstorms and snowfall totals that equal what takes place in the Rocky Mountains. But as the lake cool and begin to freeze, the snow storm diminish.
There is evidence that during the last Ice Age the Arctic was largely ice free. This seems logical since you need open water to make the snow that makes the glaciers.
So maybe those who like to worry should worry that Global Warming could result in the next Ice Age.
One thing is certain. Weather/Climate tends to change and the longer it gets stuck in a pattern, the more sudden and extreme the change. Here too the tendency to sudden change is shown in how the last Ice Age abruptly ended when the Earth's climate suddenly warmed well above what we are now experiencing.
Go figure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

An inconvenient truth

No, this is not about global warming, although I will mention it later on down. It's about jobs and the economy.
What is not mentioned or I have not seen mentioned is how we are entering a period where all bets are off and none of the solutions from the past will fix what is obviously broken.
There are two problems, chickens coming home to roost so to speak, that started about 100 years ago and they are automation and population growth.
Both served us well until about 50 years ago but both are now threatening to sink the ship the middle class hoped to ride forever.
First, automation made it possible for us to make more things better and faster. Better and faster is now accelerating rapidly, thanks in large measure to computers and the Internet. Just about every job including blue collar and white collar requires fewer workers to produce more and more.
While fewer and fewer people are needed to make a product or provide a service, continued population growth means more and more people are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed. Business just doesn't need them. No one wants to say that.
The only solution as I see it is to at the very least put a stop to population growth. We don't need more hands on deck when the ship is fully automated.
I realize this solution which should be obvious will be met with great opposition from government, business and just about every religion.
Government wants more and more tax payers. Business wants more and more consumers and religions want more and more souls to save. But surely we are more than just tax payers, consumers and souls to be saved. Or are we?
So just for fun, let's return to Global Warming.
Even here if you want to be honest, the number one problem is more and more people consuming more and more of the Earth's natural resources, more and more people demanding more and more energy for both necessities and luxuries. More efficient this that and the other thing - yes - and more environmentally friendly ways to produce power, also yes. But the human population is growing faster than are the environmentally friendly ways to produce power. Even if that need were met, you still have the problem of the diminishing need for workers to produce the products. So your high unemployment problem will continue to get worse.
I believe we are on a collusion course with ourselves. We are becoming like lemmings and are our own worst enemy. We are playing the fiddle while we destroy the only Earth we have.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Star Gazzing

I have a question and it's not about movie stars. It's about all that twinkling stuff we see when we look at the night time sky.
I was watching something on TV about worm holes and the speed of light, and began to wonder if anyone really knows what they are talking about.
Experts say that when we look at distant stars thousands and millions of light years away, we are looking into the past. This seems logical at first glance but then my mind began to wonder if we might be missing something here.
Here's why. If we look up at the stars from the northern hemisphere we see one group of stars. If we look up from the southern hemisphere we see a different group of stars. Okay, not a problem. There is more that can be seen from any one vantage point. But here is where my devious mind asks a question. From a certain vantage point should we be able to see nothing where the future should be? Or, to look at it in a slightly different way, is it possible some of the stars we see are actually many, many years in the future and we are seeing them from the past???
I think these are valid questions when you consider how we humans think. We have a tendency to think everything is about us. Once upon a time we thought the Earth was flat because that was the way it seemed to us. We thought the Sun went around the Earth because that was the way it looked to us. We believed what we believed because we were unable to see the big picture.
Now throw in the idea of the Big Bang. Did it explode out in all directions or did it explode only forward like a shotgun blast? If it were an explosion like a bomb, where are we in relationship to the point of explosion? If it were more like a shotgun blast, where are we in relationship to forward and sideward trajectory?
So my question is this. Has anywone heard of any scientist addressing these questions? Do we have any idea where we are in relationship to both time and space?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Grover Norquist - the Anti-Christ?

While no one likes to pay taxes and most of us would prefer not to have to pay any taxes at all, taxes are needed to provide governmental services we all use and need.
We may argue over what services are needed and in deed we do. But to swear not to raise taxes no matter what strikes me as the act of a child who argues with a parent in the store.
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, instituted by Grover Norquist, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. To solemnly pledge to anything other than the Constitution of the United States is childish at best and is dangerous to the continued existence of the United States at worst.
Norquist has been quoted as saying, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Since I doubt he is talking about Canada, I must presume he would like to drown and kill off the United States.
Here is a man who comes from wealth, was Harvard educated for whatever that is worth, who has never been elected to anything, serves on numerous boards but has never had a real job, and who has become the Pied Piper of the extreme right wing of the Republican Part. Not elected to anything, he demands complete obedience to his no new taxes dogma.
Now the future of the United States is at risk. The budget does need to be controlled, expenses must be curtailed and most importantly, we must not default on our debt. To avoid default (defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States) taxes may need to be raised. To refuse to raise taxes no matter what may in fact be crossing the line between patriot and traitor.
Reason needs to prevail over blind obedience to dogma and ideology.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do gays really want to get married?

Do gays and lesbians really want to get married?
I ask the question because of the following I read on another blog. Anonymous asks, "Homosexual couples don’t realize how good they have it right now. They are free to live their lives as they pleas at the present. It is utterly baffling why anyone would encourage government intrusion into their lives. Lets face it, the issue of gay marriage benefits women, not men. How does that joke go? What does a lesbian bring to a first date? A suitcase. The second date? A turkey baster. Women desire long-term monogamous relationships. Men don’t. If this passes gay men in this state are about to be monumentally hosed. Remember, with gay marriage comes gay alimony!"
As the poster suggests, even among homosexuals there is a difference between men and women when it comes to sex.
On average, I would say, the main reason most men want to get married is for what they hope will be guaranteed sex. This is not to say women don't want sex. It is just to say most women want more guarantees, such as children and a father who sticks around to help raise the children.
So maybe the question should be - is the push by gays for marriage more about the legal advantages of being married, such as tax status, medical insurance and end of life decisions, than having much to do about about sex?
Let's be real. One thing shared by heterosexuals and homosexuals is engaging in promiscuous sexual activity whether married or not.
When gays and lesbians say they just want to get married because they are in love, I wonder. I wonder because I know many if not all men will tell a woman they love her for no other reason than they want sex with her. This leads me to believe using love as the reason why gays and lesbians argue for marriage equality is a bit of a red herring.
I'm not opposed to the idea. I guess what I would prefer is civil unions for all for the legal reasons. Then leave it up to the various religions and the people themselves to call it whatever they want.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why I write about vampires


Why I write the way I write about vampires.
One of my reasons for writing my vampire stories is that too many of the vampires in the fiction of recent years have become wimpy. They are always complaining about being a vampire. They apologize for being a vampire. They look for ways to control their need for blood and look for substitutes that don't cause the death of humans.
Sure, some of them are blood thursty but these are portrayed as the "bad vampires."
When I set out to write about vampires, first with The Dancing Valkyrie, then with The Vampire Valkyrie, I wanted my vampires to be deadly without any remorse. This led me to create vampires who were essentially natural creatures who would be capable of living amongst humans both by day and by night, creatures who were not demons and were no more condemned than lions and tigers.
These ideas were long in the works and were the result of trying to understand some of the quirks of humans. We humans have a tendency to believe everything is about us. We're number one. Nothing in creation is equal in value to us. Everything here is here just for us. This attitude allows us kill and destroy anything when ever it suits our purpose and the purpose is often for our economic benefit. This attitude at its extreme allows us to view other humans, such as humans of differing races, creeds, sexs and sexual orientation as somehow less than human and thus candidates to be abused and even killed. You see this attitude played out everyday throughout the world.
These ideas with relation to vampires began for me with Dracula. I saw a disconnect in how it was okay for humans to kill vampires but it wasn't okay for vampires to kill humans. This attitude is clearly seen when it comes to humans and other natural predators. It's okay for humans to kill every other animal on earth for food or for sport but it is not okay for animals to kill other animals for food, especially not okay to compete with humans when it comes to hunting wild animals humans want to kill.
The final piece of the puzzle I found was when I came up with the idea that if in fact there were vampires, than these vampire would be flesh and blood creatures created by God - not some demon - for whatever reason God might have to create vampires. My vampires would be the ultimate predator, not bound by any human morality. I never had any problem with accepting this idea because as I look at all of creation, the most obvious thing I see is variety. Apparently, God has no liking for sameness. God is God. God is not a human. As God as said to have said to Job, "My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways." We like to say that God made us in his image and likeness when the truth of the matter is that we have made God in our own image and likeness because we are so full of ourselves.
Thus my vampires - created by God for whatever reason God might decide to create vampires. If you think vampires are too strange to exist and be created by God, then why would God have ever created dinosaurs?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NYS sends tax dollars to out of state corp.

NYS sends tax dollars to out of state corp.

The NYS Department of Health (DOH) is asking county legislators to take a ten minute survey by phone, conducted by RTI International, asking them and the director of health in each county to determine their views on regulating tobacco product advertising in the retail environment.
The letter was sent to “New York Community leaders” on May 9 by Harlan Juster, Director of Tobacco Surveillance, Evaluation and Research at the DOH.
Our community leaders are promised their responses will be kept “completely confidential” and as an added bonus and in an effort to get them to take the survey, “RTI will make a $25 donation to the charity of your choice.”
RTI maintains headquarters in North Carolina and seven regional offices in the United States, non of which are located in NYS.
This survey might be interesting if it were more inclusive and asked the leaders of our communities how they feel about the advertising and display of gambling, beer and condoms in the retail environment but that is not the case.
In a Sunday, May 22, editorial by the Plattsburgh Press Republican has some advice for the Akwesasne Mohawks: diversify the reservation economy.
The editorial says: “We aren't judging the morality issues involved in the heavy dependence on gaming and cigarette revenue. This is a business issue, and the economy would be stronger if the tribe had more major income producers to provide income and jobs.”
If the PPR is not judging morality issues, then why even bring it up?
Major income producers?
Maybe because when it comes to morality issues, truth be told, NYS gains the most in profit from tobacco products and gambling? NYS is the biggest of Big Tobacco and the number one advertiser of gambling.
Think about it. Your tax dollars are going out of state to help the state regulate you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vampire T-shirts


This probably won't go anywhere but I have added something called "CafePress Shop" to my web page petekleinvampires. In it are some T-shirts and coffee mugs imprinted with "Warning, protected by a vampire" and "I love Pete Klein's vampires.
This mostly for fun but maybe I'll sell enough to cover what I end up buying.
Now it's back to writing my third vampire book that I hope to finish before the end of summer.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writers of fiction and venttiloquists


I draw the connection between writers of fiction and ventriloquists because I believe both do what they do for a similar reason. Both get to say and do things through their characters that they would be unlikely to say or do in their real life.
The thought crossed my mind when listen to Bob Edwards of NPR talk with Mark Goffman, about his documentary DUMBSTRUCK, which is about the trials and tribulation of 5 ventriloquists.
During the interview, it was said ventriloquists say things through their puppets they wouldn't have the nerve to say without their puppets. I think this is true for many writers.
Cases in point, my vampire novels, The Dancing Valkyrie and The Vampire Valkyrie, and especially in my novella, The Confession of an Online Male Prostitute.
Over the years I have come to wonder about how most people have no problem reading a book or watching a movie that has graphic scenes of violence and murder. No problem. They don't become disgusted. But tell a story in print or on film that has graphic scenes of gay and lesbian sex and many say, "I can't read or watch that filth."
It doesn't stop there with declarations of disgust. While few if any wonder if you might be a murder because you write about murders, many will question your sexual orientation if you write about gays or lesbians in graphic detail.
Does it matter to me what people think of me because of what I write? My honest answer is both yes and no.
It matters primarily because I don't believe it should matter. To me, it would make more sense to worry about any potential I might have to be a murderer than it would make sense to wonder if I might be gay.
It doesn't matter because I deeply believe all of us have within us the potential to be all things we would like to be and all things we hope we will never be. You know the phrase - "There but for the grace of God go I."
While I guess I'm safe writing about vampires because we all know vampires don't really exist - we hope. But when it comes to gays and lesbians, we know they do exists. So why take the chance and write about them with explicit scenes of them having sex? Simply put: all sex is fantasy.
It has been said and I believe it is true that the main sexual organ is the brain. It can imagine anything. Obviously, you can imagine vampires which don't exist. Why the fear in imagining what two men or two women can and do do in a sexual situation? What they do is basically what men and women do when the clothes come off and they are alone together. If the brain doesn't put up any stumbling blocks for the body to respond, the body will simply respond to the touch of another person, be that person of the opposite sex or the same sex.
If we can understand this and can appreciate the very basic human need to be close to another human being, we can begin to understand the why and the how of two men or two women engaging in sexual intimacy.
I have known at least one man, maybe more without my knowledge, who wanted to be intimate with me. The one I know for certain was one whom I loved in a platonic way but rejected at the sexual level. Because I rejected him and thus hurt him, I felt somewhat guilty over having hurt someone who loved me and whom I loved. Was I wrong to reject the desires of his love? I think not. It would have been wrong to pretend to feel what I didn't feel. But that is the nature of intimacy. You can't fake it. If you try, you do so at risk to yourself and the other. It's either there or it isn't. It is for this reason I believe it is wrong to act with disgust towards those who find the intimacy we all need but find it with a person of the same sex. It is for this reason that I write about people, humans and vampires, who find sexual intimacy with someone of the same sex. I guess I just want to experience what I can't experience in my personal life and rejected when the opportunity was there many years ago.

Remembering Pebbles

Yesterday I brought home the ashes of my friend, Pebbles, a Springer Spaniel whose only fault was laying down in spots where she blocked you from walking. She always trusted me and anyone to step over her without stepping on here.
She turned 15 years old in April and died on the May 5.
She had been in decent health until around April 30 when she rapidly began to lose interest in her food. This was something she did from time to time, so for the first few days I didn't give it much thought.
As the week progressed, her interest in food continued to drop until she stopped eating on May 4. All she wanted to do was sleep.
When I got up on Thursday morning, I saw Pebbles had an accident in the house, something she never did. I cleaned up after her and then cleaned her up. She could stand and walk if I encouraged her but by then her breathing was labored.
Maybe the vet could have saved her. I don't know and I know I'll wonder for as long as I live if I should have asked the vet to do whatever to save her, instead of asking the vet to put her to sleep.
It didn't take long. I was there on the floor with her while the injection was given. In less than a minute she was gone and we were alone on the cold floor.
People ask when/if I'll get another dog. I don't know. I do know that no dog can replace her. She was with me longer than any of the dogs I have had since I was a very young boy and I do feel a avoid but not for a dog. The void is for her.
I guess the best way to describe what I'm feeling is that you can't replace a living being that you loved and who loved you. You might find another to love but that will be a new love, not a replacement. This holds true for dogs as well as humans.
I hope all dogs go to Heaven, just as I hope all people go to Heaven. I hope but I don't know. And considering how I feel about Pebbles - trusting and loving and putting up with me - I don't think I want there to be a Heaven unless there is a Heaven for all God's creatures.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Save our schools

Here in Hamilton County, NY, the situation is serious but the problems here exist throughout the USA as property taxes rise and our beloved elected officials seek to save us by attacking education.

The future of Hamilton County NY

Does Hamilton County have a future? Does anyone care?
Recent population figures, based upon the 2010 census are scary to say the least. According to those figures, the year-round population fell by 543 residents, from 5,379 in 2000 to 4,836 in 2010.If that drop were to continue at the same rate over the next ten years, the population could fall to under 4,000. But maybe more.
Maybe much more if something isn’t done to save our schools.
While many in local government seem to direct most of their concern at how much land is owned by the state, none have raised any concern about the future of our schools.
You hear talk about how important it is to save hunting camps and a couple of jobs in the forestry industry while at the same time you hear nothing from them about saving the jobs of those who teach our children nor do they say anything about the needs of our children for a quality education?
Do they care? Does everyone wish the schools with the teachers and the kids would just go away so that the school tax would just disappear with them?
But what if that wish were to come true? Then what? Would the parents of school age children be willing to see their kids bused to a distant school, one that could be 50 or more miles away.
Do you really think they would stay? Do you think anyone with children would ever considering moving to a county that didn’t have quality schools reasonably near to where they live?
These questions need to be addressed and answered because if they are not answered, there is no future for Hamilton County.
Parents with children will move out. Parents who have children will not move in. The population would nose dive far below 4,000. It would become a death spiral. State, county and town jobs would go begging as more and more families left. Businesses both profit and not for profit would close as their workers left. Even the part-time and seasonal residents would begin to leave as businesses closed, government services found it impossible to provided expected services with a shortage of workers and the all volunteer ambulance and fire departments failed to provide their emergency services because their volunteers were also part of the exodus.
This could happen if there is not a revamp in the priorities of our citizens and those we elect to provide the services we require.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pro-Death

No, this is not about the Death Penalty but is a play on words.
Abortion is closer to what I am thinking about.
We have our Pro-Life people and we have our Pro-Choice people. Whose side you might be on is not of my interest. Nor am I thinking about assisted suicide, although that is closer to what I would like to write about here.
I suppose under normal circumstances on a day to day basis we all like to live and wish to continue to do so. But have you ever thought about how death is an important component of life, how for there to be life there must also be death?
A simple example of what I mean is food. You need to eat in order to live. Everything you eat is something that once lived. This includes plants as well as animals.
If no one died, how long would it be before the planet was overcrowded to the point where there was no room for plants and other animals to feed us? How long would it be before the planet was so trashed that we decided life wasn't worth living?
Life is valuable only because of death. Death clears out the old to make way for the new. Without death, we would need to stop procreating. Without death, everything would become older and older and older.
Yes, do live. But do understand death is not the enemy of life. It is but life's partner in the creation of new life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ten years after

I know it's not quite 10 years after 9/11 but it is beginning to seem longer than that.
Terrorism and terrorists seem so yesterday and I think this is true also for most Muslims.
Things are rapidly changing throughout the World, including in the Muslim countries. With little or no help from us, unless you include Social Networks and the Internet, Muslims are tired of the same old same old and are demanding more freedom.
For far too long the only requirement the US government demanded for a Muslim country to be our "Friend" was that they talked tough on terrorism. It didn't matter if they were dictators who oppressed their people. All that mattered was that they say that they stood with us on the War on Terrorism.
This approach needs to stop.
Yes, I fully realize that our ideas of freedom and Muslim ideas on freedom are not exactly the same. But stop and think for a moment how even in this country, the USA, ideas on freedom are often hotly debated. Think of abortion and gay marriage as just two of the many freedom issues we fight about. Disagreeing is just part of being free.
Radical nuts and religious extremests are in our own country and in every part of the world. The time to recognize this and act accordingly has come.
We need to support people throughout the World who rise up against dictators, be those dictators or friend or foe.
We should never have crawled into bed with these dictators, sending them military goodies to suppress there people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How small we are

We humans like to think our of ourselves as special. Some of us even like to think we are made in the image and likeness of God.

There was a time when humans thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. Now, most of us know better

But still, how many humans continue to think all of creation is just about them. They view creation as but a stage to act out a morality play to decided who gets to go to Heaven and who is condemned to Hell. It’s all about us, so they say.

I wonder how they view the latest scientific information on the size of the Universe. How do they react to the estimate that there are 50 billion planets in our galaxy, the Milky Way? How do they react to the estimate that of those 50 billion planets in our galaxy, as many as 500 million might be able to support life?

But it doesn’t stop there. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is but one galaxy in a Universe containing as many as 100 billion galaxies and maybe even more! Would they accept these scientific estimates and rejoice at the power and glory of the God they claim to believe in or would they reject them out of fear that God’s interest in creating goes far beyond them and their pride filled self importance?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watson is stupid

The IBM computer Watson is much in the news because it won on Jeopardy. Now all the talk is about how smart and intelligent it is. Actually, folks, Watson is stupid. It has no intelligence whatsoever. It is very good at computing but this is because it is a computer, not a brain.
What's the difference?
Well, to start with, I am sure you know some people you would call intelligent but would never call smart.
See, you just thought of someone who fits the bill.
Do you remember the Star Trek episode - THE RETURN OF THE ACORNS - where Kirk defeats a superior computer by finding a bug in its program that had gone unnoticed for hundreds of years. As with all superior computers, as soon as its program enters an infinite loop, it immediately starts smoking and shooting off sparks until it explodes.
But on a more basic level of intelligence, is there any computer smart enough to escape a burning building on its own?
The same can be said of smart phones which aren't even as intelligent as Watson.
So let's cut the nonsense and stop calling cell phones and computers as something that is smart. They are dumber than a worm that at least has enough sense to go above ground when rain threatens to drown it in its hole.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Technological singularity

This week Time magazine focuses on Singularity, a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so rapid that it makes the future after the singularity qualitatively different and harder to predict. Many of the most recognized writers on the singularity, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, define the concept in terms of the technological creation of superintelligence, and allege that a post-singularity world would be unpredictable to humans due to an inability of human beings to imagine the intentions or capabilities of superintelligent entities. Some writers use "the singularity" in a broader way to refer to any radical changes in our society brought about by new technologies such as molecular nanotechnology,although Vinge and other prominent writers specifically state that without superintelligence, such changes would not qualify as a true singularity. Many writers also tie the singularity to observations of exponential growth in various technologies (with Moore's Law being the most prominent example), using such observations as a basis for predicting that the singularity is likely to happen sometime around 2045.
What I found disturbing about the article was the glorification of intelligence without one word about the value of emotions.
We humans are quite proud of our intelligence and point to it as what makes us better than other animals. While I don't have a problem with our intelligence, I strongly believe our emotions are what truly make us human.
It is our ability to love and hate, hope and fear that shape and define us. If all we were was intelligent, we would be no more than a machine - a smart phone or a super smart computer.
Yet these people who are pushing for their singularity dream seem to have a goal where humans would stop being human and become more like powerful computers with human bodies to move them around. Not once in the article is sex mentioned. I guess sex is just too damned human and results in irrational behavior. While this is true, sex is often the foundation for love and compassion, and who among us would trade off sex and love for more intelligence.
Just remember, while money cannot buy love, neither can intelligence buy love. Money can't buy happiness and neither can intelligence. Both are tools. Neither should be elevated to the position of a god because both are false gods.
If this push to achieve singularity continues, we may need to push back to preserve our humanity.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Indian Givers in the Adirondacks

The phrase "Indian Giver" is often thought to be a slur upon Native Americans but if you give any thought to it based upon history, the phrase should be seen as a slur upon the US Government and its treatment of Indians - broken promises, broken treaties when ever it is conveinient to screw the Indians.

A similar situation is taking place here in the Adirondacks.

A few years back, local governments (towns) approved a plan by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to purchase over 160,000 acres of forest land from a paper company known as Finch Pryun. The towns needed to approve the deal because TNC wanted to resell a portion of the land as an easement to the state and sell the balance outright in fee to the state to make it part of the Forever Wild Forest Preserve. This was required because in the Adirondacks under current law, no one can sell their land to the state unless the local municipalities approve. Part of the deal on the easement lands was that those lands would be kept in timber production and the easement would allow free public access, including snowmobile trails that would connect the towns and provide much needed winter revenue to the towns.

It was largely because of the new and expanded snowmobile trail system that the towns agreed to sign off and approve the deal.

Fast forward to the end of last month when a group known as the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board passed a resolution oppossing the fee purchase portion of the deal by the state from TNC just AFTER the state purchased the conservation easement to provide the snowmobile trails already in use and other expanded recreational opportunities to the public. Their argument is that lumbering jobs will be lost on the lands slated to become part of the Forest Preserve and the state, so the resolutions says, cannot afford to spend about $60,000,000 to purchase the land.

While it might be argued that the state might not currently have money to spend on land purchases in the Adirondack Park during difficlut economic times, the loss of logging jobs is highly questionable. But these arguments are beside the point because the main and never ending argument of the Review Board and many in local government is that the state shouldn't purchase any more land to be included the the Forest Preserve. In addition, if they could find away to do it, they would have the state start to sell off the Forest Preserve to second home developers and log all of the forerests in the Adirondacks until there is nothing left to log. They won't say this openly but this is what they wish would happen.

Forget about the wishes, dreams and other assorted fantasies of some in local governments and the special interest groups who lobby them, the fact of the matter is that the local governments did sign on to the deal and now after they got the snowmobile trails they wanted so desperately, are perfectly willing to renage on the deal - just like the Federal Government has done in the past and continues to do when it comes to Native Americans

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Naked writer vs.those who wear the hijab

Obviously, since there are both male and female writers, I am not talking about clothing. Contrary to the popular view, I don't believe clothing makes the man or the woman.
No, what I'm talking about here is the exposure of the self. Some, maybe most people, would rather not show their true self. When their true self is exposed, they often blush.
Adam and Eve weren't trying to hide their bodies from God. They were trying to hide what they had done. We continue to do the same. But for artists, including writers, it is difficult to hide the true self or at the least, a part of their true self.
Sooner or later, every writer needs to admit that every character they write about is someone who shares some of their traits. No matter how much the writer might try to hide, they expose a portion of their self.
As to physical self? Why worry if someone sees you naked. You were born naked and the undertaker has a pretty good look at you after you can no longer blush.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cell phones and other toys

There was a story in the local paper today, talking about how Blacks and Hispanics use cell phones and other hand held devices more often than Whites to access the Internet. Percentage wise, they Tweet more often than Whites.
The story suggests that minorities use of the Internet, via cell phones, is primarily one for entertainment purposes.
I don't know what all of this means but my overall feeling about cell phones is that they are toys more than they are useful devices. I look upon them as a form of Bling.
I do own a cell phone but it spends more time on top of my dresser than it does in my pocket. Part of this is due to the fact that cell phone coverage is poor to zero in the area I live. More importantly, I really don't care much for phones in the first place. To me, they are more of an unwanted intrusion in my life. I think a ringing phone is a bit rude. Like I'm supposed to drop everything and respond to that intrusion.
What I really can't figure out about using cell phones and other hand held devices for any form of entertainment is their small size. While TVs become larger and larger, I'm to want to watch a movie or a TV program on a screen about the size of a playing card? Then there is the high cost of doing this. It just doesn't make any sense.
I'll stick to using my computer and carry my cell phone when traveling to use for emergency purposes only. When I'm away from home, the last thing I want is to be bothered by any ringing phone. Sometimes, we really do need to be away from it all. And if Steve Jobs and the wireless phone companies don't like it, they can call me up to complain.
Thank god for caller ID

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Word games

I hear there is a new version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
What's new about it is substituting the word slave wherever the word negro is used.
Supposedly, this might help with the book not being banned by people who find the word negro to be offensive.
Some people actually refer to negro as the N word. Kind of like pussy footing around the very good word that is often hush hushed at the F word.
People, could we please stop this politically correct stuff?
The word "negro” means "black" in Spanish and Portuguese, from the Latin niger (black) and Greek NĂ©gros (black).
Personally, I've never met a person who was truly black. Just like I have never met a person who was truly white, red or yellow.
Me, I'm kind of a pinkish gray in skin tone and have decide to check "other" when required to admit to a race. It's all rather goofy, especially when you consider more and more people aren't a "pure" anything.
So could we please stop trying not to offend people who really need to take a trip to namby pamby land where maybe they might find some courage?
Same goes for all the offense taken if you say anything about some religion.
God, if you really need to defend a religion, it isn't worth defending. I'm sure God is quite capable of taking care of God without any help from sanctimonius humans.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Get a job

Times are tough but if you are waiting for "Happy Days are Here Again" - forget about it!
We will never again see anything approaching full employment (0% unemployment) or even what passed for full employment (3% unemployment) in the past.
We will be lucky if we can even reach and hold to an unemployment rate of 6%.
The reasons are simple. Business can get much more from fewer workers because of automation and computerization. Also, the world wide economy makes it possible to quickly shift jobs around the world to get the best bang for the buck.