Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What should I do with online earnings?

For several years now I have involved myself with many different online content sites, or some people like to call them revenue sharing sites. You can lump sites like WebAnswers, HubPages, Bubblews, and one I have recently joined called Niume, into this category.

By the way, if you want to check out Niume, here's a way to get started.

The truth is, for a while it wasn't so difficult to make thousands of dollars per year doing this. Especially if you happened to be someone like me who has at least a smidgen of knack for writing content.

Some people in the past have called me a windbag actually.

Of course, the one downfall for me in writing online content has been that I write mostly opinion pieces, and mostly on politics, business, and finance. The business and finance pieces have a bit more longevity. But because the politics pieces tend to be in the now they aren't relevant over a longer period of time and tend to fizzle out over time.

No matter.

So, what is the catch here? The catch is that many of the models to pay you that these revenue sharing sites use are faulty. In other words, the money will come, but it may also be short lived because what the creators of these sites are trying to do is to attract as many content providers as they can in as little time as they can, pay up a bit to incentivize and motivate those content providers, and then slowly begin to siphon off whatever pennies they can before the site shuts down, gets caught cheating, and content providers begin to head for the exits.

Such was the case with certainly WebAnswers and Bubblews.

But until that day comes these sites do pay actually quite well. So, what do you do with any money you earn online?

I think the key here is to understand that one day the cash cow will die. It's just a fact that seems to be the norm when it comes to online revenue sharing sites. So, I have always resorted to at least taking the money while it is free flowing into my bank account from these activities...

And running.

Many people choose to spend it. They may buy new shoes, a new TV, hell, a new laptop computer to make banging away at the keys and providing more revenue producing content easier—or more fun since getting a new computer can be fun.

I happen to think that it is better to make the money last longer. And to do that I think it is best to plunk the money into an investment which pays dividends over the long haul. That way, even when the revenue sharing site dies, the money is still there that you earned, and still able to earn for you as you work to seek out new sites to make up the difference.

So where do you put it?

Look, the reality is many people simply aren't too keen on investing in general, and so this can be a daunting task in and of itself. But one can keep it simple. Simply open an account at a site like Ameritrade or ShareBuilder and start depositing your online earnings into that account. When you've accumulated enough to start buying shares, pick stocks or ETFs which are fairly stable and that produce good dividends.

Here are a few I recommend; BXMX, F, KO, MRO, and YYY.

BXMX is an exchange traded fund, or ETF, that pays almost an 8% dividend, and I have owned it for over a decade. It's been stable, providing mostly dividends since the price doesn't move much. I hate to use the word 'safe,' but actually BXMX is fairly safe. It's a part of the Nuveen family of funds, and before it was BXMX it was JSN.

Ford (F), Coca-Cola (KO), and Marathon Oil (MRO) are all fairly stable stocks to own as well that pay a fair amount of dividends. Ford is somewhere around 6% if you account for the regular dividend and annual special dividends. Coca-Cola pays around 3.5%, and MRO is about the same as KO.

Keep in mind the most volatile of these three stocks is MRO.

I consider income earned from online sources as extra. And because I love to write it means I get to do what I love and make some money doing it. But I also like to increase all of my streams of income overall. And so putting the money I earn online away to earn over the long haul is simply a great way to make any money I earn doing what I love last longer than any of the revenue sharing sites will ever last.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A porn star speaks out against Trump?

Wait a minute. What?

Now don't get me wrong here, will you? I am a typical guy. I like porn. And don't you start to get all righteous and fuddy duddy on me here because I came right out and said not only do I like porn, but as a typical guy I like porn.

Folks, the numbers don't lie. Sex sells, and so does porn, so it's not like anyone isn't watching it—and if they say they're not they are either dead or lying through their teeth.

Look folks, can't you see the media is really grasping at straws here? I mean, there's all of this stuff that is out there, front and center, being put out by Wikileaks that gives a glaring insight into the inner working of the Hillary Clinton campaign and all of those spineless fuckers that surround her.

Yeah, I said spineless fuckers. I am not worried about my language folks so long as it happens to be the truth.

I am not going to say that Trump may never have groped anyone. The fact is I don't have any proof he didn't. But then, I don't really see any proof that he did either. I mean, even the first one (or was it the first one) that came out about the woman who was groped by Trump in first class on an airplane was a bit debunked. It's not the only debunking factor that the arm he raised between the seats to get to her actually could not have been raised. But it's the fact that once you have one detail in the story off, you have to question the entire story. Maybe there's some truth in it. But probably there's more story telling than truth.

I didn't mind the groping until he went south.

What? Again I ask that question. What? Now I am not going to say that just because a woman lets me touch her breasts, and maybe even her arm or her belly is an open invitation to go south and just expect that she wants me to finish the job. But certainly I have to ask, "What did you think I was going to think when you said 'ooh' and 'ahh' when I touched your top lady parts? I was probably going to think something else might also be okay."

It's not that you touch me ladies. But if you touch me a certain way above my southern regions and I don't mind, I may be surprised if you don't reach down a little farther.

Well. If I wadn't married girls. Yeah I say wasn't with a 'd.' Then I'd have to stop you. But I would have stopped you at the first soft caress personally.

But now we have a porn star that not only says Trump groped her, but asked her how much? How much? Well, she is a porn star. Now granted, being a porn star is different than being a prostitute to some extent I must say. After all, this is a profession with credentials to boot. Yeah, you get paid to screw on screen, and you're choosing your partner...

Do you choose? Well, maybe after you've been doing it for a while. Before that you have to screw who the director tells you to.

But I digress. I don't want to make light of any situation a woman may find herself in. Even a porn star. Even a prostitute for that matter. These are still human beings of course. But I mean, does the media really take itself seriously that this is what they put out there? A porn star who may have been groped and may have been asked if she'd be willing to do it for money off screen?

I wouldn't doubt there have been many porn stars asked this question by the way.

And all the while what are we missing? Four dead Americans in Benghazi. Where Clinton was on the night of the call? What happened to the missing emails? What was in them? And why she seemed to deny she knew what the letter 'C' meant but she is otherwise qualified to handle the nation's greatest secrets? And the list goes on.

I just hope that the people who the media hopes has their heads up their asses when they report this nonsensible trash are few and far between. Because what Hillary Clinton may do to us could arguably be far worse than anything Trump may have tried to get his hands on in his past.

What makes you think Donald Trump is actually winning the election?

It used to be that while one could not completely rely on the polls, the polls still got you somewhere closer in the ballpark. Sort of like the local weatherman giving his report on what the weather will look like tomorrow, you know? It may not be exactly 66 degrees and sunny. But you could expect that it would at least be somewhere within 60-70 degrees and the sun would probably shine for a good part of the day.

The polls have always been slanted. Or at least they have always been mostly slanted. Keep in mind all polls are, really, are interpretations of consensus which are formulated using mathematical calculations—and weighting. The weighting part is a key factor in how a poll result is formulated mind you, since the idea behind it is that certain weight is given to a particular representational factor within the poll itself.

For example, hispanics may only represent a very much smaller percentage of the population. So, naturally when you poll, less answers will be representative of the hispanic population as a whole. So you have to calculate how much weight should be placed on that answer in order to better calculate (or speculate depending on your perspective) how that answer weighs in for that particular group on the focus of the question.

But someone ultimately decides how much weight gets placed on any answer. And of course, they also have the ability to word a question in a way that presumes an outcome, and distracts from a more complete answer, and even can overweight a segment to sway a poll one way or the other.

I am not suggesting polling is rigged, per se. Although it may well be to some extent, especially nowadays. What I am suggesting is that polls are often times wrong—and since they are largely controlled by the media, or special interest groups, pollsters go into a poll with a predetermined desired outcome and will go to whatever length is necessary to have the poll answer their question in a way that better fits their desired narrative.

Sort of like saying if you ask ten people whether or not you are ugly and 5 people say you are and the other 5 say you're not, just ask one more person to see if you can get one more vote for not ugly and there you have it...

If 6 out of 11 say you're not ugly, then roughly 55% of those polled think you're not. You must not be ugly.

Of course, you can ask the question another way and get a totally different outcome. You might ask ten people, for example, if you are butt-ugly. Well, most people might think you are ugly. But probably most people won't think you are butt-ugly. So no matter how many people you ask, the most likely result is that you will come out with a desirable answer.

It's a silly analogy I know. But stick with me if you will. I like Springboard Answers to have a bit of tongue-in-cheek about it these days.

But okay, the question was "What makes you think Donald Trump is actually winning the election?" Because of course I think the polling is wrong, and I think the electoral map is skewed by wrong polling data, and of course there is also the factor that the media wants Hillary Clinton to be the victor in all of this, and so thus becomes the portrayal we all get to see.

But do you ever notice one thing that the media also does when it reports on the rallies? Yeah, you know, those things that the candidates hold for their actual supporters? It pans in on Hillary Clinton when it shows snippets of hers. Why? Because when you compare how many people are attending her rallies as opposed to how many people are attending Trump's...

Wow, is the result amazingly glaring and different.

And therein lies, at least for me, a very telling truth about the polls, and what the actual outcome of this election is going to be when all is said and done. Why does Trump win? Why are the polls wrong? Why do the electoral maps and all of the predictions of the liberal pundits paint a picture in favor of Hillary Clinton advancing to the White House?

It's in the rallies.

Trump is gathering enormous crowds. Can I use the term yuuge? On the flip side, Hillary is drawing very small crowds. While most of the time Trump is speaking from a podium in front of masses, we see Clinton stumping before very small groups.

The proof is in the rallies, folks. I'm telling you. Take that in for what it's worth. The people are gathering for Trump in far larger numbers than they are for Hillary, and it has the pollsters and the liberal media grasping at straws trying to make it look like it's the other way around. They're really trying.

Now look. I am no genius. I am not smarter than anybody and certainly I am not suggesting  I am. But I do think there are times when I see things that others do not. And this is one of those times. I am able to see the forest for the trees, you know. I am able to read between the lines. The story is in there, folks, plain to see. The deal is not done, mind you. I am not calling this election now. That would be foolish and downright stupid. And of course I am not going to put any money on it. But mark my words, the truth is that I think more of the country is for Trump than are not.

But, like the polls may be rigged, there's a very good chance that elections are rigged, and so we still may see an outcome that flies in the face of things that should be obvious.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What do you think of Ruler Foods?

You're talking about the Kroger equivalent of an Aldi store? Well, let's just put it this way. I do love to shop Aldi, but ever since a Ruler Foods store went up in my area I have frequented that store more often than the Aldi store.

And this is not to say anything bad about Aldi. Aldi is a great place to find affordable and quality groceries.

But Ruler Foods has a very similar concept. It's a lot of their brand stuff, and the prices are actually quite good—on most items of course—and I really like the concept of having to put in a quarter to get a cart. One thing I have observed at both Ruler Foods and Aldi Stores is that there is almost never a cart left in the parking lot.

That being said it's kind of cool when some schmuck DOES leave his cart behind in the parking lot since I happen to be a bit of a money loving fool, and for me...it's free quarter time.

And then there is the quality of the food. It's actually quite good if you ask me and compares well to any store brand and even Aldi brands you might find. One thing that does set Ruler Foods apart? Their meat prices and their meat selection is actually way better than Aldi Stores, and in some instances even beats most of the prices at other more notable food chains.

For example, while it is 73/27 hamburger meat, the 5 pound tube is mostly cheaper than the other guy's. The last time I bought one of these I paid about $1.88 per pound. Their 13 ounce packages of Polska kielbasa and smoked sausage regularly runs about $1.99. Their 24 ounce bricks of cheese average about $4.88. A dozen of eggs fluctuates a bit, but hovers around 79 cents to 89 cents. They actually recently upped the price to about $1.10 and they sat there and they quickly lowered the price back down. If you happen to be a milk drinker, a gallon of milk costs about $1.89.

Beware the sliced cheese however...

If you have ever followed me I always stress about unit price over total price. The average package of sliced cheese is 8 ounces. But Ruler Food's sliced cheese packages are only 6 ounces. And if you take into account the unit cost, it's cheaper to buy sliced cheese somewhere else.

But their shredded cheese at $1.79 for an 8 ounce package is actually not bad at all. All of the shredded cheeses are fine except for the mozzarella which does not seem to want to melt right. But the yellow cheeses are just fine.

You can buy a can of pasta sauce, if that is your thing, for about 89 cents. Doctor it up a bit if you need to. Hell, with the price of their produce, the hamburger meat, and even mushrooms, you could make a nice little sauce for a fraction of the cost of even a jar of Ragu.

Speaking of spaghetti sauce mind you, I have a little bit of a really good recipe to make your own sauce if you want to check that out—why buy jarred when making spaghetti sauce from scratch is so much better, so much cheaper, and easy as hell to make?

All in all if you like Aldi stores you're really going to like Ruler Foods. Going one step further, if you like Save-A-Lot Stores, Ruler Foods and Aldi Stores are both much cleaner stores, and to be honest, seem to have better selections and typically better prices. They also tend to be in slightly better locations as well.

Ruler Foods is certainly worth a look if you want a pleasant shopping experience, a clean store, great choices from brand name to store brand, and certainly great prices to make it all extra special.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why did CNN single out Ken Bone?

Okay, so Ken Bone was the pudgy guy in the audience during the 2nd presidential debate who was wearing a red cardigan sweater, tie, and who donned black-rimmed glasses, and according to many in the lamestream media he was the guy who stole the show for all intents and purposes. Well, they say it was the name. They say it was the way he was dressed. They say it was the question that he asked of the candidates, which, was a good question mind you. I am not taking anything away from his moment if you will. Nor am I going to diss the question he asked.

Did I say it was a good question? It really was.

So where did Ken Bone stand on the candidates? Well, he said in a following interview that he had leaned Trump, but that after the debate while still being undecided, favored Clinton's demeanor and composure, and felt she had stated her issues better than Trump did.

Bingo. We, folks, have a WINNER!

That's what did it. That's what made the story for the liberal media crew. Had he stood firm and said he was still leaning Trump, had he stated that he did not like Clinton's demeanor or skirting the issues about her emails...

The media would have dumped him like a burnt, useless hot potato.

In a CNN article they also did one other thing here which a weird guy like me, one who likes to make certain observations, caught right away. That would be the picture of the "staring black guy." Now, think about this for a minute will you? You have Ken Bone, the guy who looks like the All-American good guy, one observer actually saying, "This is a guy who probably brings roses home to his wife...just because," to the angry black man who, according to the wording in the article, staring at Mr. Trump with what can only be described as the evil-eye, who seemed to be saying "I am not falling for your B.S. Mr. Trump."

It is glaring. Don't you see it? Average all around American guy in a cardigan sweater, a concerned American citizen about not just how we get our energy now, but how we get it later (climate change lovers smiled), and the fact that he talked nice about Clinton, and then angry black guy—

Because all black people have benefited so greatly from the policies of the democrat party over the years, this man was important to convey the idea that no matter what Trump says, no black man would ever fare better under anything other than democratic regimes...

Ken Bone did not really steal the show. He did not really win the debate. His question was good. I said that. He does seem like a well-rounded guy, and he's even probably genuinely a nice guy. But had he touted Trump instead of Clinton? He'd have gotten not one second of coverage at all by anyone in the media.

Maybe Fox would have...

But we know that Ken Bone would have been dismissed, only to make any rounds on the Internet, enjoying the limelight there. But no reporters would have stopped him. No news stories would have been written about him. No one would have cared one iota about the pudgy man in the red cardigan sweater who asked a great question.

But we would have probably still seen a picture of the angry black man glaring at Mr. Trump. In fact, we might have even seen him getting all of the attention instead of Ken Bone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What do you think about election 2016?

First of all let me just state for the record that I am a bit of a political junkie. I love this stuff. But let me also say that even while so much is at stake this election cycle, this is probably the most entertaining and interesting election I have ever witnessed. And certainly I doubt I am alone in this thinking.

By the way, should I note that I happen to be a Trump supporter? Let's just keep that well out and in the open as I proceed. Not that it necessarily matters. But why not just put that out there for anyone interested in knowing where I stand as I write this?

If one thing is telling about how interesting this election is this time around consider one thing if you consider nothing else. A television show has been made that follows it, and it happens to be an entertaining show to boot. While the main players providing the analysis and commentary and reporting, if you want to attach that moniker, are not necessarily apolitical, and certainly mostly lean to the left, I think they are providing for a truthful and honest documentary on the entire process we are in right now.

They'll give kudos to Trump where they are due, and will chide Clinton as well where it happens to be due.

It's called "Circus," and it's on Showtime if you wanted to know.

There is a word that does strike me in talking about this whole process we are in right now, and that word is weird. We have a guy front and center on the GOP side who is as brash as brash can be. He tells it like it is, says sometimes very interesting things, and yet gets away with it time and time again. Of course I am talking about Donald Trump, and I think it is as clear as ever that in any other time, if it were any other person running, the likes of a Donald Trump would have been ground into the dirt long before any nomination was presented.

But let's also be clear that this has been an endearing aspect of Trump and his campaign despite it all, and has contributed enormously to his success and popularity. I think what the electorate is saying loud and clear is that they are tired of traditional politics and certainly traditional politicians. I think they are saying they want someone who isn't going to make you dizzy with spin, who will simply go out there and tell it the way it is—even if it sometimes comes out all wrong. Even if it comes out in a way that sort of scares you.

And by the way, should it scare you all that much? Think about it. There's a swath of people out there saying Trump could spur on WWIII with just a sentence or two. But, we are still a super power despite some decline in our might in recent years. If anyone would be scared, I think, it would be the guy at the other end of our military force, and at the other end of our missiles...

The death penalty is not a punishment as you know. It's supposed to scare you out of murdering. If Kim Jong Un wants to test the waters, he's going to be a little less willing to do so if he thinks the guy at the other end of the world may actually be crazy enough to do something harsh. It's like poking at someone you know who you think might just be that guy who would go berserk if you so much as looked at him the wrong way. You leave that hombre alone, man. You just don't go there.

Just in case.

And by the way, shouldn't we all be fearing someone like Hillary Clinton more? I mean, right now if anyone has an actual body count it happens to be her. Or the Clinton's in general. And I'm not talking at all about Benghazi. As far back as Bill's time in the Oval Office, and perhaps even as far back as when he was the Governor of Arkansas, people just have this mysterious way of winding up dead. If anything is clear it is that the Clinton's will do anything to maintain their power. It's really a regime that operates not that much differently than people in history like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and even Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un. You just don't cross certain paths if you know what's good for you, and if you think Hillary would not run the country in the same way you have to be kidding.

Getting back to this whole idea of weird you really have to think about this time we are in. You really have to think about how we got here. If I am to be real, and that is what I always prefer to be even though I lean one way over the other, we should not be in a time, frankly, where either candidate are even contenders in any way for the presidency. But the truth is that in part we're here because of the tried and true (and I use the word true in a different fashion here than it might otherwise be intended) politicians who have run this country into the ground and made it a very different America than any of us are used to.

Perhaps even the Millennials who sat at their kitchen tables at family gatherings and listened as their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles talked about the state of the country, and what was right and what was wrong.

I mean, it doesn't take a rocket science to know that after eight years of Barack Obama no one is better off economically. The country has seen nearly stagnant growth in the so-called recovery from the great recession. The war on terror is a disaster, and now we're less safe than since the infamous day of September 11, 2001. Obamacare has also been a disaster and anyone who pays bills knows their premiums have gone up dramatically from what was supposed to be a more affordable system.

Yet someone like Hillary Clinton, who has made it all too clear she wants to continue with and to strengthen what are clearly failed policies of the current administration, is still being looked at closely by a large part of the electorate as electable. Even Bernie Sanders' rise to popularity before the DNC finished up its efforts to oust him from contention for the nomination is telling of failed economic policy.

If you are doing well and you are making money and things are working out well, no one—not even a staunch democrat—would ever consider menial handouts over an honest days work and an opportunity to advance financially.

This election cycle allowed Bernie Sanders to rise in the polls because the last eight years and the effects of the great recession wore down the mentality that one can succeed in America on their own, and they were willing to throw in the towel and just say fuck it. Let the government pay my way and take care of me because there is no chance for an alternative anymore.

And of course there is Trump's rise in the polls as well. And even now despite many controversies and missteps throughout his campaign, he continues to be doing actually quite well. In the latest polls I have seen if it is not a dead heat between Clinton and Trump, many polls show Trump again in the lead. Especially in key states. He's got a real chance to actually win this thing.

But his rise, his decimation of what were perhaps the best group of republican candidates to appear on stage in a long time without so much as a blink, is also telling of eight years of failed policies—but it is also telling of an entire and systemic failure of the government and our elected officials to get anything done and actually work in our favor. When the deck is stacked against you and you know who is stacking the deck you are prone to take the deck away from that person. In this case, we're taking the deck away from the establishment.

What's more is that if you go by what most republicans say, even among those who support Trump mind you, the common theme tends to be that Trump is not really a republican even if he is running with an (R) after his name. So, what is Trump really? He is the first independent—or even third party—candidate to ever actually have a shot at winning the White House. And yes, that fits right into the category of weird.

The last time we had a third party candidate even scratch the surface was with Ross Perot.

Consider that even with two very controversial and let's be honest, "unpopular" candidates if you go by polling, the real third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are all but unknowns in this race. Johnson isn't even getting a fraction of the traction that Ross Perot got back in his day. If this election cycle were truly the disaster that so many claim it to be why would not any third party candidate be soaring in the polls.

If the lesser of two evils are really just one single plain evil without an alternative then why are the "alternative" lessers getting nowhere at all?

What else is weird? Well, you've had the whole health issue with Hillary Clinton of course. Hell, all it took for Howard Dean to self destruct his campaign was to get a little too excited during a speech. Hillary, for a while, could barely make it through a speech without the audience close to her podium wondering if a pair of lungs might be hacked out into their very laps. And of course, there is this whole lack of transparency thing with her. Even with the recent indication that what she was suffering was pneumonia, there is still a very compelling reason to wonder if that really is the case despite what we are being told.

Well, it was heat stroke just before that, or was it heat exhaustion, in New York after she abruptly left the 9/11 deal in an earth-shattering, sweat bath of 77 degrees.

Either way, if this election cycle were normal I think Hillary would have fallen dramatically in the polls after even just the first hack attack. Hell, let's not forget the whole Benghazi thing, her near absence from the media for 100s of days—and the list goes on. That may have put her in a bad light as well with voters.

Rick Perry couldn't remember the third point in a debate and his ship was sunk in one fell swoop.

Look, for all of the weirdness in this election I think at the end of the day Trump is not nearly as crazy as everyone thinks he is, and I also think that Hillary is crazier than anyone thinks she isn't. Even for Trump, despite his antics and his unpolitician stance (is that even a word?) I think he may well be exactly what this country needs. And I honestly say this with a straight face. Why will Hillary lose the election? For the same reason that 16 other "respectable" and highly honed republicans lost to Donald J. Trump in the primaries. The status quo is out of favor. Politicians are out of favor. The country is in the tank due to not just the last eight years of Obama, but certainly this has not helped one iota, but due to decades of failed policies on both sides of the aisle doing the work to afford themselves strong political careers, but leaving the American people in the dust to fend for themselves.

Maybe that's even why Johnson does not resonate—I mean, despite the fact that he's more of a buffoon than Trump honestly in my opinion (What is Aleppo? I stopped smoking pot two weeks before I decided to run for president and will not smoke it in the White House...)—and that's because Johnson is, in a way, still a part of the establishment. He's a politician with the badges to prove it.

Do I really want all this entertainment value in what is the most important decision our country can make? Not exactly. But then again, you have to think that more people than ever before are all ears and all eyes on this thing, and you have to consider that one of the reasons so many politicians before this cycle got away with all sorts of undesirable things is because no one that mattered was paying attention. Maybe a Donald Trump presidency will get the American people back in the business of paying attention to the country, to the world, to the problems both face, and to the actions right or wrong that shape the outcome of our very lives.


Monday, September 19, 2016

So, are you a special kind of stupid?

Well, isn't this really a most interesting question for me today? The truth is that as I get older the less I give a damn about whether or not I make a fool out of myself. In fact, one could argue that all one need to do is spend a couple of hours scouring the annals of YouTube and what you gather when all is said and done is, "Boy, there are a lot of stupid people, and a lot of stupid things that get posted. But, boy do they get the views."

And of course, when it comes to YouTube, stupid can be a bit profitable in the right conditions.

So of course being that I am a bit of a money hungry boob, being a boob and maybe having the opportunity to get paid for it as well definitely appeals to me. Besides, this is sort of like that thought you have when you walk out onto a dance floor waving your arms, kicking your feet, and really doing anything remotely like dancing and thinking, "No one will ever know who I am. I will never see these people again."

Sometimes, unfortunately, you do eventually run into some of these people. D'oh!

But life is short, right? And you only live once. And at the end of the day I come at this with one thought in mind these days—years ago I may have thought differently about it—who cares what anyone thinks at the end of the day?

Does it really matter?

Look, so much of our lives is devoted to making impressions for everyone else. We hold things back because we fear what others may think. We are reserved because we are sure we will make fools of ourselves. We fear that others may be laughing at us instead of with us, and in some strange way we think that matters.

And then there are the "prudes." For example, the other day while vacationing in Cancun some "friends" of ours in our party would not play along with a clown that showed up at our table for tips making hats and other "balloon gifts" at our table at SeƱor Frog's in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. He was wanting to make a pair of balloon tits—yep, you heard me right—for one of the "ladies" in our party. She quickly shut that down.

Poor sport, and way too uptight if you ask me. Try to live a bit because if you don't everyone just thinks you're too good for fun, and too full of yourself and your "prowess" in life to let loose a little bit.

As the old saying goes in life; there is time for composure and there is a time for just saying fuck it. Let's have a good time and everyone else be damned.

Am I am musician? No. But I do write my own songs. I even went as far as to release an album on iTunes, Pink Flamingoes (misspelled on purpose), and some might say this is the ultimate example of boobery. But do I care?

Not hardly.

In some strange corner of the world there are fans who like what I am doing even if it is not radio quality, or even good by most people's standards? Can I sing? Some say yes. Others say no. But here again who cares what anyone else thinks? Look, Michael Jackson was an amazing dancer and an even more amazing singer, but ask a number of people in certain circles about Michael Jackson and he was simply a tool and a weirdo and couldn't dance or sing.

By the way, there are a ton of closet Michael Jackson fans out there. You can include me in that group folks.

So I make my own songs and I post them to YouTube, on iTunes and other music store sites like Spotify and Amazon Music, and I share those and cover songs like Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams and The Breeder's Safari on places like SoundCloud. And I think to myself, am I a great guitar player? No. Am I a great song writer? No. Can I sing like Justin Bieber or Michael Jackson? Not hardly. Probably more like Neil Young or maybe some of the failed try-outs on that old prime-time show American Idol. Probably more like them. Probably way more like them than I care to admit.

But again. Do I care? Nope. I am just a boob having fun. Does this make me a special kind of stupid? I don't know. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. But what I do know is that even of the bulk of stuff like this I have ever posted, I am still not as out there as some of the people and things I have seen posted.

By the way, in the above video I am reminded of something my grandfather always used to say about Joe Cocker. "I like his music, I just can't stand to watch him sing it."

Of course I said somewhere before in this little post something about just having fun. At least I think I did. Perhaps I need to scroll up. But even if I didn't that is what this is all about. Just having fun. Making a boob out of yourself and sharing it and not caring what anyone thinks about that and just having fun. Because when the lights go out that is all you have. What you left behind. What you did while you were here. And let's face it, being reserved? What's the fun in that? Again, you only live once. When the lights go out for the final time you just want to have said, "I did what I wanted to. And 10 years after I am gone, even ten weeks after I am gone no one will remember. So who cares? What does it matter?"

I'd rather go out saying I had fun and did what I wanted to, everything else be damned, than be thinking—if you can think when you are dead—I wish I would have done this or that.

One thing definitely stands out for me and that is that when I was in high school—or even grade school for that matter—it was always about everyone else. It was always about what everyone else thought about what you did. When I was a kid I longed to be a writer, and one thing struck me about the whole writer thing.

Many writers use pen names.

Not so much because we don't like our own names, but because creative people in general like to be a bit anonymous. We are uber critical of what we do. It's in the nature of anything artistic. And so we hide behind different names, different personas...

But eventually all who come to the light do as well come out of the shadows.

Again I address the question of whether or not I am a special kind of stupid? I say no. No I am not not. I am simply a guy doing my thing, enjoying what little time I have on this planet and in this life, and finally coming to the realization that at the end of the day I do not need to be good. I do not need to be ultra talented. I do not need to be perfect. I do not need to be accepted by my inner circle. I can be laughed at and that's okay. I can be talked about behind my back by certain groups and individuals and that's okay. I can not be afraid to do what I want, to be who I am, to follow my own dreams and desires, to let loose and not care, and just be...

Who I am.

I am Jim Bauer. This is my life. This is my personality. This is my thing. Like it or love it. Hate it or laugh at it. I don't care.

Am I a special kind of stupid? Nah. A special kind of stupid is being too worried about being something you are not. A special kind of stupid is becoming something other than you want to be. A special kind of stupid is dying having never experienced the true essence of yourself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why the current negative news on the Wounded Warriors charity?

Not that I am taking anything away from the reporting on the matter, nor am I going to discuss whether or not the reports are true. They probably are. What is the reason this story about discrepancies in the Wounded Warriors charity's finances comes out now? Especially when any charity arguably has many skeletons in their closet? Almost all charities are a little bit crooked aren't they?

Donald Trump.

Of course Mr. Trump is saying he will not be attending the final republican debate on Fox News prior to the Iowa caucuses—something which is to be seen, but he may well just keep his word. What is he doing instead? He's holding a rally which will be both a campaign and a charity event. Where is the money going? To the vets, and more specifically to the Wounded Warriors Project.

I am not going to comment on what Trump hopes to accomplish with this latest tactic, but will only say that it seems clear to me that the news media outlets don't like the fact that Trump has been able to steer a lot of how they conduct their debates, and of course has been able to thwart any effort by any arm of the media to douse his numbers which have unquestionably been on fire for quite some time. This may also be a jab at the republican party as well being that Trump is the clear front-runner, and the RNC cancelled an NBC debate in favor of CNN because the RNC and Trump did not like NBC's handling of a previous debate, as well as what they consider to be less than fair coverage of the candidates, namely Trump.

This is to make what Trump hopes would be seen as a good thing, helping the vets he strongly supports, look more like Trump simply helping a crooked organization that will do no more to help the vets than the VA.