Got any CHEESE?

13803917124_3b4a8d498c_zThe guy who owned the company I used to buy vitamins from just dropped dead at the age of 59.  His company’s webpage was always very informative and sounded very authoritative and trustworthy.  They marketed high quality supplements that they said were highly absorbable and backed by science, which they discussed at length.  Many of their opinions were consistent with information I corroborated from other sources.  I only found out that he dropped dead because I was back there considering whether to buy from him again, and I saw a “remembering Byron,” link.  However, there is no information concerning cause of death, except that he was on a run and collapsed, and quite frankly that concerns me from the perspective of whether I can trust his health advice.  I do remember an article in which he discussed taking high doses of something before running to see whether he felt better.  Experimenting on himself?  Maybe I shouldn’t be concerned if I’m not going to go that crazy, but I kind of feel like I need more information, which they haven’t provided.  In any case, RIP Byron Richards.  I’m sure you believed what you were preaching.  And maybe you were right.  There are no guarantees.

I myself change things up quite a bit trying to feel better.  I’m quite open to alternative thinking.  I’ve quit sugar, gone off coffee, though I’m usually back on it before too long, hate fluoride, mistrust vaccines and GMO and don’t think fats are so bad.  I have an underactive thyroid, and thyroid autoimmunity, and for a time I took iodine for it, but now believe I probably made it worse.  So I’m not always right, but I am always thinking.

My latest kick is something that wasn’t ever on my radar and was quite surprised when it was suggested to me and then it struck a chord.  Dairy.  I quit coffee periodically, but I had noticed that when I drank it black, rather than how I prefer it with half and half (or even whole cream), it bothers me less.  And when I was in my 20s I experienced a short stint in which I was extremely lactose intolerant, and then it went away (which I discovered when I tried to use it as a laxative, and it didn’t work).  Maybe it never agreed with me, and I’ve been feeling bad all these years because, well, I love dairy, and it’s everywhere.

So I started trying to quit dairy a few weeks ago, and found it to be difficult.  It’s everywhere.  Pizza is our mainstay.  Cheese ravioli is always in the freezer as a backup.  Spaghetti is best with mounds of Romano.  Cheese sandwiches are great when you’re out of other cold cuts and want to avoid buying lunch.  But since Monday I have been more strict about it, and also am trying to lower meat consumption and eat more veggies and fruits.  I feel better, more focused, and I’ve lost some weight even, but I’m really hungry most of the time.  I think that maybe cheese was making me feel bloated and I am mistaking the absence of being uncomfortably full for hunger.  I also have this burning sensation in my right armpit, which spreads to my chest muscle and my back – like a painful skin sensitivity, and I’m hoping that it’s a withdrawal symptom, because I have read recently that dairy, particularly cheese, has something in it that is similar to Opium.   Hmmm.  This pain could have nothing to do with that, and if it doesn’t go away I’ll get it checked out.  No discoloration, no noticeable swelling, so I’ll wait and see for now.

Anybody else ever try quitting dairy?


The Writing Wagon

10415217104_1738d97136_bA New (add)Venture – adding words to old stories

I’ve fallen so far off of the writing wagon that I have lost all confidence in myself to achieve any kind of success in it.

I used to have a blog with readers, not a lot of readers, but enough, given my limited exposure, to feel validated and objectively encouraged.

I posted musings and from time to time stories that were well received,

Later I had a few stories accepted for unpaid online publication.

But they were all short.

Also, a long time ago, before I even had any children (so maybe 20 years), I wrote two spec scripts for Star Trek – The Next Generation, which I sent off as examples of my work and they earned me an invitation to pitch ideas for Deep Space Nine, which I traveled to LA to deliver.  I was invited to try again for Voyager, which I didn’t deliver. But it was at least encouraging.

However, my dream to hit gold and and to fund my writing and end my career as an accountant was not actualized and now that I am older, I think more of retiring than of supporting myself as a writer.

But I’ve not saved enough to realistically plan for doing that anytime soon either.

So again, I think about how nice it would be to at least supplement my retirement savings with something from writing.

Except that I’m a loser with a creative mind and lots of potential, but still a loser.  I have failed to achieve almost every goal I ever had.  I am a slave to a job I never intended would last.  And I don’t believe in myself anymore.

But that can change.  I know I can write.  If I just found the time and did it.

And there’s this new thing, this new market for the short story and it’s called Amazon Singles.

So I would like to decide that my second career is going to be writing Amazon Singles.  Can I decide that?  I think I just did.

Singles are a self publishing opportunity made possible by Amazon, in which they pay you royalties, significant royalties compared to traditional publishing, for work anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 words.  It is something to motivate me to write stories that have at least some potential for earning money.

And I know that I should do it.  That said, I don’t have any stories that are even as long as 5,000 words, but I have a lot of stories between 1,000 and 2,000.  So I could write new stories, or I could add words to old stories.

(add words)

I want to do it.  It requires a submission and acceptance, but I would like to do it.

The question is, can I do it, or will I be too depressed thinking about all of my previous shortfalls?

Stay tuned.

Update 11/15/17 – still a loser.

Carlos Danger

I started playing the drums when I was in 2nd grade, so it is somewhat natural to me when I get around to it.  It’s been a number of years since I picked it up again, although it still feels like I am returning from a LONG absence.

I play Jazz a lot and used to sit in on a local jam session, but I also like to play more popular forms.  Some guys I know have put together a cover band, have been playing together for a few years and have gotten pretty good.  After some time and much deliberation they have settled on the name Carlos Danger, and though I didn’t like the name at first, it has grown on me and I hope they never change it.

Carlos Danger

A founding member and the solid foundation of this band is their drummer, so no room for me on the traps, but I’ve jammed with them on a number of occasions crashing their rehearsals with my conga drum.  They have been recruiting me to actually join the band, but because I always say, “yeah, I’d like to do it, sounds good, maybe so,” and never show up, they found some other caucasion.

But this other guy couldn’t make if for their gig yesterday at the pig roast (not kidding) and so they asked me if I would sub.

I did. They pulled me away from another party to rehearse with them for 4 hours Saturday night, on the other guy’s drums. As has been typical they had to twist my arm.  “I haven’t been practicing,” I said.

“So practice at the rehearsal,” they said.

Turns out they were right about everything.  I would not have practiced that hard at home.  And though I really didn’t want to leave that party (everyone brought a growler full of beer), after we played a couple of tunes I was like, “who would rather be at a growler party?  I mean, we’re making music.”

Playing the pig roast

What could be better than that?

Plus this guy’s drums are better than the 35 year old skin I own and easier to play too.  I smacked the shit out of them for 4 hours straight.  And then with sore hands I had to play the gig the next day.  I was worried about that, but, you know, play in pain.  A little more beer helped.

I didn’t learn how to play hand drums in second grade, I started with sticks, began learning the drum set in seventh, and hand drums not until high school, and it still wasn’t my forte, but I learned from the best. And even though I don’t play all the time, their influence has stayed with me and I can call upon it when I need it.  Thank you to Don Babatunde Eaton, Edwina Lee Tyler, Rudy Bird and Ivan Hampden, Jr.

I think I did damn well, and I’m usually pretty critical of myself (the band sounded good too).  There’s always room to improve, and I took some risks for sure, but the crowd and the band’s feedback was positive. Now the only problem is they already have a conga player, but can a band really have too many percussionists?  I don’t think so.

Prometheus the Xangarelic

I first started blogging on a site called xanga and my user name was Prometheus.  I was there from the beginning, that is, when xanga began, and there were only a handful of us.  Later, when we were overrun by teenagers and the Chinese (I’m not kidding) we used to call ourselves “xangarelics.”  But at the beginning it was pure blogging.  Ordinary people with interesting and complex thoughts writing not about one thing, as is the conventional advice if you want to attract “customers,” but we wrote about everything.  It was what blogging should be.

That was the past.  Xanga is a ghost town now.  The site moved, and tried to reinvent itself, but now even old readers can’t find it.  It’s a ghost town, but it still exists.

Suddenly, I started getting emails that people are commenting on some of these old posts!

I’m popular again.

Wow, awesome weblog layout! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging glance easy. The total glance of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

What are they selling?

Remarkable! Its really remarkable article, I have got much clear idea about from this post. – from “insoles for high arch”

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the future. I want to encourage continue your great job, have a nice day! –  from Foot Pronation.

I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles. – from Hay Day Hack Tool

That wasn’t very complimentary.  I’m not buying their app.

Whеn I originally comented ӏ seеm tto have clicked the -Notify mе hen neww comments ɑгe added- checkbox annd fгom now οn ԝhenever ɑ сomment іs added I get four emails ԝith tthe samе comment. There ɦas tto be a wɑy уou arre aable to remove mе from thаt service? Apprciate іt!

The first comment from that person.  A trick, I think.  I’m not falling for it.

Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thanks, I appreciate it!


Good blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!! – from Spartan Wars Cheat


Keystone Cops

These days, it’s getting harder and harder to like cops. And I even know a retired cop, and a cop married my cousin that lives in California and who I see once a decade or so.  Truth is I don’t know that many cops, but I know they are human.

I had to call on the police recently because my car was hit.  I was on the highway, in moderate traffic, and someone knocks the back bumper off it’s brace, cracks my brake light, damages the quarter panel and moves my car in the lane. Then he (she maybe, I didn’t see) drives past me inches from the rest of my car and leaves the scene.  Car still driving (this piece of shit takes a licking and keeps on ticking), I say, “hey,” and hot tail it in pursuit.  I follow the guy (let’s say) for a good 10 minutes, trying to memorize the license plate number, which isn’t working cause I can’t find a pattern to help me remember.  So I take out my phone and try to take a picture of it, hoping not to get into another accident while I’m steering with the camera in both hands, I got one, but the lighting is off and the license plate glows with blown out highlights.  People try to get in between us, but I work my way back behind him and then something occurs to me.  I have my phone in my hand. I can use it to call the police.  So I do.  I give them the license plate number, and not just because they said, “we don’t recommend that you confront the individual Sir,” I pull over and wait for an officer to arrive so that I can file a report.

When he shows up, he takes his time getting out of the car.  The lights are so bright I can’t even look in his direction.

So I’m just waiting there looking the other way.  Except when I was taking this picture.


He comes out and talks to me, the lights still flashing of course.  He finds out from me that I told the operator everything he wants to know (and I don’t remember so good anymore) but that’s good because he has all that.  Back in his car, he looks up the license plate number I called in, which takes a very long time and he eventually emerges to inform me that he has an address and a name and that he will, personally, when he comes on duty the next day at about 2PM, go see if he can find the car, and if there’s evidence of the accident, he will write a ticket, but, he tells me not to expect too much because if the person has moved, there won’t be much they can do.  Five days or so and the report will be ready, he says, and if he can get insurance information I will be able to find it in the report.


So I call a couple of weeks later.  I’ve been driving this piece of shit around happy as a clam.  I didn’t get around to calling for a couple of weeks.  I pushed the part of the bumper that was hanging off back into it’s grooves and was good to go.  I find that I love this car even more now because it’s so beat up.  But I call.  They tell me that I can pick up the report at the station. I ask whether he found the guy and noted any evidence.  In other words “is it worth it for me to pick up the report?”  My expectations had been set low.

“I don’t see anything beyond your account of the accident.  Do you want me to have the officer call you?  He’s on duty tonight.”

“Sure,” I say.  Modern times.

And he calls.  That’s service.  But no, wasn’t able to find the guy.  “Sorry,” he says.

“So, he moved or something?”

“I guess so.”

“But isn’t he required to keep his address up to date?  Isn’t that also the law.  Does it at least go into the system so it will come up if he’s ever pulled over for something?”

“Well, yes, there will be an APB in the system, but there’s no way of putting him in the car at that time.”

“So I’m just out of luck.”

“Sorry about that, Sir.”

If I actually cared about fixing my car, I would be irate. But I love my car the way it is.

This is what I don’t understand.  The government keeps all kinds of information on us all the time, they make us register our cars, and renew it every year and pass emissions.  They also track our calls and take our fingerprints to even get a license. They can track us by our phone’s GPS and they probably do, but we can’t even find the guy when we know who he is, who owns a car that was involved in a hit and run.  And I think it’s a bad enough crime.  It’s worse than speeding.  Or running a red light when no one is around  Or rolling through a stop sign.  He left the scene of an accident that was his fault.  And why?  Doesn’t it make you suspicious that something else was going on, that he was drunk, didn’t have insurance, guilty of some other thing?  He shouldn’t get away with it so easily.

If it were me and I ran from the scene of an accident, I’d be scared shitless that I’d be caught.  But apparently all you have to do is park your car somewhere else for a few days and wait.

Television police are better than that.

Reminds me of a story about my great grandfather.  He was in the union, back when the police would beat you up for being in the union..  They called him Patty, as in Patrick, only his name wasn’t Patty or Patrick.  He wasn’t Irish, he was Jewish, and his name was Abraham, but for some reason, no one knows why, they called him Patty.  And he worked as a glazier and he was in the glazier’s union.  He may have even been part of management, like one of the union’s founders, I’m not sure.  But there was this kid who also worked at the union.  The kid was opining on some matter or other and by all accounts was an idiot, at least that’s what I believe, because I’m taking my great grandfather’s side even though I never met him.   Patty tells him to shut up. “You’re only here as a favor to your uncle,” he says, who happened to be a mobster, or so the story goes. Then the kid pulls a knife, but the fight is broken up.  Patty goes home and waits on his stoop, because he knows the kid is coming.  Sure enough he does and Patty shoots him.  At this point the kid backs off saying, “ok, ok.”  That’s how I heard it so I assume he wasn’t killed.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure.

And so the way this story ends, according to my grandfather, is that Patty had to hide out on the rooftops for a few days while the police looked for him.

Then they gave up.

So times haven’t changed, really.  They gave up then, and gave up now looking for the person who hit herbie, the love Honda (just kidding, my car doesn’t have a name.  My wife named a car Otis, once, also a Honda, and then it was totaled and she was really upset).

But it’s just  “Oh well.  Couldn’t find him.”

While I’m on the subject, here’s another story about Patty.  His son, my grandfather, the one who told the other story, also worked in the union, after his father died.  He ran the union for a little while in fact, the Glazier’s union in New York City. Later on, when he was older, after he had been banned from running the union, over some trumped up conspiracy charge, he got my younger brother a job there.  Now my brother is a work of art.  His appearance is eclectic and ever changing.  At one time he sported a mohawk.  I’ve known him to wear tails, for no specific reason.  He changes his facial hair periodically and he used to wear two different colored converse sneakers which he bought at the dollar store before they became trendy again. He was in a rock band, you feel me?  So my grandfather, who was old fashioned enough to tell you to get a haircut, but would smile about it and didn’t belabor the point, got him this job. And by all accounts he did well.  I’m sure he did, my brother is a smart guy, and can push papers around, or whatever he did there.  I don’t know.  Then one day one of the older guys runs into him and says, “so you’re Sidney’s grandson?”

“Yeah,” my brother says.

Then he looks my brother up and down and says in this old jewish croak of a voice, “Patty woulda kicked your ass.”

But they can’t send him a letter at his address of record?  Maybe it would be forwarded, if he even actually moved.  It could say, “you’re car was reported to be party to a hit and run. Govern yourself accordingly.” If I were to actually replace the bumper and quarter panel and light that would be a waste. The car runs. I have no problem with it.  If I fixed it, it would only be to pretend it was something it’s not.

But there could be a hold put on his yearly registration, until he gets his address up to date and at least shows his face. They could deny him his sticker.  Maybe by then we won’t be able to prove anything, but he would have to undergo some measure of inconvenience. That’s all I want.

I mean it seems lately like cops can kill black people and nothing happens, they’re good at that, and we don’t hear much about the good cops standing up against it (when they do they are attacked by organizations like The Fraternal Order of Police), but they can’t do a little leg work when someone is actually trying to take advantage of them?

This is worse than selling single cigarettes without a license to people who are so poor that they can only afford one cigarette. I want to like cops, I do. That’s all I’m saying.

New Year Wants

(I’m not saying I’m going to do any of these things, just that I want to)

1. Lose a little weight (don’t we all?)

2. Get in shape (I’m 50, but I don’t want to feel like it)

3. Save money (budgets = freedom)

4. Stop drinking coffee (it stifles my creativity)

5. Learn to relax (Mon)

6. Keep a blog (I received an unsolicited report from wordpress that informed me that I posted TWICE in 2014 -not counting this one – WTF!  What has happened to me?).

7. Write a novel (if I’m not blogging…)

8. Know myself (if I don’t, who will?)

9. Retire

10. Save the world from global warming.

We can start with those.