The Ugly Duckling or the Silly Goose

With all of my superior grace, I still managed to spill a glass of red wine on my home laptop. After I set it out to dry, it seems the wireless NIC has taken a powder. It’s now residing at the computer repair store with no ETA of being fixed. That puts a little bit of a crimp in my blogging. As one can plainly see, I do have alternatives but they’re not the most convenient.

Smeagol Finds His True Precious

MY PRECIOUS! (Photo credit: Cole Edmonson)

I thought I would use this time to put together all of the observations I couldn’t make in to a full post on their own. It’s a hodgepodge, which bites at my sense of continuity, but it keeps me writing. I like to write, as a painter loves to paint. Inspiration is a trixie hobbit though, and it often has my precious. Yessss.

The Tobacco Werewolf

As you may or may not be able to make out in my Gravatar, I am a smoker. A dirty, dirty smoker to some. I own it for the most part, but have been fighting to get away from lighting up. Have you ever felt weird, when someone says they love smoking? Well, prepare to be uncomfortable again! I am one of those people.

Talbot in wolf form, as portrayed by Lon Chane...

Give me a menthol! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a tactile pleasure, I think. The weight, the draw, the gesture are almost a part of my personality. That is what makes me a tobacco werewolf. After a few drinks, a bad day at the office, or a friend lighting I turn into a mad beast (internally, my mind is Lon Chaney, Jr.). I simply have to have one. Of the two general types of addictions, this is probably categorized as a mostly psychological. My mind is more powerful than my body and has the terrible ability to rationalize tobacco.

In recent months, I have attempted alternative measures to assuage this monster. Gum, vapor, cold turkey, and now the patch have been added to my seemingly futile attempts to curb smoking. Admittedly, last night I fell off the wagon and got back up this afternoon. I don’t ask for anyone’s sympathy or whatnot. I’m not the type to beg, plead, or otherwise excuse the activity. It just is, and I accept the consequences of those actions. How many people can say they do that?

Private Eyes Are Watching You

In another candid camera moment, local authorities are now storing your day-to-day travels just in case you might be doing something illegal. I file this one under the increasingly growing “guilty until proven innocent” section. However, there still are people convinced otherwise. Why worry, if one’s not doing anything illegal? Right? Here’s a question for you. Do you really understand the law? Have you taken the time to read all the Federal, state, and local regulations? If you have, you’d realize the massive amounts of text it provides. This voluminous subject covers a lot of ground, stated in simplicity. With such verbiage is also the idea of interpretation. You see, situations occur when two people take the same law and read it differently. In other words, you may think you’re the model citizen obeying every sort of law imaginable. Authorities may think otherwise. Guess who’s going to win without a lengthy battle in court? My money’s on the law enforcement.

For example, say you were to take a marvelous vacation to the great state of Maine. What’s one food for which Maine is exalted? Lobsters. I love lobster just as much as the next seafood enthusiast, but do you know the regulations on lobsters? If Maine is anything like the other East coast states, trawlers will vend their food as soon as they get off the boat. North Carolina shrimpers will set up shop with a cooler and a tent just to capture the allure of freshness.

Being these fisherman are in the business, and you’re not, they are aware of the v-notched lobsters they caught and sell one to you. You start driving away blissfully thinking of how you’ll prepare the little devil. Suddenly, you’re pulled over by Maine’s finest a few miles later. “There was a boat that just came in with an illegal lobster catch. Our cameras caught your car driving away from the docks, and we are asking to search your car.” This is a request you really, really don’t want to deny. Authorities don’t like noncompliance, and will make your life Hell if you don’t.

They find your dinner, and now you’re slapped with $600 in fines for having illegal lobster in your car. It’s the same with stolen property. Even if you’re not aware of the illegality of the stolen merchandise, you are still held culpable for the purchase. You are the one currently holding illegal goods. Possession is 9/10 of the law.

Should you really have to go through all of this, because you did something innocuous? You’re not trafficking lobster. You’re not some criminal kingpin. You just wanted dinner. You’re not going to do it again. It’s a stupid lobster! How many of these obscure rules are there?! In short, you are held to a very difficult standard as a layman in which compliance has become treacherous. That is why you should be concerned about surveillance like this while “you’re not doing anything wrong.”

To Post or Not to Post

I’ve been thinking about the lack of security of the Internet and my books. It started with a concern raised by frommtvtomommy, and snowballed into a Thursday night drinking session. I like writing, and love to share. That’s not to say I would mind receiving some income from what I create, or more importantly, prevent someone making money off of me. It’s not my focal point, but I’m not so sure now it should be ignored. While I will take my current story to a conclusion, there are three other stories I’ve started that haven’t been discussed in detail. One of them I haven’t mentioned anything about until now. I’m not sure how I could share them without helping someone else profit at my expense.

With that, it’s time to make the doughnuts. More importantly, it’s time to eat the doughnuts! Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!

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12 thoughts on “The Ugly Duckling or the Silly Goose

  1. If I ever started smoking, I would never, ever stop. It is rife with everything that makes me so, so happy. My friend Alison has smoked since she was 15, and she’s as healthy as a horse. A healthy horse. I don’t even give her a hard time about it.

    Like you, I struggle with what I post on my blog and who might copy it. I do not post my fiction on my blog, though I do post character studies and scene work here and there. Hopefully, not enough for someone to steal. But I also worry that I am not creating a true platform for my writing, because off the blog, I write novels. Not ditties about my dad or me and MTM or whatever. It’s a conundrum, as I sit here waiting to open my last rejection any day now………In my experience, people do not want to read fiction on blogs. They just don’t. Many of my readers love my fiction (or claim to), but it takes more time to digest it, and in this no-attention-span format, people simply do not want to take the time.

    • It’s going to be a real challenge to decide what to do with the writing here. I’ve made up my mind for the moment, but that is subject to reconsideration. Rejections from publishers are nothing, as I liken it to the rejection letters from music companies. I assembled a “wall of shame” and made it funny. Seeing your work being sold under a different author though… I’m not sure I could take that calmly.

  2. kerbey says:

    I choose to remain naïve and believe everyone on WordPress is as nice and ethically sound as I am. But now I know to NEVER buy lobsters that way. I can’t anyway; my husband’s allergic. You don’t want to become one of those black helicopter people, but I’m sure the govt knows much more than we think. Hell, if Domino’s knows my name when I call for pizza, along w/ every order I’ve ever made, surely the govt, inept as they are, can do more. Now I’m going to be singing “Eye in the Sky,” and that song is already haunting enough. I do adore it. As an aside, bars are smoke-free in Austin, and it always seems odd for me now to go shoot pool in a room completely devoid of smoke. I don’t smoke, but it somehow seems un-American to have such a clean Febrezed poolhall.

    • I’m of the opinion the government knows quite enough already about every American without approving a blanket search warrant on the entire nation. There is no probable cause to suspect everyone of doing something illegal 24/7. That’s a huge mangling of the Constitution.

      You and I will be part of those generations that remember when it was legal to smoke in bars. Ohio enacted a state-wide ban in late ’06. The 7-11 I went to as a kid always reeked of smoke. It has become so familiar to me. I feel the same way you do about bars and pool halls.

  3. I did love smoking, and I did love tooting, and I did love being a falling down drunk. I still drink wine, without falling down, but I’ve dumped the rest. Too many friends died. With regard to people stealing my writing – I hope they enjoy the rejection notes that should have been coming my way 🙂

    • Yeah, I could see where losing a good friend could put the kibosh on certain activities. Most people just want to have a good time. That’s all. As far the writing is concerned, I try to be humble enough not to think it’s going to be on the next New York Times Best Seller List, but there’s always that nagging part of me that says not to debase my work too much.

  4. I’m glad I never started smoking because I know I’d be a chain smoker. I’m with you on the surveillance thing. I’m wure the government knows a lot more than we think, and We’re all at a disadvantage against law enforcement. It’s kind of scary to know what could happen if you’re just merely in the wrong place at the wrong time…

    • I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday, and believe what burns my buttons the most is the fact that converse is not accepted. There have been multiple cases nation-wide of police becoming verbally and physically violent under surveillance by citizens. There has been the smashing of cameras, taking down of observers, and charges of “obstruction” leveled at participants. Law enforcement does not want that hard evidence submitted in court, because judges and lawyers know the law just as much they do. It all goes back to interpretation. My beef is this: if it’s an obstruction of Justice to video tape authorities enforcing the law, then it’s an obstruction of Liberty to video tape me during day-to-day activities.

  5. So as you think of wine spill on your laptop and the consequences of that, What is your take-away?
    I sense an embarrassment about smoking. What do you see at the core of that?

    Shakti

    • I think there’s a little more care I need to exercise with my beverages. Wine’s probably better left at a table, or in conversation with people. Recklessness is the reason why there was wine on my laptop.

      My smoking isn’t as much a matter of embarrassment as it is a health concern and mitigating harassment from other people. The anti-smoking attitude is quite a strong here and it makes smoking in peace a problem. Also, it is not a healthy activity, and I really should be taking better care of myself. It also limits the potential of meeting women.

      • So as you hold this awareness about the negative aspects of smoking, what could be the core compulsion for you to persist?

      • That’s a good question. I had to think about it for a moment. I do enjoy the activity, which was mentioned in the post. It’s always hard to give up to things you enjoy. Maybe a little anger that I should let go of something I find comfort in. Obstinate behavior, in a sense.

        This is aside from the thought that there might be something more than nicotine that’s addictive in cigarettes. Anti-smoking aids only focus on nicotine.

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