• Let’s Talk Masks

    For those of you old enough to remember, they used to say the same things about seat belts that they say about masks now. Yet how stupid do you think people who don’t wear a seatbelt are? I assure you, people who don’t wear masks are twice as stupid and multiple times as dangerous. 

    A person who doesn’t wear a seatbelt is only putting themselves in danger. An idiot who walks into Lowe’s without a mask is a much bigger dipshit because they are putting every person they come in contact with at risk.

    So yeah,  that happened yesterday, and I called the dude out on it. There was a preteen with her dad in front of him. After asking if I really called him a dipshit, the maskless moron actually said, “That’s not cool saying that in front of a kid.”

    “Neither is killing her because of your god-given right to be a dipshit.”

    Kid’s dad smiled. Dipshit did not. Instead he said, “You aren’t worth the breath.”

    I know words and wit and am quick with responses in situations like this. I said, “Your germy breath or one that isn’t a risk to the rest of us?”

    If by some twist of fate, the dipshit is reading this right now, I say to him, “You are still a dipshit.” Wear a mask, dipshit.

    Here’s the thing…

    Wearing a mask doesn’t hurt you. They’ve proven medically that wearing a mask doesn’t suffocate you, or even lower your oxygen saturation. The worst thing that happens is that crease in your neck fat or behind your ears. 

    Think about it. A surgeon wears one for hours while rooting around in our guts. The dentist wears one for an hour while grinding away in your mouth. You can wear one for the trip to Costco or Lowe’s or your favorite adult toy store.

    If you are not healthy enough to wear a layer of fabric or paper over your mouth, you aren’t healthy enough to walk around or shop or participate in ‘public’ activities. You shouldn’t be there if a mask makes the difference in your ability to breathe.

    My wife and her coworkers wear a mask and shield eight to ten hours straight, five or six days a week. Many of them do not take an unfiltered breath for over eight hours while they are around your loved one. But people who don’t wear a mask in public are literally spitting on their efforts. When you walk around without a mask, that germ they are trying so hard to keep away from your grandma in the nursing home gets a first class ticket to see her. Thank goodness you coughed it into the air just as you walked by a little kid in the garden area or the nurse picking up a frozen dinner because she is so tired from working multiple doubles that she can barely push the start button on the microwave. 

    We all have a responsibility here. If you won’t pick it up and run with it, then fuck you, dipshit. Keep buying my books until they have to intubate you. After that, they will put you in a medical coma so you don’t try to rip the tube out of your throat because every breath makes you choke and panic.

    However, if you do wear a mask every moment you are around people from outside your household, then thank you. I love you for protecting yourselves, your family, my wife, her patients, and all the people who take care of us right now.

  • In the Realm of Science Fiction

    Warrior’s Realm is in the wild now. In it, Cort steps up and leads humanity into a galactic war with an enemy no one understands. Planets fall one after another, and the only hope is to trace them back to their source, and find some way to keep the Ares Federation of Planets and its new allies out of the path of destruction. But it’s also where we meet Heroc, who bonds humanity to her species in a way that only a true Queen can. More importantly, it takes us from Cort the human leader to Cort the living embodiment of war. Pick it up at your favorite ebook store and give it a spin if you haven’t already.

    Speaking of war, how about 2020? Dang. Plagues, infernos, starvation, it’s almost like Momma Nature doesn’t like us anymore. But then, who can blame her? We aren’t exactly good stewards now, are we?

    I’ve been pretty much stuck inside for over a month thanks to the wildfires here in northern California. But the last two days have been blissful. Particle counts in the tens instead of in the hundreds. I worked, gardened, and soaked up the sun outside today. Tonight I’ll be grilling some chuck eye steaks. Here’s a secret… it’s just a small rib eye that costs about 40% less. It’s the best grilling steak there is. Tomorrow night I’m grilling pizza. Sunday, I’m grilling something else. But I’ll be outside. To those of you still stuck in the AQI mess, you have my deepest sympathy, and I hope you get the same reprieve that we have soon. Hurricanes? No thanks. One of my remaining brothers has already gone through a couple of those this season in Louisiana, USA. So has my sister in Florida, USA. All I need is a good air filter and I’m set.

    I want to get back outside, so I’m going to give Americans and those in countries with approaching elections a little advice.

    Image by Hannah Edgman from Pixabay

    If you can’t vote, spend your dollar at businesses that support your beliefs. In a corporate oligarchy, which is what I believe the USA and possibly the world is becoming, our dollar is as important as our vote. Use both wisely.

    If you can but choose not to vote, you are an idiot and I hope you choose not to reproduce, because you are giving your power away to people who don’t know you, and letting them choose your children’s futures. Giving your own power away is the ultimate betrayal of one’s self. Giving someone else’s power away is the ultimate betrayal of humanity. 

  • My Intolerance of Intolerance

    I have seen several social media posts over the last few months that scare me. One even caused a rift in my own family that has left us forever divided. But I am haunted by two posts in particular. 

    One was made to look like a page from a book. It said, “If your religion requires you to hate somebody, then you need a new religion.” That’s really what it boils down to. If you hate someone solely because a misinterpreted, outdated, and repeatedly re-translated book tells you to, then you need a new book. 

    The other post was a tweet by a Libyan woman who wrote, “If you’re an American confusedly watching the darkest forces of [your] nation rally around a demagogue, maybe [you] can understand the Mideast now.” I won’t be one of those who rally around a fool who promotes hatred and bigotry and isolationism. And I certainly won’t sit idly by and watch those things boil over in my country. 

    When I was a kid growing up in Tulsa, I remember the KKK marching in holiday parades in our area. I remember racially-fueled fights in my high school. I remember people, even my own parents, calling north Tulsa “n* town.”

    Image by Andy Choinski from Pixabay

    I remember feeling the fear that the elders of my family instilled in me any time we drove through that area to see family in the next town over.

    I remember being madly in love with a beautiful young black woman named Kim, and I remember her smiling back at me. Worst of all, I remember never even having the nerve to ask her to go with me, because we both knew our parents wouldn’t have allowed it.

    What is happening in the United States during this election cycle scares me. I am scared for my black friends. I worry about a black friend because he is married to a white woman. To make it worse, he works in an area of California where white men missing half of their teeth still wear denim vests quilted with the confederate flag. I am scared for the son of other friends who is a teenage black man, and for that reason alone will be targeted by the police when he gets his driver’s license next year. And I’m scared for the daughter of another friend who is an incredible young black girl who recently spent weeks raising over five-hundred dollars for the American Heart Association. I am scared for the women in my family who could lose the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies. I am scared for my friends and acquaintances in the LGBT community, because their right to have a family is in jeopardy. I am scared for the young men around me, because they may be asked to fight in wars that will further alienate our nation from the rest of the world and make us the target of other people filled with as much hatred as those who are raising their hands to pledge allegiance to a man. Not to our country. To a hate-filled man.

    I am a middle-aged white man. I am probably the only demographic in America that is safe. But my safety is hollow if the people I care about and love are not as safe in our country as I am. I too, have a weapon. The written word is both my sword and shield, and if I do not use them to stand up to those who would harm my country, then I am not deserving of the safety I enjoy while those around me live nervously and in fear as we watch what is happening to the land of the free.

    I don’t know all the answers and I won’t pretend to dabble in international politics. I will say that I know, with unequivocal certainty, that spouting hatred and taking rights away from people who have never raised their hand to our country, except to pledge allegiance to its flag, isn’t the way to protect our nation or our many ways of life.

    I do not know how I am going to use the written word over the next few months, but I must use it, if only to be able to face myself in the mirror.

    If you are one of those who spout ‘patriotic’ racism and are lining up to turn back the American clock on basic human rights, you are my enemy. For every word of hatred you spout, I will render two of tolerance. I do want to be able to look at myself in the mirror, but more importantly I want the people I love to know that I did everything I could to ensure their safety.

  • Warrior’s Blood Re-Release

    Warrior’s Blood, book 2 in the Warrior Chronicles, has gone live all over the place – Amazon, Apple, B&N, and many, many more places. If you can’t find it at your preferred source, be patient – it’s out there in the netisphere, but it takes awhile for repopulation, you know.

    Ah, back when Cort’s time on Mars had just begun and the whole of the galaxy was waiting for him to make his grand entrance… The memories of scotch and writing that book are strong. Cort was still introducing himself to future humanity in Warrior’s Blood, and the people who would do him harm found they were vastly outnumbered.

    By one dude and his little dog.

    Okay, okay. One seriously sociopathic hero type dude, his pet wolf, and some reluctant help. 

    If you already own Warrior’s Blood, watch for the new version, then download it and re-familiarize yourself with Mars and the roots of the Ares Federation. If you don’t already own it, buy it now, so you can get a taste of what Cort can do when he’s up against a few more bad guys than he was back on Earth.

    Meanwhile, back here on earth, my son has mostly recovered from COVID-19, but my oldest brother died from it this week. My wife suits up in two masks, goggles, and a face shield just to treat her patients who are negative. Once her building has positive patients, they will thankfully get even more strict. I stay home, smoke and write and plan next week’s grocery delivery, and make sure she has grilled pizza or burgers or something for dinner. Or she cooks and I clean up. Or we share the cooking. Or whatever. The point is, we stay home. Like you should.

    I talked a little last time about hard scifi. I try to base as much of my science fiction on valid theory as I can. Because you deserve the best possible writing I can give you. Doctors Fauci and Birx do their best to give us the most valid treatments and ways to prevent this mess. It’s pretty simple, really. They are scientists and study this enemy for a living.

    Like a Marine studies those that would do harm to the Constitution, those doctors and their colleagues study the germ that can stopped by


    That’s it. If we had all done it at the beginning, this thing would already be over. The “BY GOD I’M ‘MURICAN and I don’t have to wear a mask,” bullshit is just that. We’ve known for centuries that masks are helpful. CENTURIES, people.

    But by all means exercise your right to a level of stupidity that MY WIFE MADE ME DELETE THIS PART. Okay, maybe that last part was a tiny harsh, but by the way, the ‘Rona seems to fix MORE SPOUSAL EDITING. So if you want grandkids…. Wear a mask. 

    If you don’t support masking up and aren’t social distancing, please NEVER buy my books. Save the money for the funerals you won’t be able to attend. Oh, and if you have the shits, a sniffle, or even a mild temperature, avoid the places called public and work. A coworker who ‘caught a cold at a family thing’ infected my son. SPOUSAL EDITING. AGAIN. SHE SAYS I’M RAGE BLOGGING BECAUSE OF MY BROTHER. Jesus Christ, we are being outsmarted by a single set of genes stuck in a protein shell. Not even a true single celled organism. If you don’t wear a mask, you are literally more stupid than something that isn’t even considered truly alive by most scientists and doctors.

    At the very least, if you must go against science and do stupid shit like go eat crackers made of Jesus at church or get yarn at Hobby Lobby and protest against people who want nothing more than to be treated with basic human respect, please make sure you only cough on other people not wearing masks. That way we can put you all in one big mass grave and name it “Asses’ Hole.”

    On the other hand, you can do all the right stuff and still end up with this shit. Like my kid. It happens. To those folks, I’m sorry for you and hope you recover. So you can find the fucker who infected you and pop them right in the mouth. Wears gloves and a mask when you do it though, okay? And sanitize after. 

    Sorry we didn’t get to the drive system for the new universe. Maybe next time.

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