Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Ambition

To a certain extent, ambition is a built-in human drive that grows out of the desire to be a successful organism. You know, fat, happy, and sexy. I guess we could throw healthy in there too, but that's not really what this article is all about.

It's about our instruction set; that is, the drive to achieve whatever it is we desire. Before one chooses, one must first decide exactly what it is one should pursue. After all, time is money. Right? So let's not waste time tiptoeing through the weeds in search of direction.

Generally, the answer to the search for something to do (the meaning of life) is to make great gobs of money, to become wealthy so that one may become as powerful as possible. Only when that goal is achieved can one afford to pursue the mundane pleasures of travel, expensive wines, fast women, sensory thrills, and the trappings of material wealth (as well as the display of said wealth). That's the simple man's short and sweet version of ambition, direction, and success, all bundled into a single focus: money.

I'm kinda looking past that. It's all well and fine if your ambition provides focus and it probably does a little good for humanity too, or at least your kids, wife, and pets. Still, your ambition works to push distractions away. On the other hand, I embrace my distractions and try to bring them to the fore. If I have a problem, I'm not shy about discussing it with strangers.

I met a guy at the post office who was in the Navy 40 years after I was discharged. He was a lifer -- that's what we call someone who enters the military to make a career out of it -- but apparently he grew dissatisfied and left. The reason he was dissatisfied was interesting. He told me military service had become so politically correct in its pursuit of equality and diversity that the preparedness of fighting units was seriously degraded.

Additionally, billets were/are being filled more often with females supplanting more traditional male roles. This strategy has resulted in institutionalized incompetence with political strategies outweighing practical strategies. Everybody knows it but nobody wants to admit it. It's like a chapter from The Emperor Has No Clothes. Who cares if the battle was lost as long as the military force maintained its diversity?

My acquaintance also expressed a disregard towards any authority that would intentionally set up a system of incompetent leadership and call it progress.

My ambition stops when I realize my goals hurt others. I mean, I understand you gotta look out for yourself, especially when one is alone in the world and the bad guys are out walking around like a lion looking for something to eat. I don't want to end up paying for someone's else's search for meaning.

These days, my ambitions have slacked off a bit. Today, for instance, I hold ambition towards getting anywhere from 8 to 10 hours sleep. I might mow some grass and clear some land. Maybe not. I'll do a little writing on a story I'm working on. I'll check messages to see if I've forgotten to pay any bills and to see if any of my favorite female erotic actresses have reached out to me. I look forward to taking Mae out for a walk.

I should say, along with my carefully monitored ambition, I also work to control my disappointment so that nobody gets killed when I don't get what I want. Yep -- gotta curb that disappointment.

I have to be doing something right -- I've got food in the fridge, the mortgage is paid off, animals are happy, and I now have enough personal freedom to be able to tell practically anyone to piss off.

What's your ambition? New car? Stable job? Getting laid? Whatever it is, it's always a wise move to sound the depths of your own character. That is, make sure whatever it is you've chosen in life to be your great motivator... make sure it's something real and something you can build upon. There's a lot of folks out in the world who want to sell you an illusion.

I wish you luck and remind you that everything you do amounts to who you are.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Attitude Intact

My father was a physicist who worked as a well-logging engineer before he retired and returned to teaching high school math at Bell High School in Hurst, Texas. He discovered high school was nothing like it used to be and consequently struggled with his health until he died two years later. Upon his death, I was set loose upon the world to seek out injustice, good weed, and pretty women. I fulfilled my role with vigor although I really was not properly prepared. I paid little attention to politics, career, or choice of vocation. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll was not just a flippant reply to me -- it was, rather, a mission.

Many years later, I find my attitude is still intact. Yet, I have slowly learned that I am a principled guy, believe it or not. While my principles may be misguided at times, I am satisfied with what I have accomplished. Life in America these days is turning out to be rotten but the thing is, the quality of your life is still up to you. You still have the ability to choose your mood and attitude. If you choose to be defeated and depressed, well, that's your problem. Cry me a river.

If I had not mentioned it already, I discovered from my cousin that I am a direct descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok, the legendary Viking king. Ragnar was a certified badass who changed the history of the world while participating in numerous bloody martial exploits. If I look for a source for my attitude towards life, I like to believe my genetic construction leans heavily on Lothbrok for its mental base.

Forever In Blue Jeans


 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Phil the Feline

Sometimes captions just get in the way but if someone out there can come up with something that makes this picture any funnier than it already is, by all means, leave your humor in the comments.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

What Movie?

This 1997 dark comedy offers an A-list cast. Still drawing a blank? That's a hint.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Contemplating with Bullet Points

Much like many other bloggers on the interweb, my life and what I think I know (There are two retarded wolves living inside me. One wants to masturbate and the other wants to eat.) can be explained by a series of bullet points. 

• The first of September and it's rainy with temps in the sixties and seventies where I now lay me down to rest. Is the mild weather a portend to a long, cold winter? The almanac says indeed that is the case.

• Even though I believe all females to be batshit crazy, I am still persuaded by fluttering eyes and soothing language. It's done me in over and over from the time I was a child.

• When I think about it, I am always left with the opinion that, to varying degrees, everyone (men and women) is crazy.

• Why don't we call alcoholics and drug addicts crazy? Oh, that's right, it was decided they are ill, that they have a physical illness. Well, I guess whatever the AMA says is what we have to live with.

• Now, we used to say that gay people and pederasts were mentally ill but the script has been flipped on that one as well. It's to your political advantage to be gay these days. Probably a professional advantage too when you consider the perqs of being in a recognized exclusionary group. It doesn't work for the historical oppressors (white guys)...

• I installed a new sliding glass shower door in the head here at L@MT headquarters and it leaks! I am in the lengthy process of repairing the leak. Do silicone vapors get you high?

• If I were affiliated with either of the political parties here in the good ole USA, you'd have to drag me with wild horses to any of those rallies or conventions. I do like a red baseball cap though. Takes me back to the days when the St. Louis Cardinals were the hottest team in pro baseball. Long time ago.

• That Jeffrey Epstein thing has quietly faded, just like the Las Vegas concert attack. Inquiring minds want to know.

• Who pays Antifa and BLM to transport, equip, feed and house their members? This barrage of strategically planned riots and demonstrations has a giant payroll behind it. Who writes the checks?

• Man, if Joe Biden wins the presidency, I will never miss another presidential media briefing. Having Biden as president would be like having Daffy Duck as president. I don't mean to denigrate; rather, I'd like to point out that Joe Biden's disconnect from reality is going to make for great television. It already has.

• Joe Biden is a professional politician and has worked as a politician his entire life. If anybody knows where all the bodies are buried from the previous administrations, it would be old Joe.

• For a year or so, I sold shoes at a Kinney's Shoe Store in Ft. Worth. I was 19.

• On a closing note, the Epstein affair serves to remind me that all justice is up for sale. It is probably safe to make a comparison between the degree of corruption in our government, society at large, and the hollowing out of the American judicial system. I suppose we're all guilty to a certain extent, but it's those responsible for getting us here who should be held accountable. Judges, lawyers, clerks, etc. as well as ex-presidents, should all be taken out behind the barn for a good spanking. I think most would enjoy it.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

My Old Truck and the Kindness of Strangers

 

I'm always getting into a jam somewhere with my old, broken-down truck. It happened again a couple of days back when my pick-up refused to start at a strip mall. It was hot outside and checking the battery became a chore when I had to remove it and scrape the corrosion from the leads. Nope, that wasn't the problem. Some people strolled by on the way to their car and asked me if they could help. In a minute, the two men were pulling the battery out and agreeing to give me a ride to Walmart. All that was accomplished and one of the guys went inside with me at Walmart. We determined that my old battery was six years old and had passed the prime of its life. He found the right replacement battery for me and whipped out a credit card and paid $108 for it. I stood there, my credfit card in hand, realizing my helpers were treating me like a confused old man. I told the guy thanks but still felt uneasy about anyone paying my bill for me. We returned to the truck, installed the battery, and of course it started right up. I was grateful to those guys for helping. They seemed surprised to discover I wasn't a down and out drug addict and as we parted I told them to Google me. "I sell books on Amazon," I explained. That seemed to quiz them somewhat. Old man with long, white hair in beat up old pick-up writes books? I will remember their kindness and be sure to pass it along to someone else.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Stolen Worlds in Audio Production

Click for larger pic.
Stolen Worlds, by Thomas Stone, is in audio production and, if all goes well, should be available for purchase as an audiobook in October 2020. Stolen Worlds is the legendary second book in the original Harry Irons' science-fiction trilogy. Rated PG-13 and a fun, well-written, reading experience. Currently available in either paperback or ebook. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Who Are You?

When I was a young teen, James Bond (you know, 007) was a big deal at the movies. He was a man of action and adventure. Also, he had skills. He was a tough guy who dressed like a male fashion model and he could kick the bejesus out of any opposed to him and the British Crown, foreign and domestic. Naturally, I wanted to be James Bond, or at least a facsimile.

Being from Texas and all, I noticed that many of my peers wanted to be like John Wayne. They practised talking like him, walking like him, and acting like a Cowboy. If you think about it, it was a show to emulate the most masculine actor on the block. Right? Thank goodness I was never that crazy about The Duke. Like I said, James Bond was my man.

Of course, pretending to be somebody doesn't make you that person. You're still stuck with whoever you are, but you insist on carrying the same values as The Duke or 007 or some other popular figure.

If somebody asked who you are, what would you say? How would you describe yourself? A large percentage of Look At My Thumb survey respondents said something remarkably similiar to this:

"Hi, my name is Stuart. I'm a mid-level manager for a Fortune 100 company, but basically I'm in banking. I have a wife, Judy, and three children, two grown boys and a girl, er, young lady. I play golf and have a membership at the local club. My wife likes to paint and is active with local charities."

The thing is, in answering such a question, we relate our professional achievements and present a solid face for  what we think would be a level-headed guy, or gal, while saying nothing about our drive, our desires, and what we'll do to get what we want. Or won't do.

When we describe ourselves to others, we tell a saga, a hero's tale with ourselves in the lead role though we'd rather not share whatever peculiar habits we may have picked up in Borneo or Mozambique, or maybe east Memphis, and that goes as well towards a lifetime of secrets ranging from uttering the words "die nigger" at a Dallas Cowboys versus Philadelphia Eagles game, circa  1991, to getting strung out on cheerleader pornography while in college.

We know we're not really John Wayne or James Bond, or Rocky, or Bullwinkle, but we try it on for a few years anyway because we admire something about these famous characters. We think we freely chose to be like this person or other, but we didn't. Nope. Instead, roles are chosen for us and we are what we are told we are. "You want to be like The Duke, don't you? Then quit yer sniveling or you'll always be a baby."

Sometimes I thought about being my mother's butler so I wouldn't have to find a job, move out, and cook for myself. It didn't work out. I was asked to leave at 17.

Societal/social/psychological roles are handed to us or sometimes forced upon us. From that POV, what are you? Did you choose to be how you've turned out as an adult? Who are you? Are you what's important to you or what's important for someone (or somethng) else? Do you even know what's important?

Now that you have something to think about, put that cup down and get back to work. Break's over.



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

She Never Returned




Welp, somebody took my new puppy. She and Mae went out for a walk and a poop at dusk last night and the little one never returned. I had her for three weeks. Mae seems sad this morning and has refused her breakfast. I hope whoever took the little one will treat her well -- she was a good dog.

Friday, July 31, 2020

To The Stars Audio Book!

To The Stars is now available as an audio book from Audible which means you can purchase it via Amazon. I wrote To The Stars a long time ago and it became the first book in the Harry Irons series, a science fiction set that tries to emulate the great sci-fi of the 1950s and 60s. It has lately been re-edited and re-released and is flying off the virtual shelves as fast as WalMart candy on Halloween afternoon. Sci-fi adventure, romance, alien encounters, space travel, intrigue and future possibilities -- all narrated by the talented Stacey Krejci.

To The Stars is the first book in a science-fiction trilogy concerning an intrepid group of space explorers in the year 2107. Harry Irons dreams of escaping poverty and an over-crowded Earth by gaining employment with the Braithwaite Corporation. After proving himself in a series of tests, Harry gets his wish and soon enough finds himself struggling to survive on an alien world. To The Stars was written for a general audience and is sure to satisfy both younger and older fans of alternative fiction.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Choco-Banana Crepes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 eggs
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 bananas, sliced into 1/2" coins
1/2 c. melted chocolate

Directions:

In a blender, combine milk, flour, sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, eggs and melted butter. Blend until mixture is smooth and foamy. If possible, let batter sit for 15 minutes at room temperature (or up to overnight in the fridge).

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with more butter or vegetable oil. Add about one-quarter to one-third cup batter and swirl the batter to completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook until the bottom of the crepe is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula (or chopsticks) loosen edge of crepe then quickly flip. Cook for 1 minute more then slide crepe out of skillet. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter or oil to the pan as necessary.

Fold crepes into quarters. Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with banana slices.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Accused of Stalking But I Have a New Puppy

A week ago, an old college girlfriend accused me of stalking her. I live 240 miles away and give her a phone call on the average of once a month. I always tell her how much I appreciate her friendship and how glad I am we've re-established communications. Apparently, her son has warned her about talking to men outside of church.

First, I don't live close enough to stalk her. Second, she shouldn't start things and she shouldn't share anything I have to say with her son. I don't know him and I don't know why he feels qualified to judge.

Well, who knows what drives people these days? Personally, I suspect we've all been radiated by cosmic waves and our brains have been cooked. It's the only explanation. Anyhoo, if she wants me to stop calling or to stop using certain language in my speech patterns, I can do both of those things. When I stop calling, she won't have to listen to what I have to say anymore.

That news pales in comparison to the new puppy in my household. I found him sitting in the middle of a country road and brought him home with me. He acted like he's known me since birth. Licks and hugs. There was no way I could leave him. Mae has mixed feelings about sharing her space but I think she'll come around.

My animal friends are more loyal than my human acquaintances and they sure care about me more. Now, I don't claim to be the sharpest guy in class, but generally speaking, people are unthinking and hurtful.

You have the ability to make me change my mind on the nature of humanity. It's really easy. Here's how you can do it. You can send me money and/or gifts. I have a public wishlist on Amazon and my PayPal account is always ready to accept donations. If you'd prefer, simply purchase my books and tell your friends to buy my novels too. They're cheap, easy to read, fun, and provide an avenue for you to exercise your powers of criticism. I promise not to stalk you. Your efforts will help restore balance to my life. Please help.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Exploring Infinity

For a closer look, click on pic.
Here I am in a candid shot out at the new place. I'm not sure what I am doing or where I'm going but I do recall feeling prepared for anything.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Ten Favorite Driving Songs

These are not necessarily MY favorite ten driving songs but I'll bet they're someone's. I came up with this list off the top of my head and look, no Merle Haggard.

1. Little Deuce Coupe -- The Beach Boys
2. Highway to Hell -- AC/DC
3. Drive My Car -- The Beatles
4. Mercury Blues -- Steve Miller
5. Long White Cadillac -- Dwight Yoakam
6. Highway to the Danger Zone -- Giorgio Moroder, Tom Whitlock, Kenny Loggins
7. Pink Cadillac -- Bruce Springsteen
8. Further On Up the Road/Too Rolling Stoned -- Robin Trower
9. Runnin' On Empty -- Jackson Browne
10. Life in the Fast Lane -- The Eagles

Monday, July 6, 2020

Allow yourself to believe in the truth. Stop believing in lies.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4th

4th of July, 2020! From the looks of all the people in the parks and in the campgrounds and in the river beating the heat, it looks like this Independence Day is filled with patriots. People are still taking time off, cooking BBQ, swilling beer, and reassuring one another that America is still the greatest country in the world.

I'd be down on the river too but my girlfriend told me to quit stalking her.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Smolif Audiobook

Smolif by Thomas C. Stone and narrated by Don Alfredano, is now available for sale as an audiobook at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

Smolif traces the fortunes of Contra Marlo, a retired, alcoholic security specialist. Contra was the best before he dropped out and became a full-time drunk. When a Braithwaite company rep offers him a job, Marlo must deal with sobriety, inexperienced team members, a lack of information, as well as the dangers of an alien world and the man who would be king of that world. Here's a link to the Amazon page.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Friday, May 1, 2020

Solsbury Hill Redux


[Verse 1]
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen, had no choice

[Chorus 1]
I did not believe the information
I just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said
"Grab your things, I've come to take you home"

[Verse 2]
To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Though my life was in a rut
'Til I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut

[Chorus 2]
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey," he said
"Grab your things, I've come to take you home"
Ay, back home

[Verse 3]
When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me

[Chorus 3]
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey," I said
"You can keep my things, they've come to take me home."

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Here Is What You Gotta Do To Survive

All right. This is the last time I'm going to tell you. If you want to live, listen up. Here we go, by the numbers. In regard to Covid-19:

1. Basically, you can't leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.

2. Masks are useless, but maybe you have to wear one, it can save you, it is useless, but maybe it is mandatory as well.

3. Stores are closed, except those that are open.

4. You should not go to hospitals unless you have to go there. Same applies to doctors, you should only go there in case of emergency, provided you are not too sick.

5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

6. Gloves won't help, but they can still help.

7. Everyone needs to stay HOME, but it's important to GO OUT.

8. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.

9. The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.

10. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

11. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms. Oh, my..

12. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand and it's better not to go out, well, but no…

13. It's better to get some fresh air, but you get looked at very wrong when you get some fresh air, and most importantly, you don't go to parks or walk. But don’t sit down, except that you can do that now if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant (but not too old).

14. You can't go to retirement homes, but you have to take care of the elderly and bring food and medication.

15. If you are sick, you can't go out, but you can go to the pharmacy.

16. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn't wear masks or gloves. But you have to have your groceries decontaminated outside for 3 hours. Pizza too?

17. Every disturbing article or disturbing interview starts with " I don't want to trigger panic, but…"

18. You can't see your older mother or grandmother, but you can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.

19. You can walk around with a friend but not with your family if they don't live under the same roof.

20. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.

21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn't say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.

22. The virus stays in the air - well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.

23. We count the number of deaths but we don't know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were "almost dead" to find out if that's what they will die of…

24. We have no treatment, except that there may be one that apparently is not dangerous unless you take too much (which is the case with all medications). Orange man bad.

25. We should stay locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve collective immunity, so when it circulates… but we must no longer be locked up for that?

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter 2020

It's Easter again. Easter holiday for the year 2020. Looking back, I remember thinking how old I would be in 2020 and I was right. I am old. To tell the truth, I didn't expect to make it this far. I mean, I'm not a careful guy. I've taken a number of foolish gambles and although many did not pay off, somehow I survived.

Thinking about Easter, I haven't always been a Christian believer, either. Nope. I was brought up in the Baptist church but I always had my doubts. The story of Jesus is a big pill to swallow. Basically, it's belief in a reality that is different from what one sees. The material world reveals itself as solid, steady, even unyielding in its physical rules and limitations. You can't turn water into wine and you've got to eat to live. Right? Seein's believin', that's what I used to say.

However, I was always interested in physics and atomic theory and stuff like that. All that studying and cogitating on the universe brought me to realize things are not as they appear. Although I had my doubts, I slowly began to see that human understanding of the material world is limited. We don't know everything that is going on, we don't hear everything, nor do we feel everything. We can't. It's beyond our capabilities.

Within the mind, language arises from thought and ideas, but those things arise from desire and emotion -- from nothing. We are moved by spirit. We are vessels for the realized action of spirit.

If Jesus rose from the dead, then the world is as He said it was and is vastly larger than we can see: it is not limited to the physical world. Much more would have to exist beyond what we can detect. But that's what all the hulabaloo is about. That is, whether you believe there is more to the world and the universe than you can see or even comprehend. And that's what I believe.

Hey, I'm an educated guy. Additionally, I'm old. I've done things I can't believe I've experienced, yet I'm still around to tell the tale. Furthermore, if you want to write me off as just another ignorant buffoon, I suppose you can do that. However, it's at your own risk. Just don't be so quick to think you came up with all the answers on your own. Because you didn't.

Have a Happy Easter and think about the notion that Jesus Christ came into the world to let us know we don't have to act like animals. If you believe, then it is so. Have faith. The rewards are mind-blowing.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dogs (and Cats)

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them..

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up'.The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveller asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in..'

'How about my friend here?' the traveller gestured to the dog.

There should be a bowl by the pump.'

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveller filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveller asked.

This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveller said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

Thursday, April 2, 2020

I'm an Old Cowhand

Well, I'm in the emergency room now. Ugh! Today was not a good day at all. I decided to go horseback riding, to ease the boredom... something I haven't done in awhile. It turned out to be a big mistake!

I got on the horse and started out fine. Nice and slow, but then we went a little faster. Before I knew it, we were going as fast as the horse could go. I couldn't take the pace and fell off. I caught my foot in the stirrup with the horse dragging me. It wouldn't stop. Hit my head, banged up my back and elbow pretty good and tore my shirt.

Thank goodness the manager at Toys-R-Us came out and unplugged the machine. But, he had the nerve to take the rest of my change so I wouldn't ride the Elephant or Motorcycle. I was also banned from the Merry-Go-Round.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Truth

Okay, maybe so, but you don't have to yell!

Facetime!


Hello. I just wanted to ask my readers (both of them) that while they're pandemically lounging around the house with nothing to do, they might as well surf over to www.thomascstone.com and purchase one of my novels. Or all of them. It's a good time to be catching up on neglected reading. If you didn't know already, my books are available in either paperback or digital medium (ebooks). A couple are even available as audiobooks. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Truth Is...

The truth is... you can't believe anything you see, hear, or read these days. If you base your logic and perceptions on what some talking head has told you, you've officially transformed into a lemming. So, the problem is, how does one go about thinking for one's self, especially if the data that is parceled out to the general public is faulty -- and you can bank on it that it is.

How can we make good decisions in our daily lives? I mean, is the market headed up or down? Should I buy or sell? Should I go to college or should I find a dead-end job? Does she love me or does she just like my pick-up truck? Am I too fat? Should I cut my hair? Should I always try to be honest or is it all right to take shortcuts by lying, cheating, and stealing? Everybody else does. Why shouldn't I be selfish too? Does God exist? Why can't I see him? Or her? Who can I trust?


The truth is... nobody can give us the answers to those questions. You've got to figure it out for yourself. Sometimes you're going to make mistakes; sometimes you're going to make the wrong choices. Make them often enough and this life you call your own will be cut short. So, considering all this bad news, what are you going to do?

Well, you can improve your chances for success (Ah, success! That is a term to be defined in another essay.) by learning to think clearly and by avoiding the many poisons and traps this material world has to offer. Only you can determine how much risk you want to take. Only you can determine what direction you want to go. Just where do you put your energy so that the returns are the greatest? You can research, pay for professional advice, learn through hard knocks, or learn to be satisfied with living in a hole which may get you out of the line of fire but you'll wallow in the dirt with the rest of the pigs.

Remember this. When it comes to human affairs and the dynamics of life on the planet, there is nothing new under the sun. If you think you are the first to experience a particular emotion or to be caught committing a crime, please check yourself. Whatever is happening to you has happened to others a countless number of times. Admittedly, you need a guide. We all do. However, parents, friends, and teachers can lead you astray. You can't trust the company you work for; after all, they're just using you. You can only believe the schools only so far because propaganda and socialization is what drives the machine. And your friends are just like you: selfish and needy.

So how does one learn anything of value? Here's a tip: work on balancing your nature, your natural tendencies, with established systems of discipline and wisdom. If you want to be an engineer, study mathmetics and physics. If you want to be a minister, read the Bible. If you want to be a medical doctor, study biological sciences. Once you've become an expert in your field, do not make the mistake of thinking your expertise automatically qualifies you to be an expert in other areas.

It's difficult to stop being so judgmental. I mean, you can be biased towards the lessons of your own experiences, but you should not cling to your biases or your desires. Be flexible. Be like water, says Bruce Lee.

The truth is... you'll never know everything, but there will be times in your life when you think you do. When you catch yourself with a busy mind and find that you're making decisions for everyone around you, maybe it's time to slow down. You're not as important or as smart as you think you are. Acting as if you are the center of the universe is a lot to take on. Relax.

Lastly, in the words of the Great Lebowski, remember this, "That's just your opinion, man."


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Thought this would go well with TommyBoy's last post.

Not to Hurt

Not to Hurt
by St. Francis of Assisi

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals)
Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission:
To be of service to them whenever they require it.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Sandy Pearl Audiobook Release

Sandy Pearl and the Blades has been released as an audiobook! Follow this link to get a subscription at Audible and purchase the book. Also available as a paperback or ebook at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and other fine online book retailers.