Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who might you meet in my Book?

Are you wondering if you are going to be in my business management project when it gets published? Well. Maybe! Volume #1 is complete and ready for an agent and//or publisher. There are many characters in volume #1 and most likely there will be many more added in volume #2. Those anecdotes are in progress—not as I type here (still with only two fingers, but two more at rest just waiting to take the first two’s place should the need arise).

Here is a short run down of several of the characters you might meet, remember or know very well (entries in no particular order):

Tommy Wilson and his moose (Platoon clerk and chocked full of excitement)
David Fitzsimmons (Fitz) (2nd Platoon clerk and the hardest at working to impress)
Frank Lefevers (Best 2nd right hand anybody could ever have)
Alan Grant (Platoon sergeant and professional)
Donald Jenkins (Pillsbury Dough Boy – enough said)
Joseph Guarino (trouble from day one)
Martin Snyder (Best ration sergeant in the United States Army)
John Workman (The other best ration sergeant in the United States Army)
Marvin Craighead (Always looking for the next challenge and never afraid to take on a problem)
Ron Acuff (My platoon’s 3rd Class II & VII Section Leader and good at it)
Larry Wilson (My platoon’s 2nd Class II & VII Section Leader and 2nd POL Officer – a great guy and a good friend)
Dave Elberfeld
Vince Festa
Ted Kuchta (My platoon’s 4th POL Officer)
Doug Brown (My platoon’s 3rd POL Officer and a former NCO with a good head on his shoulders)
Pat Phillips (A tragic loss that came way too soon)
Vince Fuentes
Roger Issacson
Stan Pearson
Peter Burbules (My Battalion Commander during some hard times with great struggle)
William Krukemeyer
Phil Rivard (My boss during a challenging time of change)
Ed Armatoski (The guy that pushed me toward Alaska in the first place)
Denys Danley
Pat Crumbliss
Howard Kerr (Important mission on the coldest night of the year)
James Maggard
Chief Maynes
Sgt Stone (Never knew his first name – probably was sergeant for all I know)
Thomas Steel (One of my most trusted NCOs during the years I spent at Fort Bragg)
SFC Torric (The source of some hard lessons – both taught & learned)
Warren Sanford (Another one of those 2nd right hands that made my job easier)

These and many more will be revealed during the course of my story telling and advice rendering. The title as it currently stands is “There’s a Moose in the Guard Shack – He’s gonna kill me!

Look for it soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Currently Editing

Heading into the weekend, I am still busily editing the What-I-Took-Away approach to my business management project There’s a Moose in the Guard Shack—he’s gonna kill me! This process is not the easiest. I already know what’s on the page and reading through the verbiage is difficult as my mind is probably five or so words ahead of my eyes. It’s not that my mind is that quick. It’s just a fact that it already knows what is coming.

This state of recognition plays a old dirty trick on me by suggesting that my mind knows a better way to say what I have already spent numerous hours trying to get it down as best I can and currently believe that I have it close to perfect. Still, I go about changing the sentence I am working on. Then there it comes. Right in the very next sentence sits exactly the fact, the statement, the sentiment, whatever… that I just changed the preceding sentence to include. Why is this? Is it my mind that plays this trick or maybe the Literary Giants of yesteryear? Would Twain, Faulkner, Thompson, or Fitzgerald go out of their way to pick on me. I could understand it if it was one of the Marx brothers. I’m for sure that I am not in their league. So, for what possible need would they see fit to pick on me?

 Mark Twain
 William Faulkner
 Hunter S. Thompson
 F. Scott Fitzgerald
 No, not those Marx!
 Karl Marx
Maybe it isn’t the Giants picking on me. Maybe the task of editing is meant to be hard. Getting the rough draft into memory isn’t near the problem that editing seems to be. Well, maybe changing the original direction to the What-I-Took-Away concept has proven to be much more difficult than I originally thought it would. I have now been at this for some time and still have more than several chapters left to work. It does seem to get a bit easier as I move from one to the next. The task goes on.

I have put behind me: Tommy’s encounter with the moose, CPT Love’s camping encounter with artillery shells landing all about him, the Florida 500 lb bomb, more mess hall trucks than one ever wants to imagine, hunting snowshoe hares and my relationship with the Cosmos.

Still ahead is the Pillsbury Doughboy, spare tires, Jack’s House, terrifying plane rides and the great ping-pong ball drop.

I can hardly wait to get started again.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Did you realize – Your eBook data is being collected by sellers

That’s right. It is my impression that many people reading literature over the newfangled devices do not have any idea that they may have traveled back 28 years to 1984. While it may not be Big Brother looking over your shoulder, it may be even creepier than Big Brother. These guys might make real use of the data being collected.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist here; just my effort at sounding the Paul Revere and passing on what I have been able to gleam from what I understand about the situation.


No, Not that one, the other one!


The information I would like to pass along comes from an article published in the Wall Street Journal the other day entitled “Your E-Book Is Reading You”:

Interesting, ver-r-r-r-y interesting!

It seems that if you are using a iPad, Kindle or Nook to purchase and read books or projects off those available from the internet suppliers; what you have done is being monitored. Every time you revisit the supplier’s web site they are updating minute bits of data on what you have accomplished on your reading device.

The article states (from Nook as an example) “Data collected from Nooks reveals, for example, how far readers get in particular books, how quickly they read and how readers of particular genres engage with books. Jim Hilt, the company's vice president of e-books, says the company is starting to share their insights with publishers to help them create books that better hold people's attention.”  

Mr. Hilt further states “that the company is still in "the earliest stages of deep analytics" and is sifting through "more data than we can use."

So, just what is it that they want from you?

The second paragraph is very revealing as to what they might pull from what is being recorded every time you take out your Kindle and begin.

1 – do you skip the introduction?
2 – do you stop after three pages and never come back?
3 – how fast do you read?
It goes on and on.

They are looking for the point that you become bored in certain genre books and will be trying to come up with a hook that will keep you interested, whether you want to stay or not. Maybe it’s a movie trailer of what’s exciting ahead—anything to hook you.

The article further points out that Amazon knows what part of a book the readers like best and actually highlight.

The watchdogs are out and preparing for battle as we discuss the situation. Here’s an excerpt:

“"There's a societal ideal that what you read is nobody else's business," says Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for consumer rights and privacy. "Right now, there's no way for you to tell Amazon, I want to buy your books, but I don't want you to track what I'm reading."”

This photo from the Wall Street Journal article just fascinates me:

Photo credit – William Duke

Look back over your shoulder—is anybody watching? Maybe all you have to do is look straight ahead—there they are!