Administration: a spiritual gift

It may not seem like it, but

the power of administrative abilities is acknowledged and classified as a spiritual gift in Christianity.  Many of us have worked in administrative capacities, whether as humble assistants, or in leadership positions in offices.

One quality of the spiritual gifts is that they just show up in people naturally.  It might be only a change in your perspective to see some of what the people you know do, in terms of their spiritual gifts.  The same gifts can and do show up as spiritual gifts in a way that is much more obvious.  Sometimes, the only factor that makes them obvious is that people use them to do volunteer work through their church.

Administration is mainly planning and organizing, and to some degree also providing leadership to people.  Founding a new organization, or creating a congregation or small business or new informal club are all administrative actions.

If we are dealing with women, then it might well be the secretaries or the school Principals, but it is also that lady who organizes parties for her child/ren and may be viewed as a Godsend or as an intimidating power house at the PTO of your child/ren’s school.  The activity may be done informally or professional, and it can be a manifestation of the same power.

Whether it is that person in your family who actually organizes all of the documents of the family’s history covering generations or the one who makes a small business office go from chaotic madness to an efficient, organized place from which to manage several aspects of the business we are dealing with the power of administration.

What about you

Administration is just one of the spiritual gifts.  Like so many of you, I was somewhat aware of spiritual gifts in the past, but prior to the past 2 years I just thought of spiritual gifts as either being the miracles: spontaneous healings of disease, or else I thought it was the kind of faith that makes people become clerics or else monks and nuns.

For your sake, I realize that whether you have this gift or not, you might now be curious to know how to recognize your own.

you can learn more about spiritual gifts here.  These people have put together a wonderful free set of videos that explain the spiritual gifts in a way that can give anyone a great start.  I learned a lot from these people via video.

German Stereotypes

Kraft Klub (German band)

For foreigners

Germans are well aware that foreigners have tendencies to see them in certain ways.  Which region of the world they are dealing with has some influence of how they are seen.

They know that people to the West of Germany, especially French and English speaking peoples tend to jump to certain conclusions.  Some right, others wrong.

  1.  Germans are frightening powerful yet unpleasant and speak a difficult language that native speakers of English wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemies….except maybe the Germans (ha ha ?)
  2.  NaZi ism.  This is related to item #1, but also involves the perpetuation in the USA at least where there are very old Jewish people who’s native language is either German or Polish, who have American grandchildren.  They moved due to the NaZi Party.

3. Still related: in the USA for propaganda reasons, the vast majority of information        that Americans get about the Germans and the German language is WW2 re-runs.  Due to this most Americans only know a few German words they learned while watching WW2 related documentaries or TV shows or movies.

4.  Frau und frauline:  Germany is full of happy, blonde women with large breasts who serve beer for a living, at least until they get married and have children.

There are people who have a more current image of Germany.  In 2012 it was rated the most popular European country, internationally.

True Stuff about Germans

They can be rather serious, mostly because the Summer is not that warm and people can be hard.   German is not that easy to speak but when German there is no choice if one hopes to get anywhere in life.

Germans do tend to be proud but sometimes also uniquely sensitive.  They know that if they were not so great and powerful they would not be and have been so dominant in Europe both in peace time and in war time.  They know that both North American nations and the Russians viewed them as “the Villain” in 2 world wars.  Because of what they have been through as a people, they also feel that the nation degenerated to having been a menace for awhile….but Germans and what is Germany is really much more complicated….Given that the modern “German state” is about 120 years old, but there have been German speaking people living in the same region for 2000 years and more.  In fact, the “First Reich” really was 1000 years of Germany being a Catholic Empire and simultaneously the remainder of the Western Roman Empire.  *Personally, despite having learned this I find it hard to break through the American-Hollywood images of the Romans and of the Germans to accept this basic truth.

Germans have poor sense of humor.  Well, they don’t have the gentlest or most consistent senses of humor but I can assure you that they are less likely to laugh at jokes in English when travelling outside of Germany and dealing with using their “holiday English”.   I’m sure there are numerous incidents in which some German didn’t get the joke.

administration architecture berlin building

Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

Boxing Day 2018

Back to work already?

Today, while going about my business I came across some people who were already back at work after the holiday.  I was a little surprised by some of what they told me.

The reason I was surprised was simply because I am the kind of person who genuinely loves having time with relatives and friends at the holiday.  I’m sure I’m one of hundreds of millions of people who feel the same way.  However, I am happy to report that some of the people who were already back at work felt pretty okay or even better about being there.  It was just that I had expected that either they would feel as if they had to lie to me about it, or that most of the people who worked today would have been miserable about not having had more time to enjoy their relatives and friends.

Christmas Day

Due to my personal preferences and stage in life and spiritual interest, I actually spent almost the entire day on Jesus.  Again, I’m sure that my being actively oriented that way at the religious holiday commemorating Jesus’s birth is something that hundreds of millions of people around the world also did, but for me it was somewhat special because it was voluntary and I did it that much more than I have done most years so far in my life.

If you did to, I hope you felt wonderful about it.

Good wishes

This is just to wish you all well, and hope that you are either continuing to enjoy what Christmas does to your life and the lives of those you love, or that you are glad that the craziness has already passed you by.

Today’s Comments

Duh factor

Today I have had a “duh factor” event.  “Duh” as many of you know, is a common Americanism in which something stupid happened, or someone finally has a realization that makes him or her feel temporary stupidity.

My “Duh factor event” today was that I finally found the notifications here at the blog and therefore finally read your comments.  Due to what happened, I apologize to all of you who responded to me weeks ago without my having even realized that you had bothered to reply, especially since your acknowledgement is part of what keeps me going with blogging.  Aside from that, thank you everyone who read a post, liked it and bothered to respond in some tangible manner.  Most of you also know that however much we try to believe the “stats” we are all justifiably suspicious that somehow the information exchange feedback is not entirely accurate.

After the Duh

In reality, like so many of you, I seem to “get” some aspects of how to use this technology very easily but not “getting” the whole thing, or all aspects of how to make the best use of online systems all at once.

While living in Germany, there were at least 6 months when I learned and figured out something new about how to get around online every day.  Other times, I don’t learn at that pace.

Also like most of the rest of you, when I go to do something only to discover that I have to learn a lot just to do it, I sometimes get a little freaked out and try to learn as rapidly as possible.  During such times, I often get somewhat worked up and easily frustrated with myself for not already knowing how to.

Today

Today is just today.  I perused around a little bit, wondering if I would easily find great inspiration for a new blog post.  I don’t feel that much as if I did.

Despite that, I wanted to make some attempt to connect with whoever reads this, inspired by the recent increase in traffic and feedback, according to the stats.

This Christmas

For me personally, the saddest aspects of this Christmas are that I am not going to be able to include in person: my husband, my son, and maybe not my father and his wife and 2nd wife (now an ex, but the live out stepmother of most of my childhood with whom I am still in touch).  The thing is that the reason I can’t include my husband is sordid, and weird.  In truth, I was last married in 2005.  I finally nearly got remarried in 2016.  I won’t go into it further aside from sharing with you that I am very glad my ex-husband is alive and having reasonably good luck being married to someone other than me, although I would have preferred for him to succeed at being my husband rather than someone else’s for 5 decades of more instead.  Still, I strongly prefer this to either of us being dead.  The rest of them, I just have the problem of suffering from limitations of transportation or funding for transportation.

The best news for me about this Christmas is that I will be able to spend time in person with my mother.  I am old enough to be very grateful that my parents are still alive and lucid.  My mother is in excellent condition for her age, and my father is in ok condition sort of for his age.  They are in their 80s.  As well as that, I was able to get my son some presents, about which I am very grateful and happy.  He is an adult now, by the way.

To the rest of you, I hope that you find a happiness during this time o year, whether you have a religious epiphany or a spiritual breakthrough or even just a good time with relatives….Kind words between you and your mother-in-law for example, or forgiveness between siblings.

God bless you this Christmas.

 

Spiritual Tidbits

 

 

 

 

gray turtle
Photo by Anand Raghu on Pexels.com

The Spirit in Nature

Many people still claim to feel spiritually uplifted when walking in natural surroundings which they prefer.

The order of the natural world is still one of the major premises in many of the logical arguments that lead to the logical conclusion that God definitely and obviously exists.

It has been said that mathematics is humans reading the mind of God.

Remember: Nature was made by God and that includes people.  In Judaism and Christianity, God told the people that God created humanity in His image (please don’t get hung up on gender).  One understanding of what this means is that the self-awareness and awareness of the outside world that humans are capable of, is what makes humans of such interest to God.  Humans are the only earthly creature capable of noticing and interacting with God.

Spiritual Practices Effect Awareness

One rebuff of nay-sayers is to point out that it is actually true that practicing a religion enable a person to develop awareness that may not develop otherwise.  This is a bit like learning any other skill.  Prior to learning a skill one may or may not even be aware of it.  In some cases, there is awareness, but that’s it.

To use an unrelated example: Cashiers.  Nearly everyone is aware of being served by cashiers.  Far fewer people have experience being one.  Not everyone who has been trained to be a functional cashier has had the exact same experience with it, depending on when they learned it and in what context.  However, it is still true that often enough, if you have been trained as a cashier and were competent, there are certain things you will tend to do, and/or to notice.  Just one example that I still tend to do, is making the bills face the same way and often arrange them by denomination.

By analogy, spiritual practices that people engage in have real effects.  Those who meditate and fast will have information and experience unlike those who only pray briefly or at church but are great about giving to charity.

The bottom line: Consider the source: the criticisms made by the ignorant are less reliable than the criticisms or comments of those trained and experienced in a given area.

Ability is not equally distributed

Even in spiritual matters, there is as much diversity of talent and ability as we find in sports, academic areas and in types of work.  This means that any person may be naturally better or worse with respect to spiritual awareness and behavior.

The relief for everyone who suffers from not having a great natural (God given, by the way) ability is permitted or even encouraged to pray for God to provide the power to achieve what would naturally be impossible.  There are people God loves to use to do things that the person really doesn’t have the natural ability to do; it is not a scam.

This also means that it is not wise to take the advice of those who don’t know about spiritual matters, but it also means to have patience and mercy with those who have no special blessing or spiritual talent, and as a consequence they may have no natural interest nor great insight into God.  

General Information about Philosophy

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

Straight answers from a know-it-all

Do you know what it is?

In truth, during childhood I had no idea what philosophy was.  My mother knew, but never thought of it as being anything she needed to tell me about.  As a 16 year old I read a book by an Englishman named Alan Watts.  Mainly I remember only that it was a nice little book and a I liked it.  I liked a lot of what I read.  Little did I know back then, that it was written by one of the first major 20th century thinkers who attempted to understand the Buddhists from a English, Christian background that so many of us have.

If you already know what it is, you may not find this blog post particularly interesting, but if not: here we go.

Philosophy

This is a wide ranging subject area.  Like most academic ‘knowledge areas’ it is more attractive to some and less so to others.  Examples of questions a person has that may indicate an interest in philosophy:

What is Time?        What does it all mean?              Is that True?

Is there any such thing as objective truth?      Is morality absolute or relative?

                                                     How do I know if God is real?

Is our perception of truth and reality dependent upon how the human mind works?

Is it all just neurons firing in the brain?!

     Is it all just hormones?

Can I really come to know by thinking the right way?

Is the scientific method really that important?

Is it related to how the human brain works?

What Next?

If you do ask questions of those kinds and are interested in getting actual answers, one of the things you can do is learn more about philosophy.  One way to do that, is to buy the booklet Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.

There are lots of books and lots of philosophers.  By the way, there are and have been women in philosophy for over 1000 years.  It is true that as usual, the gender difference made a difference.  Because of how it does 500 years ago the most successful women philosophers were married noble women who exchanged letters with one of the most prominent male philosophers of that generation.  In fact, Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period is one example of that type.  It is true that throughout history because of gender and social-political challenges, there have been times when women were able to contribute to the field more effectively than at other times.  This is not intended to denigrate in any way the reality that most of the great tomes of wisdom out there were put together by men who depended upon women to do the bulk of the raising of their children, which helped make them able to do what they did.  Even so, I just wanted to make sure that both men and women know that women have been involved in the field.  In the 20th century, the philosopher/ess Ayn Rand was able to articulate an entire organized philosophy but ultimately one of her most trusted male adult student-admirers is the one who wrote it up in the book Objectivism

Personal Favorites

Here are some of my personally favorite philosophers:  Gottfried Wilhelm Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Aquinas, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates & Plato, Aristotle. I have not ever agreed with any of them about everything.

As a woman, I am always glad when any of us achieves anything profound, and I also greatly admire Luce Irigaray, Ayn Rand as well as Simone de Beauvoir and in fact, some of those ladies from that book Women Philosophers of the early modern period.

Louise Andreas-Salome gets a special vote for “women who tried” because she was able to get through an idea or two: I believe she was a Christian believer and had an idea about “a victimless society”.  Mainly, she was able to help women get access to being taught well and have prominent male philosophers as guest speakers.

Weird Stuff about Philosophy

  1. Philosophy brand cosmetics.  They are a real company and I don’t understand what happened.
  2.  The philosophy of a business or organization is often summed up into a concise paragraph; the vast majority of time is spent in implementing and/or attempting to implement some pithy philosophical wisdom or insight.
  3.  Many people jump to conclusion that people good at philosophy are not going to earn money or are impractical people.
  4.  While numerous people seem to believe that everyone interested in philosophy is an atheist, there is a whole other school of thought that describes philosophy as simply being theology’s maid servant.
  5.  Biblical factoid:  because I was fascinated by Athenian philosophy and am one of the horde of people who love Jesus, I wondered how to view them together…Then, eventually, I discovered that everyone can read in the book of Acts, what happened to the apostle Paul when he actually went to Athens, during that very time often covered in Ancient Philosophy: the Greeks in philosophy courses at colleges and universities.

Conclusions

I hope that those of you who didn’t already know what this subject area is about, have some clue thanks to this blog post.  As with most things in life, some people are drawn to it and love it whereas others find it either empty or unpalatable.   This blog post was written by someone who has studied a wide variety of subjects but for some reason loved philosophy.

Interview: Robert Fitzgerald Jr.

Welcome to this blog.  Today, we are featuring the interview with the author of the science novel The Children of Loki by Robert Fitzgerald Jr..

Q. Robert, is this your first novel?

A. Yes, at least this is the first novel I’ve ever published using that name.

Q.  Wow, was it hard to get it published?

A.  Compared to what the main characters in the novel go through, no, not at all.  My life is much easier than those of the characters in the novel.  I did find it challenging to get published but I can’t be sure whether that’s only because I haven’t been living in NYC for the past 30 years or if that’s not the cause of the problem.

Q. Can you give us a general feeling for what kind of story this is?

A.  It’s military science fiction.  It’s intended to be able to complement or rival David Drake’s Hammers Slammers and the like.  I’d rather people read both than just lose to his fans.  It’s very much subgenre fiction.

It’s about military soldiers working in the private sector after completing military service, but it’s nothing like what happens when veterans from Afghanistan or Iraq become corporate managers or trainers.   In fact, that could be construed as misleading based on what the novel is really like, but its also an almost freakishly accurate way of describing the actual plot line.

Q. Really?

A. (makes strange sound) Yes, absolutely.   It’s about a business start-up only…If I tell you, it might be a spoiler.

OK, let me ask you a few different types of questions about it:

Q.  What did you use for character development in your fiction novel The Children of Loki?

A.  Oh, wow, that is a different type of question.  I used a number of features.  How to express unique individuals in writing is an exciting and fun part of the process.  I used a few traits and pieces of world-views and attitudes to set up how each of the main characters tends to make decisions.

None of the characters is taken from anyone alive, although I would like to cast that man Rock to play the lead male character if the novel were turned into a movie during the upcoming 5 years, which sadly, isn’t likely.  The main male character is a big, strong middle aged mulatto from right here on planet Earth.  He has significant military experience but he wasn’t career military.

In stark contrast, the main woman character is a cradle-to-grave soldier.

Also, just to be clear, I dared to make the leads not a romance; I know that’s very un-Hollywood, or may seem anti-Hollywood but all the “why nots” are shown and explained well in the story itself.  Just one hint about that might be her fear-inducing body odor and how that was scientifically developed in her native culture.

In truth, I haven’t been able to find anyone I would cast in her role.  There might be someone living who could do it, but I tend to think she would be done using advanced graphic arts, and a voice-over actress.  That’s not necessarily easier on the acting staff: something about green walls and pretending to talk to someone who isn’t there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  I’m not sure who’s voice would be ideal.

I realize that’s strange to have easily cast one role but not the others.  I don’t know if the Rock would even want to play Kiel Bronson in a movie, but he’s got the right physical size and his face would also suit the part.

(the author blushes) and looks sheepishly at the interviewer.

Q. Can you tell us anything about the setting?

A. Sure.  In truth, there is a map from a game that I did use for guidance.  Some map that shows the main starts within the 50Light Years closest to our Solar System.  The setting is within 50 LY from Sol and out planet.

(author makes a noise that sounds like a mixture of chuckling aloud and suffering from embarrassment)

I made up almost all the details.  It’s set in the distant future or else in an alternative but very nearby universe where most things are the same, but some stuff isn’t.

It’s a typical military science fiction setting.  (something that seems like fidgeting again, on the part of the author).

Q.  If you could only tell us one more thing about the novel what would it be?

A.  For me, the author, the 2 main characters, Gezka and Kiel, drive the whole story.  In truth, the characters, events and setting are all interconnected but that’s what it was and is like for me, the author.  That’s part of why it says on the title page *a Gezka FaucMerz and Kiel Bronson novel.   In the event of related sequels, from my perspective it’s that the future stories would star one or both of those 2.

Q. If we want to buy it online, can we?

A. Yes, of course.  Here are a couple of links.  The Children of Loki from Barnes & Noble bookstoreThe Children of Loki via Amazon .

Q. Is it possible to buy it offline?

A. You can also buy it from nearly any book store, especially a large chain store, but you have to ask for the store to order it.

A.  Also, I actually go out to sell the books for myself.  So, depending upon our relative locations I might show up out of nowhere offering the book.  It is very common for authors to have a few copies of their books in the trunk of their car, or stashed nearby for selling to people when it comes up.  Unfortunately, the publishing companies don’t handle most of the marketing for me;  I wish they did, but they don’t.

 

Who’s Tutweiler Buckhead?

Who?

Who is this man?  In truth, that’s the big question that the protagonists want to know.  The cops know a little bit about him, but unlike you, they don’t even know his name.  That’s a slight tease: all you do know is his name…and that’s the one piece of information the cops would most like to have.

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead  may be one of the first if not only, mystery novels named after the villain.  Perhaps you should chime in on whether or not you feel this makes the novel more attractive, or if you find it misleading, as far as titles are concerned.

The novel is an action adventure story set in the city of Indianapolis, which is where I lived when I wrote the first couple of drafts.

The story is not told from Tutweiler’s perspective.  In fact, if he could respond to this post it would only be to hope that no one notices it or else that no one takes it seriously, because of how much he is evading the Police with some of his activities, but not all of them.

Tutweiler is also honestly not based on any single real-life person but I suppose anyone like Tutweiler might worry that this was about him.  In reality, in my fictions stories, especially novels, each character is a composite of at least 4 different people.  To share a sad joke, the other day I saw a video in which Tai Lopez essentially said this ideal girlfriend is also a composite of at least 3 different women.  While that may be painfully true, I immediately thought of the way that I personally write fiction and how I do that intentionally in the invention of characters for novels…but would not find it so helpful for making myself content within a marriage.

The name is very intentionally exotic.  I think I found his first name doing Internet research about dog breeds while scouting the terrain for potential freelance writing contracts over a decade ago.  Strangely enough, I do recall specifically how I came up with the character’s surname.  I was being paid to write a real estate blog for a little while and through the related research learned that Buckhead is one of the fancier neighborhoods in greater Atlanta, Georgia.  Well, something about it struck me as fitting.

White Collar Criminals

I am willing to divulge, and I hope it’s not a spoiler, that Tutweiler is a white collar type of criminal, but even telling you that I begin to digress into that character’s personal issues that are explained in chapters of the novel.

Everyone who has known or hated white collar criminals will appreciate this.

What’s the plot line?

It’s really about finding out who Tutweiler actually is, and saddling him with the burden of the responsibility for some of his actions.  Mind you, he’s enough of a real person type of villain that there is a lot more to him than just his crimes.

The City of Indianapolis resorts to using a special squad of 4 who are a compromise between the law enforcement agencies and vigilantes.   The 4 are not all alike, which will appeal more to some readers than others.   Three types of people will feel most at home with our protagonists: 1) people who like those crime TV shows like NCIS where there is obviously a team solving a criminal case, 2) fantasy role play gamers who are used to thinking in terms of “adventuring parties”, 3) people who love comic book heroes and heroines.  (old use of the actual feminine form instead of only the masculine grammatical form).  If you or someone you know is any of those types, then you might really like this novel.

Magical Realism

Fans of fantasy might be terribly disappointed by level of magic in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.  In fact, here’s a link to a  negative book review – fantasy disappointment.   There is some magic and occultism in the novel, but it does not conform to either sword and sorcery nor to ‘Satanic crimes’ genre expectations.  It may live up to the standards of magical realism.

There is also God related magic in the novel, and in this case, it is done by Christians rather than say Buddhists or Hindus ala Dr. Strange.

Other details

The writing style developed from someone who finds it normal if you take advanced classes in high school or go to college in stark contrast to someone who thought all that would go right over your head.  This is not a book written “at an 8th grade reading level” so that foreigners and kids can feel as if they understand the English language.   Be prepared for relatively long sentences and descriptive sub-clauses.

Interested?

If this sounds like your type of thing, then just scroll on up and click on the link.   The review is also real by the way and not a ‘brain wash positive’ work of paid promotional advertising.

If you go for it, I hope you love it.

I would be thrilled if anyone who reads it would bother to post a comment or a semi-public or public review of the reader’s own free will.

Wild Undergraduates

Do you love a college student?

Maybe you and your peers are going to university.  If so, we hope that you are full of hope and excited about getting the education best suited to help you have a rewarding and fulfilling career and a wonderful life.

If you are a college student and you love yourself, I hope it is healthy self-love rather than

Books and stories by M. Pia & R.Fitzgerald Jr.

The Future of Engineering – an anthology
This anthology of short science fiction stories is ideal for college students or those who are curious about it. The author originally wrote these while living as a foreign exchange graduate student in London, England. While, definitely science fiction shorts, the ambiance of international academia and college students shines as the background setting.

Jimmy Bodeilo Travels Through Time
This is a single short science fiction story starring Jimmy Bodeilo who is about 11 years old. He appears in more than one story by the same author. To keep it simple “If it is a Jimmy Bodeilo story, then you know it is for kids.”

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead  This is an urban crime novel.  You can also check out a page at the blog, and read a chapter for free.

The Children of Loki at Jet.com Using mercenaries in corporate conflict and cross-cultural relationships are the central themes of The Children of Loki. A middle-aged mulatto man from planet Earth discovers his military muse when he comes across one of Emperor Rejkyavik’s organic sentient warriors in The Rim.

Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them In stark contrast to the other works, this is a practical philosophy mini-book.  Is there a God?  What is knowledge? Is morality absolute or relative?  These answers and more are addressed in this short and handy publication.

Just click on the link to purchase any of these.  They are all available at multiple locations.  The books can be ordered at any book store.  The short stories are available to Kindle readers.

buecher

Feeding Babies: Newborn to 12 mos.

About your newborn’s feeding

 

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Somebody probably told you, but your baby’s first few months will involve a purely liquid diet of breast milk and/or formula. Doctors recommend breast feeding your bbaby for the first 6 months but it is a choice. My mother did not breast feed at all, and I did but only for 6 weeks. I had thought I would for about 9 months. Some babies do for years. If there are no health concerns in your family line or where you live it is safer to use formula. If your child will be exposed to illnesses it is more important to breast feed because breast milk gives extra protection against disease. It just really does.
Your baby will live on a liquid only diet for the first few months. There are a number of signs that your baby may be ready for solid food. In the beginning it will be only to supplement formula or breast milk.

  • Signs of readiness for solid food
    When your baby has the following abilities and shows the following signs you can try solid food:
    1. Able to hold up their own head for significant periods of time – like hours rather than minutes.
    2. Able to sit up, to maintain an upright seated posture – or even ready to use a high chair.
    3. Starts to show interest in parents food.
    Does not push food gently placed in the front of the mouth back out the front of the mouth.
    4. Possibly teething
    May seem hungry despite receiving 8 to 10 feedings of liquid in a day.

Solid food
If you have not had the baby yet and your friends do not already have children then abandon your ideas about solid food. What is meant is actually food the consistency of apple sauce. On some level you already know this from having seen adverts for baby food on the shelves but as an adult who has not had children before it may seem insane and absurd. A sandwich or piece of fruit would be too much and way too difficult.
Luckily, one can both buy baby food and can make it home made if you have a blender or Cuisineart. One can blend strawberries, mangos, apples and so on to a thin enough consistency to be your baby’s first solid food. The big reason for this is the lack of teeth. The other reason is their sensitive and developing digestive systems. A little fruit and later on something related to rice or oats is enough. Carrots can be u but are more difficult to prepare.
Next level – with teeth
After your child gets half or more of the first set of teeth, you can begin serving them more ordinary food – what you thought of as solid food before you got into that whole baby food thing.

New Mother News

Emotions of Motherhood
There are many emotions associated with motherhood, in all stages. However, this is directed towards those women just getting started at being a mother. There is the baby, or the twins of course and there is you.
Where did everybody go?
What happens to you? Due to the lifestyle changes mentioned elsewhere in related articles, for some mothers, the biggest difficulties are going without work and feeling as if their friends vanish – or worse, like the new mother is now treated as if she does not exist. It can be very emotionally painful despite great joy over being a mother and even with the loving support of relatives – including a husband.
This problem is not insurmountable, but it can be a hum dinger when not psychologically prepared. If you go without work, then all the social relationships that went with it, vanish. You, the new mother, won’t miss any of the people who you didn’t like very much but will notice the difference. Without your own pay, learning to share money with your husband – if you hadn’t done it already, becomes vitally important to your and your baby’s survival. Kudos to you if you have wisely and sensibly married well and have an awesome personal life and are not running into this problem.
The truth is that a lot of women do, and the fact is, that it happened to me as well. I had not predicted it and did not know how to handle it. It was not that bad, but if I can help you as you adjust to being a mother, then I will be glad I wrote this.
Other Mothers
A lot of people drop out of your life once you become a mother. It may feel and be unfair. It might not trouble you half the time but then when you have a free afternoon and discover that you can’t afford to go anywhere unless your husband pays for you – you may feel stuck. Maybe you used to have money from your job. Maybe you do have money because you worked that out with your husband but then none of your former friends are available.
It is true, that for most new mothers, you have to find at least some other new mothers to socialize with.
Getting Out of the House
It is possible that you might work out a way to have a part time job that gets you out of the house while you spend most of the time with your baby. Mother and baby and mother and toddler groups abound – especially if you have the good fortune of living in the city, or in the residential part of the city or have a car and gas money.
Your New Life
Despite the challenge, most likely with time, you will adjust to being a mother. Some women find this to be so easy they don’t need to read this article. Others really need to read this article to know they are not alone in how they really feel even if and when overjoyed rather than sad about being a new mother.
For many women, it does involve just accepting that a lot of people won’t include you much for some years. You will probably be socially pressured to befriend women with a baby the same age as yours. It can be disturbing but often it works very well because you can talk about everything that matters while that is really how it is. I had one good friend who had a baby my age when I did and it helped a lot. Obviously, most women don’t automatically feel like best friends just because another woman has a baby the same age, but it can really work.
You and the baby can have a wonderful and rewarding relationship. The reality may not always live up to your own ideals about babies and mothers. A good family life can become a wonderful bastion of support and love. Feelings of being overwhelmed, as long as they do not occur too often are also normal.
You may feel very much like you are still you. For me, personally, retaining my sense of identity with my prematernal self was a big deal. I have met other women who told me their identity changed but they were happy with it that way. So, maybe you will feel like a whole new person – the flower blossoms on the bush and there is little resemblance to the previous stage of life.
You can learn to find ways to socialize, but that is easier if you live where there are people and it may help a lot if you have money, but there are ways to do it even when you don’t.
Motherhood is a ‘rest of life’ relationship, at least in most cases. Your baby will only be a baby for a year. You can remind yourself to enjoy what you love about it and fear not, your baby will outgrow whatever you don’t like about it. In all my life I have heard of only 1 exception to that; there was one girl who lived in the baby stage of development for 21 years. Don’t worry, that won’t happen to you.
Take heart, once you get the hang of being a mother, you probably wouldn’t want it any other way ever again, and you will be able to work and have friends and get your way at least some of the time even as you raise your baby. Be responsible and don’t give up.

Does the gender of the baby make you sick?

Pregnancy morning sickness
Maybe you woke up one morning and felt queasy. You asked yourself what was wrong. Quite possibly you were able to eliminate the most probable causes. You then checked to see if you had a fever. Hm: not a hangover, not a tummy virus, not a flu, not food poisoning – what might it be?
Guess what
Not every woman finds out that she is pregnant due to morning sickness and not every pregnant woman suffers from ‘morning sickness’ but that is true and that can happen to perfectly normal women.
What is it?
Morning sickness is actually just your body’s own reaction to brand new hormonal changes and the onset of sudden high speed growth taking place inside your very own body.
To quote from the Baby Center,
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone rises rapidly during early pregnancy. No one knows how hCG contributes to nausea, but it’s a prime suspect because the timing is right: Nausea tends to peak around the same time as levels of hCG. What’s more, conditions in which women have higher levels of hCG, such as carrying multiples, are associated with higher rates of nausea and vomiting.
Estrogen. Another hormone which rises rapidly in early pregnancy, estrogen is also a possible cause (along with other hormones as well).
What to do about it
Stress can make it worse. Some women only experience it for a couple of weeks early in their pregnancies. I have heard rumors that for many women, it is a good indicator of the gender of the baby. I know that’s horrible but apparently it is true – one gender of baby makes the mother more nauseous than the other.
One of the best ways to help reduce pregnancy morning sickness is to control stress. This means that any ‘dirty laundry’ between yourself and the father may come out now. For some couples this can be scary, but certainly doesn’t have to ruin the relationship.
There are some simple treatments to alleviate pregnancy morning sickness: drinking plenty of milk will help. The reason is that fluids of this type coat the stomach which is very helpful. Yogurt and other dairy products also help. Avoiding citrus and other acidic foods – at least, avoid ingesting them alone, during pregnancy can help.
Getting enough rest and moving without rushing it can help to manage the queasiness. The degree to which women suffer from morning sickness ranges from just a slight queasiness to vomiting most days for about 6 weeks.
Sea Bands provide a great alternative along totally different lines. I found out about them because I suggested dairy products and am aware that some people are vegans and that going dairy won’t do. This solution is also worth a try for busy women who will not be in environments in which eating or drinking would be acceptable behavior.
Sea bands work using acupressure. They are inexpensive, available online, and are also perfectly safe and healthy.
Is there any hope?
Luckily the majority of women only suffer from intense morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy,, when the need to sleep a lot more is also commonplace.
You may not suffer from severe morning sickness. Personally, I consume a lot of dairy and I had only some queasiness during my pregnancy, and never anything so bad that I puked. It went away after the first couple of months.
So even if it turns out to be bad, know that it will probably get less bad within two months.
I hope these tips help you or someone you know get through pregnancy with a minimum of difficulty. With the right information and attitude, pregnancy can be a good experience.

Basics of Book Writing

Type of Book

This is the most important aspect of the project. Are you going to write a nonfiction book or a fiction novel? If the book is going to be a nonfiction book, there is more than one way to decide which type of book to write. One can look at the market and see what is most needed. One can look at oneself and see what one most wants to write about. Each leads to a good decision but not the same kind of wise choice.

If the book is going to be nonfiction, then one needs to make a decision on which type. Likewise if fiction, it helps to know the genre before one begins the writing process.

The goal of the end product does also matter. If one is just doing the work for fun, without any need to make money from doing it, then one can be driven more by preference and maybe take more risks. Money making endeavors can involve risks, but on

Planning

You may have just a simple form of the idea.

Pitch

You have to decide based on your self-knowledge whether or not you are going to pitch your idea to the publishing industry at this stage, or after you have an outline, or after you have written the book. There is one other option and that is to put together enough for a book proposal and pitch that.

Pitching an idea, means meeting with or calling or emailing industry moguls to see if any of them are interested in your idea. For some people this is the easy part, but for others this is the part that is harder than making a private trip to the Moon.

Outline and first draft

When that is the case you can start with an outline. In the case of fiction, some authors prefer to develop a detailed plot line and outline before they get to writing. Others begin by just writing and seeing where the creative process leads. People like that often face a great deal more editing after they have produced a first draft.

Depending upon the other demands in your life and your over all personality structure, you may also need to create a scheduled production time. This could be anything from ‘for an hour in the morning before the children get up’ to ‘9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.’

Editing & Book Proposals

After you have a draft, you can edit the entire work. Around the same time that you do this, you can also begin to query, and to prepare the book proposals. If you pitched and it worked, then you know who will be directing your queries to or where you will be submitting your book proposal. If you have had astoundingly good luck, then you will actually already have a publishing deal for your book. In that case, you know where to send the edited version of the book.

Editing tips: while a lot of editing can be done right after you complete the work, the more emotionally invested or simply overworked you are from writing the first draft the more you need to let the draft just sit for a while before you edit it. How long it should just lie around without you doing anything with it can vary from 2 weeks to 13 years. In most cases, you will be able to edit the thing with improved emotional distance after 2 weeks to 2 months. Even if you think you are not emotional about your book project, you should wait. Once you forget the exact details of what you meant to write, it will be easier to see what you actually wrote. Typos and other errors will become more readily apparent.

If you have the money and the connections to, hire a second person to edit the work for you at least once. Constructive criticism can be a big help in improving your performance. Outside editors tend to see things you miss as the author. In some cases, your editor will make you happy by showing you how well you wrote your book or story.

Once the work is edited, put together your query letter and assemble any other information the prospective publishers may want from you. This may include: an overview of the market for the type of book you have written, the first 3 chapters of the manuscript, a direct sales pitch letter to the publishing company to convince them how great your book is. They do normally expect a short bio, but it can be quite brief, telling them mainly how or where your work has been published and how well you were paid or if the problem is that you were not.

Submission

You may have to decide where to submit your book. You can try literary agents and you can try publishers. The Writer’s Market is one example of a resource that tells you which publishing companies require literary agent representation and which ones do not.

You also have to check whether or not simultaneous submissions are viewed as acceptable. Simultaneous submissions is like dating multiple people without having to get sexually involved in order to land a spouse or both in one. Some people get offended by it, and others are comfortable with it. Check with the publisher or literary agency.

Nowadays, you may sometimes email the publisher or literary agent. There are people who prefer this, and others who still want it the old fashioned way. Find this out to submit the way they want it.

Response

There is nothing left to do after submission but wait. Most of the results of a long wait are the way it is in romance: you don’t want to marry each other and you aren’t ever going to have sex. They will neither represent your book – in the case of a literary agency, nor will the publisher actually accept your book for their investment and publication.

Now and then you will be fortunate and get a positive response. Sometimes a positive response means “We can’t use this one but if you write another book, be sure to let us take a look at it.”

Be wary, but realistic. Many a positive early response rather than being serendipity should set off your alarms. It is probably a self-publishing company willing to publish your book as long as you pay them to. There are times when self-publishing is a perfectly sound idea but for most writers who are still naïve about the publishing industry, having no one but self-publishers interested after all your hard work can be devastating or, for the tough minded, only a little disappointing.

Seriously, it is possible for an author to ‘hit the jackpot’ and get a big publishing company to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, even as an advance on sales for your book. Not only that, but in some cases, the editors won’t even change it so much that you no longer feel as if it is the book you submitted to them but does still have your name listed as the author.

Most likely, that is not what will happen. Most likely, if you have written a really good book you will be able to find a small publishing company willing to support your work with a small advance or no advance but a decent professional production of the book. In other cases, you can get it self published. I’m not sure about the % on this.

A large minority of writers will find that after all their hard work absolutely nothing more will ever come of the project. After a while, the author will get over the shock and numb, and move on with his or her life.

 

Structured Blogging

brown and white horse

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Pretty Horses  (Schoene Pferden)

The Past

In the past I tried blogging.  In fact, I think that I have done some personal blogging for more than 6 years, including 2 old Uranian Fiction websites, this blog and also Wealthy Affiliate websites that use my name miriampia.org and .com rather than using Uranian Fiction.

After 3 or 4 years of effort, I just started to write a blog with a structured weekly schedule but then suddenly, something else happened which undermined that whole effort.  I don’t even remember what it was now.

The Present

Now, this is also blogging.  I did a little professional blogging in the past – mostly for a Atlanta Real Estate, about a decade ago, but I think I have blogged professionally elsewhere.  I realize that sounds whacky, but if you meet enough professional writers it will seem less crazy.  It is a volume & mind set issue as it relates to memory.

I do believe that structured blogging can make sense.  In my own case, I may have to start all over again.

Topics

The truth is that I like the idea of being able to blog to readers on various topics and even in multiple ways.  Some days I want to produce professional copy as I do write professionally but other times I just want to share my personality with readers.  Not only that but there are also days which are more like ‘wow’ days – to share spontaneously, whether about some new facet of German culture or another travel location or something else.  Maybe it would be about hair and fashion rather than culture or delves deeply into my mood one day – out of nowhere: what some people would describe as ‘random’.

PsychoBunnyBoozePhilosophyW

German Yous

In most respects I strongly prefer English to German but as I have been learning German I am happy to report that it does have a few charms.

One of German’s charms are the new opportunities for personal expression that the multiple forms of ‘you’ allow.  Some of the dissimilarity is misleading but despite that having ‘sie’ and ‘du’ – both of which translate as ‘you’, creates new options.  In simple and general terms the formal you and the plural you are both ‘sie’.  In simple terms, the informal familiar you is ‘du’.

On a personal level this has allowed me to review various levels of meaning and also nuances.  In some cases ‘du’ really means ‘friends and family’ but in other cases it means ‘you who are younger than I am’ .  In a radically different appearance ‘du’ is used more like ‘comrade’ was used as part of socialist and communist workers revolutions.  Often enough people who think they are helping improve life urge others to just use ‘du’ in speaking but mainly they mean ‘if we are on the same hierarchical level at work’ or ‘so that I don’t get confused about how to conjugate my verbs every time we have a conversation at work’.

Most Germans born before 1960 and many born before 1970 tend to call anyone older ‘sie’ and anyone younger ‘sie’ and really – general politeness in Germany dictates that everyone is ‘sie’ until there is a decision – a social choice, of allowing others to call one ‘du’ instead.  In practice it is a lot like whether or not one calls someone else Sir or Madam or Mr. or Ms. Such-n-Such, or by their first name.

I have already noticed that I don’t agree with everyone else about how to use each, but m personal expression disagreement covers only 10 – 20% of social cases.  It is not from suffering from a lack of grammatical knowledge at this point.

In truth I think I had an entirely different idea for today’s blog post and it had nothing to do with Germany or my transcultural experience, but it flitted away with a change in the song I was listening to or something.  I have no idea whether or not it will come again.

 

Woman supporting the German football team - stock photo

You – Invisible You

‘Shout Out’

I thank you all for having bothered to meet me via the blog, and for engaging with me in any friendly manner.  

‘Trying’

Despite having heard the phrase ‘Do or do not, but do not try’ I believe more in the little engine that could:  ‘I think I can; I think I can’, and so I try and meet with both failures and successes.  This blog post is actually like this because I tried to ’email followers’ all at once but failed to.  However, since you may see this, here is my email to you.

Weird feelings

Recently my posts have been more professional in tone and so this one feels more like an email as it is rather emotional by comparison.  If you would subscribe or comment on the posts and do whatever you have learned to do, to line us up better for future communications I will be glad.

My own preference is to reach all of you at once and new people on some occasions but to also be able to interact more privately – in small groups or as individuals.  I assume you are all sort of the same but of course we are also each unique.

 

The image selected above

I am a fan of comic book art and anime styles but mainly only as a spectator.  I wanted to acknowledge that suddenly this morning you all seem like heroic champions to me for having connected with me.  I did want to, but for some reason unrealistic impressions and images abound, symbolized by a group of my favorite comic book heroes.  I am a typical woman in that I was hardly even into comics compared to a lot of the boys but for a female person I was pretty into them.

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Ken Wilber & His Philosophy

2000 words

Ken Wilber & His Philosophy

by Miriam Pia

Ken Wilber is one of the dominant and ‘game changing’ American philosophers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His work broke with the status quo of academic philosophies of both the West and the East. Because of that, his work, although famous outside of most Western philosophy based universities has not become popular or frequently taught within them. The one place he is best known for having taught is in fact the first established Buddhist based university in the United States of America, the Naropa Institute in Colorado. As it happens Boulder, Colorado with the Rocky Mountains does mimic some of the basic underlying type of geography as the Tibetan culture and philosophy which came into being in the snowy Himalayan Mountains.

What makes Ken Wilber’s Philosophy so different?

Epistemology is the area of philosophy devoted to figuring out and clarifying what knowledge is, since only by knowing what knowledge is can we – as individuals and as the human race, know what to be sure of as being truth and what remains ignorance of one kind or another.

There are clear traditions of ideas and beliefs about what the truth is and how to determine it in both Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. The main radical measure that Ken Wilber takes in his ‘integral philosophy’ is that he reviews the Western tradition and makes a new organized schema. For many in the Western tradition, to borrow from the philosophy of science of the 1980s, Wilber’s Integral Philosophical system creates a new paradigm. He does this by showing how much of what was argued over in terms of their relation to truth in terms of priority and hierarchy in the preceding 300 years of philosophical tradition can be couched into new language and put together into a new schema without denying any of them.

The main schools of thought in the Western tradition about truth and knowledge are:

Idealism: Plato and Kant, and later Hegel and other German idealists. These posit that truth can be learned through mental operations and that abstract thinking can lead to real world results because of 2 factors: 1 is that much of truth and the ability to perceive it is built right into the human mind, and that 2 logic and mathematics and proper philosophical inquiry, and later also scientific research methods also yield real and legitimate results.

Plato argued that the truth of things is right in the perception of them within a realm seen as the human mind or perceivable by the mind. The main example is what has come to be known as ‘the principle of the thing’, where Plato taught that the principle of any object was real as an idea or ideal and that if anything, things took shape from the reality of the realm of ideas more than the other way around.

Kant explained that some of what is true shows up right in the mind – these are a priori ideas, which are true of the human mind and indicate what is true about the world. Kant read Plato and Aristotle and knew at least some Christianity, and possibly knew post-Judaic Christianity (after the Council of Nicea people could become Christian without having to convert to Judaism) very well.

From then up to the present there have been schools of thought which developed out of believing that idealism is true, believing in idealism in a limited way, and running counter to idealism. In the ancient world, Plato came right before Aristotle but unlike Plato Aristotle was not an idealist. He thought Plato’s theory of forms was wrong and went around cataloging species of life forms for Emperor Alexander. Aristotle is considered a proto empirical scientist of the Western world. Aristotle believed very strongly in the world as being real and as existing without dependency upon any human mind for its existence, but did view human perception as having some kind of reality.

The development of the empirical sciences and scientific method during the previous 3 centuries, although there were scientific and technological breakthroughs going back thousands of years before the advent of modern science: in Western cultures was directly related to accepting Kant’s idea that part of what is real and some of the truth that can be perceived has to do with the human mind and the ability to think and the rest of it has to do with the outside world. Hence, by relating to the world of sensory experience the right way, and by thinking the right way, humans have a good chance of learning the truth. Theories are the closest to the truth that can be reached given careful examination of the evidence found in the world with lots of help from excellent thinking with a human mind.

Ken Wilber notes early on in the description of his own philosophy the matter of how much the empirical sciences seem to award truth value to the outside world but none to the subjective experience of people. Not only that, claims Ken Wilber, but scientific theories also seem to dismiss society in determining what is true or not. One Continental Philosopher of the 20th century who emphasized the effect of society and in society was Michele Foucault, who’s writings were mainly interdisciplinary. The French tendency to post modernism which Wilber is also aware of, developed with existentialism as a mostly idealist, atheist philosophical movement of the 20th century.

Integral Theory & Truth Quadrants

In Ken Wilber’s integral theory, KW recognizes 4 types of truth which he posits exist for every individual. One, if the subjective realm. This does contain Plato’s world of forms and Kant’s a priori concepts, but also contains everything from logic to dreams and emotions, hopes and fears of individuals. Personal truths about the self and one’s point of view and so on, can all exist in this realm.

Another quadrant of truth, according to integral theory, is the truth about the world, more familial to people as involving a world of sense objects and social relations that exist regardless of human perception but that humans may be able to perceive the truth about.

Wilber’s integral philosophy contains two quadrants which are simultaneously private but also external and existing in a shared realm with other people and other creatures. One of the two is the external world from the perspective of an individual and the other is more the mass scale social scene.

Steps & Stages: Spirituality & Buddhist influences

In actual practice, one of the main differences between Ken Wilber and most of the traditional Western philosophers is that KW learned to meditate within the blended context of Buddhism in Colorado and the more general cultural context of the Rocky Mountains, Christianity – mostly Protestantism, Hippies and Chogyam Chungpa/ Trungpa – who was the first major Buddhist lama (and really a ‘bad boy’ as lamas go) who trekked to North America and introduced Dharma and founded the Naropa Institute when KW was a young boy in the region.

Because KW did bother to learn to meditate, and turned out to be very good at it, he included in his philosophy 4 major states or types of consciousness which in Western philosophical tradition go predominantly unmentioned. Here and there someone refers to imagination and dream states in Western philosophy but normally not in a well organized manner.

How it proceeds

The bulk of Ken Wilber’s philosophical writings explain how he sees his theory functioning within individuals and societal groups. It includes a history and philosophy of human development that goes from the rudimentary and biological up to the spiritual. Through the descriptions, he teaches readers and followers how to get some idea of which levels they are operating on as individuals and then, by knowing where they are, shows them how they might reach subsequent levels. In that respect KW’s philosophical works are infused with inspiration and hope as they are designed to enable readers and followers to really do something in their own lives with the philosophy rather than it being one of the types of philosophical treatises that is full of explanation and description but for readers has no direct, practical value beyond maybe being able to understand why research exists and what it is like when it makes sense.

How it fits in

Beyond what has already been explained, Ken Wilber’s thought has been enigmatic and profound in that it is not a simple rehash of what has been done in the past and yet it really does break with tradition without just destroying tradition.

As an individual, Ken Wilber is someone who was able to become well known and well liked and to fit in in those senses but he has always stood out from the crowd in part due to being exceptionally tall and thin but also due to being a brilliant man who boldly did something like study Plato but also learn to meditate and not run away nor hide from what he learned by doing so.

By reputation, Ken Wilber has become a well known American philosopher despite being regularly ignored by academic philosophy and philosophers because he is 1) an odd ball, and 2) they weren’t responsible for his success and don’t know him and may feel put out that he is a great philosopher out of nowhere rather than after having carefully ensconced in academic philosophy for at least a decade and showing up as a little bit important by contributing the American analytical philosophical tradition with a new treatise on computer logic and the implications for hospital ethics in the 21st century or something ‘normal’ and ‘expected’ like that. Instead, integral theory has grown into a diverse set of organizations that surround sales of Ken Wilber books and workshops. The philosophy has been picked up and partially learned and bandied about as much by corporate coaches as by academic philosophers.

Personally, I think it is not worth denying that despite the ill fit with the majority trends in the American analytic philosophical tradition early in the 21st century, Ken Wilber really is one the best American philosophers certainly of his generation and quite possibly for the century for the Americans.

In truth, to give perspective another way, he is more the spiritual and philosophical son or descendant of the Englishman Alan Watts who was a British philosopher who was one of the first of the 20th century Western thinkers to attempt to engage with Asiatic and Buddhist philosophy. Their 19th century predecessor was actually Friedrich Nietzsche and Louise Andreas-Salome (maybe J. Ree) who tried to go beyond the limits of what they had learned from the ancient Greeks and their philosophical forebears in a decidedly Christian European and North American world.

In that respect, it is proper to understand these thinkers as trying to be more worldly, and cutting edge and inclusive in the scope of their philosophical endeavors, thoughts and trying to write for what Thomas S. Kuhn (philosophy of science 1980s) called a new paradigm.

Conclusions

Ken Wilber’s philosophy is far from useless but really is best understood in the context of trying to bridge Western and Eastern thought, but also trying to push forward with Western consciousness, and draw new conclusions about the debate about which takes philosophical precedence about truth: self, world, a priori ideas or logic?

In general, idealism faded during the 20th century but did not entirely disappear. American and British philosophy became more analytic and atheistic. Continental philosophy became more atheistic but also more interdisciplinary and some forms of idealism persisted but were changed as their context switched from empirical sciences and math over to areas such as music, art criticism and so on. The women’s movements as part of the continuing saga of human civil rights was also involved and showed up because French women existentialists on the Continent and radicals – like Ayn Rand, who was as free standing in her philosophical efforts as Ken Wilber but being a woman, and a conservative, unlike Ken Wilber she was able to do it in part thanks to the funding from her husband while living as a wife.

It may take some decades before universities figure out the best way to place the work of Ken Wilber in relation to the canon for the philosophy curriculum, but already, Ken Wilber has made himself into a prominent American philosopher. Not everyone will agree with him and that one point makes Ken Wilber just like every other great philosopher who has ever walked the Earth.

Sharbenau the Squirrel

Juvenile Fiction
“Sharbenau the Squirrel”By Miriam Pia
*Its about a small mammal who is unusually spiritual
This anthology is a fund raiser for the Cardio Dept of a Children’s Hospital.

             Sharbenau realized at some point that he was not like the other squirrels in a few ways. In most regards he was a normal squirrel. He grew at the same pace, he liked most of the same foods, his tail was bushy the same as all the others. His temperament was also not that different from many of the others of his tribe.  

           Sharbenau lived in a large colony of squirrels. They had 3 tribes, 2 of these had 15 families and the other tribe had 9 families in it. The older ones taught the young ones how to live and do well in the forest that they lived in.  Like it or not, it became clear that some of the older squirrels seemed to ‘do better’ than the others.  

           There were times that made Sharbenau very sad. When he was young this happened the most when he saw another get injured or sick.  He hated to witness their suffering but did not want to turn away from them – he knew that would make him appear cold hearted when he was not. Well, that problem won a lot of Sharbenau’s attention for quite a time.  

         Once, when another squirrel was hurt, he tried to help it. Partly, he just gave the other animal comfort and somehow – he wasn’t even sure how; he tried to change things.He tried to help the other heal.  Sharbenau wasn’t sure it did any good but then his grandmother mentioned it to him once. She complimented him. She told him, “Now little one, that was very creative and quite kind. This is a very rare thing, but it is something that you should feel good about, rather than bad about.”      

         Sharebenau thought that his grandmother meant well but was a little strange. The thing is, because she had been kind to him when he was feeling a bit sad or lonely or something – he remembered the incident. The squirrel children found that they often had enough time to play and to have fun as well as having time to learn how to take care of themselves and one another.  Most of the time, they were told to stay home when it was dark.  The real reason for this was to protect them from danger.  There were other animals. The way that they saw things made it harder for the squirrels to identify danger during the dark time.  It made it easier for them to make the young stay close during these times.   Sharbenau felt this made sense and didn’t fight it. He was actually a very well behaved child squirrel. Most were, but a few of them seemed different. Over what felt like a very long time, he noticed what happened to the different individuals depending on what they did.  There seemed to be 2 main effects amongst the more adventurous squirrels. Some had sad fates: they were often injured and many died young in tragedies.

       Others had happy fates. It seemed they were blessed with great energy and talents andadept at surviving. So, Sharbenau developed a new understanding of that type of squirrel.  Even so, he did not stray far from his elders. It did not seem to be his nature to disobey or to go against sound advice.
       One day, when Sharbenau was out climbing a tree in an area where he was allowed he had a most unusual experience. A large crow, at least twice his own size,came near enough to him – they looked each other in the eye. The bird lowered its head and moved it towards the squirrel slowly. Sharbenau saw this large, sharp, dangerous beak coming at him but for some reason he did not feel the usual fear and he did not skitter away. Suddenly, he reached out one of his front paws, and tapped the bird on the beak.Well, after that happened, both of them panicked. The squirrel pulled back his hand very suddenly. The bird jerked back its head; this had never happened before! The bird cawed. The squirrel was terrified by the giant dangerous open mouth and horrible sound. Sharbenau began screaming and scampered along a few branches and fled tsafety. There he panted, calmed down, resumed his daily life. The experience stayed with him. Because he remembered it so well, he felt it might have deep meaning.  
       After his experience with the crow, Sharbenau tried helping others when one was hurt or injured. He did not do this every time no matter who it was, but he tried it. Over time, the others started to talking amongst themselves about it. They were starting tthink that he might have some kind of power to help them. They wondered if it woulwork if they tried the same things – if it worked the same way that their elders could show them how to find food and what to eat. They also wondered if maybe it was Sharbenau. 
       One day Sharbenau was out on an excursion. He was feeling more mature and quite proud because he was off on his own again. In truth, he had not gone far from home. He found a berry bush. He was joyful because he found his own meal without help for the first time in a long time. On this special occasion Sharbenau brought a small amount of the branch with him.Some time after that: it seemed like a long time, but it may have been two weeks,Sharbenau was with a squirrel who was not feeling well. Spontaneously, Sharbenau tapped the other squirrel with the berry branch, shouted 3 times, and danced around for half a minute. Then, just as suddenly, he just stopped. He suddenly felt embarrassed. He looked at the other squirrel, and found that the other was smiling at him. Sharbenau felt the fur on his tail fluff up. He pulled his tail in and around. Then quickly, Sharbenau found a way to just leave.
       Later, just 2 days later, there was a new sight. Sharbenau was at the nearest stream to get water. He saw the squirrel he had danced around and touched with the branch. The other’s health seemed much improved. Sharbenau the squirrel just watched silently from the shade. He was beginning to wonder if he had some kind of power after all, and wasn’t just imagining it.
        In reality, the other squirrels in the tribe really noticed that one. It seemed to all of them that Sharbenau had helped the other squirrel heal.Everyone began to watch Sharbenau a bit more, to observe whether or not anything else ‘surprising’ or ‘amazing’ might happen. At first this made Sharbenau very uncomfortable. Then, he realized that he could use it as encouragement to try things sometimes. So, after that he was more likely to follow through on his ideas about healing, or figuring things out. Now it seemed that if he did anything peculiar the other squirrels would also say, “Well, that’s Sharbenau. That’s why.”
        One day, Sharbenau was out – again, he was just a little bit apart from the rest of his group. He had not really left the group, or anything like that. He was on the side of tree one day, head down on a large oak tree when another of these ‘strange events’ took  place. Sharbenau felt the presence of another life form. It was a large creature, very large. The smell of it was noticeable but not unpleasant. He did not know what type of creature it was from the smell. There was the sound of movement, but the entity moved slowly. Sharbenau decided to keep still. He looked down. He looked at his front paws and felt the strong grip that he had on the thick oak bark. This was a very stable situation from what he could tell. Again, the large creature moved. This time, Sharbenau could look and see some part of it on the ground. It was like nothing he had ever seen before. He flitted his tail tand fro. He sniffed the light breeze. There was more motion. Sharbenau knew that he was taking quite a risk by not running off. He had a curious sensation in both his body and his mind.  This time, another large portion of the creature came into view. It turned out that it really was gigantic compared to a squirrel but Sharbenau still thought it was much smaller than the tree he was on. Still, although his tail trembled slightly, Sharbenau did not snicker and he did not run. What happened was that the creature began to make noises; when Sharbenau still did not run, there was a minor miracle when the creature touched him without causing any harm. Sharbenau was not sure how to react. He was quite pleased but not sure why – probably simply because this type of event had never occurred before and might not ever happen again. The entire experience lasted just a few minutes. Then the large creature made a different set of sounds and started to move quickly. The squirrel felt a new type of pressure on his back and then he suddenly scrambled forward, down and then around and away from the strange creature. He went up much higher and away. In fact,Sharbenau never looked back.
      He told the other squirrels of his tribe about it. Well, they talked it about so much that the old ones heard about it. Eventually, grandmother squirrel told 2 of them that she thought the creature he had seen and that had touched him, might have been a human being.
         From that moment on, no one treated Sharbenau the way they had before.It was strange because the change was somehow subtle but in other respects obvious. Sharbenau wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Neither were the others, but it was something and they all knew it. After a long time, the squirrels developed a word for it,and they started to call Sharbenau a shaman. Slowly, they tried to share this information with the other tribes. 
        Sharbenau himself felt a bit peculiar. After all, he was only trying to be himself;he was just this squirrel. He loved his family, he liked a lot of his life and he enjoyed the tribal lifestyle. For some reason he was a bit different from the others. He even worried about whether or not he would ever cure someone with the berry stick again – after it had worked the one time.
       The most amazing thing, was twofold. First, when Sharbenau returned to the tree where he had met the giant creature the one day, he sometimes found offerings. The other astounding fact is that for the first time in history, a human being realized – but didn’t understand why this idea occurred, that animals might have their own medicine people.

Five Big Questions in Life – book review

REVIEW

The 5 Big Questions In Life

Publication date:

ISBN: 978-1-61720-864-5

Many have the questions; but very few have the answers. Among the few; Miriam Pia stands out with her book: The 5 Big Questions In Life. This is your opportunity to learn Philosophy which she has defined as ‘the love of wisdom.’ Simplified, but still with a professional touch.

In this exciting philosophy, Miriam also brings in the old timers; Socrates and his student Plato. The highlight is; Plato was rich and Socrates was poor.That is the point Miriam is highlighting as being evidence that Philosophy is free to practice and is useful to people who have money as well as those who don’t. Of course she studied Philosophy the Plato way – she paid for it – up to Masters Level with Middlesex University. But she is encouraging you to digest this book should you not be in a position to afford tertiary education.

Most importantly, the book takes you from the history of Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy and the founding Greek philosophy to the present day phenomenon.

The book is not only asking what the world is really like. How do we know what we know, whether God exists, the best way to live, what defines the Good and Evil; it is also about answering those questions. Justa glimpse on the best way to live; Miriam shares that sexual love, romance, a sense of the morality surrounding those involved and any children who show up is also a very major and important part of people practicing their best way to live.People need to be safe: traditional forms of family; represented by marriage, is one of the best ways for people to be safe to have sex.Like it or not, this is a truth. All in The Big5 Questions in Life.

Blessings S. Makanani

Freelance Writer.

Why Do We Care About Facebook Quiz Results? 2018 Update

Older People use Facebook

Like 20% of the world’s population, I have spent some time on Facebook. Invented in 2004 I never found it or used it until 2010. I relocated from Indianapolis to a village in Germany and ended up using it a lot.

Like for so many, sometimes it was merely a distraction. In my own case, I had done some professional work using online systems to connect in 2003. Sadly, I was not like all the people who landed incredible jobs by having their heads hunted (recruited) by online organizations. I was one of the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who decided to try getting some freelance work in a profession I wanted more experience in, that I had not seen advertised in the papers.

At this point, I would rate that as having been both a failure and a success. Anyway, in my own case that first happened in 2003. “Before Facebook” in other words.

I realize that I am one of the hordes of people to have taken many analytical tests. What is weird, that I also noticed, is that I seem to take the results of FB quizzes invented as jokes by anonymous people as being as valid as I take the results of tests created by PhDs who came up with them after decades of careful research. Are any of you like that as well, or is it “just me”?

At some point I was informed that older people use Facebook.  Everyone my son’s age is on Instagram.

You Too or #MeToo?

Over in the USA 2018 saw the #MeToo movement when women complained about sexual harassment again en masse, rather than 1 or 2 women trying to complain about it and getting rapidly silenced.  Let’s just say that over 30 million American women said they didn’t like it.

Everyone of both genders still acceded to being guilty of liking some of the same behaviors when it is wanted.  Men still complained about being asked to “read women’s minds” about whether she wants him to act like that or not.   Some men sided with women who said that they had only complained when she very obviously didn’t want him to act that way towards her but he did anyway.

Near the end of the year, at least one North American comedy show clarified how it really works by reporting that a man was nearly fired for mentioning that a woman wasn’t ugly, whereas it was not difficult to find female journalists going on about how “hot” the new Canadian Prime Minister is and that in some circles this seems like a double standard ,…but most people over 30 know why it exists even though that’s true.

Facebook

It turns out that all it takes to create a Facebook Quiz is some time and a willingness and ability to spend $50.  Making FB quizzes has not been a matter of great discussion in my own News Feed over there, but maybe it should have been.  I’ve looked into it.

Thank you by the way, for everyone who made an entertaining quiz.  I admit, that despite my love of sophisticated analytical tools, that sometimes a joker, a quiz, and people out at parties and in bars can reach correct conclusions about others without any of the “analytical mumbo jumbo”.

Quiz Results

Due to the preceding paragraph, sometimes I think the quizzes are wonderfully accurate and other times I highly doubt it.  In fact, I doubt it so much that I breathe a sigh of relief whenever I learn that others who took the same quiz were able to get different results….but I also believe in them enough to still use the same joke Native name:  Takes Facebook Quiz Results Way Too Seriously.

Maybe I have it all wrong, and it’s just an online name, not a Native American name….???  DOB?!!!

Wandering Minds Want to Know 2013

I’m sure every reader who reads this blog post has experienced ‘wandering mind’ at some point in his or her (new convention, ‘their’) life.  So have I.  Some cases of wandering mind are like pleasant meanderings when one goes out for fresh air something.  There are instances that seem to me, to be reminiscent of what happens when people go onto the Internet and start by checking a friend’s post about why there are naked people as artistic protests nowadays down in Munchen in Germany and end up re-reading about some aspect of subatomic theory you are so old they didn’t teach it to you in school but when it came up on your latest favorite TV show or else your kids brought it up over dinner, you ended up finding out more about it.  It isn’t bad, but the sequence does not abide by the rules of linear logic.

A lot of the time that is simply because most situations have a lost going on and are not 2dimensional.  For instance as I write this:  the keyboard clackety clack as I write / the clock is ticking in the background and the sound of my breathing is loud enough to be noticeable / the coffee table is tidier than it has been in weeks.

That could be poetry or just aspects of a present moment.

Guest Blog #1: copied interview with SF novelist Mike Williamson

http://baen.com/Interviews/intwill.asp

The big difference here is that I have met Mike in person enough times that as long as I don’t embarrass him in front of his wife or TV reporters I am pretty sure he would not ‘pretend to not know me’.  He is very approachable but also charismatic – flare is so helpful at conventions.

In that respect he is typical of authors in that he can dress up as ‘someone famous’ and yet he can pass on the street as ‘just some guy’.  When he visited my residence I couldn’t help but comment about the neighbors probably did not realize that he wasn’t the trash man but was actually a well published novelist.

I’ve only read one of his novels, but I liked it well enough.

Next weekend on Saturday evening, I hope to share a personal but done online interview with the author Jesi Lea Ryan.

Free Sample: The Future of Engineering * no danger to people above 15 years

The Future of Engineering

  A team of graduate students solves a technical mystery in this futuristic academic setting: see excerpt below.

Disruption struck the engineering laboratory of an English university. Computer screens crackled and went dark. Testers and timers scratched; fuses burst in those bundles of electronic parts. Graduate students gasped and cursed. Students looked away from their projects to their comrades.

“Did you just lose power?” they asked each other.Office doors swung wide. The advanced students and those with the prestige of office space squinted up to the glowing neon lights and cursed in a variety of languages. None of them were British.

“It’s the storm,” suggested an undergraduate working on her final project.A German man glowered. “Storm? There is no storm.”

“Have you been outside recently?” the young woman replied. “Have you even been near a window leading to the outside world?”

The young German man with the office without windows frowned.“No, I haven’t.”

The Children of Loki excerpt

The Children of Loki

This novel is now available at the link above and numerous online and offline book stores.  To get it from a regular book store, just order it through their customer service desk.

This excerpt is from right within the story:

At long last, Gezka got a chance to confer with her superior officer – she wanted to ask about forcing hand to hand combat and close gun fighting and wanted permission and then advice on the best way to achieve it.  Instead, Gezka jogged through the smoky, dusty dark night only to arrive just after her commanding officer was killed by combined ‘mortar’ then laser and bullet barrage.  Gezka entered what remained of the field command point and did not leave until she had grabbed the maps and called in to confirm to other officers that the Captain was dead.

She was informed, as she ran for cover in the night, plotting revenge that must not be revenge but simple tactics to move the war forward, that she had just earned a field promotion.  She managed to get medical staff to the dead officers and to gather together a couple of the other junior officers to make the new plan.

“Congratulations Captain,” reported one of her beleaguered comrades.  She had known the man for years.

She smiled.  “I think we had better prevent that from happening again, don’t you?”

They worked on the plans for hours, with a hot wind whipping past their ankles.  No one knew why, but on that planet, at least where they were, there were winds that scraped the ground and didn’t seem to ever get as high as the knees.

For readers wondering why the combat is not being described in more detail, all that can be said is, ‘Please be patient, we’ll get way more into that later’.

Gezka, the new Captain, did not sleep again for days and nights due to the demands of the combat.  She was able to get what she wanted – which was three squads who managed to raid the enemy and to use hand-to-hand combat.  She preferred this, but not all the time.  It was gratifying for her to punish the enemy and to protect her troops by killing off some soldiers who were running a ground tank and then some more who had been using something the equivalent of a helicopter – as that was what had killed off her Captain.

After a few cycles of day and night as her mind had begun to grow strange, some relief arrived along with a set of brief orders for her to return to a base for re-medication and rest.  She was not opposed to this, and set out to follow orders.  She disliked handing off the maps and the command to the man she left them with.  She had also known him for years and felt that there were conditions in this scenario that might outdo him.  Every soldier has their strengths and weaknesses.  She would have been happy to pass the same man the duties if they had been making combat in orbit or in forested terrain or even in a city, but this was something like rocky coastline on desert and not a good match for his skills.  Nevertheless, she obeyed her orders.  The liquid off the coast was not water.

En route, she was drawn to what looked like a small aero-spacecraft.  She could tell she needed sleep rather badly because she was only fairly certain that she had seen one of these craft before – not the enemy’s but their own.  They had only shown up within the previous year or two.  She went to it, expecting to find either a superior officer or else an injured or dead team inside of it.  She checked it for traps and wondered if she was slap happy or paranoid.

She cleared the interior – it was empty.  She was able to identify it as belonging to another battalion of the Naav’s, but last time she checked, they had relied on the same mother ship.  She felt compelled to fly it herself.  She had no idea what possessed her to suddenly try something new but she went ahead and figured out how to make it go.  She had been trained to drive a few different types of vehicles and had been engineered for brains as well as combat reflexes, so it seemed like something she should be able to do.

Sure enough, it worked.  She began to fly back to the Naav’s big ship in orbit.  Then something happened she didn’t understand.  Once she brought the small vessel off the planet, and into orbit, she began to steer it away from where she was supposed to go.  It wasn’t like her to disobey orders.  This will come up again.

Soon after that, Gezka figured out that this little rig was able to go faster than light but that whenever it did there was an unpleasant side effect: this nasty, weird feeling is going to be called “dimensional burn” for the rest of the story.  Gezka tried a few things and ended up taking the aerospace craft on a hyper light journey to one of the few places in the Rim where she had gone on vacation.

Readers may wonder – is the obvious true?  Was she that out of her head from lack of sleep, or is something else going on here?

Perhaps now is a good time for readers to know:  Exterior military personnel, at least Rejkyavik’s don’t ‘mix well’ with civilians.  They have segregation laws there to prevent such things.  The space station Gezka went to was one of those special places that was dependent upon the business it brought in from the Exterior.  In this case, one of the means of survival had been to cater to military troops.  There were a few decks where the Exterior was able to bring in military troops without them getting exposed to regular people.  Normally, these meetings had to be arranged days in advance so that the decks would be clear of all other subtypes of humans.

Now, Gezka going there alone, without the station having had time to prepare was too much like a terrorist bringing a bomb with the timer already running to an airport.  The funny thing was, Gezka did not know this.  She just went to a place she had been before.
The Space Station was a faint glow in the vast expanse of darkness that is space.  This wasn’t standard practice amongst space stations.  There was a reason for it.  Conditions in outer space are actually quite sensitive.  Most of the freighters and other ships that approached this particular station ran lights and vibrations.  It turned out that anything too reflective would endanger approaching ships.  As a consequence, this station was covered in a slightly radiant form of black which would absorb the lights rather than bounce them back.

Gezka flew around until she found a docking bay.  She was not asked to report in by the station.  The station serviced a lot of black market operations and found it easier to ask fewer questions.  There were people and systems inside that read the area around the station.  They would know if someone showed up.  No one needed to tell them.  She docked the small vessel, unsure of how seriously clouded her mind was from lack of sleep.

She disembarked still not knowing why she had not simply returned to the battleship like she normally would have.

*                                                             *                                                                  *

I lifted the bottle in the nick of time.  The FaucMerz came crashing into the booth table with at least one opponent, wrapped together in a grappling bar fight.  I pulled back in my seat.  I didn’t know if I just felt old, or mature.  I don’t get into many bar fights nowadays.  I turned 50 Earth years old a couple of years ago now.   Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t back down; its just that I start trouble even less than I used to.  My name’s Kiel Bronson.
The FaucMerz made quick work of the end of her little tussle and I could tell it was time for us to leave.

Gezka looks a lot like a young, giant Earth woman but with a very special twist.  If you’re an Earthling then you’ll see how alien she is, for a human.  She’s bigger than most Earthling men, with strangely broad shoulders as well as hips and skin as pale as an albino’s.  You probably won’t see her eyes; she wears special goggles to keep out the light in places where you might come across an Earthling.

Once you know what to look for, you can easily tell she’s a soldier.  She’s one of Emperor Rejkyavik’s pieces of military equipment.  They breed them out there.  They use genetic engineering and eugenics, not to mention brainwashing and cultural separatism.   In actual fact, I’m the first friend she’s ever made who isn’t also part and parcel of the ExxyNaav – that’s what her military force is called.  Emperor Rejkyavik’s ExxyNaav.   They are something along the lines of a “Space Navy” but their military forces do not have the same divisions of labor as Earth’s.

I found her.  She’s mine.  The kid went AWOL; we still don’t know why.  She told me she had just been field promoted to Captain – that means someone else died in combat so she gets the new job opening.  She broke the law again by leaving Exterior Federation Territory and went to one of the few space stations in The Rim she had ever been to.  Typical, she went somewhere she’d already been.  I found her in there, ordering her first drink while soaked in blood.  Back home we call this guilty of murder.  I think her perspective was more like war atrocities, but that’s the trouble with taking a soldier out of combat and mixing them in with regular people too soon.  She wasn’t ready and a lot of civilians died because of it.

I talked to her.  She could tell I was some kind of Sergeant.  Her Interior
Federation English was not very good.  Even so, we left the space station in a hurry and left a trail of blood, but we left together.

To me, she did not really look human, but I only thought so because I had been trained to identify military personnel and equipment.  To me, it was obvious.  As long as she was in uniform, most people would be able to tell.  I was considering trying to hide her; that was really why I was even thinking about it.

*                                                               *                                                                  *

When she was at a bar she had been to before she noticed that it seemed different.  The bar tender was terrified and there were no other soldiers there.  Well, almost none.  A man spoke to her who wasn’t the bar tender.  Everything seemed strange as she had gone without sleep so long and she was low on her normal doses of metabolic enhancers.  He spoke strangely.  It was actually a different language, but it was Interstellar English.  She recognized it in a vague way: she had received some lessons about it during one round of training.
Most Exxy Naav soldiers get new training any time they get hospitalized but aren’t so far gone that they get euthanized.  The Naav has very strict measures for who to bother to save and who to wipe the floor with.  This was part and parcel of the lifestyle.  There were other times when soldiers received additional training but it was much more efficient than letting them lose their minds from boredom while costing a lot of money.  Most soldiers hated how long it took them to heal from their injuries.  They liked it when they at least had something to show for it at the end.

She turned to the new stranger.  He was short but strong.  He looked like he had military experience and she could tell he had some combat experience, but how much was not clear.  He was from a foreign political power, but not one of the enemies.  Enemies: in truth the Emperor rarely viewed opponents as enemies.  He told the people that they should be viewed “as friends who need some persuading”; nothing more; nothing less.  Persuasion often included military warfare against them.  Not always, but that was Gezka’s Emperor.  She loved him of course: every loyal soldier does.

The new stranger spoke to her.  She found him comforting but did not perceive why.   He invited her to associate with him, and seemed to accept her military mannerisms – he was awkward compared to her comrades-in-arms but he was clearly more relaxed than everyone else in the bar.   She had 2 drinks with him but when someone tried to ask her to pay just as strong lights blasted in through a suddenly opened door she attacked the wait staff without really thinking.  There was some scuffling and screaming and groaning.  She felt the older man pull at her and shout about leaving and for some reason she did what he said, but didn’t know why.

They left together.  He flew a different small ship.  He told her go into the back, to relax and get some rest.  She passed out amongst some cargo.  It was easier to sleep there than in the field, but not as good as a cot or a bed.  When she woke up, she knew something had changed but didn’t know what.  Other than that, she was mainly just confused.  She did feel better, though.  In fact, she felt so much better that she suspected she had slept for an abnormally long time.
The older man with the dark skin moved and suddenly spoke, “You up, Soldier?” he asked.
“Ja, ja,” she muttered, realizing she had not even learned the man’s name.
“Good, good.  You can clean yourself up there, in the back, I think,” he said.
She did.  She was running low of most of her normal boosters.  It wasn’t good.  She looked into a mirror.  She appeared to be OK.  She washed and checked her tattoos – it was her serial numbers.  Something was different, but she didn’t know what.  She wondered if some program the scientists had hidden in her brain and mind had been set off – was it because she was a Captain now?  Captain Faucmerz?

She wondered if her comrades were missing her.  She both hoped so and hoped not.  She hoped that as a Naav soldier she mattered to her team, but now as it sank in that she was gone, she had a surge of fear and hope that they were doing OK without her.  She had been supposed to check in for a rest.

The man she had just met made some noise.  She re-checked herself and went out of the little bathroom.  He was very alert to her.  She tried to tell how much it was fear and how much it might be attraction.  He was definitely darker and not the same type of human as herself.  Where Gezka came from, everyone was engineered.  Without that, the human species would not have been able to colonize the stellar region.  This man was a type she had not seen before, but she thought maybe she had seen an image of the type on a news broadcast.

He gave her a weird smile and said, “I’m Kiel Bronson, but maybe you had better call me Sergeant.”

She gave him a weird look right back.  “I see you’re not the enemy,” she said.

He chuckled, but she could hear the fear in his voice.  “That’s right, soldier.  I’m an Earthling.  Have you met an Earthling before?”

“No,” she said.  It was the truth.  “Well, I did meet you last night, so yes.”

“OK,” he said.  He was certain now, that he was more than twice her age, even though she was an adult.  It still made him uncomfortable at times, to realize how old he really was, but there was a lot about it that he liked.  One thing for sure, was both the good and the bad of it: he had a lot more life experience than anyone her age.

Days and Daze

Days

We start out days by waking up.  Often we get lots of indication of ourselves for any given day.  Not every day has been the same.  Lots have to do with major stages of life.  Health has a great deal to do with it; the next question always seems to be “Am I well rested?” or “Am I in the middle of a dream cycle?”

A lot of adults have learned to think in terms of “working days” ….contrasted with “days of not working”; as it turns out “days or working” and “days of not working” are both more complicated than each phrase initially suggests.

Then of course, there is working days rather than working nights and weekends.

Days 2

Waking may occur before, during or after dawn.  Personally, my preference is to wake right around dawn.  That means during the Winter I’m “off” my natural cycle or sleeping in late enough to get into trouble with many others.

People who cope with working nights normally wake up after dawn, well after it in fact.  Waking up well rested,  well adjusted to working 2nd or 3rd shift with 3 to 4 hours to go before the children get home from school, another few hours before leaving for work….having seen the spouse in the morning; a spouse who will be entrusted with the children once off to work.

Waking up late with a hangover realizing that it also means one has failed to show up at work on time while horribly lonely is a radically different experience.

Days 3

Days can be almost intolerably long or can zoom by at a frantic pace, loaded with awareness and business the entire time.

One great question I invite you all to answer in the comments section:  what makes a day seem longer to you?

The reason I ask is that I have found that sometimes the longest days are when nothing is going on, but other times it seems to be caused by having a little too much going on.

In my own life, so far, I used to say the longest year of my life was the year I was pregnant: I think it’s because I kept asking myself how far along I was every 3 minutes or else it was because the foetus quadrupled in size and complexity every 5 minutes.

Daze

Boredom, illness, sleep….Trapped in some hellish job or in an entire lifestyle that just feels like a trap.  Any of these may cause a daze.

“Dazed and confused for so long its all true: wanted a woman, never bargained for you…”

Late at night, overtired and intoxicated at the same time while listening with poor concentration to someone talking about an uninteresting subject.  This may be experienced as a daze.

Overwhelmingly happy, just married and at the reception the daughter-father dance went incredibly well.  The best man is holding up the groom, as the groom is dazed by the surreal stunning beauty of his now-wife.  His now father-in-law has said something kind about him during his speech which seems like a definite miracle after having felt despised by the same man the whole time he courted the woman who is now his wife.

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Out versus At Home

First, I went out

Like many of you when I was born, technically I was out: in a maternity ward of a hospital.  I didn’t even get to be home until my parents managed to bring me home from that place.

Due to not being home-schooled, which I believe is a legitimate means of educating children when done well, I went out to go to school.

Once adult, I also went out to work, and to shop.  During both childhood and adult life so far I sometimes went out to recreate or to learn more skills, do sports or do some volunteer work or to just play around with others.  In truth, I also went out to explore.

Then I went home

I went back home after I was out for a while.  Sometimes it was so wonderful to return home.  That being the case, I admit that other times, going back home was not so great.

Home

Having a home, feeling at home, being at home in a good way is actually awesome.  Being in a situation with myself where I am able to make myself or to allow myself to really feel at home is also great.

In truth, I have felt good about myself for every time that I made where I live really be and feel like home to me.  I also liked it when I succeeded at helping someone else feel really at home when he or she (they) lived with me and I wanted them to feel and be at home with me.

Home Too Much

At some point, I had the experience of being home too much.  In those cases where the problem was that someone else or other people made me feel somehow bad for being home, I felt it was their fault.

In other cases, even when I loved being at home I would get the vibe that it had gone on too long.  Usually this would not happen until I had days of not going out in a row.  It might only take 2 or 3 days, or could take a few years of being home the vast majority of the time for me to get sick of it or to reach a point where it started to bother me.

Out Again

Going out: how well it works to resolve the feeling of having been home way too much depends on what happens.

If I was lonely and went out and made no friends, I often felt like I had failed.  If I went out to earn money and didn’t sell anything or land a job or anything like that then when I went back home I felt the outing had failed.

When I went out purely to change the vibe of having been home too much it often seemed that as long as I wasn’t harmed by being out, it helped a great deal.  In many cases, it only helped if I interacted with some people.

You (plural) = you all

You are invited to post a comment on any aspect of this subject.

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The 21st Century Takes Shape

Here we are 2019

Now that we are this deep into the new century, I feel like it is beginning to take shape.  I must be middle aged or old because I was already an adult when we had the Millenial & Century change over.  I realize that those normally go together but most of the time only the century changes, so it feels double even if it is not.

During last Autumn someone I worked caring for part-time died at the age of 100.  In fact, today would be his 101st birthday.  Due to that, I thought a bit about his age and how that relates to this stuff about centuries.  He was born in 1918 when the century had recently changed, but not the Millenium.

When I thought about that, I realized that I believe that it takes a good 15 years for the vibe of the new century to sort of ‘kick in’, which might be true.  Is it the same for a Millenium or proportional?  Please post your comments about this beneath this blog post.

Main Changes in Technology

So far what we mainly have are: the Internet and laptops; revamped telecommunications with individuals now able to use satellite technology to send photos of pet cats to friends on the other side of the planet.  ‘Fiber optics’ may be closer to the truth.  The Information Age is here, as my son pointed out a few years ago.

Meanwhile, some of us are feeling a little puzzled that the Information Age followed the Space Age.

Hybrid and electrical cars are making another inroad into popular culture and street cars and mass transit using electric vehicles is also being reworked and tried some more.

Solar power is making steady gains in several applications and wind farming for electricity has grown dramatically during the last 20 years of the 20th century and the first 18 years of the new Millenium.

Civil Rights Progress?

Within my own nation and around the world:  during the past 50 years extreme poverty has been reduced by 50% and experts say there is a realistic chance of eliminating poverty without eliminating people during this century.

In my nation there are signs of significant progress ‘for women and minorities’ and yet there continue to be problems; some seem to be natural and others seem to just reveal how pernicious some of the social problems really are.

In numerous nations around the world civil rights and economic conditions have improved but in other countries, and sometimes other people in the same countries, are suffering like never before: rather than better it has grown worse.  For others, it seems the traps have new names but are still there and can’t be escaped.

Do you feel it to?

Please post into the comments section your own feelings about this century and millennium.

Biracial or Mulatto?

Political Correctness

Political correctness is a catch phrase that relates to a socially progressive effort to revamp public discourse.  When operating properly, so called political correctness simply encourages people to think in ways that are liberating and in ways that help to dismantle derogatory ways of discussing groups of people in our own society, and replacing them with respectful language.

When political correctness goes too far, it becomes like a kind of social-thought-Police as bad as the evils of ‘socially sanctioned slander of subgroups within American society’ that it intended to correct and replace.

Race

Race is one of the major issues related to efforts at social progress and liberation within American society during the past 100, really longer, but Civil Rights improvements seem to move in something akin to waves building and then breaking when they hit the beach.

Race, like gender, seems to be a blend of something biological and real, and socially constructed conceptions.  In the extremes, there are people who do not believe in ‘race’; they think the whole matter is a lie.  ‘Race’ has been defined by ‘tribe’, ‘nationality’, ‘religion’, skin color, hair type, social position….over millenia.

Race has often been used to do something simple and fairly scientific like describe people.  My impression of it, was that it actually is a way of describing differences amongst homo sapiens sapiens the same ways that animal husbandry folk discuss variations in breeds and stocks of animals of the same species.  While this can be viewed as insulting it can also be observed as a legitimate means of acknowledging and understanding differences without any kind of insult being involved anywhere.

Biracial and Mulatto

In my first released science fiction novel The Children of Loki by my male pen name Robert Fitzgerald Jr., one of the main characters is described as mulatto.  I have come across one or more people who were happy about that, but others reacted with some shock and told me they were mildly offended that I did not use the term ‘biracial’ instead.

Here’s why not

Eurasians are biracial.  Mulattos are also biracial, but not the same way.  Mestizos are biracial, but again, not the same way.  Because there are multiple ways for human beings to be biracial, I wanted to specify which type of combination it was.

The clinical or technical way to put it:  the main male character Kiel Bronson is a balanced blend of Caucasoid and Negroid races.  In other words, he’s mulatto.

Cultural bias

The fiction character Kiel Bronson is from the planet Earth, but is not from anything like what we would describe as America; well, then again, maybe he is.  In fact, Kiel’s nationality is never specified in the novel.  Set far into the future, as the author, I never even confirmed or denied whether or not the USA even exists on the planet Earth that Kiel heralds from.

There are numerous nations on the planet where this general ‘racial type combination’ might occur.  The Americas is one gigantic region in which this type of blend might occur, but India also has pretty much every imaginable racial combination amongst the people and is a large and populous nation on our same planet.  Here and there in the vast expanse of Africa there are another 54 or so nations, subdivided by tribes which may or may not also be considered to be ‘racially different’, are other people who are a blend of Caucasoid and Negroid.

Conclusion

It is actually presumptuous, but probably common amongst American readers, and strangely enough, even on the part of the author, to assume that Kiel is American.  In truth, I was going to put one of those Norwegian symbols in the ‘o’ of the surname, strongly suggesting that Kiel Bronson might herald from Europe or have one North European parent and one African or American (as in the Americas) parent.  Also, he may be a first generation mulatto or a 7th generation mulatto.  It is not explained.

Bottom Line: As the author, the main thing is that Kiel Bronson is our ‘home town hero’ simply by coming from the planet Earth.

To follow Kiel in his first adventure with a genetically engineered soldier from the Exterior Federation of Star Systems click on the link here to buy now.

Helps: a spiritual gift 2019

Helping as a spiritual gift

There are a number of spiritual gifts taught in Christianity.  If you haven’t been taught them at church, you can look them up online.  There are different kinds; some are important but may appear to you as mundane or utterly natural.  Others are wild and involve Christian Magic, otherwise known as miracles.

Pretty much everyone has one or more spiritual gift.  Whether or not you are a very religious person, you and people you know may well have one or more of these gifts.  They may come across as natural and they may feel natural.  It could even be you.  I think it was at a website called nothingbutthetruth.com that I heard a wise man say: Often, when operating in your spiritual gifting it will feel effortless.  It may be one of your traits about which people might say “your God given gifts”.

One of these gifts is the gift of helps.

Helps

Yes, that’s really what it’s called.  It really is what it’s called.  You helped your Dad wash the car, or helped your relative take care of the children so they could go do something else.

There was a needy person, and someone helped that person in some way.  It may have been giving the person money, or a helping them to get a job.

Helps is really marvelous, but may be experienced as so humble it can be glossed over.

One of the ways that I have been a recipient of this gift is when I dropped one of my gloves, and a stranger picked it up, or even just pointed it out to me which effectively prevented me from losing something.

In truth, I have also had several jobs in which I really mostly just helped others or another to do something or to get something done.

Everyone can do this and it operates through degrees.

You mean

Yes, that’s just one example of how to spot spiritual gifts in operation on a daily basis.  This could have a distinctively spiritual or religious feeling: like praying for people or giving alms, or helping out at your church.  Other times, it just happens: someone helps you, or you help someone.

It is that simple.

Final Note

Good deeds are always good, but everything done for God is supernatural whether it looks that way or not.

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WTF?!

It’s true: one of my novels is about mercenaries in outer space and yet, I want to write a little something more about spiritual matters.  Hm, maybe how they tie in?

In truth, moral knowledge and methodologies are a theme throughout the novel The Children of Loki my male pen name Robert Fitzgerald Jr.  Two deities are mentioned in the novel: Loki and Jesus.  Obviously, prior to the Christianization of so many nations that wouldn’t have made any sense, but in Christian nations where children grow up reading Thor and Iron Man comics and are reintroduced to Loki as the Marvel Comic villain it is less whacky.

The novel is not a religious story per se, so those who believe themselves to not be interested don’t need to run away from it but if people are religious and search for signs or undertones, they are there.

Morality & Ethics

Ethics is what morality is called in a secular atmosphere.  Ethics is sometimes also what religion would look like to people who don’t believe in any personal, or real God but have figured out that when humans are compassionate and help each other out it can make the world a better place.

Morality is a motivational force for both of the main characters: Gezka FaucMerz and  Kiel Bronson.  Both are heavily enculturated and differently so for more reasons than just gender.  What they do to each other and how and why is integrated with the plot and character development.  The characters’ points of view are deeply affected by what they consider right and wrong.

Strangely enough

Like so many of you, between parents and religious education I developed to a point where I often felt that I knew right from wrong.  Perhaps like some of you, I also ran into times when I wasn’t so sure.  To my own astonishment, when I took an MBA course in 2009 called Business Ethics, I was shocked to discover that prior to the course, I honestly only “right from wrong in business” 50% of the time.

Freaky, I mean that is not very often for someone over 30 years old, let alone over 40.  Well, you know how they say that sometimes the best one can do is to realize that one lacks knowledge or awareness about something and seek out experts.

Given that I have done some business stuff as a self-employed person I found it frightening only because I wish to do business with high moral standards for my business operations.  I have endeavored to whenever I conduct business, but having learned about my own ignorance it made me feel I could use a mentor.

Back to religion

In reality, proper use of clergy includes being able to get moral insights and assistance.  For those of you who have strong ties with clerics, this may seem like a bland answer that you have heard a million times already.

In my own life, I have usually attended church very regularly.  Despite that, for more than 2 decades, I had very little direct contact with the cleric aside from listening to the sermon.

Since then, it has grown in my awareness that there are ‘right ways’ to make use of the clerics of one’s church over and above listening to their sermons.

That’s it

For today, I think that’s all I’m going to blog about it.