Friday, December 27, 2013

So This Is Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be the best time of the year, right?

So why don't I enjoy it?

It's been years since I could say, "Man, this was the best Christmas yet." They are actually getting better, however. This year we only had two Christmas parties to go to, one of which was cancelled due to weather and has been rescheduled as a post-Christmas party at a time we can't go. We stayed home at Christmas, with a small group. Three people I invited to spend time with us never responded to my invitation, so we remained just me, Lynda, her mom, and her brother. Small is good, right?

This year we put up Christmas decorations, which we didn't do the last two years. I decorated a nice tree, put out a nativity scene, and put some garland inside in the translucent window by the front door. Of course it fought me, not wanting to stay in place with tape. I didn't want to put hooks in the wood. Last night one string of the garland finally fell, and I'll leave it on the floor. But the house looked good.

This year I cut out one major source of yule strife: the Christmas letter and cards. My wife and I never could agree on what should go in a Christmas letter or the style it should be written in. And of course Christmas cards take a lot of time. Our card list had shrunk from somewhere around 150 to around 50 last year, and I'm the one who always did the lion's share of the work on them, at least for the last ten to twenty years. This year I said the heck with it, told Lynda I wasn't doing them, and so we haven't sent any yet (though I know she worked on sending them to those who sent us cards). No Christmas letter, no Christmas cards, two less Christmas headaches.

One reason, I think, that I don't like Christmas is so few of my family's Christmas traditions survived and have found their way into my modern Christmases. The tree is thematic, not random. The decorations go up early, not late. No candy house. Different dinner menu, and time. Yeah, that was 40 years ago, and you would think I'd be over it now. I don't think that's the only reason, but it is surely a contributing factor.

I actually dislike, almost to the point of hate, all the gift giving activities. It seems such a waste of money. People who can't afford it give so much at so much expense that they are in debt for months afterwards. I think the person who gives only what he/she can afford, and the child who receives a meager amount from their parents but an amount that is out of love, are much more blessed than the child that receives everything.

Sorry for the rambling. I'll be 62 in less than a week. Hopefully I'll have a few Christmases left, and will find a way to enjoy them.

Monday, December 23, 2013

For My Enjoyment

An on-line conversation with a writer colleague and friend resulted in this exchange.

Her: I've asked this before, and I will continue to ask this until we make headway. What do you do for enjoyment, just for you? I know you write, walk, play computer games, and you are interested in stocks and family genealogy. Writing is work, even though you enjoy it, and it is a avocation right now. You feel guilty when you play games. Stocks are a financial endeavor and could be work. You don't do your genealogy currently. Walking is a part of a healthy lifestyle. What do you do just for you?

Me: Just for me? I think the endeavor that provides the most enjoyment is genealogy. This combines so much: history, detective work, family, culture, and writing in terms of documenting what you've done. I think that is the thing that combines all that interests me and gives me joy and fulfillment.

Her: Why have you stepped away from it? I know your time is limited, but you enjoy it, and you should spend time dong things just for the sheer joy of it. You have been reading the Carlyle letters. You seemed to have enjoyed that.

Me: While genealogy is at the top of the pyramid, the top is not very pointy. Other endeavors play king of the hill with genealogy, unable to dislodge it, but staying close at hand. Wordsmithing combined with story telling or message making is close, very close.

Me: Reading is close as well. It can be almost anything on the printed page, or a screen that emulates the printed page. The Bible is good; other Christian books are good; novels are good; short stories are good; non-fiction book-length or shorter is good.

Me: So when I do one of these, it's almost—almost—as good as doing genealogy.

Apparently she'd asked this before, and either ducked the question or gave an unsatisfactory answer. So this time she tried to pin me down more. The truth is that this is difficult for me to answer. I don't do many things that I dislike. I don't have a lot of yard work to do, but what I have I enjoy. Clearing dead trees from the un-built lot next to me also brings enjoyment. Even mundane chores around the house give me a sense of fulfillment, of a task accomplished. Doing things around the house never leaves me thinking I wasted my time.

With so many good choices, how do I answer the question "What do you do for enjoyment?" Yes, some of those things are work. Since I'm trying to both reach people and make money from my writing, I suppose you could say it's work, but it's work that is enjoyable. Since trading stocks is a money-making endeavor, you could say it's work. Yet, I enjoy it. Perhaps not the losses that come, but certainly the gains.

Study, through reading, contemplation, meditation, and reasoning is highly enjoyable for me, especially in the Bible and related readings. The "Harmony of the Gospels" that I wrote, which is a non-commercial venture, is among the most enjoyable things I've ever done. It combined study and writing, heaving in research and wordsmithing. While I'd love to figure out how to publish it, I think it will forever remain a study aid for me, and for the few people to whom I've given it.

That brings it down to genealogy. As I said in my reply to my friend, it is perhaps a small notch above other things I do in terms of enjoyment. For the reasons I state in my answer to her. If I didn't need the money, I probably wouldn't mess with stocks, and I might or might not write with the intent of selling. Perhaps I would just pursue genealogy as my enjoyment avenue. But not being independently wealthy, and with genealogy research without cost being limited in what it can do, and having come close to exhausting free sources for the main lines I'm working on, I can't really pursue it a whole lot more.

I could start writing some family histories from the information I have in hand. I've done that with two families in Lynda's lines, and am close to starting one in my paternal line. But all in all it's going to be a while until I get back to much genealogy work.

And that's all right. The things I'm doing now are enjoyable. Even the day job is enjoyable. I would, though, if independently wealthy, or even comfortably prepared, forgo some of the 4 years and 8 days I have left, and spend more times in these other pursuits.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Anticipating Messiah

Once again this year, our denomination is doing a common study during the Advent season. This past Sunday was week three of four. Except we didn't have Life Groups on week 1 and I missed week 2 due to the combination of illness and bad roads. I took my turn teaching this past Sunday, and enjoyed the lesson material. Good class discussion, too.

The devotional for that day talked about the three groups of Jewish people who were anticipating the coming of the Messiah at the time of Christ. But actually, as Pastor Mark said in his first sermon in the series, there were really four groups.

The Sadducees. These were the political leaders, who had modest spiritual credentials. They were open to compromise with their Roman occupiers, so long as they could take their political positions. Blending of religion and state were fine with them.

The Pharisees. These were the religious purists. They cared less about who ruled the civil side of the nation so long as they ruled the religious side.

The Zealots. These cared about Israel returning to an independent nation. Rome had to go. They probably had a sense of religion, and possibly thought the lack of religious fervor contributed to the unfortunate civil situation.

The Essenes. This group separated themselves and lived in a sort of monastery. They were the searchers, the ones who studied the scriptures and other writings as much as they could. I suppose this group probably could care less who ruled the land, or the temple. They just wanted to be by themselves and do their studying.

The question before our class on Sunday was what each of these groups expected the Messiah to be like. We figured the Sadducees anticipated a presidential Messiah: someone who would take the reigns of government and make everything better. The Pharisees would undoubtedly expect Messiah to return Israel to the purest possible form of Judaism. That would make everything right. Yes, Messiah would be a religious fanatic for the law. The Zealots would expect Messiah to be a conqueror. He would raise and lead an army to fight against Rome and free the Jews from the foreigners. And the Essenes would likely think Messiah would be a scholar. Through leading Israel into more knowledge, including spiritual knowledge, the Jews would be saved.

But it seems to me there was another group, one that I've never heard discussed. That group could be called, "Everyone Else". The four groups listed were small. Some of the population at large would align with these four, but I suspect the vast majority just lived their lives. Everyone would have been aware that a Messiah had been prophesied in their scriptures, and that he was overdue for any number of reasons. But I doubt the majority ever gave it a whole lot of thought. Messiah would come. Maybe while they were alive, maybe not. They still had to go to work the next day, struggle to live, try not to get sick, and spend what time they could worshiping I Am.

It seems to me that today we have these same five groups in Christianity in relation to what we believe is the second coming of Messiah. I won't try to make an exact comparison. But we have those who try to compromise between the various interpretations. Some expect the returning Jesus to preside over pure religion, others see him as a conqueror. Some pull away and just study the heck out of prophesy, almost to the exclusion of all other items that could be studied. Then the vast majority of the world's two billion Christians don't give it any thought at all, have no idea what the conditions will be when and after Jesus returns.

So it seems to me current religious expectations. The groups are all there, under other names, but they are there. I probably align most closely with the Essenes, or at least that's what I'd like to do.

I'm not sure there's any real purpose to this post, other than to report on Sunday's class, and muse about the melding of scripture and the conditions of the times in which it was written.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go astray.

Mine did over the snowy weekend. I left work on Thursday, the 5th, knowing that the storm that had already started was going to be major and that I would have a couple, or maybe a few, days at home of being shut in. What better things to do but write?

Alas, what I feared was also happening, which I didn't mention in my last post, came true. On Wednesday I felt the early stages of a cold coming on, but I ignored them. I get two colds a year, and I'd already had three in 2013 (including the flu back in January). So although the symptoms were there, I convinced myself it wasn't a cold.

But as the day progressed Thursday, the symptoms increased. By Thursday night I knew it was a cold, not as deep as some I've had, but still deep enough. Friday I did very little. The snow ended at noon, at 7 inches, just as was predicted. I got out and shoveled some of the driveway. Then I took a walk up to the highway, .65 miles away, to see conditions. The exertion may have been stupid, but I always think fresh air helps me to heal, so I did it. In the evening I was able to write a little on Headshots.

Saturday I was well somewhat improved, I thought. I shoveled some more of the drive, and again walked to the highway. Roads were awful, worse after a day of light traffic than they had been before. In the afternoon I was able to knuckle down and work some on my book. For the weekend I added about 2,400 words. That was below my goal, but given my physical status I wasn't unhappy with that. Our Christmas party that night was cancelled—not that we would have or could have gone.

Sunday we didn't try to go to church. I again shoveled on the driveway, finishing one lane up to the street. Then I walked down to the nearest convenience store, about 8/10th of a mile, picking up some things and finding somethings unavailable. I crossed the highway and the competitor didn't have those items either. I could see that roads were still really, really bad, and the decision to stay home was the right one. I called to the house and suggested Lynda walk out to join me on the return leg. She did so, but then decided to go on while I wen home. As she saw the condition of the roads she could see that my decision to not try to go to church was the right one.

By Sunday night the cold had moved into the coughing phase, and I coughed continuously. I knew I shouldn't be at work Monday. The combination of the cold and road conditions caused me to decide not to attempt going to work on Monday. I mostly rested on Monday, taking only a brief walk on the nearby streets to assess if I could get out on Tuesday. I concluded I could. Also my coughing was considerably better by the end of the day, so I knew I'd be going in on Tuesday. Got lots of rest on Monday, Sunday as well.

But I didn't do any new writing either of those days. As I was writing on Saturday I realized my writing has been so sporadic that I didn't remember what scenes I had. So I decided to print an read the whole book where it currently stands, doing light edits as I read, looking for overlap and gaps. I completed that by Monday evening: found a couple of gaps, and one area where there's a little overlap. Not as bad as I feared, but still some edits will be needed to fix it.

Tonight I typed all the edits to date, and closed one gap. I contemplated filling the other gap, but decided against it. That will be work for tomorrow night. Thursday is a Christmas party, so adding to the end of the book will have to wait until the weekend, hopefully Friday night. At last I feel like I'm getting warmed up. The word count stands at 19,108, which puts me well into the middle of the book. I have the next three chapters reasonably well planned out, so they should go quickly. With any luck I'll be over 25,000 words by this time next week.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Storm Commeth, and Is Here

For several days weather forecasters have been saying we would get a significant winter storm beginning on Thursday, today, and lasting into most of the day Friday. They've been fine-tuning exactly what kind of precipitation we would get, and how much of it. At one point they thought it would be mainly an ice event, then a combination of all types (ice, sleet, freezing rain, and snow), and finally beginning as sleet/freezing rain and shifting to mostly snow. The latest winter storm warning suggests we'll get up to 7 inches of snow.

This forecast has come long before any sign of a storm showed up on the radar, or even in the clouds. This feels eerily the same as in early 2012, I think it was, when a week ahead of time they forecast a blizzard, long before anything showed in the sky. Darned if they weren't exactly correct. We got 16 inches of snow at our place in that storm, and the temperature and wind were exactly what the forecasters predicted.

This storm they forecast would hit our area about 11 a.m. to noon today, and last through Friday afternoon. But they were wrong. The first frozen precipitation began falling around 10 a.m. Imagine that. A prediction three or four days ahead was off only by an hour. Not as to the type of storm, or how it started, but only to the exact timing of the start. As of right now it is playing out exactly as forecast. The show should start around 4 p.m.

So how do I turn this into a metaphor of life? Or of my writing life? Deciding to write added a layer of busyness to my life. And a degree of separation. While certain writing tasks I can do while with others or with background noise, such as the TV, other writing tasks require quit for concentration. This includes the research for non-fiction. It includes most original composition for fiction. Plotting, proofreading, editing, correcting, these can all be done anywhere anytime. At other times separation and silence is necessary.

I won't be coming in to work tomorrow. Every way I could go has hills to navigate, and my truck doesn't handle well in snow. So I'll stay home, and write to my heart's content. I'll shoot for at least 3000 original words on Headshots. Typing edits on 20-30 pages in the Carlyle encyclopedia book. Maybe completing the first draft of the first chapter of The Gutter Chronicles Vol. 2. I might even see about the short story I've started, the next in the Danny Tompkins series.

How much of this will I actually get done? Will the storm cause us to lose power? Will I have to shovel snow and chop ice, or in other ways burn valuable time? I certainly have much non-writing work to do at home, include filing three or four months of accumulated financial papers, as well as get caught up on financial calculations on the stock trading business.

Yes, my life is a storm, a self-caused storm. Very predictable. Known tasks recurring at known frequency, put-off-able, but eventually piling up to the point where shoveling and chopping is necessary.

So let the snow come, as much as it wants to. A few days of isolation will be a welcome break in the routine.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Exercise a Little Better

I've lost a lot of weight, and I think improved my health in the process, but I've stalled of late.

Since 2006 I've lost 68 pounds. I was a little lower a month ago, but have bumped around in a five pound range since. My main exercise has been walking. I generally do between 10 and 15 miles a week, with a few weeks getting in as much as 20. As fall weather and busyness came on I reduced my walking some, but I've kept at it.

I knew, in order to resume weight loss, I would have to step up my game. I've been following some simple rules I created to guide my quest to better health which, for the moment, I define as carrying less weight around. The first five of those rules are:

1. Eat a little better.
2. Exercise a little more.
3. Drink a little more water.
4. Eat a little less.
5. Get a little more sleep.

Those I have been following with, I believe, success. The 68 pound have come off slowly, but as I've crossed barriers and gotten past previous sticking points (where the weight loss seemed to have stopped), I've kept it off. Now, to get past this barrier, I knew I needed to get to work on the next rule.

6. Exercise a little better.

I've been dreading this, but was about ready to get started. Then came our company leadership retreat this week. It was a short one, in nearby Branson. Thursday afternoon was scheduled to be include a 90 minute "exercise and nutrition" session. Our spouses were with us (well, for some of us), and they were invited to this session. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what we got. Two exercise babes from World Gym were there. Rather than start with nutrition they started with exercise. Simple stretching, followed by lunges and dips, followed by enhanced lunges, followed by push-ups, then by "planks".

I thought my legs were in pretty good shape from all the walking I've done, but I quickly found out certain of my leg muscles really haven't been in much use. Less than 30 minutes into this routine I couldn't stand any more. Down on the floor to do some planks, I couldn't get up. When I finally did get up, my knees felt quite unstable, as if one minor misstep and I'd be flat on my keyster.

I'm writing this Saturday evening, two days after the exercising, and after a day of cleaning around the house and garage and just back from the weekly run to Wal-Mart. As expected, my legs hurt worse now than they did after the session. I've taken a few pain pills, which have done no good at all so far as I can tell. Tomorrow I should be feeling better, and by Monday I'll be close to back to normal.

Since this exercise awakened muscles that apparently aren't being used in my walking, I'd have to say that this must fall in the category of "exercise a little better. Maybe I can keep this up. The immediate pain will pass, and then I'll see how it will work. 68 pounds off, 52 still to go.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I was in a meeting at work today, a meeting that wasn't planned and for which I had 30 minutes warning. The meeting was of a project team to discuss the progress of work on the large project, and to make sure we were on track, with appropriate resources (a.k.a. people) assigned, to meet a November 27 deadline. My role is to check the work (QC) before it goes out the door.

The meeting would have seemed more important if we hadn't already discussed this at length in a meeting on Monday. I suppose it was necessary since an engineer from another team was made available on a part-time basis, and so work could be redistributed.

At one point during the meeting, as we discussed some communications with the client, the team leader once again talked about the importance of the correct routing of communications, and how certain communications had to go through the team leader. After repeating what we all knew, he said, "I take that very personal as a matter of respect. No one's gonna go around me."

Now I don't know what you all think, but I figure if you have to asked for respect you probably haven't earned it. Respect is something you earn, not demand. Respect that is demanded is given grudgingly; it's not real respect. Respect that is earned is given willingly, and is not easily lost.

The same seems true for honesty. If you have to talk about how honest you are, you probably aren't. If you have to tell people you have a high ethical standard, you probably don't. I'm talking about unsolicited statements here. Occasionally you have to talk about those things because of a question asked. But normally, your actions should explain your honesty, integrity, and competence. Trust and respect flow from those.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What Will Forty Years Do?

I've written before on this blog about how I admire the works of Thomas Carlyle. How I entered into the Carlyle labyrinth is a long story. I've read less of his words than I wish I had, and those that I have read aren't really representative of his entire writing career. So far my reading of Carlyle has been mostly concentrated on his early writings, those before his first truly original book-length work, Sartor Resartus.

Part of this is a book I downloaded, the first volume of the love letters of Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle. This volume covers from when they first met in 1821 to sometime in 1824, still two years before they married. I'm currently reading in early 1824, having only 53 pages left to read (some of those being an appendix of some length).

In a book with the name of love letters you would not expect to find inspiration for writing, unless it were something for a romance or a romantic relationship within another book. But in a letter that Thomas wrote to Jane on January 8, 1824, I found some inspiration. Here's what Carlyle wrote.

Life is not so short as that amounts to: I believe no literary man ever spent the fiftieth part of his time or attention upon literature. Cowper was near his grand climacteric before he began to write at all. Think of what forty years of diligence will do, if you employ them well! I swear to you there is no danger: you want only a little experience to give you confidence in your own powers.

I'm less than two months away from turning 62. I didn't start writing creatively until I was 49, almost 50. Carlyle was not yet 30 when he wrote this. He could realistically expect to be writing for 40 years. Can I?
Forty years from age 50 is age 90. I could still be around then. Statistics say that's unlikely, but not impossible.

Or say I only had 30 years, taking me to age 80. That's certainly possible. Eighteen more years of writing from where I am now, fourteen of those after retirement from the day job. It's an appealing proposition.

I tend to want success now, with success defined as having readers. Not readers who are friends and family (not that I don't want them), but readers who are strangers, who found me because someone else who's a stranger to me recommended my books or stories.

I'm finding a few of those strangers. My total book sales are up to 249 (of twelve titles), and I don't think very many of these were sold to family, a few more to friends. Someone is finding my books, about five per month.

So I suppose now is not the time to give up. Most days I want to. Success seems quite unlikely, regardless of how many ideas I pour out and craft. Ah, but I won't give up just yet. I'll hope for forty more years to do this. If that's too much to ask for, I'll take the eighteen and see what I can do. At two books a year, and maybe another four stories a year, I could have 120 items available for sale by the time I hit 80.

For now I'll be content to shoot for that, quietly, one item at a time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Motivation Hard to Come By

As the title says, I've been very unmotivated recently, at least on my creative side. I've been somewhat more motivated on my mundane side. Family coming in for Thanksgiving in just a little more than three weeks is a motivating factor. So I repaired the oven that's been on the semi-fritz for two years. I bought, assembled, and put in place a TV stand to replace the redneck set-up we had of a not-working console TV serving as the stand for a smaller one.

I took out the dying and finally dead microwave, a built-in one, and temporarily installed an old one that had been stored in the basement while we look for something new to go in there. Did some carpet cleaning on Saturday, and table clearing-of-clutter. Slowly things taken out during the last eleven months are being put back. We still have many toys to sort through, and boxes of new purchases or of things pulled out of places because they needed to be in different places, but at this point it's all very manageable. So many household mundane tasks remain, but by November 25 the house should be in good shape.

Then there's finances. A large car repair expense last month, my needing tires for the pickup this month, another large purchase last month, and yet one more large expense due next month means I need to know our financial status before going much farther. I wasn't really motivated to do this, but have no choice. Saturday and last night I worked on it. I'm now within an hour of having everything entered in the checkbook and transferred to my budget spreadsheet. I'll finish that tonight. At that point boring but necessary financial catch-up tasks will be behind me, leaving only the need to maintain tracking expenses.

So, by tomorrow night, Wednesday, I should be able to let my brain function move toward its creative side, and write. I have my four projects to work on. One is editing, so that really leaves only three projects. Well, plus this blog and my other blog.

Inspiration for blog posts has been particularly difficult to come by. I'd love to blog three times a week at each blog, but would settle for a little less. To keep that up I should have a list of topics laid out, a couple of weeks ahead. I do have a couple of things in mind for this blog, but none for the other.

Plenty of creative work is ahead of me. Hopefully my mind will properly focus on that, and great works will result. Hopefully.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Self-Published Porn Flap

This probably didn't hit the national news. It might have barely made it to the major newspapers. But the author world seems to have risen up in indignation at decisions made by some publishers to stop carrying self-published books. Those publishers have done so in a knee-jerk reaction to complaints about porn.

I don't know for sure where or how it started, but apparently some self-publishers of print smut were disguising their work by giving innocuous titles, descriptions, and meta data. I suppose, if you were a reader of these things, you would recognized the veiled descriptions and know the book was for you, but if you didn't read these and were searching for something else you might accidentally buy a porn book. Such terms as "daddy" would alert the smut buyer it's about incest, but not alert other buyers it wasn't about an innocent family situation. Of course, that must also mean those innocent buyers didn't access or read the "look inside" sample.

Some publisher, maybe W.H. Smith in England, took all self-published books down from their web site while they sorted it out. WHS was not the publisher of these books, but they sold them on their book retailing site. I guess Kobo also did this in the USA. Self-publishers were understandably upset. Kobo's reaction was the most extreme, as they took every self-published book down until they could find the ones that violated their terms of service.

Since I don't check the websites of all book distributors to see if they have my books for sale, I never would have known about this without the uproar in the self-published authors blogosphere. For the record, I support the concept that these e-retailers can refuse to sell any book they want. They have no obligation to carry a book that is against their terms of service or business model.

But oh the uproar! How could they do this, delete books just because they had disguised smut that might end up on the e-readers of children? Some Facebook writer acquaintance linked to a petition about this, except the petition was aimed at Amazon, because apparently Amazon doesn't allow a whole lot of that in their e-store to begin with. I didn't copy the petition, unfortunately, and don't believe I could get back to the two-week old FB link. I started writing something about this at the time, looking at the petition and the comments from those who signed it. Here's what I wrote.

That "petition" is laughable. Amazon is just a retailer that makes decisions on what products to carry. They choose not to carry a certain kind of book. So what? Buy it somewhere else.

The comment son that thread are also ridiculous. "Who gives anyone the right to tell me what I can and cannot read?" and "I don't want anyone to tell me what I can or cannot read." Hello, people! That's not what Amazon is doing. Read whatever you want to. They just aren't selling what you want to read. And why, if you don't want anyone to tell you what you can read, do you think you can tell anyone what they have to sell?

Reading that now, I'm remembering that the petition accused Amazon of censorship. Never mind that Amazon isn't the government, it's a private company. Never mind that they aren't suppressing publishing, since so many venues exist where you can publish with no restrictions. Never mind that Amazon has had this policy in place for a long time, and that it was other retailers who had caused the recent flap. The Passive Guy calls this "Amazon Derangement Syndrome", and the people who created and signed this petition and commented on it sure had it.

How laughable that those who don't want to be told what to do (not that Amazon was doing that) are fine telling Amazon and other e-retailers what they must do. Unbelievable.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Next Generation

I was part of a recent "dust-up" at a political group on Facebook. These are all conservative people on the site. It's name is Conservative Arkansas. Yet, I posted something that bothered some people. I posted something about my theory that my own generation, the Baby Boomers, is in large measure depending on the government to fund their retirement through Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obama Care). I called us "The Candy Store Generation" after my book of that title.

Well, that got people really riled. I knew what I wrote was a little provocative, but I was unprepared for what some people posted. Here's what I first posted and what some others said in response.

Me: He's [a person referenced in an Internet news article] a baby boomer, a member of the Candy Store Generation. Most of them will expect to have their health care paid by O.P.M.—other people's money.

Another: David have the market on a special kind of ignorance to make a remark as you did.

Another: David Todd is one kind of Special Ignorant Libtard Retard!

Another: David Todd, You must have grown up in neighborhoods of wealthy people.

Another: David Todd, you are sweeping with too wide a broom when you say most.

Another: VERY STRANGE RESEARCH. I've traveled the country managing 10,000 units of apartments from getto to upper end and never recall a conversation with a boomer that thinks the way you say. I suspect your reading liberal propaganda and/or talking direct with northerners who for the most part are twisted liberals

Another: David Todd does not know what he is even talking about!!!

Another: Pure puked up propaganda.

Another: It seems like Mr Todd has been bitten by the BarryBug. Fearsome little critter that has an obscene way of making one believe the most horrendous tales.

Another: Obama wasn't elected by Boomers. He was elected by bullshiting the young know-it-all Young people that live in the Give-Me Society-CHILDREN if the Boomers, combined with Low-Information Voters with challenged IQ's, voter fraud and the Black Vote that didn't care if he was the X-Dictator of Kenya that was here seeking political asylum. The Silent Majority Boomers is why we have a partial conservative House. They WILL rise to take the senate & presidency unless Obama can create a big enough civil war, declare Martial Law & cancel the election in the name of national defense.

Sorry for the profanity in that last one; I'm just quoting it as written. All of these are as written, including any typos. Only two of these are the complete posts. And some are repeated people. These aren't nine different people, but probably just four, maybe five.

Two or three instructive items can be drawn from this. The most important one is how every generation venerates previous generations, never sees a problem with their generation, and runs down the next younger generation. I believe it's been that way forever. No doubt the generation that fought the civil war blamed the long depression in the 1880s on the younger generation. Those who came of age during Reconstruction probably thought those coming of age during the Ragtime of the 1890s were a bunch of blooming idiots. They in turn would have misunderstood the era of good feeling leading up to WW1 and those who were euphoric about it.

Then, those who were adults before WW1 thought the "kids" of the Roaring 20s were profligates and reprobates. Eventually those who lived through the Great Depression and who fought and won WW2 thought the next generation were spoiled brats who were good for nothing. But wait, that would be...the Baby Boomers. Yes, the so-called Greatest Generation, who were our parents and grandparents, who raised and mentored us, saw us as a bunch of druggies, hippies, free-love freeloaders.

Now, on this conservative political site, those same people can't see that everyone in their generation isn't like they are, that a majority of Boomers have their hands in the candy store and are more than willing to use other people's money to fund their retirement. I used that understanding of the Boomers, bolstered by research and statistics, to make an analysis of the electorate as a whole and a prediction of the 2012 elections. And I got it exactly right on the presidency and the House, though was off some on the Senate. When I pointed that out in the thread, one man responded, "Yeah, we really should have seen the election coming, but didn't. As much as I rant and rave, I do still think people are, for the most part, smart enough to do things right. Obviously mistaken."

So, my analysis caused me to make an accurate prediction, while others predicted the election with their hearts instead of their heads. That makes me a libtard retard.

Obviously this isn't a site I should stick around. I don't see them as convincing 70 million people that there's a better way to run a country. They're preaching to themselves, driving away anyone who even slightly disagrees with them, and doing a very bad job of it overall. C'est la vie.