Quitting the Internet, Cold Turkey

Yes, today’s society is dependent on the internet. But the internet has made it very easy for us to find anything we need. How many of you have an encyclopedia series? (I don’t, but I do have a library card.) How many of you have an atlas? (This I do have.) How many of you have a dictionary? (I have several, including a huge one that is a great bug killer.)
This is a good idea for everyone at least once a year. Take some time to get away and “unplug” for a week or two. It would be good for the electric bill if not for anything else.

Longreads

The advice offered to me by people when I explain I am going to live by myself in the woods for a week varies from the sensible (“Develop a routine”) to the frankly awful (“Take some weed!”).

But it is Michael Harris, the Canadian author who published a book in 2014 called The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection, who I pay most attention to.

Like me, Harris decided to try and face his fears. He gave up the internet and his phone for an entire month, though not, it must be said, human contact altogether. Nevertheless, “crushing loneliness,” is how he describes the initial effects of his experiment.

“You have to remember, people who design our online experiences have devoted enormous resources toward making them as addictive as possible,” Harris says. “Walking away from it makes you feel like shit, because…

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Flash Fiction Friday

Happy Friday Campers! I have been in the throes of cleaning in preparation for a visit from the in-laws and the little one’s birthday. I was able to steal a couple of hours yesterday to get this week’s story done. Enjoy!


 

I woke up with a pounding headache and no memory of the night before. I lay on something cold and hard. There was a bright light shining through my eyelids. Where the hell was I?

I cracked open one eye to find the bright light was the sun. I braced myself and opened the other eye. It was hard to focus at first, the pounding in my head making my vision pulse to the rhythm. Once I was able to focus I found myself in a forest.

I eased into a sitting position. I looked around hoping to find some land mark to tell me where I was. There was nothing around me but trees. I looked down at myself to search for my sunglasses and saw a note taped to my shirt. I pulled it off, squinting at the white sheet.

“Mr. Glass,” it began. “We met a few years ago. You loved to drink then too.” I felt my pockets for sunglasses because the white of the paper made my headache worse. My search turning up nothing but a gum wrapper, I went back to the letter.

“It was during one of your drunken stupors that you forced yourself on me. I have not been able to recover from that night, a night you don’t even remember. I have decided this is my only recourse if I am to rid myself of the demons you have plagued me with. Take a deep breath and enjoy it, because it will be your last.”

As I dropped the letter, looking for a way to escape, I heard the unmistakable boom of a rifle.

My Internal Editor Needs A Drink

The image I have of my inner editor is of a large woman that has smoked all her life with the voice of Roz from Monster’s Inc. This woman needs booze Stat! Then maybe she will shut the hell up and let me write.

So far today I have 1 paragraph. I know, I know “At least you wrote something down”. She just keeps yapping in my ear. Drowning her out with my usual writing music is not working today. Maybe a little Slipknot is in order.

If anyone has an idea how I can get her drunk without getting myself wasted in the process, I’m all ears.

Everything Must Go!

I’m sitting at the play area in the mall letting the little one burn off some energy. I look up and see that the store across from me is “Tree of Life Christian Outlet”. There are signs hanging all over inside the store saying “Store Wide Sale” & “Everything Must Go”. Why is there a Christian store in an outlet mall? The store next to it is a tattoo and body piercing shop. That answers that question.
Now for my thought. With all the hypocrisy and bad press that organized religion has been getting for the past decade or longer, shouldn’t the heads of all the religions declare an “Everything must go” sale? Get rid of it all and start over with a clean slate? Seems to be the best course of action at this point.

Flash Fiction Friday

Happy Friday Campers! I hope you all had a lovely week. It is sunny and almost 70 degrees up here in the pacific northwest (well it will be by this afternoon anyway). The spring fair is going on this weekend. Time to get out into the yard, fix the panels on my greenhouse and get to planting! But before we do that, here is our story for today. Have a great weekend!


 

“Stacey Smith was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sources say that she showed no remorse and laughed at the jury.”

I dropped the cup I was washing. I ran out into the living room but the news anchor moved on to another story. I plopped down on the couch. I was dumbfounded. She’d done it. She’d snapped and done it.

I got up and grabbed my phone. Who was I going to call? If I had to find out this way and I was her best friend then no one else knew about it either. I dropped the phone and went to the computer. I needed to know what happened.

Within minutes all the gory details were displayed on the screen. She’d been driving and someone cut her off. She sped up and rammed into the back of the car, slamming them into a guard rail. The guy driving the other car got out yelling, my crazy friend got out with a gun and a baseball bat. She shot him in the knee then beat him to death with the bat, yelling “Dumb ass!” the entire time. I turned away from the computer. I had to talk to her. She always said she was going to shoot the next stupid person she came across, but I thought it was a joke.

The next weekend I went to the prison to see her. The guards looked at me like I was out of my mind when I told them who I wanted to see. I waited until my name was called. Walking into the visiting room was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do. They led her through a door and over to the table where I was sitting. We were separated by a sheet of plexiglass.

“Lisa!” she yelled.

“Stacey.” Words lodged in my throat. How do you ask your best friend why she killed someone?

“How did you find out?” she asked.

“I heard it on the news.” I said.

“I’m sorry you had to find out that way. I couldn’t call anyone once things got rolling.” she looked like we were just two old friends talking about the latest movie.

“Why? Why did you do it?”

She sighed, “I couldn’t take the dumb asses anymore. He was the straw that broke my back. That whole day I’d dealt with so much stupidity that I snapped.” she smiled. “And it felt good.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. She had gone crazy. Or maybe she always was. “They say you laughed at the jury?”

She giggled, “I wasn’t laughing at anyone in particular. I was laughing because I don’t have to deal with the stupidity of the world anymore.”

“Time’s up”, the guard said from the doorway.

“Take care of yourself Lisa. And come visit again.” She got up and the guard put the handcuffs on her.

“You take care of yourself too.” I said.

She smiled as she was led away. I was happy she’d found peace and equally glad she was off the streets. I love her but she was always a little off.

 

@#$%!!!!

Mad as a Hatter“…. that’s one way of putting it!

I saw an article last night about the Maryland couple, the Meltivs, that let their 10-year-old & 6-year-old walk home from the park and were then charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect”. In this new article the children were walking home from the park again this past Sunday, they were dropped off at 4 pm and told to be home by 6 pm. A neighbor called the police when they saw the children walking home. The children were picked up 2 blocks from their house. The children were kept in the police car for 2 1/2 hours. The cops told the kids they would be driven home and then took them to CPS. No one called the parents until 8:30 pm. The parents were frantic at 6:30 pm and started looking for the kids. When they got the call they went to CPS and were told to wait. They did not get their children until 10:30 pm. The “responsible” adults of the police dept and CPS didn’t even give these kids dinner.

The comments on the article ranged from “Leave the parents alone” to “How irresponsible! We live 2 blocks away from the school and I drive my 10 yr old to and from” to “The world has changed since we were all kids”.

Holy crap people…things have not changed since we were all kids! The only difference is you hear about it more because of how connected the world is. Children are more likely to be abducted by a family member or someone they know than a stranger. If you actually talk to your kids about the dangers out there and they prove to you that they can be responsible LET THEM BE KIDS! Do you want your children living in your basement when they are 40? Because that’s where they are headed. They will have ZERO social skills and not be able to function as adults because of this “fear” that has been instilled in them from a young age.

My oldest has walked to school since she was 10 (we lived over 5 miles away before that age). She walks up to the store all the time. My youngest is way to friendly and therefore she needs to have someone with her. That is called observing how your kids handle the outside world, not just following them around wiping their asses.

There are always risks in life: You may get in a car accident on your way to work…are you going to stop driving?

Someone may shoot you in a robbery at a store…..are you going to stop shopping?

Some kid at your kid’s school may shoot up the place….are you going to home school from now on?

The answer to those is hell no. Because we all know that the probability of those things happening is low if you are attentive and know what to do in those situations. So why shelter kids instead of giving them the tools to be responsible? 

This subject is one that gets my hackles up. Parents aren’t allowed to be parents anymore! We aren’t allowed to spank our kids or discipline them at all in public for fear of someone calling the cops. Yet when a kid is running around causing all kinds of chaos we say “Why don’t those parents discipline their kid?!” You can’t have it both ways people. We aren’t allowed to tell our kids “Go outside and play. When the streetlights come on, it’s time to come in”. Yet when the kids are overweight due to not getting enough exercise we say “Why don’t those kids go play?” Again, can’t have it both ways.

I weep for what the younger generation will grow up to be. May as well institute the principles of “1984” right now because that kind of conformity is what everyone is crying for.