beginingsinwriting

Join me as I stumble along the rocky path of becoming a published author.


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I Just Don’t Get It

When I meet people, and start to develop a liking for them, I tell them straight off, “I’m an asshole. Sooner, or later, everyone says so.” They inevitably say, “No you’re not. You’re just to hard on yourself. I’d never call you an asshole.” So far, I’ve been right. Every. Single. Time. And then, they act surprised, and hurt when they call me an asshole.

My inner reaction is, “Motherfucker, I told you!”

They all promise to never call me an asshole, and they all break said promise. No, I don’t hold them to it. But, I am honest about what I am. I have met about 10,000 people in my life. I’ve liked maybe a thousand, and warned about 200.

I know the flaw is with me. Being an asshole, I mean. I am abrasive, frequently condescending, and sarcasm is my first language. I am intolerant of willful stupidity, and will quickly lose my veneer of civility, and start mocking mercilessly when confronted with it. I am also intolerant of religion while being well versed in it, and its history. It is barbaric, and I think it is cruelty to teach it to children. Especially little girls. Why?

Because quite simply, it teaches them they are property, objects of little worth, and are meant to be subservient to males. I don’t like that. I fight against it as much as I can, where I can.

Why do I bring this up? Well, it’s because of a rather contentious conversation I had with someone very important to me who said that I seem so angry any more, like I have a chip on my shoulder. To her, I say, “No, Angel. This has always been me. You just haven’t seen it too often because I try to stay away from stuff like it, and my veneer of civility is quite a bit thicker. When i swim for too long in the muck of willful stupidity, it washes away a bit.”

I try to be nice, but it doesn’t always work, or last. I’m not really a nice guy. I am, however, an asshole. Am I proud of it? Well… that depends on my mood, and who I’m talking to.


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I Couldn’t Remain Silent On This Any Longer

For a while now, I’ve been travelling the internet, trying to correct, and educate folks about different points of science. I try to correct, and teach the truth about vaccines, and transgenic foods (more commonly known as GMOs), and other, similar things. Obviously, I am pro-science. Frequently, I am lead to websites, and blogs, filled with misinformation, debunked hypotheses, and outright lies. Finally, I read something which made me want to blog about some of this stuff. First, read thisperson’s post, and then slide back over to this window, and read the following:

Wow. Those points were wrong on so many levels. Let’s break them down one by one, eh?

1) If you choose not to vaccinate (which covers those who aren’t able to be), you do not love your children. Full stop. Why? You’d take a chance, if they get measles, such as, of the following: Pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, encephalitis, and other things (see here: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html). If they get mumps, the complications are inflammation of the sexual reproductive organs of males & females, as well as of the brain and spinal cord (see here: http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/about/complications.html). If you get rubella while pregnant, you risk deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation, and liver and spleen damage to your newborn. That’s just three.

2) No comment.

3) Vaccines are actually very safe, despite implications to the contrary in many anti-vaccine publications (which sometimes contain the number of reports received by VAERS, and allow the reader to infer that all of them represent genuine vaccine side-effects). Most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. These can often be controlled by taking acetaminophen before or after vaccination. More serious adverse events occur rarely (on the order of one per thousands to one per millions of doses), and some are so rare that risk cannot be accurately assessed. As for vaccines causing death, again so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically. Of all deaths reported to VAERS between 1990 and 1992, only one is believed to be even possibly associated with a vaccine. Each death reported to VAERS is thoroughly examined to make sure that it is not related to a new vaccine-related problem, but little or no evidence suggests that vaccines have contributed to any of the reported deaths. The Institute of Medicine in its 1994 report states that the risk of death from vaccines is “extraordinarily low.”

4) No vaccine is 100% and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar. There is this little thing called “herd immunity.” This maybe a bit hard to understand, and I’m sure no one has taken the time to explain it in simple terms (I’m not saying you are stupid by any means). Next time you’re out and about, take a moment to consider a brick wall. Start with the bottom row. Imagine that each individual brick is a person. We’ll say they are all vaccinated. Next, look at the next row. Notice how they are slightly offset from the ones below them? We’ll also consider them the next group of people who are also vaccinated. Continue this all the way to the top. Now, take a moment to consider the mortar in between each brick. That is the overlap in immunity, or the herd immunity, if you will. Finally, let’s say something happens, and you remove a brick from that wall. Notice how it doesn’t fall down, and the others are still covered? That is herd immunity at work. If you keep removing bricks, the wall will eventually fall. The first brick may have been someone who was immunocompromised, one of the elderly, or a seventh month old infant. The ones you kept removing? those are the ones whose mom, or dad, decided not to vaccinate. Getting vaccinated is a social contract, and responsibility.

5) Sounds like you’ve never been to a third world nation. Yes, clean water *is* important, however, so are vaccines. As I pointed out above, those vaccine preventable diseases do a lot of damage. They kill millions of children every year.

6) It is not elitist, and no one is saying that you’re too stupid to get it. Saying “If you understood the science you would do it,” is saying that you don’t have the knowledge. Has nothing to do with intelligence. Stephen hawking is widely celebrated as one of the most brilliant people alive, but I wouldn’t go to him for medical information. You say your research is as good as a real doctor’s is rather silly. Would you like a couple of examples?

Identify the cytokine that is responsible for the early development of B cells in bone marrow. In its absence, B cells do not develop.
A) IL-1 B) IL-2 C) IL-4 D) IL-7 E) IL-10

Which of these antibody chains is the *first* to respond to an antigen?
A) IgA B) IgG C) IgM D) IgE E)IgD

See what I mean?

7) Goes back to number six. Doctors get a few months *each year* of schooling on vaccines. Not hours. Have you talked with actual medical doctors, or is your information on coming from guys like Mike Adams, Joe Mercola, or the Geiers?

8) It *is* factual. No one is talking about the children that died in rural areas when they say “walk through the graveyards.” They’re talking about city graveyards. Those children had access to clean water. Heck, another good argument: look at Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The former POTUS had access to clean water, and proper sanitation, and he *still* ended up with polio. because there wasn’t a vaccine when he was a child.

9) Another link to that same book? Heck, since you believe whatever is written in a book, buy this one: amzn.com/B00LDYV9YS, and travel The Realm. Yes, children can die from a vaccine. However, that child has a better chance of being struck by lightning three times. Odd of a single strike? 1 in 600,000.

10) First, your information is incorrect. Wakefield’s study was a fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of the now-discredited claim that there is a link between the administration of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the appearance of autism and bowel disease. (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield). Second, there is NO cure for Autism Spectrum Disorder. So, the bimbo otherwise known as Jenny McCarthy either lied about her child having ASD, or she’s lying about it being cured. Take your pick.

11) The medical establishment NEVER supported tobacco, and as far as cocaine, when it was first discovered, *yes* it was used as a pain reliever. However, it was quickly discovered to be highly addictive, and damaging, by the SAME community, and THEY pulled it. Try again.

12) Your numbers are wrong. It is 2 in 1,000 that will do deaf, or have brain damage, or any of the other complications. It is also 2 in 10,000 (in first world nations) that will die. The risks are measurably higher than those who buy into the anti-vax propaganda/hysteria would like to believe.

13) This is a damned shame that the states are run by fools. But, if politicians knew what they were doing, the U.S wouldn’t be 418 trillion in debt.

14) Vaccines do NOT cause autism. That Tompkins thing was taken out of context, and misquoted. This is what he really said: tinyurl.com/l4dj665. Also, ASD is genetic, so, it is *impossible* to get it from vaccines. Try keeping up on the research, eh?

15) Those things you list as “we’re not fine”? Weirdly enough, for someone who claims to want to share accurate information, none of those can *possibly* be linked to vaccines. Being fat is due to eating more than you burn off; cancer rates (which are *dropping*) are due to advancing age (average American life expectancy is now 87); learning disorders have a number of causes. As for no other country vaccinating as heavily as the U.S, you might want to check up on that again: *Every* first world nation has a near identical schedule as the United States.

 

And lastly, why am I not surprised that you would have stuff for sale? Oh yeah: It’s the pattern. Folks, if she allows this to be on her site, let me warn you: If someone has a website, or blog, that goes against science, and they have something for sale, you should NOT listen to them. Because, if you don’t, they can’t make any money.

 

Yes, this was a copy and paste from her comments section. I didn’t think she’d allow it to stay. The anti-science crowd is fond of deleting disputatious comments.


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I’m Curious

Why is it that folks suddenly pop up saying how much they care when they think you’re going to kill yourself, but they don’t do so before then? I mean, wouldn’t it be more believable if you showed it prior to said declaration, or implication?

 

I don’t understand that.

 

Due to having been the one to discover my best friend’s dead body after he committed suicide when I was twelve,  I’ve not had any sympathy for those who killed themselves. I’ve always maintained they were supremely selfish, and cowards. I still think so, but, I sympathise with them a bit more. See, I suffer from depression. Every so often, it creeps up, and dropkicks me in the back of the nugget. I start to beat myself up, going over, and over, and over, all the ways I’ve hurt those I love. I start to think it would be better for them if I were no longer around. Or, I wonder if someone, anyone, really cares about me. When I am in that dark place, the answer always comes up, “No.” And then I start to think I should end my life because, what’s the point in living if no one cares about you, right?

 

But, there is something that stops me every single time. Let me tell you: It’s not noble, or selfless at all. I don’t kill myself because if I do, it’s all over. No more learning. No more hearing the sound of the love of my life’s voice. No more hearing her laughter. No more learning about our world, and universe. There would be no more long walks during the summer. No more dreams about the future.

I’m selfish that way.


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Know Me Better Pt 3

Part one is here and part two is here.

 

11: Do you like your siblings? Why or why not?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on what is going on at the time. However, I always love them, and will do my best to always be there for them.
12: How did you meet your best friend and why did you become friends?

I met her on critiquecircle.com, which is a great resource for new writers. We became friends over shared experiences, love of reading, and we enjoyed each other’s work.

13: Name one movie that made you cry.

I was very young when Masters of the Universe starring Dolph Lundgren came out, and it made me cry because it had nothing to do with the cartoon I loved. Plus, he was too skinny to be He-Man!

14: Do you prefer to read poetry, write poetry, or neither?

Neither. I simply don’t get, nor understand it.

15: Things about someone who you find attractive?

I find their intelligence attractive as hell. Their sense of humor is also very sexy to me.


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (chapter 4)

On the other side of the door, lit only by her flashlight, was an almost empty room. Dusty cobwebs clung to sheet-covered objects. A table, split in two by the weight of a fallen chandelier, lay in the middle of the floor where it had died. The faint odor of decayed mouse turds floated up, disturbed by her footsteps. A floorboard creaked wetly under her weight.

The beam of light swept over the walls, revealing peeling, faded wallpaper, and lathing strips poking through the plaster like the ribs of a starving man. A nearby door hung drunkenly from one hinge. Jennifer slowly walked further into the room, nerves stretched taut.

Glass crunched underfoot, causing her to start. She paused to catch her breath. The sound of a blade being sharpened reached her ears. It seemed to be coming from the next room. She cocked the hammer back on the USP, and carefully slipped passed the door.

The dancing light revealed a grandfather clock in a far corner, a cold fireplace, rodent chewed chaise lounges across from the cold hearth, and a pair of antique rocking chairs on either side of a sagging bookcase with moldy books. She stepped closer, and heard a music box tinkling softly. She moved the light around, but couldn’t find it.

A baby began to cry further in. Her heart dropped like a stone in her chest as it became the sound of a young child shrieking in terror. The beam of light shot around the area in jerky motions as she frantically looked for the source. The child’s voice morphed into the screams of a young woman.

Jennifer raced into a hallway and up a rickety set of stairs when the screams became the voice of an old man gasping for air. At the landing, a door slammed shut with a horrific boom, cutting off the noises. She whipped the gun around, biting back a gasp of fear. Her stomach was hard as a rock. She slowly headed down the short hallway, trying the differing doors. Each was locked.

“Danni?” She whispered.

Near the end of the corridor, she spotted a dusty mirror. She brushed away some of the dust, and glanced at her reflection. A pallid, and sweaty countenance stared back at her. She took a deep breath. ‘Get a hold of yourself, girl.’ She took another breath, closing her eyes. A stealthy sound from behind her made her eyes open wide.

A shadowy figure slipped down from the ceiling. As if it realized it was being watched, it looked into the mirror. A black-haired, pale-faced man with black circles under his eyes stared at Jennifer. His eyes flew open and his mouth opened. A horrible rasping sound came from him. It sounded like he was being choked under water.

The noise galvanized Jennifer into movement. She whirled, screaming. The USP thundered three times, tearing apart the darkness with flashes of lightning as she fell to the floor. The dropped flashlight rolled on the floor, illuminating the hallway.

It showed… nothing. The hall was empty except for her dusty footprints.

“Remember, Utsukushī*, trigger discipline is the second most important thing to remember when handling a gun.”

 

*beautiful


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Know Me Better, pt 2

If you’re interested in pt 1, it is here.

 

6: Do you wish to travel a lot?

Wish to? No. Want to? That depends on your definition of a lot. I’d be okay with a few times during the year.
7: Did you participate in any sports while in school?

Yes. I was in track (50m, 100m, and the 400m), and I was Shortstop for the baseball team.
8: Have you ever given blood?

No. I take part in pharmaceutical research studies. The first rule of that is I’m not allow to give blood.
9: Do you like the way that you grew up?

Considering how ugly it was? No.

 

10: What is your favorite physical feature of the sex you’re attracted to?

A woman’s eyes. Intelligence, which is what I’m most attracted to, shows clearly in someone’s eyes. So, while other features may grab my attention at first, the eyes are what keep it.


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Chapter 3)

Rob grunted and rolled off the surgical table. The sudden movement made him light headed. A short woman, dressed in blue scrubs, her blonde hair partially out of the disposable cap, caught and steadied him. “Be careful, Rob. You shouldn’t even be getting up yet.”

“I’m fine, Director. You know I always rebound quickly.”

“Yes, but you’ve never had nanobots implanted into you with a nano-sized factory either.”

“Fair point.” He stretched and was relieved to not grow dizzy again. “So, what will these do for me again?”

The Director looked out the observation window. “Mr. Stevenson? Would you remind Mr. Worthington of the nanobots’ capabilities?”

The curly-haired tech nodded. “Yes ma’am.” He beckoned for the pair to exit the operating room. Rob pushed one of the big lamps up on its gimbal, and walked through the door. As the Director and her patient removed their scrubs, and gown, Stevenson started the computer simulation.


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Know Me Better pt 1

I’ve done a couple of these before, but it’s been a while. So, that’s why this one is called pt 1. Well, that, and because it’s part of a series. If figured it would be fun to share with y’all, and to let you take a peek into the dark, twisted corridors of my mind. Some of the originally appeared on tumblr, but I don’t remember where I saw them. If you know the source, post a link in the comments, and I’ll update this to cite them.

 

1: What is your name and does it mean anything?

Robert. It means “Famous.” Obviously, I’m not there, but soon (I hope).
2: How long have you known your best friend?

I’ll  have known her two years, August 23.
3: What position do you normally sleep in?

The buff. ;)
4: Were you a part of any “clique” in high school?

A clique? Oh, no. I was an outsider in school. I always had my nose stuck in a book, and was seen as weird by the other kids. Of course, I didn’t help my case when I was attracted to a girl, and tried to pretend to be suave, and cool. Looking back, I was actually kind of creepy. Yeesh.
5: Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?

That would be my science teacher, Ms Davis. That was because I thought she was attractive, and even better, she made science fun. It helped that she taught me how to make my own fireworks, too. :D


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Chapter 2)

Heartbeat thrashing in her ears, Jennifer waited to be torn to shreds by the large wolf. She soon became aware of her breath rasping in and out of her sore ribs, and crickets singing in the woods. Further away, a lonesome owl hooted. She slowly lowered her arms, eyes darting around.
Truck.
Road.
Trees.
Shadows.
Rusty gate.
Truck again.
No sign of the wolf. Jennifer sank to the pavement, her weak knees no longer able to support her. She placed her trembling hands over her eyes, uttering a shaky laugh as she did so. ‘Oh, thank God. I thought I was dead.’ She looked around again. There was no evidence a wolf had ever been around. ‘Okay, what the hell is going on?’
She rose to her feet, a little wobbly, but made it to her truck. She opened the door, and slid in, dropping the flashlight on the seat. ‘Whatever the hell Danni wanted to show me will have to fucking wait. I’m getting the hell out of -’
A piercing scream rent the night air. “JEN! Help!”
“Danni! Hold on! I’m coming!” She ripped open the glove compartment, not noticing her nail breaking as she yanked the gun out. She pulled the slide back, and saw a round was in the chamber. She snatched the light up and bolted out of the truck. She ran to the gate. The USP was in her right hand which was crossed at the wrist of her left. This hand-held the flash in a reverse grip, illuminating the path to the gate. It gapped open. She darted through, heading in the direction the scream had come from. ‘I wish Rob were here. He’d be great bait for the monsters which might be out here.’ She laughed uneasily at herself. ‘Monsters aren’t real, girl.’

***

A hunched form watched the lithe young woman head into a building. A couple of minutes later, it followed. 


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What The Fuck Is Wrong With Americans?

Straight off the jump: I am American, born & raised in Baltimore, Maryland. That’s irrelevant to my rant, but just in case some genius takes offense to my title, and gets his panties in a twist, it’s there. I can, and intend to rant about my fellow citizens.

Ray Rice. Number 27. Running Back. Ranked as the Ravens’ second all-time leading rusher behind Jamal Lewis (7,801) with 5,940 yards, and also second in attempts (1,273). He is ranked second all-time for rushing touchdowns (37) and third for combined touchdowns (43) in Ravens history. Woman beater. Suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season. Convicted of 3rd degree assault. Possible jail term of 3-5 years, and a fine of up to $15,000.

Public outcry, and backlash? Nil.

Michael Vick. Number 7. Quarter Back. In 2006, Vick became the first quarterback to ever rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.[25] He also set a record by rushing for 8.4 yards per carry. Vick and teammate running back Warrick Dunn became the first quarterback-running back duo to each surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. Dog fighting ring operator. Sentenced to serve 23 months in federal prison, transported to Virginia in November 2008 to face state charges. Received a 3-year prison sentence suspended on condition of good behavior, and a $2,500 fine.

Public outcry and backlash? Protests outside of the courthouse, and his home. Nationwide rants about how he was a horrible person, and should be buried under the jail. Loss of endorsement deals. Threats against his life. Just to name a few.

So, the media, the courts and the rest of the nation thinks that dogs are more important than women. Let that sink in, and percolate for a moment.

But, is that really a surprise? Look at the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling. A business was deemed more important than women. Hell, a scary thing about that? There were some women cheering that ruling, too. Seriously.

I really don’t get this. I’m going to wax poetic a bit here: As a straight male, I love women. They are wonderfully fascinating. They are endlessly inventive, intelligent as hell. They are wise, kind, loving, warm and caring. They are also strong as hell. And, then there’s the other appealing aspects of them: They’re beautiful with soft skin, curvy bodies, and delightful… well, never mind. I’m a huge fan of women, is what I’m getting at.

I honestly am confused by how our nation insists on marginalizing, and oppressing them. I get that they do, I see it everywhere. But, I want to know why? Why insist that half of our species is unimportant, and lower than animals?! Why say to them (and brainwash some of them into saying), “Bronze Age superstition is more important than you?”

Does anyone even know? If not, why do it? Oh, and before commenters jump in with other countries, or “not all of us,” let me put it like this: Where is your protest about how lightly Ray Rice got off? Where is your on-air rant about Hobby Lobby? Where’s your service in a domestic violence shelter? Or anything of that nature?

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