I Think I Will Become a Podcaster

 

On November 30, 2015, I posted a message on how we have entered a golden age for podcasting, and listed the history podcasts I was listening to at the time.  Of course some podcasts are better than others.  I heartily recommend the good ones, while it’s not a good sign if my reaction after listening to one of the inferior ones is, “I can do better than that!”

Along that line, I considered doing one of my own, but a lot of the good subjects are already taken.  There are good podcasts on the Romans, the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Russians, military history, explorers, pirates, and so forth.  There’s no reason why somebody else can’t try to do his own version of those subjects, but if I did that, I’m sure the comments from those who listened to both myself and the other podcaster would put me in competition with the latter.

Well, today I believe I found my niche in the history podcast business:  Southeast Asia.

Over on Facebook, the folks in a private group I belong to were talking about the latest archaeological discovery in Cambodia – the discovery of the city that was Cambodia’s capital before Angkor Wat was built – and somebody asked if there is a podcast on it yet.  A Google search told me that the answer was no.  Even with the Vietnam War, as important as that was for the United States, only individual episodes, not a full-fledged series, have been done so far.

So there you have it.  Over the next month I plan to read up on how to do this from podcasters who have done it already, and buy an appropriate microphone and whatever software is needed.  Finally, I’ll look for a sponsor to make this worth the effort.  If I go ahead with this project, will my regular readers listen?

Meet Tsu

 

A week and a half ago, I discovered a new social network, Tsu.co, which shows promise.  While it works a lot like Facebook, they don’t allow the worst nonsense, like spam and chain letters.  Also, any original content you post there (messages, pictures, etc.) is yours to keep, and they pay you a little money for your postings.  Check out Tsu and see if it is for you.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Here is your invitation.

https://www.tsu.co/Berosus

17 Reasons to NOT Become a Technical Writer

Yesterday marked twenty-five years since I started working at Ticketmaster as a senior phone agent.  At a little over eight years (September 1989-December 1997), it is the longest-lasting job I have had so far.  Still, I am hoping to beat that at the place where I am working now.  I have now been at my current technical writer job for five months, and as I put more experience under my belt, I am having a better time in the office.  Yesterday, for instance, I was asked to help train a new technical writer who started this month – definitely a good sign.  And this project is expected to need folks like me until 2023, so if it runs late, I could be here until I am old enough to retire.  Job security is welcome, inasmuch as I have seen terribly little of it for the past four years.

Anyway, I just read an article on the downsides of this kind of work.  For some reason I cannot copy and paste even an excerpt from the text (is the whole article one big graphic?), so you’ll have to follow this link to read it:

http://kingoranges.com/our-17-reasons-to-not-become-a-technical-writer/

I’m wondering about the reference to interpersonal skills in #13.  I became a technical writer because my people skills were never very good.  Are they referring to the mania of meetings you are expected to attend?  Some of the places I have worked in seemed to consider meetings more important than work.

Now if I had written the article I would add an eighteenth point:  This is a feast & famine profession.  The jobs pay great when you can get them (I couldn’t pay the bills on what I made as a teacher), but they are only common in areas with high-tech centers, like Silicon Valley or Oak Ridge.  Although one of those jobs persuaded me to move from Florida to Kentucky in 2006, Kentucky is not a high-tech center; hence my long period out of work until last April, and the job I had in Connecticut during 2011 and 2012.

But even with the points mentioned in the article, it’s good to be back at it again.  Now I’m telling my co-workers this is the most complicated job I will ever love!

D-Day Plus 70

You’ve probably heard that today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the key World War II battle that marked the beginning of the liberation of France, and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.  For me it’s hard to believe that many years have gone by; for today’s school kids, World War II is further into the past than the Spanish-American War is for me.  Here are two articles to commemorate this day:

 

A tribute to the soldiers who fought on that fateful day.

 

A heartwarming story about a British D-Day veteran who sneaked out of his nursing home and went over to France so he could take part in what may be his last D-Day ceremony.

Even the Sun is a Basketball Fan In Kentucky

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The NCAA championship game is less than an hour away as I write this, and however it works out between the UK Wildcats and the Uconn Huskies, this will be a big day for Kentucky.  You could call this the biggest cat-dog fight of all.

If you have been following the tournament, you know what happened with Saturday’s game.  Just a few seconds before time ran out, Aaron Harrison scored the shot that put UK over the top, defeating Wisconsin by 74-73.  Harrison also made the last shot to win the previous game against Michigan, so this was a bit of a re-run for us.  When all is said and done, he’d better be named Most Valuable Player, at least.  And I bet two, maybe even three Uconn players, will be guarding him closely tonight.

This time around, all four of the Final Four teams represented states my family has an interest in.  My sister lives in Wisconsin, my brother lives in Florida, I live in Kentucky, and we all used to live in Connecticut!  While there were several things I enjoyed during my 2011-2012 job assignment in Connecticut, and I found out over there that I still talk with a Connecticut accent, 45 years after my first sojourn in the state, there are four reasons why I’m glad I don’t live there now:

1.  Connecticut winters are notoriously cold.  My wife will tell you that Kentucky is cold enough!

2.  Prices and taxes are much higher in New England.

3.  Most of the people over there are political liberals.

4.  Kentuckians are friendlier and politer.

Therefore I will be rooting for the home team, of course.  But enough with the rambling.  GO CATS!!!

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And for this week, the nearest major league baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, is wearing blue just for us.  How about that!

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Goodbye Mozilla

Well, the queer mafia, the Gaystapo, have struck again.  This time they went after Brandon Eich, the inventor of Javascript.  What was his crime?  Six years ago, he gave $1,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative supporting traditional marriage.  Just a few days after Eich became CEO of the Mozilla corporation, word of this got out, and he was forced to resign.  Click on the link below if you’re not familiar with the story.

http://erlc.com/article/why-can-mozilla-have-corporate-convictions-but-not-hobby-lobby

Gosh, before this controversy came up, I never paid attention to the sexual preference of the inventor of a software package.  Or that of the CEO of a high-tech company.

Judging by how many cities and states have legalized gay marriage recently, a lot of people must have changed their minds on the issue since 2008.  Have the Gaystapo considered that Eich might have changed his views in the past six years?  One politician who did was a certain Illinois senator who now happens to be president of the United States.  Another is Hillary Clinton; she said this in 2000:

“Marriage has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman.”

Source:  http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/127143-strange-bedfellows-hillary-clinton-ousted-mozilla-ceo/

If today’s Democrats are reminded of the above quote, how long will it take for them to expel her from the Democratic Party?

If you don’t think it is possible in a democracy for the majority of the population to be terrorized by a minority, look how arrogant the homosexual community has become.  Forty years ago, homosexuals were a bullied group, but now they’re the bullies to the rest of us.  Don’t believe the ten percent figure given by the Kinsey Report; judging by how often we meet homosexuals in real life, they’re probably just two percent of the population, three percent at the most.  And yet they insist on forcing their lifestyle into parts of the culture that have nothing to do with sex, like St. Patrick’s Day parades.  Moreover, the mainstream media seems to have a need to publish a “gay interest” story every week, like we’d forget this group existed if they didn’t.  Well, how about some stories about even less visible groups?  I haven’t read an interesting story about the Eskimos lately, nor one about the Amish.

I will quote from another blog I recently read to show how twisted the other side’s behavior has become.  Quote:

Don’t you people read? Haven’t you learned anything from history? ‘Advancements’ earned through tyranny never endure. You can only win a debate by suffocating your opposition for so long. Your strategy is doomed for failure, because it has always failed.

In the name of ‘fighting for the freedom to love,’ you’ve utilized hate. For the sake of ‘tolerance,’ you’ve wielded bigotry. In order to push ‘diversity,’ you’ve been dogmatic.

You are everything you accuse your opponents of being, and you stand for all the evil things that you claim they champion.

http://theaquilareport.com/hey-gay-rights-fascists-in-spite-of-your-mozilla-victory-you-will-still-lose/

Unquote:  To that I would add that they call themselves “gay,” which used to mean happy, when we see them acting like soreheads far more often.

Because there are a lot more of us than there are of them, it’s time we show the corporations that pander to the gay crowd that they can’t have their business and ours, too, if they’re going to engage in witch hunts.  An easy way to start is to boycott Mozilla.  Sure, Mozilla had something great going with Netscape in the 1990s, and with Firefox when they launched it ten years ago, but the Internet now has so many alternatives that we don’t need them anymore.  I removed Mozilla Firefox from my computer on Friday. Didn’t need it anyway, when any webpage I want to view is accessible through Chrome or Opera. Then on Saturday I uninstalled Mozilla Sunbird and Thunderbird.  My computer is now Mozilla-free.

Have you ever noticed that the big social issues we talked about used to be civil rights, but nowadays (e.g., gay rights, abortion, forcing others to pay for birth control), the issues seem to be more about civil wrongs?

44 Years After the Eclipse

This morning I was reading about all the trouble astronomers used to go through to watch the transit of the planet Venus across the sun, especially in the 1760s.  It reminded me of another rare astronomical event, a total solar eclipse, and how on this day, forty-four years ago, I tried to catch one.  For a year or two before March 7, 1970, I knew an eclipse was coming to the southeastern US, and it would be visible from Florida.  However, the sun would be 95 percent covered from Orlando’s point of view.  To see the effects of a total eclipse, the nearest place was Perry, a small town in north Florida about 200 miles away.

The Central Florida Museum (forerunner to today’s Orlando Science Center) offered a bus ride to Perry and back for $7 a ticket, so my mother and I went along.  We got to a field outside Perry a few minutes before the critical time, got out our equipment (mostly pinhole-camera boxes and layers of negative film), and waited.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  We happened to have an overcast sky that day, so clouds eclipsed the eclipse!  All we got to see was a dark shadow rapidly covering the sky, and then the sunlight coming in just as quickly from the same direction.  There hasn’t been a total solar eclipse near me since then.

Call Me Old Queer, and Get It Over With

NBC:  This Gold-Medalist Is Living An "Alternative Lifestyle" Because He Has a Wife and Child

My goodness, has “gay” become the new “straight?”  David Wise is one of our gold medal winners at the winter Olympics, and NBC is concerned because he has a wife and a two-year-old girl, though he is just 23 years old.  The NBC reporter calls it an “alternative lifestyle” and the “lifestyle of an adult.”  Click on the link above for the story.

Granted, they probably think that way because Obamacare has moved the age of adulthood up from 18 to 26.  But it wasn’t that long ago when being married with children at the age of 23 was perfectly normal.  It could have been my lifestyle if I had married earlier in life; heck, my daughter did it.  And Mr. Wise is even talking about becoming a pastor someday, so I’m guessing they live by Christian standards at home – another thing my family does, too.

Thirty years ago, some folks at my university tried to launch what they called the “Alternative Lifestyles Organization.”  It wasn’t about getting married and raising a family.  It was about promoting deviant sex that had been banned by the law and/or by the churches.  The conservative columnist for the local newspaper renamed the group the “Oral Sex Club,” and the group’s promoters were laughed off the campus.

I am also reminded of a science fiction novel I read in the 1980s, "The Forever War," by Joe Haldeman.  The hero of the story is a straight army officer born in 1970 named William Mandella, and in the early 21st century he is drafted to fight a war in space.  Every time he travels to a new star to fight another battle, time dilation and the effects of the theory of relativity mean he won’t age much, but hundreds of years go by on earth.  While he is away, homosexuality is encouraged to stop population growth.  Eventually Mandella finds himself the oldest veteran of the war, and in command of a unit where everyone else is homosexual; they don’t like his 21st century accent and heterosexuality, and call him "Old Queer."  Now I’m wondering if our society is starting to think that way already.

Please Punish Me With a Job!

I learned back in the 1990s that when a politician lies to the public, it’s called “spin.”  You can probably think of some examples.  For example, in “1984,” George Orwell famously had the ultimate dictatorship proclaim these slogans:

“War is peace.  Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”

More recently, during the current winter, we have been told by environmentalists that the extreme cold we are getting is caused by global warming, hence, “Cold is hot.”

Now over the past week, we heard a new one, “Idleness is better than work.”  It’s not hard to understand why some folks are saying that.  The economy is still recovering at such a slow rate, that for all practical purposes, the 2008 recession never ended.  Each month when the job figures are announced, there are fewer new jobs created than Washington, DC would like.  Then a week ago came the CBO report, which predicted that Obamacare is going to eliminate 2.5 million more jobs than expected, over the next three years.

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Immediately folks in high places like Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and The New York Times, declared the loss of jobs is all right, because people no longer have to worry about losing their insurance when they are out of work.  And then there is a “Professor of Leisure Studies” (I did not make up that title), one Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, who declared that people out of work are in a better position to realize their true potential, and that the jobs eliminated are jobs that people don’t really want to work at, anyway.  Here’s a link to his article:

Why Do Republicans Want Us to Work All the Time?

What a crock.  For as long as recorded history, we have been taught that work is a virtue, and that it is better to be “working hard” than “hardly working.”  As far back as the Book of Genesis, God told Adam that he is going to have to work for a living (Genesis 3:14).  Then in the New Testament, we are told that a person who will not work, should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  So as long as I am available to work and nobody will hire me, I feel like I am cheating the system.  We have not yet reached the stage where machines can do all of our work for us, so every person not working is a burden on someone else.  As one without a job, I can say that I feel like only half the man I used to be, and when others ask me what I do for a living, I am tired of saying “Nothing at all.”

I thought we were headed in the right direction a day or so before the above announcements, when President Obama said corporations ought to give more consideration to hiring the long-term unemployed, like myself.  Indeed, it is the first time in the past few years I have agreed with the president on anything.  But now it appears some liberals have developed reverse peristalsis, or feedback of the bowels, because they think work is some kind of punishment.  What good is a college course in “leisure studies,” anyway?  If I took it, would it allow me to get any kind of job, aside from teaching the same course later?  For the record, I have been uninsured for at least half of my adult life, because I worked at jobs that did not have health insurance, and if I have to choose in the future between a job and health insurance, I am going to take the job every time.