Sabtu, 30 Juli 2011

The Ten Commandments for Newbie Authors

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

2. Don’t quit your day job.

3. Buy a suit of armor, you will need it.

4. If you don’t think your book is superb, throw it in the trash.

5. Write because you are compelled, not because you think you see profit.

6. Write with passion or don’t write at all.

7. When in doubt, Google it.

8. If you are anti-social, stay with your day job.

9. If you are not computer literate, make sure your editor and proofer are.

10. Never stop promoting your work.

Even though I am still a newbie author after two books self-published, I have no regrets. The thrill of writing two murder mysteries lingers in my senses like the taste of fine wine. I am intoxicated with the feeling of accomplishment and proud that I indeed finished what I started albeit unknown to the world.

If you are compelled to write, then indeed start that first paragraph. The rest will come and you could create a best seller. You won’t know if you don’t go! Best wishes….

Write on,


Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

Our Founding Fathers

Our founding fathers are finally turning over in their graves while saying to Capitol Hill, “Kiss our boney asses, you traitors!” There, I have said it and trust me, I mean it. What more can our Congressmen and Representatives say or do that could convey a stronger message to the world that America is a second rate country and in decline?

I am ashamed of our political leaders to say the least. Our government leaders are greedy, career politicians with only one thing on their minds. How can we continue the status quo of special benefits for our members while not having to follow the same rule of law that is applied to the very people who elected us into office?

Unfortunately, all the governments of the world suffer the same corruption we see in our country. Corruption it is, no matter what kind of smoke and mirrors they are flashing us at any given time in history. All the huffing and puffing over issues that are really not that complicated, but are made to seem so for the benefit of the general public, could be resolved easily. The real game being played is posturing for the next elections at the expense, as usual, of the American people.

I for one have a plan concerning the presidential elections in 2012. There are now more political parties that ever in history represented on the ballot. No more crying and sniveling about our leaders on my part. I am voting against the Republicans and Democrats. I’m not sure which party I will go with, but you can set your watch that I won’t be voting as usual. If every American would stand up and be counted concerning the fiasco on Capitol Hill and finally vote the bastards out of office for ever, at least the message would be sent loud and clear, enough is enough!

If we say to ourselves that there is nothing we can do about the state of our political system in America, then there will nothing we can do. But, if “We the People” stand united against career politicians who wipe their feet on us daily, there damn sure is something that can be done. We can clean house on Capitol Hill and sweep the ugly politicians to the curb!

My name is Mitt Winstead and I’m really pissed off!

Kamis, 28 Juli 2011

Blonds Don't Have More Fun

Even though my wife is blond, she enjoys a good blonde joke as much as anyone. Click on the title of this blog for the ultimate blonde joke.

After watching the clip, my wife asked, "I hope the poor antelope wasn't killed during filming." "Say, what, darling?" "I said I hope the antelope wasn't killed during filming!" "That's what I thought you said."

Lord, please give me the strength not to laugh my ass off at my wife. I hate sleeping in the truck!

I'm just saying,


Rabu, 27 Juli 2011

How do you really spell God?

I was watching several programs last night about mammals that live on Madagascar Island and the Jewish Exodus from ancient Egypt. You might ask what these two subjects have in common. That is exactly what piqued my interest.

I am always watching science and nature programs, and the way my mind works is to try and fit what I am learning in with the world that I live in right now. What implications do these programs have concerning our future on Earth? What is the truth about religion? How can I reconcile the material world with the spiritual realm? Is there really a God that is described in the Bible? Is the Old Testament a lesson in history or just made up history from not so perfect humans. The list is endless, but my curiosity won’t let up, and I keep watching the programs. Sometimes more than once; after all, I may have missed something the first time.

As a murder mystery writer, it is a foregone conclusion that I like mysteries. Moreover, I like solving mysteries; therein lies the fun. So, back to the question at hand; what do the Exodus and Madagascar mammals have in common?

The mammals of Madagascar live in peace and harmony with the land and environment. In fact, there are three species of Lemurs that live in the same trees but eat different parts so as not to compete with each other for food. Now that is smart living. I would bet our prehistoric ancestors also lived smart. Otherwise we would have perished as a species long ago. Of course, you would have to believe in evolution as the origin of the human species and that is in direct conflict with the Bible’s Old Testament.

Last night’s program on the flight of the Jewish people from Egypt was indeed interesting. I too believed in Hollywood’s version that Moses was really named Charlton Heston and the evil Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II, was really named Yul Brynner. As it turns out, Hollywood had it all wrong. Who would have guessed? I thought the program had valid points, and that the Exodus probably happened, but not like Bible history describes. I still don’t know if the program was intended to make Bible believers out of us or just trying to set the record straight. Good luck on that one. Historians are still trying to make us believe that Columbus discovered America.

So where did modern humans really come from? If you believe in the Old Testament, we were made from clay and a rib by the hands of God. OK, that one is just too “Hollywood” for me to swallow. How about we descended from the apes through millions of years of evolution? It does make more sense than the first explanation, but where did spirituality come into our consciousness? Now there is the crux of the investigation. Sometime during those millions of years of evolution spirituality was born, and that was the birth of spiritual man. Well, I’ll be dipped; does that mean that God is really spiritual and we were made in image and likeness of spirit? Could it be that ancient man had it all wrong because the concept of being a spiritual being having a human experience could not be comprehended? Bingo – we are indeed spiritual beings and God is not flesh and bones!

Of course, this explanation will piss off some religious groups big time. For that I am truly sorry because everyone has the right to practice their own religion in this country. My investigation was twofold: 1 – Does physical man have a future on this planet? Answer – Not if we can’t learn to be at one with Mother Earth. 2 – Does spiritual man have a future not only on this planet but throughout the universe? Answer – yes, as long as we believe in our spiritual nature.

There you have it in a nutshell. For those of you who were able to read this whole blog, I thank you. For those of you who dropped out somewhere in between, I don’t blame you.

I’m just saying,


Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

Too Broke for Sturgis

Too Broke for Sturgis is an annual get-together of Harley riders that meet at Mormon Lake, Arizona, about this time of the year. The original idea was to have a rally close enough for most Arizona motorcycle riders who couldn’t afford to travel to the huge rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, to be able to (in some small way) duplicate the “Sturgis” experience in Arizona.

The event at Mormon Lake has grown into a good-sized rally, with riders from all over Arizona joining in the fun. The draw to this place is beautiful pine trees in the high country and a chance to get out of the scorching heat of the lower deserts. Mormon Lake has a saloon, lodge, restaurant with good eats and a country store. There is plenty of room to pitch a tent or even pull in motor homes. There are vendors selling leather goods to jewelry and everything in between. It reminds me of the Buffalo Chips Campground in Sturgis, only smaller.

There will be no more Too Broke for Sturgis. Friday night’s partying was suddenly interrupted by gunfire. No, it wasn’t rival bike chapters shooting it out like the incident that happened at a casino in Laughlin, Nevada, some years back. This deadly shooting was of domestic violence in nature. A drunken, irate man opened fire on another man and his wife, killing them both. He then also shot another woman six times in the chest and she was air-lifted to a hospital and is in critical condition. The gunman then pulled the trigger with the gun pointed under his chin. Three lives violently taken and no more July party in the pines at Mormon Lake.

I don’t blame the residents of this small, historic community for being up in arms. I always found it strange that the town would allow a motorcycle rally in their back yard to begin with. During the day, there are children riding bicycles and young people riding quads around town. There are many cabins and small houses, and the people who live in them are not bikers. The families who own cabins at Mormon Lake have the same idea in the summer; let’s get out of the heat!

It will seem strange not to have Too Broke for Sturgis anymore, but I suspect the organizers will come up with a different venue next year. After all, Harley riders bring in a lot of money to small communities and businesses that desperately need revenue for survival.

I personally will continue riding in the area. The cool pines and fresh air remind me of the Colorado Rockies and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I can’t go to the more exotic locations every weekend, but riding our own high country is a close second!

Ride on,


Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

No Sniveling Allowed!

National TV News states that "New Yorkers have to endure BRUTAL, SWELTERING, BLISTERING 102 degree heat!" And, they are dropping like flies – 39 dead and counting! Pansies! It barely even cools off to 102 at night here…all summer long! I wonder how they would like 120 or 125 degrees like we have here or in the Middle East where our soldiers are stationed without A/C!?!?

Poor, poor New Yorkers! I feel soooo sorry for them. NOT!

E-mail from Quartzsite, Arizona

Sabtu, 23 Juli 2011

$93,000 Extended Warrantee

Yes, that’s what it costs for adding a mean average of four months to the life of a man with stage four prostate cancer. The drug is Provenge and the company that sells it is Dendreon. According to my research, Dendreon has over a billion dollars invested in R & D for this drug. Maybe true, maybe not – the good news is that the treatment is approved by Medicare, and according to the attached link, Medicare picks up the total tab.

The treatment (unlike chemotherapy) has few, if any, side effects and may pave the way for a future cure of the cancer that is terminal the minute symptoms appear. This is a chilling statement – but true nonetheless. Only early detection bestows continued life. I am one of the fortunate ones; my prostate was removed before any symptoms could raise their ugly heads. My twin brother is not so lucky, and now he is fighting for his life.

It seems so unfair that we all work our butts off during our adulthood to beat the high cost of living, and then we must also work our butts off to beat the high cost of dying. But, no one ever said that life is fair, and all you have to do is look around planet Earth to know that it certainly isn’t.

Being a huge science buff, I have been fortunate enough to witness fantastic leaps in our human technologies. Being scientific and spiritual has enabled me to reconcile our existence when sometimes the concept of God is challenged by the horrible things that go on around us on a daily basis. I believe in technology, and in fact so much so, that I am sure it means human kind will continue to survive the monumental problems our planet faces in the future. I also know that prostate cancer will be cured someday by our technology. I can only pray that it comes soon enough to cure my brother. I know deep down in my heart that it won’t, but faith can move mountains.

So here I am yet again, guys, pleading and begging for you go to the doctor and get the blood test that can save your life. It may be too late for by bro, but it’s not too late for you. Get off your ass, put your macho bullshit in the closet, and get a blood test! There are people out there who love and depend on you. You don’t want this cancer and your loved ones don’t want to experience your death from a disease that can be treated when detected early.

I am saying,


Jumat, 22 Juli 2011

Sky Diving

A tough looking group of bikers were riding when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge so they stopped. The leader, a big burly man, gets off his bike and says, "What are you doing?" "I'm going to commit a suicide," she says.

While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn't want to miss an opportunity he asked "Well, before you jump, why don't you give me a kiss?"

So, she does and it was a long, deep lingering kiss.

After she's finished, the biker says, "Wow! That was the best kiss I have ever had. That's a real talent you are wasting. You could be famous. Why are you committing suicide?" "My parents don't like me dressing up like a girl."

The trip to the bottom of the canyon was short and sweet!

I'm just saying,


Kamis, 21 Juli 2011

My Little Buddy

How could I ever guess that Pickles, the little Meyer’s parrot I bought my wife for her birthday eight years ago, would bond to me and become my little buddy? I am writing this blog not only because he is the most intelligent bird I have ever known, but also because yesterday I threatened to send him to an old folk’s home aviary just like his predecessor because he wouldn’t stop screeching while I was on the phone. I must now make up for threatening my friend with a life of trying to bite the fingers of elderly people attempting to pet him at the assisted living home.

His predecessor, Albert, is an Amazon parrot determined to decapitate finger, toes, lower lips and any other part of the human anatomy he could get inside his rather large and intimidating beak. We finally had to leave him at an aviary out of self preservation and threats of lawsuits.

I would come home from work and go upstairs to take a shower. While undressing, Albert would start his journey from his perch downstairs, slowly ascending the stairs one riser at a time with beak and claws steady and sure. He would silently waddle across the bedroom floor toward the bed, anticipating his climb up the bedspread and then toward my naked toes as I stood on the bed yelling for my wife to come get this damn bird!

Albert managed to bite through our son’s lower lip one fine day and that was the straw that sent him to his new home. We haven’t heard a word about him in over eleven years, and if we did sometime in the next eleven years, that would be too soon.

Now, back to Pickles – he knows I threatened him and the payback could come any minute. Sometimes he gets a feather up his tutu and won’t sing, whistle or talk to me for a while. During that time I avoid swapping spit with him or trying to scratch his neck. Even getting him on my finger is not without risk. The thing with Pickles is that a bite from his little beak will not be life-threatening unlike when Albert decided on having you for a dinner snack.

Wifey knows I don’t mean it when I threaten to get rid of Pickles. My little friend hasn’t drawn blood from me for a couple years now. He just butts me with his beak and doesn’t break the skin. Of course when it happens, I go into cardiac arrest.

I know how to make up with Pickles; I just let him hump my finger after our shower together. When I put my finger up to the shower door to take him back to his cage, he starts doing the horny dog thing and I am subjected to not a little disgust and embarrassment. “Good grief, Pickles, get a life!” He looks at me and seems to say, “I would if you would get me a woman bird, asshole!” Touché, little one, touché….

I’m just saying,


Rabu, 20 Juli 2011

Newbie Authors

I have some newbie author friends out there who are just about to jump off a bridge because they can’t make a living as an author. They know their work is not only good, but brilliant, yet they still can’t sell enough books to even come close to recouping their investment of time, money, sweat and tears.

Unless you are an author, you can never truly appreciate the work it takes to write a novel. It takes months of research, proofing, editing, more and more proofing and editing, and that’s not the half of it. Creativity takes energy and sometimes the energy just isn’t there. That is called writer’s block and even though it isn’t permanent, the delay causes depression.

That is when an author really has to prove his or her salt. They have to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get on with writing yet another chapter – then another and so on until the rough draft is finally finished.

You might ask yourself why someone would go to all that trouble and then have to face the fact that it’s a one in a billion chance that the book will become popular, let alone a “best seller.”

All newbie writers know the odds, yet they try with all their heart and soul to beat the odds. Therein lies the rub – you see, writers are compelled to create stories that take their readers on a journey of discovery, no matter the genre. It’s not like they have a choice. Painters are much the same way; they paint because they must.

When you understand your compulsion, it becomes easier to accept the fact that you were born to write no matter what time in your life you started writing. Grandma Moses was elderly when she started painting and didn’t live long enough to fully understand the impact her work would have on the painting world.

I admire newbie writers because they take that monumental step to fulfill their desire to create. They write the first paragraph and then magic happens; a novel is born. I have come to the conclusion that we newbies share a common bond that will never be broken. So we don’t sell a million books, so what! How many people on the planet have accomplished what we have by writing a novel, let alone two or even more?

Stand tall, my fellow newbies, we can be satisfird with our accomplishments. I am proud to be an author, albeit unknown. I figure when my third murder mystery is completed, I will no longer be a newbie – just an unknown author who still has his integrity.

Write on,


Selasa, 19 Juli 2011

We The People

The time has come for all Americans to act concerning The Congress of the United States of America. We the People will not and cannot tolerate the blatant abuses of power by our government motivated by greed and self-serving interests.

It is time for all of us to stand and be counted!

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

I'm asking each reader to forward this blog to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. It is time to act.

Senin, 18 Juli 2011

Men sometimes = Morons

Ok, guys, here we go again. Have you had your PSA checked recently? Have you had a rectal exam recently? Have you done anything to make sure you don’t die a horrible death from prostate cancer lately?

I know a few men personally who haven’t been tested at all. You know who you are! For God’s sake, what does it take for you to be responsible? Google “responsibility” – you will find that one meaning is, “The ability to control your response.” You can control your life and not have to deal with prostate cancer. What a concept…you can control what happens to your body!

Remember, when you start having systems like my twin brother, it is already too late. Prostate cancer is a slow process with no symptoms until the prostate swells like a balloon and the cancer escapes from the prostate sack. It then starts its diabolical journey to bones and lung tissue. Catch it early and the prostate can be removed and the space left behind can be zapped with radiation. That’s what I did in 2000 and I have been cancer free ever since. I might add that the last ten years have been glorious. I know, something is going to kill me eventually, but it damn sure won’t be prostate cancer!

So, there you have it. For the fifteen or so people who read my blogs, please pass this one on to any man you know. Chances are he hasn’t been to a doctor in a coon’s age. That’s how we men operate; I’m a man, I’m tough, I’m macho, I don’t need no stinking doctor sticking his or her finger up my butt. I am also an idiot if I don’t! You know what I said in my last blog concerning this subject. Get a female doctor with small fingers and sweet perfume; the experience could be fun, and just a simple blood test will give you your PSA level!

I’m just saying,


Rabu, 13 Juli 2011

Scooters Ready

I was up at 1:30 a.m. today so I could work on two projects we are estimating in Sedona, Arizona. Why, you might ask? It’s simple; my Harley is ready at Buddy Stubbs in Phoenix after they fixed a brake problem and I am out of here at 10:00 to pick it up – that’s why!

The garage has been empty for two weeks now. The fact that the monsoon has dumped on us every freaking day doesn’t matter. What matters is having my V-Rod sitting all clean and beautiful so I can grab a cup of coffee, my little wheeled work bench, and scoot around the bike anytime day or night to help forget about numbers and work for a while.

For those of you who are not interested in motorcycles but have a sport or classic car that is a real passion, you know exactly what I mean. I was starting to go through withdrawal and the feeling wasn’t very nice.

It will be good to have baby where she belongs, and I look forward to riding her back to Camp Verde today. Will it rain? Who cares! It’s not like I am a rain virgin, or any other kind of virgin for that matter.

I’m just saying,


Selasa, 12 Juli 2011

Defying Gravity

I was riding my Harley the other day and started daydreaming (which can be fatal on a bike) that my V-Rod could fly. Common enough dream I am sure, but the great part was that the scooter actually felt like it was trying to rise from the asphalt. I know you might suspect I was smoking left handed cigarettes, but you would be wrong. I have these moments on insanity all by myself with no outside influences!

Since that day, I have started to have dreams about flying. Not airplanes – that’s too mundane. I want to fly stuff not intended to be flow by man or woman. For instance, I watched newswoman Jenna Wolfe flying a water jet, and flying it rather well for a beginner I might add. Man, that’s something I want to do!

How about a jetpack that will fly you non-stop from one end of two football fields to the other end before running out of fuel? Dangerous, yes, but exciting enough to make you pee your britches!

And what about Yves Rossy, the man who flies with small jet engine powered wings strapped to his body? Talk about seat of your pants travel. This guy has more balls than a brass bull. Do I want to fly one? You bet I do! That’s not to say I wouldn’t croak of a heart attack just as the jets fired up though – I most assuredly would.

There are the guys and gals who parachute with flying suits on. They look like Albatross soaring in thermal winds high above earth. One problem; they haven’t learned how to land yet. Personally, I don’t plan to jump out of a perfectly good airplane!

There are always hot air balloons, which I have flown in. They are not without an element of danger, but the silent behemoths are subject to the prevailing wind, and your only control is up and down and sometimes just down with a bang! As I see it, my dream of flying some odd and terrifying machine is just that, a dream.

I guess I will be content to ride my V-Rod and pretend I am just millimeters above the asphalt while in levitation mode. One good thing about being an old guy is that I can be as crazy as I want with impunity. It’s a great perk – you should try it sometime.

I’m just saying,


Senin, 11 Juli 2011

Thrown under the bus!

It figures that the Democrats would throw Governor Jan Brewer under the bus any chance they got and that is exactly what they did by not including her in Janet Napolitano’s visit to the Arizona/Mexican border this last week.

Anything the Federal Government does in our state should include the Governor of Arizona. But, I guess, if you are critical of the current Democratic administration, it means you are blacklisted from participating. Personally, I think our Governor is better off not attending a political rally designed to help re-elect the President disguised as an update on controlling drug and human smuggling at our borders.

The Federal Government has made it clear that they have no intentions of closing our border with Mexico for several reasons.

1. The Democrats need the illegal immigrant vote. If they stop illegal immigration, hundreds of thousands of votes also stop. Sad, but true….

2. There are very big bucks in drug smuggling. Stop illegal drugs being transported into the U.S. and you stop the flow of millions of dollars to crooked officials on both sides of the border. Sad, but true….

3. The Federal Government has, in the past, used illegal and malicious means to justify budgets. The Border Patrol is a federal agency always scrambling for money. What better way to justify huge budgets than letting illegal activities at our borders become critical by understaffing the Border Patrol? That is not to say that individual agents are not honest, brave and hard working lawmen and women; what it does say is that the strings are being pulled in Washington, not on the border. Sad, but true….

I am aware that my statements are harsh and that I could get a visit from the men in black, but it’s my opinion and I have a right to speak freely. At least I think we still have that right!

I love Arizona, and the damages illegal drugs and human smuggling are doing to our state sickens me to the core.

I applaud Governor Jan Brewer
for her gutsy, outspoken and sometimes dramatic outbursts aimed at injustice and the illegal activities that are threatening our beautiful state. She reminds me of another outspoken patriot that lives and works in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio,

but that’s another blog….

I’m just saying,