About this blog

Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
we want YOU to think...if you dare...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's a Long Road

The first half of a long road...and Yes, that's a big hill....

I sit in the warmth of the living room, watching  small snowflakes wandering about in the breeze outside the window, some flying up and about,  trying to escape their destiny.  It is snowing again. Lightly, almost casually, you know the kind of snow coiffed weather-girls  on television make official reports about, calling them 'flurries' and 'accumulations'.
The odd fist-sized clump of snow, large snow-flake wannabe's, fall  from the sky, perhaps from tree branches disturbed  in the breeze, or  perhaps it's conjured, unified snowflake  effort to make us take the dark sky seriously,-- but  casual flurries these are, not like the day before yesterday.

That afternoon started out with rain, light, easy, gentle- 'showers' they would call them,  then a steady drizzle, of consistent,  larger drops, then heavy, determined  rain, not just annoying wet air.  Shortly after that, close to dark, there were even bigger raindrops pelting, driven with intent,  but white snowflakes began coming, confusing, then commandeering the mix.

 Under cover of darkness, a genuine Northwestern Ontario snowstorm  took over, the kind that leaves a foot of snow in a short while. It was a foot, all right, even more. Not bad for the 23rd of November though, it could have been a lot earlier.  In some ways, a  firm but  gentle reminder of winter to be,  but not the vicious, unforgiving kind.  

Our  road, an idyllic half mile of  rough gravel, -a country side road once optimistically called a "concession" - is snowed  in yet again.  Yes, it's a long road when it has over a foot of snow on it.  Wondering if I will be able to get out to the highway and carry on as normal,  I call a neighbour who usually navigates up the road with a big yellow grader, clearing the snow as regular as clockwork every year,  late or not. 
 This time it's anyone's guess,  I wait for a moment for the hesitant answer and got one.
 " No, the other plow's not available, nobody wants to work, I'm plowing myself" , the tired plow operator says,--well,  paraphrased, you understand.
   "I gotta get some supper. We gotta train a new man,  wanna learn how to operate a snow plow?" he asks.
Taken aback, I mumble to myself, quietly paraphrased, you understand, I  thank him graciously and get off the phone so he can go have supper, hopefully he'll get to my road overnight. Not likely, he's working 20 miles away. .

I seriously and sleeplessly contemplate all options available, and  all night too.
 I have commitments, appointments, business, stuff to take care of, and so does the better half.  We're food self-sufficient, but  we still don't like  to be snow-locked for a week or so.
Hm...a grader...I would get to park that  behemoth in my front yard. A big 360 hp  30 foot long yellow key  to freedom with diesel engine, a snow wing and 16ft. moldboard--the key to freedom. I  mumble to myself.  My intrepid  DIY character surfaces.    I almost decide to go for it.

When daylight breaks, I clean the ice and snow off of my 20-year old Jeep. It has good tires, and a Diehard battery,  but not much else. Not surprising, the doors are frozen shut.  Freezing rain does that.
  I use a 24" goose-neck pry bar creatively, not too over-judiciously whacking the door handle a few times to free the lock. I still have to  pry the door open anyway.  Surprisingly, the ignition isn't frozen.   The engine turns over reluctantly, coughs, and starts,-- not surprisingly, but complaining bitterly.
 The passenger door is frozen solid too. Whack that sucker a dozen times. Pry it open too. ow the door buttons are frozen in the depressed position. That's depressing. Out comes lock lube spray. The buttons pop out.. The other doors  I don't bother with. I'm not a back seat driver. Who need's'em.

I coax T.T.T. AND E.T.S.,-- that would be  Tilly the Tall and Ebony the Short,  the resident pups,  into the truck for company with little effort,  they smile and  wag their tails encouragingly as I jamb the old Jeep into gear. It groans, and the frozen wheels snap free of the ice,  but putting the pedal to the metal, it moves. I get to bust the road open.  A foot of snow or more, even with a couple of waggly frozen snowmobile-enthusiast tracks already confusing  the straightness of the  directionability required to stay out of deep ditches,-- isn't too much for a by now cranky and rusty old  DIY'er, --and a  4x4 with good snow tires.
 I run the half mile gingerly, avoiding  swerving into deep ditches, creeks and culverts, and  boldly crash, without pause, through the 3 foot snowbank left across the highway junction by the highway plow. Right at the stop sign it is. I start breathing again.  
Not bad. I crash the snowbank back in again,  and drive the half mile back home,  carefully  widening the wavering,  busted tire- track slots, and then  run the road four or five more times, widening them. The pups agree, now it's a 'winter road' and time for coffee.   

We get out after a while to where we were headed,  as required, right on time, too. 
I  no sooner get  home, not enough time to grab a coffee,   than the T.T.T. and E.T.S. excitedly announce  'here comes the grader'.   I check it out, and yes,  a yellow behemoth, blue lights flashing,  is threading it's way up the road, but something is seriously wrong.  The progress is painfully slow.
A truck is sitting down on the road, behind the moving grader, -but there's also  a parka-clad  man standing  in front of the slowly-moving grader, right on my end of the road.
  I walk out to see what's happening, expecting to see the regular operator and thank him,  expecting to perhaps be needed  to make a call for a service truck for the ailing grader.
 I end up talking  to the trainer instead.
  "He's new, "  he said.  "he's in training".

A NW. Ontario-sized Snow Grader

 The neophyte grader operator-trainer eventually reaches the end of the road where we stand, while he awkwardly  turns the big machine around. It takes a couple of tries to find reverse, lift the blades, and get it right. It's a big turnaround, but it's also a huge machine.   He stops, and the trainer gives him additional instruction. The operating cab has a dozen or more controls to play with.   He tries them all.  Graders do weird stuff, so he discovers, but eventually, he's got it set more or less right. Maybe.

  Damn, I could do better than that, I think to myself. Train me instead, I want to tell the man.  I resist the urge, and watch.
 I know from past  experience driving big tank trucks  that at first, maneuvering a behemoth of a vehicle feels  like driving a three-bedroom  side-split  up the sidewalk.   Unfamiliar with the controls, he adjusts,  talks to the trainer, and painfully, eventually, threads his way back  down the narrow road out toward the highway again, almost removing the snow behind him.
A passable job.   I probably would have liked doing that. After a while, it would be as easy as driving a yellow taxi with a fly stuck on the hood.
 I contemplate.  I go back to my writing.   Maybe next time. That's life. It's a long road.

Is that Incoming I hear? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SoWrite NOVEMBER CONTEST: Fiction Best First Chapter !

$50 Cash Prize (minimum) for November Fiction 2012
SoWrite Contest Cash to be Won

Wow....I'm IN !

I've submitted MY entry.  I have a chance to win this $50.00 cash for first prize.Just in time for Christmas too....hm.....nice...

"WHAT?"  You ask.  "WHERE?"  

At  SoWrite.us.com, of course! 

 It is SO easy, too!   YOU can send in your own submission !
 Any first chapter that is your own creative work. It must be previously unpublished, genre fiction.   Send it in soon --and you have a great chance to win $50.00 !

 The winning entry will also  be placed on SoWrite.us  and promoted!

It should not be a surprise that my creative friend, writer and published author  Jim Bessey, the owner of  www.SoWrite.us.com  -- has come up with this new and exciting  challenge for writers.

For quite some time, our writer's group competed for glory, for  minor bits and pieces, for the thrill of being the best, and even for occasional Kudos and compliments  in a now defunct challenge group forum on Helium.

With many writers participating, --but leaving Helium,-- it was not surprising that such fierce competitors missed the action!

Jim Bessey,  the traditional  leader of those challenges, branched out on his own, launching  his own website for writers, "www.SoWrite.us.com  --and the new website is already  no less than amazing.
   Writers: Start your computers! 

Announcing: A Contest for November: 
 " Fiction:  Best First Chapter". 

Keeping in mind the reasons SoWrite  was created,,  Jim  has now announced the FIRST CONTEST ever to be held on SoWrite,  the November "Fiction:Best First Chapter". 

"Best first Chapter" seems to be a natural fit, with many authors already working on National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo  for short,  in which all authors attempt to complete a 50,000 word novel,  a work of fiction,  within the month of November.

How is your first chapter coming along? Are you writing a novel? If you have,  get on over to SoWrite.us.com   and enter!

YOU COULD WIN $50.00 CASH or even MORE depending on the number of entries!

Is YOUR first chapter of fiction  "the BEST FIRST CHAPTER" ?  

Enter  SoWrite's  November  "BEST FIRST CHAPTER" contest today and find out! 

Is that Incoming I hear?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Seceding from the United States of America to join Chinada?

Is the Sun setting on the U.S.A.?

Seceding?   Welcome to Chinada
Update:  Welcome to the Disunited States of America.  There are now 50 states with secession petitions in the making.....

Soon the only state left will be THE STATE OF UNHAPPINESS

Well, so it seems,  it is hitting the fan.  For all intents and purposes, to the average viewer, it seems the United States of America is about to dissolve into fragments. That would be 'individual states' more or less.

 A large number of US citizens are unhappy with the outcome of the election.  
What else is new?....but.....

Seceding from the United States of America? 
  For anyone that doesn't have a dictionary, that means secession,  buggering off out of the Union. Becoming one of the Less United States.   We imagine the founding fathers are rolling in their graves just hearing that word whispered.

There are petitions now requesting that 15  20  22    50  states  be allowed to peacefully leave the United States of America.  Louisiana was reportedly the first state to file a petition to leave the Union. A couple of these states have more than one petition. Competing yet, that oughta' work.

The following states (and a whole lot more)  have filed petitions to secede from the United States of America immediately if not sooner:
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  •  Colorado, 
  •  Florida,
  •  Georgia 
  •  Indiana
  • Kentucky
  •  Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  •  Mississippi, 
  • Montana,
  • North Dakota
  • New Jersey
  •  New York
  • North Dakota,   
  • North Carolina,
  • South Carolina,
  •  Oregon
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas  

 Even blue-grass Tennessee wants to leave.  Grass must be bluer on the other side of the border.  Stay calm.  Imagine that. Good luck, boys, you'll need more legalized  weed to maintain the illusion of brilliant planning.
 Have you forgotten there's strength in numbers? Leave en masse Any of you wish to join Canada before you're individually  sold off to the Chinese? 

Just line up at the border, pick up an application form to move to  Canuck-nuck land,  that's a short cut to being Chinada, since our government is so intent on selling control of our resources to China's CNOOC state-owned oil company. 

If the excitement of seceding doesn't wear off  by the time a gazillion applications are processed, Welcome to Chinada.  

Is that Incoming I hear?  

UPDATE Data  courtesy of the Daily Caller

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The American Way: Is it really the best? Solutions

Light Reveals All

It's about time.  The US election is over. Thank God. Let us now ask the right questions, poke the right buttons at the right time, and shine the spotlight on root problems and encourage  productive governance.  Shall Americans now pledge to make progress, or fall, disheartened and disorganized,  into a recession?

Well, okay. Let's ask why.  Like it or not, the people have spoken. Like it or not, worth repeating,   President Barack Obama, most observably the first black president of the United States was not only elected, but  confirmed and returned to the job-and that is all it really is--is a job.

It's a big job. All right, it's a big job, no doubt. Big perks, big hype, big White House, big government, big media, big everything.  Bottom line, his big  job is to lead the people   Let's use round numbers;  say some 300 million  almost-consenting- almost adults of the United States--must now be led through some very tough times.

Why is this suddenly perceived to be so problematic? 
 Here's the way I see it.  Even adults and educated people face disappointment when our candidates do not 'win'. Don't cry, baby.
What else is new?
 Have presidents not led the United States of America through tough economic and political times before? How about Pearl Harbor? How about Viet Nam?  How about the Cuban Missile Crisis?   How about 9/ll ?  How about the manipulated financial global meltdown and sub-prime mortgage fiasco? How about the Gulf oil disaster, Iraq, Katrina,  Afghanistan. ..ad nauseum,.....never mind  Sandy, the newest  ugly storm that just gob-smacked the east coast of the United States of America? 

The fact is there's always another tough challenge facing any sovereign nation--and there will always be tough issues to deal with regardless of who leads the nation or runs the highest office.

Were your personal feelings hurt? Get over it. Stop whining.  Hello?    Americans collectively chose Barack Obama for a second term. Are you now admitting the majority of the United States is WRONG?   I thought not.
 The time for political games, bickering and bitching  is over. 

The fix:  Don't like the system that ignores the popular vote?  Fix it. don't like the Electoral college or the makeup of the Supreme Court?  Change it! Your candidate didn't win? Nominate a better candidate next time. 
The election went your way? Congratulations. Now act like it and show that your ideas ARE better than the status quo. Prove your ideas ARE better options for all Americans. Compromise and common sense is essential

 You have responsibilities, and it is time to begin acting like responsible adults. 
 Collectively, you now have the responsibility, the obligation to hand an environmental gem and proud economic legacy to your children and  grandchildren, not an impossible debt load, an economic death sentence, a broken, collapsed country, and an ecological  disaster caused only by stubborn, short-sighted greedy corporations, Big Money, endless consumption,  blinders to obvious defects in foolish  ideology erroneously perceived to be perfection and iron-clad, or just plain stupidity and lack of common sense. 
 The fact is, Americans  need to work shoulder to shoulder, not nose to nose. 

Is the American way the best?  Prove it.  The world is watching.  America needs conciliatory, creative solutions, not childish rants of 'winners' or vindictive, destructive tantrums of 'losers'. Whether you are a Billionaire, a single mom, a speculator, entrepreneur,  a middle manager or an unemployed plumber--a quantum change in thinking by Americans  is required.  
Not "if your candidate wins next time", but now, today. 

Is that Incoming I hear?    

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Early Christmas, Morgidoo's Christmas Carol and Dragons

Bah, humbug....hm....$$$$$....

Cover for 'Morgidoo's Christmas Carol'
Early Christmas stuff is showing up all over the place.  Ho-hum....this year was the earliest I have seen anything Christmas-related-- the day after Halloween.  Christmas trees already. Furniture-store Santas...only ONE day.
No in-between breathers after scarey Halloween ghosts and goblins  before getting smacked into Christmas Past, Present and Future, right into that even more scary stuff,  the big business of  spending a lot of money for gifts nobody really appreciates.
 At Incoming Bytes my loyal readers know I always imagine,-- even fondly believe there are more important things to life than money. The fact is, money offers us only additional choices in life.

It may appear at some point that I might be forced to face the reality that I am vastly out-numbered;  will I have to relinquish cherished old-fashioned values?   To the casual but alert observer, it may appear that I do not see the big commercial picture, that I do not feel guilty enough about not spending thousands of dollars at Christmas, or, gadzooks,,,,that I  may not have been raised commercially.  It's obvious that I like porridge with brown sugar better than  air-filled Cheerios, colored or not. Idon't have the latest, greatest  text-talk-browser-internet-GPS-WiFi cell-phone either.   Perhaps I am simply not  synchronized  with the intent, plans, and progress of the modern commercial world? It does appear that way. One thing for sure, I am Christmas-challenged.    Caffeine may be responsible.  Maybe not. I better have another cup of coffee and think about that one.

 " How ever shall that boy succeed?" has been asked on more than one occasion in dusty, hallowed halls of  paint-spattered elves  and twittering tea-tasters, complete with shortbread cookies, bespectacled  eye rolls and  eyebrows frowning surreptitiously under  pointy green hats.
Well, have we got news! We're getting up to speed..  After all, Christmas is only fifty-some days away!

It's *time* to get your very own copy of  Morgidoo's Christmas Carol  which is a new eBook, and a genuine Christmas classic, not a  mish-mash boring  re-hash of St. Nick, Santa Claus and little green elves building toys up at the North Pole or in China. There's no milk and cookies for Santa here, just a new and timeless |Christmas story he may wish to read.

 Morgidoo's Christmas Carol is different and unique.  I wrote it.  Read it and see. It even has pictures in it. Nice ones. You'll be glad you did.  So will your children, siblings,  your spouse, your girlfriend, your neighbors, everybody at the coffee shop,  and even Grandma and Grandpa. You'll find out, there's hope for the world yet.

Besides, how else would  I get to sit beside Kevin O'Leary on Dragon's Den or make a pitch for a real bucket of cash for Christmas?  If  I have enough alert readers and prospective customers, I may even become a disciplined investor and buy some presents. Christmas is only fifty-some days away.  Hurry.  You can pass that message on to Mr. Scrooge himself.
Bah, humbug!

Is that Incoming I hear?

*this is a classic case of blatant self-promotion and a training exercise in  fully supporting commercial Christmas aficionados, bookworms, and  Scrooge-like humbugs alike.