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...


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post for 2011: Happy New Year !

Well, this is it...New Year's Eve.  A time for reflection, partying and revelry.

The Age of Light is upon us: 2012

I wish to thank my friends and loyal readers for keeping in touch with Incoming Bytes  since it's beginning.  We have looked at many subjects, controversial, tough, and even the mundane.  Thank you for contributing so many interesting comments . 
We intend to continue with vigour  in 2012.    With your help, we will attempt to change the world for the better and --continue to challenge our  readers to think for themselves.

Here at Incoming Bytes we wish everyone a prosperous, happy and *safe 2012.  May your families  remain strong with their faith in God,  --and  remain together in the best of health, happiness and prosperity.

We MUST bring the message of peace to the world, so let us individually and collectively pray for calm and a substantial and meaningful  dedication to peace by all nations of the world. 

Let a new spirit  of  sharing, cooperation and international healing infuse all nations. 

Let us challenge ourselves,  cast apathy aside, and DARE to change the world for the better. Let us use common sense and reason.  Let us think --if we dare.
 No matter what 2012 brings us,---
Let the Age of Light begin. 

Raymond Alexander Kukkee

One final note for 2011 !!!  This may concern one of YOUR loved ones.....

*Speaking of being safe, let us also be SMART.  Please don't drink and drive.
It  also our understanding  there have already been TWO avalanches in BC  this year that have resulted in fatalities.  
Our hearts go out to the families of those lost in these and similar tragedies.   
Let us remember them by re-visiting a post from last year about snowmobile "HIGH MARKING" --an exciting, but dangerous and often fatal sport.

If you are a skier, sportsman or snowmobile enthusiast, or have friends or family that enjoy exploring, playing and working  in the great outdoors in avalanche-prone areas, or any area where there is a buildup of snow on steep slopes of any kind,  PLEASE have them read the  following post  about a  tragedy that occurred last year, --which was UNNECESSARY. 
  Let us AVOID any repeat of this disaster.


That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Achievements 2011: Were we successful?

The Age of Light is upon us
It happens every 12 months.  It's the end of the year, and 2011  got used up pretty quickly, didn't it?   
In looking back it is natural to ask what we achieved --whether it be articles written, books published,  service to others, for personal satisfaction,  entertainment, discussion or persuasive argument.  No matter.
  One might be tempted to procrastinate and reserve judgment until January 1st, but no,  at Incoming Bytes we profess to be  fearless  with an eye open to improvement.  Constant re-evaluation  and questioning is the name of the game. 
During 2011 we touched on many things.
  • Was the reader encouraged to pursue further action, pursue life pro actively in their own environment --and face serious issues head-on?  
  • Were novice writers encouraged to at least study 'Terms of Service'  and think carefully before submitting their valuable work the rapidly-changing world of  word mills?  
  • Have any unhappy couples concerned themselves with the need for a quantum change in their own, and  society's collective  lax  attitude toward abusive relationships?
  • Has anyone recognized the tendency of the west to promote the proliferation of Democracy in the middle East countries for economic benefit, while diminishing it's worth at home with increasingly-repressive legislation put forth under the guise of 'national security' ?
  • Did anyone read 'Occupy this'  twice  and wonder why bureaucracy worldwide, but especially in North America, is in such a hurry to shut down reasonable protest by ordinary  people trying to better our world.
  • How about the political gamesmanship with the Keystone Pipeline,  and rejection  of the Kyoto accord by both the US and Canada  in preference for dirty oil of the Athabasca oil sands to feed yet more wealth to powerful international petroleum companies?
  • Was anyone convinced we should be asking VERY  pointed questions about the very future of energy itself when CLEAN ENERGY is already  being produced with the new technology of the  Rossi E-cat,   Apparently our politicians are not paying attention. Read this again and weep. 
  • Why is the nuclear energy sector still planning to build more nukes after the nuclear disasters in Fukushima, Japan and Chernobyl?  Have any of our readers been convinced it is time to encourage our leaders to   declare war on nuclear power?
  • How many snowmobile enthusiasts will have saved their own lives by reading  about one aspect of their   'sport',  the  exciting, but  dangerous and foolish practice of  'Snowmobile high-marking' which, all too often, causes fatal avalanches?   
  • *We fondly hope that article and this reminder will save even ONE life this year and many more in years to come.
*We believe that if we have adequately convinced even ONE  snowmobile enthusiast  to avoid 'high-marking' and their understanding of the danger saves ONE life--we will have succeeded. 
  At Incoming Bytes we ask:  
  1. How can we continue to improve our own lives? 
  2. How can we begin improving society by quantum leaps? 
  3. How can we encourage  society to entertain complete change, endorse clean energy, and create a kinder, gentler society that is responsible and sustainable?
  4. How can we encourage civilization to allow the Age of Light to begin? An age of  intelligent social construction,  common sense, logic, protracted thought, and cooperation?
 Perhaps  that's a little much to ask of our greedy, profit-oriented, power-hungry,  hedonistic, selfish, arrogant and stiff-necked retail-blinded shopping society so soon.  
No matter. We shall persist. 
  Back to the original question.  Have we persuaded even one person such a quantum change is necessary?   I believe so. That is only one of many worthy achievements.
  It seems to me it's logical to  continue to stay on track, stay informed, use common sense, and explore the mundane, the unknown, the interesting, the challenging,  and the universe itself-- with open minds.  

For 2012:
Let us challenge wrongs and insist upon change with conscience; 
Let us not shirk our duty to ourselves and humanity
Let us continue facing the future and building it better--  for with faith and perseverance, we CAN do it.
The Age of Light is upon us.
Think about it if you dare.  Happy New Year!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  " 
Have you heard that for the billionth time today?

No matter!  One more time can't hurt can it? Is there ever such a thing as 'too much happiness'  or  'excessive joy' ?  I don't think so.
Here at  Incoming Bytes  I fondly  wish each of my loyal readers, friends, guest authors, visitors,  in fact everyone a Merry Christmas, a wonderful holiday-- however you choose to celebrate the season, --- and a safe, enjoyable visit with friends and family. 

With 2011 drawing to a close, it is time for reflection, kindness, generosity, and charity.  Let us think of others less fortunate. 

May God bless us, each and every one. Let us not forget the original meaning of Christmas as we enjoy our blessings!

Have a wonderful day! 


that's my story and I'm sticking to it

Friday, December 23, 2011

Countdown: To what? Running out of Time?

Mayan Calendar- Copyrighted by Mayan Guys...

So yesterday was December 22nd,  the day the BIG countdown starts.
It was day 365 minus ONE.
Countdown eh, you ask, --countdown to what?  Are you serious, you don't know what the big countdown is?  It's not to Christmas eve,  Santa's arrival,  or even Christmas dinner. 
It's not  boxing day either, the day you have to take back all of the Don Cherry shirts, ties and socks you hate.    It's not even about the annual ordeal of sending the crusty out-laws back home.

Guess what-- it's the countdown to the end of the world again!  
The apocalypse, the bigger bang, the day everyone buys it-- if they haven't already bought it for Christmas. The world is toast.  

It's the end of the MAYAN  calendar,--- Dec. 21, 2012 AND ---THAT'S IT,--- no more, nada, zip,  if you haven't done it you aren't going to be able to do it after that date, get it?    No more shopping, no more working, playing, no complaining, no staring in wonder at the moon, and no warm and fuzzy moments in front of the open fire roasting chestnuts either.  That's it. KAPUT.

Hm...that sounds serious. Here at Incoming Bytes, we better get to it. We have a lot of stuff to talk about before then.  

I'm guessing nobody in the Mayan calendar-making business had discovered you could use both sides of the paper, but then, how eager would you be to have to write --or hack out another page as complex as the calendar in the picture--out of solid stone? Maybe he ran out of room.

Perhaps the scribe  just ran out of time himself.  Ha-ha!  Only time will tell, unless Harold Camping comes up with a new date first.

that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Charity: Generosity and Kindness is Food for the Soul

Morgidoo's Christmas Carol
 Yes, it seems Christmas has rolled around the corner once again.  A few more days of madhouse shopping, presents, parties,  time to enjoy good food, good company, and good times.  
Here at Incoming Bytes  we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  
We are blessed and fortunate.
How about others?   Let us not forget to give so others less fortunate can also enjoy this holiday. The question is always asked: Do our donations always end up being well used?  Perhaps not, but should that dampen the spirit of giving?  No.
Kindness  never hurts the giver.
For this holiday season and always, there are people on the street that will con others,-- but there are also people on the street in genuine need.
Give generously, God will sort them out. Charity is not only a kindness to those helped, but a kindness to the soul that gives.
Merry Christmas. 
that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Abusive Relationships: Writing for Quantum Change

The Age of Light is upon us

I write,  because frankly, I love to write about everything.
How about you?  Do you itch to write about this or that, something, anything?  Are you compelled to write about relationships, experience,  home life or families?  Do you ever want to change things you perceive as wrong? 

I  practice writing for quantum change.   I want to see change for the better in society, --even the smallest change, and  in many cases, I want others to change for the better on their own initiative, by being honest with themselves.  I want  society's leaders to lead. 

I have to be honest and admit I have a secret. I am
impatient.   I want to change things for the better instantly if not sooner --but  some things need to be changed instantly if not sooner.  

One of the major problems with that theory is that one must correctly understand what the status quo really is at the moment of observation. Reality
Perpetrators of wrongs must see themselves as doing wrong. 
 Abusive people need to be made to see themselves as they really are. Abusers. Abusers of women and children, abusers of seniors, the weak, and unfortunate pets.   Abusers are those individuals  that abuse anyone or anything that  happens to be less powerful, less able to protect themselves and unable to escape. 

Surprisingly, it is survival of cowards  that comes to mind
The fact is, abusers are insecure, weak-minded,  incompetent cowards that viciously abuse and minimize others to aggrandize themselves, to show how "powerful and superior" they are.  
In fact, little do they realize, they reveal themselves to be weak-minded, pathetic cowards --even psychotic and mentally ill individuals.

Any writer can default happily and  make up fiction, but the realities of physical abuse of women, children and families can be  black eyes, broken minds, broken hearts, broken homes, and broken bones--even death.    
 What society is doing now, or what is not being done, what is  subtly approved, --right now, rightly or wrongly  --and the bruises society's  victims wear --is what has to be dealt with, and now.  Denial  by society is unacceptable. Denial by individuals is unacceptable. 
How is the future framework of society established ? 
By what we do today. What we formulate and accept as normal todayWhat is considered acceptable today.  
 Human beings are interesting subjects, interesting entities, and in the fantasy world, society is extremely fascinating --misguided or not,  faulty or not,  modified by aversion therapy a la  Clockwork Orange  or not.  

In reality , however, society is defective. 
Reality. Broken bones.  Bruises.  Being choked  is what it is, not what one may fancifully pretend it to be. Denial does not erase bruises or repair broken bones. 
The tendency to abuse can be modified and "fixed" but only with  willful --and honest attention. 
We  may arbitrarily and solemnly declare there are  underlying issues, events, and dissociated facts,  social causes that precipitate attacks  upon others in  abusive  relationships.  We're supposed to generously allow for those.  We convince ourselves it is unnecessary to intervene,  pretend it unnecessary to force anyone to be truthful  --after all, we can compensate with social feel-good understanding and give them a dandy "slap on the wrist".    
Sure, we can. We're an advanced society, supposedly  we can be politically correct and go out of our way to understand deviant behaviour. 
 Somehow that's supposed to make things better, it is supposed to prevent black eyes and bruises, broken bones and death, but it does not.
If we  remain silent and say nothing  we renege  on our duty to society.  We avoid facing perpetrators down..  We avoid pointing fingers.  Never rock the boat, never pay inordinate  attention to anything. Be 'politically correct'.  Ignore  the blatant regression of civility, society, ethics, and  brutality within relationships -shall we also silently blame and admonish the victims? 
After all, it's the status quo. It's approved by society's experts.
It's 'normal' according to society's 'experts' , so it's 'fine'.   It's been happening for centuries, so it's 'fine'Some cultures approve, even promote the abuse of women as property of spineless, vicious, abusive  men, so it's acceptable.    In some archaic patriarchal  cultures, "honour killing"  of daughters, sisters and siblings is "fine".
It's a typical strong man, weak woman relationship 'authorized' and , by neglect, seemingly approved by liberal feel-good social studies regardless how outrageous that may be.     
Guess what?  At Incoming Bytes, it is not "fine" .
I have no intention of accepting the status quo of the continuous abuse of  women, children or pets.
 I'm writing for quantum change, and you can too
If you dare.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Democracy: A damaged pull toy?

The dogs of 'Tug-of-war'

 It is simple and fascinating entertainment for this early, mild winter.

I take a break and watch my two young dogs out in the snow  playing 'tug of war'  with  pull toys. The dogs themselves are different as night and day, one black, short and compact with a lot of fur, the other tan, tall,  and short-haired.  They're about the same age, still young enough to love playing with pull toys.
Pull toys are those brightly-coloured,  braided rope things everyone has,  inexpensive entertainment for dogs of all sizes and shapes.  Some come  with a short-lived fuzzy  tennis-ball on them,  a knobby plastic bone, or a loop for a handle.  They can be woven, braided or knotted, but  the actual construction is almost irrelevant as they get  dragged around, chewed up, and eventually totaled.
It's tough being  a pull toy around here. 

The combatants stand nose to nose, jaws clamped  tightly, seemingly to the death, pulling, growling, stiff-legged, shaking their heads,  not giving an inch except to reposition for a better grip or to gain some other advantage.  They are commonly both on the same end of the short rope, jaw to jaw, nose to nose, trying to gain as much of the plaything as possible.
Curiously, if called, given direction, such as  'wanna go for a walk?'  or otherwise, they will often mutually turn and  run in the same direction, side by side,  teamwork immediately apparent, but both are still unwilling to let go.

At times, in the mutual  attempt to dislodge the other determined combatant  from the rope they will  shake their heads so hard  it makes me wonder if  concussions could result, --how about  neck or brain damage,  like damaged hockey players-- injuries still arrogantly and vehemently denied by a few 'agitated and uninformed, but ' manly' sports advocates.  Hockey greats Crosby and Pronger  are  the latest, but  no matter--the injuries speak clearly for themselves, and yes,  we digress as surely as the dogs of tug-of-war  growl  in bravado and give nary an inch. Making big money with hockey leagues is  more important.  A tug-of-war between profit and common senseGo figure Back to the pups under observation.
Ultimately  the dogs might mutually drop the pull toy into the snow because of exhaustion, disinterest,  or sudden distraction like the chatter of a squirrel,  a scolding raven fly-by 100 feet in the blue sky above them,  a snow plow or  the occasional vehicle sputtering  down the road.
Bottom line,  unless specifically rescued from it's trials out in the cold world, the pull toy always gets the worst of it.

Shredded, chewed to bits, braiding segregated,  parts missing, lost in the snow - dismembered, abandoned or  just plain forgotten. Strangely,  it may be rediscovered at some later date,  and if enough material exists at the time of that revelation,  with a few sturdy knots and some attention it may be adequately restored to tolerate yet another round of use and abuse.  
Sounds something like democracy, isn't it?  Is democracy in North America like a damaged pull toy that will eventually be abandoned because of severe damage?  Can democracy survive stress, parts arbitrarily being removed,  'modified and stretched' in all directions, endless attacks perpetrated with intent  by the devious?  Is that process condoned by apathy and disinterest in government process? How about where the systemic, malicious degradation of democracy is practiced?

 Is democracy as we know it to be eventually abandoned? Can democracy be rediscovered and restored?
At Incoming Bytes we suggest this analogy should not be ignored, lost, forgotten, or abandoned. Why?
Since 9/11, personal  freedoms in North America  have been under attack under the guise of security. The images of  riots, pepper-spraying 'officers' and  riot-equipped police state are far too common. Across North America the 'Occupy This' movement was shut down by bureaucracy-- clearly with no moral right to stifle civilian protest and demonstration. Our leaders remove individual freedoms as they empower themselves and practice self-entitlement.   
Will North American democracy continue to be willfully  damaged, to a point where it will be eventually  abandoned?
The question must be: Following devious, repressive governance,  shall ever more extreme governments be installed until democracy is shattered?
History shows that the abuse of power eventually leads to the destruction of government--regardless of political dogma practiced.  Perhaps power leads to willful blindness and madness as well as abuse of power? 

The reader at Incoming Bytes  is encouraged to observe, think, and speak out --for change of direction and constructive teamwork--before genuine democracy is shredded, abandoned, AND  forgotten. 
Watching that progression is fascinating too--just keep that tug of war in mind.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Hullabaloo


The Holiday Hullabaloo is upon us.  Merry Christmas eh?    Belonging to Procrastinators RUS,  I am tempted to procrastinate, um...well,... but at Incoming Bytes  we must urge ourselves to write on about such things with vigor, to help effect quantum change, save the planet and all that.

Sometimes the  process of Christmas  is stressful and raises the ire and the digital numbers on the blood-pressure monitor too. That's not the only problem created by the Holiday Hullabaloo.
The pressure and hullabaloo of holidays causes other problems:
  1.   We discover shopping is work.  We already have enough work.
  2. Nobody seems to remember what Christmas was for. That's because everyone is suffering from, you guessed it :
  3. Shopping madness-- well,  more shopping madness,  that is.  Buy into the corporate spend- spend-spend yet? Feeling guilty about not spending enough?
  4. The wrong shoes.   Shopping makes the feet hurt.  The best solution for that is to wear work boots.  Big, heavy work boots.  Boots that leave big tracks. Refer back to number 1, Shopping is Work.
  5. The wrong hat.  Fighting crowds and running about possessed makes one overheat, contributing to madness.  Let's leave that furry winter hat at home, or at least in the car, where the dog can chew it up for you instead of chewing on the car seat.
  6. Left turns through red lights.  Why is it that everybody has to hold up traffic turning left  through red lights at Christmas?  Turn right for a change!
  7. NO, your gigantic SUV will NOT fit into  a parking spot designed for a '67 VW bug!  Go find a bigger one, stop holding up the works! 
  8. Stolen parking spots.  The Holiday Hullabaloo  causes the Perfect Parking spot to be stolen before your very eyes.  Get there first is the usual solution. In the interest of keeping the blood pressure down, be polite and avoid parking rage.
  9. Artificial  hilarity: Everyone pretends they are happy and smiling. The Grinch knows better.  You know better.You're still suffering from parking rage.
  10.  More Shopping madness. The madness of shopping is contagious--next aisle, next store, next door,  next mall, get to them all,  imagine that, rushing around in a desperate attempt to go broke as fast as possible.  "Tis the season to be jolly--and broke" ---and all that.

We have the ultimate solution for Holiday Hullabaloo.

Leave all money and credit cards at home.  Better yet, stay home.  That's the real solution. Make cookies instead. Relax. Schmooze.  Join Procrastinators RUS so you can happily procrastinate.  
Sit in front of a crackling fire.  Read what AnnMarie Dwyer says about the art and math of procrastination.  Learn how to make cookies for gifts at the last minute. Red knows.

While you're at it read Morgidoo's Christmas Carol. Bells will ring at your house once more.  Enjoy the true meaning of Christmas. Smile.  Try a genuine smile. It won't hurt.

  Sometimes  life is  hilarious.   The hilarious holiday hullabaloo.   People are strange and funny, they say and do strange and  funny things. They even drag their tired kids around doing strange, funny things and teach them in turn  how to be strange and funny things
They teach them well. Therein lies the perpetration of holiday madness.  It should be vigorously avoided.
Madness comes easily....---oops,  we already said that, but it's worth repeating. Just in time for the Holiday Hullabaloo. How shall we know the difference?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sometimes Life becomes a Legend of Glory

Coming Soon: Martin the Snow Dragon  (c)2011 wlk photography

 Mother Nature's wildlife, wherever it may be in the world, can be  incredibly  huge and magnificent.  Some animals are imaginary,  the inspiration of legend and lore.

 I write fiction, but today--I also yield to the lure of  high adventure.Why? Dragons.
From what I understand of dragons, they are diverse, amazing, and  fierce.  They have big teeth. Storytellers admire them, big and small, flying or not, and they are usually hungry. The question arises, how does one avoid becoming part of the dragon food chain?  With much research, we found out!
It turns out that  Glory Lennon yes,  that Glory, our  dedicated gardener, she  of maple tree fame, also loves critters of all kinds.  While on vacation in the Everglades in Florida,  she took some beautiful pictures of turtles, cranes, and even a picture of a --well...for now,  we'll call it a dragon. 
A  real 'we-wanna-gobble - Sir Tommy & Princess Glory-if-we-get-a-chance Dragon.  A big one. A legend in the making.....
Once upon a Time,  as the ultimate legend reveals, it seems that lucky Sir Tommy-the Dragon-killer  was traveling  down a dangerous, enchanted path to Everglade Castle in the warm noonday sun. As misfortune would have it, a gigantic dragon blocked the way as it had for centuries, eating small animals and threatening knights, weary travelers, fair maidens and little children alike that wished to travel the enchanted path.
"Foresoothe, be aware of the great dragon!" the  wise villagers along the flowered path warned.  
As good fortune would also  have it, the sun shines equally upon the handsome, the wise and the brave.
Sir Tommy, never one to be dismayed or discouraged by warnings of wise villagers or  dragon breath, --and highly experienced in such erstwhile adventures, -- cleverly avoided being eaten by cleverly promising the Dragon a much better snack followed close behind him. 

  "Foresoothe!"  Prince Tommy sayeth  to the dragon, " Thou wouldst  spoil thy afternoon repast by partaking of  a mere Prince?    Princes are tough as monkey-muscles  and wear shining armour of the toughest steel!   Wouldst thou wish such indigestion upon thy greenish belly  whilst a much safer, tastier snack followeth close behind,  oh feared and noble Dragon"?

The Dragon roared at Sir Tommy, shaking the very earth.

"Attemptest thou to fool me, the keeper of this enchanted path, with that old rag of a tale of mortals and those  simple-minded  Trolls lurking under bridges ?" he demanded.
He roared again.  When the echos from the distant mountains ceased, Sir Tommy spoke.

"Not I,  Fearless Dragon"  Sir Tommy offered boldly.  "Avert thy squinty reptilian eye to that tasty high-noon repast fast approaching!"

The dragon squinted down the enchanted roadway with one jaded reptilian eye.
Spying a fair Princess in the distance, the Dragon was persuaded to agree wholeheartedly.

"'Tis not indigestion I would have willingly this day, --- so pass then safely,  knave,  for yon I spy a far better lunch than thy gristled  bones this noon!"  the great beast roared.

"Oh help, me, oh help me kind Sir!  O' do tell, a dragon, foresoothe, a veritable dragon!  Help!"

That opportune and frantic commotion was heard in the distance along the enchanted path,  and the fairest of maidens was easily observed, waving her delicate silk handkerchief in the warm summer breeze.

"'Tis nought but lunch!" sayeth the dragon,  smiling  and showing many huge, sharp teeth.

Prince Tommy  laughed boldly and quickly stepped past the great beast guarding the narrow roadway, for the Dragon was enchanted completely  into distraction, as he admired the approaching maiden.

  "Beware, Dragon, yon Princess is tougher than thou mayest guess!"

"Come closer, fair maiden, that I may dine today on the fine repast offered by yon worthy knight!" the dragon said to the Princess, drooling mightily. 

"Feared Dragon,  'tis I, Princess Glory Zeitgeist  of Gardens that  shall pass hither this day in spite of yon pool of  drool!" the Princess boldly stated, drawing her jeweled sword of the purest silver.

The fairest of maidens, yes,  none other than our  gardening Princess Glory herself, (whilst dreading the possibility of becoming  part of a main course or midday snack  for such a villainous beast), bravely strode onward  to challenge the great dragon.

 "Fear not, but step wisely, Fair Princess!" the Prince shouted bravely from the other side, " tarry not long this day, for thy flameless, woeful dragon can run seven  furlongs in the wink of a newt's eye!"

 The reader at Incoming Bytes  can only imagine the glint in the great Dragon's eye and the drool pouring from the slavering jaw.  The tiny, hapless maiden approached the point of no return  on the enchanted path to doom, her sword of purest silver drawn at the ready.

With willful pause, we must wonder, for how shall our fair maiden flee, on such tender, fleeting feet  past a dreaded 20- foot-long dragon -- on a mere 15 foot wide enchanted pathway? --Fair reader, understandest thou the gravity of such challenge?

Now, being wise in the ways of fairy tales,  one  might  be persuaded to allow the reader to suffer no trepidation for Princess Glory's life, for the optimistic inner mind has already undoubtedly predetermined that her  very own   " Sir Thomas the Dragon-Killer "  should be standing guard, ready to rescue her with his gallant steed and jeweled sword of razor-sharp surgical stainless steel.
Foresoothe!  It seems not.  Instead he calleth  out to yon dragon  "Smile!"  distracting the great beast seven times,  coming to the rescue of the fair maiden  with nought but camera and zoom lens,  and  happily  recording seven pictures  of    " Princess Glory and the Dragon !" for posterity.

Clearly, our fair maiden had little other choice than to tap the very nose of the great Dragon seven times with her sword of purest silver, putting him into the deepest slumber for seven years.
It seems if legends of  life are to continue to contain drama  and promote independence of Princesses collectively,  Princess Glory was indeed  rescued from that very big dragon  by her own bold demeanor and magic.  Prince Tommy and Princess Glory lived happily ever after,  soon returning to cold, snowy, but much safer Poconos Castle.

                                                         The End.

By the way, it wasn't a fierce  hedgehog that had the big, big teeth.  You can see a picture of a real dragon wanna-be alligator right here on Glory's  post --and as you know, pictures don't lie. It seems that even today, legends and lore may be generated as the product of arcane poetic license.

So you see, our Glory  is far more than just your ordinary garden Princess. She knows how to tame fierce beasts, is equally handy with jeweled swords of the purest silver or garden loppers--and she can run fast too.
What a brave girl!   No wonder she likes gardening and maple trees,  rooting p.c.c. (Poconos Castle Coleus), --and.... even snow--better.
 We  have to wonder if our Princess has spotted Martin the Snow Dragon yet....

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The trouble with Word Mills: Writers Beware.

The truth always comes to Light

As a writer it is always in my own best interest to pay a lot of attention to what is going on in the publishing industry. 
Writers in North America may be on the move.  Discontent and unhappiness with "word mills"  in the  internet writing community is growing.  It appears to be with some  justification. 
 Such is the current state of the business of "Word Mills," incorporated publishers  that collect, grab possession of,  market, and sell written works from authors and writers.  

It is not difficult for neophyte writers to be taken into this trap.  Writers starting out need somewhere to start, a forum to publish their work in--perhaps the start of an illustrious writing career.  Submissions from new, untested and inexperienced writers are welcomed.
None of the word mills  pay much for articles --essentially pennies --for hours of work crafting beautifully-written articles, How-to Guides, and creative work including short stories, poetry and other genres of work --even if  written by the most skilled, highly qualified freelance writer.

There is a growing movement to challenge the right of publishing "word mills"  like Helium.com ,  Associated Content.com  and others to claim ownership of  the right to commandeer  a writer's copyright in perpetuity. 
Much negative feedback is occurring.  The discussion is growing, and participants should be paying attention with good reason.  
 Good writers are disgusted, packing it in and leaving. Why?   The truth always comes to light.

In North America, copyrights belong exclusively to the creator of a  written work or other form of creative work unless those rights are specifically SOLD to another party.  This honourable process has been thwarted. 

To allow a writer to post an article on a site for exposure and readership,  publishers like Helium, Associated Content and countless others  seize the right to a perpetual license  for free use of the author's copyright.  
The reader should pay particular attention to this  fact.    It is NOT a  "one time use" claimed,  but permanent use --and  includes  the right to sell an author's work at any time without acknowledgment or compensation.

A  "content Word Mill", can,  at it's free will, sell an absentee writer's work --and under heavily-skewed TOS,  (terms of service) NOT  be obligated -- to provide any compensation, acknowledgement or by-line.  Once an article is submitted, the writer is simply offered no choice in the matter.
  Normally a publisher is supposed to pay writers when works are sold for any purpose but this requirement can also  be easily thwarted.   Articles may be sold repeatedly--without notifying or  paying any compensation to the author.    
"Stock content" articles are sold to third party publishers and token fee of a few dollars  (i.e. $5.00)  is paid to the writer.
A small revenue share arrangement for "hits" on the articles and associated commercial ad content may also  be paid to the writer.  Such "revenue shares" may be only pennies each month--or none at all.

If a  writer chooses to dissociate himself with the site for any reason,  and is no longer considered to be  "with " the site,  that sales and revenue share is happily absorbed by the publisher, leaving the writer with no compensation or redress for earnings and for articles sold to third parties.  
Increasingly,  it appears that  TOS (terms of service) of word mills  are a very serious bone of contention.  Terms of service are usually written for the benefit of the publisher and worse yet, they can be rewritten and redefined at any time, with no input from the thousands of writers such changes affect negatively.  

Discontent with treatment of writers is becoming a serious  issue--writer discontent is growing.  The dignity and self worth of writers is being ignored;    at times core issues of  respect for the welfare or dignity of writers  even appear to be an issue.   Many writers who have been with "Word Mills" are, as a result, disheartened.   There is much negative press being generated. 

Should any publisher or content Word Mill be allowed to commandeer the right to use a copyright in perpetuity contrary to the wishes of a writer?  Here at Incoming Bytes  we  think not. 
 Recent algorithm changes in  Google's unique-content " Panda" program have also  severely reduced the income paid to writers, -- in  cases from hundreds of dollars per month to mere pennies.  
The individual reader of Incoming Bytes  must decide if they believe a "Word Mill"   increases it's  profit immensely from such changes ---while the  writers,  the producers of the valuable, marketable content, struggle and scramble in real life --to try to earn lost income --and in many cases, even a basic  living.
 Issues of trust or a questionable editing policy  are always sources of irritation and trust in any writer/publisher relationship.  Lack of respect often comes into play, creating difficult situations.
Games can be played by enthusiastic  Word Mill supporters, by  unskilled  editors, or equally by the process of malicious favoritism,  placing poor quality work  in a  higher "ranking" than superior work.   The reader should understand that "Top-rated articles" are the displayed content seen  by the visitor to any Word Mill site; lower-rated articles are usually  down-listed, hidden and thereby ignored, earning nothing.  
The fact is, the readership generates the income and the Word Mill decides which articles are convenient to read.

 Perhaps this discontent and signs of cracking in the "Word Mill" publishing industry is best summed up by the phrase:
" Word Mills no longer offer credibility and writers no longer trust you" 
 Here at  Incoming Bytes  the old adage  "the Pen is mightier than the sword"  comes to mind.  

Let the neophyte writer be forewarned. Times are changing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Endangered Sea Turtles: Extinction by Economic Destruction?

Sea Turtles laying eggs in Costa Rica

At Incoming Bytes  we recognize there is economic necessity at times.  Times are tough. There are a lot of things in the world that are not pretty.  There are many, many "problems".  
As such, I have to ignore a lot of things that are wrong in the world, but  some things are just too outrageous to ignore. 

This is the theft of sea turtle eggs  that are "harvested" for sale.   It is not "just a few eggs to eat".  
We no longer have  to wonder why the sea turtle population is declining.    Words are not enough to describe this "economic necessity" in this enlightened day and age.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

We no longer have to wonder "why" the sea turtle population is "declining".   It most certainly is not from "global warming".

It is clearly  time to find economic alternatives for these people.  Do they have any other income? Perhaps not.  
Does this make YOU angry?    These photos  made me incredibly angry. 
 Clearly they are grabbing as many eggs as they can.  To eat?  No. To SELL--thousands of them. 

At Incoming Bytes we believe it is time for  the international community to "spread the wealth" so  "harvests"   and assaults on endangered species in nature like this  one  are NOT necessary. 

I thank the *photographer and individuals that forwarded these pictures to me.  

NOTE *All photo credits are reserved for the people that took the pictures. 

that's my story and I'm sticking to it.