Thursday, July 29, 2021

Episode #93: My Summer Is Easy Livin'

It's a word! It's a bird! It's a duck chillin' on a rock!

Sort of what I've been doing these days: chillin', stylin' and profilin'.

Welcome to the literary world of G.B. Miller, where the only things that are free in this world is time and your imagination.

The last time we spoke, I happened to mention that I was seriously thinking about job hunting. I'm very happy to say that will no longer be the case. Earlier this month I had a hearing with the medical board to appeal my original denial of my disability retirement application, and I'm happy to say that my appeal was successful. My pension is increasing to a very livable monthly wage and I couldn't be happier. 

Whoever says the art of budgeting is a lost skill set is a spendthrift. It took me about a year to properly budget my bi-weekly paycheck, and 25+ years later, that skill has allowed me to seamlessly transition into budgeting for a monthly paycheck (helps that both children are between 85 and 100% self-sufficient).

With the need of a part time job falling by the wayside, I can now return to my previously scheduled routine of minimal to do and all day to get it done. The added bonus of less stress is allowing me to experiment with certain aspects of my writing

Like music.

As many of you probably know, I have pounded home the fact that in order for me to write, I needed peace and quiet. However, circumstances, in the form of a water damaged basement (about a 1/2 inch or so) from an early July rainstorm, forced me to relocate my den to the dining room. Unfortunately, because the dining room is an arm stretch from the kitchen and 20 steps to the living room, this has forced me to change tactics with my writing.

Enter classical music.

I'm not a big fan of classical music, even though it become my default genre when I'm the car and there's nothing on the radio nor c.d. player. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and in order to find my writing groove again, we went to YT and found classical music for relaxation (among other things). Popped those headphones on, adjust the volume to just barely audible, and presto! white noise for writing.

None too thrilled, but it is what it is. And for those who might be wondering, I'm currently listening to the softer side of Bach.

So this is what's going on with me so far. Lots of daily walking {good for the soul and body), some quality family time and slowly getting back into the writing groove.

Life is indeed good for me now.

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 12, 2021

Episode #92: The Book That You've Read Is Always Your Friend

This seems to be a reasonable facsimile representation of what the past month has felt like with me and my computer. 'Nuff said, eh?

Anywho, I finally got inspired to write a blog post this week, and the inspiration, if you can believe it, came from FacePalmBook.

I know, weird, right?

A good FB friend of mine posted a pic/factoid about good old G.W (18th century, not 21st century), who apparently through a retirement party for a general staff member and it listed a total of about 100+ bottles of various intoxicating liquors that shared amongst the 54 invitees.

I happen to mention how a book I had received for my b'day back when I was in the 30-39 age range explained how he almost bankrupted the young nation by insisting that he only needed an expense account and not a salary.

The name of this wonderful tome was called George Washington's Expense Account, and it was about one the quirkiest book I've ever enjoyed reading.

So this got me to thinking about all of the quirky books that I've read throughout the years. I've always been a hardcore fan of the non-fiction genre (non-literary), and while I have branched out to other genres, this one has always been my go-to whenever I can't find something good to read.

My definition of quirky is probably extremely different than your definition, simply because it encompasses all of the sub-genres of non-fiction. So the type of stuff I've read is quite unusual/quirky to say the least.

My quirky reading started with The Book of Lists (only title that I've actually remembered) as a kid, and it quickly swerved into bad tabloid reading (courtesy of my grandmother). As I got older, it swerved back into lots of biographies (e.g. Van Johnson), lots of memoirs (e.g. a multitude of musicians/music groups) weird encyclopedias that delved into all kinds of topics (e.g. musicians who passed away, various sports leagues).

Then the swerve went to true crime, of which we've made our home base for the past 30+ years. Lots of quirky stuff there. Lately though, it's been whatever happens to catch my fancy at a given moment of the hour while I'm at the library (pre-Covid days. Haven't been to one since January 2020), so I'll drift from one given century to another given century, depending on what the topic happens to be (e.g. the last book I read prior to the pandemic was about The Crusades)

I've had mostly hits while perusing random non-fiction topics (e.g. law enforcement, true crime) but I've had some memorable near misses (e.g., a book about the bands Fish and Insane Clown Posse which turned into a journey about the writer being diagnosed with bi-polar, a book about capitol punishment in England circa 17th and 18th century), but overall, I've been happy with my quirky selections.

How 'bout you? Have you read some quirky books over the years that tickled your fancy? Do you read quirky books as break from your normal reading material?

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 14, 2021

Episode #91: Are We Are What We Are?

Sometimes the simplest things that we want to do or accomplish are often the toughest things to complete.

For me, it's doing something simple like finishing a short story rewrite. I only have something like one very long dialogue paragraph that needs to be done in order to move on to other things. But, just can't seem to get motivated to finish and start on my next project.

Or job hunt. I want to find a part time job to supplement my pension just enough to keep my monthly income close to what it was prior to retiring, but I can't enter the job market until my appeal for my pension is heard next month {t.l.; d.r. denied disability but asking for a revisit}.

Or a few other projects that I want to do but can't find the proper motivation to get them done (note: my organizational skills have briefly kicked the bucket).

Which brings us to the current dilemma of choice: blogging.

While I've always loved blogging, as of late, it hasn't loved me. While blogging has always loved me, as of late, the feeling hasn't been mutual. Case in point is this post coming out again on a Monday for the second straight week. I just can't seem to find the motivation to spew out a few hundred words (give or take) on a consistent basis anymore. I used to go into the weekend thinking, "hey, I have to get something written for blog this coming Sunday." Now it's more like, "man, I gotta write something for the blog this coming Sunday".

But because I still like to blog, I'm going to see if cutting down to every other week will get the mojo working again. As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I have way too many years invested in blogging to simply walk away.

As a old boss of mine was found of saying, "It's never simple!" 

I'm just hoping that it does get that simple sometime soon in the near future.

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 7, 2021

Episode #90: Finding Valid Old Stuff To Use Is Complicated

So...the picture kind of goes with the theme of today's post, which is trying to find something old to use that isn't broken. Which in this particular case, is trying to find an old blog post from my vast archives of verbiage that doesn't contain broken links. Like links to YouTube videos that were valid 11 years ago, but now gone due to copyright issues and the like. 

This picture is an example of something that is now invalid. The bear is so long gone that the location can be safely identified as Connecticut. The whale was long ago removed from the building lobby of where I used to be employed at again, it's somewhere in the the state of Connecticut.

Anyways, I eventually found a post in my first blog, Cedar's Mountain, that was usable, as it contained no broken links as well as the remnants of a deep dive into the recesses of that blogger's brain. To be perfectly honest, I can't even tell you, mostly because I don't remember, where I pulled all of the diverse elements that are contained within the post from. I did give proper credit to the blog that had served as inspiration for the title, but other than that, well......actually, now that I've re-read the post a few times, there are footnotes at the bottom, so there was some lucidity associated with the post.

In any event, hold on to your safety belts, because this post, entitled Brain Rot, from the May 14, 2010 edition of Cedar's Mountain, is ready for your perusal, if you're willing to take that challenge.


{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved