- 1. Plastic bags do not, I repeat, do not make good facemasks. I learned this the hard way. Do not try it. It was my wife’s idea.
- 2. Machine washing a facemask to get rid of lipstick ruins the mask. Plus, it won’t get rid of the lipstick. It does remove the coffee stains. It’s best to refrain from kissing and drinking coffee until Phase 4.
- 3. As we ease into Phase 4, we can tell who cut their own hair or who hasn’t cut their hair for 3 months. Before you get a haircut, you may want to renew your driver’s license with the wild hair so if you get stopped for a DUI you can show that this is how you always look.
- Come December or January, everyone will know how some people spent their lockdown during the pandemic as we enter the Phase 9 Baby Boom.
- Apparently, there’s a direct correlation between how much you eat and your weight. I mean, who knew? Has this been a secret all along? It’s little wonder people gained weight during the pandemic.
- We now know that facemasks are a cure for bad breath. With some folks, social distancing will continue after the masks are removed.
- Apparently, COVID-19 makes your clothes shrink. It happened to me.
- Now that more students are home schooled, there’re a lot more Valedictorians.
- During the lockdown, my wife and I discovered we have a second floor. I’m sure others have discovered extra rooms they forgot about.
- After the facemasks come off, make sure you have your own kids. Turns out, we’ve been babysitting a couple of kids from the neighborhood.
- A head butt is not a good greeting to use to avoid shaking hands.
The self-quarantine and lockdown have been hard on all of us, but through it all it has been a learning experience. Here are the lessons I learned during the pandemic:
I read with interest an article from The Motley Fool by Maurie Backman, “10 Reasons You're Not Getting Promoted.” The ten reasons included: a negative attitude, showing up late or leaving early, using vulgar or inappropriate language, too many sick days, gossiping, wasting time on social media, being messy, wasting time chatting with coworkers and taking too many personal calls. Sometimes you can guess the reason as when the boss’ son gets promoted over you. The article missed the real reasons you aren’t getting that big promotion. Here they are:
Of course, you may never know the truth. All you can do is to give your very best effort and kiss up to the boss.
Millions of people are unable to enjoy the comedy of life, because they are humorously challenged. Often, they suffer in silence, ashamed to admit that they don’t get the joke. Everyone should learn to recognize the symptoms and to help those unfortunate people who have trouble laughing. Friends do not let friends miss out on the joke. This is a curable and preventable illness. Maybe you are one of those who suffer in silence. Ask yourself these questions:
1. When someone tells a joke, do you stand there saying, “I don’t get it.” while everyone else is laughing?
2. Does everyone stop laughing and change the subject whenever you join the group?
3. Do you laugh at inappropriate times while others aren’t laughing?
4. Do you think that Saturday Night Live is a news program?
5. Do you take sarcasm as a serious statement?
6. Are you unable to laugh at yourself as well as others?
7. Do you think that Bob Hope was the Secretary of State and that Hillary Clinton was a comedian?
8. Are you unable to laugh and make milk come out of your nose?
9. Do you feel pain when someone tickles your funny bone?
10. Do you think that this article is serious?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be humorously challenged to some degree. Not to fear, the cure is simple, but may take years. To cure yourself from being humorously challenged, start by reading my blog at http://www.monteranderson-author.com. Once you are able to smile at my comments, start reading cartoons in the newspaper. (If you don’t know what a newspaper is, contact me privately.) Once you understand the cartoons, you may try going to a comedy club and signing up for other humorous blogs. With a little effort, you may be cured after a few years.
I haven’t felt the need to post these warnings, but in light of the current topic, I thought I had better.
WARNING! Reading this blog may cause laughter which might result in a pulled stomach muscles, injured funny bones, coffee or milk to pour from the nose, and self-inflicted wounds caused by slapping knees or foreheads.
WARNING! Reading my blog may cause eyestrain, deep thoughts (rare), raised eyebrows, furrowing of the forehead, gnashing of teeth, and shaking of the head.
If you think you have any of these symptoms, return to my blog for another dose.
Consider yourself warned.
I read with interest an article about the seven most common myths about the brain. In their latest ASAP Science video, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown explain why they aren't true. I’ll just summarize the article. The myths are:
1. A bigger brain is better (smarter). Not true.
2. Alcohol kills brain cells. Not true, thank goodness.
3. Drugs create "holes" in your brain. Not true. Again, thank goodness.
4. The brain has 100 billion cells. Not true. The brain has only 86 billion brain cells. I get lightheaded thinking about it.
5. People use only 10% of your brain. Not true (unless you’re a politician).
6. People are either "left-brained" or "right-brained." Not true.
7. People have only five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Also, not true. People also have a sense of balance, temperature, time, pain and proprioception (the body awareness that helps us not walk into things all the time). Makes sense to me.
I believe that Moffit and Brown missed a few myths. As a public services, I will present them here:
1. A “No Brainer.” Not true. If someone is a no brainer, meaning they have no brain, then they are a zombie. At least, I don’t think zombies have brains.
2. “Blow your mind” or be “mind blowing.” Again, not true. If something blows your mind, once again, you become a zombie.
3. “Mind altering” or “mind expanding.” Not true. You brain is what it is. Once you become an adult, it is fully grown. It may shrink as you grow old but won’t expand. “Mime” altering is something else entirely.
4. Eating cold ice cream will make your “brain freeze”. Not true. Frostbite, maybe. Opening the top of your head on a cold day will freeze your brain. This shouldn’t be confused with being “cool headed”.
5. Your brain can get a “brain cramp” or a “brain fart” “Not true. Muscles cramp, not brains. Brains can’t fart either. The correct term should be “senior moment’ which can occur at any age.
6. Some people have only “half a brain”. Okay, this one might be true, especially if you are a politician. This phenomenon can be observed on the news all the time.
7. “A penny for your thoughts.” Due to inflation, the true cost is 26.5 cents for a thought. People who work for a penny a thought are under paid. This is especially true for writers and bloggers like me.
8. Someone can get “inside your head” or “mess with your head.” Not true, unless they’re a surgeon. Alcohol can get into your head and mess with your head but not people. If you really want to mess with someone’s head just ask, “You’re not going to wear that, are you?”
9. “Shit for brains”. Not true. There has never been a record of anyone having do-do for brains. Sometimes though, you have to wonder.
10. “Bird brained” Also not true. Birds have their own brains and they are smaller than human brains. People who eat like a bird still have normal or semi-normal brains.
11. “Brain dump” This is a real thing. I used this in college. When I studied for a test and crammed my head full of data, it would crowd out other useful knowledge. After the test, I would do a “brain dump” and immediately make room for more information. To this day, I can’t remember what I learned.
12. “Changing your mind”. I wish but not true. You keep the brain you were born with until you die. Hopefully, sometime in the future, we might be able to trade our minds for a better one, or at least upgrade.
13. “Pick your brain”. No can do. Your brain isn’t like your nose or belly button. You can’t pick it.
14. “Your mind’s eye”. Not true. The brain has no eyes separate from the ones in the front of your head.
15. “Laughing your head off”. Once again, there’s no record of anyone laughing their head off.
16. “Open Minded.” Again, not true. Your brain is encased in your scull. If being open minded means receptive to new ideas, that is a rare condition seldom seen.
I hope this public service has helped to dispel some of the myths surrounding the brain.
Anyone watching the news is aware of the problems of law enforcement agencies; police being ambushed, police shooting civilians who may not be armed, racism and lack of community outreach. In steed of defunding the police, I suggest we put money into research and development of better equipment for law enforcement. I have a few tongue-in-cheek ideas and thoughts on the subject.
Law enforcement agencies need more research and development (R&D) for non-lethal weapons. It seems to me that there hasn’t been a great deal of improvement in technology (except for DNA testing/profiling) for law enforcement equipment in recent years. More money should be invested in R&D to find better ways to subdue suspects without harming them, or “less lethal” methods.
Sonic Weapons. The use of sonic weapons shows promise. These weapons could be made in the form of handguns, grenades or cannons using a beam of focused sound or ultrasound. A handheld device with a selector switch for various intensities would be great. Extremely high-power sound waves attack the eardrums to cause severe pain or disorientation. Less powerful sound waves can cause nausea or discomfort. It may be possible for such a device to cause vibration of the eyeballs to distort vision. I can hear an officer shouting, “Set your weapons on stun.”
Paint Balls. I envision another weapon like a paint ball gun. It could fire a variety of balls:
Drones. Then there’s the ever-popular drone. During traffic stops and other confrontations, a drone might be released to hover overhead or nearby. Another officer in a remote location (police station) would control the drone or it could have an auto-pilot that follows an officer. It could record the incident and if needed employ various less-lethal weapons such as aerial sprays of pepper, silly string, water, dye or skunk oil. Maybe the drone could deploy a net on the perp. The drone could even follow a fleeing perp.
Face Recognition. Police definitely need a device with software that can rapidly identify suspects using face recognition. The device would use three-dimensional face recognition technology coupled with thermal cameras and skin texture analysis.
Fingerprints. Other aids might include hand-held devices that rapidly search fingerprint data bases and DNA data bases. While these aren’t weapons, it would be useful if they could be used at distance of 10 – 25 feet.
Robots. Robots are used more and more by law enforcement. Mainly they’re used for bomb disposal but have been used in other situations to reduce the risk for officers. Why not create a robot that can apprehend a perp; even one without a lethal weapon? The robot could be programed to act on voice commands much like a dog. It could use all the less-lethal weapons: paint balls, sonic, silly string and/or nets. Ideally, it would approach a perp and latch on to him to restrain him until the officer can cuff him. “Good robot.”
I don’t know what the police need most, but they do need an alternative to killing a perp, even one that is armed or running.
I used several of these ideas in one of my novellas, The Night Predator, $2.99. Here’s a synopsis:
Vampires and homo sapiens have co-existed; sometimes living in peace and other times in violence. The on and off wars between vampires and homo sapiens has waged for centuries. Recent scientific discovers – DNA and archeology – prove that vampires are cousins of homo sapiens. When the vampire rebels drop their demand for a homeland for vampires somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains, the war officially ended with the signing of the London Peace Accords.
Most people hail the Accords and the peace it provides. However, extreme militants on both sides vowed to continue the battle. The two sides wage a terrorist campaign on each other, often killing innocent bystanders. In 2050, the FBI forms a task force as part of the anti-terrorist division to hunt down both extremists and prosecute them. Michael Castillo, a rookie FBI agent and a homo sapien, and Branko Renner, a former rebel vampire, are reluctant partners on the task force.
If you would like to order, the link is https://www.amazon.com/Night-Predator-Monte-R-Anderson-ebook/dp/B07CZQBTFS.
June 12, 2020
As writers, we’re always looking for ideas/plots/themes for our next novel. During these current events, writers don’t need writing prompts nor are they lacking for ideas. Below I’ve listed some ideas for present-day novels. If any of these interest you, help yourself. However, that novel won’t write itself.
90% of the world population was killed by the COVID-26 Pandemic that followed the
COVIG-21 Pandemic which followed the COVID-19 Pandemic. The result was a
society with no official law enforcement agencies or any central government for that
matter. Justice is based on family/clan sense of revenge. Rival gangs battle for limited
resources. (Mad Max?). The USA is divided up into rival regions.
Why all the bodies of people who died from the pandemic were missing their livers had
the police baffled.
Two inept young parents attempt to home school their two smart kids during the
A young nurse traveled 2,000 miles to help in ICU in NYC only to die from COVID-19.
They were the most unlikely of couple; from two separate parts of the country with
different background. But they fell in love in the ICU fighting the pandemic.
Mystery (detective fiction)
Our favorite detective wasn’t concerned when small business owners were found to be torching their own establishments for the insurance money not his bailiwick), but when bodies showed up, that’s homicide—his division.
Our favorite detective wasn’t too surprised that the elderly in nursing homes were dying from COVID-19. Afterall, they’re old and with health issues. That is until the medical examiner ruled some of the deaths as homicides.
A group of African American military generals, supported by the Army, overthrows
the government and installs an all-black administration (think South Africa)
Science Fiction. Sci-fi
The world didn’t realize that the Pandemic of 2020 was actually an alien biological weapon until they landed.
Grandpa never talked about what happened 50 years ago in 2020 and for good reason.
There was an activity black market for blood that had the COVID-19 antibodies, and no
one was trying to stop it, until bodies started showing up drained of all blood.
Keep safe, keep writing and good luck with these novels.
Many demonstrators are clamoring to defund or eliminate local law enforcement. While the idea may hold some merit, the details are fuzzy. At first, I was against it, but after some thought, there might be some changes that should be made. With tongue in cheek, I now offer you one idea.
We seem to have forgotten for whom the government works. I think all people that fall under a particular local government (town, village, city, county and state) agency (police, public works, Post Office, etc.) should have the opportunity to have input into the individual performance evaluations. I think that all annual individual evaluations of government employees should be 360 degrees. That means they should include rating from superiors (25%), peers (25%), subordinates (25%) and the public (25%). The public part would consist of any complaints as well as any good deeds. The public needs a way to commend good governmental employees.
This could be done on the State Income Tax. There should be a section where the taxpayer can indicate one governmental employee by name that they dislike. No reason need be given. Any employee who gets ten dislikes is put on probation for one year. They must clean up their act before the next year. If they get ten or more dislikes again, they are terminated. Their crime--they lost the trust of the people they serve.
Another line item on the tax return should be to commend (like?) excellent government employees. Government employees with several “likes” must be commended. This system wouldn’t apply to elected officials. They were voted in and can be voted out or impeached.
Should we give it a try?
I read with interest an article from Business Insider, 9 Signs You're a Problem Employee and Don't Even Know It, written by Richard Feloni, Aine Cain and Shana Lebowitz. They pointed out the following indicators: You're not punctual, You constantly make excuses, You do the bare minimum, You love to gossip, You're convinced you're smarter than everyone else, You're noticeably less productive than your colleagues, You don’t believe in your company’s mission or values, You don't get along with anyone and You’re always looking for a way out.
As usual, this list only scratches the surface. As a public service I provide more signs that you’re a problem employee:
You don’t have a key to the employee’s bathroom.
All your co-workers have restraining orders against you.
Your boss won’t let you cook meth in the breakroom.
All your co-workers hide their pens from you.
Your favorite food is no longer served in the company cafeteria.
Your co-workers unfriend you on the company internet and block you on the interoffice email system.
Your boss now calls you “Stupid.”
You’re the only employee without a designated parking space.
If you see these subtle signs, take the hint and straighten up.
I read with interest an article from Prevention written by Korin Miller (12/31/2018), Relationship Therapists Say There Are 12 Signs You've Found Your Perfect Partner. The article mentioned that deep down that they’re right for you, the timing is right, you feel incredibly comfortable together. It went on to talk about emotions, happiness, respect, having a lot to say to each other, love and value.
As usual, this list only scratches the surface. As a public service I provide more signs that you’ve found your perfect partner:
Your partner starts listening to love songs.
Your partner friends you on Face Book and Twitter.
Your partner deletes his/her profile on Tinder.
Your partner changes her/her relationship to “committed.”
Your partner likes the same illegal drugs that you like.
Your partner’s willing to provide an alibi when questioned by the police.
Your partner remembers your safe word.
Your partner tells you all his/her passwords.
Your partner like to wear your underwear.
These are sure sign that this one is a keeper.
I read with interest an article from littlezotz.com (First Edition Design Publishing) about how writers sometime sabotage their own writing. The article included: Not preparing an outline, getting deadlines wrong, trying to do everything in the first draft and celebrating too early.
On reflection, I decided there’re many more ways writers sabotage their writing careers. As a public service to all writers I list some of them here:
All your work is obviously plagiarized.
You call your agent an ass-**le.
You refuse to write on any day of the week that has a D in it.
You write in a language that you invented.
You firmly believe that rules are meant to be broken; especially grammar, punctuation and spelling.
You’re using invisible ink.
Readers must use a decoder ring to read your writing.
You’re using Snapchat to publish your writing.
I hope by identifying these self-destructive habits I’ve helped writers everywhere.
Monte is the author of 8 e-books: 3 novels, 3 non-fiction, 1 collection of short stories, and 1 novelette.
Buy Monte's e-books:
The Register cliff Rapist
The Clone Murders,
Archimedes of Syracuse: Leonardo da Vinci's Mentor,
Leadership for New Managers: Book Two
Angels and Gargoyles