Thursday, May 25, 2017

My book is out.

Writing a story is like raising a child.

At first it grows inside you, whether you planned on it or not. Eventually, you have to get it out of you. Getting the story out is a long and painful process. Sometimes it just ends in tears. I have lots and lots of one page attempts at stories that will never be finished. These are my miscarriages.

But push and push and push, and you'll have a rough draft. What started out as a glimmer in your eye is now your baby. You can't quite send it off into the world yet. You have to groom it and mold it through editing. You either have to hire an editor or entrust it to friends and family. Trust the wrong friend with your baby and you'll see him on Pirate Bay.

But with enough care and love, your brain child will become a readable manuscript. You might keep adding to it, but at some point you need to get it to leave the house. Submitting it to a publisher is like trying to get it accepted into college. There are the Big 6 publishers, which are like Ivy League schools. A Big 6 publisher tends to care more about who the author is, rather than the story itself. An Ivy League school cares more about who your dad is more than who you are. It's great to try to get into these storied institutions, but it's like trying to join a country club without the right connections.

There are independent publishers, which are like community colleges. At least your baby is going somewhere, even if it isn't very far.

And then there is self-publishing. Self-publishing is like online courses. Anybody can attempt it, but very few can succeed. It's the absolute last option. You are always going to try one of the above options before settling for this. Just don't get suckered into paying out the nose for it.

Vanity presses are like the Trump University of publishers. Don't even go there.

My first novel was just too special and unique to get accepted into a prestigious institution. It's as ready for the real world as it will ever get. So I sent it out onto that notorious website appropriately named after a famous jungle. Let's hope it makes a lot of friends along the way.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I don't go to Tincaps games.

I do not go to Tincaps games. I do not ever want to go to a Tincaps game. I will never voluntarily go to a Tincaps game. No amount of monetary incentive is enough to make me go to a Tincaps game. Do not offer me tickets to a game. The Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Allen County has banned me for life from attending any Tincaps games. You would get a more positive response from Carrie Nation if you offered her a shot of whiskey than if you offered me a Tincaps ticket. Amish people have a higher opinion of Oculus Rift than I have of the Fort Wayne Tincaps. To buy your own mother a subscription to Hustler is a better gift idea than to offer me a Tincaps ticket.

One of my goals in life to is never attend any Tincaps games. Perhaps I should start a Tumblr blog in which I announce that I sexually identify as a Tincaps Game Non-Attender. Maybe I could start a college fund for fellow TCGNA's. We already have our own bathrooms, but none of them are at Parkview Field. I have always been a TCGNA since birth. There are over six billion of us around the world, and I wish this part of our identity would bring us closer together.

Just as Lee Greenwood is proud to be an American, I am proud not to attend Tincaps games. I'm going to guess that Lee Greenwood hasn't been to any Tincaps games either, so maybe he should do a song about that too. All he did to become an American was continue to breathe after the umbilical cord was cut, so if he can be proud of that, why not be proud to be a TCGNA?

When my novel is published, I'll lobby to have this fact put in my author bio. "Robert M. Enders is some fat guy who does not go to Tincaps Games. Out of over 6 million primates with computers in the state of Indiana, he was the primate who banged out this novel on his keyboard. He lives in New Haven with his life partner Marty."

For me, baseball is a sport based on tradition. Teams should remain in the same city, in the same stadium, until the sun expands to absorb the earth. Instead teams are building new stadiums so they can have a competitive advantage at home field. If we're not going to tolerate players using performance enhancing drugs, we shouldn't tolerate performance enhancing stadiums either. The sport should be about skill and teamwork, not about whether or not the team conned their city into building yet another ballpark.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sean Spicer

I know how difficult public speaking is. I'm relunctant to jump on someone's case for making a public gaffe. I don't think I could do a good job as White House press secretary. But Sean Spicer can't do a good job either.

A good rule of public speaking is to be mindful of Godwin's Law and avoid comparing an adversary to Hitler or Nazis. To be sure, there are bona fide Nazis out there who prefer to be called National Socialists. None of them are running a country right now. If a Nazi or worse does rise to power somewhere, we need to save our best rhetorical ammunition for the occasion.

And when you do decide to open fire with a worse-than-Hilter comparison, make sure that you know what you are talking about. The Nazis are notorious for killing Jews with all sorts of methods, including poison gas. Some of these Jews were German citizens by birth. And the Nazis just didn't murder their own people. They even murdered other Nazis.

Perhaps Sean Spicer was trying to say that Hitler refrained from using chemical weapons on the battlefield. I still fail to see how it's more moral to use Zyclon B on a crowded room of naked prisoners than it is to use against infantry on the Eastern Front.

Which brings us to one more point. Russia has suffered way more from Hitler's atrocities than America has. The Siege of Leningrad makes 9/11 look like a trip to Disneyland. Hitler ordered the destruction of the very city that Vladimir Putin was born in. It would be very hard to convince Putin that Assad can top that level of evil.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Conpiracy Falsifiable Claim (CFC)

I have been dead wrong about Trump in the past, and I hate conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, there are instances where high-level government official have secretly used their power and influence in a criminal manner.

In science, a theory is something that scientists know to be true. It's more than just a guess. So I don't really like to use the word "theory" unless I'm 100% sure about something. I prefer the term "Conspiracy Falsifiable Claim" (CFC) when I have an idea that something is up but I just have circumstantial evidence instead of concrete proof.

My CFC regarding the cruise missile strikes in Syria is that Trump had colluded with Putin.

Trump doesn't want to look like Putin's puppet, so he decides to "intervene" in Syria. He notifies Putin about the airstrikes, and Putin warns Assad. The Navy launches missiles at a bunch of empty buildings.
Assad is tired of the civil war even though he is "winning". So he uses the attacks as a pretext for peace talk with the rebel factions that he hates the least. He makes himself look like a moderate.
Trump gets credit for ending the civil war, and paints himself as the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
Putin sits in a cozy leather chair in his dacha petting a fluffy white cat.

Right now a lot of alt-right guys are turning their backs on Trump. If this is sincere attempt to dislodge Assad, they are opposed to it for realpolitik reason. Even most of the alt-right sees stupid wars as a waste of lives and resources, and they spend most of 2016 painting Hillary Clinton (accurately) as a warmonger.

But if Trump spins the strikes as having ended the Syrian civil war, then he'll get back his gullible fan base.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Flat Earthers

I think Flat Earth is to conspiracy theories as Flying Spaghetti Monster is to religion. Nobody actually believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They just pretend to believe just to mock those people who believe in a guy who walked on water and came back from the dead.

If these people are making you mad, ignore them. Don't give them the attention that they crave.

I suppose some Flat Earthers actually believe that the Earth is shaped like a pancake. I don't know what you can do for these people other than invite them up to the top floor of a skyscraper or take them on an airplane ride. People got along fine for thousands of years believing that the Earth is flat. As long as these nitwits don't try to fly planes, sail ships, or attempt any activity that requires that they know the Earth is round, flat Earther will get along fine believing whatever they want to believe.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Is Trump going to be impeached?

I've made bad predictions all last year, but here we go.

If Trump lasts until 2019, he'll finish out his term. His own party is more likely to remove him than the Democrats. An unpopular President is bad for a party's brand. Trump is either crazy or crooked. If Mike Pence decides it's the former, the Vice-President can ask the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment. If Paul Ryan decides it's the latter, then Congress can impeach.

The GOP has been trying to get rid of Trump for about two years now. President Trump will supply Republicans with plenty of pretext for removing him. They just need the will and the courage to act.

Democrats on the other hand, dread Mike Pence more than they hate Trump. Pence is the fiscal conservative that other Republicans pretend to be. As a member of Congress, he voted against the bank bailout twice. Pence will want to kill a lot of federal programs. And Pence is a much more disiplined candidate than Trump. Pence is not the man that Democrats want on top of the GOP ticket in 2020.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I still don't want anything for Christmas

So this has been a difficult year for us all and for my family in particular. Some of you might be tempted to send me a card or a gift this Christmas. Please resist that temptation. I live in a cozy home with my life partner Marty and we barely have room for the possessions that we already own. To bring anything else into our home would require us to discard something that we've owned and treasured for years.

So don't get me anything. Not one card, not one pair of socks, nothing. Christmas is more of a holiday for children and other people who lack an income of their own. Getting a $60 video game is pretty sweet when you make $0 a year. I'm an adult with income of my own. I can get whatever I want whenever I want. Go buy something for someone in need.