Share your Ideas

What do we owe others? Do we owe anything? We live in a society with many people, and through their hard work we have risen to great heights. Does that mean we must give back in some way? I think perhaps we can’t help but give back. Each of us working does something to carry the whole forward. No matter your job, you are part of society. As a writer I hope to contribute ideas. Making something that is in part enjoyable to read, but also gives something of my own opinions to others. Does this mean I am owed appreciation from others? Not necessarily. I am owed nothing. However to those that appreciate my perspectives, whether agreed upon or not, should contribute to their continuation. If you can afford it, give some of your hard earn dollars to those that you enjoy. If you cannot afford to do so, share the ideas. I am not saying you must repost anything made you like, but at least converse with others to spread the ideas. Personally I want to live in a world where we can all respect one another. If someone is different, and has come to different conclusions, they should be free to live in their own way. You do not have to talk with them, but it would benefit understandings you may not have. I am not religious, and yet I respect others who feel the world is different than I perceive it. I take the time to talk with those that have faith in things I do not, and I feel I have a greater understanding of how the world looks to them. That is if they give me the same opportunity to communicate my thoughts. If they stonewall me, then there is little to trade, as they will not answer my questions about why they feel that way. It is easy enough to say that you believe in something without reason, just admit to it. If you have a reason, please explain. Each person is worthy of getting to know, but I cannot know you if you do not describe your understanding. To not listen to one another is the same as viewing another as inhuman. Not worthy of talking with. Those of even the same faith find it hard to converse when there is a mild difference. In large part I think that is because of the unwillingness to listen to their side. We all have sides, and should take the time to discuss them all. Let not the old saying of “In polite company never talk about religion, politics, sex, or money.”, rule you. These things must be discussed, or there will never be an understanding. Delve deep into each others psyche. Nothing is gained when you reduce your conversations to simple topics. Discuss the hard ones. Listen with a careful ear, and learn to understand the people around you.

Update – 10 pages of the 3rd novel edited. I’m trying to make my way back to the conflict, and discover a means of pushing ahead.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ― Ralph G. Nichols

– Steven Oaks

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Live the Moment

We are dependent when we are born

swaddled and cradled as babes

only to grow quickly to reach new heights

as we age into maturity

In our prime we struggle

to shape the world

into a place were we are happy

using our wills we make it so

But again soon we will age

Declining into decrepitude

some soon, some later

we lose the strength of youth

our bodies become the traitor

Rejoice you who are young

you have the power and fortitude to continue

yet you must know one day you too shall pass

nothing is permanent, not even your name

no matter your fame

one day obscurity, the next forgotten

what matters is not the future

it is the present

live the days you have as if they are the only you shall see

live them without regrets, but live them peacefully

nothing you can gain through force

is worth much once you set that course

alone we are skilled

together we are masters

you may live alone knowing you are proficient

yet you should regret if you are friendless

the expertise that may have been granted

will be lost without others to help you rise

each person is an island

but invite others to enjoy the beach

for without the backs of those we stand

we would be left alone in a desolate land

falling back to animal ways

where we would have to forage for days

to find the sustenance to energize our bodies

and no time to nourish our minds

Live each moment fully

for without such action

regret is the only thing you will find

be kind, and expect such kindness back

we are not the cruel animals that we are told

we love each other, though we know it not

we all year for one thing

a world where we can find happiness

though our methods may differ

so reach out your hand to your enemy

and try to find your common ground

but truth be told, I know of only one way

and that is to respect, and honor

what each of us wants for ourselves

Update – As it is Saturday, the traditional pancakes were eaten, and they were good. 14 or so pages were edited on the first book, nearly half way through the final draft. Soon I shall have to fashion it into an ebook form, then shortly it will be published.  I look forward to listening to your remarks, positive or negative. But please be gentle, I take all you say to heart.

“I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die.” ― Stephen Hawking

– Steven Oaks

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Bachelor Chow

Bachelor Chow Recipe

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2. Get an oven safe dish.

Step 3. Place two four ounce frozen chicken breasts in dish. Season with liberal amounts of garlic powder and cayenne pepper spice.

Step 4. Place cut up pieces of onion,  green, red, and yellow pepper on top of chicken.

Step 5. Place your chicken pepper mix into the oven for about an hour.

Step 6. Rinse four cups of rice through a wire strainer.

Step 7. Add your now rinsed rice to a large pot, and pour six cups of water over top.

Step 8. Place on stove top on high heat until it begins to boil.

Step 9. While you wait for the rice to boil, do some dishes. No need for a cluttered sink.

Step 10. When you are finished cleaning your dishes, and  after a few minutes you will notice the water in the pot boiling. Stir the rice, put a lid on it,  then reduce the heat to medium.

Step 11. Wait 15 minutes for the rice to finish. Stir rice again, and move off of heat, but keep the lid on top to keep it warm.

Step 12. After waiting about an hour the chicken and pepper mix should be done cooking in the oven. Take the chicken out, and cut it into small pieces, around 1 inch squares.

Step 13. Dump the chicken pepper mixture into the rice, and stir.

Serving recommendations –

Place into a bowl, pour over a handful of cheese, and smother it with hot sauce.

Or pour the mixture on top of some soft tortilla shells, put a handful of cheese on top, use a dollop of greek yogurt to cover the surface, and smother in hot sauce.

Or think of something more inventive. I usually use the first method as it’s cheaper.

This concoction should last you a weeks worth of dinners. It does me, and I grow weary of it. However it is what I can afford, and it  isn’t ramen.

Update – worked with some wood, and drilled some holes to make an e-cigarette stand. Also worked more with GIMP, fun times.

“Humor keeps us alive. Humor and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.” ― Joss Whedon

– Steven Oaks

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I Don’t Care

You know what I don’t care about? Sports. Sitting down and thinking about it, that may be one of the only things I have no emotion about what-so-ever. I find it a waste of time, and I get no excitement from it. Perhaps if I was on a team playing I would care, but watching others move balls about gives me no pleasure. Also I have no care for any racing venue. Watching cars go round and round does nothing for me. Perhaps if something was implemented in a way where any type of car could compete, including electric, hydrogen, and nuclear I would find myself entertained by the idea that they could showcase their differences. This is why I don’t care for sports, I have little care to see who is better than another. I know one of them is, and it matters not which one will come out on top. It does not improve society to know, though it may showcase that humanity is able to improve our personal abilities. This is why I am interested in reading about the outcome of the  2016 Bionic Olympics. Instead of focusing on seeing who might be able to train better, lets see what technology can improve a persons abilities. I have been know to watch snippets of other Olympics, mostly winter, as for some reason I can sit down and laugh while watching curling. Mostly it has been women’s curling, and I am unsure why. There is little thrill for me to see men compete. Perhaps I am not so against sports, maybe I am against team sports. It is hard to showcase an individual’s abilities when they are lost in the crowd. Teamwork is certainly important, but again, those sports seem to annoy me more than anything. Which means I don’t understand their fans. You are not on their team, why get so excited? It is their accomplishment, not yours. Perhaps it is just the noise that gets to me. I prefer a quiet spot to relax, and when I go out to eat and everyone is watching football, or the like, I find the commotion uncomfortable. Have fun watching your distractions, just let those of us who don’t care have a spot to relax. Which means I’ll have to find a place that does not show sports on televisions, even though I like the food offered at other locations. Not that I have any money to enjoy a restaurant. Oh well, such is life.

Update – Finished another editing pass through of the second novel, time to press on. Also I worked on drawing other things in GIMP today, I’m only partially happy with what I created.

“I hated sports. I hated sports, and I hated people who played them, and I hated people who watched them, and I hated people who didn’t hate people who watched or played them.” ― John Green

– Steven Oaks

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Another Owl

Why am I drawing owls? I have no idea. Some of my friends have said they liked the first one, and I felt compelled to draw another. I guess it is simple as that. Also I enjoy working with GIMP. I would not call anything I create art, but I enjoy it. This post will be short, but it will have pictures, enjoy.

The owl I got my inspiration from

The Barn Owl I made in Gimp

The Barn Owl I made in Gimp

Update 10 pages edited for the second novel. Last night I was able to work with my editor on around 14 pages of the first novel. Almost half way through edits on that one.

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

– Steven Oaks

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Self-Made Stress

What do I do with my free time? Do I even allow free time? Of course I do. I have spoken of working with wood, and gardening. I have talked of riding bikes, and going for a run now and again. Though today I feel the repetition wearing down on me. Everyday is so similar to another, what is the purpose? The purpose is accomplishing goals. I have set forth on this journey last year to create books for another’s to enjoy. It has not been easy, and yet it has not been difficult. There are days when the weight of loneliness weighs me down, and yet I know I am not happy when I am surrounded by others constantly. I must again try to find a balance I can work with. The only stress I have now is of my own making, and that is indeed a great weight. Having to have others rely on my actions was heavier still. I have freedom in my life I have never experienced before, and I am filled with gratitude to those that have helped me reach this place. Though it was created mostly through my own efforts to save money over the years. I still have to thank those that found me jobs, and those that kept me employed. Those co-workers that had become friends I miss our daily interactions, and yet I am not sad often due to loneliness. Having only a few people to talk with does stifle the creative process, so I have gone back to editing the words I made while others were still fresh in my mind. I hope for success in those words, and rereading them makes me think there is potential there. The third book is on hold until such a time I feel my edits are far enough along. Now I understand why other writers only create one book at a time. I enjoy editing with my friends, and it is fun to see them laugh, or have any emotional reaction to the characters I create. Drained as I am most of the time, I still have energy to push forward, and I hope you all can have a passion that does not burn out. Make your goals your life, and you will feel accomplished simply by working on them.

Update – 10 pages edited of the second book, and several of the first. I feel a building of creativity inside me, now I must direct it appropriately.

“Stress level: extreme. It’s like she was a jar with the lid screwed on too tight, and inside the jar were pickles, angry pickles, and they were fermenting, and about to explode.” ― Fiona Wood

– Steven Oaks

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What is a Person?

What is it that makes us people? Is it our form? Having bodies that walk upright, and hands that can grasp. These merely allow us to utilize tools we create. Then is it the shaping of tools, or of ourselves into animals that can live anywhere on this Earth? Without our minds we would be unable to utilize such tools and abilities. So then is it our minds that allows us to call ourselves people? Thinking thoughts that can not exist in the world presented. Then struggling to make them reality. We then trade these ideas and tools amongst ourselves. Language allows such trade. So then is it language alone that stands as the pinnacle of society? All these together will make a human, but will it make a person? We need the good will to trade, and not just steal from another. We need to recognize that someone has the right to own items. Is it then a far stretch to say a person owns themselves? I take not from you what is not freely given. You take not from me what is not given gladly. There is no inherent right for thievery of any sort. Murder is another form of theft. You steal another’s life away when you murder or kill. Money taken from you without consent is of course understood as theft as well. However many of us feel taxation is okay, even though you would not see the money used as it is. Why do I talk of trade, murder, and taxation when I was talking about what it means to be a person? Because there is one more trait that I think is often overlooked. That is of autonomy. The ability to freely choose how to live our own lives. We would not think it good for someone to be stolen from, and yet we allow such things to happen daily. I do not wish the money I worked hard to earn to be taken away from me without a benefit I personally desired. If I saw there was something that would benefit the masses I may very well contribute to it, but I should have a choice to do so. The old saying as to why the United States fought the revolutionary war was for Taxation without Representation, though the truth was otherwise. But if you agree with that statement, in this day and age of communication, can we not represent ourselves, instead of voting in some person with their own concept of what is best? We should all be involved in politics, our own. I choose who I spend my money on. I choose what stores I shop at, and if I do not agree with how they are running things, I stop giving them my money. Let those who do nefarious things fail by the act of not utilizing them. Trade is the one way we can enforce our own will upon the greater world. I say no longer spend your well-earned money on those that you disagree with. Want less war, don’t spend money on it. Want less starving people, spend money on it. Do not be selfish with what you earn, but it is yours to do with. What makes a human a person is our ability to choose how to live our lives. Choose to live it the way you will.

Update – 10 pages edited in the second novel. Now I’m off to do something not book related.

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” ― Winston Churchill

– Steven Oaks

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My Stencil

I drew a stencil to burn into a staff I’m working on. I don’t have a printer which means I couldn’t simply print out an image I found on the Internet. So looking at one an image I liked I decided to try my hand at scrawling one out on a piece of paper. Having completed one half of the image I folded it in half, and rubbed it until the image transferred so I could have symmetry. I darkened both sides with more pencil tracing, and then I was able to transfer it to the wood. I burned using a wood burning tool, and I think it turned out alright. Sadly the tip on the tool is falling apart, and I was unable to be as accurate as I wanted. I’ll post images later when I finish working on it. Yesterday though I decided I would see if I could clean up the hand drawn picture in GIMP. I think it looks decent, so I’m sharing with you now what I have done.

this is my original pencil drawing

this is my original pencil drawing

TheOwl3

The Owl made better in GIMP

 

Update – I read through some more of my first book. I received some edits from another, and I’m thinking how I might incorporate their ideas. Also I had pancakes, mowed the lawn, and did some woodworking today. I was also informed yesterdays post looked like I was begging for an e-cigarette. That is not the case, I was merely outlying items that I was informed were good for those of you interested. The only begging I intend to do is for when I publish my book and am looking for sales, heh.

“It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle

– Steven Oaks

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My obsession

I have spoken of this before, but I enjoy using an e-cigarette. Currently I have an MVP2 with a Protank 2 and they do well enough. Luckily, or unluckily, I had a friend allow me to try out their Mechanical Mod, and now I’m obsessed with getting one for myself. However having no income has made this an unlikely situation. His is a Stingray with some RBA that I suspect is a Tobh and I’d love to have a similar set up. Why you might ask would I want something like that? Well in the long run it should be cheaper. Mechanical mods are just glorified battery holders, and an RBA allows you to take it apart and rebuild it as you desire. In rebuilding coils and using cotton as wicks I’d save money on buying coils, which run around 2 dollars each, and only last me a few weeks at most. Even allowing for cleaning the pre-purchased coils they still do not fire easily after their initial use of a week. The initial investment however can run very high even if you are buying a clone. You need batteries, charger, Atomizer Resistance Tester (Ohm Meter), and for safety a burn bag in case the batteries explode while charging. That together with the kanthal wire and cotton for the RBA can lead to a hefty sum. I spent perhaps $50-$70 dollars all together on the setup I am using right now, as I have a few protanks. Had I started out with a Mechanical Mod it would have been perhaps better, but I was looking for simple then. That was back when I had a job, and could afford things, but now being the poor starving artist I can’t even afford e-liquids from my favorite store. Laws came in and cause them to raise their prices due to tax that was not there before. I continually vie for freebies, which I’m sure makes anyone on my personal FB page annoyed. Luckily I won a gift-card for a small sum of money that allowed me to purchase a couple of bottles from Vapor Renu, and they’re very tasty. Carmel and Jamaican Rum are both really sweet and delicious, but I miss my Earl Grey Tea vape. I’m also lucky to have friends who vape now as well, as they give me any liquid they do not like. Right now I’m vaping something called Tacky Orange from Vape Dojo, and it taste like orange tick-tacks. While enjoyable for the first few vapes, it grows harsh quickly.

So why do I vape? I’ve used it to stop smoking a pipe. A daily pipe habit stained my teeth, and made my breath disgusting. My tongue was always burned, and I always smelled smoke. While I have smoked my pipe I think three times since I switched, I did not enjoy it. I have no desire to go back, and I can slowly reduce my nicotine dose when I purchase new liquid. I have done so, and can get by with very little in my system. While it still might appear to be a habit, I think of vaping as more of a hobby now. New cool toys to play with, and fun flavors to taste.

Now to give you a list of items that I am obssessing over, I will link to the stores I’m looking at. I have not purchased anything from them, and I have heard it takes months for items to arrive, but their prices can’t be beat. I speak of Fasttech.com .

Stingray Mech Mod Clone. Copper and Stainless Steel -$25.91

This item is beautiful, and has all the features I desire in a mech mod, including the magnetic switch.

Sentinel M16 Telescopic Clone – 10.59

This item is less expensive and is missing the magnetic switch. However it is all in one, and can use different batteries without changing tubes.

Tobh Atty clone – $10.08

This was recommended to me. It has three posts for dual coil building, and seems to have no issues even for being a clone. I have watch some reviews, and they have said the center post in theirs was loose, but I’ve heard no other complaints.

CCI Militia RDA – $19.99

This was also recommended to me by a cloud chaser. I know nothing of it save it makes good clouds.

Sony US18650VTC4 2100mAh – $8.99

Batteries that were recommended to me

NEW NITECORE i2 Intellicharger For AA 18650 18500 14500 18350 16340 18700 – $14.49

A charger recommended

A Guide for Mechanical Mods – Free and recommended to me.

As I was given no guidance where to purchase Kanthal, Battery Bag, or an Ohm Meter I shall leave that to those who are more knowledgeable.

If you are a smoker, and are looking to quit, this is a way several have been able to wean themselves away from addiction. The cost sometimes is an addiction with the equipment, but apparently it is cheaper than buying cigarettes over the long run.

Update – 10 pages reviewed. I’m feeling pretty good right now. Glad I cut the caffeine intake.

“An over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.” ― Criss Jami

– Steven Oaks

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Welcome to the world

A new baby born

A family’s hope

To carry on

to climb the slope

of the mountain of accomplishment

her feet will tread

one step at a time

into a world far spread

The power of tale

the words of ancestors

her name means both

where she shall  find answers

There is no future

without a past

stand on the shoulders of giants

and learn from what was amassed

to two parents caring

you’ve come into this world

the greatest gift

for little boy and girl

I myself wish great things

for you and your life

may you have and bring happiness

and experience little strife

May you have love

from family and friends

hold them close

until the very end

Update – 10 pages reviewed and edited from the second book. A new baby girl was born to friends. A gift to the world if ever there was one. The tears I shed are only for happiness.

“Babies are such a nice way to start people.” ― Don Herold

– Steven Oaks

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