Monthly Archives: February 2020

That There Be One Big Bug!

Do you ever wonder about people and their fears? I’m not talking about the many different phobias that attack the population–some rational; some irrational. I am referring to the creepy crawlies in the world of insects and reptiles, namely spiders and snakes. I find myself contradicting what I wrote at the beginning of this blog by reintroducing the suffix, phobia. The fear of spiders is Arachnophobia; the fear of snakes is Ophidiophobia, the fear of stinging insects (usually wasps) is Spheksophobia, and the fear of mice is Musophobia.

I’ve seen folks nearly wreck the car they were driving to get away from a stinging insect. I received this information first hand from sitting in the passenger seat of said vehicle.

I had a close friend who was deathly afraid of snakes. We went fishing along with his brother in a john boat one Saturday. After tying off to a small tree, we began to cast. Several hours passed and I happened to turn and look up to see a copperhead just a few feet above our heads. My friend was a good sized man. I was more afraid of him trying to get out the boat in a panic than I was of the snake. We managed to untie the boat and push away from the tree with him none the wiser, all intact and no one in the drink.

One thing I have done more than once is carry my sister from one room to the other or even outside, to get away from a mouse.

Just to mention the word spider, I guess, says it all, as I would tend to believe that Arachnophobia is one of the more prevalent fears within our ranks.

Fortunately, the creatures I have named don’t bother me. I have included similar, but more exotic, beasts in my science fiction novels.  They boggle the mind and hopefully entertain the reader.

I used to catch non-poisonous snakes and allow my son to touch them to keep him from being afraid. The same with turtles, frogs, lizards, and salamanders. We lived in the country and I wanted him to experience the safe side of nature.

We may get a chuckle from someone flailing around trying to avoid an insect, but it’s no fun being the one that’s afraid. To bring it into context, everyone’s afraid of something.    Check out the camel spider below found in Afghanistan.


Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

Many Modes of Transportation, What Will I Choose, What Will I Choose

When I’m penning a novel I never know which type of transportation the characters will use to move from point A to point B. It could be something we see every day, or then again, it may be something that’s not of this world or any other.

The two previous sentences caused me to pause and ponder, the many modes of transportation, natural and man-made, available to us today.

We have horses, donkeys, oxen and in some cases, canines. Some folks ride elephants or camels, and we mustn’t forget our own two legs.

On the mechanical side are automobiles, motorcycles, buses, trains, helicopters, and ships, or we can go blasting through the air in a rocket-powered pressurized steel tube called an airplane. These vehicles run on just about any imaginable fuel, such as gasoline, diesel, alcohol, coal, electricity and air.

What will personal vehicles of the future be like? We’ve heard, read or seen in Science Fiction films that flying cars should fill the air by now. Personally, I think that would be a disaster.

I want to finish this particular post with a situation I ran across during the years I worked for a pharmaceutical company. I traveled quite a bit and saw a good portion of the United States. Take into consideration that I used to be a smoker but managed to kick the habit years ago. Even though it’s a terrible habit and I believe shortens the life of those who chose to participate, I’m not a nicotine Nazi and stick to the mantra of “smok’em if you got ‘em.”

Since it pertains to our method of travel and keeping with the theme of this post, I would like to relay an incident that I found a bit of a paradox.  I won’t mention the name of the city this particular incident took place, but in front of the convention center, there was a huge metal awning placed in case of rain that was large enough to allow multiple buses (30 or more) to sit under while loading and unloading convention attendees. Needless to say these coaches never shut down their engines. As soon as you walked out of the building you were bombarded with “No Smoking” signs. Not only signs forbidding smoking, but a cloud of burnt diesel fuel that would make a cigarette in contrast appear healthy.

Thought I’d throw that bit of irony in just to mix things up a bit.

Have a great week!

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

I’d Like to Think There’s a Line to be Crossed; Only We Keep Moving the Line

It’s odd how sports are held in such high esteem worldwide. Take the Super Bowl for instance. We set our sights on that one day in February months earlier when the NFL season begins around Labor Day. After sixteen games and several rounds of playoffs, the two teams are decided.

This year it was the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49rs. I’ll have to admit it was a great game, regardless of the victor, but after the game was over what was left? A moment of glory, then several days later, all was forgotten.

This year we had an added bit of controversy; that, being the choice of wardrobe for the halftime show.  Some have no qualms with the lack of coverage and the general movement of the dancers . . . I tend to disagree.

It seems we are losing our sense of modesty more and more each year. Young girls and teenagers see this as something they must obtain, when in fact, it’s pulling them down. There’s already a craze in this country to lose weight, putting unrealistic pressure on our entire society. I don’t mean to belittle anyone, but being a parent I wouldn’t want my little girl on national television scantily dressed and moving in an unbecoming manner.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

I Might Just Be Afraid to Sit in That Thing

Have you ever taken the time to notice how many different products are made for our comfort and support our health ergonomically? Why, even the chair in which I’m sitting is supposed to caress my gluteus, soothe the lumbar area of my spine, and treat my cervical discs to a champagne dinner.

We can swing upside down and traverse the country on two wheels in our own home right side up.

Televisions hang from the wall–I mean flat screen monitors–are suspended to further pleasure our viewing experience by relieving stress on the neck.

Keyboards are affixed to articulating arms that will move in any direction including those the operator won’t.

Specialized arms on rolling chairs along with specialized hand grips on every implement from the garage to the kitchen will cut down on blisters.

No longer do we have just a front seat for the family car, for now it is a totally ergonomic cockpit into which we climb to navigate from point A to point B. These are just a few of the items  with which we live in the 21st century to make our life that much better.

Yet never have I heard more grunts and groans or seen more advertisements for pain relief than we have now. For each activity in which we participate there are multiple injuries (mostly minor) with a plethora of cures, from salves to heat packs and miniature electric stimulation machines. Oh well, I guess if we cause it, then produce something to fix it we’re batting 500.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing