National Atomic Testing Museum

I probably need to go here again to see everything and listen and watch the videos. There was a lot of stuff there and wasn’t sure if I could take photos. I guess you can’t take videos but I was able to take pictures on my phone. There were cameras in every room and no one stopped me so I guess all is good. It still didn’t stop someone from jacking the dog tags in an exhibit, which I called the person who did this a stupid asshole. To see uranium for the first time was an eye opener and to be close to a B57 bomb and Fat Man were cool in some respects. I didn’t take pictures of the photos taken by a journalist after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but the black and white photos were chilling. One was of a Japanese man that was a U.S. citizen on vacation when the U.S. dropped the bomb. The other was of a Japanese child around the age of 10 holding his younger dead brother. Despite being enemies during WWII, North Korea has replaced Japan as a country in great opposition to the U.S. I recommend this to anyone who visits Las Vegas.

Book Recommendation: Emotional Intelligence 2.0

When I first started my new job at the end of December, I had some idea what I was getting into but not completely the full picture. I couldn’t have been happier with my decision now almost three months into this job because while every job has issues, this current one really tries to not only practice what they preach but follow through after the initial hiring phase. This applies to this emotional intelligence book as well. I was supposed to read the first four chapters and the rest were bonus if you wanted to do it on your own time. The company does bi-weekly meetings about emotional intelligence where the managers and supervisors in the different departments speak about it and engage you in activities to care about improving yourself and your social awareness. There’s also focus on self and relationship management strategies to use in the workplace and in private life. You need to be deliberate in your actions for it to be successful and positive. These don’t need to be time-consuming. This is a life-long process. I have already done some of them, but lack in others. While this is a kind of self-help book, it’s much more than that. It’s quite practical without the psychological big words. In the past five years, I’ve turned into a sponge, wanting to learn anything and everything I can get my hands on. Of course, reading is one thing and writing it down helps with internalization. I’ve done enough healing work to know I have decent emotional intelligence scores, with no lying and no cheating, but there is definitely room for improvement. Practicing these strategies with ease is the ultimate goal. Good luck to me and everyone else with being emotional intelligent.

Book Recommendation: The Tao of Willie

I’ve read enough of his book to definitely recommend it. He speaks about his family upbringing and how this influenced his music. He speaks about his current situation at the time it was written when he was in his 70s and speaks about his transformations over the years. He includes quips, quotes, lyrics, mantras, and personal stories and advice he calls “The Willie Way.” He speaks of the simplicity that life offers us, but also the difficulties we face as human beings. There are many things out of our control that you have to conquer and forget about in order to live a meaningful life. This is the perfect book for someone who lately has a short attention span and doesn’t want to spend months reading one stinking book although this has taken me much longer than it should. There are times you have to set aside a few plates, in order for all of them not to come down crashing around you. For as much as Willie Nelson transformed himself over 70 plus years, we all can’t attain what he did, but we all have it within ourselves to embrace the messages he wrote for us to read, no matter where you live or what your career path or might be in the future. You too can do the equivalent of what he enjoys: making music and swinging a golf club. It might not be in that order or those particular hobbies or passions, but he would probably say “who cares.” None of us is getting younger. Do what you love (within reason) and do it often.

March Quotes from My Journal

Flash Fiction: Put Some Courtesy in That, Please!

I’ve struggled too much trying to write my second novel. I think I’m going to honor my yearning and vision inside of me and start writing a different kind of novel. It’s a different kind of idea I’ve had rummaging around my brain for some time. The idea is nothing new, but I’m sick of struggling and just want to write. I suppose my second novel idea will then become my third novel idea when I get more focused in wanting to write it and the right mindset in order to write it. I’m bouncing all over the place in some ways with my mind, but unable to focus with much of anything in front of me. This will be a challenge and delight as I don’t really care all that much if it makes sense or not (within reason). That is what my rewrite is for and for the first time I just want to write without thinking and say to hell with the rest. What is below is going to be another beginning paragraph I might and might not use. I had a few weird dreams again, with and without the help of melatonin, and this flash fiction was some of the subject matter.


It’s a long way down to something, everything, and nothing all at once. I couldn’t help but wonder who had stood in the same spot my feet were now standing. My shoes were too tight on my toes. I was convinced my shoes had shrunk when I washed them, but I hadn’t dried them in the dryer. I had let them air dry. It’s the best thing for your clothes or shoes. There was time later to ponder why my body wasn’t in sync with my brain.

In front of me was a case I needed to solve and one that made me ask myself, under my breath, whether I really was stupidly naïve or lost on my path for too long. The problem facing me was my own self. I was too far deep into my own psyche to notice my own hand hitting my face. It wasn’t the guy closest to me approaching I should’ve been paying attention to, but the guy five behind him, the one with a receding hairline but surprisingly appearing to have a full head of hair. It might’ve been his accent because he clearly wasn’t around these parts. He wasn’t born here. He definitely didn’t grow up here. He didn’t have the courtesy and kindness one should possess such as myself.

I don’t tout myself to be an angel by any means, not even a fallen one, and then find myself to take on characteristics and aspects not resembling anything human. I am a human in all respects, and the perfect solution to see this guy again was entice him with not candy but something much more valuable. This was my chance to give him a chance. He didn’t need to swallow another bitter pill to be a better person. He only needed to listen to me and take a risk.

I had taken too much time browsing the options in the vending machine. Now an attractive female was standing behind me, acting as if she was the sole gatekeeper to an invisible gate in front of the machine. Not giving it much thought, I removed the coins I had exchanged in the front somewhere, stuck them into the machine, and pushed what I thought I wanted. He was going to come around for me, somewhere and somehow because that is what I was made for, and no one was going to tell me otherwise.  

The Six Last Movies I’ve Watched

The Menu (2022) is about a chef that prepares dishes with consequences for those he invites to his exclusive restaurant on an island. From the start there is something off about Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) and as the night progresses, his guests soon want the night to be the next morning. It has an ending that every horror/thriller movie should emulate.

Shanghai Knights (2003) is a continuation of Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) and Roy O’Bannon (Owen Wilson) teaming up for misadventures. This time Chon’s sister is out to revenge the death of her father with the help of her brother and Roy. The train scenes are the funniest in this action/comedy.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) is the reliving of certain moments by William Cage (Tom Cruise). He is an officer who has to find out how to defeat the enemy. The only problem is the enemy are aliens that appear to be smarter and more skillful than humans. The other problem is establishing a working relationship with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) every time he dies in this action/adventure.

Rogue Agent (2022) is about a conman named Robert Freegard. He posed as an MI5 agent and swindled money from women after he told them they were in danger. His luck eventually ran out when one of his victims was suspicious and helped uncover his illegal activities. This drama/thriller is based on real events because hiding in plain sight is more common than you think.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) is the last movie of the trilogy about the remaining gladers that are immune from getting infected. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) with the help of his friends saves those being experimented on behind the city walls including Minho (Ki Hong Lee). He also wants retribution and answers for those who had betrayed them. This action/adventure is somewhat predictable but entertaining to watch for the stunts.

Imperium (2016) is about a newly FBI agent, Nate Foster, going undercover as a white supremacist. He finds himself persuasively appearing as an asset to a terrorist group that doesn’t flash their tattoos or take part in riots. Instead, he gains their trust to thwart their plan, which will hurt many people. This crime biopic is based on a true story with a climactic ending.

Random Calendar Info #43

If you find yourself in a minefield, keep your eyes on your feet and do not move any farther. Look for spikes, detonators, wires, bumps, or discoloration in the ground. Avoid all of these and back up slowly in your own footsteps by walking backward. Do not turn around.

If you find yourself in wet cement. Yell for help and stay above the surface. Keep your eyes and mouth closed as cement. If people have sugar, pour it into the cement to slow hardening. Vigorously wash burns with soap and water for 30 minutes because wet cement can cause third-degree burns and skin ulcers. Seek medical attention immediately after you are out of the wet cement.

If you see a downed power line, use a nonconductive material like wood to separate the person from the electrical source. Avoid direct contact with the person’s skin until everything is disconnected to not get shocked. Check the pulse and begin rescue breathing and CPR if needed.

IF you find yourself being attacked by birds, close your eyes and cover your ears. Run away from the area nesting and forgaging areas the birds are protecting.

If you find yourself in a sandstorm, wet a bandana and place it over your mouth and nose. Use a petroleum jelly to coat your inside nostrils and link arms if you are with other people. Move to higher ground if you can.

If you are lost in the mountains, tell someone not going with you where you will be. Find a shelter and try to stay dry. Signal for help using three fires arranged in a tirangle from the highest point possible. Don’t wander from where you got lost.

If you find yourself in a riptide, don’t swim toard the shore but parallel to the shore to escape. Don’t fight against the current toward shore and if you can’t swim out of it, float on your back. Rip currents usually subside 50 to 100 yards from shore. Once out, swim sideways back to the shore.

Random Calendar Info #42

If you cut yourself during shaving, rinse the cut with cold water. Apply alum salts or talcum powder to stop the blood flow and apply toilet paper to the cut. Wait a few minutes and remove the paper after getting it wet.

If you find yourself driving on blown tired, go straight and accelerate smoothly to maintain control. Stay on the paved surface and after all the rubber is off the wheels (a mile or two), you should have more control of your car. Pull over as soon as possible.

If you find yourself being charged by an animal, don’t try to outrun it. A bear and rhino can reach 35 mp, moose can reach 50 mph, and cheetah can reach 72 mph. In an elephant stampede, climb a tree, hide in a sturdy structure, and as a last resort lie down and protect your face.

If you need to jump into a river, jump feet first for obvious reasons. Keep your body vertical and squeeze your feet together. Clench your buttocks and cover your crotch with your hands. Spread your arms and legs out to generate resistance when you hit the water.

If you find yourself in a plummeting elevator, flatten against the floor and cover your face and head to protect them from ceiling parts that may fall.

If you find yourself in a car hanging over the edge of a cliff, don’t shift your weight or make any sudden movements. Get out of the car if the front doors are over land. Go to the back of the car and open the rear door if it is safe and get out slowly. If this isn’t safe, break the window and climb out quickly.

Poem: Stage Fright

Pushed from behind the curtain onto the wooden floor,

I wasn’t ready to be on the center stage.

They did their best to repair the wear and tear.

The creaking of the boards were still heard,

by the time I made my way in front of the audience.

My heart thumped and my ears were sweaty.

I only had less than an hour to memorize my lines,

while the other actors had enough time.

They were prepared for anything to happen.

I couldn’t have been less prepared,

the right size of ammunition to flee the scene.

This kind of pressure bothered me.

There had to be an escape route somewhere hidden,

my family was in the audience.

One time I hid behind a curtain.

It didn’t help any because they saw me,

my silhoutte behind the curtain and my feet sticking out.

Poem: Present Time

He reached under my armpit,

Thinking it would cause reaction.

The only thing it did was annoy me.

I suppose this is a kind of reaction.

I slapped his hand away.

His fingers came back.

He tried to slip into the folds of my skin.

The motive was clear.

My elbow squeezed against my body.

He would not best me.

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