Archive for January, 2015


I came across this piece in my email and thought I’d pass it on for the benefit of my writer and reader friends. Here are a list of writers, having completed this journey of life, leaving us with their words and thoughts.

We are all on this identical journey with the same destination. Let us hope that we leave behind a life’s work worthy to be remembered, if not by the world, at least by those we love.

January 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm Leave a comment


Here are some guidelines I put into play during my life and are helping now in retirement.

Get as much education as you can. With costs today, it is not easy but it is important. If you think a high school diploma will be enough, learn a trade during those years and work as hard as you can learning it.

Here I’m going to be a little philosophical, but a good education will not only get you a good job but enhance your appreciation of your life and the world around you, give you the ability to understand and analyze the world around you. Today we have become a population of sheep spending and wolves profiting. Question everything. This was once a hallmark of youth, to think and question, not to bury your mind in an endless stream of the latest electronics.

Don’t spend like a drunken sailor – sorry sailors. This is the really hard part.

For your entire life, buy only what you need, not everything you want.

Learn that bigger is not better. We are only told bigger is better is by those who sell big.

Don’t upgrade just because you can. It may cost you down the road.

Don’t move from that small house you’re in now just because you can. If you don’t need the room, stay where you are. If you have kids and it seems a little crowded just wait awhile. The kids will move out after a time, and if you’re lucky, will only come back to visit.

Develop a comfortable lifestyle and stick with it no matter how much money you make. The money you don’t need, save. And find the most profitable way to save. In today’s world, a bank is not the place. Find a financial advisor, but only through references that you trust.

The next may be difficult, for in the reality of today’s world, it may no longer exist.

Find a decent paying job and stick with it.

Earn a 401k or pension that is properly funded. Even if at times the job is shit, stick with it. I’ve better.

Here is a fact none will tell you in all the seminars you will be offered to attend at the finest restaurants in the area. If you are young, you may not believe it but this will happen. If you maintain a decent salary all your life, you can retire early and not need to wait until you’re 70. I retired at 62 and the increase I would see at whatever age was minimal, because I maintained a good salary with increases and qualified for a decent social security payment at the age of 62.

What retirement guru will tell you all this?

I strongly feel, that the secret to a good retirement begins when you are young. When you reach the age to retire and are offered a plan where all is taken care of, it is probably bogus.

This is just my opinion, take it or leave it.

I just had to get this out of my system. There’s more where this came from and will follow.

Now back to the important subject of writing.

January 27, 2015 at 12:32 am Leave a comment


I’m here to tell you, what I think, is there a secret to the good retirement. But if you’re an old flatulence (trying to keep it clean) or approaching old flatulence age, it’s already too late. The secret, of course, is to start saving early. But there’s more to it than that, much more. Lifestyle is a big factor, what you expect from life and what you have experienced is a big factor. I’ve been lucky, in that the situations in my life formed an individual primed to save and not expect much, not need much. Let me explain.

Those familiar with my blog have probably read some of my memoir pieces. Born and raised in Newark, N.J., my family was poor. By the time I began college, we had always lived in the same cold-water flat. Six of us in two bedrooms. The experience was less than pleasant, but little did I realize it primed me for the future. Extravagance has no place in my existence, never has, never will.

What follows are some truths I have learned. Truths the retirement hucksters will not dare tell you. How will they make their money for their retirement? When you reach that certain age, and if you’ve not been diligent with your career and finances, anyone painting a rosy picture of what life could be like is just reaching into your pocket. .

I feel that preparing for retirement is not something you suddenly do when you’re ready to retire, or nearing that point. It’s a lifestyle you establish while you’re young and stick too. Perhaps not so much a lifestyle you establish, rather one that happens upon you.

But there is a way to prepare, depending on your age, not so much for you but for your offspring. Teach your kids well. If you talk on the phone while driving, and demand that they don’t because it is dangerous, no matter what they say, they will talk on the cellphone while driving. Our children learn by example. And whose example, yours.

If you max-out your credit cards and buy whatever you want, and then turn around and tell your kids to spend responsibly, what do you think they will do? It is the future generation we have to teach by example, not by words.

Here are my three simple rules to a secure retirement. You will not like them, even if you are young. Most of the young will not listen, it’s the immortal and all-knowing thing, but here they are… to be continued

January 22, 2015 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment


I am a writer, and I hope that someday to gain some success. I am also a retired scientist therefore, have some knowledge of this game of ‘the good retirement’ you might say I gained through ‘on the job training’. With that in mind, I am writing a piece that many will find discouraging and I’m sure with which many will disagree. I can only speak from experience, and for myself. With all the talk about retirement, due to that nasty habit we have developed by living longer, I thought I’d voice my experience. Nothing you read here may help you. My hope is that someone out there may benefit.

Here we go.

Other than being a writer, I am a person trying to survive in today’s world and economy. I think I have the secret, at least for myself and maybe those young and prudent out there (that’s a hint as to what is coming up) to a secure life after you retire. If you are beyond ‘young’ you will not enjoy what I’m about to say, but such is life, but then again, you may have journeyed down the right road early on.

Newspapers, periodicals and direct mailings focused on seniors tout the way to a retirement where all your dreams are fulfilled. Where life will be a comfort and no worries will cloud your future. Once you reach a certain age, you will bombarded with offers to free dinners at the trendiest local restaurants to listen to the profits of retirement success. The only success realized will be their own profit.

I’m not saying that you don’t need advice, but what you get at these fancy restaurants may not be the most helpful. Could even hurt you.

I’m not going to give any specifics, but what follows next is fact. You just have to believe me.

My first experience with a financial adviser was through my employer, a large company with many who signed up. After my wife and I provided all the data asked for, he asked me, “How you like to retire at 57?” Who wouldn’t? As time went on and our daughter set off to attend NYU, during a meeting he just mumbled saying, “I don’t know how you’re going to pay for it.” That retirement ‘at age 57’ went out the window. Eventually, we heard about another adviser with a local reputation.   Word of mouth, the best way to a reputable business whether it’s plumbing or investments. We decided to change advisors and that’s when things got a little ugly. Attempting to switch our investments for one to the other was like pulling hen’s teeth. The new advisor expected there to be difficulties and he was right. To make a long story short we are very happy with our new man. Oh, and he doesn’t charge a fee, only takes a percentage of our profits. If we don’t make money he doesn’t.

So if you’re at that golden age to take action, stay away from the free meals, unless you’re really hungry. To my mind, it’s all bullshit… to be continued.

January 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment


As I stumble through the maze of trying to get my work published, I run across websites that may be helpful. I’ll let you be the judge on how helpful they really are, but I’ll share them.

Next week, I will perhaps make many enemies and maybe one or two friends.

My new series, Rant & Raves, will take a personal look at retirement for that is where I am now. I find the process not difficult and share my ‘insight’.

Most of my enemies will come from the gurus lecturing on how to retire with no worries, the term ‘snake oil’ comes to mind. This will be a personal journey, not meant to be chiseled in stone, merely etched in sand. But having gone through the process, i.e. living to this point, I feel the need to share my ‘wisdom’.

Anyone wishing to ease that retirement from my first life, my writer’s life is still in process, look below.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment


In the future, I plan to submit a post looking at great science fiction authors and their stories which have elements of fiction that become fact.  Just consider Jules Verne and the Nautilus as an example.

I’ve just run across a posting in Science Daily which I will share with you.  But first, I offer you a story first published in Aphelion, The Superior Species.  Read them both and tell me what you think.



The two men sat atop a snow-covered mountain looking down on a land that would one day become Switzerland.  Their prominent brows and wide noses marked them as a distinct species, one of two inhabiting this land.  The other was an aggressive tribe that they watched.   That they feared.  With their high nasal voices, the two communicated their feelings to each other, the love for the land that lay before them.

They did not see the band of ten savages obscured by the falling snow approach the hill on which they sat.  They appreciated the beauty that surrounded them.  The area was covered in a thick blanket of snow and they were sure that there would be more to come.  Recently, the period of snow and ice had been extreme.  The lithe figures approached, preparing to attack.  With spears held high, the savages crept up on the pair.  As one of the muscular men talked to his companion, a spear pierced his breast.  His companion rose and was himself impaled by a spear.  The savages celebrated their kill in a most gruesome fashion.


John and Paul had hiked the Alps of Switzerland for most of their lives.  Friends in England since their youth, they both chose to seek employment in Switzerland to be near the mountains they loved.  Both enjoyed the solitude, hiking the mountains high above the point where novice hikers would stop.  As they hiked that June day, they would have an experience they would never forget, an experience that would alter mankind’s perception of his place on this planet.

While on the lower levels of the Alps, they drank in the fragrance of the sentinel pine.  And as the winter ice retreated, they had to climb higher and higher to enjoy the solitude they cherished.  This June day, they hiked into an ice-shrouded valley that was new to them.  Paul was the first to notice a dark mass protruding from the ice half way up the valley wall.  It stood out black against the pristine ice.

“Do you see that, John?”  Paul pointed.  “I’m going to check it out.”

As Paul approached, a slight wind ruffled Paul’s quarry.

“John, come up here!  It’s hair.”

The two men approached.  They could make out a shape in the ice beneath the hair.  They peered into the ice and both came to the same conclusion.  Buried in the ice was the body of a man.

* * *

The two police officers responding to the Englishmen’s call were used to this sort of thing.  Hikers were often lost in the Alps.  When egos outdistanced skill and training, along with a lack of preparation, the results were often disastrous.  And when the weather became unforgiving, they weren’t found until the first thaw.  The two officers worked to reveal more of the body by chipping away some of the ice.  The face was revealed along with other details.  The more ice they cleared from the body, the more both men knew they were not uncovering an ordinary hiker.

“We had better place guards and call the university in Zurich.”

* * *

Dr. Hans Bueler looked down on the body.  He could not hide his excitement.  As he examined the corpse he talked to the policemen protecting the site.

As his investigation proceeded, he said, “Gentlemen, I do not know if you appreciate the magnitude of this find.  This is, by far, the greatest discovery in the study of our ancient ancestors to date.  You will notice the prominent brow, wide nose and lack of chin.  Notice also the muscular shoulders.  I will require further study, but I am positive this is the body of a Neanderthal.

“I am sure you also have noticed the cause of death.  I refer to the spear point protruding from this individual’s chest.  Gentlemen, this is a crime scene, a murder.  However, you will never apprehend the murderer, for this crime took place thousands and thousands of years ago.


It was a wild night with a howling and frigid wind buffeting the windows of the senior faculty house on the Yale campus.  Sheets of rain kept all the details of the world beyond the windows indefinite.

Four men, leaders in their fields, sat before a roaring fire, the flames reflecting off the dark wooden panels of the study walls.  Each man held a brandy stiffer and appreciated the ambiance of the room and the moment.  The men were in one of the faculty houses provided to senior members of Yale.  The residence was that of Dr. Carl Gold, an evolutionary psychologist.  Gold was in his mid sixties, and with his trim build and gray mane of hair, would not be out of place in the boardroom of a major company or arguing on the floor of the senate. He was a leader in his field with a worldwide reputation.

Gold had invited three men he knew by reputation as giants in their own fields.  He also knew them all personally, in varying degrees, and was confident that what was discussed this stormy night would not go beyond the walls of his study.

Across from Gold sat Fred Fielding.  Tall and gaunt, Fielding had a permanent tan from his many field trips as physical anthropologist.  Next to Fielding was John Sanders, a world-renowned human geneticist.  Sanders published his work in all the major journals, but most of his work was now tied up in the debate over the use of human stem cells.  Sanders, with his short thick build, was the opposite of Fielding.  With his thick black hair and swarthy complexion, he was often mistaken for a maintenance man.  The broken nose he earned during his collegiate boxing career added to the image.

The last of the three invited guests was Dr. Bill Mark, a fertility specialist and adjunct professor in Yale’s medical school.  Tall, slim and blond, with his athletic build, he appeared to be in his mid forties although he was well on the way to sixty.  As each man introduced himself and discussed their specialties, Mark wondered if he had been summoned to this meeting by mistake.  His discipline did not fit in with the others present.  He was not a researcher.  He was a physician.

Gold surveyed his colleagues and friends.  “Gentlemen, the storm that rages beyond these walls will be dwarfed by the storm that may rage within these walls tonight.  I’m sure you are all aware of the magnificent discovery made in the Swiss Alps.  The body of a perfectly preserved Neanderthal, using carbon dating, is estimated to be thirty thousand years old.  I have spent my life in the study of these creatures.  From the time the first Neanderthal skull was found in 1848, this subset of man has remained a mystery.  We are still trying to fathom the extent of their intelligence and how they fit into the human tree of development.

“There are many facts about these distant relatives of modern man that lead to fascinating conjecture.  To begin with, their brains were ten percent larger than that of modern man, yet they are thought to be simple brutes.  We now know that Neanderthals manufactured tools and produced art.  The mask found on the banks of the Loire in France was an unexpected find.  The fact that they produced art indicates they had an appreciation of life beyond their own existence.  They apparently did lack one skill.  They were not as adept at fashioning weapons as their fellow bipeds.

“Another intriguing discovery found in the Kebara Cave in Israel was a Neanderthal bone of extreme importance.  The bone I refer to was a Neanderthal hyoid bone.  This find dispels the theory that Neanderthals could do nothing but grunt.  The presence of a hyoid bone indicates they were capable of speech.  Taking into consideration other aspects of their skulls, it is thought that Neanderthals had a high, nasal voice.

“There are many questions to be answered, and now we have the means at our disposal to journey from conjecture to fact.  I have obtained a sample of the newly discovered Neanderthal.  The reason I have called you all together this evening is to formulate a plan, that my utilizing modern genetics and in vitro fertilization, will produce a Neanderthal.  We shall be able to answer all the questions that have plagued modern man about the Neanderthal enigma.”

Fred Fielding was the first to speak.  “As a physical anthropologist, I look forward to examining the body of the recently discovered Neanderthal.  But your point is clear.  To see how the physical characteristics, whose meaning we assume to deduce, come into play in a living specimen would mean phenomenal advances in our knowledge of man’s distant relative.”

John Sanders, the geneticist, now spoke up.  “With a specimen from this newly discovered Neanderthal, modern genetics could solve, once and for all, the debate of where Neanderthals reside in man’s family tree.  However, what you propose is to produce a living individual.  To do that would require cloning, a method too dangerous to try on a human – to say nothing about it being illegal.”

Gold said, “My dear Dr. Sanders, you would not be cloning a member of the Homo sapiens species.  You would be cloning an example of Homo neanderhtalensis.”

A smile crept across Sanders’ face.  This argument would be viable, until the law caught up with the science.  “In that case, I am willing to isolate the DNA.  What we would need next is a human egg and female willing to carry the Neanderthal to term.”

All eyes were now on Dr. Mark, the fertilization specialist.  He said, “I now see where I fit in.  I see how we all fit into this project.  I will not mince words.  I feel uncomfortable about this proposition.  The mechanisms of the plan would be simple.  I have a supply of donor eggs.  We can remove the egg’s DNA and using cloning methods described in the literature, insert Neanderthal DNA and initiate mitosis.  I also have a group of women we use in my practice who are willing to carry babies as surrogate mothers, but refuse to see the baby after birth.  They want no chance to form an attachment to the child.

“I think the experiment Dr. Gold proposes can be accomplished.  My question is should it be done?  By using the scientific name of the Neanderthal as a loophole, we feel we are free to create an individual who may possess human emotions, who may possess a soul.  This is much different than cloning a sheep or a cat, no matter how much we choose to belittle the difference.  I am not sure I can proceed with this endeavor.”

Gold said, “I picked you, Bill, because I knew you would not go easily with this plan.  What we are planning to do is of profound importance, and also of profound scientific and moral complexity.  Yet, for science to advance, sometimes risks must be taken.  I appreciate your arguments.  I know there are risks, but we have the capacity to venture into the unknown and bring light to a land of mystery.  Through our expertise we can gain knowledge of the beginning of our humanity.”

The debate went on until dawn lit the study windows.  Fielding and Sanders warmed to their initial confidence.  Mark persisted in his initial skepticism.  But in the end, as a new day on Earth began, a new chapter in mankind’s knowledge was agreed upon.


John Sanders received the frozen tissue samples from Gold.  As he gazed at the sample packed in dry ice, he could not believe he was peering into a box containing a tissue sample of a ‘man’ dead thirty thousand years.  Sanders’ ego did not get the better of him.  He knew he had been out of the lab for too long to attempt the important work that lay ahead.  He employed a promising PhD candidate, Michael Rose, to do the actual work.  He would tell Rose as little as possible about the nature of the experiment.  The meeting at Gold’s study had left him with the feeling that he was involved in a conspiracy rather than an experiment, the fewer people that knew about the true purpose of the experiment, the better.

Sanders’ first meeting with Rose went well.  “Michael, I would like you to help me in a special project.”

“Certainly Dr. Sanders.  I’m a little desperate for a new project now that the study I’m working on is going nowhere.”

Sanders said, “It’s a cloning experiment.”

“Fantastic,” said Rose.  “What will we be cloning?”

Sanders hesitated, and then answered, “A non-human primate.”

“Has that ever been done before Dr. Sanders?”

“Not to my knowledge.  We would be making history.”

Rose could not believe his luck.  He was going from a dead-end research project to an historic experiment.

“When do we begin?”

“Immediately,” Sanders said.  “I already have a tissue sample from which you can extract the DNA for the cloning.  I also have a list of references I want you to read and extract from them the method used to fertilize the egg and develop it into an embryo.”

* * *

Two weeks later Rose had the DNA extracted and the materials he would need for the union of the egg and extracted DNA to begin their journey to a living entity.

Sanders called Mark, “Bill, we’re ready to implant the DNA into the eggs.”

“I’ll ship them out by express mail,” said Mark.  “Good luck!”

The eggs arrived in a container of liquid nitrogen.  The paperwork indicated that there were ten eggs contained in the container.  When all was ready, with Sanders at his side, Rose began the cloning experiment.

The eggs were rapidly thawed.  Once thawed, Rose removed their DNA and inserted the ‘primate DNA’ he had prepared.  Each egg was given its own petri dish of life sustaining fluids and put into an incubator.

Both Sanders and Rose periodically checked on the eggs.  Initially, all ten began to divide.  But soon four of the small balls of cells died.  The remaining six progressed to a point where they could be slowly cooled, then frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen until they could be implanted into a uterus.

Rose was excited as he entered Sanders’ office.  “Dr. Sanders, the embryos are frozen.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the experiment.”

Sanders said, “I’ll let you know how things progress.”

“Do we have the monkeys that will carry the embryos to term here?”

“No Michael, the implantation will be done at another institution.”

After Rose left, Sanders sat at his desk and thought; You’ll be told the embryos all died after implantation.  For you, this experiment is over.

Strangely, Sanders found himself feeling envy for Rose.  His dreams had recently been haunted by what this adventure might produce.


Bill March had three women he had used as surrogate mothers in the past who refused to see the babies for whom they had made life possible.  They were ready to perform the function again.  All were young, in their mid to late twenties and all were single.  They were all paid for their service and all three shared similar feelings about their pregnancy.  They wanted to provide a family to couples who needed help.

The three women were each implanted with two of the Neanderthal embryos.  They were all told that the fetuses belonged to a very wealthy couple, and that they would be paid well for their services and their confidentiality.  When it came time to deliver the babies, the births would take place at the couple’s country estate.  All preparations had been taken to equip a room at the estate with the criteria of a delivery room, all the latest equipment necessary to handle whatever emergency might occur.

Two of the women miscarried.

These miscarriages revived the doubts March originally felt about the project.

Pat Meyers carried the last two fetal Neanderthals to term.  She knew she was pregnant with twins, but she grew no larger than she had when she carried a single child.  This disturbed her.  She also knew she carried two boys.  Even with her doubts, it made her happy to know she was bringing joy and creating a family.  She was making it all possible.

Two weeks before her due date, she was moved to a country estate in northern Connecticut.  The house belonged to Gold and had been in his family for many years.  Mark told the two nurses who would assist in the delivery, “The babies may seem somewhat peculiar.  You will be paid to overlook anything out of the ordinary.  After all, we must be sensitive to the parent’s feelings.”

Pat went into labor and had an extremely easy delivery.  Although she had carried the babies to term, both were less than four pounds at birth.

Each nurse cared for one of the infants.  The boys were covered with a fine down of black hair.  One of the nurses whispered to the other, “Look at his head.  It’s so misshapen after such an easy delivery.”

Once the babies were settled in the nursery, the nurses left the estate.  As they walked to their cars one said to the other, “Those infants were indeed peculiar with their misshapen skulls and covered with hair like an ape.  But the one thing I will never forget about them was their eyes.  They weren’t the eyes of any baby I’ve ever seen.  They had a weird look to them, like intelligence.  I felt they were looking right through me.

The other nurse responded, “Did you also get the feeling that they feared our touch.  I’ve never seen that in a newborn before.”


From the time of their births, the babies struck Gold, Fielding, Sanders and Mark as odd.  The infants appeared tense, as if they had an inherent fear of Homo sapiens.  The only time they relaxed was when they could see one another.

“Strange,” Gold noted, “it’s as if they know they are alien to us.”

The babies grew into muscular toddlers and were walking at six months.  Gold and Fielding closely followed their development.  Sanders and Mark occasionally inquired as to the progress of the children, but other projects quickly took them out of the picture.  Their major concern was when Gold would go public with the astounding accomplishment.  They were eager for the recognition their work would bring.   Gold would answer their inquires by saying, “Soon, very soon.”

Fielding spent hours observing the Neanderthal infants, monitoring how their bodies developed as they matured.  They were far more agile than he expected nothing like the lumbering brutes commonly associated with Neanderthals.  As expected, their frames indicated that they would develop into adults of short stature compared to modern man.  Their physique began to fill out, becoming more muscular than that of human babies.  Gold, however, would uncover the true mysteries of the Neanderthals when he studied their psychological development.

The infants began talking at eighteen months, and not with the fumbling birth of knowledge of speech associated with human children.  Gold discovered them talking one day as he entered the room where they slept.  He was stunned, for he never heard them parrot sounds as children do to develop speech.  The Neanderthals did possess the high nasal voices predicted by the bone structure of their skulls.  Gold found the sound of their voices annoying.

Studying their psychological development, Gold thought, these infants are progressing far more rapidly than human toddlers of comparable age.  He began recording his conversations with the Neanderthals.  During one of his sessions with them they both seemed withdrawn.  He asked, “What do you boys think about?”

The Neanderthal born first was called Adam, the other John.  Adam answered, “Why, he asked, ” are we so different from you and the others we meet?”

* * *

It had been four years since the Neanderthals were cloned and Gold became more and more ill at ease about what the experiment had created.  Fielding and Sanders wanted the results of the experiment to be published.  Mark preferred to be left out of the picture.

One night Fielding and Sanders visited Gold in his study, site of the initial plans for the project.  Fielding asked Gold, “Carl, don’t you think it’s time to publish our Neanderthal results?”

Sanders added, “The boys have shown none of the signs of premature aging that many of the animals clone in the past have exhibited.”

Gold said, “The boys are coming along fine.  In fact, their intelligence level, given their age, is remarkable.  But I still feel we should wait to publish.  There is something strange about the boys.  I would prefer to let them develop further before we go public.”

In the end, Fielding and Sanders persevered.  A manuscript was prepared and sent to Science.


When news of the existence of the two Neanderthal children became known to the scientific community, Gold was overwhelmed with requests to study them.  The boys were now ten, and possessed all the characteristics of the typical Neanderthal physique.  They were short and extremely muscular with prominent brows and wide nose associated with their kind.  It was their mental abilities that Gold found both interesting and disturbing.

Gold taught the boys to read.  Now they devoured books.  They were sponges for knowledge.  Fielding still visited the boys.  On one such visit he told Gold, “You know Carl, physically, the Neanderthals are developing precisely as expected.  It is their mental faculties that I find intriguing.”

“I share your amazement,” said Gold.  “They have a thirst for knowledge that far surpasses what their human contemporaries demonstrate.  It’s almost as if they are making up for thousands of years of extinction.”

* * *                           A wild storm raged as Gold drove to the Neanderthal residence.  They were fifteen now and had become something beyond human.

Gold entered the living room to find Adam and John reading.  They were always reading.  Gold stood drenched before them.  He reached into his pocket and produced a revolver.

Adam said, “I fully expected this to happen some day.  I expected history to repeat itself.  You fear us.  I have read all that has been written about Neanderthals.  I know the conjectures your fellow scientists have about our intelligence.  I knew, early on, that you realized how wrong those theories were.

“At the same time, we both realized that you would not accept us as merely different.  Because of your human egos, we appear threatening, superior.  John and I are ready to accept the only outcome this experiment could produce.”

Gold shot twice with the realization that he was the savage were and the Neanderthals were the superior species.


Now here’s the article from Science Daily.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment


The Night Eternal, the final book in The Strain Trilogy is a wild ride and a ‘must read’ for anyone at the least interested in vampires or the source of this horror.

Never before has there been a scientific explanation behind the myths and legends of these monsters, how they infect, how they react to sunlight and mirrors. The authors have changed some characteristics, replace fangs with a method of infection beyond repulsive, but it is all to their credit. And never before, to my limited knowledge, has there been an explanation involving the birth of the original vampire. And I must tell you, the source of the original vampire will rock you.

I cannot strongly enough implore you to read The Strain Trilogy.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &


January 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment


I’ve mentioned in a past post that, after reading an author’s work, I seek out their biography. With J. D. Salinger, I did the exact opposite.

I first read Salinger’s biography by David Shields and Shane Salerno. I couldn’t remember if I had read Salinger’s classic, The Catcher in the Rye, so I read it and recently posted my thoughts, and now have read Franny and Zooey. This book is composed of two works concerning members of the Glass family. Here are my thoughts.

Franny and Zooey are the youngest of the seven siblings, two girls and five boys, of the Glass family. Their parents are vaudeville actors and the children are all described as being extremely intelligent and attractive. The radio show, It’s a Wise Child, features the siblings for an extended period for there is a great age difference between the first and the last.

In the first piece, Franny, we find a girl of twenty, with a rather unstable nature, meeting her boyfriend for a weekend game. They go for lunch where martinis are consumed and endless cigarettes smoked. The language is stilted, by today’s standards. The Zooey piece concerns her brother and her condition in the previous piece. Zooey, along with his mother, also smoke constantly. Zooey also exhibits an attitude and sophistication not keeping with his age of perhaps 25.

The purpose of this post is, in my opinion, today’s reader would not find these works entertaining, or meaningful.

After publishing his work, Salinger wrote, as a recluse for 45 years, producing a reported volume of work to be published in the future, dealing with the Glass family as well as the Caulfield family from The Catcher in the Rye.

I’m looking forward to reading these works to see, while in seclusion, Salinger kept up with the times. Generations of both families would have past. Did they trade martinis for marihuana? Did the stiltedness of their encounters become steamy sex? Did his writing change to reflect the time?

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 8, 2015 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment


As I write, I try to determine if my thoughts are the result of old age or maybe keen observation. You be the judge.

In this past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/28/14, I read an article in the Health Section about eye care vitamins. I take eye care vitamins with the hope of not becoming a macular degenerate, I’ve got enough problems. The article focused on a study done by four research centers, one being the Penn State College of Medicine, finding that very few of the eye care vitamins sold had the level of ingredients printed on the label, and some contained herbal supplements not included in these ingredients. A comment in the article relates, ‘By law, dietary supplements need not demonstrate safety or effectiveness, they merely have to refrain from claiming to treat, prevent or cure any disease.’

Okay, here’s a stretch: Does it seem that fast-food is more closely regulated than vitamins? To my knowledge, no one goes to a fast-food joint to improve their health. If they do, I hope they are under close supervision and reminded to take their meds. However, people do take vitamins to improve their health.

What am I missing here?

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

BEGINNING A NEW YEAR, 2014 in review

This is the time we make promises to ourselves, most of which we won’t keep. Time to reflect on the year past and the one that approaches. Time to get on with life.

As in the past, my blog will focus on writing, on where and how to publish your work, and how to endure this absurd profession. If I have any successes, I’ll share them with you. Failure will find itself under the rug.

For the coming year, I’ve decided to begin a new category, one I’ve felt growing for some time now. I already have a category, Observations and Opinions, but I find the title too mellow for what I observe as I travel through space and time. Rants & Raves will be the new category I plan to visit often in this upcoming year. It will encompass subjects which, to me, make little sense, or in general, just piss me off. The older I get, the larger this category grows.

“How does that apply to writing?” you may ask. As I read I find many current authors address issues in their fiction nudging important topic into public view. My last post, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, is a case in point where she addresses climate change incorporated in a fantastic story. But this trend is not new. Currently, I’m reading Charles Dickens’, Hard Times, an author whose work constantly addresses the wrongs in English society. Then, there is Upton Sinclair writing The Jungle, altering the meat processing industry. The list goes on and on where fiction is used to alter fact.

Let me finish this post by thanking you for entering my life and thoughts this last year, and hope that our relationship continues.

Finally, I’ve included my past year’s blog life as reported by WordPress.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

January 2, 2015 at 5:36 pm 1 comment


January 2015

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