Why I Will Always Prefer Books Over Ebooks

Barnes and Noble is one of my all-time favorite stores. To me, a lifelong bibliophile and aspiring author myself, there’s nothing like looking around at vast shelves with colorful covers of books of all shapes and sizes. Being able to take up a book in your hands, flip through the pages, and read a summary or a couple of pages real quick is a feeling you could never get from ordering the same book online.

As an aspiring author who is opting to go the self-pub route, I’m aware that I will most likely be starting out publishing ebooks that are the epitome of what I hate about the electronic world, the antithesis of the classic bookstore. I do hope that if I am lucky enough to break into the actual publishing world that Amazon hasn’t cast the doom-spell on B&N as it has on other retailers, but my goal to buy at least two-three books every paycheck will at least be me doing my share to keep that from happening.

The science fiction fan inside of me has always envisioned various doomsday scenarios for the future. With more and more print media going away in favor of electronic versions, what happens if something happens to the power grid and we lose all of our electricity? All the knowledge, news, and communication we’ve become so used to in recent years will be gone. And there will be no alternatives, either. At least with print books there will be some recourse; those authors who publish solely electronically will be crap out of luck. The struggles of the public library scene nowadays worries me in the event of catastrophe…

I had a history and political science professor several years ago who had collected such a vast library over his many years of life that he ended up building his own library building in his backyard. Complete with those old-fashioned sliding ladders and shelves the touched the ceiling, he claimed to own over 100,000 volumes and had plans to bequeath the library to Aquinas College, our local Catholic college, upon his death. It inspired me to wish the same thing in life. A study, a library, an office…things most guys my age take for granted or don’t have are the things I very much want in life. And I’m blessed to have a significant other who is excited for me to have these things when we get a house.

You can’t fill a massive library with ebooks. To me, the physical tome will always be the master form of the written word, and something that can never go away despite how technological and bear-sighted our society has become.

Back to reading for me.

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New Tomes, 10/30/2018

I recently decided that every payday I would slowly expand my library by buying two to three books, hopefully having them all read by then.

The memoirs of Grant was a volume I’ve had my sights on for quite a while. I’m not as big into military or American history as I was once upon a time, but as my interest in other areas of history has grown, so has my interest in primary sources and autobiographical material. Barnes and Noble didn’t have Sherman’s collection of memoirs, so I will have to wait until some other time for that one. But as a starting point for Civil War studies and an overview of Grant’s presidency, what better place to go than the general himself?

After finishing Hollywood Gothic early last week, I was bound and determined to get my hands on the rest of David Skal’s books. I honestly didn’t look hard enough in the store for the one I had my heart set on (his biography of Bram Stoker) but I did find The Monster Show. As a novice cultural historian and commentator myself (as well as a dark fantasy and horror fan) I’m very excited to read Skal’s analysis of the macabre film.

The big question is, which one do I crack open first?

Hate the Hate

Another one of my ranting posts, but much-needed…

What the hell is wrong with all of us? Since when did maturity and wisdom and BRAINS go out the window and get replaced with a short fuse? Why the hell are we as a society so quick to anger and rage whenever we see or hear something that we don’t believe in or don’t agree with? Why has acceptance and tolerance died while hate and scorn have risen to take their place? Why has evil overtaken good? Why have we forgotten forgiveness and learned condemnation?

How come if someone belongs to a different political party than yourself they are automatically assumed to be and treated as an enemy of America? How come if someone follows a different religion than you–or believes in religion in general–they are looked down upon as delusions or outdated and treated as if their beliefs have no place in today’s world?

Why is is that every new President or Vice President of the United States is short down by the opposing party as enemies of America? Why are candidates or elected officials who have committed no crimes or have only sketchy controversial allegations the subject of bomb scares and threats of assassination? Why must otherwise good people be the subject of slander and public shaming when in reality they are at work putting in long hours with the worst kinds of stress imaginable being thrust upon them trying to keep the nation running smoothly? Yes, it is wrong when politicians spew hate against one another but it’s even more wrong that we as people subscribe to the hatred and make the hate a million times worse. Politicians have a history of being at each other’s throats. The common people as a whole group do not.

What gives?

Throughout this nation’s history there have been many Democrat presidents. There have also been a great many Republican candidates. Both parties have controlled the House and the Senate many times, sometimes both at once. The country hasn’t taken a nose dive yet. I remember when Barack Obama got re-elected. A fanatical former-acquaintance of mine was convinced whole-heartedly that there would never be a free election in this country again. Four years later, Donald Trump won the election. Now, members of the left feared a tyrannical Nazi regime would replace what “used to be” America. Instead, Trump is focusing hard on the traditional values of America, while the courts and Congress–even certain members of his own party–are keeping some of his more controversial ideas and decisions toned down or in the bag. That, my friends, is how it should be. Checks and balances. Every single President, including Number 44, has been subject to them. There were many things Obama wanted to do that Congress and the courts wouldn’t allow. It happens. And still, America as a free and democratic republic did not fall apart just because one branch said “no”. Washington continues to work as it always has, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

What isn’t as it has been, though, is the amount of anger and violence in this country right now. On a daily basis it feels like we are on the verge of open rioting and civil war just because the news rolls out this article or that article attacking one side or the other. We are all smart enough to know that modern news loves fucking with us and playing with our heads. Every single thing we see or hear should be taken with a grain of salt, yet there are many out there who believe CNN or Fox News is God Himself speaking the truth, and how dare God ever be wrong about the news. One news sight proclaimed that Hillary Clinton lost security clearance recently; CNN reported the same thing, only stating that she willingly gave it up. The only news outlet to report such. Obviously two totally different pieces of news with totally different implications being thrown out at us, again trying to stir the pot between left and right even more.

I preach, readers of CrapPile, to calm the hell down and breathe. If somebody says something that upsets or offends you, be the bigger man (or woman) and ignore it. Walk away from it. If you don’t like the current President, by all means vote Democrat or whatever next election. But don’t threaten the man or wish ill will on him, because like Barack Obama said after the election his success means our success. You might not like that he is President but he IS, and if you won’t wish him the best at least wish the country the best, because right now we are a shit show and we can be much, much better than that. We have to be. I may not have liked Obama but I never stopped hoping that he would do his job and keep America going. And he did. Same with Trump. You don’t have to like him or even respect him, but respect his position and the enormous amount of work it takes to keep this nation moving on the right track. He is at the helm, and that’s not changing for a little bit.

Talk to people, don’t shout. Don’t scream. Ask questions and point out the flaws, don’t threaten and harass. Discuss. Be the mature, responsible adults that we all SHOULD be, and not immature children with no filters and no mute buttons. You all have brains–use them. Talk from the mind and the heart, not out of the ass. Hate the hate; don’t add fuel to it. Forgive.

Healthy Sunday to Everyone!

About to start a nine and a half hour shift, so I need some sustenance! I made me some oatmeal and pulled out a Greek yogurt cup from the fridge. I shook up some Shakeology to drink on the way, and a few healthy snack items to munch on throughout the day instead of an all-out lunch.

She’s made food for me so many times, so I figured it was high time I made Alexis’s lunch too. She has a chicken breast sandwich, pineapple bits and yogurt to bring to work today.

We both plan on hitting up the little gym here at the complex as soon as she gets off work, so it’s only natural we get our bodies ready for that grind.

God, it feels good to be back towards working on some goals again…

My Healthy Journey Starts Tomorrow

Working at Vitamin Shoppe has really inspired me. It’s hard not to work at a store that sells workout supplements and other vitamins and things to support your health without feeling the urge to better yourself. I mentioned the other day on here that I had plans to kick myself back into shape and really make more positive and beneficial choices, and I decided to start tomorrow.

I have Beachbody Shakeology, protein powder, pre- and post-workout supplements, BCAAs, fish oil, and an entire fridge full of clean, wholesome foods. Chicken, brown rice, greens. My first paycheck all went to rent so I couldn’t buy all of what I had hoped for, but it’s a start.

I get a ton of steps in at work, so that alone has already put me on a good path towards health and wellness. Renewing my Planet Fitness membership will have to wait until next payday, but fortunately in the meantime our apartment complex has a tiny gym that can at least get me started. I might have to wait to begin the starter workout I had in mind, but at least I can start getting my muscles used to lifting and some great cardio in. An added bonus is the half hour walk to and from work every day. I’m telling you, I’m set up for success if I just keep putting my mind these things.

Alexis and I are also looking into Beachbody. A few years ago I dated a girl who first introduced me to the company and for a few months I was an inactive “coach” but now that I’m out on my own with more time and room and stuff it’s something I really want to seriously consider again. I’m sure I will talk a lot more about that stuff in the future, but needless to say I’m looking into everything I can to make me the best me I can.

I’m tired of being chubby, ugly, and out of shape. Feeing completely bloated after every single meal, sluggish and tired without an ounce of energy anywhere in my body. I HATE the cramps and nausea.

It’s time for some serious changes, wouldn’t you agree?

The Left’s Bomb Scares

Earlier today I wrote that bomb threats are the work of cowards and idiots. Not too long after that, I got on Facebook and noticed that on top of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and CNN Maxine Waters also allegedly had explosive materials intercepted on the way to her. So many Democrat and left-leaning targets seems to have stirred the suspicions of many of my right-leaning friends, because I started seeing post after post after post accusing the left of becoming so deranged that they are either faking it or having bombs sent to themselves.

I honestly wouldn’t put it past them to at least think of doing something like that. What better way to garner support and attention than to victimize yourself or create a spectacle. Adolf Hitler and the Reichstag are a prime example. And before all my left-leaning followers and readers accuse me of subscribing to the perverse, typical conservative comparisons of the Democrats and Nazis, I’m simply stating a point. Some conspiracy theorists blame 9/11 on the Bush administration for a very similar effect. I don’t know. Both cases did create a strong sense of national unity, for better or worse.

So I personally think the left faked their bomb scares? No. Anything like that would only be something anybody would do if they’re extremely desperate, which the liberals clearly are not. I believe that they’re credible, and am again thankful that no one got hurt and that they were all intercepted in plenty of time. How convenient that CNN didn’t have to go very far for their breaking news story, though…

I’m anxious to see how much traction the federal investigation gets the next few days. I’m very interested in finding out what idiots decided it would be a good idea to try sending bombs to a major news outlet, a Congresswoman, and two former U.S. Presidents (Yes, I know Hillary lost, but we had the misfortune of her husband Slick Willy serving two terms back in the nineties). Are they conservatives hoping to take out perceived enemies of America? Are they liberals trying to garner sympathy for the left? A Middle Eastern terror cell? Russian saboteurs? Or are my conspiracy theorists correct and they are so fed up with the President that they want to try blowing themselves up to keep their faces front and center?

Let’s see how this plays out.