8 Insane Roman Emperors

History has been brutal to 8 Roman emperors, they are considered bloodthirsty madmen. They are Caligula, Nero, Commodus, Elagabalus, Domitian, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla), Tiberius, and Diocletian. However, most of the stories about their cruelty are probably exaggerated or completely made up and even if a normal person had lead the lives they lived, a little madness would be expected.

Nero did not fiddle as Rome burnt, he wasn’t even in Rome when the Great Fire broke out and the fiddle had not yet been invented. And he didn’t have the fire set, most historians agree that the fire that killed thousands of people was probably set by the Christians. Which was Nero’s opinion at the time. In the aftermath of the fire, Nero opened the treasury up to rebuild the city, even having villas and houses built and donating them to tradespeople who couldn’t afford to rebuild. For the record, Nero was still a jerk, he just wasn’t as big a jerk as history makes him out to be. He did cut off his wife’s head and present it to his mistress as an engagement present afterall… But he wasn’t specifically trying to burn the citizens of Rome and he didn’t take delight in the fire.

Caligula might very well have been a bit paranoid and he did not trust the Senate or the wealthy citizens of Rome. But he survived 5 assassination attempts, so perhaps his paranoia was justified. Also, it’s the 1st Century, cruel rulers aren’t exactly unknown the world over. However, Caligula wasn’t doing anything different than any other ruler of the time. Disobedience was met with swiftly and harshly. Plus, his sister was always trying to snatch the throne away from him for her son – Nero – so perhaps punishing disobedience and disloyalty was the right course of action. As far as sanity goes though, Caligula declared war on the god Neptune, ruler of the Seas. So his elevator may not have gone all the way to the top.

Commodus was made famous by Joaquin Phoenix in the movie Gladiator. Until then, most modern people had never heard of him. Commodus also dealt with several assassination attempts by members of his family and the Senate and as such, didn’t trust either of them very much, which is understandable. Towards the end of his reign, he did start accusing anyone near him of trying to kill him every time he got sick, often ordering them killed. However, Commodus’ own wife, did indeed try to poison his food, so again he might have been paranoid with good reason.

Tiberius was the successor of Augustus. And his biggest problem was that his stepfather hadn’t wanted him as heir. Augustus constantly told Tiberius that he was stupid and didn’t deserve the throne. But Tiberius was a very smart military strategist and earned his spot as Emperor when his stepfather died without having named an heir, the military supported Tiberius’ claim. However, when those with money know that you were not supposed to be in the head spot, they tend to plot against you and the wealthy of Rome did exactly that. Tiberius ended up having to bring back treason trials as a result of the plotting and it wiped out a few families that held positions within the Senate, which made him more enemies. Tiberius like his successor Caligula would also deal with multiple assassination attempts. I don’t know how much poison one person can ingest before it makes them a bit wonky, but Tiberius and Caligula and Commodus probably had every bit of those doses.

Elagabalus was a teenager who had never even visited Rome when he became Emperor. His grandmother was a relative of the Emperor and she plotted to make Elagabalus emperor. He was just 14 when he was given the power to rule an empire. Elagabalus was 14 and like most 14 year old boys, he didn’t like to listen to his elders and he had the same sense of humor as most 12 year old boys. Elagabalus was ruled by his hormones, taking a string of brides, and expressing some extreme sexual tastes, it’s fairly difficult to offend Romans when it came to sex, but Elagabalus managed. When he was 18, his grandmother (the same that had instilled him as emperor) had him murdered.

Caracalla’s father Septimius Severus wasn’t all that thrilled at the idea of having his son serve as emperor, but Caracalla was the oldest. To temper his impulsiveness, Septimius Severus made his two sons co-heirs and co-emperors. Caracalla served for two years as co-emperor with his brother Geta, but things didn’t go well. The two could not agree on anything and it was dividing the empire. To fix it, Caracalla had Geta killed. At which point, Romans who had supported Geta began plotting against Caracalla. Caracalla became paranoid. Caracalla reacted violently, sending troops into the Egyptian city of Alexandria and executing any person suspected of plotting an uprising against Caracalla.

Diocletian on the list is actually the result of the influence of the Catholic Church on history. He was actually a really good emperor, very capable, the Empire saw an improved economy and expanded. Diocletian even had a co-emperor that ruled half the empire from Alexandria, Egypt while he ruled from Rome. But he really enjoyed finding new ways to kill Christians, whom he considered troublemakers. After the Catholic Church rose to power, the history of Diocletian was revised a bit by them, to make him seem crazier and crueler than he was.

Domitian isn’t all that different from Diocletian. As far as emperors went, he was really good at it and the empire prospered under his leadership. However, he was suspicious of the Senate like most emperors and he had 12 of them killed one night at a dinner party… or that’s the story. Domitian like Diocletian fell victim to some revisionist history at the hands of the Catholic Church long after his death, because he had the same hobby as Diocletian, killing Christians for fun and profit.

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Put Another Brick in the Wall

Several of my blog posts of late have dealt with historic walls and yes, it was leading up to this post. The US government has entered a partial shutdown because neither Republicans nor Democrats in congress really want to fund the border wall. I could have taken a cultural look at the efficiency of walls, but chose the militaristic side for a specific reason.

Here’s the deal, the border wall between the US and Mexico will not stem the tide of illegal immigration from Central America. It won’t even stem the tide of drugs, people trafficked for sex, or illegal guns. There are two main reasons pouring 30 billion into a border wall is basically flushing money down the toilet. 1) desperation doesn’t care about physical obstacles and most of the immigrants nowadays are from areas of Central America where violent conflict, corrupt governments, and poverty rule the land. They are desperate to settle anywhere but where they are. 2) There is an army constantly working to defeat all security measures put in place by the US to secure the border between the US and Mexico.

In the decades before the Black Death swept through Europe, there was a devastating famine on the continent. Tradesmen built a freaking tunnel under the walls of Paris to get inside where they hoped richer citizens would pay them more for goods… even though they knew the famine was affecting the cities just as much as the countryside. A similar thing happened in Medieval Moscow, citizens tunneled under the walls of Moscow in order to search for food and money during the famine. Desperate people are willing to do whatever it takes to relieve their situations. People spent 40 years crossing the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane season in what amounted to row boats to escape Cuba. No wall will ever keep the desperate out.

I focused on the military aspect more than the cultural because Americans seem to forget there is always an army working to defeat every security we put in place; those are not armies of immigrants, they are well paid and usually well trained mercenaries hired by the Cartels. Most Cartels are large, well funded, well oiled machines that churn out drugs and slaves to be sent out for consumption. And as long as there are Cartels in Mexico, no border wall will keep them from moving their goods into the US. This means at this very moment, Cartels have plans prepared to deal with a chain link fence spanning the 1,954 miles of the US/Mexico border.

In other words, before the wall is even built, there are plans to undermine its capabilities. That is literally no different than accidentally securing the gates of Rome after the Vandals have gotten inside. And the Cartels have people on the inside, people who are US citizens whose sole job is to ensure that the Cartels continue to have access to the US.

No border wall is going to stop them. And if we can’t secure it from the armies of the Cartels, we can’t secure it from illegal immigrants. A breached wall might as well not exist. Because the Cartels already use Drug Tunnels to move people if the money is good enough. Even if we build it with reinforced concrete, it won’t matter to the Cartel. No wall in the history of the world has ever been known as effective. Even the Berlin Wall which was one of the more effective was defeated by desperation.

Wouldn’t that 30 billion dollars be better spent here in the US to fund the ATF, DEA, FBI, ICE, border guards, Homeland Security, and any number of other defenses that actually work? And defeating the Cartels is more important than trying to stop illegal immigration. But as history shows us again and again, there is no wall that can be built that is big enough to deter an army of any size. So other solutions must be explored because our border wall is already compromised.

Merry Christmas

If you celebrate the holiday, let me wish you a merry christmas from my family to yours. We do a big Christmas breakfast every year. Eat play with our new stuff, then naps because life is just better with naps.

Go forth and be merry. If you don’t celebrate it, go forth and enjoy your Tuesday. Let us all raise a cup of coffee, soda, milk, water, wine, beer, whatever you’re drinking to Mithra and Christmas miracles that stop wars for a day.

The Berlin Wall

August 13, 1961 construction began on the Berlin Wall. The massive project was the brainchild of communist Germany backed by the Soviet Union. In total, it was 96 miles long, 27 of those miles ran smack dab through Berlin. The other 69 miles encircled parts of West Berlin so that it would not have contact with the East German countryside.

The 27 miles that ran through the city was actually a double wall construct. The inner wall was 3 feet wide, made of reinforced concrete. The inner wall was 12 feet tall. The outer wall was also 3 feet wide and stood 15 feet tall and again was made from reinforced concrete (essentially concrete with rebar in it). Between the inner wall and the outer wall was an area known as the Death Strip which in some places was only 18 feet wide and in others was as much as 380 feet wide.

Not 35 miles from my house is a 32 feet long section of the outer Berlin Wall that stands as a memorial at a local college’s museum dedicated to Churchill. I have seen in person there as well as in Berlin where sections were saved, reconstructed and now stand as a reminder to how terrible it was. It is imposing. It makes one feel small to stand next to it and have it’s shadow engulf you.

However, it wasn’t the Wall that kept people from hopping between East and West Berlin, it was the death strip. The inner wall had gun turrets, guard towers, and armories. And all that firepower was aimed at the death strip. It was also lovingly boobytrapped with mines and things. The death strip is where people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Both inner and outer walls were manned, not just check points, but people who actually did nothing but walk along the top of the wall and shoot at people trying to illegally cross it.

The DDR quickly realized after constructing the Berlin Wall that they would have to commit to it in order for it to work at keeping Westerners out of the East and Easterners inside the confines of the poorer section of Germany. And that commitment would require bloodshed. As far as we know, there were no successful escape attempts across the Wall once the death strip was put in place.

One of my professors once told me that the DDR had CCTV aimed at the Death Strip and in the early days of the Berlin Wall, they would air footage on TV of people dying as they tried to illegally cross the border wall. And those clips also helped deter people from trying to cross illegally.

It only stood for 36 years (from completion to destruction). In 1989, the DDR in an attempt to pacify it’s citizens agreed to release a certain number of VISAs to cross from the East to the West. But the announcement became garbled between headquarters and broadcasting and suddenly there was a rush at the checkpoints to get the VISAs.

At that point, desperate, enraged, and surrounded by hundreds of their fellow East Berliners, a few brave and daring people took matters into their own hands and overwhelmed the guards in the checkpoints. Guards from the top of the Wall had to come down as reinforcements and they too were soon overwhelmed and the security of the Berlin Wall was compromised in less than a day. By that night, people from both sides were climbing on top of the Berlin Wall with sledgehammers. The announcement aired on the morning of November 6, 1989 and by November 15, 1989, the East German government announced they would begin allowing free travel from the East to the West, a complete contradiction of the ideals they supported.

A few thousand people had toppled a government in just nine days. And they had wrecked the symbol of division that had arbitrarily governed them for 36 years. It was a powerful and emotional event. I still have memories of seeing people stand on the Berlin Wall, leaning on sledgehammers or wielding them over their heads to bring them down again on the ghastly thing.

Walls have never been effective deterrents, it is the death that lays at the base of the walls that deter people from testing them. The same was true of walled cities and walled castles centuries before the Berlin Wall was built. It will still hold true six centuries from now. A wall is only as good as the violence that can be rained down on those that test it, whether that be with landmines, boiling pitch, arrows, or bullets, that is the deterrent, not the physical wall.

WWII UFO Moments

As some of you may remember, my history degree is actually in the cultural and political history of WWII Europe. This means I can tell you what the average German thought of WWII as well as what the British and French were doing to combat Nazism and add a dash of what the Soviets thought of Hitler and Germans as a whole, and on a good day, I can remember details about the Battle of Stalingrad and other important battles. Which is why I didn’t get a career related to my degree… I didn’t want to teach and I couldn’t figure out what else to do with said history degree.

Writing novels is more in line with my passions anyway and it allows me to disseminate a little history to the masses who read my books and blog posts. WWII is generally thought of only in terms of Nazis. Don’t get me wrong, Nazis and the Holocaust were the most important parts of it, but it was also filled with head scratching moments for various reasons. This post will touch on some of those head scratching moments.

We’ll start with pre-War moments. In 1937, a UFO reportedly crashed in northern Germany and the wreckage was recovered by the Nazi government. This would lead to two things during the war, A) the funnelling of money into a top secret project called Die Glocke and B) Nazis developing the jet engine.

Hitler got the plans for Die Glocke from a medium involved in the Vril Society, a secret society that concentrated on spiritualism. Hitler himself was very interested in the paranormal and his right hand man, Himmler married a woman who proclaimed to be a medium. Despite massive funding and having the top scientists of Nazi Germany working on Die Glocke, the project would ultimately fail and the weapon to end the war would never take shape. Some think the weapon was a flying saucer, others think it had something to do with radioactivity.

However, it was while working on Die Glocke that Nazi Germany perfected the jet engine and by the final years of the war, Nazi Germany had the most advanced air force on the planet. Despite these advancements in aeronautics, ultimately, even the jet planes of Nazi Germany were no match for the tenacity of certain members of the US and Royal Air Force and experienced daredevil pilots would ultimately decide air combat battles in the favor of the Allied Forces in the European theater. So, the jet engine was created thanks to a theoretical UFO crash, Hitler and Himmler’s interest in the paranormal, and accident.

However, this would not be the only UFO encounter during WWII that would gain some notoriety. Foo Fighters would quickly join the lexicon of WWII. Seen by hundreds of air servicemen during WWII from every country to put up an airplane during it, they were either described as metal balls or glowing balls of light that often shadowed aircraft. There are dozens of photos taken from planes of Foo Fighters. Although, that hasn’t helped us figure out what they are and we haven’t had sightings of them since the end of WWII. One reportedly shadowed the Enola Gay for a short time on it’s fated flight to Japan.

The final one happened in the US. After the massacre at Pearl Harbor, many cities on the Pacific Coast had huge military installations put near them. The goal was to not be hit by another Pearl Harbor. Several of these installations even noticed the horrible balloon bombs Japan tried to send to the US (only one actually arrived on the mainland and while it did kill 2, it wasn’t very effective). A few things collided to make the perfect storm that would become known as the Battle of Los Angeles.

The first attack of the mainland US took place the day before the Battle of Los Angeles. February 22, 1942 (two and a half months after Pearl Harbor) a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of Santa Barbara, California and proceeded to launch artillery shells at the US. Unfortunately for the Japanese, they didn’t have their location correct and they ended up firing hundreds of shells on an oil field and refinery. There were no casualties and only minimal damage done.

Los Angeles was on the brink of panic, because it was obvious a Japanese submarine was just off the coast and it had disappeared from radar and it had attempted to bomb LA and failed. Records show the submarine did think it was bombing LA when it bombed the oil field in Santa Barbara. So in that respect, the panic of the Angelenos was justified. On the night of February 23, 1942 a contact did appear on radar that appeared to be a plane nearing Los Angeles. Battle stations were put on alert. People began reporting to emergency services they could see strange lights over the ocean heading towards the city. It didn’t take long for the radar contact to disappear, as it flew over Los Angeles air space. More people began to call emergency services about the lights that they reported had now disappeared.

The order was given to fire at the unknown craft. And all Hell broke loose. Military installations around Los Angeles fired hundreds of thousands of rounds. There is a famous photo of search lights scanning the black sky as heavy artillery rounds can be seen exploding in the area search lights are aimed at. Angelenos were told to head inside, pull down their curtains, and snuggle with loved ones. It is the only time a blackout order has been issued in the US.

The following morning, Angelenos could pick up the spent casings from the artillery rounds from their yards and streets. In the days and weeks that followed, the army stated several times that the alert was real and not a drill or the invention of an overactive imagination. If there was a craft, it either wasn’t hit by any of the rounds or it wasn’t reported as downed. And it holds the record for the only air battle to happen over mainland US. More shells were fired in the Battle of Los Angeles than by US forces in Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Los Angeles would actually lead the US to invest significant resources into research of radar technology to improve it. Germany and the US weren’t the only places where UFOs played a role in WWII, there was one report that surfaced in 1995 (after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991) that claimed several members of the Soviet army’s upper echelon took note of a UFO a few days before they recaptured the city of Stalingrad and that they found the weakness in the German defenses of the city, as a result of their encounter with the UFO.

As a side note, these all predate Roswell (1947) and the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting (also 1947) both of which “started the UFOlogy movement.”

Writing Update & 2019 Plan

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I haven’t gotten as much written as I’d like. It was rough. I hope to hit it hard again after Christmas and if the stars align and the universe allows, I’ll have at least 1 book finished by the end of January.

  • Untitled Reality Novel: 21,591 words
  • Ritual Dreams: 43,822 words
  • Oh My Wizard (working title of Nephilim Narrative 2): 8,353 words
  • Goddess Investigations: 57,777 words (no clue how I managed to get that many 7s in a single word count without aiming for it)
  • Dysfunctional Expansion: 4,898 words

At my doctor’s appointment on December 17th, it was decided that I can stay or go off Lyrica as I choose. I can’t take high doses of it, so my doctor doesn’t believe it is all that helpful.

Part of me hopes that if I go off it, my brain will fix itself after a few weeks of not being force fed the medication. It’s no secret, I think Lyrica is detrimental to how I process information, I’m hopeful that going off the medication will help with my writing. I struggle to form sentences, not like writer’s block, the ideas are there, but the words aren’t. I have reported the aphasia and other problems I have (like believing I’ve had conversations that I haven’t) to the FDA. PS: that is not easy, you’d think it would be, but it was a pain in the behind.

I have high hopes for January. We’ve altered my pain medication to give me more control, removed me from Lyrica, and upped my muscle relaxers.

This also means I hope 2019 starts out on a better note than 2018. I have a plan in place for publishing in 2019. I will be releasing the following books:

  • Ritual Dreams
  • Oh My Wizard
  • Goddess Investigations
  • Untitled Reality Novel
  • Dysfunctional Expansion

I don’t have release dates for any of them yet. I’m hoping to get a daily planner sheet that I can keep on my new desk to schedule when I’m going to write on what. On days I have doctor’s appointments, I don’t manage to get much writing done… A daily planner might help with that. I used to have a Monty Python quote of the day desk calendar/planner. My current desk is a little small, but I’m hoping to get a larger one in early 2019. When you use a 17 inch laptop, it takes up quite a bit of room on a small desk.

J took over a position affiliated with darts (regional director for the American Dart Association) that will require him to travel a little more, and attend a few more dart tournaments a year. This is actually a good thing and I look forward to it, even if I don’t travel with him all the time (and I probably won’t as travel is hard on me), I do write more when he is gone.

And I still have some stuff in the works, like audio and working with some authors on anthologies and what not. Fingers crossed!

Phoenix Lights 1997

March 1997 between Sedona, Arizona to Phoenix Arizona more than 2,000 people reported seeing an unknown grouping of lights in the sky.  It is the largest mass sighting of an unidentified flying object in modern history.  

The event started in the early evening hours in Sedona, Arizona where a formation of lights were seen to be moving southwest through the sky.  The formation was five lights in a V-pattern.  It moved slowly and it was reported by sheriff’s deputies as well as the everyday people living around Sedona.  

This first appearance of the lights happened just after it got dark, it is of interest to note that Phoenix is southeast of Sedona.  There were multiple reports of the lights by people living between Sedona and Phoenix.  However, it would be 10 pm or so when the first reports came in from Phoenix residents about the formation.  Initial reports had five lights in a V-formation, but as the lights hovered over Phoenix, more lights popped on and reports went from five lights to 10 lights hovering over the heavily populated city.

Interestingly, several air traffic controllers reported seeing the lights from where they sat in their tower, but the object did not appear on radar.  This along with statements given by several retired air force pilots lends some validity to the sighting.  Again, it was seen by first responders as well as the general public and at one point, Phoenix 911 was overwhelmed with calls reporting the lights.  

It would be three months after the sighting before it was reported in national news.  USA Today carried the first national news story about the Phoenix lights which remained visible for several hours over the city of Phoenix.  A couple of things happened in those 3 months that are worthy of a good head scratch.  The military announced the UFO were flares and the military had announced before that night that they would be doing a practice flare drop that night.  And a few men in the Air Force retired.

Both of these things are important, because they directly impact the mysterious sighting.  Flares and the lights over Phoenix.  While the event has been dubbed the Phoenix lights, it could have just as easily been dubbed the Mexico Lights, the Sedona Lights, the Sonora Lights, and any hundreds of others.  The first report came from Sedona, Arizona.  The last report came from Sonora, Mexico.  While it is possible a flare drop was responsible for some of the sightings, the flare drop happened just north of Phoenix, but the lights when they stopped hovering over Phoenix, began moving southeast again entering the Sonora region of Mexico.  The Air Force was absolutely not practicing flare drops there. 

There were no breaking news reports interrupting TV in Phoenix to show the lights and in 1997, news wasn’t available online yet.  It wouldn’t be until the following morning that any news shows would broadcast footage they captured of the Phoenix Lights.  This means the people in Sonora, Mexico that reported seeing the lights, didn’t know they had hovered for several hours over Phoenix earlier that night.  And flares dropped near Phoenix, wouldn’t have been visible in Sedona, Arizona or Sonora, Mexico.  I feel this somewhat discredits the idea that it was a flare drop.

Now for the retired military personnel.  One of the reasons USA Today finally ran the story, is they interviewed an anonymous source who was working on an Air Force base in Arizona the night of the flare drop and the night of the lights over Phoenix.  He reported that when the first reports came in from Sedona, the Air Force scrambled two F-16s to investigate.  If it was a flare drop done by the Air Force, why scramble jets to investigate?  

As many before me have pointed out flares dropped from jets, look like bright red falling stars.  They do not hover and they do not move in a formation, quite the opposite as a matter of fact.  They are affected by wind currents and there have been instances when a grouping of flares have moved in different directions because of upper air disturbances.  Flares would not have hovered over Phoenix for an extended period of time, they burn out in 10 to 15 minutes.  Even if the citizens of Phoenix had all been outside on their front porches watching for them, the event would have been over in less than 30 minutes, it would not have lasted most of the night.  Also, the flare drop was scheduled for just after dusk, which is when the lights showed up in Sedona.  It is 117 miles from Sedona to Phoenix and 509 miles from Sedona, Arizona to Sonora, Mexico.  

If flares were dropped outside of Phoenix around 9 pm, they would not have been visible in Sedona at the same time and they would not have been visible in Phoenix at just after 10 pm, nearly an hour after the drop and when the first report of the lights was called into 911.  And they certainly wouldn’t have been visible in the Sonora region of Mexico at 3 am when the last report came into Mexican officials regarding the lights.  

Flares might have accounted for some of the happenings however.  The flare drop ended up being late.  According to the anonymous Air Force source, because 2 F16’s were scrambled to investigate the lights in Sedona, the F16s doing the flare drop was late.  Phoenix 911 operators did receive about a dozen calls proclaiming they could see the flares to the north of their location and the V-formation of lights to the south of their location around 11 pm.

All of those calls came from the same neighborhood and police were sent to investigate.  However, one responding officer who would not go on record except anonymously reported the flares had gone out by the time he arrived in the neighborhood, but he talked to several residents, one of whom had a digital camera and digital video of the flare drop (for the youngsters that might read this, digital cameras were a new item in 1997, they were expensive and most people didn’t own one, cell phones were still those giant  boxy things that looked like ET could have used them to phone home and didn’t have cameras in them).  

And more than a handful of retired Air Force personnel living in the area went on record to say that the lights they saw that night looked nothing like flares.  Also, if you want to see the lights for yourself, there are dozens of videos of it on the internet.  The mass sighting wasn’t just documented by eyewitness accounts, it was videoed by dozens of people.

In what might be the biggest coincidence ever and helped with the documentation of the incident, the military announced on March 6, 1997 through news stations and papers about the flare drop happening on March 13, 1997.  The illumination flares dropped are normally only visible from less than a mile away.  Their job is to illuminate the ground, not the sky and they are yellow due to the chemicals used in them.  

I have seen illumination flare drop practice runs, I live less than 2 hours (by car) from Whiteman Air Force base, which for a long time was home to most of the Air Force’s fleet of stealth bombers.  And I agree with many others, military flares of any kind do not behave the way the Phoenix Lights did.  

A Writing Update

I’m averaging 3,500 words a day on the next Reality book, 1,500 on Goddess Investigations, another 1,500 on Oh My Wizard (working title will likely change) – the next in the Nephilim Narratives.  And every couple of days, I add a sentence or two to the Dysfunctional Expansion.  

I’ve been told to prepare for the worst this winter as it has been forecasted to be dreadfully wet and therefore congestion causing for me… because mold spores aren’t killed by cold, it just slows them down and we have days of freezing temps followed by a day or two of 40 and 50 degree weather, which causes the spores to reactivate and begin spreading and growing again, especially with all the rain and snow we have gotten lately.

Missouri had been behind on rain for 2018, I feel like November and December may put us back on track and if January is as wet as the last months have been, we’ll start out on the good side in January and possibly February too.  Theoretically, I don’t mind the rain, I do mind the mold and other fungal spores that keep me sounding like I have a cold.

I got to use the Red Pen of Destruction the other day on a formal paper.  I forget how much I enjoy that until I get to do it.  I love to edit formal papers for conciseness, clarity, and errors.  It just makes me feel like I’m contributing to improve life as we know it.  Perhaps more importantly, the person I did the read through for understands the importance of the Red Pen and appreciates it.  And she’s very intelligent with a great vocabulary, which always makes a formal paper sexier.

Another Sinus Infection?

The afternoon of Thanksgiving, I started feeling pretty lousy.  Tired, so thirsty, and congested.  By Friday morning, I was thinking I had a full blown cold.  And stomach upset.  Fun stuff.  

I felt crappy all day Friday, all day Saturday, and into Sunday.  I really wanted to sleep the entire time, but my body doesn’t allow for that.  It doesn’t matter how sick I get, my body does not like to lay around in bed anymore.  

Sunday, I did get an hour and a half nap, but that was it, because at that point I had to get out of bed to take pain medication. 

I awoke to a blizzard warning for Missouri….”Excuse me mother nature, you realize it’s only November right?”  

The two are related.  Every time the weather has had a severe change, I’ve gotten sick since September.  Thanksgiving day, November 22, it was 55 degrees Fahrenheit in Missouri.  Friday, it had cooled to the mid-40s.  And then Sunday, a blizzard.

Now in 2004, I had rhinoplasty and a tonsillectomy.  The right side sinus cavity was shrunk, lifted, and the drainage passages out of it were widened.  Why?  Because every time the weather changed, I would get a sinus infection, it didn’t matter if it was Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, I would get a sinus infection.  And tonsillitis.  And dreadfully, a sinus migraine that was rivaled some of my normal migraines.

I’ve had one of those this year.  In late September, I got a sinus infection.  For the first three days of it, I had a sinus migraine that was so severe, I couldn’t lay down and I didn’t smoke.  Saturday morning, a similar sinus headache accompanied my “tired” and lousy feeling, which is when I decided maybe it wasn’t a cold, maybe it’s a sinus infection dogging me again.  Perhaps the one in September did not clear up with the antibiotics… 

And that would be on par with my pre-rhinoplasty sinus infections.  I kept a mild sinus infection at all times, one that no antibiotics on the planet could get rid of.  And since this is the first time in 14 years that I’ve had 2 sinus infections in a single year, I can’t help but wonder about it.  

At any rate, I remain sick with a brutal sinus migraine, sore throat, and hoarseness.  By the way, I am done with this Winter.  

Demonic Yoga

I got a news article a week or two ago that was talking about something being preached at a church in Springfield, Missouri.  The pastor at James River Church as well as several others has decided that yoga is demonic.  

As someone that kind of keeps up on news of the possibly possessed, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of anyone going to yoga and coming home possessed.  I feel the possibility of my ever hearing about someone becoming possessed during a yoga class is incredibly slim.  

 I feel making proclamations like Yoga is a gateway for demons is a tricky statement.  Does it help souls get into Heaven?  Because the God of the New Testament is about love, peace, and harmony.  And as a man, is the pastor truly qualified to sit in judgement of another religion or human being?  In other words, by proclaiming that Yoga is demonic, is he standing in judgment of those that practice the exercise and the religions “associated” with them?  If so, isn’t that a sin?  

And is he risking the souls of those that follow him by having them also sit in judgment?  

Basically, it comes back to this; this belief is built from the idea that there is only ONE true religion.  But that idea doesn’t even allow all Christians to enter through the pearly gates.  Because many believe you must practice that specific denomination of religion.  Meaning Baptists believe all Catholics are going to Hell, because they do not practice the ONE true religion.  I feel if we are condemned to Hell for choosing one doctrine over another, then what is the point of attempting to be a good person?

In other words, if I’m going to Hell for being Catholic instead of Baptist, why does it matter if I try to be a good person or not?  I mean I am just as likely to face damnation for committing one of the deadly sins as I am for following the wrong sect of Christianity.  Meaning I should just go ahead and be greedy and continue doing Yoga, because as an ex-Communicated Catholic, I don’t have a prayer of getting into Heaven, even if Catholicism is the ONE true religion.  

And I find the idea of knowing you belong to the ONE true religion has to be taken on faith as inadequate.  Because I have known several people who were absolutely convinced they belonged to the ONE true religion and so it didn’t matter if they were good people or not, they were believers, they were going to heaven and they would gladly tell you about it.  All because they belonged to the ONE true religion.

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