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My Update 25 Sep 2013


Lance and Boo-Boo in Schweinfurt

Lance and Boo-Boo in Schweinfurt

Greetings Programs,

I wanted to let all of my readers know what is happening in my life right now, and a couple projects I have on the horizon that you may all be interested in.

First, I have now been working for a large factory here in Schweinfurt for a proud 6 weeks now. The company if ZF Sachs, I am loving the job, it is both physical and stimulating at the same time. I could not be happier to be working there.

So here is what is coming around the corner for all of you.

1) My novel, The Face In The Falls, is back on track. I am re-proofing my manuscript as it stands, and re-organizing my notes and plans for the rest of the book, and am organizing the story and character plots and dialogue for the rest of the novel.

For those who don’t know what The Face In The Falls is, it is the story of Issiquah Homicide detective, Jackson Anderson, King County Medico-Legal Pathologist, Mary Langstrom, and their investigation into the discovery of 7 bodies at the top of the Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State. It is a roller coaster ride of an investigation that will take both of them in a direction that no one had imagined.

2) Probably my most ambitious project to date, is my upcoming podcast, which has yet to be named, It will be hosted by me, and co-hosted by my Brother-in-law Kyle. We will be discussing subjects that are important to us, including Star Wars, toys, comic books and anything else we want to talk about.

It should be totally fun and entertaining, as both of us are ex-military, and some times rather dirty-mouthed. We are both also very dedicated to Star Wars, and are extremely excited for the new films and the announced director of the films.

I am also asking you, the reader, what you think I should name the Podcast. When it is available it will be downloadable on iTunes, but first I need a name that I can place them under.

This I leave to you…

Below please submit your ideas in the comments block.

I thank you all

Peace

Lance

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Comics and E-Bay


One of the things I have been exploring lately is the purchase of comic books on the auction website, E-Bay.

With the recession in full swing, more and more people are trying to make a few quick bucks on E-bay selling various items in their collections. Be it a panel from an artist for a comic book, or their comic books in general. I have also had the pleasure of snagging a few collectible toys from the site as well.

E-Bay is a tricky place to purchase comThere are some rules when purchasing comics from E-Bay that you the reader and purchaser need to look for.

1) check to be sure that the seller has a grade for the comic. There will be some that do not follow certain price guide rules on grading. as a rule of thumb, here is the best source of information for the quality of comics…

http://www.comicspriceguide.com/p-conditions.aspx

ComicsPriceGuide_com

2) Feel free to contact the seller and ask questions about the comic, should he/she not have a grade for the comic, if you think they may not know what the grade is, then send them the link so they can check it out and give you a more accurate grade, to help you make up your mind on the purchase. The last thing you want to happen is to get a book for a decent price, only to have it show up in the mail with the cover no longer held by the staples, and the sellers name inside the cover from when he/she was younger. (This happened to me)

3) Sometimes the seller will include an image for the comic cover from another source on the internet. Many times this should give you a warning signal going off in your head. Yet sometimes they just can’t include an image due to technical difficulties, when this happens, feel free to contact the seller again.

4) this is a no-brainer. Check the shipping costs. I live in Germany, and have often found sellers that jack the cost of shipping, to offset the price they are selling the item for. IE: The item is on auction, but shipping will be $18.00 (Many do this since they know they will only make a couple bucks on the item, and will pocket the additional shipping fee you pay for shipping.)

 

With these in mind, shopping for rare and golden or silver age comics on E-Bay can be a blast. I am often betting on multiple comics each week, and some of the comics I have purchased have been in absolute perfect condition, even though they were printed in 1966 or so, I even have one from 1951 that was listed with the exact grade I placed it in as well.

*******Warning about auctions********

Winning the auctions is like an addiction, the more you bid on, and look for, the more obsessed with winning the auction you become. This can become costly. Make sure you constantly check with your pricing guide to ensure you are not paying too much for your comic, and remember to add in the cost of shipping to get your total purchase cost.

If you do not have a pricing guide, or if you want to access what I consider simply the best online resource for comic book collectors, please check out Stash My Comics, link below. ON the site making an account is not necessary, but if you do, you can create a collection database of your comics, including grade, value and search engines for looking for comics you are interested in purchasing. If you are unsure if an issue is the correct one, there are images you can click on to verify which issue you are bidding on.

I also use it to track the comics I want to bid on, based on the grading the seller has given the book. I can then determine if the price I am bidding, is too high for the comic, of if I am making a good purchase.

Please check them out, like I said, simply the best comic resource available, and fully interactive.

http://www.stashmycomics.com/

stashmycomics_logo

Now is the time to purchase comics, and with luck, should you decide, you can re-sell the items when the recession is over, and make a decent profit.

I wish you all luck

Peace.

Lance Goolsby

 

 

Comic Book Fantasies


Well, for those of you that know me, well personally, I am a big comic book guy.

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My first introduction to comics in the 1970’s was a Twilight Zone Comic someone left at my Grandmothers cabin on Mt. St. Helens. (Not this issue however)

It started for me back in the late seventies when we were visiting my Grandfather, Grandmother and Great Uncle at their cabin on Mount St. Helens. This was a few years before it blew its top in 1980. however, at some point, I think either my cousins or aunts and uncles had visited them and brought a Gold Key, Twilight Zone comic and left it behind. It was something new to me, reading, and having pictures to help fuel the imagination of the story. I wish to this day I had this comic, as it was my introduction. But every comic book collector has their “Holy Grail” of comic books that they search for their entire life, and mine is that Twilight Zone comic.

Shortly after leaving the mountain, and returning to Portland, where we were living for another year or so, so this would have been 1978, maybe the latest 1979, I went into one of the drug stores and saw, and looked at my first comic book spinner.

There in the area dedicated to magazines stood this tree like rotating stand with issues of comic books. I stood there with about 75 cents in the pocket, and looked at every issue on the rack. I was sure that I was getting quizzical looks from the staff, as I stood there alone, with my mother in the grocery store next door. Slowly I pulled three of the issues from the rack and made my way to the counter where a late seventies teenager was sitting with her charlies angels feathered hair, ala Farrah Fawcett. I placed the comics onto the counter, and paid my 75 cents for the three, then made my way with these three rolled up comics in my back pocket, sticking out over my Star Wars T-shirt.

I waited till I was home to read them, but snuck peeks at them on the short trip home, as we drove our station wagon with faux wood panel siding, the short distance to the house.

I wish I could remember the titles I had purchased, however one I will never forget, Mutants born with super powers, which in a way goes against everything super-hero comic books profess. Through one event or another every super-hero is imbued with their powers through seemingly tragic accidents.Superman was sent to Earth seconds before his planet of Krypton was destroyed (Turns out there were a couple other babies sent to earth at the same time, Super Girl, Super Boy, and even… Sigh… Krypto, the Super-Dog) Batman became a hero after his parents were killed, and he dedicated his life to avenging their death.

The Flash was hit by lightning while handling chemicals, giving him super speed. Hal Jordan was given a ring of power when he found a dying alien that had crashed to Earth. Steve Rogers was given a drug that turned him into Captain America. The list goes on and on, but there was this comic book that had heroes that were born with their powers.

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(from left to right) Storm, Colossus (the tall silver guy), Wolverine (the shorter guy), Cyclops, Banshee, Thunderbird, Sunfire and Nightcrawler (the blue guy with the tail)

The X-men instantly became one of my favorite stories. Following, at the time, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Charles (Professor X) Xavier, Storm and eventually Wolverine.

There were arcing stories that took the reader into an alternate present day that was littered with people who were born with such a wide variety of powers that the possibilities were endless. Some used their powers for good, as Wolverine often times did, some used them for evil, such as Magneto.

These stories had a single overtone of hope for people like me, who were living with few friends, seemingly outcast because were not living the “Normal” life. I was a big Star Wars freak, collected trading cards, and was very, very hyper active. The main basis of the X-men stories was that they were always fighting for acceptance of the mutant kind by the rest of humanity. Fighting to be accepted as they were by the rest of the world. This spoke to me.

I openly accepted the X-men into my life. I bought and read every issue which for a while came out bi-monthly even, so I could continue my exploits of the team of heroes.

Lately, after my mental breakdown of last year, I got back into collecting the comics again, I have been looking for American issues of comics for sale here in Germany on E-Bay, and making some amazing purchases.

I am looking into the Golden age of comics, and Silver age. These are the years of comic books that is considered by many to be the best time of comic books, based on the stories, and artists that were supplying the panel drawings.

Some of my recent purchases, now hanging proudly in frames on my wall , are to me, simply amazing for the prices I paid. There may be more personal worth to the comics than true worth, but I don’t care. They were bought for me, to remind me why I love comic books so much.

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The Mighty Thor 135, 1966, cover art by Jack Kirby

One of the purchases was The Mighty Thor number 135, from 1966. The cover of this comic is great, inked by Jack Kirby who was an amazing artist. He has been considered one of the most influential artists in comics in history. He co-created heroes such as The X-Men, The Hulk and even The Fantastic Four. This cover features Thor fighting against The Man-Beast. (It is listed as the Super-Beast on the cover for some reason) The Man-beast if a High Evolution evolved wolf that had been hit with an evolution ray that caused it to become so powerful, and have mental powers as well. The creature becomes a challenge for Thor, as the “God” of Asgard finally may have met his match in battle.

The Cover, as you see, is so simplistic, as was Kirby’s signature trait, the colors are beautiful, and the sense of the fight and plight of Thor is evident in the single image.

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Uncanny X-Men number 45, 1968, Cover art by John Buscema

The next proud purchase is to date my absolute favorite. Uncanny X-men number 45, from 1968. This comic has two stories in the pages, both centering around Cyclops, “When Mutants Clash” is the story of Cyclops trying to free the rest of the X-men from captivity of Magneto, Toad and Quicksilver. One of the greatest lines ever told to the X-men which sums up the overall story between the evil and good in the comic books was spoken by Quicksilver to Cyclops in a battle that ensues when Cyclops stumbles into him trying to find Magneto in the stronghold.

Enough! I will listen to no more of your Homo sapiens-sympathizing blasphemy! You have had your chance to join us — and declined it! Therefore — I can consider you nothing but our enemy!”  -Quicksilver

The enemy, Magneto, has assembled mutants who want to eradicate the human presence from the planet, as he knows that they are afraid of the mutants and the powers they possess and want them eradicated from the planet as well. Having survived Auschwitz, and having his powers poked and prodded by the Nazi party, Magneto would rather kill every last human that make other mutants go through the same thing.

The cover is by John Buscema and shows a single sceen from the battle from the super fast Quicksilver (Think Marvel comics version of The Flash) and Cyclops, as he fired his ocular blast, just missing his opponent by mere inches.

These two comics are proudly displayed on the wall in my house, on my “Nerd Wall” to solidify myself into hunting and collecting these important comics from our past.

Being an american in Germany, and knowing that there has been a U.S. Army presence here in Schweinfurt since the end of the second world war, I know these comic books are out here, waiting to be rescued and collected by myself, and made available to the discerning collectors in the United States, or myself for my collection as well.

As time progresses I will update and share some of my collection with you all, for your pleasure, and if you have questions or have interest in one of the comics, please feel free to write me. I am open for all queries and thoughts.

To every one of you reading this.

Peace!

Lance Goolsby

How a military man in Egypt had his life changed.


I remember when I was young, around the time I was 13 or 14, I made a proclamation that I would never make it to 30. I was convinced that I would burn out my flame well before then, as I was sure I was going to have an adventurous life.

Well I did, and life had other plans for me.

I joined the U.S. Army a couple months out of high-school, after a job interview in Cherry Hill, New Jersey fell through, and I had a pretty terrible car accident. Now I was not 100% innocent of the accident, as I had just blown my nose and was looking for a place to put the tissue in my sister’s car. Now I was in the center lane of a 3 lane highway, so how was I to foresee that there would be a Philadelphia Inquirer truck parked in the center lane delivering to a gas station? Needless to say, a seat belt saved my life, and the Mitsubishi engine was designed to crumple away from the driver… Again saving my life.

So there I was, a freshly out of high-school soldier. Where did they send me? Germany, where drinking is legal at 18. The town I was stationed in was in the middle of nowhere. I had only a small pay check each month, and could buy beer and alcohol at 18, what it was I did at this point does not need a doctorate in psychology to figure out.

I pretty much spent every night I was there drunk, at least when I can. We did have training maneuvers, and live firing exercises that would often take us from our base and bring us to another for up to a month at a time. While on these drinking was highly forbidden. Me and a couple guys did occasionally find a way to drink a beer or two without detection, but never enough to possibly endanger the rest of the team.

My next duty station, where I actually began to grow as a human was Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. This was in 1992. Here in the land of the 82nd Airborne, soldiers are honed into killing machines. There is almost no place for the weak of will, motivation is a highly treasured friend and strength of character is built. Here I met probably the most influential friend in my life. Through him, I found how education and personal growth is more important than any party. I am not saying that I didn’t party, rather I just didn’t party every day.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From left to right. Erik Kovisto, Lance Goolsby, Jeff Holoway, and someone none of us can remember. Sometime in 1993.

In 1993 My unit deployed to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. The town where we were is called Sharm El Sheikh, it is the furthest south you can go on the peninsula. It was here that Jeff and I both had a total blast with some of our other friends, Joe Gower was the greatest of them. We had our barracks, a dog named Gumba, and a barbecue pit, all with what I could describe and be honest with as the greatest in the world.

Gumba the dog keeping watch over our grill pit, directly behind our barracks. Egypt 1993

The view from behind our barracks. I still consider this to have been the greatest view I have ever seen. Temperatures also averaged around 90* the entire time we were there, and it only rained once, for 3 minutes. The tower is the one I was eventually accused of trying to set ablaze.Egypt 1993

We were part of a force dedicated to ensure the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel was fulfilled. It was here that I enrolled in my first college course, Criminal Psychology, through the University of Texas. I did not realize at first, however the short time I attended the class, I had begun something that would change me as a human.

I started to understand there were other things to do with ones life, rather than look for parties, and drink all of the time. I started to learn that self education and the furthering of ones knowledge in whatever it is you like is more important. One of the things I liked to do was write. However for the most part I kept it to myself. Jeff’s mother was an English teacher, so he would often correct grammatical errors I was showing in writing. I learned that English is actually fun to write, and placing word to paper I was better spoken than I ever was orally. Soon after leaving Fort Bragg, en-route back to Germany, I started to explore story writing and journal writing.

This is Dahab, Egypt. Bottom row men are: from left, (Partially hidden) Boone, Joe, Jeff, and someone else from the unit. In the window top is Me. These were some friends we met in the town who were backpacking around Egypt at the time. We spent about 3 days partying together.

However, back to Egypt, I found out many many truths about myself. It was often times when Jeff, Joe and I would make trips to a small hamlet town (Now a major tourist town) named Dahab. It was here that I truly understood how destructive I was toward myself. I would often find myself the brunt of many jokes of all my friends and people we were meeting who were back packing through the town. We often times would sit on the beach with many people we would meet, and spend days talking, swimming and partying. I would often be left out of many of the activities, as I was trying to find any way to garner attention from people, including belittling myself to be the laughing stock. This measure from me never gained me many friends. I know the friends I did have understood, and liked me for whom I was, not who I was projecting myself as.

I found myself in a moment in Egypt looking inwardly trying to actually discover who I was. The classes in psychology helped me actually understand myself. I realized, with my two friends help, that I was not an average person. I now knew that I was able to excel on my own, and that I did not need to look for others for acceptance. With time that would come, and if someone could not accept me for whom I actually was, I would not adjust to them. They like it or they don’t. It became that simple to me.

I did however get into the occasional trouble there though. I was an infantry mortar man. We tend to team up with the scouts of our unit more often than not, and Egypt was no exception. (Mortars are like a small artillery piece that was able to be carried around, providing almost instantaneous support when needed. Scouts are also infantry soldiers, who often try to go forward of the front line to call for our mortar fire, and also provide enemy intelligence to the unit.) The scout platoon, for one reason or another never liked me. On one occasion Jeff, Joe and I were having a party with a few other people in our barbecue pit at out barracks. It became a crazy night, but we had a blast, and I for the most part, am a person who becomes way to talkative when drunk.

The next morning I was summoned to the commanders office. Jeff and I had no idea what it could have been for. Standing in front of the commander, he looked me over really quick, and asked me why I had attempted to light a guard tower on fire the night before. I stared at him, and tried to make sense of what it was he was asking me. I could not swallow the accusation. I may not be the most intelligent person, but I do know, and I am sure 100% of the other people on the planet also know, metal does not burn. The accusations were unfounded. I called forward 2 witnesses, Jeff and Joe and they corroborated my story. We were talking with the guard on duty, but there was no way I was piling wood under the tower, attempting to set it ablaze. If I wanted to light a fire under it, there would have been no try, there would have been a done!

Me, 2nd from the right, awaiting the award of my Expert Infantryman's Badge. My friend Jeff Holloway receiving his from our platoon Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, Klaus Meckenstock, In the berret behind him stands the commander who called me into his office to answer to the accusations of trying to light a tower on fire. Egypt 1993

Eventually I also decided to soldier up, and become more than I was, a mediocre soldier. I decided to attempt to be better in my job. Follow orders more closely, and study the army way. There is a test of basic soldiering for the infantry soldiers. It is a difficult task, involving everything from 12 mile forced foot marches, carrying over 50 pounds of equipment, first aide events, weapons proficiency and many more tasks. It is called the Expert Infantry Badge. It is an elite badge of honor for infantry that places them slightly above other infantry soldiers.

For the first time I took this test studying all tasks with a renewed fervour, determined to make it and pass all of the tasks. I accomplished my mission. In the testing phase you are only allowed to fail three tasks, I made it only failing 1.

One of the most proud moments of my life, I wore the badge with pride for the remainder of the time I was a soldier.

Egypt was an enigma for me. It showed me who I truly was, and I began to aspire to become a better person from that point on. I think of my time within the sand and sun as being a place that turned my life around. It helped me learn to strive to become a better person. To not try to please others, to please myself. It taught me not become what other people wanted of me. If I couldn’t not accept myself for who I was, then I strove to become the person I wanted to be. But only for myself.

I thank Joe Gower, and Jeff Holloway for giving me at that moment what I really needed, Understanding and friendship. Because of them, and Egypt, I finally understood who I was. It was at this point I decided that I would allow my flame to burn as long as it could. I wanted to learn everything I could, and maybe share it with someone else out there who is a confused young adult as I was, maybe showing them how to finally understand who they were to become as well.

Peace

Lance M. Goolsby

153 readers subscribed


I was looking at the amount of traffic I receive, and over the course of the last two months, I usually average about 4 hits on my blog per week.

Well, needless to say when I noticed how many of you have signed up to receive emails whenever I post something new, I was astonished. I never would have thought that around the world 153 people are reading my posts regularly. Sometimes I will just post what I think, or something I want to know, and thought maybe there was someone else out there who also wanted to know.

It was because of you, I am now a featured writer for a web magazine called www.nerdlocker.com. I will be their Movie rumors and interviews, and collectable toys reviewer. My first article which is an in depth look into the years worth of rumors surrounding a 3rd instalment of the Tron Series.

I will be writing many more articles for them, as obviously films are something I love. I am also looking into the upcoming Wolverine sequel, as well as a possible interview with Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new Star Trek series.

So what I wanted to say, is, to all 153 of you, THANKS, you make me feel like there is something out there I am writing for, and that there are people like me, reading stuff like this…

 

So, to you all: PEACE

Lance

My First book for sale on Amazon.


Well, I want to first wish everyone a wonderful Holiday season. To each of you as well, a truly wonderful New Year!!!

 

I finished on Christmas Eve my first book. It is not the longest, but rather meant to be read in a single sitting.

 

I wanted to write a Christmas story this year for everyone. A story that was more updated than many of the others available out there.

A 21st Century Christmas Tale, is what came out.

It is the story of Thomas, a truly gifted business employee, and a truly egotistical person as well. He is driven by his business, and money, not caring about anyone around him, to include his family.

But when a tragic accident takes the life of his parents and sister, he is left with the one thing he hates the most in this world. A 14 month old child.

Can Thomas embrace the challenges of life with a child? Or will he turn her over to the State to be raised in a children’s home, because she interferes with his career, and life?

This is not a journey of self discovery, this is a journey of family discovery.

It will be made available on Amazon.com in the next week or two, for some unset low price.

I hope you will come and read.

When it is available, I will post more details here.

Peace.

Lance

What is a nerd, and How do I know if I am one?


Well, Good day;

I have been noticing that a ton of people out there are still suffering from either denial about, or just don’t know that they are nerds.

Why is this important? you may ask yourself.

Well, the status of a nerd is actually rather two sided. For one, nerds tend to have an intelligence that outweighs that of the normal populace. There are people out there that collect toys, comic books, enjoy Science-fiction films and books, think about the validity of the number 42 as being the answer to everything in the universe, who can actually say an entire sentence in Klingon (Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam; Today is a good day to die) and understand the fundamentals of how the Tron films are a study of Theology.

The other side of the equation is that for the most part, nerds actually provide humanity with many of the most important advances in history. From the cellular phone, to home computing, from flat screen televisions to Blu-Ray players.

For example, in the early 70’s a group of people that had learned that through simple manipulation of the tones a pay telephone makes, they could make free calls around the world. They went so far as to create a box that could be used to manipulate the tones a telephone recognized, and it was referred to as a “Blue Box”. These boxes were made up of circuitry and boards that would later revolutionize the world. Many of these people went on to later come up with technological advances needed in making computers more readily available, by creating motherboards in their garages for personal computers.

Another was a group of people that started meeting in 1975, in a group called the “Homebrew Computer Club” out of Silicon Valley, California. These people would meet regularly under the guise of working on making computers more accessible to the public.  They would meet and show plans, schematics, come up with ideas, and show off computer machines they created in their garages. Many of these people went on to work for many of the large computing companies. However, three of the members went on into infamy. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniac, and Ronald Wayne(who later left Apple Computers when the company became incorporated) who are creators of one of the most successful computing company in the world.

So why is it important for me to understand that I am a nerd?

Well many of us have the belief that nerds are people who are socially outcast, have no social behaviors, collect toys, read comic books, and spend much of our time on the computers. People fail to think that these are all missconceptions brought on by the popular media about what a nerd is.

I for one, love the television series “The Big Bang Theory” yet find it to almost be a damning take on the nerd subculture. They show the main characters as being social outcasts, spending whatever free time they have either in a comic book store, or playing games in their apartment.

For the most part nerds are everywhere around us.

Nerds study and maintain certain habits through their lives. Politics, theological studies, business, science, writing, films, arts and crafts and many other things they enjoy.

Walking down the busy streets in New York city, I would wager a bet that the average person will pass about 500 people within three blocks. Out of those numbers I will also wager that over three quarters of them have hobbies in certain areas that most people would consider to be nerdy.

It is not just the collection of comic books, but think more of people who collect fossils, think of the stamp collector in the group.

It is important for us nerds to embrace what it is that sets us apart from the rest of the herd. To enjoy ourselves in our hobbies, and not feel that we are being subjugated to ridicule or belittled because of what we find to be fun.

We need to admit finally what we are, and open up to the rest of the world and show that we are not outcasts playing “Halo” in our bedrooms, while Mom makes grilled cheese sandwiches down stairs.

We are the society of people that come up with wonderful ideas that first through trial and error, help the rest of humanity. We are a society of people that are constantly thinking of things that will maybe one day give us the answers to life and also have fun while doing it.

But, we may also just collect comic books, and toys.

 

Peace.

Lance

Moving Anxiety.


Well, My family and I need to move out of our apartment after the new year. We weren’t kicked out, rather the company that owns our apartment flats has decided to finally renovate them after 40 years.

We are happy and scared at the same time. We are a family of 4, and the apartment we found through the company, that has recently been renovated, and meets our needs, only has 2 bedrooms… The square footage is slightly more than the one we currently occupy.

We are taking it though, with the hopes that sometime in the future, one of the boys will move out, freeing up one of the bedrooms. But we can only hope. For the mean time though, our new family room is in the shape of an “L” and we will turn the portion of the family room that is the bottom portion of the “L” into a temporary bed room.

My wife and I are not entirely too worried about it though. We agree that this is our second from last rental properties. The next place we move to, will be a small house, and we will finish our lives there.

There are some setbacks though.

although we are moving to an apartment owned by the same company that owns our current house, we still need to pay a deposit on the new one. We don’t need to pay the entire deposit, but rather half. This is still a staggering €700.00 or $900.00.

This is a staggering amount for us, yet there is still more problems we are facing as well.

I have never understood this, maybe it is the fact that I am used to how life in the Army was, or in the United States is. But in Germany any apartment does not come with anything installed. No kitchen, and by this I mean the only thing in a kitchen here is the hookups for the water, and the oven. No counters, no shelves, and no cabinets. Nothing.

Same can be said about any of the rooms in the place. There are almost no built-in closets anywhere in Germany. There are no cabinets in the bathrooms.

We will be bringing the furniture we have with us in our apartment. However our kitchen is approximately 40 years old. So I will need to re-work it to fit into the new kitchen, and also replace the counter top portion of it. This is not too expensive, however when we weigh the costs we need to already lay down for the deposit, we are pushing €1,000.00 or around $1,300.00.

This to me is an outstanding number, just to move apartments, at the request of the company who wants to renovate their own building.

I find it amazing that they do not assist us, or offer us anything more than the cost of the truck we need to move, and they are basically only paying the cost for the deposit of it for the 2 days we will need. So again, look here. another cost added to the overall expenditures already building up.

I am not complaining. No. Rather I am excited to finally get out of the area where the teenage hooligans are slowly, unchecked by the police, taking over the area. In the past 2 years, they have constantly been spray painting the area with their horrible version of graffiti. Which is nothing more than spraying their “gang” logo, “Bergl 11” on every vertical surface they can find. I have even seen places where they have sprayed trees in the park behind our house. These Children hang out in an area in the park that is also a children’s play area. there are monkey bars, and a climbing ring there for them.

Every morning when I walk our dog through the park, I am only able to take him in a single direction, as there are smashed vodka and beer bottles on the ground. Trash litters every single inch of the grass, and the children’s play area where they occupy for the evening. I try to avoid it as much as possible, as there are constantly children meandering through the park in the mornings, on their way to the school located only a hundred feet away. It is an embarrassment that the children need to see this every morning on the way to the school, which by the way has also been spray painted with certain slogans popular with the “gang”. Ranging from “F**k the police”, “Bergl 11”, And various other colourful phrases.

I have seen the police often times called into the park to rouse a fight between them, or to see if there are any illegal drugs being used. But I never see them haul any of them away with them. This I find amazing.

They drink, smoke pot, and scream and yell all evening, by all evening I mean until at least 1 AM. I have often times even seen reminants of a bicycle they set on fire with lighter fluid the night before. There are also various other things they have burned, which I am surprised when they do, no one has called the fire department. They steal anything that is not locked up. There have been children’s tricycles from one of our neighbour children spotted in shambles in the park the next morning, when the 6 year old didn’t bring it back into the house when he went back inside. Scooters from his older brother often lie in pieces on the walkway in front of the apartments the next morning, as the “Gang” smashed it on the pavement as they walked by.(He has bought 3 to date)

When it rains, there is a tunnel through the apartment complex where we live, right below our bedroom window, and one of my son’s windows, and they then take up residence there for the course of the evening. They tear the plaster off of the wall, spray paint them, and light things on fire. Constantly yelling and screaming at each other. We have called the police no less than three times in the last year alone. There are over forty families living in this apartment building. So it makes me wonder how many other times they have been called to no avail?

With the state doing nothing about these children thinking they are so big, by the way, most of them are about 16-18 years old, There will be no change. No matter how many times my family calls the police, and other families call the police, there is no change. With no change will come the slow methodical transformation of the area from what at one point was a higher standard of living area. Now it is almost a ghetto. Sadly enough.

So the thought of moving excites me.

But I will need to work twice as hard to afford it, but I don’t mind, as it gets me away from “Bergl 11”.

 

Peace my friends.

Lance

No good deed goes unrewarded:


I believe in good deeds. I attempt to do as many as I can in a day. And I always have the thought in my head that at some time something good will come to me because of it.

Call It karma, fate, divine intervention, guardian angel, the will of the universe or whatever you will, I believe nop good deed goes unrewarded, no matter how small.

Here is proof, Reported today by the Associated Press, and covered in MSNBC.com:

MENOMONIE, Wis. — A Canadian man who had just helped a motorist change a tire in western Wisconsin had his good deed quickly repaid when, just minutes later, that same motorist helped to save his life.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, Victor Giesbrecht, of Winnipeg, was driving Saturday evening on Interstate 94 about 9 miles east of Menomonie when he stopped to help a motorist change a tire.

Patrol Sgt. Michael Newton said that after driving off, Giesbrecht was stricken by a heart attack within a mile or two. His wife, Ann, helped bring their pickup truck to a stop, called 911 and waved her arms for help.

At about the same time, the motorists they had just helped pulled up.

The Star Tribune reported Monday that one of them, Lisa Meier, of Eau Claire, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him until emergency personnel arrived.

A state trooper and two Dunn County deputies took over and used an automated external defibrillator to help Giesbrecht regain a pulse and resume breathing.

A medical helicopter took Giesbrecht to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. He was in serious condition Monday.

Newton said if Giesbrecht hadn’t helped with the tire change, his initial rescuer might have remained stranded for too long to play a life-saving role.

“If he had been a few more miles down the road and had his heart attack, it could have been a different outcome,” Newton said. “It’s an interesting turn of fate.”

He said Giesbrecht had suffered another heart attack about a year earlier.

Newton added that Dunn County having a defibrillator on hand “was the tipping point” in saving Giesbrecht’s life. “Without that defibrillator, I don’t know that the outcome would’ve been the same.”

 

I don’t know about you, this is definitive proof to me…

 

Hope you all enjoyed this one…

 

Peace

Lance

State of the human condition


Imagine if you would, if you still have not seen the Youtube video, with me:

The setting is a small street in China, and the security cameras spot a two year old child wandering in the street in front of his parents shop. Within short time, an approximately 7 ton delivery truck turns onto the narrow, seemingly seldom used street. Within seconds, the driver hits, and then runs over the child, stopping once the front left tire has completely rolled over his mid section.

The driver, seemingly in a daze, unsure what he has hit, then decides to flea the scene. The back tires of the truck then run over the child’s legs.

Within short time, pedestrians start passing the barely moving child on the street, looking at him, but passing by.

Again, another delivery truck enters the street, and again, runs over the child’s legs again. This time it was obvious that the driver recognized what was lying in the street, but opted to attempt to drive by the small helpless figure on the street.

Until finally a woman came, and propped the body on the side of the street, and contacted authorities, and the parents in their shop.

This event was captured on Closed Captioned Television (CCTV) in china recently. It came to our attention in my home, from my son, who watched the video, which was sent to him from a friend fuming about how the people reacted to what had happened.

The event lasted over 8 minutes on video, with more than 16 people walking by the child, who was lying almost in the middle of the street. Every one of them looking at the motionless figure on the ground. They continued on their lives, with the knowledge they did nothing. They were satisfied with that action.

First, have we as humans lost any empathy for others? Has the ability to act out for the benefit of others completely begun to elude us?

What about the parents? How does a two year old get out of the store, and wander on the street, even if it was in front of their shop?

I look at the mayhem that is plaguing the world at the moment, and wonder what the hell is happening. Sometimes I believe that the colonization of other planets is not coming soon enough. I for one would love the chance to just start over anew…

This is something that has been dwelling up in the human race for quite a while now. I first noticed it all the way back when the two teenagers entered the Columbine school in Colorado, and opened fire upon their own classmates and teachers.

As many of you may remember, back then the parents of the boys were up in arms about the fact that it was a video game that caused them to commit this atrocious act. They said that the game desensitized them to the point that human life no longer had a value. Counter Strike was the game in question.

If any of you are gamers, as I am, you may remember Counter Strike being nothing more than a team based terrorist hunt style game. Today we have one just like it called Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The goal of it is to hunt down terrorists in certain locations, gaining points for each kill, in order to advance in ranks.

I however in retrospect, do not believe video games are ever to blame for violence that is being perpetrated in the world at any given point. I have yet to see children jump on a turtle, because they saw Mario do it once. God forbid if one of the Halo gamers ever decided to “Stick” someone!!!  I have not seen someone go absolutely insane yet with a shotgun, claiming that House of The Dead caused them to see zombies everywhere… You get my point.

What most failed to see in the columbine, and subsequent attacks around the globe, is that in all cases both parents worked, and the children were home alone until their return. Drugs, access to weapons, social shunning, and bad morale upbringing were primary causes for them. There is also one major point I want to hi-light, The fact both parents were confident in their upbringing of the children.

As a psychology student, I thought about this after it happened.

It was amazing to me how none of the parents took responsibility, but rather used the  scapegoat of the video game culture to place the  blame on. They did not believe, and most likely still do not believe that they were in any part responsible for the atrocities their children perpetrated. Never could it be the fact that the parents were not there allot of the time to help instil correct behavioural processes into their children. Proper teachings that children need to learn from their parents.

We as humans learn the beginning of our lives from our parents. We observe, absorb, and apply teachings from our parents into our lives. It is how, as a person becomes older, they suddenly have that “Man I am exactly like my(Mother/Father)” moment.

Now we stand on a new precipice, with a new style of non-human behavioural malfunction.

This child’s life could have been saved, right at the beginning.

The driver of the first truck, may have been distracted, trying to look for the address where the delivery was supposed to go, and not seen the child. But when he made the concious decision to resume driving, after looking what it was he hit, is where the failure on his part will forever haunt him. Justly is the case, I hope personally, that he torments in a personal hell that will last the rest of his life. I do not hate the man however. But I empathise for him.

Why?

Well we live in a society at the moment where we criticise people for late deliveries, more than taking the life of a small child. Walk by the lifeless form of a small child on the street because we are afraid of interfering in the matter, fearing becoming entangled in the bureaucratic red tape, and paperwork, and questioning involved with its discovery.

We have seemingly started a downward spiral in our empathising of others, worried more about the personal gains, rewards, punishments, and justifications of interfering with the fate of others.

We are also seemingly more and more absent in the rearing of our children, once they reach a certain age, and feel they can now fend for themselves. They are missing the parental taught morale upbringing needed to learn how to interact with peers, and humans alike.

We need to reach out to our neighbours and brethren living on the planet, no matter how many of us there are.

We need to stop wars, and come to peaceable conclusions to our indifferences.

Take the time out to help someone obviously in trouble.

I understand the perfect way of life imagined by Gene Rodenberry in Star Trek, where there is no longer any form of currency, in order to remove poverty, and to bring all to an equal status of living is impossible.

But with harmony, and love toward what we are, individually thinking self reliant creatures, capable of feeling, free thought, and emotion, maybe we can progress as a human race, and scientifically to develop technology to help us move out into the galaxy.

Then maybe I can get my wish… Starting over new in a colonization in space… on a planet Far, Far away…

My thoughts.

Lance