States of Chaos


Terrifying is right…

Originally posted on Verde:

I always get a bit confused when I seeliberals in the media being flabbergasted by how people like Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, Bobby Jindaland other Republican governors can decimate their state’s social services and infrastructure and still claim that everything is going well. By any reasonable measure of economic and social well-being, their states are disasters–anemic job growth, large deficits, large numbers of uninsured, etc. What such astonishment ignores, however, is the fact these guys are not getting elected in order to make sure that their states have goodschools,decenthealth care systems and generally humane social services. They may pay lip service to such things, but what they are really setting out to do is to fundamentally transform the relationship between citizens and the state. That’s why this awful story out of Louisiana isn’t really that surprising if you think about the aims of the modern Republican party the right way…

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Keep his gun: Shooting the computer was just stupid

It’s hard to not laugh about the Colorado Springs man who shot his computer in an alley a few days ago, but let me apply the wet blanket.

Sure, computers can be frustrating. We joke about throwing them out a window, taking a baseball bat to them, even shooting them.

Browning 9mm
Wikimedia image

But actually taking one out to an alley in town and letting the bullets fly?

That’s one kind of guy who should not be allowed to own a firearm — one who proudly and openly demonstrated a dangerous lack of responsibility and good judgment, and says he has no regrets.

Don’t give the gun back.

P.S. To the headline writers and others who so gleefully wrote about the guy who “killed” the computer: Save that word for when actual lives are taken by such idiocy.

Confession: I almost said I’d try an electric “bike”

When I heard that CU Boulder was looking for people who were willing to try riding an “electrically assisted bike” for a few weeks to get a chance at winning a free one, I almost threw my helmet in the ring.

Electric motor
Electric motor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story said the Exercise Science Lab is recruiting people who usually commute by car or bus for a study of the potential benefits of commuting with such a “bike.”

Then I asked myself:

  1. Is a two-wheeled vehicle with an electric motor really a bike?
  2. I usually commute by bus or by bicycle (without an electric motor), and will do almost anything to avoid driving a car to Boulder, so would I even be eligible?
  3. Didn’t I just spend too much for a new wheel and hub for the ass end of my commuter/MTB? Shouldn’t I start amortizing that?
  4. Can I commit to doing four weeks of anything?

Then I answered myself:

  1. Not really.
  2. Probably not.
  3. Yes. Yes.
  4. Um…

Setting the story free and moving on

When you spend hundreds of hours writing about people who don’t exist, and still more hours rewriting and editing your tale of things that never happened, calling the story done is a little scary.

You do it with some thanks for the help and feedback that family and friends have provided, some confidence that it is worth reading, and some hope that others will agree that it’s worth a few bucks.

Trepidation might be the best word to describe what comes just before you call your thing a book and send it off into the world. Yes, trepidation captures it nicely.

Then it’s time to start telling the next story. Please excuse me for a while…

“Blood Solutions” is getting 5-star reviews here.
Get your ebook now at Smashwords (all digital formats), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes&Noble (Nook), iTunes for Apple devices, Scribd and others.

Updated 4/12: The print-on-demand edition is coming soon here now!

Writers wanted, no skill required

First published on Medium, April 8, 2015.

Within a few hours after commenting on and recommending some of Will Federman’s work on Medium, and questioning the notion that many ordinary people are doing much real journalism gratis, I gained a Twitter follower in search of “online writers.”

This image shows what I found on my new follower’s site:

I’m not linking to the source as I don’t want to help recruit more clutter contributors (not that you would actually want this sort of work).

At least they’re not seeking journalists who will work for nothing.

Bad guy(s?) from Des Moines Roosevelt

Of course the bad guy(s?) in my crime novel would be Roosevelt alum(ni?). #DesMoines #Dowling #promocave

A fictional cop’s take on Des Moines’ sculpture park

Ebook and paperback

Shaw told his partner the one time they walked through the sculpture park that he found it a little disturbing, beginning with the fantastical, scrawny, rabbit-like creature that openly mocked Rodin’s The Thinker. There was a dark gray blob that looked like a rotting Mr. Potato Head, a stick figure titled Untitled that was frozen in mid-stretch, and then the scandalous Gymnast III that was clearly an enormous black erection.

“Red,” he remembered Phil saying, “you don’t know shit about art.”

“I’ve got eyes,” he’d said, “and a brain. I know a big dick when I see one sticking right up there between Grand and Locust where it shouldn’t be sticking.”

An excerpt from “Blood Solutions,” a Detective Red Shaw novel
Copyright 2015 B.J. Smith

Available through AmazonBarnes&Noble, iTunesScribd, Smashwords and other online book sellers.