While driving down the 101 here in Los Angeles I noticed the following sign…
… and it made me think.
NO – Come on! There is no such sign in Los Angeles – – – yet!
But you can find bad surprises in places where they are really surprising – – huh?
Anyways, I want to tell about an old friend of mine. A friend I had hung out with during the last year of high school and most of the college days, and I thought we really knew each other well.
Me moving to the US of A interrupted that friendship somewhat, but meeting each other after both our divorces and a few year of hardly hearing from each other, the spark was there again immediately and we could talk as if no time had passed when we met on one of my visits to Germany.
But I went back to California, we both got married again and had kids – OK, our wifes had. Then it was his time to visit us here with the whole family.
During on of our long talks he told me that his daughter had become so difficult in school that she was now on ritalin. That blew my mind! I mean I hear all those bad stories about our school kids being drugged into obedience but I had never met any such kid. I guess because my reality is so that this stuff does not enter it. But then the only first degree of separation person to introduce me to ritalin is my old best buddy from the college days.
I guess our realities did develop into different directions. Even though I don’t really think in his case it was a replacement for parenting because he was and is a loving father. He must have gotten some really bad information, and that’s the danger of it, that if you are not actively looking for the correct information and trust ‘experts’ you might be traveling down the wrong path.
I know how that is!
… and I did – again!
Let me explain. Steve Eley is the mastermind behind a podcast called Escape Pod. Weekly he offers science fiction stories as a podcast and I hardly ever miss one of the stories, although I sometimes lag several podcasts behind the current story. The reason being that it’s a podcast, right?
I usually fire up my iTunes once in a while (when I run out of stories on my smart-phone), and download new content onto said smart-phone.
One more element then has to come into play for me to be able to actually listen to the podcast – I have to be in the car going somewhere. Today was such a day, and a good one. Ninety minutes drive back from the mountains, late, the son sleeping in the back so that I could plug in those ear phones and work on my mp3s on my phone.
I got nearly two shows done, Escape Pod 115 –Conversations With and About My Electric Toothbrush all finished and Escape Pod 116 two thirds done.
The story “Conversation With and About My Electric Toothbrush” was really surprising and enjoyable. The title gives away most of what this story is about and I will tell no more about the funny twist because I want you to go check it out yourself.
OK, the epilogue of that show also announces that bloggers like me can get prizes that Steve gives away to those who blog about Escape Pod, but this is really not the reason for this blog post – even though it might have been the straw that broke the camels back.
Looking at the Escape Pod website again also reminds me that I really should donate to the site – it would be only just for all the enjoyment I get out of it, but maybe I can do even better by advertising on his site for one of my commercial sites.
One reason for the generally above quality of the stories presented is that the author is actually paid for his story. Obviously this created a cloud of much better stories than those submitted by authors who just want to be published, not caring if they will be compensated for their effort. I actually submitted a story once and it was fortunately rejected, creating the incentive to work on my writing.
Don’t know what happened but lately I just don’t manage to go to bed when it’s prudent to go. In the old days I could sleep in when it got 3 or 4 in the morning, but with a kid that need to go to school that is not possible.
But actually the most satisfying sleep is the one on the keyboard, so I started that for some of my little power naps.
This makes for some nice pattern work even though I still have some work to do to compete with a sith lord.