Friday, October 31, 2014

Caption This!

Zazzle caused me to change the way I take pictures.

Normally, if I'm going to take an animal portrait, I want a vertical ("portrait") shot, as opposed to the horizontal, "landscape," one.  But I changed that from a rule to a general guideline when I realized that Zazzle allows you to add captions on the fly, as you're setting the picture up for sale--and again, when you're purchasing your item.

So my "rule" for framing shots kinda went out the window, and I often found myself shooting animal portraits with space around them--specifically to leave room for a caption on a Zazzle product.

Please feel free to suggest more captions for these images in the comments below, or head on over to Zazzle and caption some stuff yourself!


Spots and Shadow


I Could TELL You...But THEN...


If I Want Your Opinion, I'll Rattle Your Cage!
I Could Tell You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You.
What Do You Mean You Voted AGAINST Ron Paul?
Tyranny Defined
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Find Your Happy Place! 
We Are ALL Mad Here...  --Cheshire Cat 

Bird...with Attitude!


The Fed:  Turning Nest Eggs Into Chicken Feed Since 1913!
There's No Saving Throw Against Stupidity.

By Any Other Name


If You Want To Bloom, You Have To Brave The Rain!

I Survived The 80s!
I Survived the 80s! 

It's Not An Attitude!

It's NOT An Attitude...It's Just The Way I Am!
Don't Give Me Attitude!  I Have Enough Of My Own! 

Flutter On By

 The Best Things In Life...Are Not Things.

Did You See THAT?!?

Who's Afraid Of Mencken Hobgoblins?
Sic Semper Idiota!

Becoming Roadkill Is Not A Valid Career Option
The Other White Meat...?

Don't Even Think It.


Smile!  Pass It On!
Would You BEE Mine...?

Would You BEE mine...?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Perchance to Scream

Today is the 14th of October.  We are a hair over two weeks from Halloween, one of the spookiest days of the year; and one day past that is the start of Nano, which is an even scarier prospect, but we will save that for another post.

Today is also the day that a brand-new ebook appears on bookshelves, called Perchance to Scream, which contains 13 stories and one poem--which, by some strange and unusual cosmic coincidence, also add up to 14.  Yes, fourteen spooky items, presented for your enjoyment, on the 14th.

It's got a haunted house, bloodsucking feathers, ancient evil entities with unpronounceable names, cybernetically enhanced zombies, mutant human-dragonfly hybrids, and a particularly nasty breed of psychic eel.  Being scared has never been so much fun!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

You can trust the government...


I mean...Presidents lie.  Wilson promised not to send soldiers into WWI.  Roosevelt made similar promises, while trying to get Japan to throw the first punch.  "I am not a crook."  "Read my lips."  "WMD."  "I didn't inhale."  "You can keep your insurance."

...but you can trust the rest of the government, right?

The military lies.  Tonkin, My Lai, Abu Ghraib, Pearl Harbor..."truth is the first casualty of war."

...but you can trust the rest of the government, right...?

The IRS lied ("we would never audit political opponents.").

The NSA lied ("we would never spy on American citizens.").

Now we find out even the CDC lies ("we would never cover up negative vaccination data.").

So, I guess you can trust the government, right?  Except for any agent or agency that's been caught lying in the past, that is...which sure seems to me to be...well...ALL of them.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

In a Decade...

...quite a lot can happen...

See, I met this girl...well, online, anyway.  Virtual Reality, you might say.

When two writers get to know each other by email and chat before ever meeting in person, you'd be amazed how well they get to know each other.

After weeks...maybe even months...of emailing and chatting, we finally agreed to meet and go on a "first date."

I totally and completely screwed up that first date by not being able to find her in a crowd.  (That raises an interesting question--can you still call it a "first date" if you didn't actually speak to each other...?)

(I won't even mention how badly I screwed up the "second" date...)

By the "third" date, though, things were--finally--starting to look up...and after that somewhat rocky start--and probably thanks to the literally millions of words exchanged by email before she managed to get a glimpse of the size of my nose--we seemed to hit it off pretty well. we are, sixteen jobs, two states, five thousand miles of relocation, and ten years later. was exactly ten years ago, today, that I blew that "first" date.

Maybe it's a weird anniversary to celebrate, but, then again, *I* am weird, so...

...happy anniversary, Babe.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

World War I Voiceover Work

I am happy to announce that two more of my voiceovers are now available:

World War One and the End of the Bourgeois Century by Ryan McMaken

For a complete list of all of my voice projects to date, check out the last section in my Online Resume, and please check out all of the latest additions to the Mises audio and video library.  And, as always, comments, critiques, and criticisms are definitely welcome.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Libertarian

Young White Tiger
Excellent article by Sheldon Richman over at FFF:  "I Can't Help That I'm A Libertarian."

He makes several excellent points.  Libertarians--especially Ron Paul fans--are often accused of "drinking the Kool-Aid" and being brainwashed into believing things that just can't work.

But libertarian thought is about analyzing, and logical thinking, and most importantly challenging assumptions.

Instead of debating which is better--that the government spend half a gazillion dollars this year instead of the full gazillion--shouldn't we take a step back and ask if the government is already bigger than it should be?

Instead of blowing the #$)((&^%&!! out of buildings and people overseas, shouldn't we be asking "why the #$)((&^%&!! are we all paying for this?"

Instead of just blindly pulling the lever because of a capital letter following a person's name, shouldn't we first be asking "what is this person going to do to give me BACK some of the freedom that's been taken from me?"

Question authority...even if it's for no other reason than "they hate when you do that."


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gold...Is Gold

I'm working on my Master's Degree, and I had to give a presentation on "the history of a chosen resource."  My professor knows some of my libertarian outlook, and where I work, and practically dared me to pick gold.  

Challenge accepted.

This was the final slide in my class presentation last night.  It shows the price of gold since 1800.

I humorously and facetiously pointed out the "huge spike" caused by the Civil War, and the equally huge one caused by the Great Depression, before focusing on the real spike.  Something profound and basic had to have happened to change this otherwise flat graph to an exponential progression; I jokingly asked what could possibly have happened around the time of the Nixon administration to have caused it?

"Gold is gold," I said.  "Gold doesn't double in power every eighteen months.  Gold doesn't release a new model with sunroof and bucket seats.  Gold doesn't crash the asking price by getting caught taking the secretary to Jamaica instead of the wife.

"Gold is the baseline against which other things are measured.  If something changed, and caused the measure of gold to skyrocket like's not the gold that's different."

No clue yet what kind of grade I got...


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Latest Voice Work: Thomas DiLorenzo on Jefferson and Secession

Had the privilege of voicing "The Jeffersonian Secessionist Tradition" by Thomas DiLorenzo, available for your listening pleasure right here:

The Jeffersonian Secessionist Tradition

Hope you enjoy; comments, criticisms, critiques, always welcome.


Monday, July 07, 2014

We Are All Idea Smugglers...And Snowball Rollers

You, Mr. & Ms. libertarian, are of the same pedigree as John Hancock! 

It's true that you're not smuggling a physical good (as Hancock did) but if you'reabsorbing the ideas of liberty and then sharing those ideas with others, you're still a smuggler.
I've always described being a libertarian as "rolling snowballs downhill."  Every time you discuss freedom, or Ron Paul, or Lew Rockwell, or libertarianism, the real Lincoln, alternative health, paleo diets, etc, pack a small snowball and set it loose to roll down a hill.

Most snowballs rolled down a hill grind to a stop.  Some bounce off the slope and disappear.  But...every now and then...

On occasion, one of those snowballs will hit just the right trajectory, and pick up speed, and just like in the old cartoons, it will just keep getting bigger and bigger until it reaches the bottom of the hill and creams all of the unsuspecting totalitarian statists cartoon characters who couldn't be bothered to look up or dodge out of the way.

Keep rolling those snowballs...keep smuggling those ideas.


Monday, June 30, 2014 call this Freedom...?

I have to ask permission to drive, marry, hunt, fish, build a house, start a business, carry a firearm, or travel out of the country. And if I travel by air, you reserve the right to irradiate me, view me through a scanner that looks past clothing, and run your hands over my body. 

You take a bite out of every paycheck, a cut of every purchase, and even the lion's share of the estate when I'm gone. 

If I have employees, you decree how much I may pay them and how much I must pay you for hiring each of them.

You control what my kids learn in school. 

You claim the power to restrict what I put into my body. 

You read my email, listen in on my phone calls, and steal my property if I'm even suspected of a crime.  Not charged, mind you...but simply suspected.

You claim the right to decide what treatments my physician can use to heal me. 

You jail more of your own citizens than any other country in the world. 

You send our youth off to kill or be killed in pointless, unwinnable, illegal wars. 

You restrict, manage, control, oversee, monitor, dictate, regulate, and dominate as many elements of my life as you can, and constantly seek even more power over me. 

You even claim the right to assassinate me without charge or trial. 

In other words, I have the right to do absolutely anything I would like to do--as long as it isn't on the ever-growing list of the countless things I'm not allowed to do--while you reserve the right to regulate, intimidate, irradiate, rob, imprison, or even kill me. 

...and you call this “Freedom”...?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Welcome to the Neighborhood - Revisited

My latest article, "Welcome to the Neighborhood," was picked up and reprinted on Bob Livingston's Personal Liberty site:

Welcome to the Neighborhood


Monday, June 23, 2014

You Didn't Consent...

More narration work for the Ludwig von Mises Institute.  This time, I had the privilege of providing the voice for an essay by the incomparable Doctor Walter Block.  He is one of my favorite Mises/ writers, and I hope I did his writing justice.  You can listen to it here:

You Didn't Consent To Be The State's Victim - Audo Daily

...or, if you'd prefer to just read it, without my mumbling getting in the way, click here instead:

You Didn't Consent To Be The State's Victim - Mises Daily

Either way, it's an excellent essay; I enjoyed narrating it for all of you.  Enjoy!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Voiceover Work

I am now doing narration/voice work for the Mises Institute.  Check out the first two:

...please feel free to comment/critique...


Friday, May 30, 2014

Welcome to the Neighborhood

I have a new article accepted on today, "Welcome to the Neighborhood."  Hope you like it.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Tu Ne Cede Malis

...I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist...

Yes, I have fun with words and languages.  No disrespect intended, but I actually enjoy trying to tweak Latin into something that obviously isn't Latin but is definitely funny.  For example...

Blogito Ergo Sum

...and anyone addicted to blogging should see the humor in that caption.

Julius Caesar is credited with "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered."  Well, we photographers need to stick together and make our own pronouncements:

Veni, Vidi, Video
...hey, it's better than "Carpe Dime" (that is, "I'll give you ten cents for that fish"), right...?

(Oh, stop groaning, it wasn't *that* bad...)

But recently, I had the chance to take it to a whole new level...the most "in" of in-jokes...

See, I now work for the Ludwig von Mises Insitute in Auburn, Alabama.  And the personal motto of Ludwig von Mises is a Latin phrase.
 Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito
"Do Not Give In To Evil, But Proceed Ever More Boldly Against It."

"Tu Ne Cede Malis" is a very common phrase around here.  It's on coffee cups and bumper stickers.

...and I just couldn't resist...

Tu Ne Cede Malis

(...and you groaned at the ten cent fish...)