Writers: Are your books being stolen?

I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg. It is easy to steal a book in digital form, and then, sell it for a profit. This has been done through file sharing for decades and it’s less illegal than it ever was.

Please check if various bargain sites are selling your book. Are you profiting from these sales, or is your publisher reaping the dough?

In my case, it looks like BOTH my publishers from previous books that are off the market are still profiting. AuthorHouse still has my book from 2002 on Books a Million, brand new, which means AuthorHouse is still making it. I took that one off the market around 2014.

Also, Chipmunkapublishing didn’t take my book off of Apple Books and it’s still for sale on there, and here’s the killer: It says Chipmunkapublishing right on the book.

I called Apple and I was on the phone with them for about 25 minutes, mostly on hold. They verified that Chipmunka is responsible as they never took the book off. So….who is profiting? Clearly not me.

This Hunger Is Secret is selling for about $8 on Apple, and Breakdown Lane, Traveled is selling for around $15 on Books a Million.

This is the tip of the iceberg. I bet a lot of books are being illegally sold. If you are a writer and you published a book, please check the bargain sites for yourself.

Just another MP: a memory

I met him in day treatment back in the 1980s. I found him to be soft-spoken and very gentle. I believe he was married even back then. Besides being an MP, he had a legitimate disability, which I won’t mention here. He was very sweet to the other patients, both men and women. I didn’t know him very well but that was my impression.

Years later, I moved into public housing. Then, maybe around the year 2000, he and his wife moved into the same building. I was on a floor above them. I didn’t run into him that much, occasionally on the bus, and even then, we didn’t say much to each other. I learned that we had the same DMH case manager, though. I tried to steer him away from the topic. I felt exposed just talking about it.

After a while, my case manager and I decided that I didn’t really need a case manager. He wasn’t actually firing me and I wasn’t firing him. It’s just that he saw that I was in college and doing very well. Meanwhile, I heard tidbits from my neighbor about the case manager.

Meanwhile, he developed more disabilities. One was a lung disease from smoking. He told me he was going to try to quit.

He and his wife divorced. This I heard from the other neighbors. Apparently, she stayed in the building and he left. I heard that she was not coping well with it and had taken to ordering pizzas and all sorts of food delivered to her regularly. My neighbor wondered how she could eat that much. I said nothing.

I came into the building one day to a ruckus. The wife had put a restraining order on him and now, he had entered the building and come to her apartment so she had called the cops.

What I saw then, as I was coming in, horrified me. He was backed into a corner by the cops, who were threatening him, a man in a wheelchair with multiple disabilities. I don’t think he came there to hurt anyone. Maybe it was just a mistake or he didn’t understand the restraining order. Either way, this kind, gentle man was now seen as a threat, when truthfully, he was a threat to no one. He looked very, very scared. I’m not sure he saw that I waved to him when I walked by.

Later, a neighbor of mine said, “They took him to a mental hospital where he belongs.”

I never saw him again. I don’t even know if he is living. What a tragedy.

Telling the truth

I just found this in my feed:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7z3/nationwide-fake-host-scam-on-airbnb

Have any of you ever used Airbnb? I have not. I signed up for one once, paid for it, but then, canceled early on. I found it hard to get “approved” since I do not have Facebook. Last time I checked Couchsurfers, you also had to have a social media profile or you wouldn’t be “approved.” Maybe that has changed.

Please note: The scammers boasted about their accomplishments on LinkedIn. Pretty stupid, eh? I hear that many wrongdoers are caught because they boast later on about what they did. You might find this on social media. I guess they can hardly contain themselves.

My experience in hotels has been mixed. I have stayed in a few bad ones, especially in the past few years. The worst was the JFK Bed and Breakfast in Queens. I had people knocking on my door at all hours, even late at night and after midnight and on. People knocked on the window also, and the room was so overheated I had to keep the windows open. The electricity kept going out. I think the place was improperly wired. Don’t ever run the microwave or toaster or you will be sorry, and the “staff” will yell at you for it. I felt like I was staying in a shelter or halfway house, not a bed and breakfast.

A bad hotel will definitely wreck your trip. Hostels still exist, thankfully. I have stayed in a couple of them. In the big expensive cities, staying in a hostel might be advantageous. Most are immaculate. They are not just for students.

After reading the above article, I doubt I will be using Airbnb anytime soon. I feel that it’s such a pain to have to “verify” myself or somehow “prove” that I’m okay. I have never had to do that with a hotel or hostel. You just sign up, pay, and that’s it.

reiterating why i do not want dialysis

Dialysis is not necessarily life-extending. Many die as soon as dialysis is started. Once you start, you are dependent on it for life. What does this entail?

You are on a machine, for at least four hours a day, three days a week. Add to this travel time to and from the dialysis center, and also, prep time and recovery time. This will meanĀ  you have now lost about eight hours, three times a week. Hardly anyone can hold down a full-time job while on dialysis. You are stuck going on disability whether you like it or not. You are likely also put on Medicare no matter what your age is.

Your whole life will now center on the dialysis center and its “staff.” Did you please the staff today? Or, were they cross? Compare, please, to day treatment and you see my point.

A lot of people do not understand that refusing dialysis does not necessarily mean you will instantly die. Actually, real medical studies have shown that there are great ways you can sustain your life without dialysis. If you have good health, likely you can sustain yourself for a very long time, even on very low renal functioning.

Studies have also shown that people who refuse dialysis have better quality of life and are hospitalized less. Much of the hospitalizations will be due to dialysis gone wrong. Without dialysis, you won’t have those dangerous complications. Dialysis also causes depression. I’m fairly sure that the depression they talk about is due to the crappy quality of life that people are stuck in. They didn’t sign up for this. Many never realized how lousy life would be living on a machine. Often, doctors fail to tell people the advantages and disadvantages. They just say, “Okay, it’s time to prepare for dialysis.” Rarely do patients find out there’s a choice.

In a Canadian study, 61% of dialysis patients regretted their “decision” to start. I put decision in quotation marks because they are rarely told they have a choice.

Dialysis is insanely expensive. Invariably, insurance pays for it, and that’s mostly Medicare. Someone is making huge profits on this, never mind causing disability, causing extreme dependency and helplessness, and sometimes, causing death.

It is not what is claimed to be. There are alternatives! I urge anyone out there who is in the same position I am to look into what other things you can do. Don’t let them wreck your life!

Have you ever had trouble getting over a breakup?

It’s odd to be writing about this, since this is not a topic I frequently explore. I have read, though, that being depressed over a breakup is likely a common reason why people fall for the therapy trap. I suspect what happens, or can happen, is that a person feels an empty hole that the ex used to fill. They go to therapy, whether they know it or not, to fill that empty hole.

I did, in fact, a very long time ago, have trouble getting over a breakup. I think this only happened one time. I was 18 years old when I met HIM. He was older than me. I used this as a way to think I was cool, or some such thing.

I remember he knew a lot more about the world than I did. I looked up to him for that reason. He had what I thought was good common sense. He was also a hard worker and was good at finishing what he started. I had only finished my freshman year of college and he was a few years out.

I recall he had a very tough time getting a job. I believe this was because there were no jobs and the area was overrun with college students and grads who were filling up the job market. Finally he got a job washing dishes. It was all he could find at the time.

I was washing dishes, too. I liked the job because it was just me and the dishes. Washing dishes isn’t monotonous at all! There’s a rhythm to it, and you get used to that. It isn’t repetitive since you aren’t just washing one thing, such as plates. You might wash cups, or pans, or trays….and that changes throughout the shift. The dishwashing apparatus does make noise, but the noise isn’t obnoxious like McDonald’s loudspeaker noise.

HE came home late at night and so did I. Things seemed good over the summer. But I think the reason why I had such a hard time with this breakup, eventually, when it happened, was because inside, I never fully trusted him. I was always a bit on guard.

I don’t even remember feeling jealous, but just angry when he was clearly dating someone else. I convinced myself I wasn’t “good enough” and had to be “better” to win him back. He did not break up with me. After a while, though, I figured it out.

I don’t recall crying or anything, except one time when I burst into tears during my trumpet lesson. Other than that, I pretty much kept my utter frustration and feelings of loss to myself. I suspect a few people knew, though.

I got over it by relocating. I felt that I had get away from where I was, because HE was there, and I’d forever be tempted to woo him back, or think I was, as long as I stayed in the same place. This turned out to be an advantageous move for me. After all, there were very few jobs in the area. I moved primarily to take a new job, but in the back of my mind, I knew it would help me with the grieving I felt. It did.

After that, I don’t recall ever feeling like I was going to fall apart after a breakup. I strengthened myself. A lot of the time, I was the one who ended the relationship. A few times the guy got intolerable, and other times, I figured out early on that I was being used. I stopped putting a whole bunch of stake into these partnerships. I was much better off due to that decision.

Come to think of it, there was one time when I felt the loss very deeply, but now that I look back, a lot of what I was going through was mostly drug-induced.

These courtships go through the same cycle every time. I’m so used to it that whenever I meet someone, I tell myself it won’t last, or in many instances, that I don’t want it at all.

Book recommendation….or maybe not

Here is the book I purchased and read today:

I am not going to review it on Amazon, mainly because my feelings are mixed.

It didn’t help my overwhelming feeling of insignificance. Not at all. Besides that….

Some readers may be insulted by his style. I was not, but I didn’t exactly find it uplifting.

I don’t read books for “feelgood” anyway.

I like what he says about taking responsibility for your actions. He also says something about failure being part of life that I liked.

I did not like reading about getting negative people out of your life. I started reading his description of “negative people” and I said to myself, “Uh oh, I’m one of those people. Now what? Get me out of my life?”

Negativity is perceived. It’s not a real personality trait and it’s not something you can prove. A lot of people call those they dislike “negative.” In fact, they will use worse words such as various psych diagnoses, mainly due to their own inadequacies, their own failures.

Either way, when I was done with the book, I told myself the last thing I want to do is to get into a conversation with the author. I am not sure how much you can see in the preview but if he’s as insulting in real life as he is in his writing, I can’t see that anyone would want a dose of him.

How to kill off massive amounts of people

Maybe I have been thinking too much about science fiction novels where the world comes to an end. Or maybe reading too much history, instances where many were killed.

Here is how to really kill off a lot of people, though. The good news is that mostly, you’re going to kill off seniors. Who needs ’em, anyway?

No, I’m not talking about opening fire in a nursing home. That would be downright stupid and illogical.

Here is what WILL work, though. I don’t know why I keep thinking this is really going to happen. I guess because it CAN happen. That’s the basis of a lot of really good science fiction out there. The possible.

This crazy notion I have started in late 2013. I went to see a doctor I had never seen before. During the entire appointment, I could tell that he saw me as a lowlife, someone he didn’t want to bother with.

Before I could even make a decision, he was suddenly giving me a flu shot, insisting on it. Because of his attitude, I kept saying to myself, “Anything could be in that shot. How do I know it’s just the flu shot?”

You don’t know, do you? You don’t! They say it’s killed viruses, but what else is in it?

I hear about seniors lining up for the flu shot or the shingles shot like sheep. They trust that they’re getting a vaccination, but they don’t know, do they? How much would it take to substitute something else?

Think of how fast you’d kill people off, or seriously maim them with something poisonous. It seems far too easy.

It could happen. So here I am, playing on people’s fear, you say. But it could, and I bet someday, it will.