Didn’t Get to the Blog This Week

Apologies for lack of a post [real] this Monday. I had a crazy week that involved a gas leak repair, new internet/phone/cable, my kids went back to school, and I’ve got a speech to prepare for the GOP convention. Next Monday I should be back on track. In the meantime, enjoy this pic from my archives. Dubya and I go way back and I’m hoping to have lunch with him this week in Tampa. Snapshot courtesy of my good buddy, Angus Khan. His dogs are sick so send them healing vibes.

Big Pharma

Side effects include bright bedrooms.

How are your testicles? I thought mine were fine until I read about Low T, also known as Low Testosterone. This used to afflict boys choirs and great television shows like Glee, Will & Grace, and Sex in the City. I had no idea how serious it could become. Luckily, the folks at Abbott Laboratories have developed a miracle drug called Androgel 1.62% which gives all of us with Low Testicles hope for the future. You may be wondering if you’re suffering from Low T. From the Androgel 1.62% website we get a definition of this crippling affliction:

“Low Testosterone can lead to a medical condition known as hypogonadism, which has many symptoms including fatigue, decreased energy, reduced sexual desire, and depressed mood…It is estimated that Low Testosterone affects more than 15 million men in the U.S. Common symptoms include reduced sex drive, decreased energy, loss of body hair or reduced shaving, and depressed mood. There is no cure for hypogonadism. It is a medical condition that usually requires ongoing treatment.”

Other side effects include hairy bellybutton.

What I thought was a symptom of being 42 turns out to be hypogonadism. Gonads. HypoGONADism. Seriously, I’m not making this shit up. Reduced shaving sounds kind of nice. If I were in the marketing department at Abbott Laboratories I might edit that from the symptoms list of hypoGONADism (heh, gonads).

Taking Androgel 1.62% does come with a few minor side effects. Again, from their website:

  • If you already have enlargement of your prostate gland, your signs and symptoms can get worse while using AndroGel 1.62% (including changes in urination)
  • Possible increased risk of prostate cancer
  • In large doses, AndroGel 1.62% may lower your sperm count
  • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body, with or without heart failure. This may cause serious problems for people who have heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Enlarged or painful breasts
  • Problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
  • Blood clots in the legs; this can include pain, swelling, or redness of your legs
Sunday Night Football with George Clooney.

I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to trade reduced shaving for enlarged breasts. That sounds awesome! [Note: I just discovered the enlarged breasts would be my own but I’m too fatigued to edit that line out of this post.] And that whole “loss of body hair” thing caused by Low Balls is so embarrassing. I’d much rather have my heart fail than have hairless legs. I live in a house with my wife and our children. I’m sure this medication is safe to use around them:

“Women and children should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where AndroGel 1.62% has been applied. If a woman or child makes contact with the AndroGel 1.62% application area, the contact area on the woman or child should be washed well with soap and water right away.”

I’d write more about this topic, but I have no energy, a reduced sexual desire, and a depressed mood. I need to check my gonads.

The images are from CBS News and their hard-hitting, investigative reporting probably funded through advertising revenue from Abbott Laboratories.

Introducing “The Indie 5”

I was honored to be interviewed by Tim and Claire Ridgway for their book, “Interviews with Indie Authors”. I found the book to be a wealth of resources from independent authors and I learned a lot from them. In addition, the Ridgways donate half of the proceeds to deserving charities in Africa. This inspired me to finalize a half-baked idea I had rolling around in my head.

Therefore, I would like to introduce “The Indie Five” which is a loose collection of indie authors, artists, and musicians that pledge 5% of their royalties to charity. I am pledging 5% of my royalties to Seeds of Literacy in Cleveland, Ohio. This organization does wonders in battling illiteracy in my town.

If you are an independent author, artist, or musician and would like to join “The Indie Five”, simply head over to the Facebook group at http://bit.ly/indie5 and join. There is no binding contract, no audits, and no paperwork. Get a fancy badge for your blog or website. And if you are not earning royalties, there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities in our world. I hope to make a difference and I hope you can too.

Pittsburgh Dad

This may come off as an inside joke involving millions of people, and I guess it is in a way. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I heard my dad say things that made me laugh right before he slid the leather belt from its loops. Most of us have memories of our parents saying something so stupid that we laugh about it with our siblings right up until the time we hear it come out of our own mouth. Then it ain’t so funny.  Unless you’re watching Pittsburgh Dad. I know, yinz don’t know what I’m talkin’ baht. Here’s some info from da Wikipedia en’at.

“Pittsburgh Dad is an online series of short films featuring the observations of a “blue-collar Everyman” father from Pittsburgh who speaks with a thick Pittsburghese dialect…The Internet show was created by Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton. Preksta, a native of Munhall and a graduate of Point Park University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, serves as director. Wootton, a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania who graduated from West Virginia University and now lives in Los Angeles, plays the “Pittsburgh Dad”…The first several episodes were recorded “just for fun” on an iPhone, with the intended audience only the two men’s families and friends. It quickly became an Internet hit, generating 3 million YouTube views within 6 months…The idiosyncrasies of Pittsburghese plays a large role in the show, including such regional words as “yinz,” which means “you all”; nebby, which means a nosy person; and redd up, which means to clean up.”

If you’re not from Western Pennsylvania, you’ll probably find this series only slightly amusing if not downright stupid. It doesn’t matter, because another three million viewers would disagree. This is the magic of the new media and why I’m glad to see major record labels, the “Big 6” book publishers, and TV networks heading for the shitter. They are no longer the gatekeepers of entertainment, telling us what we should watch and what we should like. Sure, for every Pittsburgh Dad there are thousands of internet film producers that won’t register five views. That isn’t any different than it’s ever been as not everyone can be a superstar. But now, We the People get to decide if Pittsburgh Dad is a hit. And apparently, he is.

This is happening across the entertainment landscape. I was fortunate enough to interviewed for a new book on independent publishing (shameless self-promotion alert) along with a host of fantastic authors, one of which is Hugh Howey. Howey came out of nowhere with WOOL, a futuristic novelette that slayed the Amazon best seller lists, all without an agent or publisher.

Get out there and become the next Baby Hughy, or Pittsburgh Howey.  Ah. You know what I mean.