Thursday, December 26, 2013

PANAMA POLARITY — EASY GOING VS WILLFUL IGNORANCE


Panama is a great place to live. I love it here — the weather, the people, the beauty, and of course the prices in comparison to the rest of the world. That being said, doing business in Panama or attempting to build something can cause heart seizures.
It’s disconcerting to me to realize that my adopted country, Panama, is the absolute definition of the phrase, WILLFUL IGNORANCE. The government actually endorses and fosters this attitude toward those character traits. No time of the year is this WI (willful Ignorance) more prevalent than the holiday season. Panama begins their holidays the first part of November; celebrating all manners of historical events. Then Mothers day… then more celebrations of historical events and finally the Xmas season — through January 1st. Soon thereafter, there are the carnivals... Another reason to party. Each year it’s the same. The same parades, the same food, the same music and the same rituals. Also the productivity is the same — low to none. Attempting to get anything accomplished during this period; November to April is almost impossible. In North America and Europe, the slack time begins just before Thanksgiving and ends the day after New Year. Productivity is almost nil during those times as well. Now -- double it. That’s Panama.

Any one wishing to construct a home or commercial building during these months — November to April, (the dry season — the best weather for construction) is looking at frustrating times. Even the highest rated contractors have no control over their employees, subcontractors, or suppliers during these months.

I was asked by several people why I was establishing my Ozone Generator business somewhere other than Panama. After living here almost 10 years, the thought makes me shudder at the failure which would ensue. I’m manufacturing a precise medical style instrument. To entrust the manufacture, assembly or even the shipping to some of this Willful Ignorance culture would be akin to programmed failure. I’ve tried several businesses here in Panama. They all languished because of this WI factor.
I’ll continue to live in Panama after my forays into various other countries to establish the manufacturing and assembly of my Ozone Generators. Like I said at the top of this posting. I like living in Panama.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

PHASE OUT!

CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION!

As an author with a historically long list of accomplishments and failures I have felt compelled to speak out about a number of subjects on a regular basis. My blog represented my ideology and the signs of the times as seen through my eyes. This blog has been my platform for several years. It focused on my novels and other events in my life. Once in a while it focused on Panama, my adopted second country. However, I’ve chosen to gradually retire my public life so this blog will become dormant quite soon.
This is not the swan song posting on Blair-Pacific Publishing but you can see the edges of finality from here. My writing will be taking a back seat to several new and fresh endeavors.


WAKE UP!


At the ripe age of 71, is sometimes amazes me that other men my age are so na├»ve as to the way the world or life works. Either they have had no failures or disappointments, (a sheltered and boring life), or they just DON’T GET IT! It also occurs to me that most have a wife or significant other that is just as clueless. This is disconcerting on many levels… (apathy X 2) 

I understand my background in journalism has enabled me to sniff out certain untruths and read between the lines of news reports and political rhetoric. However, if someone is close to my age, surely they have seen the signs over the years; witnessed the changes in freedom of expression and freedoms of choices. They would have seen the shift to global economics where the multi-national companies control the resources and wealth of the world. Surely these people are aware of how insignificant individuals have become in this new world order. It’s amazing how many are still clueless.

Changes in retirement age, health care systems, and the staggering national debts of most nations, suggest that the world suffers from a chapter 11 type of bankruptcy. It needs reorganization. Who do you think will fund the reorganization? The seniors; Governments don’t like old folks. It’s a very obvious and alarming truth. Everyone’s retirement fund is in jeopardy. Especially in the USA and Europe. 

I always thought it was an author’s responsibility to expose certain truths or question the unbalanced justices of life. In most of my fictional work there were subtle messages; thought provoking scenes or statements by the protagonists that registered in the readers subconscious. I’m sure some of my readers got the messages. Most didn’t. It was my inner self that compelled me to try and fix or change the world by these subtle messages. Who was I kidding? It’s like a fart in a windstorm!

So, I’m embarking on a new — direct method of change. Systems & ideas I am passionate about; Ozone Therapy, Sack House Construction, Palm Oil for diesel engines, Tide Pumps, Fish Farming, living off the grid and survivalist methodology.

Focusing on these systems will create a bit of controversy. I’ve never been one to be reserved or half-way about missions or projects of which I’m passionate; it’s full court presses for me. Some of my inventions will ruffle the feathers of the MULTI’s -- big time. The oil industry, electrical industry, and the medical industry will be affected by my systems if I can’t stay under their radar. Will they retaliate? WTFK?

Look at history. It seems to guide our future.

Were the inventions of the 100 mile per gallon carburetor, cold fusion and a gaggle of other energy saving inventions totally bogus? Were they myths — wishful thinking? Or were they inventions purchased by the multi-national conglomerates? Were the people who invented these things just greedy? Or were they threatened with harm or harm to their families. “Hmmm, let me think about the choices — Either I sell you my invention for gazillions of dollars or watch some goon rape my wife and daughter while another gangster pulls out my fingernails with pliers… Yep, that’s a tough one!”

That’s not the scene from a novel or movie. Veiled threats like those are applied daily in all manners of industries. People are killed for the Coin-of-the-Realm.

Perhaps I’m paranoid, but I personally believe it’s prudent to be cautious as I implement systems that may threaten these powerful industries. Hence, the phase out.

Monday, December 2, 2013

ALASKA BE DAMNED -BACK STORY

ALASKA BE DAMNED is enrolled in Amazon's newest promotional program.  It will be available at a special price for the next 48 hours.  Take advantage of the promotion. 
To celebrate this new offering, I'm running the back-story.


I believe it’s very important for readers to understand that this novel does not slam the state of Alaska.  I loved living in the ‘last frontier’.  I appreciated and marveled at the people, their attitudes and their rugged spirits.  The diversity and beauty of Alaska is breathtaking.  It’s also dangerous. A brown bear can eat your ass but you can also be eaten by the parasites that prey on the working class and business-folks of Alaska. RWH

My number one novel in sales was written during and just after I left my stint as an Alaska commercial fisherman. Those years, the middle-aged life chapters, were truly chocked full of excitement and adventure.  The money was good but the adventure of the unknown was omnipresent.  One could be  anchored in a small inlet that was as calm and smooth as a mill pond.  Three hours later a williwaw would stir that cove into a cauldron of wind, waves and chop.  Dragging anchor was a given so the danger of crashing on the rocks was always a threat.  Factor in mechanical problems, drunken deckhands, fish prices, and the ever-present weather conditions and you have an exciting time in Alaska; an adventure every day. 

One aspect that spoiled the experience was the constant harassment by the U.S. Coast Guard, the fish cops, and the red tape of just doing business from a boat. It was enough to curdle a person’s milk.  In my case, I elected to push back. That was an adventure that is partially chronicled in my novel.

One of the most disturbing aspects of cruising around Alaska was learning of the large number of people who die in boating accidents on an annual basis. Many of them unreported.  Fortunately, my crew and I were able to rescue -- not just lend a helping hand, but actually rescue from certain death over a dozen people. Nine separate incidents where lives were at stake, my crew and I saved the day. Our reward was undying gratitude from not only the people rescued but also from the fishing fleet in general.  Unfortunately, we were chastised by the coast guard (notice I didn’t put them in caps?) The castigation came from not following protocol and procedures.  I had made decisions based on the most expedient method to save peoples lives and property; including ignoring voices on the radio that were disrupting and contradicting my rescue processes.  I always strived to help the poor souls that were either drowning, near catastrophe or in distress.  Most times I was breaking rules and protocol set forth by fifedomes of the Coast Guard watch commanders. I always assumed it was more important to save a life rather than succumb to authority. It’s been my personal millstone for the better part of my adult life.

“Coast Guard, Sitka, this is Wolf Bay. Listen up, Ensign Pulver, ‘cause this is my last transmission to you. The wind is blowing out of the north at eighty knots and Chatham Strait has breakers upward to sixty feet. This is a Class A storm, Pulver. Do not, I repeat, do not send a cutter, a battleship, or any other type of vessel into this storm. All parties are fine… doing five by five. We have ample supplies and shelter, but the radio battery is almost gone. I will oblige you with paperwork after this is over. Do you read me, Ensign Pulver?”


I think the crowning moment in their stupidity and my blatant disregard of their orders came when I was told to ‘stand down’ in my attempt to rescue a fisherman who had crashed into a deadhead (sunken log) in Chatham Straight.  His vessel had been totally destroyed and sunk but he was able to reach a rock outcropping near the shore line.  To reach him was almost impossible.  Any attempt with my skiff would surely put both of us on that cluster of rocks.  Soooo, I pulled the emergency life raft off my big boat and lowered it into my skiff.  I then drove the skiff upwind from the rock and the fisherman.  When I inflated the life raft, it took off like a kite in the strong winds.  I was finally able to use the wind and the current and allowed it to drift toward the rock.  The fisherman was able to crawl inside and I then towed him back to my eighty-five foot vessel. The fisherman I saved became a good friend.  His family and fellow fishermen applauded my rescue.  Later in the week, twenty minutes from arrival at the dock, my vessel was boarded by a 20 year old acne faced E-2 seaman from Topeka Kansas and two other snot nosed coasties. They inspected my vessel and I was issued five tickets for safety violations; including one for not having an operable life raft in place.  That was the cork blower!

I took the offensive and used whatever public forum was available (including the VHF and SSB airwaves) and began slamming the USCG, US Forest Service and a host of other US agencies that locked down the State of Alaska.  I was very careful to not include the rank-in-file coasties; those that risked their lives everyday saving people.  I targeted the upper echelon; those dopes that sat in the warm cushy offices and wrote rules and regulations for their drones to enforce.  I attacked all the politicians, the big multi-nationals, and the cops that enforced their doctrines.  I was finally threatened with arrest or worse if I didn’t pipe down or leave the state.  I quieted my rants, put all my boats and real estate on the market, and began ALASKA BE DAMNED.  A year later, with everything sold, I took my partially finished manuscript back to the lower 48 and hibernated for a year; finishing the first draft of ABD (originally 260,000 words). 

Suddenly the night turned a bright orange-white as the flare Ben shot off hung just over the barge. After a few moments it was dark again, until Tom turned the spotlight back on. Meg’s eyes followed the spotlight as she moved the Ancient Mariner forward of the barge. Ben aimed the light at the waterline of the anchored barge and the towline became visible. He shined from the top of the barge to where it entered the water. Then he then pointed the light high on the logs above the barge deck. Silhouetted in the light was the figure of a man. He was flashing a small light so they could see it from the Ancient Mariner.

 

Since completing ALASKA BE DAMNED, I have moved several times and have always compared my current location to that of Alaska.  I will often reread the novel to re-experience the beauty and grandeur of that great territory.