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girl-of-my-dreams
You know how you get struck by the lightning blast of love only once, maybe twice in your life? Yeah, it happened to me when I was 19. Swimming around, bodyboarding with friends at a remote beach on the Northeast shore of Oahu… there she was. I wrote a short story about something that happened to us.

Anyway. We’ve all had those experiences. Then, today, from NOWHERE. OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY, this girl was brought to me from across the world, straight into my sweet little MacBook Pro.

I don’t even know this girl’s name. But, that doesn’t matter in the least, as you’ll soon see in the video below.

A woman just read two of my articles on this site: Vultures Eating Kids, and Radiation – Part of God’s Good Plan for the World? She said in her comment that she cried so hard she thought her soul was bleeding.

I felt the same thing as I wrote them. There are events going on in the world that are sick beyond measure, and we’re overlooking them on a day-to-day basis just to save ourselves the pain. Much of the world would be a sniveling bunch of misfit empaths if we forced ourselves to wrap our heads around the injustices that abound in astounding number.

My job used to be working with young kids who had suffered at the hands of monsters. It was fulfilling. It was mind-wrenching. I kept my anger out of all direct contact with these heartless pieces of shit, but when I went home at night and stared at the ceiling, my mind would devise crazy vigilante schemes about which I’d sometimes think – this could actually work. Nobody would know.

Before that I worked with people sentenced to an old home for their remaining years. No chance of parole, they were going to die right there with the other forty-eight residents, most of whom they never spoke with and downright hated. I changed Depends diapers, took the rectal temperature of a guy with balls as big as a camel’s and that kept blocking the thermometer. I changed colostomy bags. I even helped a 93 year old woman rub salve on her hanging vagina. Nurses orders. Another time I watched her dig out a fecal impaction with such a horrific smell, it could have dropped a horse.

Speaking of horses.

Rudy, somewhere about 78, ran around the place with his zipper down so he could say the same damn thing over and over to anyone who mentioned it – “If the horse can’t get UP, he can’t get OUT!” And that ended most conversations about the matter. At least until the next person wanted to get a rise out of him. One of his other favorite games was to go into poor old sweet little Sarah’s room and lock the door behind him. She would scream in a cooing dove’s voice – very odd – but everyone in the place knew that old bastard Rudy was up to no good and there was a mad rush for the room before he did any damage.

Those were the good old days. That’s how I see them now. I worked for a paycheck. The paycheck was small, but the rewards were never-ending. I can still remember so many faces and personalities. I can still feel the pain of the place. The isolation. The fear of another day facing a life few of them seemed to want to continue.

When I graduated with my master’s degree, I jumped ship and worked in IT. I fixed desktop and notebook computers, printers. I fixed network issues. I became certified in a dozen different IT specialties. I’ve been doing that since 1996.

I jumped for the money really. No doubt about that at all. I had immense job satisfaction helping people in the mental health system. Now that I’ve helped people with computers, search engines, building websites, writing, and internet marketing I have to say, it’s nothing like really helping people with something that matters.

The stuff that matters doesn’t pay. I mean, unless you’re working for an NGO in Cambodia and making $80,000 USD a month. I’ve been there. I’m not sure the dozens (hundreds?) of groups there are really doing anything at all except making shit-tons of money for themselves.

How many of us can do stuff that matters over a lifetime? Have any of you? Even one person?

Do you know anyone that has dedicated an entire life to helping others that need it – unselfishly, without the underlying motivation being money?

Most of us (myself included) are caught up in the Make Money game. As I come up on fifty years of life, I’ve never been more driven to make money in my life. Having a lot of debt and a family gives me that internal push. I love that I have it, but I wish I could ‘have it all’ again at some point.

Maybe someday I will, there’s nothing I’d like better than to be helping people AND making bank.

What are you doing with your life?

Another one! Love these!

Brothers Three, by Laura Lovic-Lindsay

New Apple MacBook Air 12-inch retina screen notebook computer with various upgrades for 2015. Possibly the ultimate writer's notebook computer.

Update – the Spring Forward Apple event just happened (it’s still going on, but all I care about is finished).

The MacBook Air 12-inch retina notebook from Apple is a reality.

There are some pleasant surprises. Not sure how this shakes out. The dumb thing is still light as fly-paper – at 2 lbs.

Here’s what I got from the presentation:

  • 2 pounds
  • 1.1 GHZ processor with turbo up to 2.9 GHZ
  • 10 hour battery on WiFi. They say 9, but they always sandbag
  • gold, space grey, UFO silver – the usual
  • 8 GB RAM (nice)
  • 256 GB SSD (nice)
  • revamped keyboard – keys using butterflies, not scissors – maybe nice for feel. Let’s see.
  • bigger keys – no mention of whether keyboard narrows, or not
  • forced touch tapping on trackpad – so, it’s like clicking – without a click? Remains to be seen
  • starts at $1,300 which is nice, and $1,599 for faster processor and 512 GB SSD – can that be RIGHT?
  • one USB 3 (c) port, and a headphone jack that doubles as a microphone in
  • nicer backlight – one for each key, less light bleed it looks like
  • 24% thinner than the current MacBook Air – guess they compared to 13-inch
  • no fan – that means no noise, but maybe more heat

That’s about it.

Is it the ultimate writer’s notebook computer? Could be. Depends on a few things – like the keyboard really, and whether they dorked up the touchpad to make it forced touch.

Shipping April 10th.

The current MacBook Airs and Pros are getting updates too. Faster Processors and RAM, and the Pro is getting the forced touchpad dealio. Hope it’s not a deal breaker. I frickin’ LOVE the current trackpad.

Apple's MacBook Air and Watch event 2015.

We’re an hour away from what is probably going to be Apple’s biggest blunder since the Apple Newton back in 1996 or so. Can’t remember. I did buy one of the damn things though! No wait, we bought two of them! I thought they would be a good database manager for all my real estate contacts. The handwriting recognition wasn’t that bad. Still, it was a badly timed device.

Is the MacBook Air 12-inch Retina Apple’s new HUMPTY DUMPTY MOVE?

If you’ve seen my video on the topic, you already know my views.

I’ll elaborate a bit here.

In one hour and some minutes we’re probably going to hear about Apple’s latest MacBook Air with retina screen. There are a number of dork moves in this one. Well, here:

1. 12-inches that is in the footprint of, or even smaller than the 11-inch MacBook Air. We need a 13-14-17-inch machine, not 12-inch.

2. Up to 2 ports. I said UP TO. One USB 3 and a dual microphone / headphone jack. Weeee…. sounds like a blast carrying around extra ports in my pocket. That’s fucked.

3. Slightly narrower keyboard! ha! What in the EFF are they doing? Narrower=dumb+dumber

4. Clickless trackpad. Dicking with the only thing that is absolutely perfect on any of the Mac computers – is folly. These follyful fuckers are actually screwing with the FRICKING TRACKPAD!

5. Thinner and lighter. This just translates into harder to handle and slippier off my lap.

 

Is THIS the ultimate notebook computer for writers across the globe?

Not unless you’re 8 to 12 years old with small hands.

So, what IS the ultimate notebook for writers in 2015?

There isn’t one.

I have the MacBook Air 13-inch retina. It’s as good as it gets, and it isn’t perfect by any means. I’d like it bigger, a 14-inch screen would be nice. Having it a bit lighter would be great. As it is, the behemoth 15-inch tank is the next option to get a bigger notebook. Those things weigh as much as three or four MacBook Airs. Your choice. The Airs with their lacking screens, or a 13-inch Pro which is as good as it gets, and it ain’t getting any better in 2015, and probably not 2016 either. I really hope someone steps up and makes an amazing alternative to this computer. Anyone?

Video – Apple’s MacBook Air 12-inch Blunder

Reading some other blogs this morning and came up with this gem from Shane Labs who heard from his “mentor” on RISK…

You have to take risks that are going to make you feel like you’ve just jumped out of an airplane. Naked. And you’re falling so fast your balls are slapping you in the face.

Any questions?

God is Love?

I look at me. What am I? I’m ruled by a drive inside – the very basic, the MOST basic drive, that is pleasure and pain. I move toward pleasure. I avoid pain. Everything I do is governed by this. Nothing falls outside it. I look at everyone else. Same thing. I look at the animal kingdom – same thing. The pleasure pain principle makes us what? Selfish. It makes us look out for ourselves first. Our own pleasures, our own avoiding pain, puts us at odds not only with those around us – with animals and plants around us- which we care little for… but it puts us at odds with our selves. We’re at odds with everyone we meet. And yet, another drive is – we NEED social contact. We need food. We need (at least crave like lunatics) sex. We need a safe home. We need power. Control. We all, or most of us seem to need to figure shit out about what is going on around us.

We have these drives… they are inborn. They don’t come from outside us. Dogs have them – some of them. They tear each other apart for crossing what they assume in their head is their territory.

In the big picture – we are at odds with ourselves, society, the environment, animals, and plants. We are selfishly driven. We cause extraordinary pain to others as we try to make ourselves happy, or hurt less. We are struggling against forces that we can never overcome. We are ants in the plastic vertical cannister that are here for something’s amusement. Or, we’re here for nothing at all. Or, we’re here as the result of a mistake. Or, we’re here as the result of a god that didn’t think it through. Or we’re here as the result of a science experiment by alien kids. Or, we’re the result of alien genetic engineering. Or… the possibilities are almost endless.

We’re not here as the result of any supreme god’s love for us.

My sister, Laura Lovic-Lindsay just had a short (flash fiction) published at FiresideFiction.com and I love it.

Maybe you will too.

It is every bit as odd as I expected from her. She is really the queen of weird stories!

Shoelace

Coding Swift in Forest Tent Midnight

What will YOU be doing in 2015? Same ol? Maybe you’ll be holed up in a tent in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness writing code. Who knows? Maybe you will. © 2014 Matt Hosford at Flickr.

Fook is defunct.

Vern Lovic, step up to the stage. This is your life…

I’ve been working my ass numb for the past few days on my new ALL IN project for 2015. What am I up to?

Creating Training Tutorials for SWIFT – Apple’s next generation of code to write applications for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod). Released in June 2014, this is a major step toward bringing high level coding mainstream.

If you asked me what I thought YOU should be doing this upcoming year – the answer is:

LEARNING TO CODE SWIFT

I created SWIFTmonk.com and there is still a lot to do over there, but you can sign up today to start getting the tutorials as they are released. Figure a week from now I’ll be able to start releasing those. I am learning to code at the same time you will be. We’ll go through it together.

Writing articles for someone else is tough. You have no assets. You have a worn out ass-bone, and no assets. Get yourself some assets. If you are not writing books, then what are you doing that will pay you as you sleep?

Make some money as you sleep, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

I was sitting here working on my Swift course lesson outline and I got a beep on the phone. A message from e-Junkie.com. I just earned a $7.50 commisson on the sale of a photography book I must have put at VernLovic.com somewhere. I can’t think where else I could have put that affiliate link. Then DING. Another one. I just earned $10.00 commission on the sale of another photography book at e-Junkie.com.

This is why almost whatever you were planning on doing in 2015 isn’t quite like what you could be doing. If that makes any sense.

The future is learning to code apps. I’m 100% in for 2015. I can’t get excited about anything else. Writing books – is over for now. I’ve watched my sales go from $2,000 per month down to something like $400 at the moment. Not so good. I mean, it was great while it lasted, but I’ve written so much and the payoff isn’t anything like the time-work invested. Time for a new plan. A new Vern.

Maybe reinventing yourself is the way to go in 2015. I’ve certainly seen the light. Writing code is something that you can do from anywhere in the world. You can take on small projects working for someone else for 10-20 hours a week and make another $600 a week if you know how to code using Apple’s XCode program to write in Swift. Or, you could just write your own apps.

Ever wanted to create something from scratch that others can use on their phones or tablets?

It is easier than ever to get started doing that. Apple just gave everyone a trampoline and a kick in the ass to begin programming in Swift. It isn’t that difficult. If you passed Algebra in high school, college, you can learn Swift.

You’re not too old. I’m 48. I started a week ago. In 2015 I’ll be competent in something I never was before. I’ll be creating things I never could have before. I have the chance to not only create my own apps, but because I’ll know a new language that others are dying to learn – I can create a training program for them that is in my style. Big Picture style.

If you are unsure about writing books. You don’t sing or write songs. You don’t make videos at YouTube that are killing it. You don’t have any great ideas for inventions or new businesses that can bring you income notifications through email – think about learning a new programming language.

It sounds DAUNTING – doesn’t it?

It did to me for about 15 years. I could have learned C++, Objective-C so many years ago. I had friends doing it. Family. I could have been well on my way to something fifteen years ago. Instead I went another direction and it worked out in some ways. I did some GOOD stuff.

“THE GOOD STUFF WILL KEEP YOU FROM DOING THE GREAT STUFF!”- Eric Thomas

That’s my mantra for 2015.

What’s yours?

Come on, join me over at SWIFTmonk.com and let’s crank life up to another level entirely by learning Swift in 2015.

I’ll race ya…

VL

Writing code on macbook pro for iphone apps

I’ve considered writing code since 1997. Will 2015 be the year I run with it? Copyright © 2014 Aaron Tait at Flickr.

Just a quick comparison here. I’ve been considering three things for 2015. I need to go ALL IN on something. I’m too scatter-minded to focus on one project. I need to change that for 2015. My goal is to focus primarily, entirely, on one activity for the year.

Choices:

  • coding iPhone apps
  • writing books
  • Youtube videos

If I could figure out how to crank up my Youtube channel from twenty-two million views to six-hundred million, I’d get started TODAY. Making videos is more fun than writing books or coding ANY day. I can’t seem to come up with The Plan for such a thing, so I’m probably looking at writing or coding.

CODING

WRITING

Potential $ is higher per app

Lower per book or total

Faster for short apps, longer for big

max 3 months

learning curve 6 months

proficient now

less redeeming value – coding tech

can affect people more – coding minds

unknown

known

road less traveled

high competition

maintain code in future

write once and done (fiction)

always changing – radically

changing slowly

I anticipate difficulty recalling past details

easier to remember previous work

less fun, more attention to detail

more fun during process

Both can be done anywhere in the world with an internet connection. That’s basically anywhere in the world that I’d want to be. Both are always changing, but code changes much more year-to-year. There is also the matter of maintaining old code to be compatible with new iPhone / iPad hardware as it is released. That certainly doesn’t sound like fun.

An iPhone app can do well immediately and it could mean a couple of thousand dollars per day. A book, if smashing it, could make a couple hundred dollars a day. I guess a book could make a thousand a day for a while. With books the monetization takes place immediately at the time of sale. With apps it can be immediate or stretched over time. You can release a free app with some ads that are paying you per view or click. You can offer upgrades within the app which lead to more sales. You can offer a cheap 99c app that later upgrades to a $4.99 app. Advertisers within the app can be changed any time to accommodate higher paying ads. With books, someone buys it and that’s it, you’re done. Sure I have some mentions of my website and other books inside all the books I sell, but I don’t have a good feel for how much that’s working.

So, the two are very similar, and yet there are some profound differences.

One of the differences is the last one I mentioned – fun factor. I’ve made this a high hurdle in my mind. I’ve always believed I needed to be doing something fun to make money. Besides a few years in the Air Force, I can honestly say I’ve always done something fun. Coding does not look fun. I do see that it will probably be more rewarding to write a great application vs writing a great book. More rewarding in my head. More rewarding as cash in the bank too.

Over the long-term I think a great book has more lasting value. A great book can sell for 100 years. You can affect people’s minds and souls by writing a good book. With an app I can help people solve a problem, or give them an hour of escape from their daily grind. I don’t really WANT to give people a meaningless hour of fun though. With every book I wrote so far, I’ve tried to give the reader something more. They mean a helluva lot to me. I don’t know what an app would mean.

In terms of legacy, what would I be leaving with a bunch of apps when I die? In five years nobody will be using them anyway. Write a good book, a couple good books, a series of good books, and that’s a better legacy to leave in my wake.

So anyway, I have seven days to figure out what 2015 is going to consist of. I haven’t decided against YouTube video yet, but I do need to put more thought into it and come up with a list of 100 amazing videos that have the potential to really crank over there. Crank, meaning a couple million views each. I have one video approaching 3 million I think. I’ll check. OK, 3,733,000. Nice. But I need a string of those to really be a smashing success. I know a guy making $6,000 to $10,000 per month with YouTube, but he’s an asshole. I don’t want to be one of those. I mean, nobody wants their legacy to be, “He was an asshole.”

Videos that attempt to affect viewers’ minds go nowhere at all. YouTube is all about shock and awe, assholes and elbows. There is probably little long-term value in videos.

YouTube videos would be the most fun for sure. I don’t think it’s the right focus at this point in my life. I might need to do something boring. Maybe this is the time in my life where I have to bite the bullet and do what I’m not excited about for a few years. That’s maturity, right? That’s growing up, right? I love being 48 and still a kid though.

Ah, decisions, decisions.

Cheers all.

Oh, and an update for 12/28… What did I decide? I’m going ALL IN on coding iOS apps at SWIFTmonk.com!