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Donut and travel enthusiast- sometimes I write, sometimes, I even write well!

The damn contest had me overthinking

Photo by Thomas Franke on Unsplash

When Medium announced that it was running a contest with $100K in prizes and guest judges like Natalie Portman, Roxanne Gay, and Susan Orlean, I was all in. But, to be honest, I’m not a “contest” type person, not feeling the need to compete, maybe because I lack the confidence to put my work against other writers.

A story for another day.

But, I’m all for supporting Medium’s new direction, and thought I could at least submit something for each of the four prompts. Another thing I’m not a huge fan of is prompts, preferring instead to fly with no…


Conservatives are now tell their constituents that they should be vaccinated

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Lubbock, Texas — Dr. Jason Loos, a pathologist at Covenant Health, chose not to get himself and his family vaccinated against COVID-19. He chose not to do it, even though cases have been on the rise in Lubbock County.

In fact, with the Delta variant spreading, the number of hospitalized Texans is rising. Even conservatives, who mostly chose to stay ignorant of medical science in favor of not being vaccinated, are now urging their constituents to get vaccinated. …


East or West? The Choice my Life Depended On

Photo by Mark Neal from Pexels

You can almost make out the color of my 1970 AMC Gremlin and the patina of the sun-baked paint combining into a shade that can only be described as puke-yellow.

I’m stuck here and haven’t moved since dawn.

Car’s pointed west, sure enough. A stretch of Route 66 that meanders its way through a corner of the Hualapai Reservation, veering off toward Vegas or L.A., pick your poison.

A sour orange sun teeters on the horizon, the last of the moisture its victim hours back. The road trails off into the darkness of the east, one lane behind me. …


Sounds easy? Try it for a day, and you’ll see it’s extremely difficult

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

I figured out a long time ago that the reason I’m not a financial success as a writer yet is that I complain too much. So you would think that I immediately stopped complaining and now I’m rolling in the dough?

Right?

Have you ever tried to stop complaining for a day? Have you ever just tried to cut back? It’s not an easy thing.

Take writing online for example. Whether you are writing on Medium, NewsBreak, or Vocal you have the same goal for each piece you write. You spend hours researching, crafting, editing, to publish it to the…


The 1990s and 1890s were a very different time

The Crystal Palace -Marine 69–71 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

In the mid-1990s, I was a much different person than I am today. I was conservative and libertarian in my ideas about government and guns. In fact, I carried a Glock 19 strapped to my waist most of the time. I loved country music, a phase that saw me and my best friend, Roy bellowing out Hank Williams and George Strait songs all day as we sold pizza at Little Caesars in Tucson, Arizona.

The customers said I wasn’t any good, but I got extra points for effort. My friend, Roy, looked and sounded like he just rode off the…


Life was much simpler back then

Photo by Logan Ellzey on Unsplash

My family moved to Bunkie, Louisiana, in the early 1980s. We were happy in Denver, but my Dad’s health wasn’t the best and we could no longer support our lifestyle in the city. It also seemed my parents were looking for something different in life, and for a reason that escaped my brother and me in the beginning, the bayou seemed like the perfect place to them.

For one thing, the church community there was hospitable, full of charm and southern hospitality. We would come to rely on the church as my dad got sicker and couldn’t work

The nice…


But I Am Just Getting Started

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

There is a mass exodus that happens every few months on Medium. I’ve seen it happen many times since I started writing here on October of 2018. Writers come to Medium with stars in their eyes because they hear about the top writers earning 20K a month and think they can do it too.

I did the same thing. I saw people who started around the same time as me shoot to the top and start making thousands without any effort, or so it seemed. I kept telling myself, “If they can do it, so can I. …


If you are not getting the vaccine, not wearing a mask, not social distancing, and not washing your hands, all the while saying the country needs to be opened back up again, I am calling you out

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
NOTE: When I wrote the first draft of this essay, it was a very different piece. In the original, the premise was that if you are a virus-denying, anti-VAX conservative, you should die so the rest of us can enjoy life as vaccinated and healthy people and I didn't give a rats ass. I realize that may have been a bit overboard, so here is the 12th draft.

I’m not going back to the US after all for a few reasons. After weighing the necessity, and figuring out that it would be safer for me to stay put for now…


Imagine a place all your own to work, to focus, to relax, and create

By DJ5F-XDTB — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

My weird mind has two things that cause it to constantly come up ideas that no sane human being would ever think of. First, my sleep is unpredictable. I’ll work all night and sleep a few hours in the morning. Then I’ll get up and work all day and sleep again in the afternoon. After sleeping for a few hours again, I’ll get up and do it all over again.

I have no way of knowing if this healthy. I’m getting more than seven hours a day, but it’s staggered and it may be messing with my body clock.

The…


Let’s all go and eat our weight in grease!

Alexander Blecher, blecher.info, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

I’m a beast. While my 6-foot, 270-pound frame doesn’t qualify me as morbidly obese, I am no skinny little princess. I have a 48-inch waist and struggle to fit into airplane seats.

I haven’t always been fat. Before I started taking both antipsychotic and anti-depressant medication, I was a skinny little truffle. I even remember a time, before my mental illness became so severe all I could do was survive when I was both lifting weights and kickboxing and I drank protein powder to gain weight and muscle.

Oh, how things change.

Now, I’m a healthy 270 pounds. I walk…

Jason Weiland

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