The YouTuber’s Growing Attitude Problem

Like many people, I stopped paying for cable or satellite TV years ago, and gave up on free over-the-air broadcasts due to their lack of interesting content. This means that I now rely on a combination of paid streaming services (Netflix and Amazon Prime) and free online content (YouTube). Of these, YouTube is the most analogous to the broadcast television I grew up with. Content is uploaded on “channels” by individual content creators, with new “episodes” being uploaded according to their own production calendars, and revenue is generated through the placement of ads within that content, just like adverts (commercials to Americans) on TV.

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Call me….Sandwich

There was this teenager I once knew, almost 20 years ago now, who desperately wanted a nickname. His name was David, and that’s what everyone called him. Not Dave or Davey or Heavy D, or D-Diddy or D to the Avid. Just David. His brothers, Christopher and Nicholas, were known to everyone as Chris and Nick. All in all, his parents had been pretty sensible in naming their boys, if not terribly creative.

In an age of Jaydens, Chads, Bradleys and Connors, I figured he was pretty lucky to have a nice respectable old school name like David. A name that evokes marble statues. And of all the Old Testament names, it’s one of the easiest to spell (no offense, Melchizedek). But David thought it was boring, so he went about selecting a nickname for himself, and then actively encouraging people to use it, without much success.

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Must be the Season of the Sticks

Early in the 2020 pandemic I established an evening routine of taking a stroll around my ½ acre compound and picking up any sticks that might have fallen from the various Eucalyptus and Gravillea trees growing within. Incidentally, what we call a compound in Kenya is known as a yard in America or a garden in England. I know that in America the word compound brings up notions of Branch Davidians and other armed cultists preparing for doomsday, but it’s really an innocuous word. More on words in a bit. Continue reading “Must be the Season of the Sticks”

Love Letter to my Prettyman Family

Forgive me, family, for writing such a personal letter in such a public way, but I knew of no better way of reaching all of you at the same time. And what harm is there in the whole world knowing how awesome you are and how much I love you all? Our family is facing challenges, so I thought it would be a good time to convey to you how important you are to me (and I think I can safely speak for all of us in our generation). Continue reading “Love Letter to my Prettyman Family”

Where’s the Science in Your Fiction?

For a brief time as a teen I was interested in sci-fi and fantasy books. Though the two genres are usually lumped together, I always had a clear understanding that sci-fi involved robots and/or space, while fantasy was almost always something about wizards, elves, magic and realms that had not yet witnessed an industrial revolution. (Seriously, why all the swords, people? Magic up some gunpowder for chrissakes). Continue reading “Where’s the Science in Your Fiction?”

It’s Just What I Do

Growing up on a farm necessitated learning a little bit about a lot of things, but most importantly, learning how to become self-reliant. Farm living is the perfect incubator for hatching the jack of all trades. When you live miles from the nearest store and scrape by on a budget that doesn’t allow for buying expensive replacement parts or paying exorbitant labor charges to professional mechanics you learn to fix what you’ve got with whatever you have on hand. You do it not because you want to but because you have to. Continue reading “It’s Just What I Do”