Welcome to Murder Novels Blog!

This website contains rants, poems, articles, comments and a few book reviews I have written for other writers. Enjoy yourself and bookmark the page to come back to see more new things.

To visit my MurderNovels.com website to learn more about my 10 murder novels featuring the senior citizen sleuth, Jim Richards, then:
CLICK HERE!



My Smoking Hot Blonde :)



Comics about Books

Here's a few comics I have found relating to the book world.:)

I write like WolfGirl's author, I don't have an ending
either for my books when I start to write.





Plain Jane - Brunettes Beware


By Cristyn West (@CristynWest on Twitter) added 07-02-10

I've read most of the Alex Cross novels by James Patterson to be grossed out by graphic descriptions of cutting up bodies by psychopaths, so it should have been no problem getting through Plain Jane by Cristyn West. I was still queasy after finishing this book.

Early on it is revealed that a serial killer called Plain Jane has stolen a woman's uterus, actually lots of women, and it is up to another psychopath in the form of an FBI profiler named Kent Harbinger to catch him. I call this FBI profiler a psychopath only because he is so focused on the crime and getting into the head of the killer, he shreds apart the feelings of other agents who are also trying to stop Plain Jane. He has this single-minded desire to be right and perfect in his profiling of the killer that he keeps alienating everyone, but mostly a female agent who was once his lover, before he was commited to a mental hospital for, well read the book.

The guy is also a loose canon, he constantly goes off on his own to do the deed and he cares not if others want to help. The female hero, an agent named Nicole Usher, is trying to keep everyone happy, but Kent is not making it easy. Plus her present amour and partner Ruben Torres, is in a power struggle to prove Kent is a nut and should be put away again. He also doesn't like the Svengali hold Kent has on Nicole. There's a bit of in fighting amongst agents which doesn't help them stay focused on catching the real killer, well other than Kent's one track focus.

The story followed very well through the plot to catch the killer and a few red herrings were thrown in to mess with your mind, and who the actual Plain Jane is was a surprise. There was one part of the ending, I won't reveal, that had me amazed. It's something I have never seen in a story or even a horror film, you have to read it for the ultimate in twists. There are many plot devices I want to comment on but the whole thing depends on these surprises to carry the story so I can't reveal them. All I can say is read the book, I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by this first time novel for Cristyn West. I recommend this book and it can be found on Smashwords.com at http://bit.ly/b60jVe go check it out.



Blunt Force Trauma Review


Blunt Force Trauma, by Danielle Monique, (@danmon22 on Twitter) Added 06-12-10

I really can't call this a book review, because there is no book. Just a story that was sent to me from a perfectly delightful woman who I met on Twitter, lives in Western Australia and I was honored (honoured, as they spell it in the Queen's English) to be the first to read the entire manuscript of her very first full length novel. The story was written by Danielle Monique, a drama teacher in Western Australia who loves to write laughingly funny poetry about creatures who make stew from little children and a Peanut that ends up in a few places that peanuts shouldn't. She has a new blog she is starting for her musings and poetry, I'll give the link later.

As I said there is no book in the sense of this work being "published" or printed on paper, just words on the computer in digital, which seems the way to go now days. Whatever the method, this story was a very good crime novel. The opening reveals a woman's body being dumped from a highway overpass, slams into a car then being bounced onto the road harshly, but she survives! Although she ends up in a coma for a good many months, she has survived being beat on the head several times by unknown assailants and, as I said, dumped on the highway. What follows is the girl's attempt to remember what happened the night she was attacked and along the way discovers some very strange facts, like that she has left her husband for a woman and a mother who she hasn't spoken to in years suddenly reappears. These are very strange facts to a woman with a fragmented memory. Oh and it should be mentioned that this woman is a writer of crime novels.

The story follows with a Detective who has been working the case having no luck and now that the woman has come out of the coma he tries to help her to piece back the night in question. The story takes many twists that make sense and she slowly starts to remember small details. Many people are involved but the story is never bogged down by unnecessary plot lines, just straight to the point answers about the crime. There are a number of action sequences that are well played, and a few murders that cause the criminal's to start revealing themselves.

I have read tons of crime fiction, although American crime fiction, and I can say this story kept my interest, had me wondering and never went sour on plot or characters. I honestly enjoyed it. If I didn't honestly enjoy it I would just say it was good and leave it at that. The story takes place in and around London, England and the writing has that cultural difference from American slang and terms that I'm used to, but after a bit I was comfortable with the difference and just enjoyed the story. Besides I have seen enough Canadian and British humor and shows on PBS to have a small command of the culture.

As I said, this is not a book, and it's not available anywhere, it has be polished a bit to fix a very few grammatical errors and maybe, just maybe Danielle will let the world read it. If it were a book, I would not have been disappointed to have purchased it. Dani's blog can be found at: http://somedayandnever.wordpress.com and be sure to read her heartfelt posting about her twitter friends. You can find her on twitter as @Danmon22, say hi to her.

Maybe if you sweet talk her, she'll let you read her story too.




A Touch of Deceit Book Review


A Touch of Deceit, by Gary Ponzo, Added 05-23-10

A Touch of Deceit book cover

There is a fine line between right and wrong. The FBI goes by the book, but would it hurt to look away and bend the rules a bit when it comes to terrorist who would destroy our freedom and our lives. I have said in another review that I wouldn't be upset with vigilantism if done by people who knew how to do it right. The plot of "A Touch of Deceit" features FBI special agent for counter-terrorism Nick Bracco, and his sharpshooting partner Matt McColm and their quest to find Kemel Kharrazi the world's most dangerous terrorist. Kharrazi is a leader in the Turkish Kurd's fight for freedom or so he says, but does he have another agenda? I liked Nick because he wasn't some super special agent, just a guy with a beautiful wife and a lot of baggage in his life. He has a nervous condition, is being treated by a psychiatrist and has doubts about his carrer. He is also related to some underworld people in the form of a mob family. His cousin is part of that mob and a person close to him. When it comes out that Kharrazi is going to blow up a lot of people and their homes to force the President to remove troops from Turkey, Nick and Matt are on the trail. Kharrazi's people make a wrong move by blowing up a home of a head of the mob family and the mob isn't happy. The story is exciting and believable as Nick tries to find Kharrazi before he can carry out his threat to blow up the White House. Intrigue ensues and the mob is quietly drawn into the action to help find Kharrazi's stronghold and the detonator. Lots of twists and turns along the story and lots of action, killings, bombings and humor. I liked all the characters and the story was easy to read, very few diverting back stories to murk up the plot, just all good adventure.

Gary Ponzo has a winner here and I hope the ending of this book will carry Nick and Matt into further adventures.

Book is available on Smashwords.com and at Gary's website http://www.garyponzo.com



Now and Then Book Review


Now and Then, by John Locke, Added 05-23-10

Now and Then book cover

In the fourth book of the Donovan Creed series, author John Locke takes a different twist in this plot than in his past stories. This is a two part book, first, a continuation of John's last book " Saving Rachel", showing our assassin hero Donovan Creed and his new lady love going away for a quiet vacation. They become involved with the owner of the Seaside Bed and Breakfast and end up helping to keep the place running. The bed and breakfast is nearby St. Alban's Beach, Florida, a town with a tortured past. They harbor ghosts of pirates past who were supposedly tricked by the town's ancestors into being caught by the British army. The leader of the pirates, Gentleman Jack Hawley has a connection to one of the present day inhabitants, a girl named Libby. That's all I'm giving away, but Donovan eventually confronts Libby and some plot twists are revealed. There is a side plot going on during Donovan and Rachel's stay at the B&B, that is a character named D'Augie. This was a hilarious device as D'Augie is trying to kill Creed, and has unbelievably bad luck. I laughed my head off, especially about his mis-adventures with the attic squirrels.

The second part of the book was a story line that I probably wouldn't have read if it was in a book by itself, but I followed it from Creed's last appearance in the story, and I really enjoyed it. This second part is a flashback to 1711, when pirates sailed the seas and occasionally had to pull into a port for food and fun. This where the townspeople of St. Alban give the pirates up, even though they had a mutual agreement to exist peacefully. Jack Hawley was eventually captured but not before he and his followers cause a bit of damage to the town and a few residence. This part of the story was fantastically accurate as to the time period, I felt like I was reading a journal of the times. The language and descriptions were so real, I believe John Locke is Jack Hawley reincarnated. I enjoyed the plot and story of the entire book, my only problem was what happened to Donovan Creed and Rachel? Maybe to be carried on in the next book.

John Locke does it again. This book is available on Smashwords.com and there is more info at lethalbooks.com check it out.



Heaven Falls Book Review


Heaven Falls by Winslow Eliot, Added 04-23-10

I'm not one for reading romance novels, but I had met the delightful Winslow Eliot through Twitter and when she offered her book on Smashwords.com for a good price I bought it. I was reading John Locke's latest book "Saving Rachel" so had Winslow's book on the burner. The book is called "Heaven Falls" and I have to say now that I recently finished it, I am impressed. It's isn't totally a romance novel, but the flavor of the book is romantic, and then a mystery, then excitement. It revolves around an exclusive health spa that caters to people looking for the romance of love, not sexual but romantic love, just to hold hands and share romantic thoughts with another person and get a good spa treatment. Sounded good to me.

Tess is an ordinary woman with an 11 year old daughter, Freya. Tess had a brief fling with a man, Max, from a powerful family and the owners of Heaven Falls Spa, and Freya was born from that brief liaison. Years later Tess is approached by Jason, the brother of Max telling Tess that Max had died in an accident and his family wanted to meet Freya, Max's daughter. An offer is made to Tess to move to Heaven Falls, an offer Tess takes to heart being she is nearly broke and recently lost her beloved Aunt who she lived with. Too many details to cover here, but Tess does eventually move with Freya to the huge estate of Heaven Falls and becomes involved with the very strange family who runs the spa and now her new found relations.

As I said I'm not overly excited about reading romance stories, but this book took so many twists and turns it became more of a mystery novel to me. Tess had to fear for her life after she inherited the family business when the matriarch of the family passes, and the assortment of crazy relatives now want a piece of the wealth. She starts to fall in deep love with Jason but will they be destined to sort through the myriad of problems that come up. Who is the mysterious Ari, and what is his reasons for hovering over Freya and Tess. What is the story behind Phillip, the scarred, wheelchair confined brother who wants to marry Tess? Mystery abounds, and doesn't give an inch till later after murder attempts, kidnapping across the globe and deceitful goings on in the family.

I give this book a resounding endorsement, definitely a wild ride.
For more about the book go to Winslow's website: heavenfalls.com


Lethal Experiment (Book 2 of the Donovan Creed series) Book Review


Lethal Experiment by John Locke, Added 03-21-10

I recently finished reading John Locke's first book, Lethal People, introducing the professional assassin Donovan Creed. My prior review covers that book (See Next Review below), but this second book in the series goes in a different direction and I have mixed emotions about this book. First to say, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book to the end, but I have to say that John Locke is an evil man. He must have locked himself away without food or drink while writing this thriller with no regard for his sanity or that of his readers. The whole thing starts off much like the first book, with Creed off killing people who need killing and making great jokes while he does it, but then the book took some twists that had me stopping and wondering if I read it right. I ventured carefully forward and found myself in strange territory. I can't really say much about what happens because that would be giving away the twists and turns this book takes. It works though and I got to the last page and was bowled over by it. If you are expecting a lot of explosions, well there was one unexpected one near the end, or lots of killing, be warned, this book became more cerebral than adventure. But that's good, I now have a new respect for Creed, he's a good man despite his penchant for executing people. He had to make very hard decisions that changed his life and those around him, sacrificing love and friendship, but at what cost, his life choices and sanity. And the sanity of the reader. Well, done Mr. Locke.




Lethal People Book Review


Lethal People by John Locke, Added 03-20-10

The main character in the "Lethal" series of novels by John Locke (no, not the guy on Lost) is an enigma, at first it took me a while to warm up to his purpose in the plot of the book. Donovan Creed is his name, a strong mysterious man reminding me of John Carr from David Baldacci's Camel Club Books, and both men share almost the same background. They are or were both assassins for the government. While Carr hides from life, Creed goes forth doing his work. Donovan Creed has many paths that he follows, he explains his job as being a killer for hire, whether it is for the secret agency he works for or hiring out to private contracts and even has a tie to a mob boss. He doesn't question why he is hired to kill people, he says he is not the Judge, Jury or prosecutor, he calls himself the executioner. I started to like the guy when he began to show a good sense of humor and a good heart.

Creed has a small number of associates that help in his quest to dispatch people he is hire to … well, dispatch. His main partner, Augustus Quinn, is a monster of a man who has a disfigured face but a good sense of who he is and his place in life. He also helps Creed stay alive by watching his back from men hired to kill Creed, or from the bevy of hookers Creed lines up to … well, dispatch or take to bed, then dispatch. I really started to like this guy after he made it his mission to help a little girl who was seriously burned in a home fire that was set by unknown criminals and killed her entire family. Creed also has to placate his ex-wife while trying to protect her from a wife-abusing fiance. Creed's daughter is trying to cope with her father's constant absence, although he keeps in touch with her as often as he can. He also starts falling in love with a woman who is the ex-wife of his ex-wife's abusive fiance. Confused, read the book. Creed already has so many irons in the fire, and it's even compounded by having to hire out to a strange voice on the phone with complex murder requests and then having to hook up on a mission with a band of little people clowns. No, this book isn't silly, it is has good intentions that work.

The writing is smooth and easy to read, I like books that don't challenge me to know all about the childhood of a character if it means nothing to the plot, just put there for padding. I like a book to go on with the plot and keep the action going. This book has plenty of action including gun battles in a restaurant, blowing up hotels and an attack with little people carrying fortress destroying weapons, it keeps you moving. The sex is gratifying and frequent. Oh, speaking of sex, there's Callie, a super sexy and lethal killing machine who is another of Creed's stable of collaborators who pops in to help out. The complex plot of this book is sorted out by the end and everyone is happy, except those who were… well, dispatched.

I read this book on my Palm TX in EReader form that I purchased from Smashwords.com, but the paperback edition is available for those who like to flip pages. It's a good, enjoyable read and continues in the next book, "Lethal Experiment" which I am reading now. If you enjoy the John Carr or Mack Bolan type of hero, this is one for you to add to your collection.

To read more about John Locke's books go to http://www.lethalbooks.com

Book description from the lethalbooks.com website:

While pursuing a budding romance with the beautiful Kathleen Gray, Creed stumbles upon a plucky-but horribly burned-little girl named Addie Dawes. Creed's suspicion about the fire that killed Addie's family puts him on a collision course with crime boss Joe DeMeo, in what soon becomes an issue of kill or be killed.

DeMeo, a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to protect his empire-targets Creed and his loved ones for death. But Creed has plans of his own. Employing a bizarre cast of characters including a giant, a rival crime lord, an angry midget bent on world conquest-and a team of circus clowns- Creed goes on the attack, with hilarious results.




My Mini-Review of "The Addict"


I met Bob Kuykendall on Twitter and we both shared the love to write crime novels. Bob's book, "The Addict" is an intriguing tale about a special agent for Homeland Security and his mission to find a killer who is poisoning drug users with a bad mixture of a street drug. Along the way he runs into a former classmate and football team player, Esposito, but the friend is now an addled drug user who can't seem to get his life together without lying and using. Cade is the agent who tries to reform his now attached friend all while trying to track the killer, but his own inner turmoil is getting the best of him. He feels conflicted with being away from his family and his own self-doubts about the people he comes in contact with, both the police he has to deal with and the leads he tracks down in his case.

This is an interesting story about a man on the edge and how he deals with it. Bob's use of his past and present occupation in law enforcement adds to the authenticity of the book and sometimes it seems his character is going in circles by the real world rules and not those in fiction where the agent can just bust down doors anytime he feels like. Bob's real world says there is tons of paperwork before and after a door busting which ties Cade's hands often. I won't spoil the ending, it is a head turner, but read carefully this book before you get to the ending. I was given a "Teen Copy" of the book to read since the adult version, with all the good words and stuff, is in the process of being edited for future publishing through Tribe Literary Agency.

This is definitely an enjoyable read, and thought provoking. It's also a two tissue ending, I'm big on happy endings in the books I write, but Bob's ending works. Check out the story on http://www.yournextconference.com for Bob and the real man the book character of Esposito was based on.

Posted January 25, 2010



MORE BOOK REVIEWS COMING!

Everything below was written by myself unless noted.


My erotic-horror short story


Listen to an Audio of my short story

This is an audio presentation of my short story "Apartment 766" (text is below) narrated by me.
You can listen to it or just read it below. It runs almost 10 minutes and you need to turn up your speakers.


Apartment 766
by Bob Moats

Morgan sat by the counter waiting patiently for a delivery, he hated the job, but needed the money. Pizza delivery was not what he had in mind when he graduated from college as an economist, too bad he didn't see that the economy was tanking and providing no work for him. He had dreams of a family, nice house, great expensive car and a job that paid enough to afford the lifestyle. Unfortunately after school he couldn't find a job to save his life. So he was single, living in his brother's basement, driving a fifteen year old Chevy Nova and barely affording his rotten lifestyle. Morgan was in his early twenties and wasn't really bad looking, but he was shy when it came to he opposite sex, so his love life was bleak.

The phone rang and he answered, it was a customer thankfully. He asked the standard questions and wrote down the info. The woman on the other end of the phone had a very sexy voice. He started to dream of having a life long affair with the female on the phone just as his boss yelled for him to get moving. Morgan gave the paper to the pizza man who started the process of whipping the pie out. About ten minutes later, the pizza was ready for delivery. Morgan grabbed the box off the counter, after consulting with the map on the wall for the address of the building the caller lived in. He crashed though the door and out to his car, flipping on the lighted sign on the roof that advertised the Pizza Pit, a name he hated because it sounded like a bad place to eat.

Driving down Yorkshire Avenue he turned on the side street of Enock and up to the highrise that stood at the end of the road. These were old apartments, having been built in the 60's and renovated at the turn of this century, but still looked like they did last century. He parked and went up to the main door and pulled on the handle, but it was locked. He looked in and could see the lobby desk was vacant, the guard must have gone off to pee or have a smoke. Either way he was standing out in the cold. He turned to the panel that had call buttons for the apartments and ran his finger down until he found the apartment of his delivery. He pushed the button and waited. After a moment a female voice came out from the tiny speaker asking who it was. He identified himself as the pizza delivery and said the desk clerk was gone. He heard the door buzzer sound and he grabbed for it, pulling the now unlocked door.

He wandered around finally finding the elevators and punched the button to the seventh floor. The ride was slow and bumpy, he feared the thing would crash to the basement leaving him a blob on the floor. It finally arrived at the seventh floor and he was more than happy to leave the death trap. He looked both ways to see if he could spot room 766, and went the wrong way first, so turned and headed back the other way. After a bit of walking around he found the apartment and knocked on the door. He waited for a couple minutes before knocking again, then the door slowly opened and there stood a woman who Morgan could only have wet dreams over.

She asked him to come in and then closed the door behind him as he entered the room. He didn't normally go into a customer's home because he had heard too many crime stories of pizza delivery persons who were killed during a simple delivery, but he wasn't really thinking of that when he saw the woman.

She was in her thirties, he figured, and had a slim build, very nicely rounded breasts and a face that would turn men's heads anywhere she went. Her hair was golden brown and her eyes were a bright blue, almost like a wolf's eyes. They were something to get lost in. She was wearing a low cut black negligee that was hemmed just below her crotch. Any shorter and it would have been a belt. Her legs went all the way up and long, he felt an urge in his crotch. She smiled at him and asked him to sit while she got his money, then disappeared into another room, the bedroom he presumed.

He didn't want to sit so just stood waiting. He could hear movement and rummaging from the room and finally he heard her call to him, asking if he could come help her with something. He set the pizza down on a chair and went to the door where she was. He entered the dimly lit room, smelling a bit musty. His eyes adjusted and he saw her lying on the bed with her seductive legs arranged exposing her feminine parts, one's he hadn't seen often. He stammered, asking what she needed, she smiled and asked him to come to the bed. He couldn't resist her voice, he was entranced by the beautiful woman on the bed waiting for him. He could only hope.

He went to the side of the bed as she held her hand out to him. He couldn't resist her touch, and took her hand. She pulled him down to her and started to undress him slowly making him squirm to get out of his clothes. She started to get rough and just about tore his clothes off his quivering body. She rose up over him now and unbuckled his belt, then unsnapping his pants, pulled down his zipper. He was getting hard, couldn't stop it if he tried. She smiled at his hard on and then stroked it with her soft smooth hands. He felt a strong tingle down his back as she massaged his hardness. She rose up and he saw her sit carefully down on his rising manhood, filling herself with him. He couldn't believe this gorgeous woman would want to take him for pleasure.

She rose and then went down on him in a rhythmic fashion causing him to want to scream from the tightness of her. She moaned so softly and then panted as she picked up speed, causing Morgan to want to explode into her. She had pulled off her negligee up over her head and took his hands to her ample breasts and rubbed them over her. She was still moaning and then she went wild and banged him hard and fast. She built up to a frenzy and then screamed out loud as she came hard down on Morgan for one last thrust.

She collapsed next him sweating profusely. Morgan felt her go still and he stroked her hair which now felt a bit stiff. He whispered in her ear that she was great, not being a suave talker, but she didn't move. He lay there for a moment and wondered if she had fallen asleep. He pulled himself out from under her and sat on the side of the bed. She was still not moving and he was starting to worry about the whole situation. What if she's married, her husband could come crashing in finding them together, with murder in his heart. He started to panic, and stood pulling his clothes together and dressing quickly.

Women like this don't want men like him, she had to have a husband, a big man who could kill with one blow. Morgan grabbed the rest of his clothing and ran to the front door and out. He finished dressing as the elevator slowly went back down to the lobby. It arrived and he sped out of the lobby to the front door passing the still empty lobby desk and out the front door. He got to his car when he realised that he hadn't collected for the pizza. He didn't have enough in his pocket to cover the cost, and he didn't want to get fired for not collecting. It would be hard enough to explain why he hadn't collected.

He stood with his head on the roof of his car thinking about what he should do. He made a decision, it was his job, hard enough to find, he would go back and collect. Hey, she got her pleasure, she should be willing to pay. He went back to the door and looking in he saw a huge black man sitting at the lobby desk. He tapped on the door and the man looked over and hit the release button. The door opened and Morgan went in and up to the desk. The man looked at Morgan like he was a bug and asked what he wanted.

"I was just in here a while ago and delivered a pizza. The woman who ordered the pizza hadn't paid me, she was a bit distracting and I forgot to collect." He stammered.

The man grinned and said, "got your rocks off did you?"

Morgan was a bit taken back by that comment, he said, "Well, yes, I had rushed out without getting paid, may I go back up to collect?"

"What floor and room?" the desk man asked.

"Seventh, room 766." Morgan said.

The big man just sat and stared at Morgan. He was feeling uncomfortable now. The man stood and leaned on the counter. "You say you've been up to room 766?" he asked.

Morgan didn't like the way he asked that question and said, "I was and I need to collect."

"You sure it was room 766?" he asked again.

Morgan said it was. The man gave him a strange look and said, "that room isn't being rented. No one is in that room."

"Hey don't screw with me I was just up there, you must have gone out for a smoke or something, she let me in."

The man sat back down, "Sorry boy, that room hasn't been rented because of a murder that happened there four months back, woman was killed and the cops have no idea who did it. They found her in bed, dead as a door nail. They say she was a nymph, loved sex, probably picked up the wrong guy. He musta done her in." He looked at Morgan for a bit then got a strange expression. "Hey, the cops said there was a pizza box on a chair in there during the murder, they questioned the pizza place but they said no one delivered from their store. What pizza place do you work for?"

Morgan's head was spinning, he was feeling ill. He didn't want to answer anymore questions, so he said not to worry about it and quickly went out the front door to his car. As he stood by his car, trying not to vomit at the thought of sex with a dead woman's ghost, he looked up to the seventh floor, a shuddering chill ran up his spine.

He could see the woman standing in a window smiling back to him.

*



My Chat Poem
By Bob Moats
Posted on February 11, 2010

Back in 1992 or so, I used to get on IRC chat rooms a lot and I met a woman online who inspired me to write a poem about meeting someone online. I used to write a number of poems back then but this is the only one I could find that survived the years. Hope you enjoy it.

I sought refuge through a wire
of cable thin and long,
reaching to a network link
how else could I go wrong?

The faceless voices on the screen
of people far and near,
only talking, never touching,
no need to be sincere.

Hidden in my room so safe
I chat with them at night,
hiding my life behind the keys
that makes it feel so right.

Being brave I venture out
with my armor safely on,
no one will touch me were it counts,
in my heart long dead and gone.

I disguise myself with a name
that builds an image there,
to those online all hidden too,
who really do not care.

Talking all, listening none
they ramble endlessly,
I wonder why I am in here,
better than alone to be.

Then a voice cuts through the mire
and reaches to my room,
a friendly voice so clear and strong,
it wipes away my gloom.

A friendly voice of happiness,
a voice that lifts me up,
past the bounds of empty talk
and fills my empty cup.

My spirits soar through the wire
to a place unknown to me,
where a person sits and types away
to a person they can't see.

Giving smiles and LOL's
they bring me back to life,
and makes me feel the way I did
before the stress and strife.

Secrets told, thoughts are shared
we talk into the night,
just two lost souls all alone
hoping this is right.

My special friend in the wire
of cable long and sweet,
a special friend who I just met
and hope someday to meet.


Written by Bob Moats 1992




Was Bugs Bunny a Crossdresser?


By Bob Moats
Posted February 5, 2010
Written in 1994 for a friend's website.

As a child watching all those Bugs Bunny cartoons, I never realized how many times the wascaly wabbit wore women's wardrobes. I just thought of it as funny and never thought of the possibly deeper meaning in what he was doing. I never even questioned all the times that he kissed men full on the lips. I guess I wasn't put in any emotional turmoil because Bugs always went nuts and acted typically male when ever he saw a babe in a bathing suit and usually ended up with a face full of kisses. Recently after a full day of a Bugs Bunny cartoon marathon on cable and as an adult I now feel obligated to analyze those deeper meanings behind his actions. So, since we all know that Bugs had healthy hormones when it came to women, we can assume that he was heterosexual and he never flirted with men unless it was to avoid getting shot at, which to me was more of a defense move than a preference. One time he did go through a mock wedding with Elmer Fudd, but it was meant to completely throw Elmer off track and not as a statement that Bugs had a desire to be Elmer's better half. So examining his sexual orientation, we can safely assume that Bugs was a healthy heterosexual he-man hare.

Now it seemed that Bugs frequently donned women's clothing to elude his predators, but was this necessary? Many other cartoon characters found other ways to evade capture such as putting a lamp shade on their head and standing still or slamming a door in their stalker's face. Bugs chose to put on women's clothing and beguile his aggressor, putting them off until they saw through his ruse. He seemed to actually enjoy going through the arduous task of a complete makeover in a matter of seconds to foil the villain. But why go through all this trouble, as we know it is, when a fast hole dug in the ground would have stopped a truck. Simple, Bugs was a closet crossdresser and used cartoons as a vehicle to show off.

It is well known that comedians have used comedy to bring out their pain or deep emotions and have let it out through their satirical actions. This points up to the fact that since Bugs had so many different alternatives at his disposal to prevent capture or worse, why the crossdressing? Because this is part of what he was and he fell into it when it was needed. Male rabbits have a heavy stigma put upon them as being sexually aggressive and this can be a burden to a sensitive crossdressing hare. As a male, Bugs was always running from someone, but when he assumed his female persona, he became the aggressor and protector of his male alter-ego. This is not conducive to the stereotype of aggressive male, passive female, which Bugs seemed to be skewing. The rational behind his actions was to distract the aggressive male chaser with a helpless, demure female which showed that he could feel at ease being feminine even in a tense situation.

Further proof that he was into crossdressing was the fact that he always had feminine clothing and make-up handy even during a speedy chase scene. This could only be possible because a male who was a crossdresser would have such an extensive wardrobe and accessories available at their immediate disposal. He probably wore the feminine clothing under his rabbit suit and had make-up tucked in his pockets. Some of the more exotic costumes were probably stored in various hiding places throughout the forest to be used when he wanted to relax dressed or for emergencies.

Bugs, as far as I have seen, at fifty years old was also single. This was probably a result of the realization that if married, he would have to explain his actions to his wife and the children, and for a rabbit that could be well into hundreds of children. It's hard enough to reveal that you are a crossdresser to one child, let alone hundreds, so Bugs opted not to have to put himself through this extended grief by remaining single and true to himself only. A noble gesture but this can tend to make a rabbit frustrated by not having someone to share their passion with. Occasionally Bugs would slap a dress on Elmer, Yosemite Sam, or Porky in an attempt to stir up some companionship, but this usually met with their resistance.

In an attempt to come out of the rabbit hole, Bugs used the cartoon medium to show off his desire to dress. No one questioned the fact that he dressed because they were all too busy chasing him and the dressing was just a temporary distraction to them. He seemed to enjoy starting up a chase just so somewhere along the way he could transform and get a vicarious thrill in attempting to pass as a woman before his pursuer. This sad attempt will only result in a self- destructive nature that will end up with Bugs hitting the singles bars and finally to the street corners in an attempt to find a little action. The worse part is that he has no friends, only enemies, to share the turmoil as to his gender identity. Darn if I'm not starting to sound like Geraldo. Bugs was no different than Uncle Miltie when it came to comedy drag and did it all for the gag. Or did he? ThThThaat's All Folks!




There is No Such Thing as Time Travel


Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 29, 2010 (Another concept of change)

All right, to explain that statement, I'll have to give you my personal philosophy on time. There is no such thing as time. There, that was easy to say, now why? Well, I first have to state that time was created by man, which we know is not a good thing, since man created "As Seen on TV" products so we know he has made a few mistakes. Way back when the early humans found that they were wandering aimlessly and missing witch doctor visits, they had to form some kind of schedule to keep them on track. So, since they had no mechanical skills yet to make clocks, they decided to chart the days and nights and made the calendar. If you Google it, there are a number of calendars out there, Gregorian, Chinese, Mayan, etc, to really confuse everyone.

Well, once the calendar was refined for us "civilized" people, we now knew when to take the chariot in for greasing the wheels and re-shoeing the horses. But for the blacksmith to avoid the pile-up of customers, the day had to be broke down into segments, so some smart man came up with the clock. Now our day was divided into tiny slots that we could schedule appointments and TV shows in. Well, TV wasn't invented yet, but would be. Now, over the years we have gotten used to the concept of time as a thing that is ticking away, and if we could run real fast backwards, we could catch up to the minutes past. Superman had to fly real fast around the world backwards to go back in time, and Star Trek would just slingshot around the sun to go back to the sixties.

I say time is a charted concept, not a physical entity. I believe that we just move in physical space from one place to another, tear down and build up and it's all in the same "moment", it's just movement and change. How often have you been in a town where there has been no progress or change since the civil war and felt you were back in time (using the word loosely)? Well, that's my point, the town hasn't moved or changed it's buildings so there has been no change in "time". I could just sit in the middle of a field and not move and technically time stands still, but the watch on my wrist keeps ticking ahead to force me to think I am moving forward in this thing called time. Even though I may never leave the field, everything around me is building, changing and moving in physical space.

Also another incorrect concept is the aging process. Even the term aging is incorrect, as we don't age in time, but our cells are changing and dividing and sluffing off to become dust. Our bodies grow and change and wrinkle, then break down not because of time, but because we haven't found a way to halt this change, so we assume that we are being eaten by the ravages of "Time". The statement "Boy are you getting old" should be "Boy is your body changing and falling apart badly".

Okay, I'm getting confused myself and I know what I mean. A few years ago, Lee Aronsohn, along with Chuck Lorre created a few great TV shows, "Dharma and Gregg", "Two and A Half Men" and recently "The Big Bang Theory", which has nothing to to with time. But Lee Aronsohn, wrote on one of the Vanity Cards that appear at the end of each of these shows for less than a second of the clock, his belief of the concept of time and I found it to be better of an explanation. He wrote:

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, time is not a dimension. In fact, time does not, in itself, exist. 'Time' is simply the name we give to one aspect of the ever-changing relationship between moving objects in the universe. If nothing moved, there would be no time. Hence, 'time travel' is a meaningless concept and I will never be able to go back and avoid having written for 'Charles In Charge'."

Yes, he was trying to be funny, but it makes sense to me, and I had thought about this long before he stated it. I was ahead of his time. Opps there I go again, it's time to stop this, I have no more time to write, so I'll spend a few minutes sitting very still and trying to stop my aging process. Nope, not working.

*

February 4, 2010 - Update to my "There is No Such Thing as Time Travel" article.

Okay, in fairness to those people out there who love the time travel scenario, I will re-state part of my belief. While one could not go back in time, unless the universe would be agreeable to move everything back into place on the "day" you want to go to, and humans would rebuild the buildings and place props back where they were on the "day" in question, it's physically impossible to travel back. BUT, now my admission, time travel into the future is possible, just don't expect to get back. How? Well, a time machine has been built to do this, it's called Cryogenic freezing. You go to a place and tell them you want to stand around until 2158, they freeze you so all your body functions, down to your molecular being, stops. You are hopefully not conscious during this long wait, and when they thaw you out, you are in the future, and your body hasn't changed. Voila! Time travel. As I said, unless you can get objects back in place and reverse the body changes of people to the place they were when you were frozen, you can't go back to that moment you started the long wait. Okay, I wanted to be fair about this and this is my addendum to my time travel rant. Excuse me, while I go to the basement and take a look at the meat freezer, I may want to skip ahead to next year.


COMMENT: "Reading this blog was a good use of my time, even though time doesn't truly exist." Chris Ritter from Facebook
http://www.chrisrittermanagement.com and http://www.yellowstoneritter.com - Added 01/29/10


2 COMMENTS FROM TWITTER:

Wendell_Howe @MurderNovels There can be no such thing as time travel because time does not exist? Now I will lose sleep contemplating that one.

Wendell_Howe I had to retweet your essay on time travel. Very zen--or very scary, can't decide which.

(Visit http://twitter.com/Wendell_Howe or http://wendellhowe.blogspot.com for more on the time traveler Dr. Wendell Howe.)



Dreams and the Aluminum Foil Hat


Posted January 23, 2010
First written March 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine "Around Town"

As I start typing this, it's 6:21 in the morning, and I'm not usually up this early but I just woke from a strange dream in which I was in a classroom with Thomas Magnum (yes, the P.I. guy from T.V.) and he was just about to give an oral report when he announced to the class that I would present his report for him. In a panic I took the huge pile of scribbled loose leaf notes and visual aids from him and tried to sort it all out as the teacher stood hovering nearby waiting. The notes (in duplicate with carbon paper between each sheet that I had to remove) were, of course, unreadable and the visual aids were cardboard stand-ups that wouldn't stand. As I finally got one stand-up to hang from a nail on the wall I turned to find all the paperwork was missing (the fiends even took the carbon paper) and stood there hoping the school bell would ring early. OK, I've never been in a classroom with Magnum P.I., or Tom Selleck for that matter, and I've never seen that particular classroom or that person pretending to be the teacher before me, so where does it come from? This all takes me to a pet theory I have about dreams.

I've always been fascinated by dreams and I've recently had a number of "lucid" dreams where you know that you are dreaming and can, sort of, control the dream. My control of the dream usually gets my face slapped, but it is fun to know you can do what you want and not go to jail. But where do the images of places and people come from in dreams? I've been to places I've never seen, and met people I've never met, and I'd wake in the morning feeling like I just got back from another world. Which brings me, again, to my pet theory. If I have never been to or seen the images in my dreams, then I figure they must come from outside sources acting on my brain as I sleep. So, my theory states that I am actually receiving mental images of memories from souls of past or recently departed people, floating around in the nether world and I am living in their memories for the moment.

OK, I haven't begun putting aluminum foil on my head, but think about it, I don't have a Hollywood crew in my head designing and building elaborate sets to make me live in a strange world for a half hour or so, so where else could it all come from. I figure that some dearly departed person tells the bright light that He or She wants to vacation on the other side for a bit longer and comes floating through my head on it's way to wherever, and my brain grabs some images from their life and process them into a little drama, or nightmare, in my mind. There have been billions of departed people, so the air is full of tons of vacationing spirits willing to share their life experiences with me. To those people out there who make piles of money explaining away our dreams as having some deeper meanings would be disappointed to learn that when we fly in a dream it was just Orville Wright taking us for a plane ride and not some hidden inner desire to escape.

So, examining my Magnum P.I. dream, Tom Selleck is still alive, even if his career has been in a coma for a while, so it couldn't have been him floating past my cerebral cortex. As I remember there was this funny looking student who was bugging me all the while I was trying to set up the report, and it could have been him who invaded my slumber this morning. Or maybe the impostor playing the teacher was the spirit getting revenge on his "student". Or maybe I'm still dreaming right now at 7:29am living some past writer's life trying to be funny about a subject I know nothing about. Excuse me, I have to wake up now and write a nifty article about dreams.

*


Singles Day or the Hell With Valentines Day!


Posted January 20, 2010
First written February 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine "Around Town"

February is noted for being the month of lovers (for at least one day a year anyways), as St. Valentine's Day occupies the month on the 14th, and men and women rush to purchase candy hearts, cards, gifts and flowers, etc, to show the loves of their lives that they really care. I don't know who this St. Valentine is or how he (or she) got a day noted for romance (I could check the internet for the name and research it, but...). My main reason for my writing this is not a study of this special day in February, since I have put up with it for far too many Valentine Days, or who the hell was this Valentine person, but I'm doing this as an argument for creating a new holiday for us newly single, divorced and/or burned people who have suffered the indecencies of bad relationships. Face it, with the divorce rate up to over 50% and numerous unreported relationships dying daily everywhere across the nation, and around the world for that matter, why not have a national holiday for us poor slobs who really make up the majority of the battle of the sexless as we sit quietly alone on Valentine's Day wishing a happy crap to the rest of the world's lovers.

We are the people who now quietly take matters into our own hands and... opps, not a good image. Try again, we are the survivors of romantic disasters who have gotten on with our lives and today we stand alone to face our future, but do they give us a day to celebrate our becoming free and rejoicing our independence.. NO! We just sit quietly back while the Family Values people ignore the fact what we are even around. Do the greeting card people pump out "Sorry you're single" cards for us, NO. Do the flower companies advertise "Send a sympathy bouquet to a single friend", NO. Do travel agencies advertise "Romantic Cruises for Singles", well, actually they do. The point I'm getting at is we have no validation from a holiday to really recognize our plight. Every other religious, minority or special interest group has some type of a holiday to strut their stuff, why not singles?

We also have to suffer the punishment of the government through higher taxes and no dependent deductions, and the indignities from the snickers of people as we sit alone in a movie theatre, our eyes tearing up at the ending of "Titanic" (sort of like our lives, eh). We are put at children's size tables at the back of restaurants because all the other good tables have two chairs or more. We can't even get a second meal at half price with the purchase of one at regular price, unless we eat both meals. Movie theaters and restaurants would make a fortune if they'd advertise "Singles Only Nights" at their businesses so we could go and relax and maybe meet someone special and stop being alone and get married, but then the romance fades, then the fighting starts, and the lawyers are called and a court battle starts as to who gets the cat and they will divorce only to go back to that stupid theatre or restaurant singles night hoping to maybe meet someone special. We are gluttons for punishment and we need a holiday to celebrate it! Send a letter today to your congress person demanding a "Single's Day" as a national holiday! Do it even if you are in a relationship, someday you may be single too!

*


Are We SSSmokin' Yet


Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 20, 2010
First written February 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine "Around Town"

As of February 1st (1998) it has been 501 days since I last put a cigarette to my mouth, hung it from my lip, lit it up and curled smoke into my eyes, blinding me as I sat typing at my computer, trying to look down at the keys as I did back then. Today, I'm no longer smoking, so I can now see what I'm typing. Unfortunately, maybe I shouldn't see what I'm typing. Maybe no one else should see what I'm typing.

I first started smoking as a 19 year old with those little black cigars the size of cigarettes that you didn't dare inhale. I only did it because I didn't want to look like a geek around my way cool friends who all had cigs hanging from their lip. My first real cigarette came at a teen dance when a girl friend of my supposed girl friend handed me her lit cigarette as she went to dance. I asked her what should I do with it and she politely said "smoke it" or something like that. Now my supposed girl friend hated the smell of those cigars I smoked (actually I did too) but she didn't mind the smell from her cigarettes so I took a puff. It wasn't bad compared to the cigars and it had an icy fresh feel in my lungs. I had my first cigarette, a menthol Kool, and I was feeling really grown-up, and well, kool! I didn't jump into them right away, but one day shortly after that fateful day, riding in a friend's car, my supposed girl friend started into me about the cigar smell, so I asked my friend Paul to pull into a nearby drug store and I bought a pack of Kools and made her day. Well needless to say the girl friend left my life but the cigarettes stayed. I was drafted into the Army in 1968 and I could buy a pack of cigarettes for a thin dime at the PX! After an hour or more of grueling basic training workouts they would yell "Take ten, light em if you got em, if you don't got em borrow one!" Great incentive to not smoke, hmm, maybe I have a basis for a lawsuit? I continued to smoke all through the army and out into civilian life, through many jobs, many moves around the state, two marriages and the birth of a son (I smoked three packs waiting for him to pop out). And all through the years I never thought to quit.

All of that changed as of September 17, 1996, I'm now a former smoker! No, I'm not one of those militant smoker who goes around with a loaded hand gun and blows away people who look like Joe Camel (RIP) or points a wicked finger at people who are smoking and say "Naughty, Naughty! You're going to die". I can still empathize with smokers and I still really get P.O'd at the government and the various health organizations that wants humanity to be smoke-free, HA! We'll all be smoke-free the same day that we are alcohol-free, drug-free, credit card-free, chocolate-free, porn-free, shopping-free, auto emission-free, bingo-free, daytime soap-free, and online chat-free (I could go on, but do you really want that? Do we really have the time?). California recently passed a ban on smoking in bars and the non-smoking employees applauded it. Last week I heard that California was reconsidering the law due to the huge number of those same employees now complaining that their tip money was cut drastically by the lack of patrons. One man on the radio said his income dropped by $300. a week. So California will either have to rescind the law or end up paying unemployment to all those many people who lost their jobs due to lack of customers in the bars who are now sitting home drinking, playing music and SSSMOKIN!

Anyways, I quit smoking, cold turkey, ONLY because I was financially broke for a number of days and thought I would DIE without a cigarette, but I didn't. My parents, both loving and good people, quit smoking about 20 some years ago when they were my age, the same age I was when I quit over a year ago, 40-something. Looking back, I never even thought about it when I'd go to visit them, and I would sit there and puff away on my cigs and they would let me do so, being the good parents they were, to let my lungs fill with noxious fumes and stink up the room for them to live in after I left. After I quit I would enter a room where people have been smoking and now realized how lousy the smell is.

Another benefit of not smoking is having extra cash in your pocket. I'd reach into my pocket on a Thursday night and say "Whoa, where did this money come from?". I remember back a number of years saying to myself that if cigarettes ever cost more than $1.50 a pack I would quit, but that was back when I had money to support my habit. Cigarettes finally topped two dollars and I justified it by the fact that I still got a paycheck on Friday and would buy a carton at the discount store. Then cigarettes hit $2.50 and my two pack a day habit got a bit expensive at $35. a week especially at that time when my income was coming in irregular and flaky as to when I'd get any money. I would do some strange things to get the $5. for my daily fix of cigarettes. Then the time finally came when I was totally broke for a few days, quit smoking and stayed that way. Now when I have money it stays with me, unless I have to buy food or pay the bills, two things you can't quit cold turkey.

Today I honestly can't imagine that I actually smoked daily for 29 years and now the thought of putting a cigarette in my mouth seems odd. My son hasn't show any interest in smoking yet, but he's only 16 years old so he's is still classified as brain-dead (I started at 19, so I was just barely out of brain-dead). I'm not going to tell people who smoke that they should quit, as I used to get very annoyed when people did that to me, but I will encourage my son and anyone else who hasn't started smoking yet to just NOT start and hope they are smart enough to listen! Then when the day comes that I quit drinking beer, I'll warn them against that too, but one vice at a time please, as I have no other vices to quit, damn!

*


Robert B. Parker passes away at 77

When I first started reading crime novels, one of my favorites heroes was the P.I. Spenser, no first or last name. The books were written by Robert B. Parker and I wanted to write my books just like him. The humor and characters were great, I loved every book. He also wrote the Jesse Stone novels, most recently made into TV movies with Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone. He wrote the Sunny Randall crime books about a female P.I. that made me laugh and enjoy good fiction. From what I have read on the Internet, he passed away at his desk, no word on why yet, I'll fill this in later. He will be missed.

Posted January 19, 2010
*


"Arguing with idiots makes you an idiot, so.. stay off the internet and don't run for congress"
Wiley Miller.

Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 18, 2010

I saw this joke in the Sunday Funnies, it's from the cartoon "Non Sequitur", which I read religiously. I paraphrased it from the strip, it works so well with how I feel about dealing with people on the internet. I started working with computers and going online back in 1992, on a Commodore Amiga computer, B.W. (before windows), and back then the internet was mostly a text based medium. I used telnet to get there and read my way around to explore stuff and there was no Google yet. I also discovered chat rooms, I would get on the IRC (internet relay chat) and established my presence there. I would go into the 30 plus , 40 plus chat rooms and watch the people chatting and I even participated many times. I love humor so I would joke about what people said or topics, I usually got laughs, and never offended anyone, mostly I was ignored. But there were those people who came in and wanted to dominate the conversation and it had to go their way or they'd start a flame war. Flaming was a way of arguing with people and being an idiot. It usually chased people away, I hung in until the idiots tired or left then I would join back in. I did this for a few years, I even met a girl from Buffalo and we started a long distance relationship that didn't last long.

Then came along the real internet, with pictures and animations and video. I stepped up since the IRC wasn't for me anymore, I grew tired of the people there, too annoying and narrow minded and I was spending way too much time there. I got into putting websites together for people and myself, and wrote a good number of stories and articles for my websites. I loved seeing my words on a page and worked on a longer novella and a stage play. Bringing me to the twentieth century and beyond I started writing my novels, and wanted to promote them. My brother is a professional nature photographer and I saw he had gotten on Twitter, so I signed up. I have met many very nice people and great contacts with the right people to promote my books. But, there is a but, I also started to see the same problems I encountered back in the IRC. I basically lurk in the background and watch the festivities and I've spent way too much time there. I came across one person who was upset with a one line joke I made about this person's book. It was a quick mention, not going anywhere except to the few people on at that time, it scrolled off the bottom of the page and was gone. It would not go out to all of this person's followers unless they retweeted it, so what was the problem? I still am not sure what. I apologized a couple times to mend fences but it was to no avail. I don't care, I'll just ignore that person. I'm sometimes overly sensitive and it bothers me, a simple thing takes the joy out of it all.

I've lately gotten tired of Twitter, and a few people who take the pleasure out of it, I may go see if IRC is still around.

*


If it sounds too good to be true....DUH!


Posted January 18, 2010
First written March 3, 2006

I think I'm a reasonably intelligent person. I've been involved with computers and the internet for over 17 years now, starting out on a primitive Commodore Vic20 and now today using a more sophisticated computer that still occasionally runs like a Vic20. Computers are frustrating but the internet can be a place to really lose your sanity. Over the years I have been bombarded with advertising on TV (infomercials) and in newsprint about "fantastic, free offers", but I know in my reasonably intelligent mind that there has to be a price to pay somewhere. The internet has ten fold the advertising and it's no better or safer than the old fashion means of mass communication.

Again, I say I'm a reasonably intelligent person, but I must have somewhere in my DNA a tiny gene labeled "gullible" because I had one of those brain freeze moments when I saw the offer! I was on a website and on the right was a box that offered me a free Palm Treo 650 cell phone for just answering a "brief" survey. I always wanted that phone so I sat mesmerized by the offer until my hand was controlled by that tiny gene to push my mouse to the box and click the link. I was whisked away to a website that stated I would receive the FREE cell phone by agreeing to complete a simple survey and try a few special offers. That's all! Wow!

I clicked the continue button and spent the next 30 minutes in Dante's playground. I first had to give them the personal data and I have a post office box, so I wouldn't have to give my real address to them. Then I was sent to a page where I had to click the "no" buttons on each of a long list of informational garbage that I didn't want to receive in my email box (or home mail box), and because the "yes" button was already selected in each of the fifty or so offers, not pressing "no" was not an option. I was sent to another page where I did the same thing, making sure I had them all clicked "NO". I proceeded to the next page, where I was given the chance to try about 15 special "free" offers, but I was informed I HAD to do at least a minimum of two to get my phone. I picked two harmless looking offers, one for a free eight week trial subscription to "Entertainment Weekly" and one to sign up for AOL 30 day free trial. I had to give my credit card info on each to sign up but I use a debit bank card and keep a small amount in the bank so they couldn't grab more than I had. I've used AOL before, I wasn't entirely happy with them, but I figured after a couple of weeks I would cancel before being billed. Yeah, right, more on this later.

I clicked the continue button and was sent to page three, where I found the same offers as on the last page and a statement saying I had to pick two more offers from the list below to get my phone. I selected one to get info about postage stamps through the mail and one from "Video Professor" for a free computer lesson CD. Again I had to give the debit card info so they could bill me for the small shipping charge. I've used "Video Professor" before and gotten burned because I didn't read the tiny print on the contract, I'll explain later. Each time I clicked on these offer links I was taken to a new web page getting further away from my phone offer page. I was hoping they were keeping track of my wise choices so I would get my phone.

I clicked the continue link and was sent to the same stupid page as the last two but this time I had to try ten, yes TEN, of the offers on the page. Why didn't they just tell me on page one that I had to select all the offers and save time! At this point I said "Poo-Poo Cah-Cah" and shut the computer off. Ok, now I have to do a little damage control by canceling the free offers as they came in, but the nightmare was just beginning.

I check my banking online so I can see when debits come in and as soon as I left the "FREE Offer" site I saw that each one of the offers I chose had put a hold for $1.00 in my account to see if it was really there. The next day "Video Professor" took out $6.95 for shipping my free computer lesson CDs. As soon as I would get the Free CDs I knew from past experience that I had to cancel and send it back or they would bill my account for about $80.00. This is what they do, you get about 3 CDs that are the free part of the lessons and a fourth one that completes the course, but if you keep the last disk you have to pay the $80.00 for it or send it back and be charged nothing. But you don't get the complete course for free. Gee, they don't explain that in their commercials.

Ok, now moving ahead about two weeks, I didn't use the AOL, as I said I don't like them (I use Earthlink), but one day I find a debit in my checking for $26.00 from them, overdrawing my account by a few dollars. I haven't even had my 30 day trial period yet and I was steamed. I called them to "politely" tell them to cancel the damn thing and put my money back but first I had to go through the recorded menu punching 82 different selections traveling through the maze of places going everywhere but to the person I wanted to talk to. Now I was even madder, but I finally got some guy with a suspiciously Hindi sounding accent of whom I couldn't understand, finally agreeing to canceling my account although he made many great offers to stay. Now I just have to wait at least four or five months to get the money back in my account.

End of problems, not yet.

A few days later, I go to the bank to deposit money and find that I'm overdrawn again. It turns out that "Video Professor" has put a hold on $80.00 in my account and I haven't even gotten the stupid CDs yet. I was really seeing crimson now and went home and got on their 800 number and discovered that they don't want to talk to me. Again I got the standard recordings sending me to a dozen places before I hung up and tried again. I just hit the "O" button this time and was informed that all customer service reps were busy with customers (probably complaining) and I could go to their website and put a request in to their support or leave my number and they would get back to me (probably next month). I tried as many ways I could to get to talk to a human but nothing worked. I guess I will wait till the wee hours of the morning when they first open to try calling them again and if I still can't reach them, I will write many nasty emails to them until I get a human to talk to. In the mean time, they have tied up $80.00 of my hard earned bill paying money until I can find a way to get past their answering machines.

align=justify>So, by allowing my impulse to get something for free, I fell into the trap and I have about $106.00 tied up in my account that I can't touch right now and I'm starting to get plenty of "Free offer" spam in my email account now. If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS! The internet is a great place and a great informational tool, it's just too bad that there are opportunistic people out there guided by greed to draw in people like me with their traps to take our money.

I still never got my FREE Treo cell phone and now I'm on the sucker list, would someone please take this hook out of my mouth.

Fairness update: I did finally get in touch with Video Professor by calling on a Saturday afternoon, and was told they offered me a 10 day trial (I'm pretty sure it used to be 30) and since I hadn't responded they took out their money. I politely told them I hadn't even received the stupid CDs yet and wanted to cancel. The girl was polite and canceled the thing and noted in their system that I hadn't received the disks. She said the money would be back in my account in 10 to 15 days. I'm amazed how they can grab the cash out of your account in an instant but it takes 10 to 15 days to get it back? I wonder how much interest they accumulate on that money before it gets back to me. Anyways, I haven't seen the cash yet but it is coming someday. On a second note, AOL took almost two months and three phone calls from me to finally get the money back in my account.

*


About my personal life outside of writing books

I'm not going into detail here, to find out more about me visit my other websites:
My web biography: http://bobmoats.com
My magic past experiences: http://magicbob.biz


To see full size image of my computers and room click the picture.


tumblr site counter