Time Lapse

As many of you who visit my blog will know, Time is something that intrigues me and that I write a lot about. Well, today, as I sat here working at my desk something rather interesting occurred. For a few seconds, I was back in the mid 1970’s sitting at my bedroom desk in my childhood home doing homework. It seemed to me as if I just flipped into that past moment and back again due to some outside prompt – a sound perhaps? It was a truly bizarre feeling because I expected to look out of the window and see Thornwick Ave in Willerby from an upper vantage point. Instead, I saw my street in Brno. I felt shocked by that somehow too.

Was it all just imagination? Or, did I flip from one time to another and back in an instant? It seemed like the latter to me. I know other people who have had such experiences as well by the way.

For me, time is not real. We live in an eternal moment and at a point in space. However, if that were true, we would experience stasis, stillness and no movement. Space and time are constructs that the human mind uses to create the effect of motion. I can move through space and in time. It could be that every single ‘moment’ already exists alongside every other single ‘moment’ and my consciousness is the flashlight that moves across each of these eternal moments giving the effect of movement – and time. It would be a bit like the way a movie is. Each frame of the movie already exists but the projector lights it up frame by frame to give an impression of movement and time.

If you think about that, it means that everything is already decided. That free will is also imaginary. Or, it could be that there are an unlimited amount of possible or potential moments and consciousness (like the film director) decides which get lit up and which do not. The mind truly boggles at this.

Anthony Peake in his first book, proposed that on death, we drop out of time. To me, it seems logical that when we die, time and space dies with us and we find that we are simply a timeless and eternal moment after all?

See My Haunted Life 3 also for a short story dealing with time and parallel Universes.

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The Parasites of Capitalism

Businesses often need access to cheap capital in order to grow and thrive. There are, of course, a number of ways to obtain capital but one involves selling shares in the business in return for an investment from Private Equity or Venture Capital. It is the lifeblood of business but, in my experience, it comes with a lot of strings attached.

Some PE and VC firms probably do a good job. Plainly, they are in it to make money for their investors and they want to see a return on their investment. Sometimes though, the PE or VC firm becomes a parasite that feeds off of a good business and sucks it dry. To me, this is a crime and thats why I write about it today. I have directly experienced this many times.

Firstly, it’s often greed that drives the PE or VC firm not some philanthropic need to see good businesses grow or even the idea that in return for access to capital and expertise, a return is expected. Invariably, the required return is so aggressive and so silly that from day 1, management are forced into a corner of promises and commitments they cannot actually deliver. It’s always the same. The VC firm says it invested because in part, it believes in the management team and then it proceeds to undermine that same management team in insidious and idiotic ways. Why?

The management team is often the founder(s). They understand the business and the market intimately. The PE or VC firm often does not although it can be arrogant enough to think it does. Further, they often come armed with their network of CEO’s. In my experience, these ‘CEO’ types are empty suits who seem to enjoy a career of moving from one business to another leaving a trail of unemployment, failure and tears and yet they always get another super job managing another company to its destruction. I know a handful of these characters. Smiling, jovial, wealthy idiots who actually couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

If I sound a tad angry remember I said I had direct experience of such a thing and yes, I am mad because I saw a good business ruined in less than 18-months by a VC firm and its groomed external specialist who was to lead us to an IPO and riches. He led 80 good people to the unemployment line is what he did and then moved on to his next lucrative position.

I think this whole sordid capital scene needs to be thoroughly reviewed and regulated. It is the cesspit of capitalism where a few greedy people chase more wealth without any real expertise or desire to help small businesses. I have seen too many good businesses ruined by these sharks.

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All Ears

These days, I ask everyone if they have ever seen a ghost or had a strange experience. It’s been great for material for the My Haunted Life books. Everyone – and I mean even the most cynical people I know – has a story to tell. Some of them are terrifying and some just weird but everyone has a story.

Since I write, I tell stories. I do it all of the time whether it’s a client white paper or a story in one of my books. I tell stories. Sometimes, I am so busy telling stories I forget to listen to other people’s stories. So, to go around asking people about their stories and hearing such a diverse collection of really scary and interesting stuff is an exercise in listening for me.

Listening is a key skill that we often forget to develop. In this dog eat dog world, the people that shout the loudest get ahead fastest whether they deserve it or not. We learn to market ourselves early and we are constantly learning how to interest people, deliver what they want and be popular. In fact we are so all about ourselves and creation of an image – multiple images in fact – that it is very easy to forget that listening is a key skill that we need to actually be successful.

I sometimes think that we are all stood shouting at each other but no one is actually listening. We have ears, lets use them more…..

Meanwhile, I am really interested in your stories…… please do leave comments and tell us your creepy stories.

My Haunted Life 3 – Weekend Giveaway

Well, looks like I am going skiing again this weekend after catching Smokie in concert tonight. So, I thought I would do another giveaway over the weekend while I am gone. Grab your free copy of My Haunted Life 3 on Kindle Saturday or Sunday while you can because I am out of free days now…. while doing that, check out the other two books in the series as well – My Haunted Life and the #1 best seller My Haunted Life Too.

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Talent

Talent. It is a strange thing. Some people ooze it without effort while others strive for it. A talent is a gift and it is a shame when a talent isn’t used.

I purchased a guitar for my eldest son Paul when he was quite small. He picked at it and strummed it as small kids do and then it gathered dust. I did try to teach him some chords but he seemed to have little interest. He took up violin in school and actually became quite good at it. He did study music as well.

One long hot Houston summer, I came home from work to discover Paul playing my electric guitar. Hours and hours on end in his room he strummed and played. after a few days, he could already play solos I could not. He asked for lessons and so I took him to a local guitar teacher for beginners. Within a couple of weeks, he was well past that teacher and so we found another. This one kept him going for about 6-months and then he was done too. We needed a real guitar virtuoso – a shredder who knew the theory and we found one in the shape of Joel Gregoire.

Within a few months of lessons from Joel, Paul was playing beyond anything I had ever witnessed. He had been playing a few months and was already capable of intricate and complex and fast (was he ever fast) compositions. Of course, he loved music like Opeth and other guitar-oriented metal and progressive rock bands and tried to emulate them. He entered a national competition and although very nervous and shy, he won the local round! He hit a few bum notes but otherwise wowed everyone present.

He started composing too and we went in to a local studio and came out with Flight of the Mongoose. Flight of the Mongoose was a hit with the music community being download thousands of times. He worked with Joel to record a couple of other tracks as well. He spent a summer at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston. If I had been him, I would have been in bands, playing live and looking for fame and fortune. But not Paul. He wasn’t good enough you see and couldn’t seem to understand that it is the little imperfections that make music interesting.

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His talent went to waste through college. When he emerged again, his musical taste had changed and so when he picked up the guitar again he chose to emulate the Gypsy Jazz players he so admired. Again, he recorded little bits and pieces but that search for perfection seems to always haunt him.

These days he has a job and he is busy. He is already looking at 30. He is the best guitarist I have ever seen or heard (other than Joel Gregoire). But other than for this sneaky post and one or two book promo videos I made using his guitar as a background, that seems destined to be a secret. Its a shame I think. I would have given my left leg to play like he does…

Oh, don’t get me started on his hockey and American Football talents either……

What it taught me as a father is that, while you can encourage your kids to develop their talents, you cannot live life through them. They want different things and have different needs and in the end, it is their life.

(Click the links to listen and download)

Here are a couple of book promotion videos I made using some of Paul’s more recent work as music.

Tingles Up My Spine with Author G. Michael Vasey

My Flight News

When I think of paranormal I now think of G. Michael Vasey. His bestselling series of true tales of horror are called “The Haunted Life” series. Don’t get me wrong– G. Michael is not a creepy guy– but he does give me a tingle when I read his stories… All true and all available on Amazon. He’s also a flying brother so I don’t want anyone saying I don’t post things with aviation connections!

G. Michael Vasey is currently touring radio stations. Catch his breathtaking interview with “The X Zone” today.
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Who do you have in mind when you write?

Me. I write about my interests and things that I am passionate about. I trust that the end product is something of interest to others and that I have something unique to offer – my perspective and one that is entertaining and different.

How do you find “inspiration” and where…

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In Search of A Barber

I must confess that I have never much liked having my hair cut. I just think that firstly, its a real waste of valuable time and secondly, I hate people fiddling with my ears. Really, fiddle with my ears and I get quite ratty. However, today I had to go and try to have fixed the mess the last cutter made two weeks ago.

You see, here in Brno, getting a decent haircut is like asking for a miracle. In fact, why beat around the bush (!), it is a miracle. Prague was different. There you could find a decent haircut no problem and come out looking very dapper. I even found a barbers shop that did a wet shave, provided a glass of whiskey and allowed you to smoke all while watching soccer on a huge TV. Man heaven that was…. found by my lovely partner Gabriela who bought me a voucher for the works…. haircut, old fashioned wet shave, whiskey, cigar, massage…. incredible experience. However, I digress…

Here in Brno, a good haircut is probably having your head shaved. They can’t mess that up! Part of the problem, is that many Czech men in the provinces still think its the 1970’s and that a Mullet is still alarmingly popular here… Actually, most ‘hairdressers’ here don’t use scissors at all instead resorting to the electric shaving device with interchangable heads for different lengths of cut like messy, very messy and totally screwed up.

I recall getting some bad haircuts as a kid from my Mum using a bowl and and an electric shaver and an even worse one from my Dad who tried to give me a ‘feathered’ look and instead cut huge chunks out of my hair so that I actually looked like I had lego hair. But, in comparison to a hair cut in Brno, that was almost professional.

Anyway, today, I got my haircut again. She didn’t even touch the top. She just addressed the sides and back. I didn’t really know what to say except a resigned – thanks its fine – before sloping out of the shop 200CZK lighter and thinking that’s another shop to avoid from now on. At this rate, Prague may be my only option.

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