Something A Little Different Today.


No, 1500 word articles or meme’s. Nope not this week. This week is short. This week I am going to ask you to do something. Something that is very hard, hard enough I do not even know if we can go the distance. So, I am going to keep it short.

This past week I witnessed many things that gave me joy. I also witnessed some of the best of the worst we have to offer as a “civilized society.” The surprising thing is that some of the most hateful things came from those who like to tell us how loving they are, some of the most intolerant things came from those always proclaiming how tolerant they are.

So, here it is.

This is what we are going to do starting on Sunday April 19, 2015, and going for 24 hours.

Just you and me. Don’t worry about those other people.

For 24 hours you and I are not going to say anything negative. We are not going to communicate anything negative (yup we are going to rest our middle finger for 24 hours).

When someone really ticks us off, or mistreats us or someone else we are going to do just one thing, and nothing else.

Smile.

Yup, that’s it. Smile. No words or actions. Just smile.

Then next week, some time during the week, you and I are going to come back here and say how we did for 24 hours.

It’ll be our little secret. Just between you and me.

Good luck!

**smile**

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Titanic Photographs, and All Other Topics for that Matter.


This is for the benefit of Ian, and the other individuals who have attempted to use this site for their own benefit.

1. No comment which is disrespectful by word or tone to: the author, a reader or readers, another commenter, this site or anyone associated with it, shall be approved. Derogatory comments or references, bad language, and condescending or sarcastic comments will also not be approved.

2. Stating opinion as fact without accompanying evidence to back up your opinion will also prevent your opinion from being posted.

3. READ PREVIOUS COMMENTS! If the comment you wish to make has already been made and answered, your comment will not be approved, unless you offer something new.

4. Of particular importance to the many Titanic fans. Books and websites are NOT primary source material (read below or follow the provided link for primary source description). If you wish to see a major rewrite of an article then you must provide primary source material to back up your claim.

5. Over the last four years many authors and writers have contributed articles to our website. We do not edit the writers and authors, though we do require them to be respectful of our readers, staff, and those who desire to leave comments. We do give our contributors more leeway as to source material. But, as always not all articles reflect the opinion of this site, the staff, or other contributors. There are more than 400 postings on this site. We do not agree with each and every article, however it is presented for our audience. We are continuing to provide new articles on a variety of topics for our audience every week. Our attention is on the future and we are not going to spend our time answering comments which have already been asked and answered while not providing anything new. Our time is spent on searching for new topics and authors to bring to our audience.

6. There are many people who have spent a lifetime studying the Titanic and the persons and circumstances surrounding that great ship. If you have a theory or opinion (that has not already been addressed on our site) that you would like to put forth state it as such without being condescending or sarcastic, and state that it is your opinion. You will see your comment approved even if we do not agree with it.

7. If you have a Titanic web site which you think some or all of our readers would be interested in please do the following and we will tell our readers about your web site in one of our weekly articles. 1-we do not recommend web sites which are condescending, derogatory, sarcastic, or disrespectful to others. 2-After we determine that your website does not violate number 1 we will write a short article describing what your website has to offer readers, or if you prefer you may write the article and we will post it as our weekly article. 3- leave the following information in a comment (the information will not be released to the public and will be kept in confidence) your full name, the full name and e-mail address of a contact person which someone on our staff may exchange e-mails with, and the address for the website.

8. If you wish to write an article on Titanic or any other topic for our website send us your request as a comment. We will need your full name, e-mail address, and the topic you would like to write on. We will not release any of your information to the public. We will then send you an invitation as a contributor to our site. You will set up your own password and be able to submit your article directly to our editor so that in may be added to the queue of up coming articles. If there is a specific date you would like your article to be published on please include that as a note to the editor at the end of your article. ANY person wishing to write an article for us will be given an opportunity as long as their article remains respectful of others. The only restriction we have is that all articles must be submitted in English. The age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, political beliefs, and economic class are not considered when accepting articles. If you are old enough to write, you are old enough to write for us. If you can write your article in English, or have someone translate it for you, you can write for us.

9. There are many good websites on the Titanic that we have recommended to readers before and will continue to recommend in the future. Some of these websites have articles we do not agree with, but because the overall site is good and respectful we will continue to recommend them. One of the sites we recommend supports the theory that the Titanic did not complete the “port-around” maneuver that First Officer Murdoch was attempting. We have posted an article using physics to disprove this theory, yet we continue to recommend the site because of its many good articles. Another website puts forward the theory that First Officer Murdoch did absolutely nothing for 30 seconds after being informed of the iceberg ahead of the Titanic. We showed that theory to be incorrect based on the physical limitations of the Titanic’s steam operated steering gear, watch standing procedures, and the laws of physic. This site we also continue to recommend even though we disagree with this one article, because of the many fine articles on the site.

10. PRIMARY SOURCE MATERIAL – original material that has not been changed, altered or distorted in any way that can be traced back to the event(s) or individual(s).

11. SECONDARY SOURCE MATERIAL – uses primary source material as a reference, examples include: books, newspaper & magazine articles, blogs & websites, movies & television programs.

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It Is All A Matter OF Perspective


I was checking out the last three cities on my “move to list” and was headed back to Columbus when my Civic decided 250,000 miles was enough. I nursed it from Cincinnati to Columbus. Then on the following Monday I bought a truck. I had some of my friends telling me how sorry they were about that.

I’m not. You see when I move I was going to have to use a U-Haul. And if you have ever moved you know how that goes.

“Yes, I am moving 1,000 miles away and I need to rent a truck.”

“Oh. Well, I can’t rent you any of my trucks. These are only for local use. Let me give you directions to the one-way dealer.”

Two hours later when you finally arrive at that “other” U-Haul dealer you are in a section of town that makes the back side of town look not so bad after-all. And the truck you get to rent to go one-way? Yeah. It was one of the last trucks that Henry Ford himself actually turned a wrench on. Gas mileage? If you can get 10 m.p.g. you’ll be doing good. But, yeah, at least the bailing wire that is holding it together is new.

Nope, I don’t need to do any of that. I bought a nice little used truck. Didn’t cost much and my insurance will be less than what the Civic was. Now I’ll just put my stuff in the back and put Columbus in my rearview mirror. It is all a matter of perspective.

Next week is also my daughter’s birthday. Not Elizabeth, her birthday is in a month. No April 10, will be Alex’s 11th birthday. Alexandra Elizabeth Combs, my first born, Elizabeth’s older sister. There are so many things Alex taught me. Things no one else could have taught me. More than that are the gifts she gave to me and her baby sister.

What she taught me was the power of my own love for another person. No one expected her to last 30 minutes. But she lasted for more than 90 minutes. I marveled at that, she was so tiny. Where did she get the strength I asked the nurse. The nurse’s answer was just two words, “From you.” She stayed with me, in my arms, until I told her it was ok for her to go. Then within just a couple of minutes, she was gone.

The precious gift she gave to her little sister? A better dad than she would have had. Because of Alex, I know how important each minute is with Elizabeth. I am not the dad I want to be, but I am a better dad than I would have been without Alex.

The gift she gave to me? The chance to help other dads who are grieving. Like my friend Matt who just lost his little girl. I have walked in his shoes and understand like only a father who has lost a little one can understand.

You see, in life, there are many things that happen that we have no control over. But, we can control how we perceive those events and what we do afterwards.

It is, after all, a matter of perspective.

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A Quote From Mr. King


Nope, I am not talking about Martin Luther, he was a doctor remember? I am talking about Rodney. Remember what Rodney King said during the riots? With tears in his eyes and his voice choking up and asked all of LA, “Can’t all we just get along?”

I had a great article on this. Quotes and examples from all over the place that cover all aspects of the topic I am going to cover. Then I just decided, “The hell with it, I’ll use the K.I.S.S. principal ~ Keep It Simple Stupid!”

We have a major problem in this world that could rip the fabric of our society to shreds and you are part of this.  If you think all republicans are racists or all democrats are socialists; if you think everyone on government subsistence is a bum bilking the tax payer; if you think the politicians you vote for are honorable but those of the other party are bums trying to screw the middle-class – you are part of the problem. If you proudly proclaim, “I am very tolerate of everyone, except intolerant people”; guess what – you are not tolerant at all, not even a little bit. Being tolerant means accepting people that you do NOT agree with. Being tolerant with everyone except intolerant people – well that means you are tolerant of all the people you do not disagree with and intolerant of people you do not agree with.

If any of those above (and a whole host of others) fit you, you are part of the reason why this world is ripping itself apart. Stop it! Damn it – stop it!

I firmly believe most people want the same thing, they just have a different view of how to get there. And you know what? That is ok! We do not have to agree on everything! But we do need to find a way to work together.

My view on illegal immigration into the United States is based on the fact that we have a law that the lawmakers are ignoring because it suits them. By now some of you have already decided that I just hate all immigrants. You are thinking that before you even find out the other major reason why I am against illegal immigration.

The other major reason I am against illegal immigration? My ex-wife is a legal immigrant to this country and now she is an American citizen. We were married before she decided to immigrate to this country. We filled out form after form after form, and when I mailed in each form it had to be sent with a check for hundreds of dollars. Then just four days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 my wife was in the US embassy and without even going through the interview process this low level bureaucrat just decided on his own that my wife was not going to immigrate to the United States. I called my congressman’s office and they straightened out this whole mess and my wife was on a plane to America. From start to finish it took us over a year. It takes longer for some people and shorter for others, for some people it takes much longer.

You see there are laws that govern immigration to this country and many of us have followed those laws and we resent it when you want to make exceptions for people who already have no respect for our immigration laws. If you want to give exemptions to people, give the exemption to people who are already following the legal steps to immigrate here.

So the next time someone says something you do not like do not be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Ask why they hold those views before you start the name-calling. Because you can believe me when I say that if you jump straight to name calling when you hear something you do not like you are the only person who thinks you are tolerant.

Print off the sign below and read it every time you are about to attack someone because you do not agree with them. You see we can either build a better world together or we can destroy what we have together. But either way, we are going to do it together.

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First Book in the Series and With The Cover Unveiled Today


This is the new book cover for The Cartaphilus Saga: Book #1 Amissio.

This is the new book cover for The Cartaphilus Saga: Book #1 Amissio.

 

The release date is March 27, 2015 reserve your copy now for half price. Here are the links for the top five retailers:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, and all the major book retailers. Below you can read a description of the book, and I have a link where you can read the first six chapters online, or download it to the device you like to read books on. The paperback edition will follow at the end of April or beginning of May.

Here are the links so you can see rest of my books (12 now with number 13 coming soon) at your favorite retailer:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Apple (iTunes)

Kobo

Smashwords

The Cartaphilus Saga book #1: Amissio will be available everywhere e-books are sold. With the first release to be on Amazon. The print editions will follow the e-book edition.

NOTE: though this is being released as both Historical Fiction and Christian Fiction it is not a religious book and does not take a position on Christianity either for or against. The crucifixion is used as the source of the curse placed on Cartaphilus. A curse of immortality.

And the best thing is it is FREE. All I am asking is for you to leave a comment.

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Here’s the description:

The Cartaphilus Saga, Book #1: Amissio

David Gerrard is a freelance reporter for the tabloids, but one with definite principals. Though he has researched and written dozens of stories, he will only publish the ones he truly believes. For ten years, he has been receiving story leads from a source he has never met in person. Mark Long is a remarkable storyteller, bringing David stories from throughout history and adding unique and substantial variations to each one. For the first time, Mark has requested a face to face meeting between himself and David.

The first thing the men do together is visit Mark’s old friend, Tony Vargas, who is an expert on the Roman Empire period and an avid collector. Mark presents Tony with an ancient sword in a velvet lined case and asks Tony to tell him exactly what it is. Tony states that it is a first century Roman gladius sword. He shows the men other swords in his collection and discusses the detailed differences. Then he tells them the sword had once belonged to a soldier named Casius, since the name is engraved on the handle.

At this, Mark is eager to leave, though he doesn’t explain why at the time. When he and David are alone in the hotel, Mark tells him in secret that Tony was right: the sword had belonged to a Roman soldier named Casius. But what Tony hadn’t known was that Casius had had the sword taken from him by a Jew named Peter, and a Roman centurion had taken it from Peter. Intrigued, David settles into his role as reporter, with his digital recorder, pen, and paper always at the ready.

Mark tells him the centurion’s name was Marcus Cartaphilus Longus. He had been stationed with the Roman garrison in Caesarea when he’d discovered his daughter was close to death. After learning the name of a man who had reportedly saved others from death, Cartaphilus went in search of this Yeshua. Unfortunately, his daughter died before he could reach Yeshua. Desolate over the death of his daughter and the subsequent death of his wife, Cartaphilus vowed to destroy Yeshua.

At that time, Pontius Pilate was the Prefect of Judea. He was in charge of keeping the peace. When the Jewish Passover came, he ordered in extra troops, and Cartaphilus led those troops. Upon their arrival, Cartaphilus was ordered to arrest a Jew accused by the priests of causing trouble in Judea. They were led to the accused by a man named Judas Iscariot, but the Jew was surrounded by his followers, including one man named Peter who grabbed Casius’ gladius and cut the ear off one of the men with the soldiers while trying to protect Yeshua. Miraculously, Yeshua was able to pick up the severed ear and reattach it to the man’s head with the simple pressure of his hand. Eventually, Cartaphilus placed Yeshua under arrest and led him to Jerusalem and the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest.

Over the next few days, Mark’s story continues, reliving the final hours of Jesus Christ’s life, and even the years following.

David listens carefully and questions often, impressed by Mark’s in-depth account of this two thousand year old story. When Mark begins to add in details that David cannot find in his research, David becomes determined to disprove the story. He compares Mark’s details to those told in the Bible. He contacts a professional researcher, a genealogist, and a professor friend, asking them all questions to help him refute this story, but despite their best efforts they cannot. Over a few exhausting days and nights, the two men take the story apart, but David cannot find any flaws. The problem is, the only way Mark could know any of these details was if he had been an actual eyewitness, which is obviously impossible.

One night David sits bolt upright in his hotel room bed, jarred awake by a detail. He checks his recorder to be sure and confirms what he’d thought. Caught up in the emotion of the story, Mark had accidentally messed up by using the pronoun “we” instead of “they”, and the vigilant reporter had caught his slip on tape.

Cornered by the recorded remark, Mark admits that he is two thousand years old. Of course, David tells him the whole idea is ridiculous. He is angry at the waste of his time and toys with the idea of leaving. But Mark begs him to stay. He says he doesn’t need David to necessarily believe him, he needs him to believe the story. He says that if David believes it, so will his readers, and he needs David to tell the world what really happened.

Highly skeptical, David begins to question him about other events that have happened over the past two thousand years—including Mark’s participation in WWII as a Nazi—but Mark stops him, saying the stories must be told as they happened, not by skipping through the centuries. Eventually Mark hands him a daguerreotype of two men from the American Civil War, and David has it checked by experts. They all agree that the daguerreotype is authentic. One of the men in the picture is one of General Robert Lee’s sons, and David has a very hard time telling himself the other is not Mark.

David has failed in his quest to disprove Mark’s story. His researchers have as well. So David grudgingly allows himself to believe in the possibility that Mark is two thousand years old, that Mark Long is actually Marcus Cartaphilus Longus. And if that is possible, how many other stories could Mark have to share with him? Would he be able to unearth more of the most famous lies or half-truths throughout history?

Unfortunately, now that David is swept up in the excitement of the idea, Mark is called away on urgent business. He promises to get in touch so they can continue with this story and more. David stares at him as he leaves the hotel, unable to believe he is suddenly gone.

Two months later, David receives a short email from Mark, stating the place and time where they should meet. This time David is prepared and smiling with anticipation as he packs his things.

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Here’s the link for the FREE download (or you can read it online) of the first six chapters, this is much more than the retailers will let you down load as a sample:

The Cartaphilus Saga, Book #1: Amissio

 

 

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