James W.D. Stewart

James W.D. Stewart

Embrace "The Suck"


Home  •  About  •  Blog  •  Blogroll  •  Contact  •  Donate  •  Freelance  •  Gallery  •  In Case of Emergency  •  Résumé  •  Socialize  •  The Suck

 

This is my view, from my foxhole.  Everybody has their own war…  Take what you need — leave the rest.  And, most importantly, I reserve the right to change and evolve my opinions over time…  That's what good conversations do — blogs, inherently, are conversations.

 

Filter the Things by:  All  •  Category  •  Tag

 

 

 

Blog (Tags) :: James W.D. Stewart

https://forces.army/blog/tags/

 

Art

  • Thanks to Today's Musical Google Doodle, In Honour of the Animator Oskar Fischinger, No Work's Getting Done

    /blog/2017/06/22/thanks-to-todays-musical-google-doodle-in-honour-of-the-animator-oskar-fischinger-no-works-getting-done/

    Thanks to Today's Musical Google Doodle, In Honour of the Animator Oskar Fischinger, No Work's Getting Done
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Today's Google Doodle honours what would've been the 117th birthday of, German-American abstract artist, Oskar Fischinger.

    In Hitler's Germany, Fischinger's musical animations were deemed to be "degenerate art".  In 1936, when an agent from Paramount Pictures recruited him to work in America, he left for the US.

  • Boost Sales with Video Content and Story-Telling in Business-to-Business Marketing

    /blog/2017/04/28/boost-sales-with-video-content-and-story-telling-in-business-to-business-marketing/

    Boost Sales with Video Content and Story-Telling in Business-to-Business Marketing
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    B2B marketers often omit story-telling.  Stories are considered to have a stronger impact on the end-users, rather than companies.

    However, aren't those also people representing different brands that you target?  At the end of the day, whether you run a B2B and/or B2C campaign, you're selling to people — and, people like stories.

    Business owners want to see data that provides them with a clear statement, of the reasons of why, they should deal with a particular company.  They want to see posts with useful information.  However, they're also people who don't always need a narrative to understand that a specific piece of content's valuable.

  • Work for Free; Fuck That

    /blog/2017/04/06/work-for-free-fuck-that/

    Work for Free; Fuck That
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Working for free…  We've all done it.  Most freelancers will have regretted it at some stage.  Yet, the allure of the E-word — 'exposure', has seduced many a talented artist, musician, or designer into giving away their services for zero financial compensation; as illustrated beautifully (and swearily) in this classic viral cartoon by The Oatmeal.

    If you're making art for art's sake, a little exposure can go a long way.  But, if you're trying to make a living and valuing your own service, you're going to have to stand up for yourself every now and then.

    Owing to the rise of social media, an alternative but increasingly effective way of gaining legitimate exposure is to publicly name and shame large companies who seek to take advantage of freelancers.  No matter whether you're struggling or flourishing, as a freelancer you're always going to get asked to do things for free.  Here are a few who have had enough, and have fruitfully decided to take their grievances to the Web.

 

Comedy

  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'

    /blog/2017/04/28/rich-kids-of-instagram-meets-hunger-games-guests-at-luxury-fyre-festival-where-tickets-cost-12000-usd-hungry-mugged-and-stranded/

    'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year…  With all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns that a young and gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of.  However, Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas — with tickets priced up to $12,000 USD — has, quickly, turned into a terrifying B-movie.  Flocks of Instagram models were forced to seek shelter in an airport, after arriving to discover a lack of food, appalling accommodations, feral dogs roaming the grounds, and violent locals.

    As a result, social media exploded overnight, with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in-wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing except for ham and cheese sandwiches.

  • Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops

    /blog/2017/04/24/hilariously-terrible-stock-photos-miss-the-mark-portraying-real-troops/

    Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Stock photos are a great resource for a lot of people and organizations who want to convey the right message, feeling, and/or image but can't get a photograph of their own.  A story and/or advertisement about an elementary school, for example, may make use of a great stock image of children having fun while learning in a bright and colourful classroom — rather than having to set-up a photo session at a nearby school and get all the necessary permissions and arrangements.  Unfortunately, when it comes to stock photos of the military though, there are a lot of images that miss the mark — completely.

    In fact, they don't just miss the mark, they miss the whole target — and, sometimes, may not even be at the right shooting range.  These rather poorly executed photos, do an injustice to our brave men and women in the military, and can completely misrepresent what our military is and looks like.  But, quite frankly, a lot of these stock photos are just so bad at accurately depicting the military that we just have to laugh at them!

 

Family

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap

    /blog/2017/05/11/spoiled-fucktards-gone-wild-the-discipline-generation-gap/

    Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    An ever-increasing lack of authority has bred, as a leading psychologist forewarned, a "spoilt generation" of children who believe that grown-ups must earn their respect.  Aric Sigman's research shows, the rise of the "little emperor" spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.  Attempts to "empower" children, and a lack of discipline in the classroom, have also fostered rising levels of violence — at home, at school, and in the street.

    Dr. Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers — "parent battering" is on the rise — and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

  • Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out

    /blog/2017/04/29/understanding-combat-ptsd-from-the-inside-out/

    Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added an Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    People from all walks of life can face dealing with PTSD…  Someone who's in a car crash, a policeman, someone who's assaulted, etc.  People who struggle with PTSD all have similar problems and/or issues.  However, Combat PTSD, is the outcome of many weeks, months, or years of experiencing life threatening.

     

  • Family Day

    /blog/2017/02/20/family-day/

    Family Day
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  200 Larch St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1C5, Canada

    Lest we forget…

    Why is Family Day a holiday, yet Rememberance Day isn't?  Today is just another excuse for those in the public sector to not work and a day for people like me to remember how fucked up their family really is.

 

Good

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

 

Higher Power

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

 

Home

  • Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap

    /blog/2017/05/11/spoiled-fucktards-gone-wild-the-discipline-generation-gap/

    Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    An ever-increasing lack of authority has bred, as a leading psychologist forewarned, a "spoilt generation" of children who believe that grown-ups must earn their respect.  Aric Sigman's research shows, the rise of the "little emperor" spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.  Attempts to "empower" children, and a lack of discipline in the classroom, have also fostered rising levels of violence — at home, at school, and in the street.

    Dr. Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers — "parent battering" is on the rise — and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

 

How to

  • Don't Get Hit by the 10KHits Traffic Exchange

    /blog/2017/06/17/dont-get-hit-by-the-10khits-traffic-exchange/

    Don't Get Hit by the 10KHits Traffic Exchange
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Images
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Given that you're here, reading this post, you're already familiar with one of the harsh realities of marketing online — or, anywhere really…  Without Web traffic, you don't stand much of a chance at making money.

    It doesn't matter how great the quality of the solution that you have is, you won't make any money if you don't generate traffic — period.  How do you make money providing a solution, when the people in need of that solution are unable to find you?

    Some people have ideas, products, and/or solutions that they'd like to recommend.  However, they don't have the audience to recommend these things to though. 10KHits is one of numerous programs available that offer to provide traffic to your Web site.  Is this the ideal solution that you're looking for?  Perhaps — perhaps, not…

  • Windows 10 :: Addition of a Guest Account

    /blog/2017/05/28/windows-10-addition-of-a-guest-account/

    Windows 10 :: Addition of a Guest Account
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    A guest account is a local account for users who don't have a permanent account on your device or domain.  It allows people (i.e. guests, visitors, etc.) to use your device without having access to your personal files.  Users signed-in to the guest account can't install apps, open Windows Store apps, install hardware, nor change settings.

    You can no longer enable the built-in Guest account within Windows 10, but you can workaround this by manually adding a guest account though.  This article will show you how to add a guest account to your Windows 10 device.  You must be signed-in as an administrator to be able to add a guest account.

  • Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers

    /blog/2017/05/26/not-wordpresscom-for-serious-bloggers/

    Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    So, you're ready to make a dent in the universe, eh?  You have great ideas to share with the world and blogging's how you’re going to get it done.  Good for you.

    Of course, there's more to starting a blog than simply having great ideas.  However, you've already made an important decision…  You're going with WordPress.

    After all, Internet big-wigs — Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, Marie Forleo, Michael Hyatt, Jon Morrow, Amy Porterfield, Darren Rowse, Mari Smith, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc. — all use WordPress.

  • Your Blog, Going Nowhere

    /blog/2017/05/24/your-blog-going-nowhere/

    Your Blog, Going Nowhere
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    Do you ever feel like your blog's stuck in quicksand?  You're writing a lot of posts.  You're promoting them.  You're responding to each and every commenter as if they were your bestest of friends.

    But, it's not working though.  The more that you work, the harder that you struggle — the deeper that you sink.  Why?  Well, it may be a little hard to swallow, but you could simply suck at writing.

    That's not the only reason why people fail.  Some people are just lazy, thinking that it's going to happen, without doing any work.  Other people, never learn how to promote their posts.  Others still, are totally anonymous — needing to improve their connections, before they can succeed.

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Open Invitation for Guest Bloggers

    /blog/2017/05/19/open-invitation-for-guest-bloggers/

    Open Invitation for Guest Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I both enourage and invite, all of my readers and fellow bloggers, to submit your own articles/posts for publication here.  Contributors will be given attribution via a by-line with a do-follow hyperlink to a URI of their choosing.

     

    Benefits of Guest Blogging

    • Free exposure/promotion.
    • Gain direct-traffic to your Web site.
    • Get do-follow backlinks to your Web site.

     

  • Decrease the Bounce Rate of Your Web Site

    /blog/2017/05/07/decrease-the-bounce-rate-of-your-web-site/

    Decrease the Bounce Rate of Your Web Site
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Web masters tend to concentrate on increasing traffic to their Web site, but two important factors which which often fail to be considered, are user behaviour and user engagement.  Factors, such as these, matter substantially.  When a Web site gets 10,000 hits per day, but all of its visitors leave the Web site after visiting only a single Web page, it's not likely to be a quality Web site.

    Today, we'll be learning what the term "bounce rate" means.  The bounce rate of a Web site's an analytical factor that's used to determine what actions people are taking after arriving at your landing page(s).  Are they moving to other Web pages of your Web site or are they jumping away to an entirely different Web site.

  • 10 Effective Ways to Market Your Products: Take Your Business to Newer Heights of Success

    /blog/2017/05/02/10-effective-ways-to-market-your-products-take-your-business-to-newer-heights-of-success/

    10 Effective Ways to Market Your Products: Take Your Business to Newer Heights of Success
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    You can't make your business successful with only the right products — you need effective marketing and promotion too.  Think about it…  Although you may create the best and highest of quality products, if you fail to promote it to your target audience, it will never sell.  As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of work, ranging from creating effective marketing strategies and working closely with customers to checking-up on business analytics.  You need to excel in it to become successful.

    Within this article, I'll outline some of the most effective ways to promote your products.  You may be surprised that most of these are simple to practice.  However, all of these require unrelenting and dedicated efforts over time in order to be successful.  Build the right strategies and focus upon bringing them to life.  Don't just sit back to grow your business — get out and work!  Here are several tips which will get you started.

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

  • Channel the Anger

    /blog/2017/04/29/channel-the-anger/

    Channel the Anger
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    We're human — every single one of us.  We feel happy, and sometimes, we feel smart.  Other times, we feel stupid.  We enjoy feeling loved.  We cringe when we feel hated.  For sure, we all get angry.  Some handle it better than others.  At times, in my life, I've been somewhat quick to anger.

    Throughout my entire career, I've been told that I should never get angry.  I've been advised that it's a negative emotion that shouldn't enter the workplace.  However, when I look back at my biggest wins, my most impressive accomplishments have all started with the same common denominator…  I'd gotten angry.

  • Boost Sales with Video Content and Story-Telling in Business-to-Business Marketing

    /blog/2017/04/28/boost-sales-with-video-content-and-story-telling-in-business-to-business-marketing/

    Boost Sales with Video Content and Story-Telling in Business-to-Business Marketing
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    B2B marketers often omit story-telling.  Stories are considered to have a stronger impact on the end-users, rather than companies.

    However, aren't those also people representing different brands that you target?  At the end of the day, whether you run a B2B and/or B2C campaign, you're selling to people — and, people like stories.

    Business owners want to see data that provides them with a clear statement, of the reasons of why, they should deal with a particular company.  They want to see posts with useful information.  However, they're also people who don't always need a narrative to understand that a specific piece of content's valuable.

  • Transform Your Home Screen Into a Terminal :: Linux CLI Launcher

    /blog/2017/04/28/transform-your-home-screen-into-a-terminal-linux-cli-launcher/

    Transform Your Home Screen Into a Terminal :: Linux CLI Launcher
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The Google Play Store features many launchers, of all sorts, ready to make your life easier.  Whether it's Apex Launcher, Evie Launcher, or Nova Launcher, there are a lot of third-party launchers for you to choose from.  At the base-level though, these launchers start out — thematically — quite similar.  However, you can customize them with beautiful icon packs, themes, widgets, and more.  As you may know, Android's built on the Linux kernel.  Thus, it has a hidden shell functionality — which, fans of GNU/Linux may be pleased to give a try.  A full Linux terminal environment on an Android phone?  That, definitely, sounds interesting.  But, what if you could replace your stock launcher with a launcher that mimics the Linux terminal interface?  Luckily, you can — thanks to the Linux CLI Launcher.

    Linux CLI Launcher for Android replaces your home screen with a minimalist terminal-style interface, which uses commands to control basically everything.  You can call, manage your contacts, and/or text using simple commands.  Aside from supporting some basic GNU/Linux commands, the application offers the ability to create aliases…  Running your favourite games and/or applications effortlessly.

  • Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

    /blog/2017/04/26/get-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable/

    Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Fixed the List Formatting
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've been an entrepreneur for several years.  Midway through last year, things were coming to a head.  I wasn't getting enough sleep…  I wasn't exercising…  I wasn't keeping my mind clear with meditation.

    In the middle of, what felt like the most stressful month of my life, my most senior officer stealthily forced me out of my own corporation.  While I was complaining about the debacle to an entrepreneur friend of mine, he called my ass out:

    Get comfortable with the feeling that you have right now.

  • How to Create a Web Site in 2017

    /blog/2017/04/20/how-to-create-a-web-site-in-2017/

    How to Create a Web Site in 2017
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added YouTube Video for Power Builder
    Location:  The Balmoral, 720 Bruce Ave., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 5C4, Canada

    Creating your own Web site may seem hard and complex at first sight.  Since the Internet is full of different guides and manuals dedicated to this particular topic, some of you may be confused or misled by wrongly interpreted information.

    I have a question for you, my dear reader!  Aren't you tired of bullshit articles on how to create a Web site?  Don't you find them useless and not detailed enough?

  • How to Get the Most of Affiliate Programs

    /blog/2017/04/13/how-to-get-the-most-of-affiliate-programs/

    How to Get the Most of Affiliate Programs
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Have you ever thought of making your hobby or interest a real source of income?  I'm sure that you have.  There's a moment in any blogging career when you realize that it's high-time you started milking that cow…  And, by cow, I mean your writing talent; of course.

    However, if launching a Web site of your own is a long-cherished dream of yours, then it's time you browsed through the diverse collection of templates, crafted to meet the most daring requirements.

    The most appealing thing about affiliate programs, is the fact that they've already proved to be the easiest and most convenient way of monetizing your Web site, which is what you are looking for…  Aren't you?

    I know, I know…  Everyone would love to get money from nowhere.  But, let's be realists.  It always takes a bit more effort.  However, it doesn't have to be a chore though!

  • Work for Free; Fuck That

    /blog/2017/04/06/work-for-free-fuck-that/

    Work for Free; Fuck That
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Working for free…  We've all done it.  Most freelancers will have regretted it at some stage.  Yet, the allure of the E-word — 'exposure', has seduced many a talented artist, musician, or designer into giving away their services for zero financial compensation; as illustrated beautifully (and swearily) in this classic viral cartoon by The Oatmeal.

    If you're making art for art's sake, a little exposure can go a long way.  But, if you're trying to make a living and valuing your own service, you're going to have to stand up for yourself every now and then.

    Owing to the rise of social media, an alternative but increasingly effective way of gaining legitimate exposure is to publicly name and shame large companies who seek to take advantage of freelancers.  No matter whether you're struggling or flourishing, as a freelancer you're always going to get asked to do things for free.  Here are a few who have had enough, and have fruitfully decided to take their grievances to the Web.

  • A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)

    /blog/2017/04/03/a-guide-to-not-working-on-freelance-exchanges-fiverr-upwork/

    A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Are freelancer exchanges viable when your goal is mutually beneficial partnerships with clients willing to pay a fair amount per project?

    When it comes to finding and winning clients as a freelancer, there isn't much that I haven't tried…  I graduated the school of hard-knocks with several scars and the odd badge of merit.  So, when it comes to giving advice to freelancers who were maybe where I was several years ago, I speak from a position of experience.

    The type of hair-pull—face-palm—head-in-sand experience that you can only get from a good few years trying, failing and winning, to get something to work.

  • How to Blog

    /blog/2017/03/30/how-to-blog/

    How to Blog
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Trying to Learn How to Blog?

    Then you've come to the right place.

    Blogging is one of the most fulfilling ways of earning money while also sharing what you know with the world.  However, it's a huge leap to take from idea to earning money.  To help you get started in the world of blogging, I've put together this guide to show you exactly how to blog.

  • Try Git

    /blog/2017/03/02/try-git/

    Try Git
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Git allows groups of people to work on the same documents (often code) at the same time; and, without stepping on each other's toes.  It's a distributed version control system.

    If you've got around about 15 minutes or so, and want to learn about Git, I'd reccommend having a look at Try Git.

 

Innominate

  • Snapchat Advertising: The Cost of Targeting Millennials

    /blog/2017/05/20/snapchat-advertising-the-cost-of-targeting-millennials/

    Snapchat Advertising: The Cost of Targeting Millennials
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    It was a late Friday night, when I'd finished a long round-up of WordPress themes, and had completely forgotten that my fridge was empty.  I collapsed onto the sofa, launched Snapchat, and suddenly my mouth started watering…  My neighbour had posted a picture of himself — eating a huge, yummy burger.  The ridiculous tradition to take pics of food, and boast of them publicly, appears to have migrated from Instagram to Snapchat.

  • 10 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Each Day

    /blog/2017/05/17/10-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself-each-day/

    10 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Each Day
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Memorial Park, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    There are myriad psychology models and theories on what motivates us to do the things we do:

    • Achievement theories.
    • How we respond to incentives.

    I view motivation as excitement.  So, how can you remain motivated in a simple way that works every single day?

  • 4 Types of Drunk

    /blog/2017/05/12/4-types-of-drunk/

    4 Types of Drunk
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Are you a Mary Poppins or a Nutty Professor?  These are the four different types of drunk, according to scientists.

    Everybody holds their booze in different ways, but apparently, all of us can be placed into specific drunken personality types.  Researchers, from the University of Missouri, grilled 187 students about their tipsy and sober states — sorting them into groups.

    Members of the group were then paired up into "drinking buddies" because they knew what each other were like on a night out.  The experts then came up with the four most common drunk personalities — and named them all after familiar pop culture references.

    Intrigued?  Here are the four types of drunk…

  • The Git Life

    /blog/2017/02/28/the-git-life/

    The Git Life
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I picked-up an Asus X541U notebook today…  Getting it on-sale for $200-off.

    Although I've done a stupid amount of coding from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 over the years, using a Bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse, I've decided to move back to a computer.  I'm going getting back to development and other stuff ASAP.

 

MyCAF

  • The Survival Syndrome

    /blog/2017/06/20/the-survival-syndrome/

    The Survival Syndrome
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    A popular argument to fight the stigma of PTSD is to abandon it as a disorder.  There have also been cases for calling PTSD an injury because of damage to the hippocampus.  However, this is perhaps, the worst piece of evidence…  Such scarring also occurs in bi-polar disorder and throughout the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders — some caused by trauma, some not.  The injury moniker's most problematic issue's that it seems to create an acceptable male — or, females living up to male ideals — not mental illness.  Even rape survivors are said to have MST rather than PTSD caused by rape within the military.  Why there's any effort to sterilize rape within the military, continually, blows my mind.  The worst thing about injury and/or trauma titles, is their omission of how paradoxical and complicated Civil War Nostalgia, PTSD, and Shell Shock have always been.  Injuries are often a lot more simple — rest, ice, elevate does very little to your identity.  War alters our identity — what we have, is a persistent disorder, illness, and/or syndrome.  Yet, anyone who truly understands PTSD, grasps how it's the persistence of survival skills into non-survival situations.  Those survival skills, ultimately, saved our lives — they also make the mundane and/or routine parts of life harder to manage.

  • Mental Injuries

    /blog/2017/06/14/mental-injuries/

    Mental Injuries
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a, debilitating and life changing, mental wound commonly associated with veterans experiencing trauma during war-time.  Studies by the government have revealed PTSD isn't limited to combat, it also includes childhood abuse, military rape, and reckless behaviour.  PTSD is considered a disorder to most professionals as well as the government.  PTSD is a natural response by the human brain to inoculate against further trauma.  Within this post, I'll compare and contrast studies completed by the government on the efficacy of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and western medicine used to treat PTSD and why the "D" should be dropped.

    When a soldier comes home, they're given a mental examination.  If they're considered to be unfit for duty, the military will tag them with a PTSD label — a polite way of saying that they're no longer mission-capable.  If the soldier's been in a firefight, the examination may happen in-country.  If a soldier admits that they're experiencing trauma, from witnessing a friend step on a landmine, the examiner may deem the soldier as unfit for duty — discharging them.  Most soldiers won't admit it, and with the possibility of losing careers plus its stigma, soldiers will alienate from most brothers-in-arms.  To be deemed no longer mission-capable creates animosity, hatred, and mistrust.  Ridiculed and removed from the brotherhood, the soldier almost always slips into depression, and can eventually lead to suicide.  A shocking 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  It sickens me, to think that a soldier doing his job will feel the need to commit suicide, due to hazing from an egotistical and testosterone-driven system.

  • The Enemy Within

    /blog/2017/06/08/the-enemy-within/

    The Enemy Within
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    In recent months, there has been a great deal of information and reports in the media, about the increase in suicide for soldiers and veterans.  Military sources have also confirmed dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans.  Most experts contend that these rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide will continue to rise in the coming years — the government lacks the capacity to, adequately, meet the needs of returning military and veterans.  This means that these individuals will look beyond the government and increasingly turn to both public and private providers for their mental health care.

     

    Between the Ears

    Produced by Eleanor McDowall with Matthew Green:

    What happens when your home turns into a combat zone?  When the sound of children playing, a kettle whistling, or a car backfiring transports your loved one back to a killing ground in Afghanistan or Iraq?
     
    Night terrors, flashbacks and the hidden cost of war — this Between the Ears explores the inner lives of women who care for former service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
     
    We hear a delicate and often wrenching patchwork of audio diaries and interviews recorded in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms at moments when couples hit breaking point or encounter unexpected moments of tenderness.  This fierce and intimate portrait reveals the true impact of military campaigns on British families — and the sacrifices made by a generation of women who refuse to give up on the soldiers they love.

  • Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs

    /blog/2017/06/07/facing-the-fog-of-war-through-a-fog-of-drugs/

    Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I watched as 40 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans led an anti-war march to the gates of the NATO summit in Chicago — handing back their medals.  At the rally, they described the toll that the wars had taken on the troops — as well as, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan — and demanded their "right to heal".  Chief among the problems on their minds, were post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and psychotropic drugs.

     

    US veteran activist, Aaron Hughes, told Democracy Now:

    We currently have been working on a campaign called Operation Recovery, a campaign fighting for servicemembers' and veterans' right to heal and a campaign to stop the appointment of traumatized troops.  And it's really appalling that when these brothers and sisters get home and they're asking for help, that the only type of help that they can get is some type of medication like trazodone, Seroquel, Klonopin, medication that's practically paralyzing, medication that doesn't allow them to conduct themselves in any type of regular way.  And that's the standard operating procedures.  And yet, those are the same medications that servicemembers are getting redeployed with and redeployed on and conducting military operations on.  And this is the same medications that, you know, we are trying to reintegrate into the world with.  And it's — the disconnect between what's happening in Afghanistan and what's happened in Iraq with the daily lives of everyone here in the United States is just too vast to overcome.

  • Lest We Forget

    /blog/2017/06/06/lest-we-forget/

    Lest We Forget
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Remember all of those who've sacrificed — in body, mind, and spirit — for our freedom.
     
    And, for the humanitarian protection of all those around the world!
     
    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

     

    It's the veteran — not the preacher — who has given us freedom of religion.
     
    It's the veteran — not the reporter — who has given us freedom of the press.
     
    It's the veteran — not the poet — who has given us freedom of speech.
     
    It's the veteran — not the campus organizer — who has given us freedom to assemble.
     
    It's the veteran — not the lawyer — who has given us the right to a fair trial.
     
    It's the veteran — not the politician — who has given us the right to vote.
     
    It's the veteran — who salutes the flag.
     
    It's the veteran — who serves under the flag.

  • I'm Not a Fucking Addict

    /blog/2017/06/03/im-not-a-fucking-addict/

    I'm Not a Fucking Addict
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    As evidenced by my medical record, I've got some issues — mental and physical alike.  I'd ignored, and soldiered-on through the pain, for several years.  In recent years though, I've found it my health steadily worsening and I was forced to seek medical help.  My mobility is getting worse with each passing month.

  • Coming Home

    /blog/2017/06/02/coming-home/

    Coming Home
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    You're thinking, "That doesn't make sense.  They're happy to have him home.  That's all that matters to them.  He's safe and alive".

    True…  That's their first reaction — lasting until the welcome home hug and the long breathless embrace.  It's afterward, when you each pull-back and look into the other's eyes.  That's when you lose each other.

    Let's assume that you're his father.  When this vet left for war, he was still your boy — full of fun and pranks.  Life was an open invitation to adventure — anything was possible.  That's the image wich has been locked inside of your mind since he left.  Your response now, to this vet, is to that image.

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

  • When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You

    /blog/2017/05/29/when-a-soldier-confesses-their-sins-of-war-to-you/

    When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    By listening without judgment and negativity, you're giving the soldier/veteran something extremely valuable.  It may seem insignificant — they're pouring out their soul to you, and in doing so, you can have a unique opportunity to help them reclaim what they lost on the battlefield.

    Living — surviving — through combat, changes who we were.  We may choose to remain in denial, because if we can pretend to be who we were, then we may not have to face who we've undoubtedly become.

    The soldier/veteran's chosen to look into their soul and share with you.  When they delve into this abyss, they experience it for the first time, as well as you.  In combat, we have to compartmentalize all of the horrors of war, due to our inability to process it — to do otherwise, would get us killed.

  • Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass

    /blog/2017/05/27/sudbury-transits-veteran-pass/

    Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I had the misfortune of having to deal with a rather ignorant Sudbury Transit bus driver (whom I'll refer to as Damian Dolan) on 25 May 2017.  I've since submitted a complaint against Damian, via e-mail, to Transit — CC to 311 and the mayor.  I'd received an automated response from 311, indicating that I should receive a response within 2 business days…  So, by the end of Monday.  I've yet to receive any sort of acknowledgement and/or response from either Transit or the mayor though.

    While that incident with Damian is what led me to the subject of this posting, I'll not be saying much more about it within the context of this post.  I'm giving the city an opportunity to resolve the issue(s) prior to writing a follow-up post wherein I'll go into detail about everything that's happened.

    With that said, was anybody aware of the fact that Sudbury Transit has a "Canadian Veteran" pass program in effect?  I, as sure as Hell, wasn't.  Having been in this city for several years now, and having constantly argued/fought with my worker for transportation funding, I've only just recently — within the last few days — been made aware of its existence.

  • Darkness and Depression

    /blog/2017/05/22/darkness-and-depression/

    Darkness and Depression
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    By anonymous:

    Him the Almighty Power
    Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
    With hideous ruine and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire…
    As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
    No light, but rather darkness visible
    Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
    Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
    And rest can never dwell, hope never comes…

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Vanishing Veterans

    /blog/2017/05/15/vanishing-veterans/

    Vanishing Veterans
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The next time that you pass a homeless person on the street, remind yourself that they could be a Forces veteran.  There's a very real possibility that this man or woman has served our country — they may have put themselves in harm's way, in defence of Canada, and/or in an effort to bring peace to another country.

    Within the United States, 1 in 4 people living on the streets, is a veteran.  The statistics for Canada are unknown, but it's estimated that there's likely to be tens of thousands of veterans living/sleeping rough — either on the streets and/or in the bush — under extremely adverse conditions and in abject poverty.  These hardships are exacerbated by mental illness, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, and by Canada's extreme winter weather.

  • The Modern Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/10/the-modern-combat-veteran/

    The Modern Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Dissociation and Other Considerations

    PTSD's a life-long endeavor — there's no cure for it.  The triggering traumatic event changes the landscape of the mind — it no longer works in the same fashion that it did before.  The mind's been rewired — the neuropathways have been altered into a continuous loop.  The PTSD-triggering incident converts the fight or flight response within the primitive portion of our brain.  Imagine, having that scared feeling you get without the fear, while keeping the bodily reactions — the tenseness, the adrenalin rush, the mind racing, heightened senses, and the hyper-response reflex — to react without thinking.

  • Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance

    /blog/2017/05/08/combat-ptsd-and-the-relevance-of-hypervigilance/

    Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Firstly, let's get the definition out of the way…  Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity, accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviours, whose purpose is to detect threats.  Although it may feel like paranoia, they're not the same thing.

    Discarding the military for a moment, and thinking of PTSD in general, a symptom of PTSD is hypervigilance.  This means, what society classifies as normal — being a person who lacks significant deviation from society and/or conforms to the ideals of society — typically, has little to no requirement for being hypervigilant.  Without fear, there's no requirement to be looking for something.  The most a civilian's, partially hypervigilant, is within daily acts of driving a motor vehicle and crossing the road.  That's the, typical, extent of a civilian's hypervigilance.

  • The Definition of a Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/04/the-definition-of-a-veteran/

    The Definition of a Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've heard and/or seen the definition of what a veteran is more times than I care to fucking recall.  And, quite frankly, there's only really one definition that means shit.  As per the VAC, a veteran is:

    Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably released.

  • Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/05/01/harjit-sajjan-minister-of-defence-stolen-valour/

    Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Harjit Sajjan has his "full confidence", amid a growing controversy over the defence minister's exaggerated claim, that he was the "architect" of a major assault on the Taliban in 2006.  Interim Conservative Leader, Rona Ambrose, accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" for taking credit for the actions of another — and, called on Trudeau to fire him, for dishonouring himself and the military.

    Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, formally apologized for his "mistake" in describing his role within Operation Medusa during Question Period on Monday.  He said that the statement didn't intend to diminish the great work of the Forces.  Ambrose, said:

    How much more does the prime minister need to hear, before he understands, why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister?

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

  • Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out

    /blog/2017/04/29/understanding-combat-ptsd-from-the-inside-out/

    Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added an Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    People from all walks of life can face dealing with PTSD…  Someone who's in a car crash, a policeman, someone who's assaulted, etc.  People who struggle with PTSD all have similar problems and/or issues.  However, Combat PTSD, is the outcome of many weeks, months, or years of experiencing life threatening.

     

  • What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue

    /blog/2017/04/27/what-we-know-about-veteran-homelessness-in-canada-and-whats-being-done-to-address-the-issue/

    What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Veteran homelessness is a growing issue in Canada.  The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 reports that there are 2,950 veterans staying in shelters, making up 2.2% of annual shelter users.  About 25% of the veteran population in Canada faces difficulties transitioning from military service to civilian life — facing a risk of homelessness, mental illness, and/or addictions.  While veterans make up approximately 2% of the Canadian population, advocates are concerned with the over-representation of veterans within the homeless population.  In Metro Vancouver region's 2014 point-in-time count, 7% of respondents indicated that they'd served in the Forces.  In Toronto, the same percentage was reported in their 2013 Street Needs Assessment.  Alberta's 7 cities — Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo — co-ordinated point-in-time count found that, of those surveyed, 6% had military service.  In the Waterloo region, it was 5%.

  • The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

    /blog/2017/04/27/the-moral-logic-of-survivor-guilt/

    The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Memorial Park, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    If there's one thing we have learned from returning war veterans — especially, those of the last decade — it's that the emotional reality of the soldier at home's often at odds with that of the civilian public which they left behind.  And, while friends and families of returning service members may be experiencing gratefulness and/or relief, many of those they've welcomed home are likely struggling with other emotions.

    High on that list of emotions, is guilt.  Soldiers often carry this burden home — survivor guilt being, perhaps, the kind most familiar to us.  In war, standing here rather than there can save your life, but cost a buddy his.  It's fucking luck, but you feel responsible though.  The guilt begins an endless loop of counterfactuals — thoughts that you could've and/or should've done otherwise — though, in fact, you did nothing wrong.  The feelings are, of course, not restricted to the battle-field.  But, given the magnitude of loss during war, they hang heavy there, and are pervasive.  And, they raise the question of just how irrational those feelings are…  If they aren't, of what is the basis of their reasonableness?

  • The Best Pistol for Canada

    /blog/2017/04/24/the-best-pistol-for-canada/

    The Best Pistol for Canada
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    History affects us all.  The echoes of decisions made centuries ago, continue to shape our lives, in ways both large and small.  A case-in-point would be the current attempt by the Forces to procure a new service pistol.

    As unlikely at it seems, the past and future of this acquisition is connected with United States involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  At the end of that conflict, the United States found itself in possession of the former Spanish colony of the Philippines.  This fact was the cause of much rejoicing by the forces for Philippine independence — as represented by the First Philippine Republic — until, it became obvious, that the force of some 11,000 United States ground troops sent to the Philippines intended to stay.

  • Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking

    /blog/2017/04/23/camaraderies-one-trait-the-civilian-sectors-lacking/

    Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added a YouTube Video
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    People, often, ask me what I miss about serving in the military…  My answer — the camaraderie.

    All this craziness going on within our country makes me want to go back into the military.  Asian, black, disabled, female, from big city or small town, gay/lesbian, latino, male, short, tall, white…  It didn't matter what the fuck you were — we worked side-by-side and respected each other.  We all had our opinions and disagreements, but respect is what kept us united — especially, during times of combat.

    I'm saddened to see the shit that goes on in Canada.  At least, what most of the news portrays today anyhow.

  • The Infantryman's Arrogance

    /blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

    The Infantryman's Arrogance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  N/A

    I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

 

News

  • Reportedly, Marian Hossa to Miss Season and May Retire, Due to Equipment Allergy

    /blog/2017/06/21/reportedly-marian-hossa-to-miss-season-and-may-retire-due-to-equipment-allergy/

    Reportedly, Marian Hossa to Miss Season and May Retire, Due to Equipment Allergy
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks' veteran forward, career may be in jeopardy — due to an allergy to his equipment.

    Hossa has, reportedly, been on medication to neutralize the allergy.  However, doctors have long-term concerns about his health should he continue to take it.  This concern, may lead him into retirement.

     

  • Belgian Troops Shot a Terrorist During a Failed Attack on a Brussels Train Station

    /blog/2017/06/20/belgian-troops-shot-a-terrorist-during-a-failed-attack-on-a-brussels-train-station/

    Belgian Troops Shot a Terrorist During a Failed Attack on a Brussels Train Station
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Today, in Brussels Central Station, Belgian troops shot a suspected "terrorist" bomber.  However, there were no other casualties though.  The situation was brought under control, after people were evacuated, officials said.

    Eric Van Der Sypt — federal prosecutor — told reporters, ~3 hours after the incident, that a small blast was being treated as a "terrorist attack".  He said that the man's identity was still unknown and it was still unclear if the man was dead.  The suspect was still inside of the station, he added.

    He declined to comment on witness accounts that the man had shouted Islamist slogans, including "Allahu Akbar" — God is greater, in Arabic — before detonating a device on a luggage trolley, inside of an underground concourse, at the rail station.

  • Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/05/01/harjit-sajjan-minister-of-defence-stolen-valour/

    Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Harjit Sajjan has his "full confidence", amid a growing controversy over the defence minister's exaggerated claim, that he was the "architect" of a major assault on the Taliban in 2006.  Interim Conservative Leader, Rona Ambrose, accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" for taking credit for the actions of another — and, called on Trudeau to fire him, for dishonouring himself and the military.

    Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, formally apologized for his "mistake" in describing his role within Operation Medusa during Question Period on Monday.  He said that the statement didn't intend to diminish the great work of the Forces.  Ambrose, said:

    How much more does the prime minister need to hear, before he understands, why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister?

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'

    /blog/2017/04/28/rich-kids-of-instagram-meets-hunger-games-guests-at-luxury-fyre-festival-where-tickets-cost-12000-usd-hungry-mugged-and-stranded/

    'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year…  With all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns that a young and gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of.  However, Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas — with tickets priced up to $12,000 USD — has, quickly, turned into a terrifying B-movie.  Flocks of Instagram models were forced to seek shelter in an airport, after arriving to discover a lack of food, appalling accommodations, feral dogs roaming the grounds, and violent locals.

    As a result, social media exploded overnight, with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in-wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing except for ham and cheese sandwiches.

  • Aaron Greenspan Sued Google for Disabling His AdSense Account

    /blog/2017/04/27/aaron-greenspan-sued-google-for-disabling-his-adsense-account/

    Aaron Greenspan Sued Google for Disabling His AdSense Account
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    Tonight, we're going to hear a story about a guy named Aaron Greenspan, who sued AdSense for disabling his account — and, he won the case.  The Google AdSense team has been disabling many accounts to protect other publishers and advertisers interests.  However, at times, they aren't necessarily correct…  Many people have lost their hard-earned AdSense revenue due to having their account(s) disabled.

    Undoubtedly, Google AdSense rules the contextual ad space.  Regardless, Google will keep serving your ad space with advertisements — provided, of course, that you have a valid Google AdSense account.  Otherwise, you have to turn to AdSense-alternative program for your ad revenue stream.

  • What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue

    /blog/2017/04/27/what-we-know-about-veteran-homelessness-in-canada-and-whats-being-done-to-address-the-issue/

    What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Veteran homelessness is a growing issue in Canada.  The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 reports that there are 2,950 veterans staying in shelters, making up 2.2% of annual shelter users.  About 25% of the veteran population in Canada faces difficulties transitioning from military service to civilian life — facing a risk of homelessness, mental illness, and/or addictions.  While veterans make up approximately 2% of the Canadian population, advocates are concerned with the over-representation of veterans within the homeless population.  In Metro Vancouver region's 2014 point-in-time count, 7% of respondents indicated that they'd served in the Forces.  In Toronto, the same percentage was reported in their 2013 Street Needs Assessment.  Alberta's 7 cities — Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo — co-ordinated point-in-time count found that, of those surveyed, 6% had military service.  In the Waterloo region, it was 5%.

  • The Best Pistol for Canada

    /blog/2017/04/24/the-best-pistol-for-canada/

    The Best Pistol for Canada
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    History affects us all.  The echoes of decisions made centuries ago, continue to shape our lives, in ways both large and small.  A case-in-point would be the current attempt by the Forces to procure a new service pistol.

    As unlikely at it seems, the past and future of this acquisition is connected with United States involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  At the end of that conflict, the United States found itself in possession of the former Spanish colony of the Philippines.  This fact was the cause of much rejoicing by the forces for Philippine independence — as represented by the First Philippine Republic — until, it became obvious, that the force of some 11,000 United States ground troops sent to the Philippines intended to stay.

  • United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies

    /blog/2017/04/11/united-airlines-not-so-friendly-skies/

    United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    While I've not ever personally been subject to nor witness of so-called 'bumping' from a flight, I've always been of the opinion that it's a totally fucked-up policy that should be illegal.  If other sectors were to try and do as much, they'd be hit with charges (i.e. bait-and-switch, fraud, etc.).

    Quite simply, while an airline should be able to ask for a passenger to give up their seat, they shoudn't have any authority to forcibly remove them should they choose not to.  They did pay for said seat afterall…  It's not like they were given the seat, initially, for free to begin with.  They paid for a service and, rightfully so, expected for said service to be rendered.

 

Opinionated

  • Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker

    /blog/2017/06/23/consider-removing-your-ad-blocker/

    Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    RemoveAdblock.com is a campaign started by Web sites which rely upon Internet ads to pay their bills.  Creating content, maintenance, research, and server costs are all things that cost a lot of money.  Without ad revenue, Web sites would have to find other ways of paying for stuff.  This can lead to Web sites having to use more intrusive ads and/or charging money from their users.  We all have our favourite Web sites, and should you happen to like a Web site that's driven by ad revenue, you're undermining their work by having Adblock turned on within your Web browser.

  • The Survival Syndrome

    /blog/2017/06/20/the-survival-syndrome/

    The Survival Syndrome
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    A popular argument to fight the stigma of PTSD is to abandon it as a disorder.  There have also been cases for calling PTSD an injury because of damage to the hippocampus.  However, this is perhaps, the worst piece of evidence…  Such scarring also occurs in bi-polar disorder and throughout the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders — some caused by trauma, some not.  The injury moniker's most problematic issue's that it seems to create an acceptable male — or, females living up to male ideals — not mental illness.  Even rape survivors are said to have MST rather than PTSD caused by rape within the military.  Why there's any effort to sterilize rape within the military, continually, blows my mind.  The worst thing about injury and/or trauma titles, is their omission of how paradoxical and complicated Civil War Nostalgia, PTSD, and Shell Shock have always been.  Injuries are often a lot more simple — rest, ice, elevate does very little to your identity.  War alters our identity — what we have, is a persistent disorder, illness, and/or syndrome.  Yet, anyone who truly understands PTSD, grasps how it's the persistence of survival skills into non-survival situations.  Those survival skills, ultimately, saved our lives — they also make the mundane and/or routine parts of life harder to manage.

  • Mental Injuries

    /blog/2017/06/14/mental-injuries/

    Mental Injuries
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a, debilitating and life changing, mental wound commonly associated with veterans experiencing trauma during war-time.  Studies by the government have revealed PTSD isn't limited to combat, it also includes childhood abuse, military rape, and reckless behaviour.  PTSD is considered a disorder to most professionals as well as the government.  PTSD is a natural response by the human brain to inoculate against further trauma.  Within this post, I'll compare and contrast studies completed by the government on the efficacy of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and western medicine used to treat PTSD and why the "D" should be dropped.

    When a soldier comes home, they're given a mental examination.  If they're considered to be unfit for duty, the military will tag them with a PTSD label — a polite way of saying that they're no longer mission-capable.  If the soldier's been in a firefight, the examination may happen in-country.  If a soldier admits that they're experiencing trauma, from witnessing a friend step on a landmine, the examiner may deem the soldier as unfit for duty — discharging them.  Most soldiers won't admit it, and with the possibility of losing careers plus its stigma, soldiers will alienate from most brothers-in-arms.  To be deemed no longer mission-capable creates animosity, hatred, and mistrust.  Ridiculed and removed from the brotherhood, the soldier almost always slips into depression, and can eventually lead to suicide.  A shocking 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  It sickens me, to think that a soldier doing his job will feel the need to commit suicide, due to hazing from an egotistical and testosterone-driven system.

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • The Enemy Within

    /blog/2017/06/08/the-enemy-within/

    The Enemy Within
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    In recent months, there has been a great deal of information and reports in the media, about the increase in suicide for soldiers and veterans.  Military sources have also confirmed dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans.  Most experts contend that these rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide will continue to rise in the coming years — the government lacks the capacity to, adequately, meet the needs of returning military and veterans.  This means that these individuals will look beyond the government and increasingly turn to both public and private providers for their mental health care.

     

    Between the Ears

    Produced by Eleanor McDowall with Matthew Green:

    What happens when your home turns into a combat zone?  When the sound of children playing, a kettle whistling, or a car backfiring transports your loved one back to a killing ground in Afghanistan or Iraq?
     
    Night terrors, flashbacks and the hidden cost of war — this Between the Ears explores the inner lives of women who care for former service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
     
    We hear a delicate and often wrenching patchwork of audio diaries and interviews recorded in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms at moments when couples hit breaking point or encounter unexpected moments of tenderness.  This fierce and intimate portrait reveals the true impact of military campaigns on British families — and the sacrifices made by a generation of women who refuse to give up on the soldiers they love.

  • Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs

    /blog/2017/06/07/facing-the-fog-of-war-through-a-fog-of-drugs/

    Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I watched as 40 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans led an anti-war march to the gates of the NATO summit in Chicago — handing back their medals.  At the rally, they described the toll that the wars had taken on the troops — as well as, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan — and demanded their "right to heal".  Chief among the problems on their minds, were post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and psychotropic drugs.

     

    US veteran activist, Aaron Hughes, told Democracy Now:

    We currently have been working on a campaign called Operation Recovery, a campaign fighting for servicemembers' and veterans' right to heal and a campaign to stop the appointment of traumatized troops.  And it's really appalling that when these brothers and sisters get home and they're asking for help, that the only type of help that they can get is some type of medication like trazodone, Seroquel, Klonopin, medication that's practically paralyzing, medication that doesn't allow them to conduct themselves in any type of regular way.  And that's the standard operating procedures.  And yet, those are the same medications that servicemembers are getting redeployed with and redeployed on and conducting military operations on.  And this is the same medications that, you know, we are trying to reintegrate into the world with.  And it's — the disconnect between what's happening in Afghanistan and what's happened in Iraq with the daily lives of everyone here in the United States is just too vast to overcome.

  • Lest We Forget

    /blog/2017/06/06/lest-we-forget/

    Lest We Forget
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Remember all of those who've sacrificed — in body, mind, and spirit — for our freedom.
     
    And, for the humanitarian protection of all those around the world!
     
    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

     

    It's the veteran — not the preacher — who has given us freedom of religion.
     
    It's the veteran — not the reporter — who has given us freedom of the press.
     
    It's the veteran — not the poet — who has given us freedom of speech.
     
    It's the veteran — not the campus organizer — who has given us freedom to assemble.
     
    It's the veteran — not the lawyer — who has given us the right to a fair trial.
     
    It's the veteran — not the politician — who has given us the right to vote.
     
    It's the veteran — who salutes the flag.
     
    It's the veteran — who serves under the flag.

  • I'm Not a Fucking Addict

    /blog/2017/06/03/im-not-a-fucking-addict/

    I'm Not a Fucking Addict
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    As evidenced by my medical record, I've got some issues — mental and physical alike.  I'd ignored, and soldiered-on through the pain, for several years.  In recent years though, I've found it my health steadily worsening and I was forced to seek medical help.  My mobility is getting worse with each passing month.

  • We're All Victims of War

    /blog/2017/05/31/were-all-victims-of-war/

    We're All Victims of War
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    No war's a good war.  At times, we've acted no better than our worst enemy — we're not blameless.  We denied the Holocaust — for instance — choosing, instead, to disbelieve the evidence.  Again, we denied the genocide in Rwanda, choosing not to believe what was happening.  And still, we close our eyes and ears, to the ongoing atrocities and slaughter in Africa–Darfur, the Congo, and elsewhere around the world.

    What's worse, war hasn't stopped the struggle for wealth and control.  Secret wars still go on, behind political posturing — each world power, seeking intelligence that it can use against the other — manipulating events, and in the end, creating more terror and worse horrors for the innocent who never know why they've been sacrificed, or for what cause.  And now, with an economic depression compressing the world, more and more suffering's brought to bear on everyone — everywhere.

    And, then there are the lives of the men and women we sacrifice in our military forces, in the interest of preserving our freedom(s) at home.  They believe in their missions and their fellow soldiers.  It's difficult not to, when your boots are on the ground, and you with your buddy beside you, can see that you're the only ones making a difference in someone else's life.  That's the hook that keeps aid volunteers and military forces continually in harm's way…  They see how much their care matters.

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

  • When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You

    /blog/2017/05/29/when-a-soldier-confesses-their-sins-of-war-to-you/

    When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    By listening without judgment and negativity, you're giving the soldier/veteran something extremely valuable.  It may seem insignificant — they're pouring out their soul to you, and in doing so, you can have a unique opportunity to help them reclaim what they lost on the battlefield.

    Living — surviving — through combat, changes who we were.  We may choose to remain in denial, because if we can pretend to be who we were, then we may not have to face who we've undoubtedly become.

    The soldier/veteran's chosen to look into their soul and share with you.  When they delve into this abyss, they experience it for the first time, as well as you.  In combat, we have to compartmentalize all of the horrors of war, due to our inability to process it — to do otherwise, would get us killed.

  • Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers

    /blog/2017/05/26/not-wordpresscom-for-serious-bloggers/

    Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    So, you're ready to make a dent in the universe, eh?  You have great ideas to share with the world and blogging's how you’re going to get it done.  Good for you.

    Of course, there's more to starting a blog than simply having great ideas.  However, you've already made an important decision…  You're going with WordPress.

    After all, Internet big-wigs — Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, Marie Forleo, Michael Hyatt, Jon Morrow, Amy Porterfield, Darren Rowse, Mari Smith, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc. — all use WordPress.

  • Darkness and Depression

    /blog/2017/05/22/darkness-and-depression/

    Darkness and Depression
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    By anonymous:

    Him the Almighty Power
    Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
    With hideous ruine and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire…
    As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
    No light, but rather darkness visible
    Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
    Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
    And rest can never dwell, hope never comes…

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Vanishing Veterans

    /blog/2017/05/15/vanishing-veterans/

    Vanishing Veterans
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The next time that you pass a homeless person on the street, remind yourself that they could be a Forces veteran.  There's a very real possibility that this man or woman has served our country — they may have put themselves in harm's way, in defence of Canada, and/or in an effort to bring peace to another country.

    Within the United States, 1 in 4 people living on the streets, is a veteran.  The statistics for Canada are unknown, but it's estimated that there's likely to be tens of thousands of veterans living/sleeping rough — either on the streets and/or in the bush — under extremely adverse conditions and in abject poverty.  These hardships are exacerbated by mental illness, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, and by Canada's extreme winter weather.

  • Severe Pain, What to Do

    /blog/2017/05/15/severe-pain-what-to-do/

    Severe Pain, What to Do
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Removed Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    People in chronic pain, such as myself, are feeling the impact of the legal changes regarding the use of opioid analgesics for severe pain.  I used to detest pain medications.  I did all that I could to avoid making use of opioids — relying upon 8–10+G of Ibuprofen each day instead.  As I age though, I'm finding that the effects of the extreme abuse which I'd put my body through is fast catching up with my gimp-ass.

  • Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap

    /blog/2017/05/11/spoiled-fucktards-gone-wild-the-discipline-generation-gap/

    Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    An ever-increasing lack of authority has bred, as a leading psychologist forewarned, a "spoilt generation" of children who believe that grown-ups must earn their respect.  Aric Sigman's research shows, the rise of the "little emperor" spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.  Attempts to "empower" children, and a lack of discipline in the classroom, have also fostered rising levels of violence — at home, at school, and in the street.

    Dr. Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers — "parent battering" is on the rise — and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

  • The Modern Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/10/the-modern-combat-veteran/

    The Modern Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Dissociation and Other Considerations

    PTSD's a life-long endeavor — there's no cure for it.  The triggering traumatic event changes the landscape of the mind — it no longer works in the same fashion that it did before.  The mind's been rewired — the neuropathways have been altered into a continuous loop.  The PTSD-triggering incident converts the fight or flight response within the primitive portion of our brain.  Imagine, having that scared feeling you get without the fear, while keeping the bodily reactions — the tenseness, the adrenalin rush, the mind racing, heightened senses, and the hyper-response reflex — to react without thinking.

  • Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance

    /blog/2017/05/08/combat-ptsd-and-the-relevance-of-hypervigilance/

    Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Firstly, let's get the definition out of the way…  Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity, accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviours, whose purpose is to detect threats.  Although it may feel like paranoia, they're not the same thing.

    Discarding the military for a moment, and thinking of PTSD in general, a symptom of PTSD is hypervigilance.  This means, what society classifies as normal — being a person who lacks significant deviation from society and/or conforms to the ideals of society — typically, has little to no requirement for being hypervigilant.  Without fear, there's no requirement to be looking for something.  The most a civilian's, partially hypervigilant, is within daily acts of driving a motor vehicle and crossing the road.  That's the, typical, extent of a civilian's hypervigilance.

  • Don't Use AdSense on a Business Web Site

    /blog/2017/05/06/dont-use-adsense-on-a-business-web-site/

    Don't Use AdSense on a Business Web Site
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Google AdSense is one of the most commonly used advertising platforms, today, within the Internet industry — with millions of publishers world-wide.  Almost every Web property — whether, small or large — is making money online with AdSense.  Is your Web property amongst those?

    I'd consider AdSense to be "the people's choice" when it comes to the monetization of a Web site.  Anybody with a unique and/or interesting Web site can join this program.  A single click can earn anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars; depending, upon your niche.  If you're looking for the easiest and the most profitable pay-per-click ad program, then AdSense is the best.

    But, wait a minute though!  The title of this post says "no AdSense"  Read-on to learn why, at times, the best choice isn't putting AdSense — or, any other ad-serving alternative — on your business Web site.

  • The Definition of a Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/04/the-definition-of-a-veteran/

    The Definition of a Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've heard and/or seen the definition of what a veteran is more times than I care to fucking recall.  And, quite frankly, there's only really one definition that means shit.  As per the VAC, a veteran is:

    Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably released.

  • Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/05/01/harjit-sajjan-minister-of-defence-stolen-valour/

    Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Harjit Sajjan has his "full confidence", amid a growing controversy over the defence minister's exaggerated claim, that he was the "architect" of a major assault on the Taliban in 2006.  Interim Conservative Leader, Rona Ambrose, accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" for taking credit for the actions of another — and, called on Trudeau to fire him, for dishonouring himself and the military.

    Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, formally apologized for his "mistake" in describing his role within Operation Medusa during Question Period on Monday.  He said that the statement didn't intend to diminish the great work of the Forces.  Ambrose, said:

    How much more does the prime minister need to hear, before he understands, why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister?

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

  • Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out

    /blog/2017/04/29/understanding-combat-ptsd-from-the-inside-out/

    Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added an Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    People from all walks of life can face dealing with PTSD…  Someone who's in a car crash, a policeman, someone who's assaulted, etc.  People who struggle with PTSD all have similar problems and/or issues.  However, Combat PTSD, is the outcome of many weeks, months, or years of experiencing life threatening.

     

  • Why Google AdSense Rules

    /blog/2017/04/27/why-google-adsense-rules/

    Why Google AdSense Rules
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    Perhaps, one of the best ways to make money blogging is by displaying advertisements on your Web blog.  There are many ad networks available — AdSense, Chitika, Infolinks, VigLink, etc.  Obviously, we can't clutter our Web blogs with too many ads though.  So, we need to choose the best — most effective — program(s) available.

    AdSense is a Google product. It enables us to show contextual ads on a Web site.  It's, probably, the best ad network available for any Web site.  There are people making, quite literally, thousands of dollars every day using AdSense alone.

  • What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue

    /blog/2017/04/27/what-we-know-about-veteran-homelessness-in-canada-and-whats-being-done-to-address-the-issue/

    What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Veteran homelessness is a growing issue in Canada.  The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 reports that there are 2,950 veterans staying in shelters, making up 2.2% of annual shelter users.  About 25% of the veteran population in Canada faces difficulties transitioning from military service to civilian life — facing a risk of homelessness, mental illness, and/or addictions.  While veterans make up approximately 2% of the Canadian population, advocates are concerned with the over-representation of veterans within the homeless population.  In Metro Vancouver region's 2014 point-in-time count, 7% of respondents indicated that they'd served in the Forces.  In Toronto, the same percentage was reported in their 2013 Street Needs Assessment.  Alberta's 7 cities — Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo — co-ordinated point-in-time count found that, of those surveyed, 6% had military service.  In the Waterloo region, it was 5%.

  • The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

    /blog/2017/04/27/the-moral-logic-of-survivor-guilt/

    The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Memorial Park, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    If there's one thing we have learned from returning war veterans — especially, those of the last decade — it's that the emotional reality of the soldier at home's often at odds with that of the civilian public which they left behind.  And, while friends and families of returning service members may be experiencing gratefulness and/or relief, many of those they've welcomed home are likely struggling with other emotions.

    High on that list of emotions, is guilt.  Soldiers often carry this burden home — survivor guilt being, perhaps, the kind most familiar to us.  In war, standing here rather than there can save your life, but cost a buddy his.  It's fucking luck, but you feel responsible though.  The guilt begins an endless loop of counterfactuals — thoughts that you could've and/or should've done otherwise — though, in fact, you did nothing wrong.  The feelings are, of course, not restricted to the battle-field.  But, given the magnitude of loss during war, they hang heavy there, and are pervasive.  And, they raise the question of just how irrational those feelings are…  If they aren't, of what is the basis of their reasonableness?

  • 21 Things You Shouldn't Say to Sexual Abuse Victims

    /blog/2017/04/25/21-things-you-shouldnt-say-to-sexual-abuse-victims/

    21 Things You Shouldn't Say to Sexual Abuse Victims
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've heard my share of insensitive comments.  I've also talked to enough victims to be able to gather some of the most damaging words here — for the sake of those who truly want to be helpful, loving, and sensitive.

    My intent for writing this article isn't to shame those who want to help and/or to make them walk on eggshells.  Rather, it's to help friends and family members of victims, best love and understand, the journey that is sexual abuse recovery.

  • The Best Pistol for Canada

    /blog/2017/04/24/the-best-pistol-for-canada/

    The Best Pistol for Canada
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    History affects us all.  The echoes of decisions made centuries ago, continue to shape our lives, in ways both large and small.  A case-in-point would be the current attempt by the Forces to procure a new service pistol.

    As unlikely at it seems, the past and future of this acquisition is connected with United States involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  At the end of that conflict, the United States found itself in possession of the former Spanish colony of the Philippines.  This fact was the cause of much rejoicing by the forces for Philippine independence — as represented by the First Philippine Republic — until, it became obvious, that the force of some 11,000 United States ground troops sent to the Philippines intended to stay.

  • Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops

    /blog/2017/04/24/hilariously-terrible-stock-photos-miss-the-mark-portraying-real-troops/

    Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Stock photos are a great resource for a lot of people and organizations who want to convey the right message, feeling, and/or image but can't get a photograph of their own.  A story and/or advertisement about an elementary school, for example, may make use of a great stock image of children having fun while learning in a bright and colourful classroom — rather than having to set-up a photo session at a nearby school and get all the necessary permissions and arrangements.  Unfortunately, when it comes to stock photos of the military though, there are a lot of images that miss the mark — completely.

    In fact, they don't just miss the mark, they miss the whole target — and, sometimes, may not even be at the right shooting range.  These rather poorly executed photos, do an injustice to our brave men and women in the military, and can completely misrepresent what our military is and looks like.  But, quite frankly, a lot of these stock photos are just so bad at accurately depicting the military that we just have to laugh at them!

  • Children Should Never Witness War

    /blog/2017/04/24/children-should-never-witness-war/

    Children Should Never Witness War
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Many times, we're reminded of just how lucky and fortunate we are living here — in Canada.  Could you imagine if this was your child, caught-up in the middle of a war?

    War created by shitty adults who can't get along — simply put.  This video breaks my heart — as this little boy just sits patiently, waiting to be treated for his injuries.

    This is the type of fucking shit that's still going on around the world…  And, sadly, it may never see an end either.  However, children should never have to bear witness to war created by adults.  Never take for granted what we have here in Canada.  Protect your children, because they never signed-up to enter this fucking mess.  It's up to us as adults, to find a way to get along with each other.  Even, if it's merely a select few idiots whom ruin it for many.  I can only hope that this little boy, Omran, and his family find a way to safety — and, that he someday grows up to help others who've witnessed war first-hand as a child themselves.  Although this little boy will struggle for many years, for what he's witnessed and endured during these young years of his life, I can only hope tat he may grow to believe that war will never be the answer.

  • Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking

    /blog/2017/04/23/camaraderies-one-trait-the-civilian-sectors-lacking/

    Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added a YouTube Video
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    People, often, ask me what I miss about serving in the military…  My answer — the camaraderie.

    All this craziness going on within our country makes me want to go back into the military.  Asian, black, disabled, female, from big city or small town, gay/lesbian, latino, male, short, tall, white…  It didn't matter what the fuck you were — we worked side-by-side and respected each other.  We all had our opinions and disagreements, but respect is what kept us united — especially, during times of combat.

    I'm saddened to see the shit that goes on in Canada.  At least, what most of the news portrays today anyhow.

  • Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization

    /blog/2017/04/21/some-thoughts-about-abuse-anger-and-victimization/

    Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    There are many sad stories posted.  Some are difficult, even painful, to read.  There are also a number of hopeful stories which suggest which truly negative situations, such as abuse, can be overcome.  As I consider the various comments, I'm struck by how people handle similar situations so differently…  By how some people are able to transform themselves, over time, so as to leave an abusive situation — others, don't seem to be able to get unstuck from the bonds that hold them in-place.

    It's not always the case that people can leave an abusive situation.  Some people are trapped economically and/or politically.  Some people cannot leave easily because, to do so, will cause them to have to leave their children behind; for instance.  Other people cannot provide for themselves easily.  These sorts of situations are difficult to do anything about — at least, in the short term.  However, there are also many reasons that people use to justify staying in abuse situations that are, potentially, under their control to change.

    It strikes me that part of becoming able to leave an abuse situation involves learning to change the way that you think about yourself.  In particular, the way that abused people relate to the idea that they're victims seems to be important.  As a way to organize my thoughts on this subject, I've come up with three stages that some abuse victims seem to move through as they work their way through their difficulties.

  • United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies

    /blog/2017/04/11/united-airlines-not-so-friendly-skies/

    United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    While I've not ever personally been subject to nor witness of so-called 'bumping' from a flight, I've always been of the opinion that it's a totally fucked-up policy that should be illegal.  If other sectors were to try and do as much, they'd be hit with charges (i.e. bait-and-switch, fraud, etc.).

    Quite simply, while an airline should be able to ask for a passenger to give up their seat, they shoudn't have any authority to forcibly remove them should they choose not to.  They did pay for said seat afterall…  It's not like they were given the seat, initially, for free to begin with.  They paid for a service and, rightfully so, expected for said service to be rendered.

  • Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/04/07/stolen-valour/

    Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    It takes the heart of a warrior to find deception and take it down.

    It starts off simple enough…  A casual mention of military service.  And, oh by the way, a Victoria Cross and a few other honours earned.  How can you not trust a person who served their country so gallantly?

    From there, confidence builds.  One story weaves into even more glorious tales, until…  At some point, the fabrication is woven so tightly that you begin to suspect.

    How can one person achieve so much in such a short time?  It's almost too good to be true…

    While this seems to be an issue more prevalent within the United States of America than here in Canada, we do have our share as well.  The most recent of which readily comes to my mind is Franck Gervais.  Franck had never been in the military, yet he wore a military uniform to the Ottawa Remembrance Day ceremonies.  Hell, he even gave a public interview on national television during the ceremonies.

    Personally, I don't much care if somebody makes false claims about military service…  They're, usually, trying to pick-up a woman or some other shit.  What I have a real issue with though, is somebody who is attempting to obtain some sort of financial gain (i.e. assistance, charity, discount, donation, etc.) based upon their service claim(s).  Here in Sudbury alone, I've come across a Canadian seaman who was a Navy SEAL, a Canadian grunt who was in the Gulf but was stationed on a boat, a US Army secret-squirrel—spaceshuttle-door-gunner—special-forces, a guy who was in Iraq and had his buddy die in his arms after being fragged, and others.

  • Work for Free; Fuck That

    /blog/2017/04/06/work-for-free-fuck-that/

    Work for Free; Fuck That
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Working for free…  We've all done it.  Most freelancers will have regretted it at some stage.  Yet, the allure of the E-word — 'exposure', has seduced many a talented artist, musician, or designer into giving away their services for zero financial compensation; as illustrated beautifully (and swearily) in this classic viral cartoon by The Oatmeal.

    If you're making art for art's sake, a little exposure can go a long way.  But, if you're trying to make a living and valuing your own service, you're going to have to stand up for yourself every now and then.

    Owing to the rise of social media, an alternative but increasingly effective way of gaining legitimate exposure is to publicly name and shame large companies who seek to take advantage of freelancers.  No matter whether you're struggling or flourishing, as a freelancer you're always going to get asked to do things for free.  Here are a few who have had enough, and have fruitfully decided to take their grievances to the Web.

  • A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)

    /blog/2017/04/03/a-guide-to-not-working-on-freelance-exchanges-fiverr-upwork/

    A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Are freelancer exchanges viable when your goal is mutually beneficial partnerships with clients willing to pay a fair amount per project?

    When it comes to finding and winning clients as a freelancer, there isn't much that I haven't tried…  I graduated the school of hard-knocks with several scars and the odd badge of merit.  So, when it comes to giving advice to freelancers who were maybe where I was several years ago, I speak from a position of experience.

    The type of hair-pull—face-palm—head-in-sand experience that you can only get from a good few years trying, failing and winning, to get something to work.

  • Tim Hortons, Fuck You

    /blog/2017/03/26/tim-hortons-fuck-you/

    Tim Hortons, Fuck You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 196 Cedar St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1B4, Canada

    So, I was at the above-mentioned Tim Hortons earlier today.  I'd spent at least $30 alone (on just myself) at this Tim Hortons this morning; within an hour or less of being there.  I was relaxing, using the LCBO's Internet, and drinking cofee while waiting for the library up the road the open at noon.

  • Family Day

    /blog/2017/02/20/family-day/

    Family Day
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  200 Larch St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1C5, Canada

    Lest we forget…

    Why is Family Day a holiday, yet Rememberance Day isn't?  Today is just another excuse for those in the public sector to not work and a day for people like me to remember how fucked up their family really is.

  • The Infantryman's Arrogance

    /blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

    The Infantryman's Arrogance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  N/A

    I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

 

Other Sports

  • Reportedly, Marian Hossa to Miss Season and May Retire, Due to Equipment Allergy

    /blog/2017/06/21/reportedly-marian-hossa-to-miss-season-and-may-retire-due-to-equipment-allergy/

    Reportedly, Marian Hossa to Miss Season and May Retire, Due to Equipment Allergy
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks' veteran forward, career may be in jeopardy — due to an allergy to his equipment.

    Hossa has, reportedly, been on medication to neutralize the allergy.  However, doctors have long-term concerns about his health should he continue to take it.  This concern, may lead him into retirement.

     

 

Outdoors

  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'

    /blog/2017/04/28/rich-kids-of-instagram-meets-hunger-games-guests-at-luxury-fyre-festival-where-tickets-cost-12000-usd-hungry-mugged-and-stranded/

    'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year…  With all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns that a young and gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of.  However, Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas — with tickets priced up to $12,000 USD — has, quickly, turned into a terrifying B-movie.  Flocks of Instagram models were forced to seek shelter in an airport, after arriving to discover a lack of food, appalling accommodations, feral dogs roaming the grounds, and violent locals.

    As a result, social media exploded overnight, with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in-wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing except for ham and cheese sandwiches.

 

Relationship

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • The Enemy Within

    /blog/2017/06/08/the-enemy-within/

    The Enemy Within
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    In recent months, there has been a great deal of information and reports in the media, about the increase in suicide for soldiers and veterans.  Military sources have also confirmed dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans.  Most experts contend that these rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide will continue to rise in the coming years — the government lacks the capacity to, adequately, meet the needs of returning military and veterans.  This means that these individuals will look beyond the government and increasingly turn to both public and private providers for their mental health care.

     

    Between the Ears

    Produced by Eleanor McDowall with Matthew Green:

    What happens when your home turns into a combat zone?  When the sound of children playing, a kettle whistling, or a car backfiring transports your loved one back to a killing ground in Afghanistan or Iraq?
     
    Night terrors, flashbacks and the hidden cost of war — this Between the Ears explores the inner lives of women who care for former service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
     
    We hear a delicate and often wrenching patchwork of audio diaries and interviews recorded in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms at moments when couples hit breaking point or encounter unexpected moments of tenderness.  This fierce and intimate portrait reveals the true impact of military campaigns on British families — and the sacrifices made by a generation of women who refuse to give up on the soldiers they love.

  • Coming Home

    /blog/2017/06/02/coming-home/

    Coming Home
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    You're thinking, "That doesn't make sense.  They're happy to have him home.  That's all that matters to them.  He's safe and alive".

    True…  That's their first reaction — lasting until the welcome home hug and the long breathless embrace.  It's afterward, when you each pull-back and look into the other's eyes.  That's when you lose each other.

    Let's assume that you're his father.  When this vet left for war, he was still your boy — full of fun and pranks.  Life was an open invitation to adventure — anything was possible.  That's the image wich has been locked inside of your mind since he left.  Your response now, to this vet, is to that image.

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • 21 Things You Shouldn't Say to Sexual Abuse Victims

    /blog/2017/04/25/21-things-you-shouldnt-say-to-sexual-abuse-victims/

    21 Things You Shouldn't Say to Sexual Abuse Victims
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've heard my share of insensitive comments.  I've also talked to enough victims to be able to gather some of the most damaging words here — for the sake of those who truly want to be helpful, loving, and sensitive.

    My intent for writing this article isn't to shame those who want to help and/or to make them walk on eggshells.  Rather, it's to help friends and family members of victims, best love and understand, the journey that is sexual abuse recovery.

  • Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization

    /blog/2017/04/21/some-thoughts-about-abuse-anger-and-victimization/

    Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    There are many sad stories posted.  Some are difficult, even painful, to read.  There are also a number of hopeful stories which suggest which truly negative situations, such as abuse, can be overcome.  As I consider the various comments, I'm struck by how people handle similar situations so differently…  By how some people are able to transform themselves, over time, so as to leave an abusive situation — others, don't seem to be able to get unstuck from the bonds that hold them in-place.

    It's not always the case that people can leave an abusive situation.  Some people are trapped economically and/or politically.  Some people cannot leave easily because, to do so, will cause them to have to leave their children behind; for instance.  Other people cannot provide for themselves easily.  These sorts of situations are difficult to do anything about — at least, in the short term.  However, there are also many reasons that people use to justify staying in abuse situations that are, potentially, under their control to change.

    It strikes me that part of becoming able to leave an abuse situation involves learning to change the way that you think about yourself.  In particular, the way that abused people relate to the idea that they're victims seems to be important.  As a way to organize my thoughts on this subject, I've come up with three stages that some abuse victims seem to move through as they work their way through their difficulties.

 

Self

  • Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker

    /blog/2017/06/23/consider-removing-your-ad-blocker/

    Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    RemoveAdblock.com is a campaign started by Web sites which rely upon Internet ads to pay their bills.  Creating content, maintenance, research, and server costs are all things that cost a lot of money.  Without ad revenue, Web sites would have to find other ways of paying for stuff.  This can lead to Web sites having to use more intrusive ads and/or charging money from their users.  We all have our favourite Web sites, and should you happen to like a Web site that's driven by ad revenue, you're undermining their work by having Adblock turned on within your Web browser.

  • The Survival Syndrome

    /blog/2017/06/20/the-survival-syndrome/

    The Survival Syndrome
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    A popular argument to fight the stigma of PTSD is to abandon it as a disorder.  There have also been cases for calling PTSD an injury because of damage to the hippocampus.  However, this is perhaps, the worst piece of evidence…  Such scarring also occurs in bi-polar disorder and throughout the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders — some caused by trauma, some not.  The injury moniker's most problematic issue's that it seems to create an acceptable male — or, females living up to male ideals — not mental illness.  Even rape survivors are said to have MST rather than PTSD caused by rape within the military.  Why there's any effort to sterilize rape within the military, continually, blows my mind.  The worst thing about injury and/or trauma titles, is their omission of how paradoxical and complicated Civil War Nostalgia, PTSD, and Shell Shock have always been.  Injuries are often a lot more simple — rest, ice, elevate does very little to your identity.  War alters our identity — what we have, is a persistent disorder, illness, and/or syndrome.  Yet, anyone who truly understands PTSD, grasps how it's the persistence of survival skills into non-survival situations.  Those survival skills, ultimately, saved our lives — they also make the mundane and/or routine parts of life harder to manage.

  • Mental Injuries

    /blog/2017/06/14/mental-injuries/

    Mental Injuries
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a, debilitating and life changing, mental wound commonly associated with veterans experiencing trauma during war-time.  Studies by the government have revealed PTSD isn't limited to combat, it also includes childhood abuse, military rape, and reckless behaviour.  PTSD is considered a disorder to most professionals as well as the government.  PTSD is a natural response by the human brain to inoculate against further trauma.  Within this post, I'll compare and contrast studies completed by the government on the efficacy of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and western medicine used to treat PTSD and why the "D" should be dropped.

    When a soldier comes home, they're given a mental examination.  If they're considered to be unfit for duty, the military will tag them with a PTSD label — a polite way of saying that they're no longer mission-capable.  If the soldier's been in a firefight, the examination may happen in-country.  If a soldier admits that they're experiencing trauma, from witnessing a friend step on a landmine, the examiner may deem the soldier as unfit for duty — discharging them.  Most soldiers won't admit it, and with the possibility of losing careers plus its stigma, soldiers will alienate from most brothers-in-arms.  To be deemed no longer mission-capable creates animosity, hatred, and mistrust.  Ridiculed and removed from the brotherhood, the soldier almost always slips into depression, and can eventually lead to suicide.  A shocking 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  It sickens me, to think that a soldier doing his job will feel the need to commit suicide, due to hazing from an egotistical and testosterone-driven system.

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • The Enemy Within

    /blog/2017/06/08/the-enemy-within/

    The Enemy Within
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    In recent months, there has been a great deal of information and reports in the media, about the increase in suicide for soldiers and veterans.  Military sources have also confirmed dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans.  Most experts contend that these rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide will continue to rise in the coming years — the government lacks the capacity to, adequately, meet the needs of returning military and veterans.  This means that these individuals will look beyond the government and increasingly turn to both public and private providers for their mental health care.

     

    Between the Ears

    Produced by Eleanor McDowall with Matthew Green:

    What happens when your home turns into a combat zone?  When the sound of children playing, a kettle whistling, or a car backfiring transports your loved one back to a killing ground in Afghanistan or Iraq?
     
    Night terrors, flashbacks and the hidden cost of war — this Between the Ears explores the inner lives of women who care for former service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
     
    We hear a delicate and often wrenching patchwork of audio diaries and interviews recorded in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms at moments when couples hit breaking point or encounter unexpected moments of tenderness.  This fierce and intimate portrait reveals the true impact of military campaigns on British families — and the sacrifices made by a generation of women who refuse to give up on the soldiers they love.

  • Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs

    /blog/2017/06/07/facing-the-fog-of-war-through-a-fog-of-drugs/

    Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I watched as 40 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans led an anti-war march to the gates of the NATO summit in Chicago — handing back their medals.  At the rally, they described the toll that the wars had taken on the troops — as well as, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan — and demanded their "right to heal".  Chief among the problems on their minds, were post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and psychotropic drugs.

     

    US veteran activist, Aaron Hughes, told Democracy Now:

    We currently have been working on a campaign called Operation Recovery, a campaign fighting for servicemembers' and veterans' right to heal and a campaign to stop the appointment of traumatized troops.  And it's really appalling that when these brothers and sisters get home and they're asking for help, that the only type of help that they can get is some type of medication like trazodone, Seroquel, Klonopin, medication that's practically paralyzing, medication that doesn't allow them to conduct themselves in any type of regular way.  And that's the standard operating procedures.  And yet, those are the same medications that servicemembers are getting redeployed with and redeployed on and conducting military operations on.  And this is the same medications that, you know, we are trying to reintegrate into the world with.  And it's — the disconnect between what's happening in Afghanistan and what's happened in Iraq with the daily lives of everyone here in the United States is just too vast to overcome.

  • Lest We Forget

    /blog/2017/06/06/lest-we-forget/

    Lest We Forget
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Remember all of those who've sacrificed — in body, mind, and spirit — for our freedom.
     
    And, for the humanitarian protection of all those around the world!
     
    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

     

    It's the veteran — not the preacher — who has given us freedom of religion.
     
    It's the veteran — not the reporter — who has given us freedom of the press.
     
    It's the veteran — not the poet — who has given us freedom of speech.
     
    It's the veteran — not the campus organizer — who has given us freedom to assemble.
     
    It's the veteran — not the lawyer — who has given us the right to a fair trial.
     
    It's the veteran — not the politician — who has given us the right to vote.
     
    It's the veteran — who salutes the flag.
     
    It's the veteran — who serves under the flag.

  • I'm Not a Fucking Addict

    /blog/2017/06/03/im-not-a-fucking-addict/

    I'm Not a Fucking Addict
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    As evidenced by my medical record, I've got some issues — mental and physical alike.  I'd ignored, and soldiered-on through the pain, for several years.  In recent years though, I've found it my health steadily worsening and I was forced to seek medical help.  My mobility is getting worse with each passing month.

  • Coming Home

    /blog/2017/06/02/coming-home/

    Coming Home
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    You're thinking, "That doesn't make sense.  They're happy to have him home.  That's all that matters to them.  He's safe and alive".

    True…  That's their first reaction — lasting until the welcome home hug and the long breathless embrace.  It's afterward, when you each pull-back and look into the other's eyes.  That's when you lose each other.

    Let's assume that you're his father.  When this vet left for war, he was still your boy — full of fun and pranks.  Life was an open invitation to adventure — anything was possible.  That's the image wich has been locked inside of your mind since he left.  Your response now, to this vet, is to that image.

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

  • When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You

    /blog/2017/05/29/when-a-soldier-confesses-their-sins-of-war-to-you/

    When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    By listening without judgment and negativity, you're giving the soldier/veteran something extremely valuable.  It may seem insignificant — they're pouring out their soul to you, and in doing so, you can have a unique opportunity to help them reclaim what they lost on the battlefield.

    Living — surviving — through combat, changes who we were.  We may choose to remain in denial, because if we can pretend to be who we were, then we may not have to face who we've undoubtedly become.

    The soldier/veteran's chosen to look into their soul and share with you.  When they delve into this abyss, they experience it for the first time, as well as you.  In combat, we have to compartmentalize all of the horrors of war, due to our inability to process it — to do otherwise, would get us killed.

  • Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass

    /blog/2017/05/27/sudbury-transits-veteran-pass/

    Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I had the misfortune of having to deal with a rather ignorant Sudbury Transit bus driver (whom I'll refer to as Damian Dolan) on 25 May 2017.  I've since submitted a complaint against Damian, via e-mail, to Transit — CC to 311 and the mayor.  I'd received an automated response from 311, indicating that I should receive a response within 2 business days…  So, by the end of Monday.  I've yet to receive any sort of acknowledgement and/or response from either Transit or the mayor though.

    While that incident with Damian is what led me to the subject of this posting, I'll not be saying much more about it within the context of this post.  I'm giving the city an opportunity to resolve the issue(s) prior to writing a follow-up post wherein I'll go into detail about everything that's happened.

    With that said, was anybody aware of the fact that Sudbury Transit has a "Canadian Veteran" pass program in effect?  I, as sure as Hell, wasn't.  Having been in this city for several years now, and having constantly argued/fought with my worker for transportation funding, I've only just recently — within the last few days — been made aware of its existence.

  • Darkness and Depression

    /blog/2017/05/22/darkness-and-depression/

    Darkness and Depression
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    By anonymous:

    Him the Almighty Power
    Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
    With hideous ruine and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire…
    As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
    No light, but rather darkness visible
    Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
    Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
    And rest can never dwell, hope never comes…

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Drug-Induced Nosebleeds

    /blog/2017/05/18/drug-induced-nosebleeds/

    Drug-Induced Nosebleeds
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've been noticing myself having — more and more frequently — nosebleeds as of late.  So, I decided to do some research of my own into it.  While I'm going to follow-up with a doctor later in the week at an appointment I'd already had for something else, from what I've found in my search, the amount and/or types of medications that I'm on may be causing my nosebleeds.  Although some of them are minor, some are absolute gushers.

     

    60% of all people that've had at least one nosebleed in teir life and 6% of nosebleed patients seek medical treatment.  Some nosebleeds are caused by medications.  In a study of 281 patients with nosebleeds (i.e. epistaxis) who sought treatment at a Nova Scotia emergency room, from 2005–2006, researchers found that 41% had taken one or more anticoagulant drugs.

  • Vanishing Veterans

    /blog/2017/05/15/vanishing-veterans/

    Vanishing Veterans
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The next time that you pass a homeless person on the street, remind yourself that they could be a Forces veteran.  There's a very real possibility that this man or woman has served our country — they may have put themselves in harm's way, in defence of Canada, and/or in an effort to bring peace to another country.

    Within the United States, 1 in 4 people living on the streets, is a veteran.  The statistics for Canada are unknown, but it's estimated that there's likely to be tens of thousands of veterans living/sleeping rough — either on the streets and/or in the bush — under extremely adverse conditions and in abject poverty.  These hardships are exacerbated by mental illness, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, and by Canada's extreme winter weather.

  • Severe Pain, What to Do

    /blog/2017/05/15/severe-pain-what-to-do/

    Severe Pain, What to Do
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Removed Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    People in chronic pain, such as myself, are feeling the impact of the legal changes regarding the use of opioid analgesics for severe pain.  I used to detest pain medications.  I did all that I could to avoid making use of opioids — relying upon 8–10+G of Ibuprofen each day instead.  As I age though, I'm finding that the effects of the extreme abuse which I'd put my body through is fast catching up with my gimp-ass.

  • The Modern Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/10/the-modern-combat-veteran/

    The Modern Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Dissociation and Other Considerations

    PTSD's a life-long endeavor — there's no cure for it.  The triggering traumatic event changes the landscape of the mind — it no longer works in the same fashion that it did before.  The mind's been rewired — the neuropathways have been altered into a continuous loop.  The PTSD-triggering incident converts the fight or flight response within the primitive portion of our brain.  Imagine, having that scared feeling you get without the fear, while keeping the bodily reactions — the tenseness, the adrenalin rush, the mind racing, heightened senses, and the hyper-response reflex — to react without thinking.

  • MedicAlert

    /blog/2017/05/09/medicalert/

    MedicAlert
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've, recently, had my MedicAlert subscription renewed.  I've got a shit-load of medical issues and needed to have it replaced.  I've been having more myoclonic episodes as of late.  Given the amount of medications that I'm on and the severity of some of my medical problems, it could very well save my life one day.

    When you're helpless and/or hurt, your MedicAlert ID and membership, give paramedics the information that they need in order to save your life.  Don't die of denial…  A medical emergency could happen to you too.  Get the same protection and peace of mind that I have by signing-up for MedicAlert!  For a discount and/or special offer when signing-up, be sure to use my referral code — "JS17-1979".

     

  • Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance

    /blog/2017/05/08/combat-ptsd-and-the-relevance-of-hypervigilance/

    Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Firstly, let's get the definition out of the way…  Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity, accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviours, whose purpose is to detect threats.  Although it may feel like paranoia, they're not the same thing.

    Discarding the military for a moment, and thinking of PTSD in general, a symptom of PTSD is hypervigilance.  This means, what society classifies as normal — being a person who lacks significant deviation from society and/or conforms to the ideals of society — typically, has little to no requirement for being hypervigilant.  Without fear, there's no requirement to be looking for something.  The most a civilian's, partially hypervigilant, is within daily acts of driving a motor vehicle and crossing the road.  That's the, typical, extent of a civilian's hypervigilance.

  • All Sorts of Fucked-Up

    /blog/2017/05/04/all-sorts-of-fucked-up/

    All Sorts of Fucked-Up
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've posted previous articles with some photos showing just how fucked-up my leg is.  They're far more detailed and graphic than those within this particular post.  However, below, find a few photos that I'd taken today.  I'm in an excessive amount of pain the last couple of weeks — lack of medical care, living on the street, etc. aggrivating shit.

  • The Definition of a Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/04/the-definition-of-a-veteran/

    The Definition of a Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've heard and/or seen the definition of what a veteran is more times than I care to fucking recall.  And, quite frankly, there's only really one definition that means shit.  As per the VAC, a veteran is:

    Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably released.

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

  • Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out

    /blog/2017/04/29/understanding-combat-ptsd-from-the-inside-out/

    Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added an Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    People from all walks of life can face dealing with PTSD…  Someone who's in a car crash, a policeman, someone who's assaulted, etc.  People who struggle with PTSD all have similar problems and/or issues.  However, Combat PTSD, is the outcome of many weeks, months, or years of experiencing life threatening.

     

  • Channel the Anger

    /blog/2017/04/29/channel-the-anger/

    Channel the Anger
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    We're human — every single one of us.  We feel happy, and sometimes, we feel smart.  Other times, we feel stupid.  We enjoy feeling loved.  We cringe when we feel hated.  For sure, we all get angry.  Some handle it better than others.  At times, in my life, I've been somewhat quick to anger.

    Throughout my entire career, I've been told that I should never get angry.  I've been advised that it's a negative emotion that shouldn't enter the workplace.  However, when I look back at my biggest wins, my most impressive accomplishments have all started with the same common denominator…  I'd gotten angry.

  • Take the Suck Out of Mental Health

    /blog/2017/04/27/take-the-suck-out-of-mental-health/

    Take the Suck Out of Mental Health
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I was joking with some friends the other day, about inventing a stress vacuum, to neatly suck-up and dispose of any and all issues that interfere with our lives.  Wouldn't that be nice?  It seems that there are always times in our lives where things start going sideways and our stress feels out of control.  During these times, it comforts me to know that programs are available to assist us in dealing with the stressors that life throws our way.  What does still surprise me though, is how many times that I hear people are reluctant to access such services…  Primarily, because they feel that they're "stressed out" and just need to suck it up — no vacuum pun intended.  This disheartens me, as I'd hoped that our society was well past this stigma, and could understand that seeking help isn't a sign of weakness — rather, as one of strength.

  • What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue

    /blog/2017/04/27/what-we-know-about-veteran-homelessness-in-canada-and-whats-being-done-to-address-the-issue/

    What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Veteran homelessness is a growing issue in Canada.  The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 reports that there are 2,950 veterans staying in shelters, making up 2.2% of annual shelter users.  About 25% of the veteran population in Canada faces difficulties transitioning from military service to civilian life — facing a risk of homelessness, mental illness, and/or addictions.  While veterans make up approximately 2% of the Canadian population, advocates are concerned with the over-representation of veterans within the homeless population.  In Metro Vancouver region's 2014 point-in-time count, 7% of respondents indicated that they'd served in the Forces.  In Toronto, the same percentage was reported in their 2013 Street Needs Assessment.  Alberta's 7 cities — Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo — co-ordinated point-in-time count found that, of those surveyed, 6% had military service.  In the Waterloo region, it was 5%.

  • The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

    /blog/2017/04/27/the-moral-logic-of-survivor-guilt/

    The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Memorial Park, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    If there's one thing we have learned from returning war veterans — especially, those of the last decade — it's that the emotional reality of the soldier at home's often at odds with that of the civilian public which they left behind.  And, while friends and families of returning service members may be experiencing gratefulness and/or relief, many of those they've welcomed home are likely struggling with other emotions.

    High on that list of emotions, is guilt.  Soldiers often carry this burden home — survivor guilt being, perhaps, the kind most familiar to us.  In war, standing here rather than there can save your life, but cost a buddy his.  It's fucking luck, but you feel responsible though.  The guilt begins an endless loop of counterfactuals — thoughts that you could've and/or should've done otherwise — though, in fact, you did nothing wrong.  The feelings are, of course, not restricted to the battle-field.  But, given the magnitude of loss during war, they hang heavy there, and are pervasive.  And, they raise the question of just how irrational those feelings are…  If they aren't, of what is the basis of their reasonableness?

  • Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking

    /blog/2017/04/23/camaraderies-one-trait-the-civilian-sectors-lacking/

    Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added a YouTube Video
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    People, often, ask me what I miss about serving in the military…  My answer — the camaraderie.

    All this craziness going on within our country makes me want to go back into the military.  Asian, black, disabled, female, from big city or small town, gay/lesbian, latino, male, short, tall, white…  It didn't matter what the fuck you were — we worked side-by-side and respected each other.  We all had our opinions and disagreements, but respect is what kept us united — especially, during times of combat.

    I'm saddened to see the shit that goes on in Canada.  At least, what most of the news portrays today anyhow.

  • Military Bloggers

    /blog/2017/04/22/military-bloggers/

    Military Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Offhand, I don't know when blogging really became well-known throughout the Internet, but I do know that I started to blog once I created my Web site though.  A friend of mine told me about adding a blog to my Web site — gaining the attention of many bloggers.  It was a great idea as now I have the opportunity to first-hand speak to many veterans through my blog, without having to leave my home.

    Once I started my own blog, and began reading up on what it takes to blog, I soon realized that there are a lot of military members from around the globe who also blog themselves.  Never would I have thought that I'd take to blogging, but here I am.  Mil-blogging, like homecoming, is a journey — not a destination.  My newspaper and magazine buddies make jokes about how all bloggers must write while wearing pajamas…  I'm, simply, happy that they think I'm even wearing pants nowadays.

  • Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization

    /blog/2017/04/21/some-thoughts-about-abuse-anger-and-victimization/

    Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    There are many sad stories posted.  Some are difficult, even painful, to read.  There are also a number of hopeful stories which suggest which truly negative situations, such as abuse, can be overcome.  As I consider the various comments, I'm struck by how people handle similar situations so differently…  By how some people are able to transform themselves, over time, so as to leave an abusive situation — others, don't seem to be able to get unstuck from the bonds that hold them in-place.

    It's not always the case that people can leave an abusive situation.  Some people are trapped economically and/or politically.  Some people cannot leave easily because, to do so, will cause them to have to leave their children behind; for instance.  Other people cannot provide for themselves easily.  These sorts of situations are difficult to do anything about — at least, in the short term.  However, there are also many reasons that people use to justify staying in abuse situations that are, potentially, under their control to change.

    It strikes me that part of becoming able to leave an abuse situation involves learning to change the way that you think about yourself.  In particular, the way that abused people relate to the idea that they're victims seems to be important.  As a way to organize my thoughts on this subject, I've come up with three stages that some abuse victims seem to move through as they work their way through their difficulties.

  • Work for Free; Fuck That

    /blog/2017/04/06/work-for-free-fuck-that/

    Work for Free; Fuck That
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Working for free…  We've all done it.  Most freelancers will have regretted it at some stage.  Yet, the allure of the E-word — 'exposure', has seduced many a talented artist, musician, or designer into giving away their services for zero financial compensation; as illustrated beautifully (and swearily) in this classic viral cartoon by The Oatmeal.

    If you're making art for art's sake, a little exposure can go a long way.  But, if you're trying to make a living and valuing your own service, you're going to have to stand up for yourself every now and then.

    Owing to the rise of social media, an alternative but increasingly effective way of gaining legitimate exposure is to publicly name and shame large companies who seek to take advantage of freelancers.  No matter whether you're struggling or flourishing, as a freelancer you're always going to get asked to do things for free.  Here are a few who have had enough, and have fruitfully decided to take their grievances to the Web.

  • Tim Hortons, Fuck You

    /blog/2017/03/26/tim-hortons-fuck-you/

    Tim Hortons, Fuck You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 196 Cedar St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1B4, Canada

    So, I was at the above-mentioned Tim Hortons earlier today.  I'd spent at least $30 alone (on just myself) at this Tim Hortons this morning; within an hour or less of being there.  I was relaxing, using the LCBO's Internet, and drinking cofee while waiting for the library up the road the open at noon.

  • Vita Monster

    /blog/2017/03/12/vita-monster/

    Vita Monster
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The docor's going to complete another Assistive Devices Program (ADP) form for me in order to get a powered mobility scooter.  The program will cover 100% of its cost, as they did for my orthosis.

  • The Infantryman's Arrogance

    /blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

    The Infantryman's Arrogance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  N/A

    I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

 

The Stupid

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • I'm Not a Fucking Addict

    /blog/2017/06/03/im-not-a-fucking-addict/

    I'm Not a Fucking Addict
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    As evidenced by my medical record, I've got some issues — mental and physical alike.  I'd ignored, and soldiered-on through the pain, for several years.  In recent years though, I've found it my health steadily worsening and I was forced to seek medical help.  My mobility is getting worse with each passing month.

  • Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass

    /blog/2017/05/27/sudbury-transits-veteran-pass/

    Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I had the misfortune of having to deal with a rather ignorant Sudbury Transit bus driver (whom I'll refer to as Damian Dolan) on 25 May 2017.  I've since submitted a complaint against Damian, via e-mail, to Transit — CC to 311 and the mayor.  I'd received an automated response from 311, indicating that I should receive a response within 2 business days…  So, by the end of Monday.  I've yet to receive any sort of acknowledgement and/or response from either Transit or the mayor though.

    While that incident with Damian is what led me to the subject of this posting, I'll not be saying much more about it within the context of this post.  I'm giving the city an opportunity to resolve the issue(s) prior to writing a follow-up post wherein I'll go into detail about everything that's happened.

    With that said, was anybody aware of the fact that Sudbury Transit has a "Canadian Veteran" pass program in effect?  I, as sure as Hell, wasn't.  Having been in this city for several years now, and having constantly argued/fought with my worker for transportation funding, I've only just recently — within the last few days — been made aware of its existence.

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Severe Pain, What to Do

    /blog/2017/05/15/severe-pain-what-to-do/

    Severe Pain, What to Do
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Removed Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    People in chronic pain, such as myself, are feeling the impact of the legal changes regarding the use of opioid analgesics for severe pain.  I used to detest pain medications.  I did all that I could to avoid making use of opioids — relying upon 8–10+G of Ibuprofen each day instead.  As I age though, I'm finding that the effects of the extreme abuse which I'd put my body through is fast catching up with my gimp-ass.

  • Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap

    /blog/2017/05/11/spoiled-fucktards-gone-wild-the-discipline-generation-gap/

    Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    An ever-increasing lack of authority has bred, as a leading psychologist forewarned, a "spoilt generation" of children who believe that grown-ups must earn their respect.  Aric Sigman's research shows, the rise of the "little emperor" spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.  Attempts to "empower" children, and a lack of discipline in the classroom, have also fostered rising levels of violence — at home, at school, and in the street.

    Dr. Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers — "parent battering" is on the rise — and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

  • Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/05/01/harjit-sajjan-minister-of-defence-stolen-valour/

    Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Harjit Sajjan has his "full confidence", amid a growing controversy over the defence minister's exaggerated claim, that he was the "architect" of a major assault on the Taliban in 2006.  Interim Conservative Leader, Rona Ambrose, accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" for taking credit for the actions of another — and, called on Trudeau to fire him, for dishonouring himself and the military.

    Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, formally apologized for his "mistake" in describing his role within Operation Medusa during Question Period on Monday.  He said that the statement didn't intend to diminish the great work of the Forces.  Ambrose, said:

    How much more does the prime minister need to hear, before he understands, why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister?

  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'

    /blog/2017/04/28/rich-kids-of-instagram-meets-hunger-games-guests-at-luxury-fyre-festival-where-tickets-cost-12000-usd-hungry-mugged-and-stranded/

    'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year…  With all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns that a young and gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of.  However, Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas — with tickets priced up to $12,000 USD — has, quickly, turned into a terrifying B-movie.  Flocks of Instagram models were forced to seek shelter in an airport, after arriving to discover a lack of food, appalling accommodations, feral dogs roaming the grounds, and violent locals.

    As a result, social media exploded overnight, with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in-wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing except for ham and cheese sandwiches.

  • The Best Pistol for Canada

    /blog/2017/04/24/the-best-pistol-for-canada/

    The Best Pistol for Canada
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    History affects us all.  The echoes of decisions made centuries ago, continue to shape our lives, in ways both large and small.  A case-in-point would be the current attempt by the Forces to procure a new service pistol.

    As unlikely at it seems, the past and future of this acquisition is connected with United States involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  At the end of that conflict, the United States found itself in possession of the former Spanish colony of the Philippines.  This fact was the cause of much rejoicing by the forces for Philippine independence — as represented by the First Philippine Republic — until, it became obvious, that the force of some 11,000 United States ground troops sent to the Philippines intended to stay.

  • Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops

    /blog/2017/04/24/hilariously-terrible-stock-photos-miss-the-mark-portraying-real-troops/

    Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Miss the Mark Portraying Real Troops
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Stock photos are a great resource for a lot of people and organizations who want to convey the right message, feeling, and/or image but can't get a photograph of their own.  A story and/or advertisement about an elementary school, for example, may make use of a great stock image of children having fun while learning in a bright and colourful classroom — rather than having to set-up a photo session at a nearby school and get all the necessary permissions and arrangements.  Unfortunately, when it comes to stock photos of the military though, there are a lot of images that miss the mark — completely.

    In fact, they don't just miss the mark, they miss the whole target — and, sometimes, may not even be at the right shooting range.  These rather poorly executed photos, do an injustice to our brave men and women in the military, and can completely misrepresent what our military is and looks like.  But, quite frankly, a lot of these stock photos are just so bad at accurately depicting the military that we just have to laugh at them!

  • Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization

    /blog/2017/04/21/some-thoughts-about-abuse-anger-and-victimization/

    Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    There are many sad stories posted.  Some are difficult, even painful, to read.  There are also a number of hopeful stories which suggest which truly negative situations, such as abuse, can be overcome.  As I consider the various comments, I'm struck by how people handle similar situations so differently…  By how some people are able to transform themselves, over time, so as to leave an abusive situation — others, don't seem to be able to get unstuck from the bonds that hold them in-place.

    It's not always the case that people can leave an abusive situation.  Some people are trapped economically and/or politically.  Some people cannot leave easily because, to do so, will cause them to have to leave their children behind; for instance.  Other people cannot provide for themselves easily.  These sorts of situations are difficult to do anything about — at least, in the short term.  However, there are also many reasons that people use to justify staying in abuse situations that are, potentially, under their control to change.

    It strikes me that part of becoming able to leave an abuse situation involves learning to change the way that you think about yourself.  In particular, the way that abused people relate to the idea that they're victims seems to be important.  As a way to organize my thoughts on this subject, I've come up with three stages that some abuse victims seem to move through as they work their way through their difficulties.

  • United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies

    /blog/2017/04/11/united-airlines-not-so-friendly-skies/

    United Airlines: Not So Friendly Skies
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    While I've not ever personally been subject to nor witness of so-called 'bumping' from a flight, I've always been of the opinion that it's a totally fucked-up policy that should be illegal.  If other sectors were to try and do as much, they'd be hit with charges (i.e. bait-and-switch, fraud, etc.).

    Quite simply, while an airline should be able to ask for a passenger to give up their seat, they shoudn't have any authority to forcibly remove them should they choose not to.  They did pay for said seat afterall…  It's not like they were given the seat, initially, for free to begin with.  They paid for a service and, rightfully so, expected for said service to be rendered.

  • Stolen Valour

    /blog/2017/04/07/stolen-valour/

    Stolen Valour
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    It takes the heart of a warrior to find deception and take it down.

    It starts off simple enough…  A casual mention of military service.  And, oh by the way, a Victoria Cross and a few other honours earned.  How can you not trust a person who served their country so gallantly?

    From there, confidence builds.  One story weaves into even more glorious tales, until…  At some point, the fabrication is woven so tightly that you begin to suspect.

    How can one person achieve so much in such a short time?  It's almost too good to be true…

    While this seems to be an issue more prevalent within the United States of America than here in Canada, we do have our share as well.  The most recent of which readily comes to my mind is Franck Gervais.  Franck had never been in the military, yet he wore a military uniform to the Ottawa Remembrance Day ceremonies.  Hell, he even gave a public interview on national television during the ceremonies.

    Personally, I don't much care if somebody makes false claims about military service…  They're, usually, trying to pick-up a woman or some other shit.  What I have a real issue with though, is somebody who is attempting to obtain some sort of financial gain (i.e. assistance, charity, discount, donation, etc.) based upon their service claim(s).  Here in Sudbury alone, I've come across a Canadian seaman who was a Navy SEAL, a Canadian grunt who was in the Gulf but was stationed on a boat, a US Army secret-squirrel—spaceshuttle-door-gunner—special-forces, a guy who was in Iraq and had his buddy die in his arms after being fragged, and others.

  • Tim Hortons, Fuck You

    /blog/2017/03/26/tim-hortons-fuck-you/

    Tim Hortons, Fuck You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 196 Cedar St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1B4, Canada

    So, I was at the above-mentioned Tim Hortons earlier today.  I'd spent at least $30 alone (on just myself) at this Tim Hortons this morning; within an hour or less of being there.  I was relaxing, using the LCBO's Internet, and drinking cofee while waiting for the library up the road the open at noon.

 

The Suck

  • Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker

    /blog/2017/06/23/consider-removing-your-ad-blocker/

    Consider Removing Your Ad-Blocker
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    RemoveAdblock.com is a campaign started by Web sites which rely upon Internet ads to pay their bills.  Creating content, maintenance, research, and server costs are all things that cost a lot of money.  Without ad revenue, Web sites would have to find other ways of paying for stuff.  This can lead to Web sites having to use more intrusive ads and/or charging money from their users.  We all have our favourite Web sites, and should you happen to like a Web site that's driven by ad revenue, you're undermining their work by having Adblock turned on within your Web browser.

  • Belgian Troops Shot a Terrorist During a Failed Attack on a Brussels Train Station

    /blog/2017/06/20/belgian-troops-shot-a-terrorist-during-a-failed-attack-on-a-brussels-train-station/

    Belgian Troops Shot a Terrorist During a Failed Attack on a Brussels Train Station
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Today, in Brussels Central Station, Belgian troops shot a suspected "terrorist" bomber.  However, there were no other casualties though.  The situation was brought under control, after people were evacuated, officials said.

    Eric Van Der Sypt — federal prosecutor — told reporters, ~3 hours after the incident, that a small blast was being treated as a "terrorist attack".  He said that the man's identity was still unknown and it was still unclear if the man was dead.  The suspect was still inside of the station, he added.

    He declined to comment on witness accounts that the man had shouted Islamist slogans, including "Allahu Akbar" — God is greater, in Arabic — before detonating a device on a luggage trolley, inside of an underground concourse, at the rail station.

  • The Survival Syndrome

    /blog/2017/06/20/the-survival-syndrome/

    The Survival Syndrome
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    A popular argument to fight the stigma of PTSD is to abandon it as a disorder.  There have also been cases for calling PTSD an injury because of damage to the hippocampus.  However, this is perhaps, the worst piece of evidence…  Such scarring also occurs in bi-polar disorder and throughout the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders — some caused by trauma, some not.  The injury moniker's most problematic issue's that it seems to create an acceptable male — or, females living up to male ideals — not mental illness.  Even rape survivors are said to have MST rather than PTSD caused by rape within the military.  Why there's any effort to sterilize rape within the military, continually, blows my mind.  The worst thing about injury and/or trauma titles, is their omission of how paradoxical and complicated Civil War Nostalgia, PTSD, and Shell Shock have always been.  Injuries are often a lot more simple — rest, ice, elevate does very little to your identity.  War alters our identity — what we have, is a persistent disorder, illness, and/or syndrome.  Yet, anyone who truly understands PTSD, grasps how it's the persistence of survival skills into non-survival situations.  Those survival skills, ultimately, saved our lives — they also make the mundane and/or routine parts of life harder to manage.

  • Mental Injuries

    /blog/2017/06/14/mental-injuries/

    Mental Injuries
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a, debilitating and life changing, mental wound commonly associated with veterans experiencing trauma during war-time.  Studies by the government have revealed PTSD isn't limited to combat, it also includes childhood abuse, military rape, and reckless behaviour.  PTSD is considered a disorder to most professionals as well as the government.  PTSD is a natural response by the human brain to inoculate against further trauma.  Within this post, I'll compare and contrast studies completed by the government on the efficacy of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and western medicine used to treat PTSD and why the "D" should be dropped.

    When a soldier comes home, they're given a mental examination.  If they're considered to be unfit for duty, the military will tag them with a PTSD label — a polite way of saying that they're no longer mission-capable.  If the soldier's been in a firefight, the examination may happen in-country.  If a soldier admits that they're experiencing trauma, from witnessing a friend step on a landmine, the examiner may deem the soldier as unfit for duty — discharging them.  Most soldiers won't admit it, and with the possibility of losing careers plus its stigma, soldiers will alienate from most brothers-in-arms.  To be deemed no longer mission-capable creates animosity, hatred, and mistrust.  Ridiculed and removed from the brotherhood, the soldier almost always slips into depression, and can eventually lead to suicide.  A shocking 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  It sickens me, to think that a soldier doing his job will feel the need to commit suicide, due to hazing from an egotistical and testosterone-driven system.

  • Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

    /blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

    Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Let me start this with a little back-story…

    I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

  • The Enemy Within

    /blog/2017/06/08/the-enemy-within/

    The Enemy Within
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    In recent months, there has been a great deal of information and reports in the media, about the increase in suicide for soldiers and veterans.  Military sources have also confirmed dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans.  Most experts contend that these rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide will continue to rise in the coming years — the government lacks the capacity to, adequately, meet the needs of returning military and veterans.  This means that these individuals will look beyond the government and increasingly turn to both public and private providers for their mental health care.

     

    Between the Ears

    Produced by Eleanor McDowall with Matthew Green:

    What happens when your home turns into a combat zone?  When the sound of children playing, a kettle whistling, or a car backfiring transports your loved one back to a killing ground in Afghanistan or Iraq?
     
    Night terrors, flashbacks and the hidden cost of war — this Between the Ears explores the inner lives of women who care for former service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
     
    We hear a delicate and often wrenching patchwork of audio diaries and interviews recorded in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms at moments when couples hit breaking point or encounter unexpected moments of tenderness.  This fierce and intimate portrait reveals the true impact of military campaigns on British families — and the sacrifices made by a generation of women who refuse to give up on the soldiers they love.

  • Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs

    /blog/2017/06/07/facing-the-fog-of-war-through-a-fog-of-drugs/

    Facing the Fog of War Through a Fog of Drugs
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I watched as 40 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans led an anti-war march to the gates of the NATO summit in Chicago — handing back their medals.  At the rally, they described the toll that the wars had taken on the troops — as well as, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan — and demanded their "right to heal".  Chief among the problems on their minds, were post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and psychotropic drugs.

     

    US veteran activist, Aaron Hughes, told Democracy Now:

    We currently have been working on a campaign called Operation Recovery, a campaign fighting for servicemembers' and veterans' right to heal and a campaign to stop the appointment of traumatized troops.  And it's really appalling that when these brothers and sisters get home and they're asking for help, that the only type of help that they can get is some type of medication like trazodone, Seroquel, Klonopin, medication that's practically paralyzing, medication that doesn't allow them to conduct themselves in any type of regular way.  And that's the standard operating procedures.  And yet, those are the same medications that servicemembers are getting redeployed with and redeployed on and conducting military operations on.  And this is the same medications that, you know, we are trying to reintegrate into the world with.  And it's — the disconnect between what's happening in Afghanistan and what's happened in Iraq with the daily lives of everyone here in the United States is just too vast to overcome.

  • Lest We Forget

    /blog/2017/06/06/lest-we-forget/

    Lest We Forget
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Remember all of those who've sacrificed — in body, mind, and spirit — for our freedom.
     
    And, for the humanitarian protection of all those around the world!
     
    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

     

    It's the veteran — not the preacher — who has given us freedom of religion.
     
    It's the veteran — not the reporter — who has given us freedom of the press.
     
    It's the veteran — not the poet — who has given us freedom of speech.
     
    It's the veteran — not the campus organizer — who has given us freedom to assemble.
     
    It's the veteran — not the lawyer — who has given us the right to a fair trial.
     
    It's the veteran — not the politician — who has given us the right to vote.
     
    It's the veteran — who salutes the flag.
     
    It's the veteran — who serves under the flag.

  • I'm Not a Fucking Addict

    /blog/2017/06/03/im-not-a-fucking-addict/

    I'm Not a Fucking Addict
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    As evidenced by my medical record, I've got some issues — mental and physical alike.  I'd ignored, and soldiered-on through the pain, for several years.  In recent years though, I've found it my health steadily worsening and I was forced to seek medical help.  My mobility is getting worse with each passing month.

  • Coming Home

    /blog/2017/06/02/coming-home/

    Coming Home
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    You're thinking, "That doesn't make sense.  They're happy to have him home.  That's all that matters to them.  He's safe and alive".

    True…  That's their first reaction — lasting until the welcome home hug and the long breathless embrace.  It's afterward, when you each pull-back and look into the other's eyes.  That's when you lose each other.

    Let's assume that you're his father.  When this vet left for war, he was still your boy — full of fun and pranks.  Life was an open invitation to adventure — anything was possible.  That's the image wich has been locked inside of your mind since he left.  Your response now, to this vet, is to that image.

  • We're All Victims of War

    /blog/2017/05/31/were-all-victims-of-war/

    We're All Victims of War
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    No war's a good war.  At times, we've acted no better than our worst enemy — we're not blameless.  We denied the Holocaust — for instance — choosing, instead, to disbelieve the evidence.  Again, we denied the genocide in Rwanda, choosing not to believe what was happening.  And still, we close our eyes and ears, to the ongoing atrocities and slaughter in Africa–Darfur, the Congo, and elsewhere around the world.

    What's worse, war hasn't stopped the struggle for wealth and control.  Secret wars still go on, behind political posturing — each world power, seeking intelligence that it can use against the other — manipulating events, and in the end, creating more terror and worse horrors for the innocent who never know why they've been sacrificed, or for what cause.  And now, with an economic depression compressing the world, more and more suffering's brought to bear on everyone — everywhere.

    And, then there are the lives of the men and women we sacrifice in our military forces, in the interest of preserving our freedom(s) at home.  They believe in their missions and their fellow soldiers.  It's difficult not to, when your boots are on the ground, and you with your buddy beside you, can see that you're the only ones making a difference in someone else's life.  That's the hook that keeps aid volunteers and military forces continually in harm's way…  They see how much their care matters.

  • Veteran on the Edge

    /blog/2017/05/30/veteran-on-the-edge/

    Veteran on the Edge
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added Videos
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    This post was inspired by Patience Mason's post about her book idea.  She asks:

    Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about:
     
    How or why might you be fucked up?  Are you saying or thinking if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd be fucked up too?  If you had my wife, husband, boss, kids, etc.
     
    How are you insecure?  Are you sleeping with a gun?  Driving like a maniac?  Not trusting anyone?
     
    How are you numb?  Do you have to be in danger to feel alive?  Can you feel sad?  Can you feel love?
     
    How are you egotistical?  Do you want everything your way?  Is there flexibility in your relationships?  Do you yell if things are not done "right"?
     
    Think about these questions and see if you are actually fine or not.

  • When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You

    /blog/2017/05/29/when-a-soldier-confesses-their-sins-of-war-to-you/

    When a Soldier Confesses Their Sins of War to You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    By listening without judgment and negativity, you're giving the soldier/veteran something extremely valuable.  It may seem insignificant — they're pouring out their soul to you, and in doing so, you can have a unique opportunity to help them reclaim what they lost on the battlefield.

    Living — surviving — through combat, changes who we were.  We may choose to remain in denial, because if we can pretend to be who we were, then we may not have to face who we've undoubtedly become.

    The soldier/veteran's chosen to look into their soul and share with you.  When they delve into this abyss, they experience it for the first time, as well as you.  In combat, we have to compartmentalize all of the horrors of war, due to our inability to process it — to do otherwise, would get us killed.

  • Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass

    /blog/2017/05/27/sudbury-transits-veteran-pass/

    Sudbury Transit's Veteran Pass
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    I had the misfortune of having to deal with a rather ignorant Sudbury Transit bus driver (whom I'll refer to as Damian Dolan) on 25 May 2017.  I've since submitted a complaint against Damian, via e-mail, to Transit — CC to 311 and the mayor.  I'd received an automated response from 311, indicating that I should receive a response within 2 business days…  So, by the end of Monday.  I've yet to receive any sort of acknowledgement and/or response from either Transit or the mayor though.

    While that incident with Damian is what led me to the subject of this posting, I'll not be saying much more about it within the context of this post.  I'm giving the city an opportunity to resolve the issue(s) prior to writing a follow-up post wherein I'll go into detail about everything that's happened.

    With that said, was anybody aware of the fact that Sudbury Transit has a "Canadian Veteran" pass program in effect?  I, as sure as Hell, wasn't.  Having been in this city for several years now, and having constantly argued/fought with my worker for transportation funding, I've only just recently — within the last few days — been made aware of its existence.

  • Darkness and Depression

    /blog/2017/05/22/darkness-and-depression/

    Darkness and Depression
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    By anonymous:

    Him the Almighty Power
    Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
    With hideous ruine and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire…
    As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
    No light, but rather darkness visible
    Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
    Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
    And rest can never dwell, hope never comes…

  • Approaching a Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/21/approaching-a-combat-veteran/

    Approaching a Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    I was talking to one of my recently new friends and she'd expressed a discomfort in approaching me during an event.  She wanted to respect my space, but didn't know a comfortable way in which to approach me with respect to my PTSD symptoms within a group setting.  It made me start to think about the intense air that I must emote for her to question when and how to approach me.  I like talking to people — that is, except for the ignorant and/or stupid, as I have a zero-tolerance for ignorance and stupidity — it's where I get some of my greatest inspirations.  However, at times, my condition may not permit me to interact on a desired level and/or in an expected way.

  • Vanishing Veterans

    /blog/2017/05/15/vanishing-veterans/

    Vanishing Veterans
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The next time that you pass a homeless person on the street, remind yourself that they could be a Forces veteran.  There's a very real possibility that this man or woman has served our country — they may have put themselves in harm's way, in defence of Canada, and/or in an effort to bring peace to another country.

    Within the United States, 1 in 4 people living on the streets, is a veteran.  The statistics for Canada are unknown, but it's estimated that there's likely to be tens of thousands of veterans living/sleeping rough — either on the streets and/or in the bush — under extremely adverse conditions and in abject poverty.  These hardships are exacerbated by mental illness, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, and by Canada's extreme winter weather.

  • Severe Pain, What to Do

    /blog/2017/05/15/severe-pain-what-to-do/

    Severe Pain, What to Do
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Removed Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    People in chronic pain, such as myself, are feeling the impact of the legal changes regarding the use of opioid analgesics for severe pain.  I used to detest pain medications.  I did all that I could to avoid making use of opioids — relying upon 8–10+G of Ibuprofen each day instead.  As I age though, I'm finding that the effects of the extreme abuse which I'd put my body through is fast catching up with my gimp-ass.

  • Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap

    /blog/2017/05/11/spoiled-fucktards-gone-wild-the-discipline-generation-gap/

    Spoiled Fucktards Gone Wild: The Discipline/Generation Gap
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    An ever-increasing lack of authority has bred, as a leading psychologist forewarned, a "spoilt generation" of children who believe that grown-ups must earn their respect.  Aric Sigman's research shows, the rise of the "little emperor" spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.  Attempts to "empower" children, and a lack of discipline in the classroom, have also fostered rising levels of violence — at home, at school, and in the street.

    Dr. Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers — "parent battering" is on the rise — and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

  • The Modern Combat Veteran

    /blog/2017/05/10/the-modern-combat-veteran/

    The Modern Combat Veteran
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Dissociation and Other Considerations

    PTSD's a life-long endeavor — there's no cure for it.  The triggering traumatic event changes the landscape of the mind — it no longer works in the same fashion that it did before.  The mind's been rewired — the neuropathways have been altered into a continuous loop.  The PTSD-triggering incident converts the fight or flight response within the primitive portion of our brain.  Imagine, having that scared feeling you get without the fear, while keeping the bodily reactions — the tenseness, the adrenalin rush, the mind racing, heightened senses, and the hyper-response reflex — to react without thinking.

  • Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance

    /blog/2017/05/08/combat-ptsd-and-the-relevance-of-hypervigilance/

    Combat PTSD and the Relevance of Hypervigilance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Firstly, let's get the definition out of the way…  Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity, accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviours, whose purpose is to detect threats.  Although it may feel like paranoia, they're not the same thing.

    Discarding the military for a moment, and thinking of PTSD in general, a symptom of PTSD is hypervigilance.  This means, what society classifies as normal — being a person who lacks significant deviation from society and/or conforms to the ideals of society — typically, has little to no requirement for being hypervigilant.  Without fear, there's no requirement to be looking for something.  The most a civilian's, partially hypervigilant, is within daily acts of driving a motor vehicle and crossing the road.  That's the, typical, extent of a civilian's hypervigilance.

  • All Sorts of Fucked-Up

    /blog/2017/05/04/all-sorts-of-fucked-up/

    All Sorts of Fucked-Up
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar and Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've posted previous articles with some photos showing just how fucked-up my leg is.  They're far more detailed and graphic than those within this particular post.  However, below, find a few photos that I'd taken today.  I'm in an excessive amount of pain the last couple of weeks — lack of medical care, living on the street, etc. aggrivating shit.

  • The Identity of a Warfighter

    /blog/2017/05/01/the-identity-of-a-warfighter/

    The Identity of a Warfighter
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    While we don't talk about this all that often, there's a real fear within many of us that says if we heal, we'll lose our identities as warfighters.  Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.  Along with it, is a fear that if you move on, it'll somehow mean that you're forgetting and/or leaving your fallen buddies behind — that becoming whole now, will invalidate the sacrifice and suffering that happened.

  • Finding Your Purpose Post-Military

    /blog/2017/04/30/finding-your-purpose-post-military/

    Finding Your Purpose Post-Military
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Changed the Image
    Location:  Rainbow Centre, 40 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 1S8, Canada

    So much of life after the military is an identity crisis.  Yes, there's the emotional, mental, and/or physical pain…  The nightmares, rage, and/or insomnia…  The grief, the edginess, and/or the isolation…  Forced smiles, numbness, and/or lack of connection.  But, underneath all of it though, there's something else.  There are questions — "why am I still here" and "who am I now".

    Underneath all of them, is a fear that you no longer have purpose.

  • Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out

    /blog/2017/04/29/understanding-combat-ptsd-from-the-inside-out/

    Understanding Combat PTSD, from the Inside, Out
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added an Image
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    People from all walks of life can face dealing with PTSD…  Someone who's in a car crash, a policeman, someone who's assaulted, etc.  People who struggle with PTSD all have similar problems and/or issues.  However, Combat PTSD, is the outcome of many weeks, months, or years of experiencing life threatening.

     

  • Channel the Anger

    /blog/2017/04/29/channel-the-anger/

    Channel the Anger
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    We're human — every single one of us.  We feel happy, and sometimes, we feel smart.  Other times, we feel stupid.  We enjoy feeling loved.  We cringe when we feel hated.  For sure, we all get angry.  Some handle it better than others.  At times, in my life, I've been somewhat quick to anger.

    Throughout my entire career, I've been told that I should never get angry.  I've been advised that it's a negative emotion that shouldn't enter the workplace.  However, when I look back at my biggest wins, my most impressive accomplishments have all started with the same common denominator…  I'd gotten angry.

  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'

    /blog/2017/04/28/rich-kids-of-instagram-meets-hunger-games-guests-at-luxury-fyre-festival-where-tickets-cost-12000-usd-hungry-mugged-and-stranded/

    'Rich Kids of Instagram Meets Hunger Games': Guests at Luxury Fyre Festival Where Tickets Cost $12,000 USD 'Hungry, Mugged, and Stranded'
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year…  With all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns that a young and gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of.  However, Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas — with tickets priced up to $12,000 USD — has, quickly, turned into a terrifying B-movie.  Flocks of Instagram models were forced to seek shelter in an airport, after arriving to discover a lack of food, appalling accommodations, feral dogs roaming the grounds, and violent locals.

    As a result, social media exploded overnight, with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in-wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing except for ham and cheese sandwiches.

  • Aaron Greenspan Sued Google for Disabling His AdSense Account

    /blog/2017/04/27/aaron-greenspan-sued-google-for-disabling-his-adsense-account/

    Aaron Greenspan Sued Google for Disabling His AdSense Account
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 465 Barrydowne Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 3T4, Canada

    Tonight, we're going to hear a story about a guy named Aaron Greenspan, who sued AdSense for disabling his account — and, he won the case.  The Google AdSense team has been disabling many accounts to protect other publishers and advertisers interests.  However, at times, they aren't necessarily correct…  Many people have lost their hard-earned AdSense revenue due to having their account(s) disabled.

    Undoubtedly, Google AdSense rules the contextual ad space.  Regardless, Google will keep serving your ad space with advertisements — provided, of course, that you have a valid Google AdSense account.  Otherwise, you have to turn to AdSense-alternative program for your ad revenue stream.

  • Take the Suck Out of Mental Health

    /blog/2017/04/27/take-the-suck-out-of-mental-health/

    Take the Suck Out of Mental Health
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I was joking with some friends the other day, about inventing a stress vacuum, to neatly suck-up and dispose of any and all issues that interfere with our lives.  Wouldn't that be nice?  It seems that there are always times in our lives where things start going sideways and our stress feels out of control.  During these times, it comforts me to know that programs are available to assist us in dealing with the stressors that life throws our way.  What does still surprise me though, is how many times that I hear people are reluctant to access such services…  Primarily, because they feel that they're "stressed out" and just need to suck it up — no vacuum pun intended.  This disheartens me, as I'd hoped that our society was well past this stigma, and could understand that seeking help isn't a sign of weakness — rather, as one of strength.

  • What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue

    /blog/2017/04/27/what-we-know-about-veteran-homelessness-in-canada-and-whats-being-done-to-address-the-issue/

    What We Know About Veteran Homelessness in Canada and What's Being Done to Address the Issue
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Veteran homelessness is a growing issue in Canada.  The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 reports that there are 2,950 veterans staying in shelters, making up 2.2% of annual shelter users.  About 25% of the veteran population in Canada faces difficulties transitioning from military service to civilian life — facing a risk of homelessness, mental illness, and/or addictions.  While veterans make up approximately 2% of the Canadian population, advocates are concerned with the over-representation of veterans within the homeless population.  In Metro Vancouver region's 2014 point-in-time count, 7% of respondents indicated that they'd served in the Forces.  In Toronto, the same percentage was reported in their 2013 Street Needs Assessment.  Alberta's 7 cities — Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo — co-ordinated point-in-time count found that, of those surveyed, 6% had military service.  In the Waterloo region, it was 5%.

  • The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

    /blog/2017/04/27/the-moral-logic-of-survivor-guilt/

    The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Memorial Park, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    If there's one thing we have learned from returning war veterans — especially, those of the last decade — it's that the emotional reality of the soldier at home's often at odds with that of the civilian public which they left behind.  And, while friends and families of returning service members may be experiencing gratefulness and/or relief, many of those they've welcomed home are likely struggling with other emotions.

    High on that list of emotions, is guilt.  Soldiers often carry this burden home — survivor guilt being, perhaps, the kind most familiar to us.  In war, standing here rather than there can save your life, but cost a buddy his.  It's fucking luck, but you feel responsible though.  The guilt begins an endless loop of counterfactuals — thoughts that you could've and/or should've done otherwise — though, in fact, you did nothing wrong.  The feelings are, of course, not restricted to the battle-field.  But, given the magnitude of loss during war, they hang heavy there, and are pervasive.  And, they raise the question of just how irrational those feelings are…  If they aren't, of what is the basis of their reasonableness?

  • 7 Things Destroying Your Mental Energy

    /blog/2017/04/26/7-things-destroying-your-mental-enegery/

    7 Things Destroying Your Mental Energy
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I know you want to have more extended periods of focus throughout your day.  We all do.  Deep work's where the magic happens.

    Finding that time can be difficult.  Light interactions bog us down.  Answering e-mails, addressing questions from employees in the hallway, phone calls, etc. — it all adds up.

    Sometimes we just need more energy.  Many of us get caught in a cycle of destruction.  I've been there before.  When I first became an entrepreneur, I was miserable.

  • Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

    /blog/2017/04/26/get-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable/

    Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Fixed the List Formatting
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I've been an entrepreneur for several years.  Midway through last year, things were coming to a head.  I wasn't getting enough sleep…  I wasn't exercising…  I wasn't keeping my mind clear with meditation.

    In the middle of, what felt like the most stressful month of my life, my most senior officer stealthily forced me out of my own corporation.  While I was complaining about the debacle to an entrepreneur friend of mine, he called my ass out:

    Get comfortable with the feeling that you have right now.

  • Why You Need to Embrace 'The Suck' in 2017

    /blog/2017/04/26/why-you-need-to-embrace-the-suck-in-2017/

    Why You Need to Embrace 'The Suck' in 2017
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added a Citation
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The military has a way of boiling everything down to its most eloquent and basic foundation.  They teach newcomers to embrace, what they refer to as, "the suck".

    It's that threshold where your body breaks down and your mind takes over.  If you're weak-minded and ready to quit, your body will follow suit.  If you're expecting "the suck", then you welcome it — even, embrace it.  You won't succumb to it — you push yourself through it.

  • Children Should Never Witness War

    /blog/2017/04/24/children-should-never-witness-war/

    Children Should Never Witness War
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Many times, we're reminded of just how lucky and fortunate we are living here — in Canada.  Could you imagine if this was your child, caught-up in the middle of a war?

    War created by shitty adults who can't get along — simply put.  This video breaks my heart — as this little boy just sits patiently, waiting to be treated for his injuries.

    This is the type of fucking shit that's still going on around the world…  And, sadly, it may never see an end either.  However, children should never have to bear witness to war created by adults.  Never take for granted what we have here in Canada.  Protect your children, because they never signed-up to enter this fucking mess.  It's up to us as adults, to find a way to get along with each other.  Even, if it's merely a select few idiots whom ruin it for many.  I can only hope that this little boy, Omran, and his family find a way to safety — and, that he someday grows up to help others who've witnessed war first-hand as a child themselves.  Although this little boy will struggle for many years, for what he's witnessed and endured during these young years of his life, I can only hope tat he may grow to believe that war will never be the answer.

  • Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking

    /blog/2017/04/23/camaraderies-one-trait-the-civilian-sectors-lacking/

    Camaraderie's One Trait the Civilian Sector's Lacking
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Added a YouTube Video
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    People, often, ask me what I miss about serving in the military…  My answer — the camaraderie.

    All this craziness going on within our country makes me want to go back into the military.  Asian, black, disabled, female, from big city or small town, gay/lesbian, latino, male, short, tall, white…  It didn't matter what the fuck you were — we worked side-by-side and respected each other.  We all had our opinions and disagreements, but respect is what kept us united — especially, during times of combat.

    I'm saddened to see the shit that goes on in Canada.  At least, what most of the news portrays today anyhow.

  • Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization

    /blog/2017/04/21/some-thoughts-about-abuse-anger-and-victimization/

    Some Thoughts About Abuse, Anger, and Victimization
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    There are many sad stories posted.  Some are difficult, even painful, to read.  There are also a number of hopeful stories which suggest which truly negative situations, such as abuse, can be overcome.  As I consider the various comments, I'm struck by how people handle similar situations so differently…  By how some people are able to transform themselves, over time, so as to leave an abusive situation — others, don't seem to be able to get unstuck from the bonds that hold them in-place.

    It's not always the case that people can leave an abusive situation.  Some people are trapped economically and/or politically.  Some people cannot leave easily because, to do so, will cause them to have to leave their children behind; for instance.  Other people cannot provide for themselves easily.  These sorts of situations are difficult to do anything about — at least, in the short term.  However, there are also many reasons that people use to justify staying in abuse situations that are, potentially, under their control to change.

    It strikes me that part of becoming able to leave an abuse situation involves learning to change the way that you think about yourself.  In particular, the way that abused people relate to the idea that they're victims seems to be important.  As a way to organize my thoughts on this subject, I've come up with three stages that some abuse victims seem to move through as they work their way through their difficulties.

  • Work for Free; Fuck That

    /blog/2017/04/06/work-for-free-fuck-that/

    Work for Free; Fuck That
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Working for free…  We've all done it.  Most freelancers will have regretted it at some stage.  Yet, the allure of the E-word — 'exposure', has seduced many a talented artist, musician, or designer into giving away their services for zero financial compensation; as illustrated beautifully (and swearily) in this classic viral cartoon by The Oatmeal.

    If you're making art for art's sake, a little exposure can go a long way.  But, if you're trying to make a living and valuing your own service, you're going to have to stand up for yourself every now and then.

    Owing to the rise of social media, an alternative but increasingly effective way of gaining legitimate exposure is to publicly name and shame large companies who seek to take advantage of freelancers.  No matter whether you're struggling or flourishing, as a freelancer you're always going to get asked to do things for free.  Here are a few who have had enough, and have fruitfully decided to take their grievances to the Web.

  • A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)

    /blog/2017/04/03/a-guide-to-not-working-on-freelance-exchanges-fiverr-upwork/

    A Guide to Not Working on Freelance Exchanges (i.e. Fiverr, Upwork)
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Are freelancer exchanges viable when your goal is mutually beneficial partnerships with clients willing to pay a fair amount per project?

    When it comes to finding and winning clients as a freelancer, there isn't much that I haven't tried…  I graduated the school of hard-knocks with several scars and the odd badge of merit.  So, when it comes to giving advice to freelancers who were maybe where I was several years ago, I speak from a position of experience.

    The type of hair-pull—face-palm—head-in-sand experience that you can only get from a good few years trying, failing and winning, to get something to work.

  • Tim Hortons, Fuck You

    /blog/2017/03/26/tim-hortons-fuck-you/

    Tim Hortons, Fuck You
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Grammar
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 196 Cedar St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1B4, Canada

    So, I was at the above-mentioned Tim Hortons earlier today.  I'd spent at least $30 alone (on just myself) at this Tim Hortons this morning; within an hour or less of being there.  I was relaxing, using the LCBO's Internet, and drinking cofee while waiting for the library up the road the open at noon.

  • Vita Monster

    /blog/2017/03/12/vita-monster/

    Vita Monster
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    The docor's going to complete another Assistive Devices Program (ADP) form for me in order to get a powered mobility scooter.  The program will cover 100% of its cost, as they did for my orthosis.

  • The Infantryman's Arrogance

    /blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

    The Infantryman's Arrogance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  N/A

    I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

 

Writing

  • Lest We Forget

    /blog/2017/06/06/lest-we-forget/

    Lest We Forget
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Remember all of those who've sacrificed — in body, mind, and spirit — for our freedom.
     
    And, for the humanitarian protection of all those around the world!
     
    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

     

    It's the veteran — not the preacher — who has given us freedom of religion.
     
    It's the veteran — not the reporter — who has given us freedom of the press.
     
    It's the veteran — not the poet — who has given us freedom of speech.
     
    It's the veteran — not the campus organizer — who has given us freedom to assemble.
     
    It's the veteran — not the lawyer — who has given us the right to a fair trial.
     
    It's the veteran — not the politician — who has given us the right to vote.
     
    It's the veteran — who salutes the flag.
     
    It's the veteran — who serves under the flag.

  • Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers

    /blog/2017/05/26/not-wordpresscom-for-serious-bloggers/

    Not WordPress.com for Serious Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    So, you're ready to make a dent in the universe, eh?  You have great ideas to share with the world and blogging's how you’re going to get it done.  Good for you.

    Of course, there's more to starting a blog than simply having great ideas.  However, you've already made an important decision…  You're going with WordPress.

    After all, Internet big-wigs — Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, Marie Forleo, Michael Hyatt, Jon Morrow, Amy Porterfield, Darren Rowse, Mari Smith, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc. — all use WordPress.

  • Your Blog, Going Nowhere

    /blog/2017/05/24/your-blog-going-nowhere/

    Your Blog, Going Nowhere
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Tim Hortons, 1373 Martindale Rd., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 4J7, Canada

    Do you ever feel like your blog's stuck in quicksand?  You're writing a lot of posts.  You're promoting them.  You're responding to each and every commenter as if they were your bestest of friends.

    But, it's not working though.  The more that you work, the harder that you struggle — the deeper that you sink.  Why?  Well, it may be a little hard to swallow, but you could simply suck at writing.

    That's not the only reason why people fail.  Some people are just lazy, thinking that it's going to happen, without doing any work.  Other people, never learn how to promote their posts.  Others still, are totally anonymous — needing to improve their connections, before they can succeed.

  • Open Invitation for Guest Bloggers

    /blog/2017/05/19/open-invitation-for-guest-bloggers/

    Open Invitation for Guest Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    I both enourage and invite, all of my readers and fellow bloggers, to submit your own articles/posts for publication here.  Contributors will be given attribution via a by-line with a do-follow hyperlink to a URI of their choosing.

     

    Benefits of Guest Blogging

    • Free exposure/promotion.
    • Gain direct-traffic to your Web site.
    • Get do-follow backlinks to your Web site.

     

  • Military Bloggers

    /blog/2017/04/22/military-bloggers/

    Military Bloggers
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:    Spelling
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Offhand, I don't know when blogging really became well-known throughout the Internet, but I do know that I started to blog once I created my Web site though.  A friend of mine told me about adding a blog to my Web site — gaining the attention of many bloggers.  It was a great idea as now I have the opportunity to first-hand speak to many veterans through my blog, without having to leave my home.

    Once I started my own blog, and began reading up on what it takes to blog, I soon realized that there are a lot of military members from around the globe who also blog themselves.  Never would I have thought that I'd take to blogging, but here I am.  Mil-blogging, like homecoming, is a journey — not a destination.  My newspaper and magazine buddies make jokes about how all bloggers must write while wearing pajamas…  I'm, simply, happy that they think I'm even wearing pants nowadays.

  • How to Blog

    /blog/2017/03/30/how-to-blog/

    How to Blog
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada

    Trying to Learn How to Blog?

    Then you've come to the right place.

    Blogging is one of the most fulfilling ways of earning money while also sharing what you know with the world.  However, it's a huge leap to take from idea to earning money.  To help you get started in the world of blogging, I've put together this guide to show you exactly how to blog.

  • The Infantryman's Arrogance

    /blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

    The Infantryman's Arrogance
    Count Words — Reading Time
    by James Stewart
    Published: 
    Updated:  N/A
    Location:  N/A

    I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

 

 

Subscribe via RSS.


DISCLAIMER:  Neither the forces.army domain nor any of its sub-domains are associated with and/or sponsored by any national and/or international government agency or branch of the armed forces in any nation.


Atom  •  Comments  •  Privacy Policy  •  Sitemap  •  Terms and Conditions

 
IndieWebCamp
 
 
Links Monetized by VigLink
 

Creative Commons Licence :: BY-NC-SA James W.D. Stewart by James Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at https://github.com/jwds1978/jwds1978.github.io.