Saturday, December 29, 2012

Robbery at Storage Unit

I awake this morning feeling good. When I opened my door, I noticed that there was property out on the catwalk just down from my unit. I thought it was strange to see that much stuff out at 6 am.
When I left at 6:45 I noticed someone was walking down the corridor near the stuff...figured still strange, but that they were cleaning out and moving out.

As I left, I saw in another corridor that two units were open, that was strange as no one was there and again stuff was out on the catwalk. I walked up to them to see if someone was in there, no one was and the locks were on the ground broken. Another robbery and it seemed that someone was still in the bldg other then me.

I immediately began to leave and called 911.

Has I was on the phone with the police telling them what was happening I also thought about what I was going to say to them so I would not be found out as living there, plus I had a bag of garbage in my hands...had to get rid of that before the cops arrived, avoid more questions.  I dropped the trash off in a trash bin near by.

As I waited for the police to arrive I saw a truck that had been parked close to the scene was leaving.

I stood close to the gate, but not too close in case they jumped out for me.  The police used my description of the vehicle and pulled the truck over after it left.

I went back in to the building and counted 9 units had been broken in to. I went back out to wait for the police. Several very cold minutes later as I watch them pass by the facility, and then turning on their sirens to stop the truck that was just a couple of blocks away, they finally arrived. I told them that I had come in for my gym bag and what I had seen.   They of course asked for my ID and gave it to them and showed them everything that I had seen.

I wasn't asked any questions about me being there which was good. They had questioned the guys about them being there, they said that they were getting their gardening stuff, which the police verified was in their unit, which was close to the break ins. I confirmed that there were a lot of gardeners there renting units. They let me go.

I'm not scared of being there at night, but it raised some interesting questions about the robbery happening while I was asleep.

When I returned to the facility, I stoped by the office and was welcomed with a hand shake from the property manager, and with a thank you.  While in the back of my mind, I was concerned about questions as to me being there, there were none, so I relaxed just a tiny bit.  As I stood there I could see them going through the video, luckily they had already determined who it was and what time it had happened.

Here is an interesting tid bit.  I'm about 75 feet away from the storage units that were broken into.  The cameras tag the criminals at 1:30 AM coming in and leaving at 2:17 AM.  At 2:15 AM, I awake and turned off my heater that I had on at the time.  I also relieved myself.  I wonder if me making noise at that time may have scarred them off?  I had turned off a loud machine, and was moving around in the unit...was that enough noise for them to get jumpy and leave?  They left out a door that was less then 25 feet from me.  An interesting aspect to all of this.

While I am not scared about the criminals, I was actually more concerned about being found out and being kicked out.  Time will tell as to what may happen there.  For now, it appears that I am ok.

Clearly with all of the changes going on in my life, I need to make another critical one...move out!

I can only pray for continued growth in my business which will allow for me to have the money to move into an apartment in short time.

Life goes on...I go on

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Howdy, merry Christmas and Happy New Year

What a year it has been!
I have been homeless for 15 months and have experienced a great deal of love in places I would not have expected and in many cases from people I would not have expected as well.
At the same time I have also experienced a year of great frustration. As I finished out this year, I have been forced to close my business which created a great deal of sadness for me. Not so much for the loss of my business, but for more of the true sadness of letting down the over 100 Authors and Artist that worked with me. Because of the "finale" nail in the coffin for my biz came from the immoral acts of a large company, it made it even harder to believe, as I could do nothing about it. The Authors and Artist were the ones who suffered due to that companies actions and that saddens me greatly.
But as they say, when God closes one door, He opens another. It is my sincere hope that my new adventures; and will still allow me to help people full fill their dreams in a multitude of ways.
So, it is with that hope and my fearless mind set of continuing to live life to the fullest, that I am excited by the new Mayan cycle, a wonderful Holiday Season and the New Year.
I wish you and your family great joy, happiness and lots if fun this New Year and many more to come.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A New Beginning

As I write this, it is the day that a new cycle is to begin according to the Miyan's.  I for one am full of great anticipation for it.

Lets face it, the past 5,125 years of the Miyan calendar has been quite a trip.  So much war, hatred, scientific advancements, and love has been demonstrated during the past, one can only imagine what the future holds.

I do, however, worry about the future.  As I said, there has been so much war and hatred, I am fearful to a point that we have yet to learn from the past.  While more and more Love is showing itself, I sincerely and joyfully hope that it will be ever increasing to overwhelm the negativeness of hatred and fear.

We as humans must learn that greed and fear is not what makes us wonderful humans.  It is our ability to love, to accept people for who they are and to learn to live with our differences that makes us much better and greater then animals.  

At the same time, as a person who is emerrsed into the creative aspect of life, I also hope we allow our children for generations to come, to explore and develope the various arts.  It is after all from our creative imagination that has allowed our scientific minds to grow and create such wonders.

Part of my remaining years will be dedicated to helping establish communities that support the creative mind as seen with my first project  I anticipate this is just the beginning for me and for others.

So as we celebrate another holiday and a new year, may each if us take the lessons of the past, wither personal or global and use them to help make our world a greater place to live and grow in.

Blessings to you, your family and future generations.

Life goes on...I go on

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lightning Source/Ingrim Wants to go to Court

If you have been following my little drama over Lightning Source/Ingrim and how they damaged my company so bad that I had to shut it down, here is LSI's latest offer:

I may be able to get approval for the following if you agree.
LSI will waive any remaining debt you owe LSI, after the offsets which is approximately $800.00.
LSI will cease any collection methods and will not show your company in default.
We both sign a mutual release.
Thank you for your time,
Josh Dailey
Corporate Counsel
Ingram Content Group Inc.
Here is my response to them:
Dear Mr. Dailey;
I get you don’t want to address the failure of the staff at LSI and how it will impact the case when it goes to trial, after all to even address it in some form, is a sign of admitting something happened.
Your offer is still unacceptable. Let’s begin with the fact that you keep referring to a balance owed of $800, to be accurate it’s only $328 plus change. Your company has not removed an invoice that became invalid when you cancelled the contract, nor does it include the payments that were made. Continuing the show that people in your company are not being forth right with you, nor honest about the situation.
Bottom line for me is this, LSI damaged my company beyond repair and it WILL pay for the damages. The remaining question is how much LSI is going to pay. While my last offer had a typo of a 5 and not of a 4 as it should have been in the figure, because of your email, I am leaving that amount where it stands, thus, my offer remains as is, including the deadline.
With Respect,
The time line I had established has passed and they did not pay, nor come back with a reasonable offer, thus they are daring me to go to court.  Sadly, as of this posting, they win.  I just don't have the money to sue them.  It doesn't mater that what they did was wrong and that they should have taken care of it like any good moral company would do.  No, they took the Bully line of thought and continue to treat their customers rudely and with disrespect, and Americans will continue to allow it.
This is what is so unfair, there are so many attorney's out there that can't get a job as an attorney, but they refuse to lower their rates because of their oath.  People who are in my shame loose out to Bully's because the law industry is acting like a us what we demand, even if we starve or go away.  I mean really....
Life goes on...I go on

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lightning Source/Ingrim...are they serious about setteling this?


Well I decided to push the issue about Lightning Source/Ingrim paying me what they owe me per the contract that we have signed.  As of November 1, 2012 the first amount due to me is $674.52.  December 1, 2012 the amount due is $853.30, and as of January 1, 2012, the current amount is about $137.38; for a total owed to me of $1,665.20.

Lightning Source/Ingrim claims that I owe them $2,466.14.  This does not include $160 in payments, nor the removal of a $312.00 invoice for services not received.  Apply these items, and I owe them by their records $1,994.14. 

That means, if you apply what is owed to me and what they claim I owe them, I would be left owing them $328.94.  That's it.  They shut down my business over a sum of $328. 

This is what I don't get.  Up to the time they closed out my account, I was averaging $750 a month in income from book sales directly through their site. That means if they had not closed my account, they would have received all the money they claimed I owe, plus made money on top of that, and would continue to be bringing in more money.  Am I the only one to see the stupidity in that?

Which brings me back to the real issue.  LSI got caught doing something wrong and they choose to try and blame me for owing them money as to the reason they closed out my account.  Now mind you, I was only two months behind in money owed, and based on our payment agreement, I was only 1 payment behind.  Not six months, not a year, only two months!  Is any of this making sense?

None the less, I sent out emails to three people at LSI this morning asking where my money was since they had hired an outside attorney to demand payment in full for $2,466.14.  Legally you can not demand payment in full for an amount owed, and hold funds that are owed to the person, after they had already agreed to have those funds applied to the so called debit.  By doing so, they are double dipping: they are getting payed twice for the same debit.  That is illegal! 

Here is the response I got from one of their VP's:

The Pub Comp was factored into the original payment plan as a partial offset to what is owed to Lightning Source. The July pub comp balance, (paid in Oct) was $22.26.


Debbie Jackson, CCE
Assistant Vice-President, Credit Services
Ingram Content Group

Here is my response:

Yes it was.  However, since you cancelled the agreement and have since hired local attorneys to represent your company for the full amount owed in the original agreement, plus an additional unknown sum, I am entitled to all funds owed to my company.

Therefore, failure to pay the funds in a timely manor as outlined in the contract that existed at time of said earnings, your company is not only in full violation of the contract, failure to pay is now considered thrift of service and is punishable by law.

Thus, you and your company have until 5 PM central time on Tuesday, November 27th 2012 to have the current amount owed to my company in my hands.

I suspect you will find every excuse possible to not pay it, which will add to my law suit against your company.

Their Attorney's Response:

Will you provide me with the name of your attorney to discuss this matter? 

Pursuant to Section I(C) of the Lightning Source POD Agreement, signed by you, "LSI reserves the right to offset any Client past due balances for services performed under this Agreement against any amounts LSI may owe Client."  You currently owe approximately $2500.00, of which $1600.00 in Publisher Compensation will be applied to the past due balance, leaving approximately $800.00 still owed to LSI and are past due.  These amounts may change if books are returned within 180 days of termination. 

As stated previously, I would like to resolve this issue as efficiently as possible and am interested in discussing with your attorney, or you if not represented.

Thank you,

Josh Dailey
Corporate Counsel
Ingram Content Group Inc.

My Response:

Dear Mr. Dailey,

I had sent you three emails to resolve this issue fairly, but you ignored my last two emails prior to today outlining a resolve.  Thus, I don't believe you are serious in your statements.

In addition, you can not hold my money or apply them to a balance owed when your company has hired outside legal representation to collect on the full balance, ($2,400) and an additional unknown amount.  Since the Austin law firm has been directed to collect on all funds, and since the agreement that I entered into willingly with your companies staff was cancelled by your staff, your company gave up all rights to any funds owed to me.

Therefore, I once again remind you that you have until 5 PM central time Tuesday, tomorrow to have the funds of $1,600 plus change in my hands before I file theft of service charges.  Granted it won't result on any one in your company being arrested, it will assist my case in federal court and most importantly the court of public opinion.

The fact that your company is trying to collect on an invoice that was issued after the repayment agreement was made, and which does not apply once the contract was cancelled is not acceptable.

Your companies continued support of the damage that Mr. Killebrew did to my company, and the resulting irrevocable damage done to my company because of his actions and lies is un-acceptable.

I continue to leave the door open to a fair and reasonable resolve of this situation up to the day that we file suit for damages.  However, it is clear that you can not stop your staff from continuing to add insult to injury to my company.

If you are sincere about resolving this issue, I strongly recommend that you create a reasonable and fair offer real soon.  Damages keep piling up against your company.

With Respect,
His Response:
I did not respond as reopening your account is not an available option, however I am serious about resolving your concerns.  LSI does not owe you any money, but you do owe approximately $800.00 after offset is taken in account to LSI.  Contracts do not dissolve simply because they are terminated.  Would you like a copy of the Agreement?  The Agreement between Food For Thought and LSI was to either, print the titles you had the rights to as you directed or to offer the titles available to retail channels.  Do you believe LSI did not honor one of these services pursuant to the Agreement?  I ask this question to ensure we both understand our side to this discussion.  You also mentioned the availability status of your titles changed, which I could not find any record of LSI making changes.  Availability may be changed by individual retailers we do not control and does not affect the availability LSI shows for your titles.

I do want to resolve this and hope you reconsider my previous offer as I believe it was fair and reasonable to both.  Is there another offer you propose? 

Thank you for your time,
My Response:
Dear Mr. Dailey;
I get that you want to keep referring back to the contract that was signed between myself and Lightning Source, you are betting that I am dumb enough to think it’s the holy grail as far as you are concerned.  Sorry, but you and I both know that when representatives of your company agree to do something in an email that act can alter the contract, and it becomes part of the contract.  In addition, when your financial team wrote out an agreement, and then altered it right after signing it, and then not notifying me at any time, that is a major legal issue.
I have a witness willing to testify that Lightning Source deliberately changed the status of my books that were listed for publication with your company.  That action caused harm to my company, plain and simple.  The damage done by Mr. Kilebrew along with other damages has forced us to close down our company.  This is all due to your company’s actions. 
In addition, the fact that your company closed out contracts with other companies that may or may not be related to this business, also indicates the intent to harm my business both directly and indirectly.
You can quote the contract all you want, but you and I both know those emails by every staff member of your company will be added to the contract and I will receive a very sweet judgment from your company.  So show me some respect and stop jerking me around.
I had offered you a settlement nearly a month ago that you should have taken then before your staff members continued to harm my company, but you choose not to.
It should also be noted the contradictions between you claiming I owe LSI $800, which is not correct due to the cancellation of the contract, and the fact you hired out side legal assistance and they demanded payment in full for an amount that is not accurate will not look well in the courts or juries mind set. 
LSI has screwed up big time.  Therefore, here is a finale offer to you:
LSI will wipe out all claims of money owed by Food for Thought Books, Inc.
LSI will pay out in a cashiers check made payable to a person of my choice for $5,800.  That’s double what your company is claiming I owe it and an extremely small settlement compared to what could be in the millions I will otherwise get.
You will cancel any and all agreements without side legal assistance and or bill collectors immediately. 
LSI will NOT show me or my company in default for any claims by LSI.
In exchange, I will sign an agreement that states that neither party knowingly did anything wrong, or how you had worded it last month.
I suspect you will laugh at the offer and that’s fine.  But, let me be very clear with you.  I have not discussed one critical item with you during these emails that guarantees a win for me.  If you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to defend your company and take a chance on winning your case, then go for it.  You will have to ask yourself, and discuss with your company officials, is it worth it?  Can this one unknown item cause so much public outcry that it could damage the reputation of LSI to a point that they will loose more money then what the payout will be?
The choice is yours.  You have until 5 PM CDT, Tuesday, November 27, 2012
With Respect,

Ok, I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to really win the case in a court of law.  The reality for me, and this is MY reality, is that they are not serious about resolving the issue.  They screwed up several times, and they think they can Bully me into submission.  Sorry, I'm tired of that BS!  Their actions caused harm to my business and to my Authors. 

But, sadly, at this moment I don't have the money to sue them, so they win.  The only thing I can do is to post on here and hope people get the idea that you have to stand up for your rights.  We are the consumers, and we have the ability to demand respect, fair prices and quality products.  LSI and others jerk us around because they have the mindset that they can Bully us into submission by use of Attorney's and their legal wording.  They screwed up, and just like when I screw up as an individual or as a small business, I have to fix it and make it right.  They should too!

Life goes on...I go on

Friday, November 16, 2012

Insult to Injury

On Thursday, November 1, 2012 I posted on Americans for Common Ground.'s blog how Lightning Source/Ingrim, the largest POD publishing and distribution house closed my business down.  I outlined what had happened and I had thought by late that day that the attorney for LSI was trying to find a solution to the issue.  I was so wrong.

Of course, he now refuses to answer my emails, which clearly shows that he is no longer in charge of the situation, if he ever was.  The fact that they tried to make an offer to resolve the situation clearly showed me that they realized that something had gone wrong on their part.  Why else would you agree to settle something, and ask that the agreement would contain "We acknowledge no wrong doing in this matter."?  Give me a break. 

LSI did the next best thing when trying to avoid a law suite.  Make it look like it's the other persons fault, close out their account and let them vent.  Chances are pretty high that the person who was wronged will not file a law suite, thus they save themselves money and bad press.  Well guess what, it's the 21 st century and there is a thing called the Internet.

Now, I am going to be very clear here, I am no saint.  I have a temper and yes, when you mess with my company, my income and the income of those who I work with, I am going to bitch about it.  Now if only enough people would read the blog to make help fix the problem.

I did some research in the days following and found that there where over 100 people who had suffered poor customer service at the hands of LSI and were not compensated for the damages LSI caused.  More proof that LSI continues the Big Biz Bully practices.  What are we going to do, we need them more then they need us, is how they are looking at it.  In many respects, they are right.  But that too, is a fleeting moment with technology changing in the Book Publishing industry as quickly as it is.

I had received a letter from a Mr. Sean Morris, VP Business Development of AGA/LSI demanding full payment of what they claim I owe.  Needless to say, I called him a liar since he didn't have his figures correct and thanked him for his threat.

On November 16, 2012, I rreceived a letter from a local attorney who has been hired to represent LSI demanding yet another sum of money.  I love how LSI can not even keep their financial records straight when demanding money.

Below is my response.  And yes, I realize that I am opening a can of worms, but you know what.  Someone has to yell and scream if not for themselves, then for others.  Big Business Bullying is rampant as shown in the Financial & Home crises.  They continue to think they can do as they please because we (the average person) can not afford to hire an attorney to sue them.  They win by default, not because they were right.  Here is the full letter I sent off as my response.

November 16, 2012

Barnett & Garcia
Attn: Matias Eduardo Garcia
3821 Juniper Trace, Ste. 108
Austin TX  78738

          RE: Lighting Source 20197.001    Amount $2,466.14

Dear Mr. Garcia;

I am in receipt of your letter dated November 14, 2012.  Thank you for sending it and for once again showing how corrupt the legal system is, and how greedy attorneys can be.

According to your letter, I owe Lighting Source/Ingrim $2,466.14 which is a flat out lie.  Clearly, you or the attorney’s in your office did not fully get briefed on the issue between LSI and my company.  That to me supports the fact of greed by you and your company.  Take a case for the money without checking the facts.

Furthermore, if that were the case, then where is the over $2,000 that LSI owes me?  Clearly, they didn’t tell you that part.  I guess they wanted to keep my money for themselves thinking that I would not contest it, while at the same time have you file court documents trying to retrieve what they claim are owed to them.  I do believe that falls under the actions of Fraud.

Therefore, since you and your company have chosen to not get the full details, I have sent a letter to the State Bar of Texas asking to investigate how you and your firm does business.  I have also posted a copy of this letter on the Internet, along with my comments on how LSI immorally did things that caused harm to my company.

With respect,
B. Alan Bourgeois

This is the first time in my posting that I have actually shown my name and my sex.  I had avoided that, as I wanted people who actually read this blog to feel that it could be any person, male-female; white-black-hispanic-pink or purple.  But the truth is, I have to stand up for what is right and do my yelling and screaming to point out the flaws in our system with big business.  They DO become to big to fail, but at a huge cost to us, the people who paid for their services and expect what is rightfully due to us...proper customer service!

If you made it this far on this posting, please leave a comment here.  Challenge me on my thoughts.  It would be good to get a fresh view point on this.

Life goes on...I go on

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Voted Early

No matter who or what you are voting for, GET OUT and VOTE!  Most states offer early voting with operational hours to fit any ones schedule.  There is no excuse to not take advantage of this right and responsibility!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I have been to quite for too long

I have been to quite for too long.  Yep, that is true.  While I sit here working hard to keep my business alive, and to not upset peoples feelings and thoughts, the reality is this: I am HOMELESS and the Politicians don't give a DAMN!

Don't get me wrong, I AM part of Romney's 47%.  I am a consumer who has created not only one business, but two and a non profit to help others live their dreams, to make a difference in the world.  I do currently have food stamps, a grateful $200 a month that allows me to eat about 15-20 days a month.  I am currently using free medical services as needed, thank God not often.  So yeah, while I work my ass off to keep my business alive and to try and get it to where it should be, I am one of those that feels some help from the government is needed to survive.

And yet, it seems that all of the regulations and politics that goes on in our country actually helped put me in this position.  I can't afford a lawyer to fight for what was taken from me simply because Lawyers don't believe in the free market concept...yes, they have a fixed rate that they swear to uphold as attorney's and a mutual agreement to never sue each about price fixing and lack of customer satisfaction.

So while the Politicians talk about the Middle Class and how to help them grow, the reality is, they don't.  Not one of the Presidential candidates has put forth a plan to help Americans get out of this crazy economic mess.  Not one of them really cares about Americans!  They only care about keeping their job, or getting an elected job.

I am SOOOOOO tired of it!  But, I can't be the only one, can I?  I mean, what happen to those millions of people who supported Occupy Wall Street?  Where did they go?  Why are they allowing for this to continue?  Oh, I forgot, they and yes like myself are just Sheep that are lead around and told what to do.  We are sold the bill of goods that to be successful, we must have this, that and that...really?

I guess that's why my business is just not succeeding.  I would much rather share the wealth with my Authors and Artist then to rip people off by selling them over priced crap so I could become a Millionaire...a Success Story.

Am I wrong to share the wealth?  Am I wrong to believe that as a group of people devoted to supporting each other, that we can succeed in more ways then just financial?  What happened to supporting the creative aspect of our lives?  There has been so much gained from writers, artist and musician's over our entire life span as humans, it over shadows that of technology and science...after all those ideas in technology and science came from those who are creative.  yet, we treat creative energy as a step child instead of embracing it and supporting it.

Now I see why Big Bird is worried about his funding cut, the cuts have been happening for years all in the name of progress and richness.

Ok, I vented.  I hope I am not alone is the aspect that things have to change in a positive way in politics and in supporting the creative energy.  After all, $6.00 for a cup of coffee would actually serve a greater cause if the $6.00 was used to support the Arts.

Life goes on...I go on.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Update - Moving Forward?


It's been a month since my last posting and the 1st year anniversary of me being homeless has now past.  I did not mark it with any party, crying or anything at all, after all why should I?  It is a milestone that I had hoped not to have gone through, but I have and I am still homeless and I am still alive.  I am grateful for what I do have!

I would love to say that things are getting better, and yet I don't see that as my reality.  Even with my change of words and meanings in my affirmation, I am getting further in debt, am struggling even harder to keep my business open and my love life sucks.

However, with that being said.  I have kept myself from getting more depressed overall, thanks to my new mantra and the fact that I do believe in the aspect that things WILL get better, it's just a question of when.

I continue to create new ideas for income possibilities.  I continue to publish books.  I continue to be creative with ideas for my own future books, and activities.  In essence, I continue to do what I can to move forward in some direction.  That direction is yet for God & the Universe to tell or show me where it will lead, but it is forward none the less.

That is what is important, moving forward and willing to keep moving forward.  I see too many times on the streets of people who no longer move forward, they just exist and it's not the homeless either.  It's everyday people that accept their limited aspect of life and choose to do nothing about it...just exist.  There are times though that they are forced to move in some direction, and how they handle it will be the key to wither it is forward or backward.  What are you doing?  Are you stagnant, just existing?

Life is full of challenges and a good amount of set backs, I can't sugar coat that.  But if you choose to allow it to keep you down, keep you stuck, then you will get stuck and you will not be able to get out of it.  In fact, you will one day realize that all you have done is go backwards, sink into some hole that seems so big that you can't get out of it.

Like I have said, there are times that I feel that I am not making progress, that at times I feel I am letting down all the people who trusted me to make their book, their art, or what ever it is I work with succeed.  To become something of value.  I have succeeded in many ways, and I have failed in more ways then I would like to acknowledge in public.  I am my own worst critic in that aspect, and I have felt the sadness of what has not happen in the way I believe it should.

But, even with all of that, I still keep doing what I can to make things work.  To move things forward and to correct, or to change what has not happen the way I feel it should.  I am moving forward by doing, by being alive and by creating.  Doing what I can to change what is, not just for my self, but for everyone involved, and ultimately for the Universe as a whole.

As always, time will tell if I succeed in changing my status for good, or just fall further back into the hole.

Life goes on...I go on

Monday, September 17, 2012

Change Words - Shift Thought

For a year now I have been homeless and I saw myself struggling trying to recover from what I saw and felt as a lack of...home, relationships, and most importantly, money.

During this time, I did my best to stay positive, to believe that all of this was temporary. But, it seems my words were never really showing that.  I would bitch about what the printers had done to me, or the authors who took advantage of my good natured side, the list could go on.  All while doing mantras that I believed would help me stay positive and change my attitude towards feeling the lack-ness in my life.

There was an interesting shift that happened recently that has showed me to alter my wording, thus changing my perspective.  

Let's deal with Karma first.  What has happened against me is either due to my past shit that I have done to others, or for the lessons that those involved need to deal with.  The fact is that the damage is done.  I can sit and wallow in misery over it, or get on with my life.  I'm choosing to move forward and let Karma do its thing.

Yes, I know that materialistically I was lacking those things.  But I should not be reinforcing that belief.  Instead, I should acknowledge that I am those by accepting it and being grateful for it.  Which if you have read my posting on Penny Pinching, you know I am grateful for everything that comes into my life: good health, money, relationships and the ability to do what I love doing while changing the world.

However, I had to change the wording of my mantra, my belief system to reflect that I am not in lack.  My new mantra is this: I am free to share (insert word).  This now says that I do have and that I am willing to share it.  After all, if you don't share what you have, you are cutting off the flow.  Everything must be kept in balance from receiving to giving.  

Has anything changed since I started my new mantra?  Stay tuned in as I add posts to share what has happened.  I can tell you this, the first day I started to use the new mantra, I did get an extra $50 I was not expecting.  I was able to pay a bill with it, so I'm happy.

Life goes on...I go on

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The System is Rigid Against Them

On Sept. 5th at the national Democratic convention, Mrs. Elizabeth Warren was one of the speakers for that night.  While her speech was a good ol' democratic speech, she said one thing a couple of times that hit home for me.  "The system is rigid against them."  She was referring to how for the poor and the middle class, certain people have made it nearly impossible for them to climb out of their situation, such as to get a better education and in fact cause them to remain dependent on the government for help.  That is true in many respects.  Here is an example that I can personally relate to.

In 2000 I was involved in a car accident that caused the death of a person.  It was not something I had intended to do, but it was something I was responsible for.  I was charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter.  I did not fight the charges, I accepted my responsibility and did my time in prison for what had happened.

At that time, I had no idea the damage of what doing the right thing, accepting responsibility, would do to me.  I doubt seriously that I would have changed any thing, but the fact remains that I am now severely limited on what I can do for a living.  In the state of Texas and many states around the country, once you have a Felony on your record, you are prohibited from getting licensed in a variety of occupations.  In fact, for the state of Texas, I can not get licensed in over 30 different occupations, involving over 300 certifications or licenses.  In addition, due to the fear that has been generated in the media, most companies will not hire you with certain types of Felonies on your record, mine is one of those.  Thus, if I don't have my own business that does not require being licensed, I would become a ward of the state.

I continue to get punished for what I had done over 12 years ago, even though I have been discharged by the state for 'serving' my time and meeting all of their requirements, the state wishes to continue to punish me.  They claim they want me to be a viable part of the community, have a good job, a safe home, etc., but their restrictions keep me from being able to properly do so.

It has now even gone as far as being able to get certain grants or loans.  Again, because of my record, I am prohibited from growing and becoming a part of society in a positive way.  So it appears the system is clearly rigid against me.

Do I allow that to keep me from growing and from doing something I love to do, NO!  But it sure in hell doesn't make it easy.  Everyone makes a mistake in their life, some times its a minor mistake, sometimes it's a major one that impacts many lives.  But, do we need to continue to punish them for that mistake?  Had they learned their lesson, and thus are they better people because of it?  Are they using their lives to make others better?  What is the determining factor when we stop punishing them?

It's clear in the state of Texas that they love their prison system, with over 130 prisons and a population of over 150,000 inmates annually, they make money off the prisoners by using them as slave labor.  I'm going to stop here as this in itself is a loaded discussion.

The reality for me, is that I have to think outside the box to get things accomplished that an average person would have an easier time getting done; like earning money.

Through it all, I do my best to keep moving forward and to not be a burden to the state, but boy do they DO have it rigid against me!

Life goes on...I go on

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm a Happy Penny Pincher

There was once a time when calling someone a "Penny Pincher" was a statement about how cheap they were.  Always squeezing out the best deals, being cheap as hell, etc.  It still applies for those of us older folks who remember and use the term.  For this blog posting though, I am using the term with a slight change.

If you have been following my blog, you know it's been tough as hell for the past 11 months.  I am homeless and I am struggling to keep my business alive, etc.  I'm not going into all the details here as you can read the posting to learn more.  Thus, it's easy to say that I don't have money to burn or waste in any way.

And yet, as I go through the day, I am blessed when I find a penny on the ground.  Yes, I know, a penny is not even worth what it's made of.  But it's a penny!  It's one more penny then I had.  It can be put into my little piggy bank for when I really need a few extra cents to have a meal of some sort, or to help pay for laundry, etc.  It is a gift as well.

I have watched with awe at when I find a penny, nickle, dime or even a quarter, I end up with at least a book sale that day.  It's a strange blessing, an indicator that money is coming to me in a larger amount.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I would love a penny to indicate a few thousand dollars coming my way, but it does not.  And I am grateful for what does come my way.

That's the thing, a small worthless penny is still something to be thankful for.  We get caught up in our day to day life of work and paying bills, that we begin to take it for granted.  Being able to take a vacation, one which I have not had in 6 years.  Or to buy gas for our car, clothes, dinners out, etc.  The normal day to day stuff that we feel entitled to, deserve and expect.  The reality is, ANYTHING can come along and take it away from you.  You are left with nothing, but bills, used items that no one will pay you a fair price for, nothing but your body and soul.

While most people would pass up that penny, I've learned something in my life that has been hard to accept, and it's been a valuable lesson during these past few months.  NEVER EVER pass up a gift.  By doing so, you are in effect telling God/Universe that you don't need it or want it.  Who are you to pass up a gift from God or the Universe?  Are you really that much better then It?  Next time you might need it and it wont come to you because you said No so many other times.

So while you enjoy what you have, remember to be grateful for it.  Even if it is a simple little penny that you find on the street.  It's more then you had and it may be a gift that has greater value.

Life goes on...I go on

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mrs. Romney Clueless

As a writer I like to keep up on certain aspects of what is happening around the world.  In one such case I watched Mrs. Romney give a speech that was suppose to be about her husband, Mitt who is running for President of the United States.  I was curious to hear what she had to say, and to see if anything she said would persuade me to vote for him.

Well, sadly she didn't say anything of great value to me.  I was intrigued by how she pointed out how rough their life was when they first got in a basement apartment, having to use a door on seahorses as a desk, or an pull out ironing board as a dinner table.  How they walked to the University together each day.  Ah, how sweet...really, it is.

Then she wanted to talk to the Mom's of the world and single them out as the main reason that our country is so great.  Excuse me?  Don't get me wrong, I know it's hard on mom's to raise a child, work and try to have a life of their own, which sadly they rarely get.  But by singling out the Mom's that seemed to indicate to me that everyone else was not as valuable to the Country.  So here I am, a single male who is working 50-80 hours a week trying to keep my business alive, who is willing to accept his homeless fate in so doing and I'm not as valuable as a Mom?

Ok, I know I may be getting some mom's upset by making it appear they are not valuable, that's not the case.  What annoyed me is that Mrs. Romney, in a desperate attempt to win over the women votes tried to make one group more important then another.  Didn't they do that before the Civil Rights movement?  Don't the Republicans still do this with Gay Marriage?  Why is is so important for the Republicans to keep separating people?  Why is it that they can not just treat everyone equally?

Yes, Mom's you do a great job, I get it.  I had to help my mom raise my sister who was 9 years younger then I was.  I was the full time babysitter when I wasn't at school.  I know it's not easy.  I also wish I had the chance to have my own kids, but that is not meant to happen.  So, yes, you DO work hard, harder then a lot of people.  You have my full respect for what you do.

As for Mrs. Romney, she also brought up the success of her husband and what he had accomplished without really mentioning his former businesses, or employers names.  But at what cost?  How many people suffered under his leadership?  I'm not sure I'm ready for more suffering.  Heck, I thought we would be much further along now in recovery then we are.  Oh, but I forgot, the Republican party doesn't want to accept the blame for putting us here in the first place under President Bush (2).  Nah, they would rather keep fighting President Obama and say it's all his fault.  Sorry, but it's both parties fault.

No, it was very clear that Mrs. Romney lived in that sweet adorable basement apartment for a short time before she began to move up the ladder of success with her husband.  No doubt, she had forgotten what it was like then, and her kids have no clue what it is like now for people like me who are homeless. 

Life goes on...I go on

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Diggs

A lot of new people have come into my life over the past few months.  Most don't have a clue that I am homeless and I choose to keep it that way for a variety of reasons.  Those that have learned about me have asked to see where I am living...the dreaded storage unit.

Well, here are three pics of my cozy 10x10 unit from left to right:

The dresser drawers were left by another unit renter.  I do keep my fold able clothes in it..  Note that black bag at the bottom, that's my ice storage container.  Holds about 4 20 oz bottles with the ice.  The bag does keep it pretty cold for about 12 hours.

To the right you see a box with a towel hanging on it.  That is my wardrobe closet for hanging shirts, and it also serves as my towel rack for my gym/shower towel.  You can also see the white shelving unit, which holds some of my books.

Right about the blue towel is a couple of my pillows, and my quilt that I lay out each night to sleep on the floor.  I roll it out in front of my wardrobe box.  My feet reaches the metal door, so I have to be careful not to stretch out and kick the door and make a lot of noise.  Remember, no one is to know that I live in there.

Behind the wardrobe box and all along the back wall are the $40,000 worth of books that are not selling...:(  I really do need an investor to get over this hump so that I can properly market them and my biz and get the books to sale.  Not just the paper copies, but ebooks also.

The black office chair is my office space.  My pic is high up on a table holding up my lamp.  My monitor is on my filling cabinets, thank God I had bought a monitor that can also pick up TV signals with an antenna, that has helped me stay abreast of things, and kept me from going stir crazy.

The other shelving space is just more books that are not  Oh, and that one square thing up front is my little fan box that does help in keeping me cool at nights and when I am working away.

That's my home.  It's not much, but it's MUCH better then sleeping on a park bench, or somewhere worst.  Reminding myself that I could be in worst shape as some of those that I see on the streets daily, has kept me in a positive mind set.  I keep working towards moving forward and getting back what was lost, just in a better, healthier way.

Life goes on...I go on.

Lesson of Balance


The Universe does work in mysterious ways, and God's form of communication can be at times horrifying or completely gut splitting hysterical.

Today as I rode the bus I had one of those combined moments of pleasure, then sickness followed by simple laughter at what was happening.

I was pre occupied in my mind about a meeting I was heading to, nothing un-usul with that.  I choose to sit towards the back of the bus this time, which is unusual for me.  I happen to sit behind a middle age women who had a bouquet of flowers.  They smelled fresh, sweet and wonderful.  I took a deep inhale and enjoyed the aroma.  I sat there calmly enjoying the aroma of the flowers, enjoying the peace and serenity for a few blocks.

Not paying much attention to who was coming or going off the bus, I was startled back into reality by the smell of something putrid.  I looked up and saw that a homeless man had sat down in the seat in front of me and right next to the lady with the flowers.  AHHHH!!!  What a smell that was coming from him.  And yet, with a breeze every so often, the wonderful smell of the flowers found my noise...just not enough times I felt at first.

It was here that I began to chuckle at the message I perceived.  BALANCE.

The Universe lives in balance and when it doesn't we end up in various situations or extremes.  In this case, the beauty of the flowers gave off a wonderful relaxing smell, while the homeless man gave off a smell of...well, I want to use the word 'death', but that's not completely fair or accurate.  But it was clearly not pleasant in any way to me.  Thus, I had to endure his smell at times, as I also got to enjoy the smell of her flowers.  I found the balance between the two that allowed me to move forward in a healthy positive way and not cling to one or the other.

In life we are always meet with the need for balance, we just usually have no clue that we need it until it is too late.

This lesson of Balance has shown it self to me many times over the past 9 months of homelessness, and I do hope to keep it in my mind and heart so that as I continue to grow through this event, I can come out more balanced, more aware of who I am and what the world is about.

Life goes on...I go on.

Saturday, August 11, 2012



I have been dealing with the usual craziness of not knowing what's going on with the world or my life like everyone else has been for the past few years.  Let's face it, the world is a great place with a lot of opportunity and love, but there are a lot of people who feel they must control it and destroy it for others, thinking they are doing the right thing for themselves.  Corporate greed comes to mind? Or how about Politics?

Well, even though I have been homeless for 9 months, I really have been grateful that my situation has not been worst then it could be.  I have been blessed even when I don't feel that I have been.  Little things, like seeing a penny on the street and picking it up.  Sure, it's just a penny and not even worth the one cent value.  But it's a penny that is there for me to find and to pick up.  It's a penny that God/Universe said here is a little something to give you hope.  To remind you that it could be far worst then it is...that life is still giving you something.  I have figured that over the past year, I have found over $100 in coin and yes, about 3 $20  So in coin about $40 dollars worth.  Over a 12 month period that's not much, but IT IS more then I had.  Thus, I am grateful for it.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend of mine.  We have been dealing with life over the past two years.  Our individual turmoils and with each lunch we always seem to inspire each other for greatness, for joy and definitely for imagination.  I the writer, him the movie producer.  It's been great.  No judgement, just support and an ear to hear what we need to say and get off our chest.

Yesterdays lunch however, was very different for us.  We had commented on what things, items, we have gotten rid of in our lives, freed ourselves of.  Then we acknowledged what is still ahead of us, and it was really very small in size compared to the past two years.  A realization had come to both of us that life was good.  Not great by no means, but good.  We are in a position to move forward in our lives in a healthy way.  I honestly can't explain it more.  Yes, we could loose what little we have left in our lives, but it's so little it wouldn't phase us as much.  We are not holding on to materialistic things.  Our goals in life are simple:  To help the Universe move forward.  With that we wait to hear what our prayers and meditations deliver to us.  What is it we can and will do to help the Universe grow healthier, wiser and definitely more loving.

We both were at peace with where we are in our lives. A peace that neither of us had really been in over the two years that we had during our near monthly lunches.  We had our inspirations, our encouragements for each other as we always do, but we were at peace.  It was beautiful!

Now the question is this:  When in the Hell will things change direction and get ALL of us back on track to peace and love?  Maybe never for everyone, but I honestly believe the time is very close at hand...and based on what I have been hearing, feeling and just know, it's very close at hand.  Who knows maybe the 2012 predictions of the big change happening is actually going to happen.  Not in the way of doom, but of great change...

I hope so.  We as a society really need to get our shit together, replace the corruption that exists on so many levels and get our planet back on track to health and peace...LOVE!

Life goes on...I go on

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Get Press When You Can

When well-known CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper publicly acknowledged that he was gay, the response was, well, not so big a deal.

His employer seems to be supportive. And people who know him say it really isn't a big deal anymore, which contributed to his decision to speak publicly.

But what if you're not Anderson Cooper? Do you put your career at risk if you come out?

The fear of losing his job and being passed over for a promotion was real for Greg Lilly. He worked for a family-owned business in Charlotte, N.C., where he was an information technology infrastructure team leader.

For eight years he proved that he was a valuable employee and asset to the company.

"The people in my division knew me as their co-worker, not as the gay co-worker," he says.

He cloaked his personal life. He would change "pronouns on the phone when a personal call came in.

"I did fear the loss of career opportunities," Lilly says. "Coming out is talking about your sexuality. That is not a work subject. My work performance was important to me. I wanted that to be the focus at work, not my personal life."

Then a co-worker invited some people from work to a Christmas party. When she invited him and said bring a date, he says, "I had been dating a guy for about a year. So I said my date's name was Don. Her face lost color."

Within three hours, another worker came to his cubicle "to tell me how happy she was to find out I was gay. I'm sure by the end of the day, every one of the 2,300 employees in the building knew without me having to actually tell one other person."

Management never brought it up, and co-workers invited him to bring his significant other to events.

"After a few months, I think it became a nonissue," and Lilly never felt that assignments or promotions were lost.

But "I would have never guessed that before it happened," he says.

Today Lilly is a novelist, creative writing instructor and magazine editor in Williamsburg, Va. He says he's "too liberated by the truth to ever hide the fact that I'm gay, (but) I don't introduce myself that way."

Although Daniel Newell, a job development and marketing specialist for San Jose State University's Career Center, never has made any official announcement at work, "most people assumed I was gay," he says. And he always has spoken freely about it.

His colleagues are very welcoming although he has run into issues with the public. But he says, "I believe that my credentials, accomplishments and status at work have always earned me respect."

Anthony, who works in publishing and asked that his last name and city not be used, did not plan to tell his employer.

But "she asked about my 'wife,' and I responded by talking about my 'partner' and what he does," Anthony says.

At previous jobs, he was more anxious.

One employer was a Roman Catholic institution and "I didn't know if there would be any fallout," he says. He doesn't think it affected his relationship with co-workers but suspects "it may have adversely affected promotion opportunities."

Thirty years ago, B. Alan Bourgeois, who today owns Creative House Press in Austin, Texas, came out to his mother, who was his boss. That afternoon, she had the supervisor of human resources fire him.

Planned or not, reactions in each workplace still can vary.

As Anthony points out, young people today may think coming out is no big deal, but "the folks who control the business, political and religious institutions are still quite anti-queer."

Celebrity or not, what matters is the quality of work.

"Anderson Cooper allowed people to know him for his work first," Lilly says. And "that's what we can all do, get to know me first as a good co-worker and reliable employee. We all have that within our own workplaces."

Career consultant Andrea Kay is the author of "Life's a Bitch and Then You Change Careers: 9 steps to get out of your funk and on to your future." Click here for an index of At Work columns. Send questions to her at 2692 Madison Road, #133, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208; or E-mail her at

Friday, June 29, 2012

Help Me get a Grant


I need every bit of help I can get from you TODAY!

There is a contest for a $250,000 grant for small business and I am sure you know how much I could use that

Here is the info:
Help us qualify for a $250,000 grant from Chase and LivingSocial.

Help us receive 250 votes on the Mission: Small Business℠ page to get closer to qualifying for a $250,000 Grant. After clicking “Support” on the home page, look for our business "Creative House Press" and vote for us!

Please send this out to everyone you know and REALLY encourage them to vote for us.  This money would make a WORLD of diffence for all of the Authors and Artist.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


It’s been over two months since my last posting and that is not good.  I really don’t want to post things that seem ‘everyday’ to me, but in reality, by me posting the latest of what is happening to me, it should help you, the reader, get a better understanding of what is going on with me and the world.  So let me catch you up in a series of postings:  Romance, Self Worth, Legal Issues and Life Lessons will bring you up to date.

Life goes on…I go on

Life Lessons:

Recently I was texting with someone I had met on line and have become text friends with.  This person is a good person, does many things for the community in which they live in, works hard and has many loved ones around them.  So when they told me they were depressed and felt useless, I asked why.  I got the answer and then I got mad!

I had not told this person previously of my situation as I didn’t feel it was necessary to do so.  But when I heard this, I let in on them.  I told them what was going on and reminded them of everything they had.  I also said, “How dare you feel that way!”  I was hard on this person, more so then maybe I needed to be, but I wanted them to know how good their life was.  What struggles they were going through was nothing compared to myself and too many others.

So, with my ‘holier then tho’ attitude I set this person right.  I then beat up on myself for doing so.  Let’s face it, I am not a perfect person, therefore I have no right to imply that or to make someone feel bad because they were feeling bad.  At the same time, I know based on our conversations since then, that it was a good move.  Now when they begin to feel bad, they can think of me and my situation and know that their life is not as bad as it seems.  That’s somewhat of an irony of our world.  Each person who thinks life is bad can simply look around and see that there are others worst off then them.  I know when I walk the streets of DT Austin, I see and smell people much worst then I am.  I am grateful for them to remind me of how good I have it.  While my heart goes out to them, I also know that they choose to be in their current situation.  Which then brings up the question I have addressed earlier on this blog:  Did I choose to be in this position?  Did I choose to get screwed over by big biz?  Did I choose to be so stubborn that I won’t let go of my business because I believe so strongly that it is the right thing to do?  There are many more questions I can ask myself and I do in my mind.  The real question is: How much longer will I choose to live like this?

Life goes on…I go on