I’d like to believe this photoshop. But then, again ………..  My father – like all fathers – once told me whenever I read about the stupidest thing a person could do, I should wait a week.  Someone else was sure to do something dumber. He, and all fathers, has yet to proven wrong. We all make mistakes and some of them are whoppers. But it is not the mistakes which make better and stronger, it is recovering from our errors and saying, I’m never going to do that again.” Unless we are like this person who might not get the chance to say anything again. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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This is not a photoshop.  Yes, there is a river down there. This is Tianmen Mountain in China. While I do not suffer from vertigo, just looking at this picture gives me vertigo. It is also a lesson in life for all of us.  Day by day we progress in baby steps.  Some days we surge forward a yard; other days we slip back a foot. And the next day another foot back. But, over the long run, we inch forward and every once in a while we take a moment to look back and marvel at how far we’ve come. Each of us started out at that river and though the pathway onward is crowded, like this one, we continue to inch forward. That’s life. But every once in a while, we need to take a look backward and marvel at how far we’ve come. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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Alaskan humorist Warren Sitka is famous for his admonition that humanity is best served by adhering to a simply rule: DDDD, “Don’t Double-Down on Dumb.”  When it comes to history, there is a lot of DDDD. This generic photo is an excellent example. These are Native Alaskans being shipped to detention camps during the Second World War. Apparently the United States military was concerned that Alaska Natives 2,000 miles from ANY fighting were a ‘national security threat’ so they had to be sent to camps in Lower 48. But the Japanese-Americans in Hawaii – ON the front line – were NOT sent to camps.  Maybe someone can explain that to me. If you are a trivia enthusiast, the Japanese-
Americans in Barrow on the Arctic Ocean, 3,000 miles from the front line, chose not to go to the detention camps. They migrated inland and established the village of Beaver on the Yukon River. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

 

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Alaskan humorist Warren Sitka notes the problem with ignorance is it breeds faster than common sense. We are in an era where being stupid is an asset. Common sense may not be that common but over the long haul, intelligence pulled humankind out of cave. It’s time for us to stop being stupid and working on solutions, not slogans. It is raining where I live in Alaska.  IN ALASKA!  IN DECEMBER! Raining in the middle of winter in the land of ice and snow. That should be a clue that global climate change is very real. And very dangerous. We have a Congress that cannot pass gas and a President who keeps professing innocence as indictments to the contrary pile up. We are running down a very dangerous road and there are too many people, like these men, who believe that ignorance is the new cool.  [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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This is not photoshop or artwork.  It’s the engine room of a German submarine during the First World War.  How anyone knew which wheel to turn and when I cannot tell and many of us will feel claustrophobia just looking at the passageway portal.  We have come a long way in the last century, both in our mechanical ‘tools’ and international diplomacy. Sort of. In many fields we are just as primitive now as we were a century ago. The unfortunate fact of the matter is technology does not make us smarter, only faster. Yes, modern submarine engine rooms are substantially different but above the water line we are still bickering and tit-for-tatting over land, religion, economics and ethnic identity. We should be spending as much time getting along with one another as we do replacing wheels with gauges, switches and circuits. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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This is not photoshop.  It is ‘law and order’ during the Alaska Gold Rush. There were so many men rushing north over an area 1/5th that of the Lower 48 States, law and order had to done locally. By councils of men who sat in judgement. The number of ‘legal’ lynchings were less than a handful. For most miscreants, it was a whipping. Like this one. What’s the point? We are currently in an era where people are questioning ‘law and order.’ The FBI is under siege, the Department of Justice is suspected of being more political than judicial, shootings are popping up like jack-in-boxes across the country, bombs are being sent by mail and the local police are looked upon with suspicion. Locally, statewide and nationally, we should think long and hard about the quality of the people we hire to represent the face of law and order. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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Anyone can quit. A lot of people do. But if you ask successful people ‘what was your secret?’ the bulk of them would say “I didn’t quit.” We do not live in Walt Disney world where everyone will succeed. Success is a journey not a destination. And those who do succeed are badly battered, like this B-25 in 1944.  How could it have made it back to England this badly damaged? The answer: it did. To those who are struggling in business, art, literature or software development, next time you suffer a staggering setback, just keep going. It’s easy to quit. Only 10% off all who struggle, the talented tenth, will succeed.  Next time you think about quitting, remember this B-25. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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Just another old photo, eh?  Well, old photos hide stunning truths. This is my mother’s mother’s uncle. His name was Cabot Jackson Russel and he was one of the white officers leading the black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, during the Civil War.  He was killed in the Battle of Fort Wagner but ‘brought back to life’ in the movie GLORY.  We ARE NOT a nation divided by race, religion, country of origin or point of view. We ARE a nation BECAUSE of our blend of race, religion, country of origin and point of view. We are not locked into the prejudices of the past. We are forward-looking and for this reason the best innovative products in the world come from the fertile soil of our unique, ever-changing population melting pot. [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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This is not photoshop.  It is an actual sculpture and it symbolizes my mantra as a writer: “If you do not have something unique, you have nothing.” For the past century, the key to success was to ‘stay within the envelope.’ You had to be ‘normal’ to keep your job and being different was ‘pushing the envelope.’ Now, in this age of Artificial Intelligence, the envelope is gone. With the power of the internet, there is no ‘normal.’ Unique products do not have to fight for a place on grocery store shelves. Online buyers are looking for them. Speaking as a writer, the world does not need another book on the Civil War or a retired detective fighting alcoholism, going through a bitter divorce and being called for ‘the biggest case of his/her career.’  The world wants different.  If you can produce ‘different,’ success belongs to YOU! If you want an example of a ‘different’ detective story, read https://retreatsfromoblivion.com/2018/08/29/the-matter-of-the-smallgarian-wall-and-the-portuguese-undertaker-by-steve-levi/ [See my ‘different mysteries’ at https://authormasterminds.com/master-of-the-impossible-crime. See my webinar at http://bit.ly/2zjyiYG.]

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