Raven

I just finished writing my 110th book – Raven: Sequel to Zuper Zed. This is the 4th book in my Zuper Zero series. I’d say that it’s the last book, but I thought that the 3rd book was the last one.

In order to tell you what Raven is about, let me start with the first book in the series: Zuper Zero. Zuper Zero is a superhero who has no superpowers. But, he’s just the last person to find out that he really does have a superpower. And once he does, he realizes that everybody’s a superhero, you just may not know it yet.

Zuper Zero, Electrion, Green, and Red start helping other superheroes be rescued from their captors. Zuper Zero is known for his naps. And he always says how much he hates meetings. But everyone knows otherwise. (He secretly likes meetings.)

Electrion can shoot electricity out of his hands. Green has a green flying machine. And Red has a red one. Red and Zuper Zero fall in love, get married, and have a son – little Zuper Zero.

Little Zuper Zero finds that his superpower is stopping and going so fast that it confuses villains. So, he changes his name to Stop-N-Go. But then, he gets tired of that name, so he changes his name to Zuper Zed.

Zuper Zed becomes friends with another young superhero named Raven. His folks tease him that Raven is his girlfriend. Eventually, he admits that she is.

Raven’s superpower, is putting villains to sleep. But now, her superpower is getting stronger and she can’t control it. Now, it’s threatening to put everyone to sleep!

P.S. Grab a pizza while you read this story! I’m sure Zuper Zero’s family will be enjoying one too!

Hardwired: Staying Wired in a Wireless Age

I just published my 108th book. I like to work hardwired. It’s faster, more secure, and there’s fewer EMFs. Plus I just love seeing all those cords dangling all over the place. OK, call me “Stuck in a rut”. Call me “Resistant to change”. You might even call me “Weird”.

The reason I wrote this book, is perhaps a selfish one. If I tell the world how to stay hardwired, some of you will. And if enough of us are hardwired, that technology will never go away. And that will ensure that I can stay hardwired.

Who would want to have their computer hardwired? Gamer’s, for one.

You can even hardwire your cellphone, should you wish to do so.

Is it worth the hassle? What hassle? All depends on your frame of mind.

Tongue Twisters or Knot

author

I recently decided to write a month’s worth of tongue-twisters. Why would I do something so maniacal?  That shouldn’t be too hard to do, I thought? But these tongue-twisters required more of me than writing 31 one-liner diction exercises. These had to be fun. Some had to be syncopated poems. Those which were one-liners insisted on being lists of one-liners. And once I got 31, they just wounded stop coming. Finally I had to shut off the faucet.

Enjoy such tongue-twisters as: Thin’s Shims; Path Cat’s on the Cat Path; Heathcliff’s Eclipse; Frog’s Frock; Swanson the Swan (below); Gargoyle Girl; Charles Chews Chocolate; Dr Jekyll Heckled Hyde’s Spectacular Side; Paradoxical Paradise; and Sasha Sashays.

Tongue Twisters or Knot

Swanson the swan swung
O’er the bolly belly billabong
Out o’er the water he flew
Making a heck of a swell hullabaloo

The lackadaisical lake lacked water
The faster he flew did he falter
And he barely missed three trees
By tucking in his knobby knees

Swanson the swan swung
O’er the bolly belly billabong
He missed a pilaster avoiding master disaster
Landing with haste in the past Pastor’s pasture

Why is my Enemy my Enemy

Here’s an age old question: Why is my enemy my enemy? That’s usually followed by: What did I do to them? (Or to offend them)?

I was prompted recently to look at a book that was in my Not to be Published stack. I wrote it in 2004, but didn’t like the ending. I was amazed as a reread what I had written. This book was very apropos for today. It asked these questions:

  • Why does evil always resurface?
  • Why is my enemy my enemy?
  • Who and what will save the day?

Aumanil’s: Three Paths – One History had lots of holes in the story – had to fix that. The reason I had put this book on the Do Not Publish heap was because I didn’t like the ending. As part of the rewrite, I ended up with more information at the end, twice.  So I guess there were holes there also. Now, I really like the ending, wasn’t what I had planned.

Aumanil’s doesn’t so much answer those questions, as it gives us insights into how those in another Cosmos wrestled with them. Their solutions probably aren’t our solutions. But there was one thing they did, which we will probably have to do. Somebody had to walk to where the sun was shining more brightly. For there lay their solution.

This is my 105th book.

Exploring Lost Territory

When I was young, I liked to explore the woods. Got lost a few times, Yet, that didn’t stop my love of the woods. However, I still love the ocean better.

In my 104th book, Criseilish and Bileander live on the tropical island of Vascandola. At five, they become pretend boyfriend/girlfriend so that they can play together all the time. They spend most of their time on the beach or playing together in the village. But one day, when they’re 9, they explore a place in the woods, that Bileander calls Lost Territory.

The woods are dangerous and not many people go into the woods. But Bileander is adventurous. And Criseilish is willing to go along for the fun.

But then she can’t remember what happened that day. She’s sure Bileander is responsible for her forgetting, so she dumps him.

Theirs is the relationship everyone else envies. Can she ever trust him again?

Another Romance, not TMI.

Exploring Lost Territory

 

Electric Cars – New Book, Website, Info

Electric Car

I know I haven’t posted in a while.

Why not?

Been busy.

Busy with what?

Work, mostly. Then there was this pandemic. But I did write a new book.

EV – Electric Vehicles Come Home is full of information about Electric Cars and other Vehicles around the world. There are cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, planes, skateboards, etc. Yep, there’s an electric skateboard.

I try to keep all that information not so boring. To help, I included some stories about my visitors from another planet. They came looking for information about Electric Vehicles (EVs). They figured, since I’ve been researching them for 50 years and had written one book about them (Select Your Electric Car), and was working on a second, that I would be their best source of information.

There’s also a story about Whistlethwaite, the legendary EV owner and his standoff with Jake – owner of a Monster Truck. Plus a couple of fictional stories about planes.

EVs have come home. Sales of Electric cars are outpacing sales of other cars. In Norway, most of the vehicles sold are electric. Sales are heading that way in other countries. If you don’t already own an EV, you’ll want to get in on this wave. If you do, maybe you want to upgrade.

EVs now have plenty of range (you can drive one for your daily commute and then some before having to charge). Charging can usually be as quick as you want. It’s always easy. It will save you money over buying and owning a petrol-powered cars. And there are plenty of vehicles to choose from. Plus, you’ll be helping to save the environment.

And, to paraphrase President Biden, These suckers are quick!

And I have a new website for Electric Cars – https://electriccarconcierge.com/

The Language of Communication

I was dreaming some story about a guy who wouldn’t say or acknowledge hearing words which ended in S, unless they were plurals. His first name ended in S, so he wouldn’t respond unless you called him by his middle or last name. Somehow he had a following.

That sounded strange until I remember that I wouldn’t say my Rs correctly when I was young. This got me into speech class which was way more interesting than my regular class. The reason I wouldn’t say them is that I learned how to speak near Boston, where they pronounce Rs as Ws and vice-versa. I just did the vice and not the versa.

In spite of strange self-imposed rules like that, language is important. I’m somewhat of a language expert. I pick up other languages quickly, and often use words or phrases from foreign languages (and sometimes made up languages) in my books. I created a meta-language for computers (and for programmers and non-programmers to communicate) called Hi5ive. A metalanguage is a language to describe other languages. Hi5ive does this by reducing computer languages to their common elements. It has very few commands or statements. I guess Hi5ive is really more of a universal computer language than a metalanguage. Esperanto is another universal language.

English is theoretically a Universal Language. I can go almost anywhere and somebody will speak English. I have been places where no one spoke English. And once in Mexico, somebody tried to speak English to me, very poorly. We could have understood each other much better speaking Spanish, even though I spoke Spanish from Spain, rather than Mexico at the time. Still, he was trying. And I appreciated that. A question on Twitter today was whether “you Americans would understand the term chav”. I know some British terms, but had to look that one up. In my opinion, if you’re writing a British book or are a Brit writing a book, use British terms. There are plenty of dictionaries on the web. If you know that a term might throw readers off or that they won’t get the story if they don’t look it up, put it in context. That’s my answer.

Speaking of terms one might not understand, consider trade languages. If you work in a certain trade – computers, for example, there are terms that you use which are only understood by those in the trade. And that’s ok, within the trade. It can form a camaraderie. It can let you know that this person understands the work – though they may only know the terms and not what they really mean.

Somebody once asked me what technology platforms I use. Even though I work with computers, I had no idea what she meant. I asked her to put it in other terms, no response. If she was trying to get new customers, it didn’t work. But it often happens that people speak to those outside their trade, using terms of their trade, expecting them to know what they’re talking about. I’m probably guilty of the same, but I try to explain things in terms that others will understand while not talking down to them. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to put it in simple terms of a trade language. The other person may not understand those, but when they ask, it will be easier for me to think of other terms that they might understand. I try not to spout off acronyms that I forget (or never knew) the meaning of.

When I write, I often look up words, especially if they’re slang. I want to make sure they’re not racist or otherwise derogatory. If they are, I find another term which is not.

Are You Ready for Ecopreneurship? If So, This Guide Can Help

Right now, there is a boom in business ownership. The pandemic caused many businesses to close down, leaving holes in the market many are eager to fill. This means that right now is the perfect moment for people looking to start businesses that make a difference.

Ecopreneurship is when someone starts a business that either offers environmentally focused products or services, or that builds eco-friendly practices into its very foundation. Here are some of our best tips for how to make your dream a reality, presented by guest blogger Ginger Reid. For more ideas and help to make your dream a reality, please contact me at Stubbart.com.

Give Yourself a Strong Financial Foundation

Environmentally friendly practices can be pricier than the alternatives, so financial management is key:

Make Your Message Clear

Environmentalism is a big draw: Make sure your marketing is effective.

Take Big and Small Steps

Focus on environmentalism at every level:

These steps can help you create a business that puts the environment first from the very beginning. We hope this article inspires you to reach your business ownership goals and protect the environment all at once!

Photo Credit: Pexels

What If, We’re Living in Paradise?

What if, we’re living in Paradise and Just Don’t Know It? What would our lives be like then? Let you imagination go wild.

What if, we’re really living in Paradise and we just don’t know it? What if, the sun is shining and we just can’t see it? What if, there really is hope and we just can’t believe it? What if, we’re ok and we just can’t feel it?

What if, we’re on our chosen path and our feet just haven’t landed yet? What if, we have all the resources we need to follow that path and we just can’t see them? What if, we have community to help us live that path and it just hasn’t appeared to us yet? What if, we already feel at home doing what we really want to do and we just haven’t opened the door?

Does Energy Really Flow Where Attention Goes?

The Wind

Energy Flows where Attention Goes, is attributed to Tony Robbins, though it may go back to James Redfield. But are they correct?

Often, they are. When you think positively about things, energy tends to go there. Take coincidences for one thing. Once you start noticing something, you tend to notice more of it. Like if I just buy a certain car, perhaps a new Electric Car, you tend to notice that car on the road, you tend to notice more electric cars on the road.

Yet, there are times when energy doesn’t go where you put your focus. What’s up with that?

Perhaps a couple of things. One is that maybe you’re trying too hard. As Yoda said, and grasshopper’s teacher before him, There is no try. And, probably by trying too hard, you’re not enjoying life or the journey enough. You’re probably not enjoying the breakthroughs enough, no matter how tiny they are.

Two, the current flows where it wants to flow. There’s nothing you can do, short of a dam, to change it. And making a damn requires either being a beaver and having to pay huge dentist bills, or destroying the current ecosystem and perhaps several homes.

Expressive Forms – Part 4

Programmer

Previously, I talked through setting up a calculator form. This time, it’s a menu form. And, I’ll tell you where to get xf_form.js (free) for the helper routines.

A menu consists of several buttons. Each button links to a webpage, except those few buttons whose task it is to expand or collapse the menu. Since there is no submit button, this wouldn’t need to be a form. Yet, making it a form with readonly input fields, means that you have several less divs on your webpage. And I’m always grateful to have fewer divs to have to tell apart.

So, let’s make it a form. As with all the forms I’ve presented, there’s no action or method on the form. The form has an id, and it has an onsubmit attribute. For the menu, onsubmit is not really needed. Each button has the type of “button”. But, just in case the browser says to itself, there must be some onsubmit button, I added onsubmit=”event.preventDefault()”. This keeps the form from ending up with a blank menu.

You can go ahead and set up your menu buttons. If you want emoji on your buttons, my x_press.js library has several which are appropriate for menus. To use the home emoji, just enter &menu_home;. x_press() will interpret it for you. However, since your menu will be on every page, you’ll probably write it as a javascript function. If you do that, you’ll need to change &menu_home; to %menu_home; and call x_press a little differently. Or, you can just go to Emojipedia and copy-paste the emoji from there. xf_form.js relies on x_press.js, so you’ll be adding them both to your <head>. I’ll point the way at the end of this article.

xf_form.js helps with the expand / collapse menu buttons. These use the onclick event, rather than an <a href=…>. Each button has a data-menulevel attribute. I made the first level 0, then 1, then 2. But these routines allow you to assign whatever levels you want. You could start with 10, then 9. You don’t need to go in order, but why confuse yourself.

So, on my menu, all permanent buttons have data-menulevel=”0″. One of those permanent buttons is the menu button. This used to be a triple bar, now it’s a triple dot, as that takes less room. The menu button, expands the menu by opening menu level 1. The menu button also closes menu level 1 when it’s open. So, the menu button toggles menu level 1.

My menu has 3 levels (0, 1, and 2), so the onclick for the menu button is onclick=”xf_menu_close(‘menuform’,[2]);xf_menu_toggle(‘menuform’,[1])”. Close menu level 2 for form with id=”menuform”, then toggle menu level 1. There’s also xf_menu_open. These change the style visibility between visible and hidden.

For instructions on how to use my x_press.js and xf_form.js libraries, go to my Really Useful Javascript webpage. These libraries are light-weight, so they won’t slow down your site. Just keep in mind, that I change these libraries at will. Mostly I add new functions. But sometimes I have to revamp an existing function. And if you’re using that function, it may no longer work. So, contact me from my website to be notified of any changes I make. And, if enough people sign up, I may create new functions, rather than revamping existing ones. That way, the existing ones will still work. Yet, there are times when Google forces me to rewrite functions and not leave the old ones. So, sign up to stay informed. I promise I won’t spam you.

Expressive Forms – Part 3

Programmer

Previously, I explained how to create a contact form. In this part, I’ll explain how to create a calculator form.

In order to evaluate a math equation, you first have to parse it. Then you have to evaluate portions of the equation in the correct order. There are javascript libraries which will evaluate equations for you. I looked at 5 or 6 of those. Not too hard to implement, however, you have to specify the equation the way they want you to, not in mathematical format. So, I wrote my own in xf_form.js.

To parse the equation (separate the values from the operators), you need some sort of parsing routine. Those are very complicated to write. So, instead, I make the website programmer place the separate values and operators into an array, in the order of the equation. I figure, they already know and have access to those various parts. So, parsing done! Oh, just make sure the values are numbers and not strings.

Then I wrote a simple routine to evaluate the equation from the array. You can use operators **, *, /, +, -. These are evaluated based on mathematical rules – ** first, then * and / left to right, Then + and – left to right. I was going to provide for % (remainder), but who knew what order you wanted that evaluated in.

I provide input fields for all the values and operators. The operator fields are readonly, though you could not make them readonly and let the user enter their own equation. Because the keyboard operators threw off my vertical alignment, I display other similar symbols, but the value is still the keyboard operator.

But, your equation still might have nested equations: 1+2*(3+4). 3+4 is nested. Innermost equations are evaluated first. I used data-calceq to specify the level. For 3, +, 4, data-calceq=”2″. For 1, +, 2, *, data-calceq=”1″. Now I need somewhere to store the result of 3+4. I call this hidden input field xf_calc_resultN where N is the level number – in this case 2. xf_calc_result2 has data-calceq=”1″.

Now I call my routine to evaluate the form, passing the form id. Form has data-calceqs=”2″ (the number of equations). My routine gets all the children (descendants) of the form. It evaluates the equation where data-calceq=”2″. Then it evaluates the equation where data-calceq=”1″. If you had 10 equations, it would evaluate them from 10 to 1.

The result of equation 1 needs to go somewhere. I place it in an output field with id=xf_calc_result1.

onsubmit=my form evaluation routine, evaulates the form when the user clicks the submit button, which I’ve titled Calculate. Everything’s fine, all javascript, all simple, all client-side. However, there’s one wee problem. As soon as the user clicks the submit button, the equation is evaluated and displayed, then the form is cleared. To keep the form from clearing, add another function to onsubmit. onsubmit=”xf_calc(form_id);event.preventDefault()”. The Default that is being prevented is clearing the form. That’s not technically correct, but that’s what appears to be happening. What is technically happening is not really important. What’s important is that your form isn’t being cleared and the user can see the results.

If your formula’s not too complicated, you can use xf_calc. Otherwise, you’ll need to call xf_math_eval(equation_array) multiple times and piece together the results. You can still use hidden input fields for intermediate results.

Stay tuned. Next time, I’ll finish up with a menu form. Then I’ll tell you where you can find out more about xf_form.js.

Expressive Forms – Part 2

Programmer

Part 1 was an introduction to Expressive Forms. In Part 2, I’ll cover a contact form because a) that’s probably the one you’re most interested in, and b) it covers the most ground.

With a contact form, you want to collect at least an email address and receive that email address in an email to yourself. You probably also want to collect the potential client’s name. Perhaps their phone number. And, some info about why they’re contacting you.

Most email forms reach out and grab you. I hate when that happens, so I don’t advise doing that. Rather, make the form obvious (or the click of “Contact Me”). Let the user reach out. After all, I want clients who want to engage with me, rather than those who happen to be swept to my shore and almost drowned in the process.

So, go ahead and design your form. On my test contact form, I had Reason for Contacting Me. This is typically a list of choices including “Other”. If you want a list, use a <select> element, otherwise, use an <input type=”text”> element. With <select>, you place each option in <option> tags. And you can group <option>s in <optgroup>.

Next, I want their name – <input type=”text”>. For each field where the user will enter something (or select something), I use a <label>. <label> is related to <input>. <label for=”name”>Enter a Name</label><input id=”name”>. Note that the for of label is the same as the id of input. Also note that there is no </input>.

Next, for their email address. <input type=”email”>. When the user clicks the submit button, this field will be validated as an email address. The validation isn’t very robust. a@b is considered valid. You can greatly improve this validation by adding a pattern. Patterns can get long and complicated, so I won’t go into that here. The great thing is that you only have to supply the pattern. You don’t have to supply any real code to see if the email address matches the pattern.

For my test contact form, I grouped the client’s email address field and a check-box, using fieldset. The checkbox is for whether the client wants to be cc’d on the email. If they are cc’d, they will end up getting your email address. And, at this point, I think that’s a good thing. That way, they can contact me and I don’t have to bug them about it. Still, until that email goes out, my email address can remain hidden. With fieldset, I can include a legend (title for the group/set). No need in this case. Fieldset defaults to have padding which through off the alignment of my fields. I provide a class for that in xf_form.css.

A telephone number, if you wish. <input type=”tel”>. You can just as well say <input type=”text”>, since tel provides no validation. Again, you can use pattern to add validation. However, consider the reason that there is no validation. That’s because international telephone numbers can have a very wide variety of formats. If you want to limit to northern-hemisphere numbers, you can use a pattern for that. But, even UK numbers have a variety of valid formats. If you really want to make sure, the user enters a valid phone number you can use Twilio. However, if it’s me, I’m not going to give you my phone number until we’ve had some initial email conversation. So, why make me mad? You can somewhat validate the phone number with minlength=”6″. You can add a pattern to limit non-numeric input to #,(,), -, and space.

And, what is the real reason they want to contact me. For this, I used <textbox> and allowed them to enter some more text. You might want to add maxlength=”1000″ or possibly less.

Now, there’s one last field that needs to be on your form, and that’s your email address. However, if you wanted the user to be able to see your email address, you would have just supplied them with an email link. Well, it’s not so much the user, whom you don’t want to see your email address, but all those bots lurking about. The best thing you can do for that is to use an excellent webhost for your website. I’ve used Dreamhost for years – so far, so good.

Let’s continue to hide your email address – <input type=”hidden”>. Hidden fields can’t have labels. I tried checking for one and my javascript code just quit. Turns out I first needed to check and see whether my field could have a label before I checked to see if it did. So, I hid the email address. A bot can still easily see it. So, I encrypted it. I used a replacement technique to obfuscate it. I could have really encrypted it but, it’s not a password. It’s only an email address. I made the encryption easy to apply, but hard for a bot to notice and harder for it to reverse. I added that routine to xf_form.js. The routine encrypts and decrypts and allows you some control over the encryption.

I used the data-process attribute to tell this field what routine to call to decrypt the email address. data-… is an attribute that you can specify. The attribute starts with data-, and the rest is whatever you want. So data-process. You can easily retrieve whatever’s in data-… with element.dataset…. Typically, you might have data-email-part=”to” to tell you that this field goes into the to of the email. However, javascript sees that as dataset.emailPart. Since I think that emailPart is confusing – which letter should I make uppercase? – I used data-emailpart. Then I know that javascript uses dataset.emailpart.

Every field on my contact form gets a data-emailpart to tell it if this information goes into the To, CC, Subject, or Body of the email. You have to encode the spaces, and I use decodeURIContent for that.

xf_form.js provides xf_send_email(form_element) to send the email when I click the submit button. The flow of what happens is: The user enters the information into the form. They click Send Email which is a submit button. The form has no action or method. It does have onsubmit=”xf_send_email(form_element)”. First, the onsubmit action validates the form according to minlength, required, pattern, type, etc. attributes. Then it executes xf_send_email. xf_send_email goes through each element and places the information in the appropriate part of an email, encoding as needed. Then it mimics the user clicking on an email link. The user is presented with an email to send.

The drawback to this method is that the user has to click send email twice. That’s ok, you can label the first one create email. They’ll have a chance to grab my email address (though no need as they could have checked to cc them the email. And they can clean up the email, if needed. This also means they can remove information that you wanted to be required.

The good part is, no coding and their information isn’t sent over the web. Well, it isn’t sent over the web outside of the email. If you need something more, use smtp.js to keep your email address secure. In my opinion, what I’ve done is sufficient. And I didn’t have to resort to php and/or server-side code. You don’t even need to write any javascript, other than a little test script to call my routine to encode your email address in the first place.

Just create your form. Add some data- attributes. Add onsubmit=…. And, you’re done.

Stay tuned. In the next part, I’ll explain how to use xf_form.js to add a calculator form to your website. You can combine it with the contact form if you like. And, before I finish this series, I’ll tell you where you can get xf_form.js. It’s free. You don’t even have to fill out a contact form. I’m just waiting until I have the appropriate place to put that information.

Expressive Forms – Part 1

I recently created xf_form.js – a javascript library to help website programmers and designers use simple forms to make their website more expressive. Website programmers have a love/hate relationship with forms. They hate entering information into them, but they love collecting information with them. At least the website owners love the information that is collected with them. But forms can be oh, so much more than an information gathering mechanism. Mechanism, that sounds so dull, doesn’t it.

The first thing you want to do with a form is design it. Most forms have dull and boring designs. Give it some color. Place a background in the form. Make the fields transparent and show your logo through them. Just a little css for styling, and you’ve made it more expressive.

So, why xf_form.js? Well, you need a script/scripts to process the information. In the old days, you’d design a form using HTML and CSS,. The form would send the information to the back end (server-side) where it would be processed and sent to you. That’s still the way many forms are processed. The back-end code is tedious, not pretty, and specific to the form (or form type). It’s back-end so that it’s harder to hack. But why not make it simpler. In fact, why not bring it to the front end (client-side). Unless we’re talking passwords, we can still make it hard to hack. I can show you how to keep the client’s information safe. And besides, we can do more than just collect information with a form. We can use a form to process information.

I created three sample forms using xf_form.js. Well, I created them with HTML and CSS. But their data is processed with xf_form.js. The first form is a contact form. Don’t worry, I’ll explain how to have the client send you an email using a form without exposing their information to the internet. It’s simpler than you think. The second form is a calculator. Perhaps I’ll replace my form calculator which shows you how much money you can save with an Electric Car, with xf_form.js. The third is a menu. The menu could be a div, rather than a form and still use xf_form.js. I’ll be featuring this type of menu in my upcoming bookstore website. My javascript routines expand and collapse the menu.

To be continued … Check back for How to Process a Contact Form.

Deep Listening – Say What!?

Take a minute, close your eyes, what do you hear? This is not so much about auditory hearing with your ears, as it is about awareness. So, stop what you’re doing and focus on what you’re aware of.

Minute #2: There’s the war in the Ukraine. Why doesn’t it bother me more? What is it that I’m bothered that my government’s not doing? Why does this bother me and the wars (multiple) in Africa do not? Do I think of these wars as “conflicts” because that makes them less disturbing?

Take a 3rd minute. Walk outside. Here, it only feels like 10F (-12C). So, maybe not today. But when you can, go outside. Or, at least step outside in your mind. What does it feel like? Are you in a concrete jungle? Is there any life? Whatever speck of life there is, even if it’s people, how does it survive? How does it thrive? If you’re in your yard, what wants to come forth? Yes, invasive weeds including grass. But, why are the weeds there? And what would come forth if it could? How can we nurture it?

Minute 4: What thoughts are there in your head? Can you lightly push aside those that don’t need to be listened to right this very second. What is your deep mind trying to tell you? Take another minute to listen to your breath and your pulse. Are they OK or are they trying to tell you to do something different? Minute six is for your gut. Is your stomach rumbling? Maybe you should eat. Nobody’s happy if the gut ain’t happy. Why is yours not happy?

Minute 7: Hopefully, you’ve slowed down enough in the past 6 minutes, so that you can easily let your thoughts drop into your open heart – that place of deep understanding. If not, follow your breath as it goes by your heart, until all of a sudden your thoughts are resting there. What is your heart opening to? What is it closing to? Why? Should it continue in this pattern or not? What deep understanding are you hearing?

8: Listen to stillness. Listen to peace. Listen to Paradise opening up to you.

9: And as that Paradise opens up to you, how does that cacophony sound? How is that different from your normally chaotic world?

And at last, minute 10: How can order be restored to your world (or how can it be brought about for the first time)? How do you see the world becoming a better place? Who or what can help you in this quest?