Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Drug Addict Pattern by Jacobus Kotza

The Drug Addict Pattern, Jacobus Kotza. self-published, 2013. e-book, 91 pps.

     First I wish to say to the author I am so sorry to read of the untimely loss of your beloved American Patriot.

     Second, I wish to say that this is an excellent short book for family members of teens taking illicit drugs in particular. Although Jacobus Kotza writes from the perspective of a practical and logical Afrikaner, his wisdom can easily be applied elsewhere in the world.

sapphoq reviews says: Those who are hiding behind the fallacious "disease concept" in order to avoid any sort of personal responsibility will hate this book. Those who are responsible adults will rejoice that The Drug Addict Pattern so clearly explains what is going on without presenting excuses. Highly recommended.

The Internet Police by Nate Anderson

The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed, Nate Anderson. New York: Norton, W.W. & Company, Ince., 2013. e-book, 269 pps.

     The Internet Police starts off with a recounting of Ryan Lackey and HavenCo living in a rusty old ocean fort called Sealand. [At one time, Sealand was listed as a micro-nation but I do not know how accurate that description was. It appears from this book that it never was up for squatters' rights]. Stories about John Perry Barlow, stolen laptops, a hacking stalker, e-mail bomb threats, various and sundry F.B.I. spy programs, Smilin' Bob ads on television and the promise of larger penises with pills, the viciousness of RIAA prosecution, spam, and the darknet.

sapphoq reviews says: For those who have an inadequate grasp on why the rest of us are so angry at the United States government and the actions of Big Hollywood, The Internet Police is as good a place as any to start. Notably lacking was information about Anonymous, the phone phreaks, and a resolution to the conflicts.
     Nate Anderson is correct that if the Internet winds up with a set of laws, those laws will be designed to placate the countries with the most money and biggest mouths-- the United States for sure, and probably the U.K., and maybe Germany-- and a certain amount of random chaos will be lost. This I think is rather unfortunate because we need makers and creators and hackers in order for society to thrive.
     The assumption that anonymity on the internet is "bad" is an unfortunate one that some percentage of the population continue to believe. I've seen vicious attacks on Fake Book where [it is assumed] that [cough, cough] folks who hang there are doing so under their wallet names and wallet info.
     Until the United States dismantles or revamps the N.S.A., I cannot condone any call for Internet i.d. numbers or registration before using a computer on-line. I don't trust the gatherers of information and at this point I certainly do not trust my government. 
     In spite of my personal misgivings, The Internet Police is an interesting read. Recommended.

Monday, June 23, 2014

poetry by Kennie Kayoz

Kennie Kayoz on Twitter: @kenniekayoz

Kennie Kayoz on Word Press:

     Haven't heard of Kennie Kayoz? He offers his work for free downloading at Barnes & Noble-- 31 books of varying lengths, most of them shorts-- and hey, I like what he is doing. He is the founder of Coyotes Publishing. Some of his poetry can be categorized as prose-poems and some of it is rap or would do well at a poetry slam. His stuff is honest and a bit raw, gritty and confrontational, sad and self-reflective. N.B. that Kennie Kayoz takes on bullying, childhood trauma, and suicidal ideation as well as common experiences like cold weather.

     Although Kennie Kayoz has been criticized because of his use of profanity and the shortness of his shorts [shorts are e-books that are short], that does not bother me. Anyone who has ever experienced xenophobia will relate to much of his work. My favorite shorts were Wrecking Ball and It's All Me. I did not include the Lost Treasures series of e-books in the mini-reviews that follow.

sapphoq reviews says: Some people talk about writing. Others do write. Kennie Kayoz keeps himself in the public eye via Twitter and various blogs. I hope that Kennie Kayoz [and his wife Crystal] keep on writing and putting it out there for the readers to read.

Unanswered Prayers, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 8 pps. 
     Tough times on a birthday. 

I Walk Alone, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 7 pps. 
     It's tough to truly walk alone and not to find anyplace where one is "a good enough fit." All of us are truly alone in our own skins. The fearful run from that knowledge. The courageous embrace it. Kennie Kayoz is one of the courageous ones.

Revenge on Paper, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 42 pps.
     Fake Poet and Oh, We Didn't Know are two poems of worth in this one. His wife Crystal is also featured in this one. Both poets are full of promise.

Bear Traxxx, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 11 pps. 
     I too have been a human sacrifice of bugs in the woods.

Depressional Thoughts, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 38 pps. 
     It takes guts to speak openly about psych symptoms.

Black Heart, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 16 pps. 
     Some terrific imagery in these poems.

Unknown SuperHero, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 8 pps. 
     A different take on super heroes, based on the news.

Broken Heart, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 27 pps. 
     In the Rain and F.A.B. are my favorites in this short.

Dark Daze Of Christmas, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2011. e-book, 20 pps. 
     Santa was always prejudiced against the poorer kids anyway. I too like Insane Clown Posse and I don't care what the F.B.I. thinks about the fans.

Failure, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 17 pps. 
     The world needs poets who are raw. People in general are afraid of thosee they don't understand.

iDull, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 7 pps. 
     Not dull, but the dog sounds like he is dull. Some dogs are like that.

Return to the Darkside, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 22 pps. 
     I think Insane Clown Posse should use some of these poems for lyrics.

Boredom Poetry, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 17 pps. 
     If was my favorite poem in this short.

iSad, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 16 pps. 
     These poems illustrate what clinical depression feels like.

Remyxz, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 24 pps. 
     Powerful and angry with a primitive beat. railing against those in authority who give lip service to the idea that bullying must be stopped but who take no action when a victim of bullying asks for their help.

End Of Poe-Hatery Era, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 637 pps. 
     A compilation of poetry which the author had published previously. Some poetry is repeated because it appeared more than once in his shorts.

Platinum Poet, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013.  e-book, 9 pps. 
     A bit of a beat to these.

Blue Moon, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013. e-book, 6 pps. 
     I like poetry about the moon and I like these, especially the first one.

The World Is Not Ready, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013. e-book, 8 pps. 
     The news truly is worse than any made-up horror movie.

Poetry While Sick, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013.  e-book, 18 pps. 
     This is how "sick" feels.

Anger & Depression, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013.  e-book, 8 pps. 
     Poetry born of pain and very human.

D- [minus], Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013. e-book, 7 pps. 
     A solid reminder that all of us deserve basic respect and that no one "deserves" to be bullied.

Therapy, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013.  e-book, 6 pps.
     I also hated high school.

Wrecking Ball, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013. e-book, 7 pps.
     Aspie-like [Asperger's Syndrome] in innocence and the confusion about rules that are not clear. Powerful stuff.

Boredom Poetry 2, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2014. e-book, 6 pps.
    Little details like hands not working well in the cold weather were most excellent.

Past Friends: Two-Faced, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2013. e-book, 7 pps.
     Poems to three ex-friends [one poem apiece] who treated the poet rather shabbily.

It's All Me, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2014.. e-book, 11 pps.
     Poetry with a balanced amount of angst which addresses the personality fragments found in some survivors of severe childhood trauma.

Internet Black Out, Kennie Kayoz. self-published: Coyotes Publishing, 2014. e-book, 7 pps.
     Gritty and honest prose-poems about how it sucks to be without the net for any period of time.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012. e-book, 188 pps.

     I know that at least some of the folks I knew when they were dying were aware that death was nearby. Final Gifts-- written by two hospice nurses-- addresses nearing death awareness [NDA], what a dying patient might need, and how the dying communicate with specific examples.

sapphoq reviews says: I highly recommend this book along with Maggie Callanan's earlier book Final Journeys to anyone who has a loved one who is dying. 

Final Journeys by Maggie Callanan

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life, Maggie Callanan. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2008. e-book, 284 pps.

     Throughout my time on the spaceship earth, some people of my acquaintance have had the nerve to die and some have had the nerve to keep on living. All of this is labeled in my brain as *StuffNotUnderMyControl*. No doubt, a few folks have wished for my expiration too. As long as there are no guns or poisons or other stuff involved, I'm good with that. 

     During my nursing home work, I became acutely aware of the distinct tendency of medical personnel to keep people "alive" far beyond the point of natural death. I suppose that this can be partially attributed to the religious affiliation of the umbrella organization under which the nursing home sheltered. Oh, and derived its funding. Some part of it. Another part perhaps the wishes of the family. And yes, I blame religion for some part of this mess as well.

     There was one patient of my acquaintance in that nursing home who did not want any sort of tube feeding. Patient had a living will on file with social services. We were told that social services had "lost" the living will which stated no tube feeding. I was down the hall when patient had an ng tube inserted. The screams were horrid. Fortunately, patient died three days later. Patient did not appear to have any family or friends outside of the nursing home who could advocate for patient. I bear some guilt even today. I was young and I didn't know how to speak up. For that I am truly sorry.

     There was another patient of my acquaintance in that nursing home who had hospice involvement. I remember distinctly that the particular patient was not subjected to frequent pointless testing or treatments which the other inmates were tortured with. I was aware that hospice was in the neighborhood but I really didn't know much about it.

     I knew general things like hospice does an excellent job of pain management for its patients and loved ones are provided with grief counseling. That was pretty much about it.

     I had read all of the Elisabeth KΓΌbler-Ross books when a family member was dying some time before that. I had a very close friend who recently died of a long-term chronic genetic illness. I was the young child that an older relative always took with her to the wakes of various friends of hers as they died. [It seems no one else would go and I was glad to go. Dead bodies did not bother me]. And from the time that I was able to negotiate the newspaper, I've been checking the obits faithfully. 

     I'd also had my own near-death experience-- complete with flying up a tunnel to a grid of light, an overwhelming peace and warmth, and total anger when the dog "woke" me up. You do not have to be clinically dead to experience an N.D.E. I learned later on that NDEs can also be triggered by extreme fear. The house that I was in was on fire and the fire was right outside my bedroom window. Big fear. Yup. Regardless of what explanation one may favor in explanation of how and why NDEs occur, there is one thing that I clearly know: It changed my life. And the second thing that I clearly know: I no longer have any fear of death. That disappeared because of my NDE.

      All of that stuff is "nice" in a feel-good but distant way when one is not in the trenches. But now I am in the trenches. Someone extremely close to me is actively dying. Final Journeys is a book that is full of information that I needed to know but did not have. Death is a journey. There are things we can do to ease the passage for those that we love and things that we can remember. When one person dies, we lose one person. When one person dies, he or she loses everyone. 

     Hospice is not really about death. Hospice is about life and living until the final breath.

sapphoq reviews says: I truly needed to read this book. Final Journeys is reassuring to those of us who are helping loved ones to ready for imminent death. Maggie Callanan's gentleness and compassion shines through the pages of this book. It is a must-read for anyone who is dealing with grieving someone who is about to die. Highly recommended.

LulzSec by Kyle Schurman

LulzSec: How a Handful of Hackers Brought The US Government To Its Knees: 50 Days of Lulz, Kyle Schurman. San Francisco: Hyperink, 2012. e-book, 47 pps.

     First of all, I do not know why Michael Esseny's name appears on the cover. Did he draw the LulzSec cartoon? I don't know. Tis a great mystery.

     Hyperink is a unique sort of company that provides mini-works. LulzSec the e-book coming in at 47 pages can certainly be labeled as such. The real meat of the matter are the urls connected to various articles which have been written about LulzSec.

     I was there [in the digital sense] during the first fifty days of LulzSec in the sidelines so to speak. I was an insignificant dot in the audience cheering LulzSec on. 

sapphoq reviews says: This particular book which is more of a mini-work left out the story of the snitch who managed to avoid prison time and now fashions himself on fakebook as some sort of artista. The story of the snitch was a critical piece and LulzSec [the book] should be "updated" by Kyle Schurman and the Hyperink folks before I can recommend it. Actually, I don't recommend this e-book, even if it was to be updated. Boring and dumbed down to the point of utter boredom. The real LulzSec hackers-- minus the snitch who shall not be named in this particular review-- are worthy of awe. They certainly were not then and are not now boring. 
     I recommend following members of Anonymous on Twitter if that is your fancy, or following the nimjeh [identified usually as "my ______ ninja" with various words inserted in the blank] if you don't care for Anonymous. I don't recommend the book. The book LulzSec is kind of like what prison kitchens do to good food. Pass on it. Get involved in changing the system instead.
     P.S.: To be clear, I love my Anonymous family and I utterly adore the nimjeh on Twitter. The Anonymous accounts are varied and usually provide information about hacktivism and social revolution happenings world-wide. The nimjeh are all [except for the one snitch account] very wise and quite frankly are the only accounts on Twitter that consistently tweet like they actually are having fun.

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State, Glenn Greenwald. New York: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc., 2014. e-book, 205 pps.

     I knew immediately upon hearing about what Ed Snowden did that he was destined to be one of my forever-heroes. Regardless of the supposed "legality" or "illegality" of his actions, he knew that we the American peoples needed to know what the N.S.A. was doing to us the American peoples as well as to everyone else all over the world. That an agency, with the approval of the rubber stamping FISA kangaroo court, could and would collect all kinds of metadata on everyone who breathes and then build a giant set of buildings to store the metadata in Utah [of all places! uh, hello National Guard I guess. I've heard that Utah is the top recruiting state for the National Guard. And it follows that Utah would provide National Guards to guard our metadata from our own selves. Bully for Utah I guess.]. So the N.S.A. wants to collect it all in the name of yet another failed ideological "war"--on terrorism this time.

     It is pathetic that there is so much overt apathy surrounding these sorts of things. The United States has been referred to as a surveillance state. I myself have called my beloved country of unloved crooked politicians and un-social justice a Spy Nation. Obummer-- I mean Obama-- no, I really do mean Obummer has gone after whistle-blowers with a vengeance. That factoid, along with some others, has helped to render him as a tool in my unasked for and perhaps unwanted opinion.

     I will pause to assure you that Glenn Greenwald-- regardless of what you may think about him or his personality personally-- has done a bang-up job in his latest book No Place to Hide. For one thing, he writes better than I do. For another, he was there. He was a part of the Ed Snowden Security "Crisis." Suppose the N.S.A. got away with what it was doing to all of us and none of us knew about it-- would it still be morally reprehensible then???

sapphoq reviews says: Hey if someone writes a book for profit, then yeah he or she should financially profit from it. I don't have a problem with that. My fear is that the end result of No Place to Hide is that folks will slip back into their various states of apathy and nothing much will change. But it does not have to be that way.
     Ed Snowden uprooted his whole life in order to deliver information to citizens of the world about what the N.S.A. and other shadowy agencies are doing to us. That really is the bottom line. Meanwhile, if there is anyone who is in direct contact with Ed Snowden, please tell him not to come back here. Promises-- especially those made by politicians and others who do not have your best interest at heart-- are for the breaking. So bro, stay in Russia or move to some other country if you feel you want to. But whatever you do, don't come back here. Sure the drones and the abilities of at least one of the U.S.A. heavy-hitting agency agents extend throughout the world and I suspect are capable of making you disappear or die. At least let them work at it a bit instead of coming back here and becoming an easier target.
     The book-- get it. Read it. Ponder it. Do some research. Then decide what if anything you are going to do. Because surely, the desire of the N.S.A. to "collect it all" ought to be at cross-purposes with our own desire to remain people with some degree of privacy.
Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets by Diana Wagman

The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets, Diana Wagman. Opa-Locka FLA: iG Publishing, 2012. 240 pps.

     I like herps. In fact, I love herps. I have frogs right now. Sometime in my future, I hope to breed snakes. I may have to wait until housemate passes over for that one. Housemate is terrified of snakes. Housemate is not overly fond of frogs either come to think of it. Housemate does not want me to raise hissing cockroaches from Madagascar in the attic either. Le sigh.

     It was only natural that I examine The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets. I read it in one sitting. Book is actually fiction and about a kidnapping. The woman who is kidnapped is a divorcee with a teen daughter, an ex-husband who is in television and has a younger wife now, and a famous mother as well. But the woman herself is ordinary.

     Much to her dismay, the kidnapper has a large reptile living in his kitchen. The chameleon is a male and his name is Cookie. Cookie is large, very large.

sapphoq reviews says: I loved The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets totally and absolutely. All characters were believable. Dialogue was interesting and to the point. The plot moved well. Creepy things happened which indeed gave me the creeps. For those who like fiction crime novels with the feel of Los Angeles, highly recommended.