Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Distractions

An amazing thing happens when I cut distractions from my life. I write books.

More distractions on the way.
More distractions on the way.

A long time ago, I used to be a Twitter junkie. I couldn’t go two minutes without checking my newsfeed. Somehow, I found someone tweeting about their latest experiment with Mentos and coke fascinating. My DM feed was worse. It became a hodgepodge of ads from folks who wanted me to check out their offers for the latest diet fad, the most affordable bank loan or the cure for the ebola virus.

Facebook had me scrolling through reams of baby photos, birthday greetings, wedding announcements, graduation congratulations, college tuition woes, car crash images, death notices—you name it, I was there. And what would a newsfeed be like without the required charity pitch? California didn’t seem dry last summer when folks were pouring buckets of ice water over their heads.

It doesn’t end on the social networks either. Visiting a news site required me to install ad-blocking software on my browser to prevent me from clicking on related articles dealing with cooking, time management, of all things, and anything else you can imagine as taking an extra few minutes of my day in a senseless pursuit of useless facts.

Now that's a big oops.
Now that’s a big oops.

Add the hours I had spent surfing online “researching” favorite dog toys or best practices in lawn manicures—you had yourself a dull Jack.

Humor aside, it didn’t take long for me to change once I realized I had fallen into a spiral of mediocrity. At the time, I wasn’t writing nor was I thinking about anything that I was doing. I was going with the flow. Surfing. Not ruffling feathers. And any other cliché you’d like to stick in there to illustrate being trapped in the throes of everyday life.

Once I tallied the amount of time I was actually spending with the distractions, I had no choice other than to confront my time-wasting ways.

What happened? I changed. Just like that.

How? Simple. Imagine taking a vacation every week and that vacation turns into quality time with family, friends, and to pursuits that you’ve always put aside because you felt you’ve never had the time to enjoy them.

Now, imagine if you will, actually acting on that idea.

That idea is about taking one day and dedicating it to none other than yourself. Scary, huh? Pretty terrifying, don’t you think? Guess what? It is scary. It is terrifying. How can one do that with the bills to pay, the kids to shuttle back and forth, the meals to prepare, the laundry to wash, and the shopping to bring home? How? Theoretically, it’s impossible.

And you know what? It is impossible.

But once I had decided I needed a change, to cut the distractions, and live a more productive life away from the online world, all of a sudden I had time to do anything. Those little slivers in between tasks where I would have sneaked a tweet, read a Facebook entry or pressed a like button had disappeared, replaced by a meal with the family, a trip to my kids’ recital or simply a talk with someone I love.

That one day in the week I’m now disappearing from the online world has become the day I look forward to the most.

By the way, don’t forget today and tomorrow are the last days to pick up your FREE copy of my first book Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse from Amazon. It’s my gift to everyone who has stuck with me for the past three years, putting up with my banter while I lost my mind writing the conclusion to the Ranger Martin trilogy due out October 20.

Distractions

What about you? Do you dedicate a day away from the online world? Are you thinking about if?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Do You Want to…

There’s a running joke in our family these days that has grown out of control and poses a threat to our sanity. Not really, but once you know what it is you’ll know what I mean. Ever since the release of the movie Frozen, we’ve been taking turns singing the words to Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in a new and original way. We replace the words “to build a snowman” with pretty much anything that pops into our head.

Frozen's Olaf the Snowman
Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman

Like this: Do you wanna read Freedom Friday?

It started with innocent intentions. One of us—I will not name names—me—began to sing the words to the snowman song whenever it snowed. Given I live in Canada and it snows a lot, especially last year, I was singing the opening phrase quite extensively. You can read that as meaning others in my family were telling me, “Stop singing that snowman song.”

Of course, if someone tells Jack he shouldn’t be doing something, what does Jack do? Yep, Jack keeps on doing it. [End of Jack’s third-person dialog.]

So, I did what any other normal person would do—become excruciatingly annoying.

Not only did I sing the song when it snowed, but I also sang it when it didn’t with the added incentive to change the words to suite my needs.

Like this: Do you want to cook some chicken?
Like this: Do you want to have some sushi?
Like this: Do you want a have a party?
Or like this: Do you hate me for my singing?

And on and on it went. Eventually, I’d worn the family down so much that they too fell to the Dark Side.

Now, a year later, we’re all singing it.

At the dinner table: Do you want to pass the salt, please?
In the garage: Will you ever wash the car, dear?
While shopping: Do we need some extra olives?

Naturally, because I write about zombies, I have to have my own version of the song:

Do you want to kill a zombie?
Will you shoot it in the head?
Will you throw it off a cliff and sigh
Watch it fly
Until it’s fully dead?

So really, the moral of this post is this: if you want to change people you should never have to change yourself. Be a nuisance and you just might get what you want.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

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Posted in Freedom Friday

Jokes II

How many people like jokes? I know I do. One of the benefits of writing my Freedom Friday posts is that it gives me the opportunity to write about whatever’s on my mind. Sometimes I write about personal stuff, but today I thought I’d write a few jokes to lighten up the mood during these dark days we all call winter.

Brad Pitt at Toronto International Film Festival
Brad Pitt at Toronto International Film Festival

Mind you, these aren’t my jokes. They’re more like humorous tales I had picked up over the years that I’ve kept tucked away safely for those times when I need to let loose. I suppose today would be one of those occasions.

So, have a read–hopefully–you’ll also have a laugh and maybe you can also share one of your jokes with me in the comments area so I can laugh, too. Enjoy!

AN ARKANSAS DELIVERY

In the backwoods of Arkansas, Mr. Stewart’s wife went into labor in the middle of the night. The doctor was called in to assist in the delivery.

To keep the nervous father-to-be busy, the doctor handed him a lantern and said, “Here, you hold this high so I can see what I’m doing.” Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world.

“Don’t be in a rush to put the lantern down. I think there’s yet another wee one to come.” Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered another baby.

“Now don’t be in a great hurry to be putting down that lantern, young man. It seems there’s yet another!” cried the doctor.

The new father scratched his head in bewilderment and asked the doctor. “Do ya think it’s the light that’s attractin’ them?”

DELIVERY COINCIDENCES

Four expectant fathers pace in a hospital waiting room while their wives are in labor. The nurse enters and tells the first man, “Congratulations, you’re the father of twins.”

“What a coincidence,” the man says. “I work for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.”

A little later, the nurse returns and tells the second man, “You are the father of triplets.”

“That’s really an incredible coincidence,” he answers. “I work for the 3M Corporation.”

An hour later, the nurse tells the third man that his wife has just given birth to quadruplets.

The man says, “I don’t believe it! I work for the Four Seasons. What a coincidence.”

After hearing this, everyone’s attention turns to the fourth guy who has just fainted. He slowly regains consciousness and whispers, “I should have never taken that job at Millennium Computers.”

GOD’S DEAD DOG

Mom and Dad were trying to console Susie whose dog, Skipper, had recently died.

“You know,” Mom said, “it’s not so bad. Skipper’s probably up in Heaven right now, having a grand old time with God.”

Susie stopped crying and asked, “What would God want with a dead dog?”

“That’s all, folks!”

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

Do you have any jokes you’d like to share?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Ja$on

Boy, oh, boy. Do I have a treat for you. If you’re like me and follow a number of Twitter accounts simply because they’re funny, then I have an account you may want to have a read through. The best part about this Twitter user is I’ve know him his entire life—literally. And as time goes on, he gets funnier and funnier.

Jason Chaulk
Jason Chaulk

For today’s Freedom Friday, I’d like to introduce you to Jason Chaulk a friend of our family and a really funny guy. Okay, I’ve said that a few times—I better stop.

My wife and I have known Jason’s parents before any of us ever got married. Yeah, you might say that’s a long time. We used to go to the same church together, and we’d also have game nights at each other’s homes. We also participated in the same Outreach group, which entailed us going to entertain the elderly at nursing homes. And we’re still at each other’s houses, enjoying the company and having the time of our lives.

As for Jason, he’s been cracking jokes ever since I could remember. The last time we got together, we were reading through his tweets when all we could do was laugh through the whole night. I think what makes him unique is his ability to think quickly on his feet. He always has a comeback, and he always has a good nature when delivering his comebacks. That’s what spurred this article about him. I suggested if he wouldn’t mind if I went ahead and featured his work on my site. He said sure. No problem, in fact.

"I was very dissapointed when I found out it wasn't a house made out of waffles."
“I was very dissapointed when I found out it wasn’t a house made out of waffles.”

To give you an idea of how he works: whenever he gets an idea, he writes it on his phone. He has draft versions of many of his jokes, and when he feels they’re ready, he releases them.

Anyway, enough of my yakity-yak. Below are a few of his tweets he’s written over the years. By the way, before I forget—he’s still in high school!

  • My dentist recommended for my sensitive teeth to spend more time with them and talk about our feelings
  • Going to the dentist is uncomfortable enough without us locking eyes while his hands are in my mouth
  • Little does Santa know that one day I will sell all this coal and buy out his dumb little business
  • People tell me to be myself but the Little Mermaid taught me otherwise
  • Kids nowadays need to stop TWERKING and start WERKING
  • I was in an argument with an amputee but he didn’t have a leg to stand on
  • Before a fight, take off your cardigan to assert dominance
  • Auto correct ruined my leaf
  • I once tried to shoplift but they totally saw the shirt hanging out of my pocket
  • I used to model as a baby so of course I put it on my resume
  • The thug life chose me but it conflicted with my trumpet lessons
  • "R2-D2's career has really gone downhill since the last Star Wars movie."
    “R2-D2’s career has really gone downhill since the last Star Wars movie.”

    The cop told me I “have the right to remain silent” then he asked me “where’s the body?” lol make up your mind bro

  • Keep sending me Candy Crush requests, maybe one day you will break me
  • Not only am I smart and beautiful but I am also humble
  • Superhero capes are just backward aprons
  • I am probably better at being humble than all of you
  • I still don’t smile in photos unless someone holds a teddy bear over the camera
  • To avoid jury duty become a convicted felon #lifeprotip
  • The One Where Monica Has a Mental Breakdown and Brings a Gun to Work #rejectedfriendsepisodes
  • When someone is yelling in your face give them a little kiss on the forehead to difuse the situation #lifehacks
  • My girlfriend does this thing where she calls me a “stalker” and threatens to have me “arrested”
  • My life in a nutshell is basically me looking for places to sit down
  • So glad this subway has windows so I can see the nice view
  • I woke up today to birds chirping and I did that thing in Shrek where they sing until the birds blew up
  • Without spell check I would so scruwed
  • How come all my friends can talk to me in third person but when Jason does it it’s weird
  • My only regret in life is that I didn’t love more, that and I did crystal meth for 6 years #latenightconfession

I hope you enjoyed reading Jason’s work. You can follow him on Twitter, but I’m sure one day this rising star’s comedy will be everywhere for you not to miss him.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

Do you know anyone in your life who is a success in the making?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Jokes

I have a weird sense of humor. Dark? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t laugh at other people’s misfortunes or anything. But when I see people with good intentions do silly things and end up making a mess of everything—I can’t help but laugh. Like the little girl who flushed the diaper down the toilet and wondered why all the other toilets in the house flooded.

George Clooney at Toronto International Film Festival
George Clooney at Toronto International Film Festival

Freedom Friday affords me the opportunity to explore why I’d get a kick from those silly folks. I suppose it has to do with my upbringing as the kid of a family of practical jokers. Then again, perhaps it’s my own innate desire for acceptance that precludes me from carrying on a serious conversation in a meaningful way.

Nah, that’s too deep for anyone to wrap their heads around. Whatever. While I think about it, I thought I’d share with y’all my favorite jokes. Maybe my weird sense of humor will make sense after reading these. Enjoy!

FORGET ABOUT IT

An elderly husband and wife visit their doctor when they begin forgetting little things. Their doctor tells them that many people find it useful to write themselves little notes.

When they get home, the wife says, “Dear, will you please go to the kitchen and get me a dish of ice cream? And maybe write that down so you won’t forget?”

“Nonsense,” says the husband, “I can remember a dish of ice cream.”

“Well,” says the wife, “I’d also like some strawberries and whipped cream on it.”

“My memory’s not all that bad,” says the husband. “No problem—a dish of ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I don’t need to write it down.”

He goes into the kitchen; his wife hears pots and pans banging around. The husband finally emerges from the kitchen and presents his wife with a plate of bacon and eggs.

She looks at the plate and asks, “Hey, where’s the toast I asked for?”

TRUCK DRIVER & THE BIKERS

A truck driver stopped at a roadside diner for lunch and ordered a cheeseburger, coffee and a slice of apple pie. As he was about to eat, three bikers walked in.

One grabbed the trucker’s cheeseburger and took a huge bite from it. The second one drank the trucker’s coffee, and the third wolfed down his apple pie. The truck driver didn’t say a word as he paid the waitress and left.

As the waitress walked up, one of the motorcyclists growled, “He ain’t much of a man, is he?”

“He’s not much of a driver, either,” the waitress replied. “He just backed his 18-wheeler over three motorcycles.”

GOLF BUDDIES

There was an old man named Bill, and one of the things he most enjoyed was playing golf with his old buddy Fred. Bill’s wife always commented on how happy he looked after a game.

But one day he came home from their weekly game looking terrible and very tired. His wife asked, “What’s the matter, Bill? You always seem so happy after golf and you look miserable right now.”

Bill said, “Well, something terrible happened. Fred had a heart attack on the first hole.”

“My goodness, honey!” said the wife, rushing to comfort him. “That must’ve been terrible!”

“It was,” he said. “All day long it was: hit the ball, drag Fred to the ball, and then hit it again…”

Do you have any jokes you’d like to share with us?