Welcome to My World

-Welcome to the new & improved blog, Life In The Trenches.  On here I will be detailing things from everyday life, such as, recommendations of things that I have come across and the panning of those that I have found to be waste of time and money.  I will occasionally post some rants about things that I find annoying and raves about things that I get excited about.  I also author a couple of other blogs: My Family Research, which I use to detail my experience in researching my family history and post interesting/relevant information.  Then there is Digging Around Winslow Township which will be revised and repurposed in the near future (most likely to be changed to detail trains and railroads which I have a great interest in).  Other than that, enjoy my current endeavor and if you wish to comment, please feel free to register and post your thoughts.  However, I must say that I will be moderating all comments and determining if they get included or not.  Sorry, my blog…my rules.

Lastly, I may include some links in my posting where I may be receive a commission amount.  Please read my Affiliate Disclaimer (the link is also located at the top of the page).

What I’m Reading – The Void Within: The Cluster Saga Book One

As some of you may or may not know is that I am a sci-fi fan. I love almost anything that is sci-fi. Although, I’m not a Trekkie, I do love the series and all of the spin-offs. I’m now a fan of The Orville. I’m seriously considering subscribing to Hulu because the 3rd Season has been moved from the Fox Network over to Hulu. But I’m also a great fan of sci-fi books. I have an Amazon Fire Tablet that use to buy ebooks and read them.

The latest one that I am currently reading is called The Void Within: The Cluster Saga Book One by Carlos R. Tkacz, The summary of the book as listed on Amazon is:

“The 25th century. Humanity has discovered a new form of energy, the Source, derived from the very basis of life itself. Using this power to travel instantaneously through space, humans have spread through their corner of the galaxy and coalesced into two groups: the Coalition and the Inner Cluster. They are held in an uneasy economic and cultural relationship by their reliance on each other, the Coalition with the technology of the Source and the Inner Cluster with the materials to make it a usable form of energy. When rumors of conquest, political undergrounds, and alien contact threaten this balance of powers, it falls to three individuals to find the truth of the conspiracies swirling through their governments and to stave off a disastrous war. What they find in the process will change the course of humanity forever.”

The book is an interesting read and reminds me of the early 2000’s when the US went to war in Iraq. The book details a similar, albeit fictional, premise for war. There are 2 factions in story. One has the technology to travel instantaneously in space and the other has the material that the technology needs to accomplish the instantaneous travel. Very similar to before the outbreak of the War in Iraq. America had the technology to convert oil from the Middle East into energy but didn’t have the large oil reserves of the Middle East.

In the story, one group (The Coalition) has the technology to convert the material that is provided by the other group (The Inner Cluster) into energy. This creates a mutual dependence which The Coalition is not at all pleased with. The book goes into the ways and methods that the powers to be use to attempt to get control of the materials needed to convert to the new source of energy. However, there are 3 people that are drawn into the conspiracy and attempt to diffuse the situation and to prevent another war. To find out how they make out and how things end up, you’ll have to get the book for yourself and read it. 🙂

Lots of Changes Happening.

I’ve had to take a hard look at the blogs that I have attempted to publish and maintain. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep only 2 or possibly 3 (I haven’t made my final decision yet). I am either in the process or I have completed the shutting down of a few of my other blogs.

  1. My real estate blog will be going away. I’ve retired from that business and don’t have the time to do a satisfactory job of keeping that site going. I’ve already shutdown/deleted the real estate pages that I had on Facebook.
  2. The Rant Place is gone or at least no longer maintained. The link at the top of this page/site is either gone or will be soon. This blog will have to suffice for the airing of my pet peeves.
  3. Cozy Corner has been shut down. It was an endeavor that we had in conjunction with Amazon. But Amazon stopped supporting/maintaining that feature so the Cozy Corner Bookstore was shut down. We will be looking to see how we can best utilize our partnership with Amazon in the future.
  4. Digging Around Winslow Township will be changing drastically. I’m still toying with the idea of possibly re-purposing that blog for something else (maybe the 3rd possible blog) or just shutting it down.
  5. Finally, I’ve decided to shut down The Thinking Progressive political blog. It’s not worth it. I don’t need to make myself a target for all of the so-called political expert nutjobs out there. I’ll limit my political discourse to this blog.

So, what’s left? Well, there’s this blog and my blog that I use to detail my family research, Iwaniw Family Research Blog. So far most of my time has been spent with the family research blog because I’ve been doing quite a bit of research work on my family’s history. I’m pretty pleased with my results. You can read for yourself on the blog.

When did “Influencer” become a profession?

I recently read a news article about social media “influencers”.  As a matter of fact ti was a couple of articles.  One article was about a business owner that decided to charge “influencers” double what he charges normal people .  And I love his reason for doing it.  First of all, is “influencer” a real job?  I don’t think so.  If you give me the Kardisians as an example of REAL “influencers” then I will give you back prime example of parasites on society.  These so-called “influencers” are nothing more than parasites where they take (including the air they breath) without giving back anything of substance.  Parasites.  And those that follow them and hang on every word they say are ones with empty lives and weak-minded.

I still don’t understand where these social media people get off thinking that they’re important as they think they are.  Take Olivia Jade (college scandel’s Lori Loughlin’s youngest daughter).  Seems like her career path that she chose for herself was being an “influencer”. She got upset with her parents for the college scandal because their indictment caused her to lose her deal with Sephora.  Now she might actually have to work for a living and to actually be productive.
So, what kind of profession is an influencer?  What skills does one have to acquire to become one?  What do influencers have to offer?  As the ice cream owner in the article states, he had gotten sick of the influencers contacting him for free samples of his product.  And we’re not talking about 1 or 2 here,  In the article he references one of the influencers contacting him and expecting 300 samples.  I can see certain companies using the web sites and blogs as a marketing strategy.  It’s called affiliate marketing and generally a web site owner or blogger will apply to the company requesting to get paid for advertising their product.  The company gets to decide if they want their product listed on any given site.  Not the other way around.  The business owner does not mention that he wanted to use this strategy.
The only thing that was missing from the article was that the owner was not threatened with derogatory comments about them from the influencers.  My take from reading the article was here is a guy (ice cream truck owner) busting his chops every day to make a living and he ends up having to deal with the parasites trying to deprive him of his livelihood by trying to convince him that they are so all-important.  He decided to charge “influencers” double ($8 instead of $4) but I think he should have tripled the price for them.  What the hell is the difference?  They didn’t want to pay the regular price.
These “influencers” have very little to offer the general public.  In the future I will be posting details of when I did research on generating an income through a blog.

What’s the big deal about the college admissions scandal?

I’ve seen a few comments from people about the scandal that swept up Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman and their spouses,  Some comments made asked what was the big deal.  I can’t speak for everyone or the DOJ but I find what they did was highly offensive and insulting.  Why?  Because as much as our children are important to us they are not as important to the rest of the world.
Just to be clear, I love my children and my grandchildren.  They are very important TO ME.  I’m not forcing my children on the rest of the world.  I support them as they make their way in life.  I don’t arrange their life for them.  Essentially that’s what Loughlin and Huffman did.  They forced the world to bestow the same level of importance on their children as they did.  The rest of the people in the world were expected to play by the rules.  Not these families.  They considered themselves special and, in turn, their children were special.  Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and William Macy are entertainers.  They really haven’t done anything that would be considered as a benefit to anyone in the world.  Probably no one outside the USA even knows who they are.  But their children are more important than anyone else in the world.  To them this may be, and should be, true but to the rest of us, not at all.
This caused the deserving children not to get in because these parents’ children undeservingly took their spots in the limited admissions process.  This also dovetails with a recent study that found that for a person to be successful they only have to wealthy but not smart.

The Farce of Customer Service Over the Phone


We’ve all encountered it.  We call a company or service and get entangled in their automated phone system.  You know where you call and rerecord voice recites a series of menu choice that you have to pick or one that seems closest to what you want.  And then finally you are told, via the recorded voice, to “Stay on the line and a representative will help you momentarily” or “Your call is important to us, a representative will help you.”.

First of all, if my call is so important then I wouldn’t be stuck on hoid.  You’d have hired enough representative to answer the phone and help customers.  But that’s really not the case.  It’s all about profits and them cutting costs wherever they can so that they can pocket money in their own pockets.
I recently had to contact a credit card company regarding an issue and I am on the phone with them as I am writing this blog entry. I’ve  been on hold for over 20 minutes waiting for a representative and listening to “Thank you for waiting. Please stay on the line and a representative will help you as soon as possible.”  Now, I’m wondering if there is anyone actually on the other end manning the phones.  Maybe they only hire independent contractors to work from home and set their own hours but one one has logged in to answer the calls.  It makes one wonder what is going on.  Are they really interested in helping customers or is it all a big show.  Do they even intend to give you any help or is it one of the deals where their actual philosophy is <<Your call is important to us.  Please stay on the line until this call is no longer important to YOU”.