Posted in Interviews

Interview – Jack Spirko

Let me first start out by saying if it was not for Jack Spirko there would not be an aaforringer.com, I would probably not have three books or have made so many friends around the world that have come from this blog and my writing.   I had one book, Scouts Out, and it was sitting in my computer going against  Issac Asimov’s advice “you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer”.   I had started to listen to The Survival Podcast  mistakenly doing research into teaching Wilderness Survival to my Boy Scouts and was pulled into Jack Spirko’s orbit and was soon  listening every day (Since early 2010). 

2012, mowing my grass in my back yard and Jack was talking about building a website and paying to get your own domain name.  An idea strikes me, since my book is not doing anything else why not put it on a website at least then it would be out there in the world (attempts to get it published failed).   So I put the book out in by chapters and NO ONE reads it.  But now I  like this trying thing.  The reason I put out quotes every Tuesday and Thursday was because of Jack expounding consistency and new content (that and I love quotes, I had been collecting them in several Word Documents for years).

I start researching self publishing and do that as well, I get a minimum amount of sales, but this encourages me just enough to finish a second book, Q Runner, then Disconnect  and eventually, hopefully, soon a 4th. The reason I charged more for my book Disconnect then the first two was because of Jack talking about pricing of products.

By now I am hooked on trying, or taking a chance.    Flash forward to 2017, I have a side hustle (doing freelance travel/history articles) which pays a little bit, which is more than I had before, while doing something I love.   

Thanks Jack.  

Jack answered these questions sometime in the midst of his travels and being the Keynote Speaker at Liberty Forum in New Hampshire.   So I am even more appreciative of the work put into this while he was so busy.   

   French fries- Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut..?   What condiment(s) on them?

             Since I attempt to keep my carb load very low and live on a mostly primal/paleo diet, I don’t eat fries often.  When I do I generally make my own and do a twice fried Japanese Purple Sweet Potato.  These potatoes are actually white fleshed with purple skins.  Twice frying them gets them puffy and crispy.  For a condiment we blend fermented Korean Chili Paste with home made mayo.  If something is going to be a treat you should do it right.

        How long have you been creating  and why?(and I consider being an  entrepreneur a creator) 

    I am most known as the host of The Survival Podcast and we will have our 10th year anniversary in June of 2018.  As to being an entrepreneur and creating anything from content to product, I’d say that goes back to at least my early teens.  As to why, I really believe that some people are just wired with entrepreneurial DNA.  It is not in our nature to conform to societies rules.  IE – “Go to school, get a real job, work hard, save for retirement in a 401K, etc.”  I actually have occasional nightmares where I am working a j-o-b.  I don’t wake up in terror or anything but in the dream I will end up thinking, how the hell did this happen, why am I here?  Fortunately at that point I tend to realize it is a dream and wake up.

     What odor to you is the most pleasant?

            Tomato plants growing with basil, in a garden, on a warm day, when they get hit with the spray of a hose.  In that moment I am 12 year old Jack Spirko in my Grandfather’s Garden for a few seconds.  I am also quite fond of the smell of burnt gun powder on a cold morning in the deer woods. 

      Favorite things to read?  What genre?

     Nonfiction, about whatever my current projects and interests are.  Specialization is for insects.

       A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

       I was probably driving.

            What is the best thing about creating?

  Just that, creating itself.  Most people react and consume.  Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad thing, we need those folks, if no one consumed and reacted, creators would be bored and have no motivation.  But when I look at a product, a company or a podcast episode that will live past me and impact lives, I realize that creation is a power.  It is a power that can be used like any power for good or evil.  Finding something you can create that does good for the world is truly finding the path you were born to walk.  When you are on such a path your life is exciting, joyful and you feel unstoppable.  Don’t get me wrong there are still challenges, bad days, sad times, etc. you just find yourself more resilient in them, you have less of them and you have mostly great hard charging days.  In fact when I am having a shitty day, the fastest way out of it is to write an article, start recording a podcast, make a video or working on a business plan.  It is like an instant acting drug and it probably is addictive, but it is an addiction, that unlike others we should cultivate. 

    How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

    You will have to ask the ground hog, I don’t speak for others, man nor beast.  What I can say about ground hogs is they are actually quite tasty and the best round to hunt them with is the 22-250 Remington.

      What is the worst thing about being a creative personality?

   Your friends list is going to be small.  Not the people you would consider loose friends, but the people you actually want to hang out with for a full day or go off on some adventure with for a few days.  The people who not only have your cell number but know they can pick up the phone and call you at any time. That even though you are the guy that NEVER answers his phone; you will answer for them and be there for what ever they need.  This in of itself isn’t bad, I think more people should have shorter friends lists, or do a better job of defining the word at least.  However, what I mean is, you are not going to fit in well with non-creative types, like not at all.

Again I am not putting anyone down but the average person constantly uses what I call a “language of limitation”.  Can’t, won’t and if are their favorite words, with phrases like “someday may be”, “it would be great” and “I just wish I could” linking them together.  To listen to this when you are creator is like a small torture.  Look, again I am NOT putting anyone down, the problem isn’t that you have to hear it, it is that in general you feel for these people but until they are ready to make a shift in life instead of excuses you can’t help them. 

It is simply that as creators we use phrases like, “how can I get this to happen” or “what if we try  ________” and we use them constantly.  If you think this way you are only going to be happy spending time with people in general that do the same.  When you find such people though there is an instant kindredship and brother/sisterhood that is hard to explain.  As you talk to such people you inevitably find out your pasts are so similar it is kind of spooky.  Recently for example I found that one such of my friends actually lived less than a mile from me many years ago, and it is quite likely that when working as a bouncer, I may have thrown him out of a local bar, perhaps even more than once.  We have been close friends now for a few years but just discovered this.

So you are going to struggle to fit in at times.  You are going to be in groups and just feel like a doctor surrounded by cancer patients while you are holding a bottle of pills that can instantly cure cancer but no one will take one from you!  I am absolutely serious about that, but the solid relationships you do build more than make up for it.

    If you could force one famous person to consume your podcast who would you force, and how much would you force them to consume?

  Well first, I don’t use force in any way other than in self-defense or the direct defense of others.  So I’d never force anyone to listen to anything.  However if I could convince one person to listen to my message it would be whoever is the current sitting President of the United States at the time.  I am anti political, so the answer would never change, don’t care if it is Obama or Trump or whoever is next.  The U.S. President has so much power to use force on so many people in the world and it is that ear, no matters who’s head it is attached to that I wish would hear more voices, any voices of those who crave a world where voluntary association is prized above all other things.

     How far do you hope pod-casting takes you?  A million subscribers?   

  Where ever it leads I will follow and be grateful.  When I had 10,000 subscribers I was often advised to “build a bigger tent” by people who didn’t podcast by the way.  To be broader with my message and philosophy so I could be “more successful”.  At that time I said, “I would rather have 10,000 people that love my message for its honesty and actually act on it than have 1 million that just listen”.  Since that time my audience has grown 15 fold, but I still feel the same way.  I don’t really care how far what I am doing takes me, and I am serious about that.

I could lose everything tomorrow and could do something as simple as start a pool cleaning business and make six figures doing it with say one part time helper.  So I am going to be okay and I know that.  So what I really care about is how far what I am doing pushes others.  I have to make money, we all do, it is how the economy works.  But my big pay days are always the emails from listeners telling me about the business they built, the debt they eliminated, the homesteads they have established.  Or say their political walks to agorism, libertarianism and voluntarism.  Every day I get such an email is a really good day, and I would say I get one a few times a week.  

So if I get to a point where I get one such email a day, I would have to put that in the win column!  At that point, barring personal tragedy, every day is going to be a really good day.  How many people can honestly say they have that to look forward to?  So if there is any metric, that I gauge my success by it is how many people I influence to find more liberty in their lives though personal action.


These are probably the longest answers I have ever received to my questions and my favorite was about being addicted to creating (which is the way I feel about writing now).  

I would also like to say that Jack has been kind to me before, reading one of my stories on his podcast, America’s Big Game and then allowing me reading my own story, We Need a Monster on his podcast.  

What is the The Survival Podcast about?  It is about preparedness for when things go wrong, and let’s face it something will go wrong it your life, the loss of a job, the death of a significant person in your life and local natural disasters.  The Survival Podcast is also about eating good food, and taking care of yourself and others,  the state of the world today thru a non violent libertarian view point, raising livestock (bees, chickens, ducks…), and building things into your life to give you peace of mind.   What The Survival Podcast is not about, giving into fear and anxiety, it is not about black helicopters and tin foil hats, and it is not about political parties (except when discussing how the try and divide people and keep us fighting each other). Here is a great example of his show.  

Just to prove how big and influence Jack has been on me, his name is listed on Influenced By  and I used his first name as the name of a character in The Genie and the Libertarian.

If you know have listened to The Survival Podcast for any length of time then you know who Steven Harris is,  he was interviewed about a week before Jack, his interview is here.

Next week Gavin Aung Thung, the New York Times Best Selling Cartoonist and creator of Zen Pencils.

Posted in Interviews

Interview – Steven Harris

I am honored today to introduce my readers to Mr. Steven Harris, a walking, talking, passionate encyclopedia of energy and energy related topics (producing your own, storing and using it wisely).  I was introduced to Steven Harris via a podcast I am subscriber to and anytime he is on the show I am always keen to hear what he has to say.    Steven Harris is an author, publisher and an expert in solar energy, generators, batteries, fuels and multiple ways to keep your lights on when your really need them.  He graciously took time out of his busy day and answered some questions for me.
 

French fries- Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut..?   What condiment(s) on them?

Beer battered French fries at Churchill Haus in Churchill, PA or steak cut fries at Red Robin.  No condiments.  Why would I destroy a perfectly good french fry?

How long have you been creating  and why?(and I consider being an  entrepreneur a creator). 

  Probably since I was 2 years old and playing with blocks.  Why?  Because I was born a Meyers-Briggs ENTP and its in my nature, its what I do.  There are 16 Meyers-Briggs temperaments and the ENTP is the most creative and is known for its creativity.  Note: Temperament is NOT personality.  Its the way people are wired.  If you want to ‘Know Thy Self’ then take a temperament test.

What odor to you is the most pleasant?

   Success.

Favorite things to read?  What genre?

Brad Thor military spy thrillers.  Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, Web Griffin etc…   and I read a lot of technical papers on the fields I’m working in.  I said to a person a few months ago that a persons wealth is not measured by his bank account but the size of his personal library.

A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

 Eating too many french fries.

What is the best thing about creating?

Always doing something that no one else has ever done before or solving problems no one else has been able to solve. I’ve done this my whole career.

How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

Depends on the weight of the vehicle that ran over it.

What is the worst thing about being a creative personality?

Not having enough life to do all of the things I know that can be done.   It’d take 10 life times and I’d still never run out of new ideas.

If you could force one famous person to to read your books or watch your DVDs… who would you force, and how much would you force them to consume?

Famous to me and famous to the public is another story.

Where do you hope your creative endeavors lead you?  An interview on Oprah or Ellen that sends your web site stats soaring?     

Implying that I’d like to be on Ellen or Oprah and have my web stats soar and thus my sales soar implies that I’m driven by vanity and greed.  I’m not driven by vanity in the least and greed is not in my nature.  Vanity is by far one of the most destructive personal traits a person can have.  The statement you made is actually insulting.

 

That is Mr. Steven Harris a man of deep knowledge about the world of energy, dispenser of wise and practical about how to keep you and your family safe, secure, warm (or cold depending upon the need) and dare I say happy in good times and bad.  I really enjoyed his answer about wealth and a personal library.  

The greatest and simplest thing that I think that you can do for your energy needs is in  his talk on How to Power Your House From Your Car with An Inverter,  at http://www.solar1234.com/  the 2nd item down at this writing. 

Thanks again. 

 

Next week Jack Spirko.  

Posted in Interviews

Interview – Jacopo Della Quercia

This is an interview with someone I follow on Twitter (who also follows me) @Jacopo_della_Q .  He is a writer with his stuff displayed at The Writings & Works of Jacopo Della Quercia.

I do not recall how I started following Jacopo on Twitter but I have enjoyed his posting there, and I just bought his book The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy.   I am up to chapter 3 and I am thoroughly enjoying it and really like the true historical footnotes in a fictional story.  

French fries- Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut..?   What condiment(s) on them?

Steak.  I use ketchup on my fries (except for the rare occasions I’m having a burger overflowing with a cheese sauce.

How long have you been writing and why?

I have been writing for 8 years now. It started as a learning experiment. Now, it’s a fascinating, fun career!

What odor to you is the most pleasant?

My favorite odor is fresh mountain air.

Favorite things to read?  What genre?

I usually read non-fiction works for research, but I also love classics of every genre.

 A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

I’m guessing I wrote for the boat to capsize due to the zeppelin crashing into it.

What is the best thing about writing?

When you’re a writer, you really can do whatever you want because it’s not somebody else’s book. It’s yours. I love the freedom of telling stories the way I want to. Sometimes I test new ideas, and other times, I try to make my readers appreciate little-known traits from past writers whom I admire.

How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

A groundhog can hog all the ground it wants, unless a bigger, meaner groundhog comes along and takes it stuff.

What is the worst thing about writing?

Jacopo della QuerciaThere’s a lot of waiting in writing they can be unbearable. Waiting for your advances, waiting for editorial reviews, waiting for proposals to be accepted, and so forth. To me, the worst of all is waiting for inspiration. I have so many ideas that I’ve been working on and nurturing for years but have yet to funnel into proposals. It drives me crazy. But then again, some ideas, like wine, are only ready when they’re ready.

If you could force one famous person to read your stuff who would you force, and how much would you force them to consume?

I’m guessing someone who could help me sell a bunch of copies with one review, like JK Rowling. And honestly, I wouldn’t force my writing on her. I think she would really like ‘License to Quill’ if she knew about it! I also wouldn’t mind it if Donald Trump or Sean Hannity spent a month hating on ‘The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy.’ I imagine such criticisms would turn the novel into an overnight bestseller!

Where do you hope writing will lead you? Full time novelist? Twitter Millionaire?

Honestly, I just want to be able to make enough as a novelist to continue writing them at my own pace. It’s not a lot of money now, but honestly, I don’t need a lot of money to survive. If enough people read and review my work, it would free me to write as many as several books a year! I guess that’s everything. Thanks so much for the questionnaire! I had fun.

The man has done a  metric crap ton of writing for Cracked.com and here is the evidence.

Next week the remarkable Steven Harris.

 

Posted in Interviews

Interview Questions

Going to be sending out this list of questions (with some adjustments) to people I consider interesting and they will (I have no doubt) answer them in an remarkable style.  I will most likely  be posting them every Saturday.   Anyone that reads this and wants to answer the questions feel free to e-mail, aaforringer@gmail.com, me your answers (and maybe a short bio along with a link to whatever you are promoting).  Why am I doing this, well I have been working on my next book so much I have not created any original content lately and I feel as though my followers are not getting their moneys worth.  

 

French fries- Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut..?   What condiment(s) on them?

How long have you been creating/writing and why?

What odor to you is the most pleasant?

Favorite things to read?  What genre?

A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

What is the best thing about creating/creating?

How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

What is the worst thing about creating/writing?

If you could force one famous person to read/view/watch your stuff who would you force, and how much would you force them to consume?

Where do you hope creating/writing will lead you?

Posted in Interviews

Interviews of Bloggers I Follow – Malcolm’s Corner

An interview with my good friend Malcolm Greenhill, a guy I have never met in person but corresponded with initially through comments and then e-mail.  Malcolm is a great writer of essays that make me think deeper about a subject then I normally do, why such an intelligent person would enjoy my ramblings I have no idea, but I am glad he is along for the ride.

squirrel1French fries (or in your case Chips): Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut..?   What condiment(s) on them?

Malcolm Greenhill  Chips, these are roughly equivalent to what you call steak fries.

redsquirrel4How long have you been blogging and why?

Malcolm GreenhillI’ve been blogging since April, 2012. I’ve always loved ideas and blogging provides an outlet to write about them and show another side to me that wouldn’t otherwise be exposed

squirrel2 What odor to you is the most pleasant?

Malcolm GreenhillI dislike perfumes and artificial smells and prefer the natural odors of nature, both the good and the bad. Forced to choose a favorite I would say the smell of eucalyptus

squirrel3Favorite things to read?  What genre?

Malcolm Greenhill I mainly read non-fiction, history, philosophy, economics. I am usually reading three books at a time and am currently reading Jonathan Haidt’s, ‘The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion’; Rebecca Goldstein’s ‘Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away’; Daniel Hannan’s ‘Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World’.

squirrel7A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

Malcolm GreenhillI refused to jettison the books I was carrying with me.

Squirrel4What is the best thing about blogging?

Malcolm Greenhill The discipline of forcing oneself to write each week. It’s not that I dislike writing, quite the reverse, it’s just that I have so many other things to do that I would never get around to it if I did not have to produce a post each week. I also love the community, getting to know people around the world that, otherwise I would never have had the opportunity to interact with. It’s actually more than that, it’s interacting with people who know my innermost thoughts on a variety of subjects so, in a sense, they know me better than many of my friends and family do.

squirrel5How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

Malcolm Greenhill I don’t know, probably as much as he wants to defend. They have vicious teeth. Once a marmot decided to hog my pack and it didn’t take long for him to get inside and help himself.

squirrel6What is the worst thing about blogging?

Malcolm GreenhillIt’s a time sink. It just sucks you in and then you discover that the day has gone on reading and commenting on blogs.

squirrel8If you could force one famous person to read your blog who would you force, and how much would you force them to read?

Malcolm Greenhill I would not force anyone to read my blog. Malcolm’s Corner is about ideas and people can’t be forced to change their ideas, they must do so willingly.

squirrel1Where do you hope blogging will lead you too?

Malcolm GreenhillI’m not sure, as the blogging format suites me. I like writing brief, pithy essays which respect the reader’s time. Every book started off as an article or a post and then it expanded to a book. When I read a book I’m always looking for the original article or post. The rest is froth.

Well there it is an interview with Malcolm Greenhill, from Malcolm’s Corner,  I am hesitant to promote any one article he has written because I have enjoyed them all, but I will say that I have a link to one of his articles permanently in my category: How I See the World,  Being Alone with Style, and his most current article In Praise of Repression  speaks deeply to me.

Posted in Interviews

Interviews of Bloggers I Follow- Stressing Out Student

This is the interview questions I sent out to all the bloggers I read, the third is the series is Stressed Out Student at Stressing Out College.  So I hope you all like the questions, I  continue with the Even/Odd Methodology, one serious one not so much.  I will use Stressing’s Icon to denote her answers and the other Icons to denote my questions.  I hope you can figure out who is who.  


groundhog3 French fries: Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut? What condiment(s) on them?

stressingoutstudentSmiley fries with ketchup, please and thank you. 

Groundhog5How long have you been blogging and why?

stressingoutstudentI started “Stressing Out College” just over three years ago to chronicle my college career and alleviate the stress of said college career. 

groundhog4What odor/smell/fragrance to you is the most pleasant?

stressingoutstudentTaiwanese night markets. The stinkier the better. 

groundhog6Favorite things to read? What genre? (you may expand on this if you so desire)

stressingoutstudentI enjoy a lot of different books from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment to Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell. Sherlock Holmes was my idol during my teen years – and still kinda’ is – and the man from The Stranger is my shadow. And I’ve found certain business books, such as The Fifth Discipline, to be fascinating philosophical and insightful works on culture and society. 

groundhogA boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

stressingoutstudentBoat? I thought we were in a submarine. 

grounhog9What is the best thing about blogging?

stressingoutstudentRanting to the world wide Interwebs about useless stuff. And having people enjoy (or at the very least tolerate) this ranting. 

groundhog7How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

stressingoutstudentA.A., have you been taking the drugs again?

groundhog8What is the worst thing about blogging?

stressingoutstudentLosing motivation to blog, even though I still feel the urge to write. I simply don’t know what to write about sometimes. There’s only so many ways in which I can talk about how stressful college is or how fun college is or how much I love Monty Python. 

 groudhog7If you could force one famous person to read your blog who would you force, and how much would you force them to read?

stressingoutstudentEr, I would have to polish up a lot of stuff. I don’t think I’d invite anyone I respect to actually read my blog. It would just be embarrassing. 

groundhog3Where do you hope blogging will lead you too?

stressingoutstudentTo great minds near and far. I love reading all the different perspectives people bring to the table – some are wonderfully intelligent, others painfully stupid. But all are useful because the world really takes all kinds. 

Again, thanks for thinking of SOS 🙂
Cheers,
Stressed Out Student
She is a fun read, and from a different point of life than I am in so it is doubly fun,  some of my favorites have been Update: I’m Abandoning Y’all for the Mormons (just that title alone got me going, Huh?),  Meandering Thoughts on the Eve of My 21st Birthday (I really loved the video at the end),   and  For No One Can See Me and Live… Until YouTube (with a music video at the end).

Thanks and go read her blog for a nice chuckle and it makes me glad I am not in college.

Posted in Interviews

Interviews with Bloggers I Read- Irascible Jots

This is the interview questions I sent out to all the bloggers I read, the second is the series is  Jessica Rose at Irascible Jots.  So I hope you all like the questions, I went by the Even/Odd Methodology, one serious one not so much.  I will use Jessica’s Icon to denote her answers and the other Icons to denote my questions.  I hope you can figure out who is who.  


whitetail1 French fries: Shoestring, steak, curly, crinkle cut? What condiment(s) on them?

JessicaRoseCurly with seasoning and no condiments EVER.

whitetail2How long have you been blogging and why?

JessicaRoseI’ve had a few blogs over the years, so I suppose that I’ve been blogging for about eight years.

 whitetail3What odor/smell/fragrance to you is the most pleasant?

JessicaRoseThanksgiving turkey. Someone should bottle it.

whitetail4 Favorite things to read? What genre? (you may expand on this if you so desire)

JessicaRoseI love mystery and suspense in any time period, with a liberal splash of romance… not enough to make things sappy, though.

whitetail5A boat you are riding in is about to capsize what did you do to contribute to this?

JessicaRoseI sat in the boat (which was a mistake, because I don’t know how to swim).

 whitetail6What is the best thing about blogging?

JessicaRoseBlogging is cathartic. It helps me articulate my thoughts in a clearer manner than journaling  (because a blog post has to make sense).

 Whitetail deer, buck, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.How much ground can a ground hog, hog, if a ground hog could hog ground?

JessicaRoseI’d say an island roughly the size of Guam.

whitetail9.1What is the worst thing about blogging?

JessicaRoseThe worst thing about blogging is the risk of putting my personal thoughts out for public consumption. I don’t mind disagreement, but I do mind personal attacks. I’ve been lucky, and haven’t run into an incredibly large number of trolls, but the possibility is always there.

whitetail9 If you could force one famous person to read your blog who would you force, and how much would you force them to read?

JessicaRoseI’m assuming that I can choose famous dead people… I would force Dorothy L. Sayers to read one or two posts that I’m proud of, and then I would force her to assess my writing style.

whitetail1 Where do you hope blogging will lead you too?

JessicaRoseAt some point, I’d like to write novels (at least part time), and blogging has been my method of making myself write on a schedule. Being in grad school right now, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I used to, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it.

This has been fun! Thank you for asking.

I have enjoyed her observations on life and some of my favorites have been In Other News I’m Black, Condition and Conditioning, and Friday Soapboxing.  Just click on over to her site, I am sure you will find something you will enjoy.

Next Week:  Stressing Out Student