Black swans of trespass

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another poetry post. However, please humour me for a moment by reading this short piece and deciding what you think of it. You’ll find out why later.

Durer: Innsbruck, 1495 (published 1943)

I had often cowled in the slumbrous heavy air,
Closed my inanimate lids to find it real,
As I knew it would be, the colourful spires
And painted roofs, the high snows glimpsed at the back,
All reversed in the quiet reflecting waters –
Not knowing then that Durer perceived it too.
Now I find that once more I have shrunk
To an interloper, robber of dead men’s dream,
I had read in books that art is not easy
But no one warned that the mind repeats
In its ignorance the vision of others. I am still
The black swan of trespass on alien waters.

Bookmark your thoughts. Whatever your opinion, the story behind this poem is a tale for the ages.

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OUT NOW! Tales From Captivity

Tales From Captivity by [Nikolai Vladivostok]

15 short stories to trouble your soul

A Japanese labourer seeks solitude in a room that reeks of death. A scuba instructor volunteers for a bizarre experiment. Judas preaches his own gospel. Chinese scientists clash in a grim, winner-takes-all struggle. An outback miner’s attempt to raise money to return home ends in chaos. An old, African freedom fighter plots a daring murder. A kidnapped billionaire escapes across the remote highlands of Taiwan.

Each story takes unexpected turns.

A review from Deacon Blues:

Tales From Captivity introduces you to scenarios which, while fantastic, are only one or two steps away from real life. It is these tiny little patches to the fabric of reality that lead to profound consequences. In it are placed normal, real, fallible human characters, and things unfold in unexpected ways. For almost all of these stories the ending was not what I predicted. Even in the most harrowing moments, I was captivated, and read on . . .

Tales From Captivity is aptly named, macabre, entertaining, and well worth your time and money.

You can read the first story on Amazon’s free preview:

Tales From Captivity is also available on every other platform.

I’ve enabled this book to be shared via PDF. Feel free to do this so long as it’s a good faith effort to spread my work to your friends, no money is involved, and you encourage the recipients to post a review.

Thanks to Lemmiwinks, Deacon Blues and SR for their eagle eyes in spotting errors and for other feedback.

Friday Finance: the spendthrift spouse

I’ve got a mate. He’s married with a kid. He’s okay with money but his wife is atrocious.

Each month he hands over all the money she’ll need for household expenses. Each month she ends up asking for more, saying she’s run out, even though he’s done the budget, gone over it with her a million times and figured how how much they ought to be spending on each item.

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The last 3 good albums

I’m haunted by three albums released from the late 1990s to mid-2010s.

Partly because they are ethereal and strange, partly because they seem to be the last good albums ever recorded.

I might be wrong about this. Perhaps I’m just a grumpy old man and you can draw my attention to more recent good albums.

On the other hand, maybe downloading killed music as we once knew it, leaving us with nothing listenable except for free, bland focus music.

Edit: here’s another view of what’s wrong with modern pop. It’s not the only one:

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Friday Finance: a letter to 2015

Hello past-people.

How are you? I am fine.

My blog began in 2015. Using newly discovered tachyon particles, I am writing to my seventeen initial readers from the year 2021 to give you tips for flourishing over the next few years.

Be aware that BIG THINGS are coming up, not all of them good. The Time Lords have forbidden me from giving you specifics, but I am allowed to give general advice that will help you to get through.

The economic sunshine will not last forever.

You have time to prepare.

Follow the ten steps to financial freedom that will enable you to get through no matter what happens, especially the first four, foundational steps:

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Don’t participate


No more brother wars.

No more fighting for contemptuous rulers.

Don’t join the military. Discourage your sons, nephews and others from enlisting.

If you’re in, get out when you can and do a half-arsed job in the meantime. If deployed, keep your head down. Don’t be a hero for a nation that no longer exists. Do the minimum you can get away with.

Let them fight their own battles from now on.


The game is rigged. In certain situations you know you can’t win and your life will be forfeit no matter what you do.

Don’t join.

If you’re in, plan your exit.

If you stay for the pension, understand that you are rolling the dice. You’re one bad traffic stop away from being prosecuted for sainticide.

This might not apply if you serve in a local area where you enjoy strong support from the people. Your people.

Civilian readers should rethink how they assist police from now on. Previously you might have been the sort of upstanding citizen who would grab a fleeing thief, phone in suspicious activity or help a copper in need. We need to adjust to a world of arbitrary, who/whom law. Who is fleeing whom? Who is conducting the suspicious activity? Who is the copper in distress? These are salient questions now that blind justice and the rule of law are dead.

They make the rules, we just have to play by them.


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Friday Finance: People’s Blog Recommended finance books and links

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Further Reading

I do not necessarily endorse the content of these websites and books.  It’s good to get another point of view.


[Edit: I’ve removed some of these links as they’ve become over-commercialized, feminized and/or pozzed. One was mostly about vaccines and climate change! They’ll be gone from the second edition of the book.]

Introductory and general information

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Friday Finance: recap of the 10 steps to freedom

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.


In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let’s finish by recapping each step and figuring out where you are and what you still need to do.

Review of the Introduction

Many people lack any level of financial freedom, even if they have a relatively high income, because they are unable to manage their money.  They live paycheck to paycheck, borrow heavily, and an unforeseen incident can cause disaster.  They feel that they are on a treadmill that they can’t get off, even for a moment.  Many wealthy people have had to file for bankruptcy because they could not get their finances in order.

By following the steps in this book, you can achieve a much greater degree of independence and financial freedom.

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The need for cultural and genetic renewal

In the dying decades of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths rampaged through the countryside. Goths had previously been allowed to peacefully settle within the Empire because farmers and soldiers were desperately needed following recurrent epidemics and low birth rates. However, these immigrants had been required to surrender their arms at the border and live in small groups, not as internal nations under their own leaders. In fact, this resettlement was often part of a punishment following a lost war.

Once the Huns began to attack Gothic lands from the east, however, these rules went out the window. So many Goths poured across the frontier that no Roman force could prevent them, disarm them or separate them.

The subsequent arrogant and callous treatment of the barbarians was not a clever move as by this time they were one of the few effective fighting forces still available in the West and the Huns were looming on the horizon.

Alaric I tried to find a place for his Visigoths within the Roman Empire. At one point, during a siege, he made a pretty fair offer: forget about the gold. Make me head of the Roman Army, I’ll take my people north to settle along the Danube frontier and we’ll guard it for you.

At this point Rome had no army to speak of to protect the border and no better way of getting the Goths out of their hair. This was a Godsend.

Rome said no.

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