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  • Andrew Scott Bassett

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Wow, how times have changed in the last thirty years. Remember payphones, beepers, electronic organizers, and couples talking to each other in restaurants instead of staring at their phones. Ahh... yes, the good old days right. Young folks, that is human beings much younger than I, can't fathom that civilization survived before the smartphone was created. Being able to contact another person at any time or look up information at the touch of a screen seems to be their birthright. No question the technological revolution of the last twenty to thirty years has in a hundred different ways made our lives easier and given us more time to pursue the things that are important to us. But, taking that all into account, at what cost, and more specifically, what are the downsides of all this "digital bliss", to human beings that we rarely even consider.

As your 'Life Fisherman' I felt it my duty to share what many studies are beginning to find out about the darker side of living a digital life.

First off, there are both psychological and physical adverse effects of too much technology ruling our lives. And before we delve further, I know, I know, I am going to sound like that old dude sitting on his front porch swing, shotgun on his lap, talking about the old days, his glory days as the old song would say. Not much I can do about that, truth is truth, and moderation in everything in life is always a good idea, even in the use of all the techy toys around.

First, we look at the psychological effects of too much of a good digital thing. Many people who spend a lot of their time on social media sights suffer from depression and anxiety. Much of this is fueled by all the negativity they encounter on these sights. I don't know about you, but people for some reason think it's okay to insult and denigrate others on social media, say things online that they would never say to someone face to face, I got news for you types, it's not. Feelings of Isolation are another negative psychological effect many people suffer from who spend too much time and energy online. Human beings need to spend real time with real people, it's how we are wired. When we don't, instead spend most of our time alone staring at our phone or tablet, we begin to feel isolated from others. This isolation that many folks begin to feel can lead to even greater depression and in some tragic cases, suicide. People, we need to take our heads off the screens in our lives sometimes and focus our faces on other faces, you know like in the old days.


Then there are a plethora, big word I know, of physical problems that can arise from spending too much time in the 'fake world', like sleep issues, eyestrain, and the 'big ones', heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even premature death from a sedentary life spent with a phone or tablet sitting in one's hands too long. Experts say to never go to sleep right after spending time on your digital devices. The 'blue light' that they convey stimulates our brains and cause disturbances in the body's circadian rhythm. This disturbance can make it harder to fall asleep at night and can make a person much less alert the next day. Oh, and let us not forget about all the back and neck problems popping up all over the world from spending too much time sitting and staring at our screens. Chiropractors are making a fortune off of this 'new brave' digital world. Eye issues are so prevalent that eye doctors are now recommending a 20-20-20 rule. That means for 20 minutes of screen time, people need to take a twenty-second break and fix their eyes on something at least twenty feet away. This exercise will help with eyestrain and the problems associated with it.


Finally, there is the issue of what all this is doing to our children. Children's brains are still developing and even more sensitive to the effects of the overuse of technology. Studies show that children who overuse technology suffer from a plethora of their own problems, there's that big word again. These can include, low academic performance, ADHD, low creativity, delays in language development, delays in social and emotional development, aggressive behaviors, and then some of the same things their parents deal with as mentioned above, problems with sleep, depression, anxiety, and obesity. All fun stuff to chew on as parents right. Maybe we shouldn't feel so guilty when we kick our kid off of his or her smartphone.


So, what it all comes down to is this, too much of anything, even a good thing can turn into something not so good. When it comes to your digital life consumption, like everything else, moderation is still best.






Well... that's about it for today from your favorite Life Fisherman and author, me.

Knowledge is food for brains and bodies and we all should be fishing for something better in life.

If you like this blog check out my monthly newsletter that I just started this month. You can sign up on my website: www.andrewscottbassett.com. Also check out my first book, 'Fishing for Something', you can order it today on Amazon, or anywhere else online, you'll love it!

Blessings...

Your Life Fisherman

Andrew Scott Bassett


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  • Andrew Scott Bassett

Aren't we all really...







Wow, it's been a crazy few years hasn't it. Most of us have dealt with things we only would have imagined in movies or books. These things didn't seem possible only a short time ago. And the crazy continues with the price of everything exploding around us, it seems more and more each day. We all have suffered in one way or another, some people much more than most. I think we all know at least one person, maybe not well, but at least through friends or family that has passed away from Covid, or other ailments brought on by Covid. We watch television or read on the internet about wars, or rumors of war now almost daily. We witness crime and destruction in our towns and cities like not seen in a very long time. All of this and the reporting of it badgering us endlessly can make anyone lose hope, lose sleep, and eventually fall into a much-wanted shell of depression. We are like little children, pulling the covers of our bed over our heads, scared of the boogeyman whose going to get us. That's where I begin my story, and maybe my mission or is it a calling of sorts, not sure, anyways here goes.


First off, I should start by telling you that I am a published author. I've written two books now, Fishing for Something and The Rosey View of the World. Fishing for Something has been out for awhile. My new book, The Rosey View of the World is being shopped as we speak to agents across the country. The latter novel will be for sale soon and I am very excited to see what people think of it. My first offering, Fishing for Something is a story based on many real events from my life although it is a fictional tale. If you have not read it yet, I encourage you to take a look at it. It's a fun, breezy story with much adventure that is hard to put down. Underneath the entertaining story is more serious and profound issues, the ones we as humans all deal with. Fishing for Something is really about relationships and how they scar us and change us for good or bad. In the book, the Barrett brothers are forced to slam face-first against both past and present relationships that shaped them in ways that have mostly hurt their lives. The biggest one is the relationship with their father who abandoned them and his wife when they were still kids. The hate they feel for him must be resolved, one way or another, as it taints every other relationship in their lives.

As I said, much of this story comes from real events I or close family members have lived. My own father abandoned our family when I was young, leaving my mother, older brother and myself to fend for ourselves. I remember it like it was yesterday, it was two days before my eleventh birthday. I watched as he packed his car with all his things. When he was done he met me on the front porch of our house wished me a good birthday, and then handed me a twenty dollar bill. He promised to call for us when he got settled on the East coast, I never saw him again. I was both relieved he left because of his fighting with my mother and yet sad he was gone. Such is life unfortunately, when I was kid we all wished for families like we saw on television, you know like the Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family, maybe the Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie, how about the Walton's, they were so nice to each other, remember how they all said goodnight to every family member. Sadly, real life is not television, even so-called reality television isn't truly real. No, life is much harder and more complicated than all that. Fast-forward twelve years later from that infamous day my father left and I am now a husband and father myself, determined to not make the same mistakes my dad made. But funny thing, I did do a lot of the same stupid things my dear old dad did. Probably, a lot of the same things you did as a parent and spouse if your reading this. Now, thirty years later, struggling to be a better husband and father, trying my best to be more self-aware of what I say, how I say it and the way I act, I've come to realize some things, important things. First, and foremost, sleeping with someone is easy, living with someone is hard. Our culture sings about and makes movies and books about, at nausea the act of sleeping with someone. Of course, when I say sleeping I don't mean sleeping, I think you get my drift. But little is ever discussed or mentioned, or glorified in film or song about the much more important relationship subject, living with another human being. In the movie, Yours, Mine, and Ours, the original film not the crappy newer Disney version, the late great actor Henry Fonda had a memorable adult exchange in the film that I wished we saw more in the movies of today. I believe he was speaking with his horny, coming-of-age teenage son in the film played by underrated actor Tim Matheson of Animal House fame. Anyhoo, Fonda, frustrated with his son, shares an important fact of life with him. It's easy to go to bed with a woman, it's getting up in the morning with one that shows the true metal of a man, or something to that fact. Fonda's characters point being living with someone through all the ups and downs of life, day in and day out, shows what kind of man or woman someone really is. In our culture we glorify and obsess on romance, 'being in love', sexual fantasy and all that, no wonder relationships rarely go the distance anymore. In real life, those topics are more like the sprinkles you put on your yogurt, they're nowhere near the substance and/or foundation of a true, strong relationship between two people.

So, next on my journey, I wondered why so many of us have missed the boat on all this 'stuff', the real stuff in life. Well, like any kind of ignorance a person has it usually starts with a lack of education on a particular subject. What I am saying is we really don't invest much energy, study, or time on the important things of life. We usually think of marriage counseling as a last resort for a broken marriage, but in reality I think most couples married or not could use a regular, scheduled dose of discussion about themselves and their relationship with those they love. I do believe in God, and I believe we were created to be social beings with him and with others. It's figuring how to do that effectively that takes us into the weeds, so to speak. We all need more information in these areas, we need to learn about ourselves, the people we love, and put an emphasis on getting better and having better and more successful lives. All of us can play a part in this positive growth. We all have our own areas of expertise and experience that can be a blessing to others. We've all made huge mistakes in life and often that is where the greatest lessons are learned if you're willing to humble yourself and examine them. I know in my life, the stupid things I have done and I have had done to me, have been a much greater teacher that most of my successes, it's funny how that works.


Finally, with all this in mind, I begin my next journey in this life. I want to help bring to light, knowledge, wisdom, and positive experiences and information to all who are interested. Around my writing schedule and more importantly my life schedule of being a husband and a father, I am launching a new, newsletter, called Fishing for Something better in life. you can sign up for it on this website, www.andrewscottbassett.com. My first newsletter will being coming out in the next three to four days, please look for it. I hope to inspire, educate, and just plain make people feel better about themselves and this crazy world we live in. You know, it's in the darkest places that flashlights shed the most light. The world is getting darker for sure, but that doesn't mean we have to be in the dark in our own lives. No, armed with love, faith, knowledge and ever-increasing wisdom, we can light up this world for others, helping ourselves at the same time. I hope to be your Life Fisherman on this journey, a fishing guide of sorts for a better tomorrow. So, please look for that new report or newsletter in the next few days and sign-up for free to receive them on a regular basis. And also come back to my website here, where I will be writing regular blogs more detailed on specific subjects than the newsletter. I look forward to connecting with my readers in the near future, and I even have plans for a future podcast entitled Fishing for Something better in life. Always remember the longest journey in life still starts with the first step one takes.


P.S. Check out my first novel, Fishing for Something on Amazon books, Barnes and Noble, and pretty much every other online bookstore in the world, I know you'll love it.


Blessings...

Your Life Fisherman and author,

Andrew Scott Bassett

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P.S. a next book that proves my point is coming, really it is


Wow, life moves fast doesn't it. One minute you are a small child hoping to somehow get the next big thing in toys or clothes and begging your mom for a candy bar at the store and the next thing you know your old enough to be a grandparent. When you're a child you feel like life will last forever and everything that you know in your little world created by your family will go on the same way for eternity. Of course it only seems that way doesn't it, the only thing in life that doesn't change... is change. Yep! Change is the only constant we really have, the only thing we can really count on in life. Change happens in our relationships and who we are closest to, it happens in our financial means and lifestyle, it happens when we dare to take a peek in the mirror and fail to recognize the person looking back at us. For life, change is the name of the game, for worse or better.


I know I have changed in many ways in my life and not just in the normal physical aging sort of ways that crack those mirrors that we spoke of. As a child I was shy, mostly introverted to everyone except my dearest friends. My mother sheltered and smothered me at times. I think both to protect me from my alcoholic father and to a degree to keep me from having as close a relationship with him as I did with her. Just last week I made my trek to her grave site to remember her on what was the third anniversary of her death. It is still hard to believe she is gone, out of reach of a phone call. Since my father abandoned our family just days before my eleventh birthday, my mother became a even larger focal point of my existence. I was raised by the quintessential strong single mom that you hear stories about or see in movies. She was far from perfect and downright difficult to handle at times but as I said during her eulogy, she was my biggest fan and that is irreplaceable.

So, now as I sit here middle aged and wondering what the heck happened to me in the mirror. I look at my past and all those people who shaped it and made it memorable and want to somehow pay tribute. That's where my first book came in, 'Fishing for Something', the story was as you probably already know a way of sorting out old wounds from my past balanced with a fanciful tale of what could have been. Ray Barrett in the book shares many things with my own father. Rose the boy's mother likewise is a character based on my mother. The story's ending is a dream ending that never happened for our family but is wonderful to consider. Some of the plot points in 'Fishing' actually are based on real events that my brother, father, or mother went through. Fortunately the book has been well-received by reviewers and readers alike. It soon will be entered into a international book contest where I hope it breaks out and gains a large following and maybe even the notice of television and motion picture studios, it would make for a great film. Ah...what's next then or am I a one-trick pony, that is the question.


As a lonely child, much younger than my older siblings and still a little kid when my sister was getting getting married and my brother was a fun-loving teenager, I leaned on my imagination to get me through. From an early age I knew I wanted to write stories. Even as a young kid I would tell stories to my school friends mesmerizing then with my creative words. I carried the desire through the rest of my life only to have life get in my way. I never seemed to find the time while being a young father, going to college and working in the real world to make my dream come true. It wasn't until the death of my mother that I earlier spoke about, that things changed, there's that word again. I had been to several funerals for people who meant so much to me in life but yet I had never got up to speak a word in their memory. I was always to upset and emotional to really find the courage to do such a thing. My father-in-law really stands out, he was such a large influence on me and such a amazing person and his death hurt for a long time, it still does. At his celebration of life, many months after his death I wanted with all my will to speak up on his behalf and share what a fantastic father-in-law he was but I just couldn't. The pain of his loss was still so difficult I couldn't find the words in front of the large gathering of people that day who came to pay their respects. Now, my older brother has always been the opposite, he has frequently spoke at funerals and is terrific every time he does. He is even been asked by the families to speak many times. For my mother's funeral service however my brother didn't want to make a speech, well he just couldn't, he was to torn up inside. Now, all these built up feelings inside me about failing to speak before came to the surface and I knew in my heart that I had to do this for my mother, the woman who had so strongly loved me and taken care of me, my biggest fan. I spent a week working on what I would say. I rehearsed my lines over and over again so that I would only have to glance at my note cards for a second. I would tell her story and what a wonderful story it was. She survived the 'Battle of Britain', dated prisoners of war, married and moved to a country farm in America after being raised a city girl in England. She dealt with sexism, racism, and abusive alcoholic husband and yet never loss her incredible zest for life. She lived to a great age and lived a great life. This would be the ultimate story-telling moment of my life and I wasn't going to blow it! When the day came I was ready. There was about two hundred people at the funeral maybe more. I was nervous but determined, I had prepared all week for this speech and I was ready, this was for my mom! I hoped to not breakdown during it and almost made it. At the very end of it when I was speaking of her last moments I lost it for a second, but then with teeth clenched and a steel determination in the pit of my gut, I continued and finished it in a way worthy of my mother's life. As in most things you write, you really don't know if they are as good as you think they are until the audience tells you so. My family and friends overwhelmingly seemed to love my story about my mom. This inspired me to want to write more and share more stories about our family's life. This desire then became my first book.


With the first book published and selling and being appreciated by others it was time to begin to decide on what comes next for me as a writer. I have many story ideas and seem to gain more all the time. My challenge was to focus in what I wanted to do next. Sifting through my many story ideas I decided I still wasn't done with my dear old mom. My first book had a character who had a small part in the story that she had inspired but that wasn't enough. I felt like my mother's life deserved a starring role in a book, and so my next book began. It is nearly finished now and has taken me so much longer than I thought with life once again getting in the way. Several times as I started to write I wondered if I should instead do one of my other stories, but change in our world, there's that word again, fixed my focus on my mother's book even more. Covid hit the world like an asteroid hurtling from space and life and death seem to stand still for all of us. With love ones and stories about loves ones who were passing every day, the importance of remembering our past, the people who loved us became a call for action for me. I realized as covid ravaged our country and the world that so much of what matters about each of us is ingrained in where we come from, our past, good or bad. Sharing my history in story form to others is like offering them a warm bowl of soup, it might not be the most exciting thing on the menu but it still satisfies you and makes you feel all warm inside. I don't think as a writer I can ask for anything better that I can do for other people, especially these days, than satisfying them and making them a little bit happier, a bit warmer inside.




 

Now A Sneek Peek For The First Time From My Second Book, Yes The One About My Mom

I Hope You Like...But First My Mum, As She Liked To Be Called In Some Photo's! Three Years And Counting Mum, And We Miss You Just As Much!


Always Ready To Laugh And Entertain


She Loved To Dance & Rock And Roll

I Think She Inspired Harry Potter, She Was British

But Also A Certain Kind Of Class And Dignity

An Age Defying Spirit Who Always Knew How To Accessorize

Love Ya' Mum!!



And Now For The First Time Ever A Sneek Peek From The New Book


Me and my girlfriends including Sheila Saunders of course were having a few drinks and dancing at one of the clubs after work one night. Between all of the requests to dance from the different men in the club I took notice of one gent in particular. He had blondish brown hair and the most handsome face I had seen since my Uncle George. What really stood out about the fella was he wasn't getting up and asking any of the ladies in the place to dance. With his gorgeous looks and chiseled physique he could have danced with anyone he wanted to. The other thing about him that made me stop and look was he was wearing a regular suit while his four mates with him were all British Soldiers, military police to be exact. For the next few minutes I tried desperately to ignore him while I chatted it up with the girls and sipped my class of Brandy. Although I was only sixteen, as always I looked older and no one in the clubs seemed to care to check my identification or my friends for that matter. I nudged Sheila Saunders in the side and pointed him out to her. She agreed that he was quite mysterious and deliciously handsome. One of my other girlfriends who spends more time at this particular club than I do, she doesn't go to college just works, said she's seem him in here before, in fact several times and always surrounded by British Soldiers.

"That is very curious, isn't it?" I replied.

"Maybe he's a prisoner of war, or such." Sheila theorized.

"No!" I said. "They wouldn't have let him into an English Club if he was a prisoner of war."

"Well, will never find out if he's not going to ask any of the girls in here to dance." One of the other girls offered up.

"Maybe you should go over and ask him to dance?" Sheila said with a giggle.

"Maybe I should." I quickly answered back.

Sheila then changed her tone and said she was only having fun with me. "A woman doesn't ask a man to dance Rosey, it's unheard of."

Now, I was never one to be dared to do something, lightly. She threw down the gauntlet and I was quite happy to pick it up. "Well really, why not then?"

Sheila and the others tried desperately to talk me out of the notion. They said it was unseemly and again, just not a thing a lady should do.

"Are we still in the Victorian Age then?" I argued. "Is it only men who get to decide what the rules are? I think it's about time for women to tell men to bloody well bugger off and let us ladies have a chance to write some rules up ourselves!"


Sheila grabbed at my arm when I stood up from my chair. It was a last ditch effort to get me to not go over there, but it was to late, I was already riled up. I pulled my are away and marched right over to the conclave of men. "Can we help you love?" One of the soldiers asked.

I said yes. I then asked if the gentleman sitting there would like to dance. He didn't respond with words to my request, he just smiled broadly.

The British Soldiers did however. "What did you say then?" One of them asked me, not believing his own ears.

So then I asked again.

"Since when does a lady ask a man to dance?" Another soldier chimed in.

"She's got a lot of pluck, this one," the same soldier who seemed to be in charge, added.

The other soldiers began to grumble about how it's not done and especially in this case, but the commanding officer seemed to like me, or at least my pluck. He decided it was okay if it was agreeable with Maximillian. When the other soldiers complained some more they were cut off and reminded by their commander about how compliant a chap Max is. "He's not trying to escape lads, it's only dancing."


At that moment I realized that the man I had come over to dance with was, as Sheila had speculated, indeed a prisoner. It certainly took me by surprise and since his name was what it was, I could only conclude a German one at that. "So, he's a prisoner then?" I asked, although I already knew the answer.

The commanding officer nodded. "He's a German prisoner of war. But Max here is one of our favorites. He's a good soul, this one. He's no Nazi. He was just following orders like the rest of us when he got captured. You still want to do that dance, miss?"


I looked over at the young man, the German man, not much older than me. He gazed at me like he was studying my face, waiting to see what I would say next. "Yes." I answered. "If he does, that is"

The commanding officer then looked over at his prisoner and waited for his answer. "Yes, I would like that very much." He responded with his German accent almost as sexy as his eyes.


With the prompting of the British Soldiers and some pats on the back, Maximillian got up and gracefully and with great care, took my hand and escorted me out onto the dance floor. We danced for hours as Sheila and the other girls watched with their mouths gaping wide open. The British Soldiers in charge of Maximillian hoisted drinks and cheered. When it was finally time to call it an evening Max, as he asked me to call him, took my hand and kissed it. He thanked me for the evening. He said he had almost forgotten how much fun it was to dance and enjoy good company. He thanked me for reminding him of such things. I told him he was a wonderful dancer. He blushed from the praise.

The commanding officer then announced that they had to get back to camp. I said my good-byes to Max expecting to never lay eyes on him again. He then left with the soldiers, but the commanding officer quickly circled back into the club to speak with me.

"Yes, what is it?" I asked.

He thanked me for helping Max have such a wonderful evening. He then shared a bit about him. The commander said that Max got much more freedom than most prisoners of war because he was such a nice chap and a model citizen. The British Military was working on getting him sent back to his home in Germany as soon as possible. In the meantime, the soldiers were allowed to take him out and show him a good time occasionally. He then left me with one more tidbit of information, if it made any difference. He told me that they would be back here at the club in two nights, if I wanted to dance some more with their prisoner. I didn't answer but I must say I was intrigued. I waved at the commander as he left. I reminded myself that If my old pap knew he would kill me as I rounded up Sheila and the other girls and headed for the exit.


I Hope You Enjoyed The Sneek Peek

Until We Meet Again, All My Best From Your Life Fisherman

And Writing Fool!


Andrew Scott Bassett




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