Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Dear Lloyd: Come in, come in, wherever you are....

Someone named Lloyd was the first to comment on my previous post, meaning he is due a free signed copy of The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions.

Lloyd, I replied to your post but haven't heard back. I need your snail mail address. You can send it to thebeathandbook@gmail.com.

If anybody knows Lloyd, please alert him to his good fortune. Thanks.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

3/4 of a million pageviews: Time to give away a free book

We have officially hit 3/4 of a million all-time pageviews here at The Daily Beat. 757,702 to be exact (I'm slow on the draw to post the announcement).

So, that means it's time to give away a free signed copy of The Beat Handbook.

Here's how this works. Be the first person to reply to this post and you win. Simple. I'll announce the winner in a reply as well as a subsequent post. All I'll need is the winner's snail mail address and I'll take it from there.

Let the games begin.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Chinese Beatniks?

"Beatnik" in Chinese (I think)

Putting the pejorative connotations of the term "beatnik" aside, think about the implications of a Beat Generation developing in China as suggested in this article: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/your_say/30335193. Right off the bat they have the Buddhist connection in play.

It's a stretch, but such articles keep Kerouac's name in the news if nothing else.

Here's a link to the original article that spawned the beatnik connection: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30335127.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What does Katy Tur of MSNBC have to do with Jack Kerouac?

I just finished Katy Tur's new book, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. It chronicles Tur's time assigned to the Trump Presidential campaign. It's insightful, engaging, and funny. I highly recommend it if you are into politics, or if you just want an inside look at how cable news coverage works.

But you are asking, "What does this have to do with Jack Kerouac?" (since that is the raison d'être of this blog). Well, Jack was a writer, and Tur has proven her chops in that regard with this book. I read Unbelievable in two sittings, literally not being able to put it down. She strikes me as sympatico with Kerouac in her fearless approach to writing, telling it like it is and letting the chips fall where they may. The chapter on her parents alone is worth the price of the book -- they were a fascinating news duo who started the Los Angeles News Service, paving the way for using helicopters in a major city to cover breaking news.

I guess I've now opened the door to being able to post on The Daily Beat about any books I read, and I guess that's true enough. All books have writers, and Jack was certainly that, so there's always that minimal connection. I've been doing a lot of reading in retirement, and that makes a lot of fodder for future posts.

Maybe I can contact Katy and get her to weigh in on her thoughts about Jack. I've seen her drop an impromptu obscure The Big Lebowski reference when anchoring a show, so who knows? The Dude was certainly a beat character (see video to the right of the Dude hawking The Beat Handbook), so she may be a Kerouac fan. I'll let you know....

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Million Pageviews -- Here We Come!

As I type this, all-time pageviews for this blog -- at least since we started tracking them on Google -- are at 748,884. That is nearly 3/4 of a million! Not bad for a blog obsessively -- and narrowly -- focused on Jack Kerouac (and The Beat Generation). The next big, big milestone will be 1,000,000 pageviews, and, believe me, we'll be celebrating that auspicious occasion.

For the immediate future, though, once we hit 750,000, I'll be giving away a signed copy of my book to the first person to respond to my post about hitting that particular milestone. So stay tuned for that announcement. We get several hundred pageviews on a typical day, so it won't be too long a wait....

In the meantime, you can get your very own copy of The Beat Handbook by clicking below.

Why Buddhism is True

I just finished reading Robert Wright's Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. It was a Christmas gift from Chris, my partner's son. It is an excellent and practical treatise on two cornerstones of Buddhism -- meditation and enlightenment. Wright is a fantastic guide on this journey as he is an experienced yet admittedly flawed meditator and, of course, he is a gifted writer. I particularly loved the way he showed how the tenets of Buddhism are supported by modern science.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Buddhism, especially from a practical, life-changing perspective. Loyal readers know that Jack Kerouac was an accomplished student of Buddhism, having written several books on the subject (see links at the end of this post).

If you are interested in getting a copy of Why Buddhism is True, I recommend Amazon (click the link below).

Below are links to Kerouac's three books on Buddhism:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Year's Kerouac-olutions for 2018 . . . Not

As usual, here is a report on my 2017 New Year's Kerouac-olutions. There's time left in the year but it's not going to change anything.

Here is this year's list with an update for each entry.

1. Go somewhere with Crystal we've never been 
UPDATE: We spent most of September in France and Italy.
2. Buy Crystal flowers at least once-a-month (a streak)
UPDATE: I blew this one badly.
3. Attend to home repairs (shed, deck, driveway, chimney flashing)
UPDATE: Got the deck repaired and stained. Shed, driveway, chimney = fail.
4. Start acting like a writer (i.e., write)
UPDATE: What a joke. I'm no writer. Writers write.
5. Read something by Kerouac I haven't yet read (e.g., Some of the Dharma, The Unknown Kerouac)
6. Keep The Daily Beat streak going for another year
7. Work out at least twice a week (three if possible)
UPDATE: Been doing well with this goal, especially since Europe. I pretty much go to Planet Fitness every other day. It almost offsets my horrible diet and my drinking.
8. Take a road trip to Pennsylvania and visit Charlie on one leg of the trip (which would satisfy #1)
UPDATE: Visited Charlie, albeit the excuse for the overall trip was the death of my friend, Tom Hoover. We attended his services in Pennsylvania.
9. Visit the California Dales
UPDATE: Fail. We're going to try and make a trip in March.
10. Sing and play guitar more
UPDATE: Probably did this more than last year, but not enough.

I didn't even hang with Richard much, get to Jack's grave, or meditate regularly: all things I mentioned in last year's post as things to do in 2017. Of course, I spent a good part of the summer in severe back pain, finally getting a grip on it via a new chiropractor. But that is an excuse.

"Try? Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

For diehards, here is the link to last year's post, which contains links to all previous Kerouac-olution posts: http://thedailybeatblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/new-years-kerouac-olutions-for-2017.html.

So, what are my 2018 Kerouac-olutions? 

NONE. NADA. ZIP. Not in the right frame of mind to post a bunch of hoo-haw that won't get done.

No resolutions, no disappointments.

Here's to a non-disappointing year. (What a low bar I have set for myself.)