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Yeah, I’m THAT Superstitious PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wes Forsythe   
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 16:09

Do you have a ritual that you perform every New Year’s Day?

I think most people have some ritual associated with the holiday. Many of us don’t even know why we do them…we just always have.

My wife and I have practiced some silly ritual every year since we have been together I think. The first that I remember was that on New Year’s Day you are supposed to do at least one important activity that you want to make sure you do all year. Later we picked up that one should eat cabbage. Guess what has been included in every New Year’s Day dinner since?

This year, to insure our happiness and financial prosperity, we put the “pedal to the metal” and went all out.

Before I continue, I want to acknowledge an article from Bellesprit Magazine titled Belle’s New Year’s Stuporsitions. I recently interviewed Belle Salisbury on Paranormal Filler and I got the idea to follow the guidelines in the article as closely as possible. Go to the article to find even more traditions than I have listed here and to find out some of the lore behind them.

Before New Year’s Eve

The entire house should be clean before New Year’s Day.
This has to do with sweeping all the negative energy out of your home. While it makes sense, in practice the correct procedure is hard to follow in my house. You are supposed to sweep the dirt to the center of the room and then apparently keep it for a few days. We vacuumed. Partial credit.

The New Year must not be seen with bare or empty cupboards.
Easy enough. Stocked up on food (Fritos in particular). Check.

All debts should be paid before the New Year.
I am not sure how one can get rid of all of their debts for this one. We just made sure all the bills that were due were paid. Partial credit.

Make sure any unfinished projects are completed before New Year’s Day.
My entire life is defined by unfinished projects. FAIL

Plant a new plant or tree before New Year’s Day.
We plant trees and stuff all the time. Mother Earth should be happy. Pass.

Make a list of things that you have done during the old year, both good and the bad, and then burn it outside.
Didn’t even attempt this one. Maybe next year.

Place a dollar bill under a new loaf of bread to insure that you have food all year long.
Easy-Peasy. Check.

Place a dollar bill under a New Year Calendar to insure that you will have money all year long.
Still pretty easy. We took it a step further and put dollar bills under all of our new calendars (which we never hang until New Year’s Day) and I stuck one in my date book just to be safe. Check.

Place change in your left pocket to bring change to you in the New Year.
This meant that I had to wear pants, but I made it through the evening. Check.

The wallets of everyone in the household should be stocked with money to guarantee prosperity.
I hope I did this one right. We took our “bail money” stash (hey, you never know) and put it in my wallet. Unfortunately, this made my wallet too fat to carry with me so I hope that isn’t an issue. I did however tuck it under my pillow for the evening. Check.

Forgive friends and family for any misunderstandings and disagreements they may have had that year so they can make a clean start of the New Year.
Already taken care of. I can’t think of anyone that I am currently pissed at. Check.

The Japanese ring bells 108 times on December 31st to chase away 108 troubles.
Sounded tedious. Fail.

To keep out evil spirits and misfortune hang a rope of straw across the front of your home.
Being a farmer I do have access to straw. However, being me, I do not have the patience to make a rope from it. Fail.

On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve every door in the house, and even the windows, should be opened to allow the old year to go out unimpeded.
Technically we didn’t open every door. There were only two of us. And no, I did not open the windows. It was cold and this house costs enough to heat without airing it out during a winter night. Incomplete.

We kiss those dearest to us at midnight to share a moment of celebration with others but also to insure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next 12 months.
Check.

Make as much noise as possible at midnight. You are not just celebrating; you are scaring away evil spirits.
I wanted to fire off a few rounds in the air from the .38. Anita wouldn’t let me so we just laughed really loud when we opened the doors. Pass.

When the New Year begins laugh as loud and hardy as you can! This is believed to bring good luck in the New Year.
See previous. Check.

New Year’s Day

Nothing is to leave the house of the first day of the year.
This was a new one on me. We have made every effort to keep everything in the house with one exception. We chose today to plant our Christmas tree despite the rule listed previously. We always get a live tree and plant it in the yard. I felt that planting it today (along with a charmed stone I had been carrying) would be a great gesture to the earth. Better Pass.

Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words.
Probably @#$&ed that one up. Fail.

Anything in the shape of a circle is good luck because it symbolizes coming ‘full circle’ completing a year’s cycle.
Powdered Donettes for breakfast? I don’t mind if I do. Check.

The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity.
Pork chops for dinner? Not a problem. Check.

Eat collard greens or cabbage for money in the New Year.
We substituted spinach and cole slaw. Work with me a little, universe. Check.

Eat black-eyed peas to bring luck in the New Year.
That was a really good dinner. Check.

Do not use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as this may cut away your fortune.
I had not heard this one before, but I managed by eating the pork chops with my hands. I did miss having gravy though. Check.

On New Year’s Day you are not to wash your hair because it would mean you would have washed away good luck for the New Year.
I probably won’t take a bath either. It’s my day off. Don't judge me. Check.

Do not do laundry on New Year’s Day as to do so would be to wash away your good fortune.
It was surprising easy to talk Anita into following this one. Check.

Do not pay loans or loan out any precious goods on New Year’s Day.
Not a problem. Check.

Above all else, remember, whatever you do on New Year’s Day, you will be doing all year long!
And that’s why I am here and you have this to read. Check.

Happy New Year, everyone.

 
Thank You & Happy New Year PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wes Forsythe   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 15:56

Thank you

I wanted to take a moment as the year comes to an end to reflect a little, plan too much, and just let my mind do what it does.

First off, I want to thank everyone for the growth and success of Paranormal Filler. It is still a work in progress. But that a simple farm-boy from Central Kentucky could gain the acceptance in this field that I have obtained is very flattering.

Note that the common phrase would have been to say that it was humbling. It is not humbling. The nights that no one shows up to listen are humbling. Overall the experience has blown up my ego like the tacky Christmas inflatables that still occupy my yard.

The show has allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people that I can imagine on the face of this planet. I have exchanged ideas with people so smart that in comparison I am little more than a monkey that knows the sign language for banana. Once in a while those ideas have even been acknowledged and accepted.

The show has brought me to the attention of some truly gifted people, and of course the inverse is true. It has allowed me a network of colleagues that if needed could move the Earth for me.

I have been constantly encouraged to pursue my gifts, both personal and spiritual. The support, advice, and compliments that seem to be constantly offered are nothing short of staggering. I would list those of you that have influenced me most, but there is no way I could fairly and completely do so. Also it would make me sound like a huge name-dropper. So I will just hope that anyone who has taken a personal interest in me that reads this will accept my thanks that I have applied so widely.

I will throw in the following personal, if anonymous, message that comes to mind. It applies to more than one person in my life.

I am glad I kept showing up.

The future looks good: And it had better be or about a half dozen psychics (you know who you are) have a butt-load of explaining to do.

For one thing, I am well into the process of surrounding myself with positive, helpful, and – maybe most importantly – talented people. While I am a control freak, I am also someone who is neither against asking for nor accepting help.

My efforts at blatant self-promotion (tempered what is an apparently an annoying slant towards self-depreciation according to my wife) are starting to pay off. I have already been offered my first speaking engagement of the New Year, and they actually offered to pay for the trip.

Along these lines, my syndication feeds are expanding my listener base slowly but surely and new sites are adding my content regularly. As my profile rises then it will be even easier to attract quality (as defined as people who other people want to hear from) guests.

My next broadcast project will be to try either a Ustream or YouTube feed. While this will be nothing more than my simulcast feed with video of me sitting at the microphone, smoking, and frequently waving my hands, we live in a visual society.

But my main project for 2014 will be an effort to get back to writing more regularly. Several sites that want me to pump out articles for them have approached me. I have been putting them off. I have had plenty of excuses ranging from a lack of time to a lack of inspiration, but I need to get with it. Writing is my first love. Call this my New Year’s Resolution if you want.

My plan is to write something nearly every day. If it is nothing more than a short blog post here, that is fine. I just have to get back into the habit of putting words to paper keyboard. Hopefully, I can redevelop my old habit and then get back to work on an actual book.

I also need to get back into the habit of visiting pertinent social sites regularly and not spend so much time trying to spread my wisdom via the 140 characters of Twitter – although I do love Twitter.

I really, really want to publish a book. My biggest problem (other than laziness) with the project has been torturing myself over what direction to take my first effort. Do I want to write a “how to” book? Should I jump back into the “highly fictionalized” account of my spiritual journey that I started last year? Should I attempt an account of my theories behind the paranormal? I am still struggling with these and other false starts.

Finally, I need to read more and meditate a lot more. Both would be good for me.

So there you have it: My reflections, my resolutions, and my positive affirmations.

Happy New Year everyone.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 12:32
 
If You Care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wes Forsythe   
Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:49

I FINALLY figured out the bug with the live ShoutCast feed.

When I set up the new syndication feeds for my shows, I was quickly able to get everything working but ShoutCast. With Mixlr I had zero problems. It worked right the first time and every time. Unfortunately very few people listen to Mixlr. Spreaker's only bug was the echo problem I mentioned a week or two back. All I had to do was mute the browser's volume independent of the rest of the system and it went to working flawlessly. ShoutCast, however, was a bit of a pain.

I was able to use it to play a 24 hour rotation of my recent archives with no problem. But when I went LIVE I encoutered one problem after another.

The first time I tried it, it would not log-in. That was my bad: I had a server setting wrong. On the second attempt people could hear me but not the guest. That one had me befuddled. You see I had the software set to pick up the exact same audio feed as Mixlr and Spreaker. In my mind an audio feed is an audio feed.

HOWEVER, upon researching the problem I discovered that there was a bug in the way it interacted with Windows 7 and 8 that prevented it from picking up more than one audio source at a time, no matter how the sources were set up. My broadcasting computer is set to mix all my audio souces (Skype, mixing board, etc...) into one audio feed in theory. Little did I know that apparently said audio feed was apparently not "unified" (for lack of a better work) enough for ShoutCast. Shoutcast was only picking up the feed from my mixing board and was ingoring all other audio souces including Skype which carried the audio from my guests.

SOLUTION: I added a computer. I sent the "unified" audio feed to that computer which, in turn, broadcasts the feed to ShoutCast. Voila! And all it took was hours of research and experimentation in conjuction with an extra laptop that I just happened to have laying around. Nothing is ever easy around here.

So now the four people that listen to me on ShoutCast can pick up the live shows too.

 
Good Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wes Forsythe   
Monday, 16 December 2013 06:53

I had a good weekend. It could have only been made better by getting more sleep (despite the fact that I took two naps over its course).

Friday I did the Rohs Opera House Event with Cassidy Rae. I was sort of the comic relief for the evening I guess, but the crowd did seem to genuinely enjoy my demonstrations and I actually freaked a couple of people out.

Above is a photo taken during the event. It's an interesting photo because of the "light anomaly" in the center. The anomaly does not seem to be lens flare (no light sources behind the subject) nor is it a simple light source coming from the front of the subject. It is something in front of her as the lines do not change as it crosses her jeans.

Is it paranormal? I doubt it, but I guess it's possible.

The thing is, that the EXIF data from the photo shows that the shutter stayed open 1/20th of a second. This is a loooooonnng time in photo terms. This shutter speed would allow any passing bug or even a dust particle to make quite the impact.

But it was definitely something interesting to look at and find a possible explanation for. If you would like a copy of the original in its pristine form just shoot me an email.

Finally, it appears that all of the syndication feeds worked as advertised Sunday night. Other than misspelling "Filler" on the ShoutCast feed and labeling the 9PM Spotlight as a Paranormal i-Con (since fixed) I was pleased. Spreaker turned some good listener numbers and the chat at LiveParanormal was packed.

Now I guess I can move onto my next project...

Last Updated on Monday, 16 December 2013 07:11
 
So Close! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wes Forsythe   
Saturday, 07 December 2013 06:32

Last night was my second attempt at "broadcasting" via multiple data streams for syndication.

  • Spreaker WORKED
  • Mixlr WORKED
  • No ECHO in the live feed
  • ShoutCast...well that crashed and burned

Everything worked as advertised except for the ShoutCast feed. It would NOT log in. This sort of threw me. I had everything configured (I thought) properly, and had actually tested the process of interrupting the 24/7 archive feed with a live feed. So I am going to tinker with it, test it some more, and assume that it was something out of my control.

As far as the chatroom issue, here is what is going on as near as I can tell. The rooms work fine in Internet Explorer version 10 and Google Chrome. The problem seems to pop-up in older versions of Internet Explorer. So...it is what it is... I will just go with my gut and put in links to a pop-up version of the chat that will work. I just have to decide on whether to use cutesy buttons or text links.

So now that those issues are (mostly) behind me, I can concentrate on what is really important: Doing a better job.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 December 2013 11:06
 
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