Thursday, July 30, 2015

Shuttle Craft Missing In Action

That would be the shuttle craft LapTop, In the course of normal operating assignments on Tuesday all optical display capability ceased. Called ElderFleet Maintenance, went through various diagnostics without success. Used the tractor beam to bring the LapTop to Repair Base Erotselppa where they tell us it will be '3 to 5 ElderFleet Maintenance Command working days' until we get the trust LapTop back.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Just Be Thankful Anything Works!

It's hard to go by a day when we aren't bombarded by information that has us feeling that our world is being held together by the most fragile of string. It makes no difference whether it is how people are dealing with Greece, or the acts of violence, or the weather/drought/floods, healthcare, diplomacy, whatever. One looks at how all the actors in the process are dealing with things and it is enough to have you run into a corner, get in the fetal position, and just pray that you'll make through to tomorrow.


Unless one has a bit more of a historical perspective.

I've been doing intense reading lately on the time period of the 15th through the 18th century (1400's through the 1700's). (My interest was piqued because of our visit to Malta and my being aghast at the Knights of St. John). And we're planning some more trips so I've been doing other reading on countries we're visiting as well.) When you read in depth about what was going on and you go beyond the superficial names and dates history, you get a different perspective. For every great date or event, there is a series of bumbling moves by leaders of varying degrees of competency. THIS IS UNIVERSAL! This is the norm.

Readers, it is not like the world has been run by these incredibly capable people that float above the storms of events. No, the whole history of the world is a bunch of bumbling, arguing, petty, vengeful, small sighted, occasionally good intentioned, and very rarely competent people just barely keeping things together.

So what does that mean? It means chill. Don't get all wigged out about what isn't getting done or the incompetency of various people, or the illogical decisions that are being made. THIS IS NORMAL.

Be thankful anything works at all. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Begone Foul Doves

Doves...doesn't that word just conjure up all kinds of wonderful images? Cooing of doves, Dove soap, the dove as the symbol of peace.


Doves are not native to Albuquerque but some how they got here and they're taking over the place. We've got freaking doves everywhere. They leave piles of shit on our yard. They scare other birds away. They are freaking loud and you have shut your windows in the morning so you aren't woken up by the racket as soon as the sun starts to come up. And they're vision isn't all that great and they are constantly flying into our big windows upstairs. Scares the shit out of you. (Isn't so good on them either.)

I wanted Wife to take shooting lessons and just start taking them out but she wasn't game for it (Ha, Ha, Ha get it 'game' for it. They're allegedly good eating.)

However I was getting ready to come down from the tower and was approaching the big window by our stairs when I saw this large set of wings as a bird was getting ready to land on the edge of our roof. I glanced at it as said to myself, "That doesn't look like a dove."

No it is THE SAVIOR!


Hawks eat other birds I'm pretty sure. I checked to see if said hawk had a Facebook page so I could put out a friend request. I've done internet searches to determine the best way to communicate to your hawk that he or she is welcome in the neighborhood. I want that hawk on my house all summer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nature of the Muse

I have finished the 'official' rewrite of the Book. I've actually had the courage to let a few people read it. This is particularly noteworthy as I have a clear awareness that the minute you let someone see your creative activities you are putting yourself in the 'wanting approval', ego dominating state - something that I recognized recently is really not healthy for my spiritual development.

On the other hand despite all that, I'm merrily on to writing another book. Actually it is a sequel to the first one. And I have created an outline for a third book that would be the prequel. One of the nice things about working in the fantasy genre is that you can make up your own rules for the way your world works and its history. Saves a lot of drudgery researching things to be accurate and so fits my basically lazy nature. In addition to the two books that I'm actually doing work on, I have a number of ideas for additional books that would be a natural outflow from the core story as well.

What is of particular interest to me is Where The Heck Is All This Coming From? It is true that I was pretty imaginative as a young person really all the way through being a young adult. But as the needs and drama of life took hold and the ego spider web of the career manifested, I can't say I spent any time thinking imaginatively nor did I even once consider writing for pleasure at least until I started to write this blog.

Now this stuff is coming out of me like a torrent. When I say stuff I'm talking about character personalities, development of new characters, story lines, character emotional details and interactions, fantasy world science logic, social and politico-economic conventions for the fantasy world, etc. I'm not really working at this. It isn't as if I'm sitting down with this chart in front of me and pondering the how and why something will work in the story. No it just comes. This is especially true when I'm doing my hiking work outs. I'll start out focusing on breathing and mantra repetition (my hikes are pretty strenuous - at least to my aged body) and usually within a very short period of time something related to the world (the fantasy world that is) will start popping into my head. A lot of times it will be detailed dialog and action between various characters. Sometimes it will be new character coming forth like Athena from the head of Zeus which just happened yesterday. It just comes forth. I will usually write down some notes about it when I get back home as it is all coming out much faster than I can write it. And as this is for enjoyment, I don't want write everything up too soon. That would kill the fun of writing it.

It's all very mysterious

(BTW - I am extremely disappointed that NONE of you showed up at the OPM this morning for the great Bastille Day storming. It was pretty embarrassing to be out there all by myself with my pitchfork and torch. You wouldn't believe the looks people were giving me.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bastille Day Celebration 2015

This coming Tuesday is Bastille Day, that celebration of what is considered to be by popular history (though not serious history) as the defining moment of the French Revolution. Hence it is time for my second annual Bastille Day post.

The French Revolution was all about the reaction of the masses to an elite that had gotten more and more entrenched and had secured more and more of the wealth of the nation while giving little back in return to nation overall. Sound familiar? So last year I proposed in a post the creation of a US national holiday on Bastille Day that would serve as a reinforcement that elites do not exist in a vacuum but are part of the greater society and have some obligations to the greater society.

Some how this little piece got noticed and I had a short visit from some very polite but firm Secret Service folks who suggested that I might want to tone down the rhetoric. So I'll not be reprinting that piece though there is a link above to it which you might want to check out. Instead of the sweeping scope of my last proposal, for this year I'd like to suggest that we be more focused. Let's just storm the OPM!

If you've been under a rock the last month or so, I'll give you the brief background. The Office of Personal Management of the U.S. Federal government was hacked to the tune of 21 million personnel records being stolen. Evidently this crime was almost a year old before some mention of it finally got out. It seems that every personal clearance application since something like 2002 (I may have that date wrong) was stolen. Those records include SSN, finger prints, personal histories, all kinds of sensitive personal information. It puts all kinds of people at risk AND since you have to put information on relatives when you apply for clearances that information was gotten too.

I've been a bit mystified as to why there hasn't been more outrage over this. Even now though they got the head of the OPM to step down it's not as if there is a call to arms to bring accountability for this. One story I read (and remember I've not deeply verified this information so take it with a grain of salt) claimed that the OPM had not done even the most basic cyber security measures to protect their data. A relative of mine who has business dealings associated with clearances thought it smacked of petulant bureaucrats who, not getting the funding they needed for upgrading security, said "well we'll show you. We just won't do anything."

So getting back to Bastille Day, I suggest that we storm the OPM! We could make it the 'Bastille of the 21st Century. Get a nice big mob of ordinary folks. Run into the place. Grab some high level folks and hold them for ransom or something (I've decided to eschew violence this time around after that little Secret Service visit of last year) maybe some mock tar and feathering just SOMETHING to show that damn it it is not OK to endanger the lives of 21 million of your fellow citizens because you (whoever you is in the government chain of command) don't think protecting them is important.

See you on Tuesday. Don't forget your pitchfork and torch!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suicide Love Tryst on the Eldership

It's that time of the year on the Eldership when all two of us on the crew go in for our annual physicals. Going in for a physical on the Eldership is kind of like going in for your annual review at work - except there's NEVER any good news. The good doctors serving Elder Fleet Command (ElFeetCo) never say things like, "Oh you've done so well this year" or "I so happy to see your (fill in the blank) numbers are so good, or "For a person of your age this is just fine." No what your going to hear is "(Sigh) I'm not happy about these (fill in the blank) numbers at all" or "You realize this is a precursor for (fill in the blank) horrible thing that will happen to you" or (the most dreaded of all) "I think you should give up (fill in the blank) which I realize you love but is killing you."  The official mission statement of the ElFeetCo Medical Corp is "Damn the Quality of Life - Live as Long as You Can!"

So it is that Captain de-I and First Office Wife (it being my turn this week to have command) have been told in no uncertain terms that we need to get off of white bread. Now I think you know the culinary standards we set here on the Eldership de-I so I'm not talking about your crappy grocery store bought white bread. At the Officers Mess (and the Enlisted Mess too since we fill all the roles), we loves our artisinal French style breads. Much better quality stuff, wonderful to eat, and just as bad for you because it's just white bread done right.

So we are moving on to various types of 3000 grain bread, rye breads, spelt bread (not the good stuff you get in Amsterdam, the stuff that reminds you of really expensive cardboard), etc. However, when we did our inventory of the food storage we found a number of pieces of French bread left in the freezer. Now most normal people would respond to this merely by throwing them out. But seeing as both Wife and I have the hardest time throwing anything out (For God's Sake people are starving in Southern Sudan - eat it!), a discussion (argument?) ensued as to who should finish it.

This led to mutual accusations that one was trying to kill off the other to secure permanently the top command on the ship. As Wife and I really do love each other (when we are not trying to bump each other off to get command of the ship), we resolved this by agreeing to share the remaining bread of death. As we were assured by our doctors that eating this bread was going to do us in, we decided to make this a romantic last meal thing with profuse expressions of love, candles burning, using plenty of butter, jam and honey (it's our last meal you know, why worry), eating the bread ensemble and then giving each other a last kiss with crumb coated lips. Sigh, the way one should want to go.

As fate would have it we, nothing terminal happened. We just gained a few pounds when we weighed ourselves the next morning.