46 years have come and gone.

1995 - APOLLO 13 - 1995

1. Every year or two, I fire up this film. And even knowing ahead of time the story and the outcome, by the end of this movie I am literally choked up. Nowadays the sadness comes from knowing what we as a species COULD DO, versus what we as a species are NOT DOING. Don’t even start with me about the ISS. Great big freakin’ deal. 200 some miles above the surface, and not even out of the actual atmosphere…46 YEARS after our species reached out and walked on another world. It is at times like these I become depressed, and I’m almost never depressed.

I see all of the cute little toys we think nothing of using day to day to spout utter idiotic nonsense across the ether, and first I know that almost ALL of these technological wonders are either directly or indirectly attributable to that decade where real STEELY EYED MISSILE MEN doing the impossible with technology that wouldn’t get a facebook post accomplished…shook the pillars of heaven.

We weren’t perfect even then. Our government was lying to its people about why we were overseas killing people, and setting up a system of entitlements to enslave our own people by giving them whatever they wanted with no responsibility to earn it, or pay it back. Enslavement because it gives the impression that nothing need be earned, that the government will provide, and after generations of this nonsense, the people who grew up with this system know of no other way to exist. Their freedom has been sucked away by the promise of bread and circuses, while those who pay the piper are slowly ground down under more and more taxation to pay for it all.

(Sounds kinda’ familiar…same stuff only worse going on now without the redeeming bits of those lost years.)

But even with all of that, humanity reached out and touched the sky, and for a short while, it appeared that we WOULD continue on a course that would lead to that famous quote:

“To boldly go where no one has gone before…”

Of course that isn’t what happened.

1b. I was a small child watching Neil Armstrong take that first step on a television in my 2nd grade class. I grew up having witnessed greatness. I look around and see what a flipping mess is being made by people who have no understanding just how fragile and precious our existence is, and realize that as a species we have lost that wonder and awe of our place in the cosmos and are now firmly in the process of navel gazing.

Oh for sure there are those who are still looking at the high frontier, and I salute them. But when an ignorant fool who’s greatest accomplishment has been to bed and marry a Kardashian becomes a member of the top 100 most influential people IN THE WORLD, I feel a profound sense of loss.

Loss at what we could have done in those 46 years, and loss at what we as a civilization have become.

2. This originally was going to be a Last Bits post…but its just one subject, and while dear to my heart, it is a bit of a depressing read.

Last Bits 18

1. First up, for those of you who have read my book After the Burning: Princess

I hereby present, in miniature, the Island of Shantai:

Shantai in miniatureI was surfing pictures while waiting for stuff on the stove to finish cooking and laughed out loud when I saw this. :-)

2. This last week was seriously busy on the driving side. Going to just do “work” calls tonight, and Tuesday the car gets to go to the shop…I think I’ve got a CV joint starting to say “no mas”. I’d rather get er’ fixed before things get bad, but it is definitely making some occasional noises.

3. Writing is going as usual. (Good thing.)

4. As much as I–and many others– gripe about RTD (the bus system here in Denver), I have got to give credit where it is due. I’ve been prepping for my big vacation!(tm), and decided to check the routes to the airport + park and rides. Turns out A. it is much more reasonable than I had expected, and B. the times for pickup and drop off make it very simple for me to park the car in a covered lot, hop on a comfy (not kidding) bus and bop off to the airport….AND same thing on the return leg of the journey. All of this for about a 1/3 of the cheapest airport parking solutions and a LOT cheaper than cabs/uber/lyft/shuttles (I’m talking about the whole cost both ways, not just one direction). I was wondering how I was going to do the whole airport/n/back thing and now that is completely in the bag. (whew!)

4b. For those wondering why I, Mr. driver guy would go this route…our lovely airport  is located pretty close to the damn Kansas border (meaning a freakin’ long way away from anything). Cab runs out and back are expensive as all get out because of this.  Shuttle buses are a pain in the butt, and I don’t have “me” to take me there. (I’m cheaper, heh.)

5. Speaking of the vacation!(tm), just 23 days until I’m here (literally, as this is a view from one of the cabins) :-D :

VI Campgrround-suite view

Tora! Tora! Tora!

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I hit the “intermission” of this fantastic film and figured I’d pop something up here about it that really hit me while watching the first half.

(Intermissions, by the way, for you young pups in the audience, was something that was done to allow bathroom breaks, snack runs and such during longer films back in the old days. heh.)

I finally got a blu-ray cut of Tora! Tora! Tora!, one of my all time favorite movies, and it occurs to me as I watch it just how badly governments STILL operate. (Read: bumble and flail about like a bunch of idiots who have agendas that trump reality.)

This film, on the Rottentomatoes site, is an interesting read (critics vs. viewers). A lot of the listed critics(tm) dismiss it, call it names, call it boring.  86% of the audience reviews call it amazing, truthful, historical, intense and a great film.

When watching something that doesn’t go along with the “mainstream” it is a good thing to keep in mind that there are biases coloring the feedback, and I can think of no better film than this one to illustrate just that point.

This film, by the way, is about the most historically accurate presentation that Hollywood has ever put out…ever. In fact, just about the ONLY thing that is “fiction” is the Admiral Yamamoto quote about “waking the sleeping giant” at the very end of the film, which was something he never said, yet became legend after the film was made. Yamamoto might not have uttered these words, but he knew the truth of them, and other things he said back up the veracity of this legendary statement. So even something not factual in this film portrayed reality quite nicely. (Hollywood from another dimension I suppose. heh.)

p.s. This film makes Michael Bay’s trash (Pearl Harbor) look like the piece of fecal matter it truly was.

tora-tora-tora-620x

Sad Puppies, GRRM…and the whole HUGO Awards mess

SadPuppies_Main

A response to George R. R. Martin from the author who started Sad Puppies | Monster Hunter Nation.

…AND an excellent response to this whole Sad Puppies Hugo Award mess from the guy who started the whole ball rolling. As a mostly libertarian (objectivist) type person, you probably can guess which side I’m on. I still think the awards are buggered up…but not BECAUSE of the Sad Puppy movement, rather they have been a mess for quite a long time, for reasons that the blog post author enumerates far more eloquently than I could have done (or would want to).

Also, GRRM is a god in my eyes as far as writing goes, but I have never thought 2cents about the guy’s politics…and actually told him that in a response to a post he made several years ago…the comment of which he deleted.  :-D

The Hugo awards shouldn’t BE about politics, or which way a writer puts on his/her pants/dress or votes, or believes in Xenu or not or golden tablets or Vishnu…it SHOULD be about the writing and the stories…and sadly it hasn’t been THAT for ages.

Last Bits 17

The battle for Shantai1. This picture is at last FIRMLY(!) in the outline of After the Burning: Outlaw, and not just in a vague one sentence note jotted down as: “sea battle goes here” as it has been until recently. It isn’t even the climax of the book…gods I LOVE writing. No film budgets to sweat. heh heh.  While the ships in “After the Burning” don’t look like these specifically, the spirit of this picture nails what is coming.

While I love writing just about every facet of this story, I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to writing this section of the narrative.  (I could be freakin’ nuts as well, but hey. heh.)

1b. Milestone writing goal just achieved. 50,000+ words in the 1st draft ‘can’ at this point.  I’m still looking at between 150k to 200k more before typing ‘the end’, but things are rolling along.

2. Good start to the driving week. Not so much for the club scene, but I have had a lot of work calls, which makes things a little more steady on slower nights.

3. One of my dancer customers was griping last night about the weather as it seriously impacted bar traffic all over the place, and I realized that she was spot on:

“It is damned odd, ya know? When it blizzards, people come crawling out from all over like it’s a challenge or something, but a little rain and they all run and hide.”  –Yep, Lucky, you are 100% right on that one, girl. :-)

4. Counting down the days to Caribbean Dreaming. Yep. Yep. Yep.  :-D

Last Bits 16

1. Short n’ sweet. Weekend driving has been a bit of a chore…instead of some sinus issues, I have come down with a full blown head cold. Fun fun fun.  While it isn’t earth shattering, it has definitely been one of those “if i were only working for someone else I’d call in sick…but I can’t because I work for me and my customers” kinda’ deals.  :-(

2. Writing has been coming along as I’ve mentioned in other posts below. This cold has futzed with the word count a little bit as I’ve spent a bit too much time staring at a wall thinking of ways to drain the swimming pool behind my eyeballs, but hey. Heh.

3. Have a happy Easter, whatever your religious or non-religious preferences may be!  :-)

4. Gonna leave this with a little photo montage of some NASA ISS pictures that were taken the other day of a big typhoon in the Pacific. (International Space Station for you completely non-geek types.  :-D )

Left to right…top to bottom. If you have a chance, click on them for the full rez. It is magnificent and terrifying all at the same time.

#1 ISS 3-31-15#2 ISS 3-31-15

#3 ISS 3-31-15 #4 ISS 3-31-15

WordPress Mobile Update

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So anyway, I’ve been checking on the information floating about the interwebs(tm) recently regarding “mobile blog” stuff. Seems Google’s changing up how their SEO and such works. (That would be blog-technobabble which means their search ranking and algorithm stuff.)

I was really starting to sweat this a bit, as I spent quite a bit of time getting this site to look just like I wanted it to, dragons and Merchant Princess types and all. But I’m Mr. Calm and Collected(tm) when it comes to all things tech, and I did a little futzing about. (This would translate to: googling about.)

Sure enough WordPress.com already has the mobile set up built in, and my theme is a “responsive” type which means it can resize depending upon platform. The blogger DOES have to turn it on, though. (Which, of course I hadn’t. Doh!)

So I flipped the virtual switch, checked a couple of settings and viola! mobile aware and such is now active.

Anyway, on a tablet, the blog should look like this:Wordpress Mobile-tablet

And on a phone (iphone or android device) it should look like this:

Wordpress Mobile-phone

Now if stuff DOESN’T look something like this when you happen upon my site, I’d appreciate a heads up. Just comment or if you see this via Google+ or Facebook or Twitter, just let me know what you ARE seeing.

I do appreciate you all stopping by now and then in my corner o’ the blog-o-sphere!