Showing posts from July, 2017

Evasions, Fibs and Whoppers

We live in a post-truth era. Nothing is certain. You can believe whatever you want and the other guy is always wrong.

There was a time when I believed in ideals such as truth, justice and the American way. Now it's hard to tell what any of those things are. Truth used to be an absolute, but now it's gotten very subjective, distorted by preachers, politicians and propagandized by pundits and news outlets. Justice used to mean something. Now it just refers to which side won in court. Prosecutors ignore proof of a defendant's innocence, insisting that a jury's verdict outweighs everything else. As for the American way, there are simply too many factions with too many opinions. I won't even try to name all of the different isms.

Nothing can be counted on. Photographs and videos can be altered through Photoshop or even simple phone apps to create whatever false narrative the editor wants. Audio can be faked with Auto-Tune and other pitch shifters so that even those with…

Vast Wasteland Report

It seems as though I rarely have any good news about the current state of television.

Sitcoms have been off my viewing list for decades now. I'm happy for people who love Big Bang Theory. I'm not interested, but that's just me. I don't care for anything with a laugh track. By the way, I'm sorry to predict that Young Sheldon will be cancelled mid-season. And I won't care.
Let me apologize for being harsh, but I'm bitter over the cancellation of Rosewood. It was a great crime drama with a great cast chemistry and I will miss it greatly.
Bones has finally ended. It was time. I've enjoyed the show, but I think it had run its course and keeping it on life support would have just been cruel. I like David Boreanaz, but I doubt that I will watch Seal Team--or any other military/Middle East war dramas. Some things are just too real and too dramatic for me. I don't need to punish myself by watching reenactments of a conflict that makes me very sad.
Survivor i…

Fast Lane Blues

The world seems to be changing fast these days. Or maybe it's just me getting old.

This planet has always seen bursts of rapid development, from hunter-gatherer to agrarian--okay, maybe not that, but aviation between 1914 and 1919, for instance. So many things have happened since World War II. Television has gone from limited availability analog black-and-white broadcast to unlimited high definition digital satellite-direct, interactive. Computers have gone from massive mechanical devices, to analog vacuum tube monstrosities, to analog transistor monstrosities, to digital microchip handheld devices. One iPhone now has more computing power than all of the computers in existence in 1968 combined.

Sadly, human space travel hasn't gone very far in the last forty years, but unmanned exploration has discovered amazing things--few answers, but lots of new questions.

Many "advancements" in chemistry and biology have been ill-advised and potentially disastrous, but the world …

Remember When

Nostalgia is one of those things I always associate with older people. In the interest of full disclosure, I am an older person, but I've always had a fascination with things from the not too distant past.

When I was growing up, at least half of the adult males I knew were World War I veterans. I loved listening to their stories about the Great War. You might say I was a bit of a history buff.

Where I grew up, we were less than an hour from half a dozen or more Civil War battlefields. The school, parks and most city buildings in my hometown were built by the WPA (Works Progress Administration), a program of the New Deal that provided jobs during the Great Depression.

My favorite books were about the flying aces of WWI and I still love the old biplanes. The Golden Age of Aviation fascinated me: the air racing, the aerobatics and the barnstormers.

The modern milking machines and stainless steel milk tanks of modern farming never interested me as much as the wooden stanchions, Dutch …

Writing Space

Last year I was offered an opportunity to co-author an episode of a new science fiction series. I have to say I was honored, since the series was created and is co-written by T.Y. Carew and the first episode is co-written by Jess Mountifield, one of my favorite contemporary authors. The series, published by Red Feather Writing in the U.K., is titled Adamanta. My contribution, the second episode, is subtitled The Shafts of Kudos.

In the series, Earth has been destroyed and all humanity is threatened by an army of drones and their controllers, the Beltines. Humanity's first best hope rests on a telekinetically controllable metal and the ship's crew trained to use it.

Writing my episode was great fun. The Shafts of  Kudos is my first old school science fiction piece and I hope to do more. Maybe I'll write another episode of Adamanta.…

Spring Fever

Spring began at the end January this year--and again in early February, then again later in the month and every two weeks after that. The temperature even reached 90 degrees in February. It's been great weather for working in the garden, but a little too confusing for the plants. May and June were pleasant, with very civilized temperatures, and now July is somewhere just east of hell.

When we have to go into town we stick to shady back roads as much as we can, but sooner or later we find ourselves in the blazing sun of the concrete desert. I see new housing developments going in, moving closer to our rural refuge, and I just don't understand how anyone can live in a neighborhood without trees. Out here the abundance of trees keeps the temperature several degrees cooler. We have to move our chairs once in awhile, but we can always manage to sit in the shade.

Our house sits hundreds of feet from the road, so dust isn't a problem for us. I feel bad for all the people who buil…