“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Monday, March 13, 2023

A Note From the 31st Century

The first hundred years are the worst. I still laugh when I tell myself that. In stories, immortals are always young and perfect. Go figure. Here I was, stuck through the lifetimes in the body of a middle-aged man. Oh, sure, the fitness level came and went with the efforts I put into it; but, even in the 31st century there’s the things that tell someone I’m not as young as I used to be. Immortal? Oh, yeah. That. Well, immortal isn’t the right word I suppose. Violence and extreme trauma could still kill us, of course. Or toxins or radiation or such - at least in a high enough dose. But disease? Aging? All those “everyday” things? Not so much. Sure, I still caught a cold once a year - but, over a millennia, I’d made it through a dozen major pandemics and a handful of minor epidemics without much more than a few weeks off to recover each time. But, short of something catastrophic, if you can get one of us to a decent hospital you can expect a “miraculous recovery.” Folks want stories, of course. Truth is, I’d forgotten more than I remembered. Not due to some failure or weakness. There’s just so much memory space, even in the brains we have, and mine was constantly overwriting old data. Usually it didn’t matter - I had little call these days to remember the best prices for a head of gen-gineered cows on Ross 128 back in the early days. Some, though, cut to the quick. Even though she’s 972 years gone, I’d tattooed my first wife’s name on my wrist during a lucid period a few centuries ago, because it pained me I would forget her some days. Even with that, it’s still more days than not I can’t even recall her face… Others? Of course there’s others. I’m no one special, even though I’m special. You take a one in a billion mutation, and spread it over an interstellar community, and there’s bound to be a handful of us even on the most mid-range world. It’s not like there’s some secret society, or handshake, but… you figure it out. Mostly we live our own lives. There’s nothing to be gained by setting up some vendetta that lasts over a century or two. Similarly, it’s a big enough universe that it’s easy enough to mind your own business. Still, it *is* nice when you meet now and again. For the shared weight of experiences. The perspective that comes from having seen all of this before. Even the laughs of “Wait, you were there in 2812? I was just across the river, how did we not run into each other?” Like I said, the first century is the hardest. After that, you figure out it’s just life.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Inspiration and Admiration

One of the joys of the two not-quite-kittens is watching their frolics and antics. They play tag, wrestle, and otherwise enjoy every bit of scampering and adventure that is in their nature. And, in watching some of the acrobatics, I now clearly see where some of the Chinese wuxia and Japanese martial arts movies drew inspirations for the amazing feets of dexterity. Physics-defying to say the least, as well as being purely epic in levels of amusement.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Electric Vehicles

Patrick Rhone has a point I agree with on electric vehicle adoption - right now you're trading one devil for the other. Combined with the infrastructure limitations and increasing electrical costs, I don't think the market is anywhere near the wholescale adoption that many people wish for.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A Chill is in the Air

Going places, doing things this week. I'd forgotten how haunted a winter desert wind can be, the voices and whispers as it blows through the world. The cries and mysteries you can almost hear in each strong gust. It's the type of night you see legends move in the shadows.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Modern Driving Tip

Look, folks, I realize the laws have changed in many states, and you have some more open habits. But, if I can smell the weed from your car when we're doing 70 on the Interstate, it might be time to ease up on the hot-boxing.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Overheard Kitten Monologues..

"Stop!" "Those are my feet!" "Can you two get out of that?" "No, that's my food!" "What are you, no, leave that alone!" "What just fell?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

It's the Content, Stupid...

For want of a better title. Classified documents amongst the political elite has been all the buzz lately, with files and papers turning up just about everywhere but the Sunday school flyer. And, as is typical, it has led to a rash of interwebz experts on "He declassified this," "They hid that," "Look at this new thing!" amongst the media and public spheres. Along with fingerpointing of who can do what at which time, and other issues of "How the hell are you people not accountable for simple documents like anyone else?" So, in a rare attempt to educate, I felt like going over a tidbit everyone seems to be skipping past in their rush to judgment from whichever side of the spectrum they follow. Let's take your random document, with some classification marking. In this case we'll call it 'Top Secret', without any other special labels or such. A piece of paper with some words, or images, or whatever. Now, that particular 'Top Secret' label means that the powers that be (and there is a broad swath of agencies which can do so, by delegated authority" feel that the information therein could result in grave danger to national security if disclosed. Note the key words - the information within. It's not the paper itself that is classified - it's the information which it represents. Not just a single copy, but that information, as a whole, pertaining to public discussion. Which leads to the elephant everyone is ignoring. I won't dispute classification/declassification authorities in any of the events currently making the news. BUT, I will point out this. If *any* of said players appropriately stated "X" document is declassified - it applies to that information across the board. Not just some paper in an office or garage or library. No, the contents themselves, in whatever form, are now legally no longer subject to those rules. Which leads to a separate, ugly, mess...

Monday, January 23, 2023

Straw Purchase Observation

For some reason Blogger isn't letting me leave a comment on Tam's blog post regarding the typical lack-of prosecution for firearms straw purchases - where a person buys a firearm for someone else who is not legally permitted to own one. So, I'll do a short note here. I absolutely concur this happens, and will relate just one incident of several. My last case before the career change was a white supremicst/domestic terror case with multiple subjects involved. Not some coercion or entrapment either, these were legitimately bad people who were getting guns and explosives in order to start a race war and the works. But, the relevant part is this - wife/mom of a couple of the subjects is not directly involved in the case. However, when we do the search warrant on the house, lo and behold we find over 15 guns purchased for husband and son (both of whom were convicted felons) by mom. AND, mom confesses, on video to knowing they couldn't have them, and buying them anyway. You can't get much cleaner of a case than this. Each individual firearm purchase is a separate felony charge, and a legitimate case of someone knowingly breaking the law. Hell, even letting someone plead to just one of the charges is an easy win. Nope. US Attorney and ATF didn't want to do it. "Bad optics to charge mom too." "We're already putting the other two away." and so forth. No concern about enforcing an existing law. It wasn't a big enough story to throw the book at everyone, and they were more worried about the appearances rather than doing the right thing.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Media Rule One

The more inflamatory/high profile the event, the more the intial reporting is suspect. Wait 24 hours and then you might be getting accurate information.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Changing Roles

More and more these days I find myself playing Obi-Wan, and realizing I'm no longer likely to be Luke. That's not a bad thing. Far better than I ever expected to make it to.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Not Feeling It

Posting something today to meet the goal, but the creative juices aren't flowing. Spending the day explaining to people that the security baby is ugly doesn't fill me with joy. Best I can say is, at least they're finding out from testing and not bad events.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Animal Sorting Houses

You can blame lack of sleep and medicated brain for this mash-up: Hogwarts, but sorting into the individual houses in the style of Animal House... Ron Weasley - "He's a legacy, we have to take him." Neville Longbottom - "Why not, we need the dudes." Harry Potter, the innocent kid unaware of the system (no change I realize). And, with the Gringots money, definitely the Pledge Representative to the Social Committee. And, please - tell me that Slytherin wouldn't haze the pledges just like the Omegas did...

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Follow-up on the Clown Show

DaddyBear has some appropriate commentary on the upward movement of yet another career politician to the role of Speaker. I don't disagree in the slightest. If we did nothing but impose mandatory term limits for all elected officials it would solve so many problems.

Friday, January 6, 2023

The Clown Show

Watching the shenanagins going on in D.C. currently with the attempt to elect a Speaker for the House of Representatives honestly comforts me. If they're busy playing back and forth on this, it's keeping them from meaningfully messing anything else up for the moment - I'll take the reprieve.

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Value of Time

No, not the typical "you don't get seconds back, don't waste them;" sort of post, although tangently related. Rather, just another observation today of the price of my time, and what I'm willing to spend it on - or, conversely, what I will spend money to avoid. Today stemmed from some car work done in conjunction with the annual safety inspection. Could I have done the majority of what I had the mechanic do this morning? Sure, particularly since there's an Internet video for just about any sort of maintenance these days. But, odds are it would have taken me about twice as long to do so, not counting dealing with the mess afterwards, probably at least one bonus run for parts, and so forth. So, I paid someone else to do the work and deal with the stress (along with the comfort of knowing it was probably done better than anything I would have managed). I've reached a point in life where fortunately I can do so, both financially and mentally. Not that I do so carelessly, or for everything. Some tasks I want to do my own work so I know it's done a certain way, or to develop a skill, or simply because I enjoy them. I'd rather spend an hour outside in the world mowing my lawn and getting fresh air than pay someone to do yard work as one example. But, for a number of things part of the decision factor is "will the stress and time of doing this myself outweigh the financial cost in paying someone else to do it?" Because my time and mood have a value as well.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

A personal experiment

 For most of my life I've carried a pocket knife in those spots legally permitted (and, more than once, those not...). It's a tool. Opening boxes and packages, cutting food, slicing a line, trimming a hangnail, or in extremis self-defense, knives are one of the things which separate us from animals. Those who know me aren't surprised or shy to ask for help if something needs cutting, or to be used to seeing the sign of where I typically carry a folding blade.

While not my own cultural background, I've always enjoyed that Nordic proverb "A knifeless man is a lifeless man."  Because, it's true - I've not yet had a situation where I went "Gee, I wish I didn't have a knife with me;" BUT - I've encountered countless times where someone else was grateful I carried one. 

And, while I've had a gamut of knives from youth til now, for the past (wait, carry the 2, no, that *can't* be right,) *mumble mumble* years it's been some flavor of "tactical" knife, typically from a certain few makers I respect and who have served the community well. Point-of-fact, my drawer of pointy things has drawn a raised eyebrow from She-Who-Tolerates-My-Antics more than once. . . 

Yet, let's be realistic. My days of "kicking doors and taking names" are past. I'm far more likely to deal with something from Amazon these days than battle an amazon. Sure, while a knife always has a last-ditch option - I'm at a point in life it's more likely to be a utility tool than anything else. 

All this sort of percolated through my head the other day as I was looking at things, and has led to a thought experiment. 

For the month of January, my primary knife carry is going to be a simple Swiss Army knife from my collection (Victorinox Ranger, for those who care). Because I'm more often doing utility things than anything else, I want to see if it makes any appreciable difference in my day. Yes, for hikes or other events I may add something else, but in general I want to force myself towards the utility rather than a single-focus blade. 

Of course, being me, it's not stock - but no "modifications" are crazy. I have some different grip scales on it, and a pocket clip, but that's it. The knife isn't "tactical" or "cool" or any other high speed thing. It's just a pocket knife with some decent tool accessories. 

May post updates or not, but I'm curious as to how it works out.