Archive for January, 2016

PF: USAFA Chapel, June 2010


The title is self-explanatory. Judging from the line, there was a wedding going on at the time. I’ve always appreciated the geometry, ever since I saw it in person in 1999.

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A Political Position: 2016

I try not to discuss politics, since it can be such a polarizing thing. My personal disposition is that a person’s political opinions are their own thing, like the faith/spirituality they choose to practice, who they choose to partner with, or what kind of underwear they choose to wear – nobody’s business but their own. Likewise, with the media the way it is these days with the signal to noise ratio (all relative to what channel you watch), and life’s to short to sort through all the bullshit being shoveled.

But this is a Presidential election year where, to say political opinions are polarizing, would be considered the understatement of the season. The singular advantage to the abundant media exposure today’s candidates have (so much more now as opposed to even in 2008 or 2000), is the opportunity for those on the fence – willing to look at the candidates as people, not just a party affiliation, and determine the best person for the job of President.

That said, here’s my political stake in the ground, as of 28 January 2016, based on what media I have been exposed to. To better understand that stake, however, there needs to be some context.

When I became old enough to register, I registered as Republican, because that’s what my parents were, and what I thought those with conservative tendencies did. As I’ve aged, while I still have conservative tendencies, I have shifted more toward “Independent” (that whole “who do I think would be the best person…?” thing). Some of the folks I have supported have won, others have lost, it’s the way it goes.

When potential candidates emerged a year ago, I made the comment to MC that I liked the idea of a Carson vs Sanders, and actually hoped that’s how things might fall.

Then media happened, and while I would still prefer Carson to get the eventual nod for the Republican ticket, it’s not looking like that will happen. I can’t bring myself to support any of the other candidates.

Which leaves the Democratic hopefuls…a year later, I’m still hoping Sanders gets their endorsement. But part of the reason why him and not Hillary didn’t quite crystallize until I read this, from Wil Wheaton (where he references this article, which pretty much sums it all up), but the tl;dr..

Wheaton writes:

Paraphrasing, the thesis [of the article is] that she lacks political courage, and won’t take a stand on something unless is politically safe for her. From marriage equality to the war in Iraq to ensuring that the poorest Americans have opportunities to have a better life, she has never supported a law or policy that was politically risky or would threaten her chances to advance her political career. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has taken principled and politically risky stances, not because they would advance his career, but because that’s what he believed in.

So, my hope is to vote Sanders in November.

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SPT: Airship Combat

I’ve recently started Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. One of the things that I find intriguing is the idea of aerial combat in a Steampunk setting.

So here’s the thing: What is the context of the above? Is this being observed by someone involved in the combat, or a documenting observer (like spectators on hills during the Civil War)? From another airship, on the ground, or some other elevated structure? Is this the culminating event of a longer conflict, or an inciting skirmish that changes the course of an ongoing event (like the Lusitania or Pearl Harbor)? Is it truly 4:1, or are there other ships that are just out of sight, joining the fight or fleeing? Is it a purely military conflict, or against pirates? Is the aim to capture, to destroy, or simply disable – possibly for a rescue mission?

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Glenn Frey on MVM

In memory of Glenn Frey’s death last week, here is a double feature, one song from The Eagles, and one solo. (I had previously featured his “Part of Me, Part of You” from the NBA Jam Session collection, but found this version that features the full clip.)

From The Eagles: Peaceful, Easy Feeling

From his solo days: The Heat is On (from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack):

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PF: Flowers of Blue and White, Denver, 2010

At the Botanical Gardens in Denver, June 2010.

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SPT: “Lilypad” City

Here’s an interesting concept… Let us explore.

How might it work – for power, food, basic industry?
Is there a class structure for the residents (what is considered “better accommodations” – closer to the water, or higher up)?
Is it (somehow) stationary or does it float freely?
Does it have some kind of propulsion system?
Is this a structure developed by an indigenous population, or settlers from elsewhere?
What prompted the construction (vacation destination, colonization, penal colony, survival from global warming, accommodate population explosion, quarantine facility – or sanctuary)?
What kind of people live there – humans? Aquatic-hybrids? Visitors (non-aquatic species – like an embassy of sorts)?
What happens when significant weather happens – hurricane, monsoon, tidal waves? Or larger things in the ocean than them?
What about when there start to be mechanical failures?
Is there a routine for cleaning the underwater surfaces, or do they let things grow?
Are there other similar structures? Is it possible to travel between them?

Then what happens…?

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Farewell, Frey

Damn, this year is starting out like shit. Bowie. Rickman. Now Glenn Frey.

I found this out late yesterday, when I was out with MC, and it was sheer accident that I saw it then. (The overhead radio where we were was playing Sirius XM’s “Coffeehouse” blend – acoustic versions of songs. An Eagles track had already played, we talked about it, and the conversation moved on. Later, there was a cover version of Queen’s “My Best Friend.” As I was searching on my phone, the mention of Frey’s passing showed up under “Related News.”)

The Eagles were already history (read: considered Classic Rock) by the time I was getting into music, and the members were already well established in their respective solo careers. Henley may have been the bigger name, but Frey was the one that seemed to have the higher profile – soundtrack appearances for Beverly Hills Cop, and for Miami Vice (which he also had a small character role on). His solo stuff was more rock-tuned, and he was the singer for most of the Eagles songs that I gravitated toward as “favorites.”

Time to queue up some Eagles, and hold a lighter high.


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Bowie Double Feature on MVM

To follow up on last week’s note about David Bowie’s passing,  here are two tracks…

First up, his collaboration with Queen, Under Pressure. (This one has a tendency to land on my “driving” playlists.

This is his last video, Lazarus, released a few days before his death.

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PF: The Winding Path, Colorado, 2010


I’m fuzzy on the exact location the image was taken, but I think it was from near the Cave of the Winds. (If I am remembering correctly, that dirt path leads to an entrance further down – maybe the original entry from when the cave was first discovered/explored – as opposed to where the cave tours enter.)

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SPT: Kirkstall Abbey

So, here’s a real place.

As far as aesthetics, I’m a sucker for halls. (Yes, I realize the above is from a former church, but roll with me).

Forget what I just said about this being a church. Consider just the image of the structure – the stone, the path in the middle. Sky above – but what if it’s not?

What if this is an underground passage – either fully underground, or at an end? Of what – a secluded/lost settlement? A Necropolis? What’s between the columns? Altars for the dead? Residences?

Use the image as a skeleton – is it truly in that state? What if it were “new” – what would it look like? What sort of people would use such a space – what would it be used for? Continue as a church? A road through a narrow valley?

When/where is this being discovered – something a “native” resident is finding, but what if it’s someone displaced (think – time travel, or new discovery from a space traveler)?

(If you follow that link, scroll down to see a layout if you want to further translate the original location as well.)

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