An Endless World?


Posted on : 9/22/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

XKCD had a great comic a couple days ago.  I'm not sure that it will link up well here, so just go there and check it out.

In Flight


Posted on : 9/21/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

I traveled to Greenville, SC last week on business.  Air travel being what it is these days, I did not take one of my more capable cameras along.  However I did have one on my cell phone.

The airport in Greenville is home to a couple interesting scultures.

"Boy Aviator" by Dennis Smith, Photo by Dann Todd

  "Snow Geese" by Jim Dolan, photo by Dann Todd

  "Snow Geese" by Jim Dolan, photo by Dann Todd

The camera on my cell phone obviously did a poor job with the back lighting, but you can still get an impression of the total installation.

Leaving...On A Jet Plane


Posted on : 9/20/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

Marines...that is.

Johnny Depp Is Coming Home


Posted on : 9/19/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

Apparently, he is ill inclined to pay his fair share of France.  Now that France is governed by Socialists that really mean it, tax rates on their 1% are climbing.

The natural result?  The predictable result?  The rich are looking for other places to live.

One illustrative example would be Johnny Depp.  He is apparently headed back to the U.S. in order to avoid paying higher taxes in France.

The more pedestrian sorts of top earners (captains of industry and finance) are also looking for the exits for similar reasons.

Attempting to punish success causes successful people to leave?  Who knew!

What Qualifications?


Posted on : 9/18/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : ,

What are the qualifications for serving in the United States Congress?  50% of the vote plus 1.

Shouldn't they be a little higher?  Case in point, US Representative Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) who believes that Dutch slaverholders existed in Brooklyn in 1898

That would be Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.

Add to that, Steven Colbert posed the theoretic question about using a time machine to go back in time to 1898 and what would Ms. Clarke have to say to the people of Brooklyn. Apparently, Ms. Clarke is not a big fan of science fiction as she was unclear on the concept of taking modern knowledge into the past and applying it for some benefit.

Once the whole concept of time travel was mostly cleared up, and the Dutch slave holding menace of 1898 had been hashed through, she was given another shot at suggesting a message that she would carry to the people of Brooklyn in 1898.

Her best shot?  Brooklyn is a great place.

The Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918?  She didn't see any reason to warn people about it.

The crash on Wall Street of 1929?  She thinks history should take its course unimpeded.

The sinking of the Titanic?  Let it happen.

Adolf Hitler?  Nope....well on second thought, there might be a reason to let folks know what is in their future.

It seems like every party has more than their fair share of under-qualified candidates.  And they get elected!

Book Recommendation - Mother Of Lies


Posted on : 9/17/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

A while back, I recommended "Children of Chaos" by Dave Duncan.  "Mother of Lies" is the conclusion to the story. 

Mr. Duncan concludes his tale is a most satisfying fashion.  I won't give too much away.

One of the things that he does so well is to convey the duality, the paradoxes, and the many ironies that populate the human condition.  For example, consider the pantheon he creates.

Ucrists...worshipers of the god Ucr...obtain great skill at accumulating wealth.  The price they pay is that they can never know real happiness.  How many times do we see people confusing the acquisition of lucre for the pursuit of happiness?

Worshipers of Eriander know love and lust in all it's forms.  Yet the price they pay is to never be loved by another.

Nastrarians possess great affinity for animals.  Yet the apparent price they pay is their ability to relate to other humans.

Worshipers of Anziel can produce great works of inspiring art.  The price they pay is that they lack the ability to manage the money earned through commissions and are forever poor.

The one disappointing element of this pair of books is that the story is told via exceptional characters.  The four main protagonists are a sort of royalty.  So too are many of the other characters both good and evil.  While there are most certainly characters of common origin found within the story,  It hinges most often upon...the use an well worn phrase.

In any case, if you took my advice and read the first book, then by all means read the second.  The endings are well worth the effort.

This was my first time reading a book via my beloved bride's Kindle.  I found the experience to be most enjoyable.  The Kindle is not only less cumbersome than a dead tree book, the case we bought allows me to set it on our bed so that I can read without actually holding it.  Most convenient!

My wife had already downloaded several games that were quite fun to play.  Shopping with it was seamless.

I look forward to my next experience with the Kindle!


Being A Dad


Posted on : 9/16/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : ,

I can manage all four of these thoughts in one head.  I can usually avoid saying them all at the same time.

Fortunately...or unfortunately, I don't know which...I've yet to have this issue with any of our kids.  However, we have sent two nephews overseas in the military due in some small part to my prior service.  And my little brother is on his fourth combat tour.  This time in the 'Stan.  Yes, the reserves still deploy.

He and I have talked at length about enlisting/re-enlisting and the reasons why people remain in the service.  I am simultaneously humbled, honored, and made jealous by his continued service to our country.

I have some combination of the above running through my head every time we talk.