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    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    Take a Moment

    Take a moment
    Lower your weapon
    Take a look around
    Measure the damage
    Strewn upon the ground

    Take a moment
    Close your eyes
    Breathe in, breathe out
    Feel the world turn
    Past your fear and doubt

    Take a moment
    Raise a glass in praise
    For those we left behind
    We’ve come this far
    Keep that thought in mind

    Share a moment
    Share a smile with someone new
    Ask someone for their forgiveness
    Find someone and offer them yours
    Reach out your hand in kindness

    Take a moment
    Pick up your weapon
    Scan the far horizon
    Steele up your resolve
    And pick a new direction

    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Ring Out Solstice Bells

    Now is the solstice of the year
    Winter is the glad song that you hear
    Seven maids move in seven time
    Have the lads up ready in a line

    Ring out these bells
    Ring out, ring solstice bells
    Ring solstice bells

    Join together 'neath the mistletoe,
    By the holy oak whereon it grows
    Seven druids dance in seven time
    Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming

    Ring out these bells
    Ring out, ring solstice bells
    Ring solstice bells

    Praise be to the distant sister sun,
    Joyful as the silver planets run
    Seven maids move in seven time
    Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming

    Ring out these bells
    Ring out, ring solstice bells
    Ring solstice bells
    Ring on, ring out
    Ring on, ring out

    - Ian Anderson

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    Happy Holiday's to all!!!

    TO ALL OF OUR FRIENDS!!!! Due to unforeseen circumstances and our busy lives, we were unable to send out our Holiday cards this year. We wish everyone a sincere happy and healthy Holiday Season, and a prosperous New Year! We cherish each and every one of you.

    Frank and Gina

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    "Mad Season" - Rob Thomas

    I feel stupid - but I know it wont last for long
    I’ve been guessing - I coulda been guessin’ wrong
    You don’t know me now
    I kinda thought that you should somehow
    Does that whole mad season got ya down

    I feel stupid but its something that comes and goes
    I’ve been changin’ - think its funny how now one knows
    We don’t talk about - the little things that we do without
    When that whole mad season comes around

    So why ya gotta stand there
    Looking like the answer now
    It seems to me - you’d come around
    I need you now
    Do you think you can cope
    You figured me out – I’m lost and I’m hopeless
    Bleeding and broken - though I’ve never spoken
    I come undone - in this mad season

    I feel stupid - but I think I been catching on
    I feel ugly - but I know I still turn you on
    You seem colder now, torn apart, angry, turned around
    Will that whole mad season knock you down

    So are you gonna stand there
    Are you gonna help me out
    You need to be together now - I need you now
    Do you think you can cope
    You figured me out - I’m lost and I’m hopeless
    Bleeding and broken - though I’ve never spoken
    I come undone - in this mad season

    Now I’m cryin’ - isn’t that what you want
    I’m tryin’ to live my life on my own
    But I wont
    At times - I do believe I am strong
    So someone tell me why, why, why
    Do I, I, I feel stupid
    And I came undone
    And I came undone

    I need you now
    Do you think you can cope
    You figured me out - I’m lost and I’m hopeless
    Bleeding and broken - though I’ve never spoken

    I need you now
    Do you think you can cope
    You figured me out - I’m a child and I’m hopeless
    Bleeding and broken - though I’ve never spoken
    I come undone - in this mad season

    In this mad season
    There’s been a mad season
    Been a mad season

     . . . yeah . . .

    Friday, December 11, 2009


    www.unitedworldspictures. com
    Here is the site for the new project Gina is working on.
    It looks really exciting and there may even be a small part for me in the future and I should be filming next year.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Singularity 101 part 4

    “The AI does not hate younor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.”—Eliezer Yudkowsky, Artificial 

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    The Mind Machine Project aims to reinvent AI for a new era.

    This is a really good look at a very exciting project. If even a fraction of what they are working on bears fruit it will mean new tools available to solve the remaining problems in a very short time.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Algae and Light Help Injured Mice Walk Again By Michael Chorost

    "In theory, two-way optogenetic traffic could lead to human-machine fusions in which the brain truly interacts with the machine, rather than only giving or only accepting orders. It could be used, for instance, to let the brain send movement commands to a prosthetic arm; in return, the arm’s sensors would gather information and send it back. Blue and yellow LEDs would flash on and off inside genetically altered somatosensory regions of the cortex to give the user sensations of weight, temperature, and texture. The limb would feel like a real arm. Of course, this kind of cyborg technology is not exactly around the corner. But it has suddenly leapt from the realm of wild fantasy to concrete possibility."

    Read this one twice and consider the implications.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Stellar Cartography Report:

    " -- Mystery Emissions Spotted at Edge of Solar System"

    Let me pose a question here: If we think of the entire Solar System as one unit, with an electric charge, that interacts with the rest of the Galaxy; could this help explain the high rate of rotation along the outer edge of the Galaxy without the need for Dark Matter?

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Interview with Kurzrweil

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Impulse Engines?

    Trips to Mars in 39 Days | Universe Today

    To anyone who's ever read a Star Fleet Technical manual this looks very familiar and cutting the travel time from six months to thirty nine days sounds pretty good to me.

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    Defining Posthuman and Transhuman

    Let "Transhuman" or "Posthuman" be defined not as simple artificial replacement or augmentation of a sense or function to normal levels (IE: False teeth, Eye glasses, Contact lenses, Pace maker, etc.) but rather as enhancement beyond ideal performance, providing alternate performance or an altogether alternate method of some basic function.

    Case in point:

    "Vulcan Science? The Woman Without A Pulse!"

    Image Credits: ChonaStock Moonchilde-Stock

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Everything is OK Montage

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Notes on a Staycation

    "I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be." - Peter Gibbons, Office Space.

    As many of you know I took this past week off. Invariably when you come back everyone ends up asking you about it. Where did you go? What did you do?
    The short answers are ‘nowhere’ and ‘as little as possible’ but these don’t really answer the question so let me tell you in some detail. I am not a wealthy person but setting aside time like this made me feel like I was. Taking time off like this, to me, was the height of luxury.
    I spent my time sitting quietly and enjoying the weather when it was nice (which was most of the time). I reflected on my life, on all the things I’ve done and speculated on what I might like to do later. I swam, tanned, napped and drank beer a lot. I had friends over, enjoyed some excellent meals and didn’t worry about my diet at all. I played really lousy tennis until my limbs ached and then went back in the pool. I went to a museum with a friend and explored a lot of Star Trek stuff. I spent long hours under the stars, in front of the fire, talking about futurism, ethics, language, poetry and music. I watched movies and laughed at the bad ones and enjoyed the good ones. I listened to a lot of music both old and new. I caught up on sleep and with people I had lost contact with. I reinforced some old bridges and built some new ones with the people in my life who were around. I enjoyed a long, deliberate sense of not needing to be reliable, punctual or responsible for a while.
    Now maybe sometimes you have to jump on a plane and travel half way around the planet to ‘get away from it all’ to do all this, but this time I stayed right where I was and let it come to me.

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    "Where The Wild Things Are" Trailer

    I see a little story padding and stretching even in the trailer, but man this looks good! Thanks to Jessica for letting me know about this one.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Alice in Wonderland Trailer

    Looks cool.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Could helical clusters formed from interstellar dust be somehow alive?

    I was just talking about this. I was having a hard time making my case, but this is exactly what I was saying. Here is the underlying question; What if our definition of life is fundementally wrong? What if life is about replicating and evolving energy patterns? What if it only used amino acids, RNA and DNA here on Earth because that is what was available? Read the article and think about it. The tone of the article itself is very skeptical, but read some of the comments too. It's still a worthy question.

    New Space Observations: Early Forms of Inorganic Extraterrestrial Life?

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Patrick's Letter to the White House Re: Health Care

    Dear Mr. President,

    I have no idea whether or not this email will reach you, or whether it will (almost certainly) be read one of your staff instead. But I feel compelled to try and reach you anyway. I've just finished reading a distressing article in the Wall Street Journal and I certainly hope it's conclusions are unfounded. It states that you are willing to give up any demand for a public option for health care as a part of the reform package your administration is currently writing. I cannot overstate how angry and disappointed such a move will make me. Me, and millions of others who voted for you too.

    Last year, I donated hundreds of dollars - money that I really could not afford to throw around on a whim - to your campaign, and voted for you proudly. Thousands and thousands of your supporters did the same. We did not give up time and money so that the HMOs could be appeased with a huge giveaway for them. Health care reform without a public option is not reform of any kind. It's a sham disguising itself as reform. If you sign a health care reform bill into law that lacks a public option in the name of compromise, then I am sorry, but you have lost my vote, my money and my time, and you won't get it back.

    The Republicans don't want a public option. WE DON'T CARE WHAT THE REPUBLICANS WANT. And neither, frankly, should you. There is a reason that they have been annihilated in the last two elections - their ideas are terrible and have all but wrecked the country, and we have soundly rejected them as a party. The country is NOT yearning for bipartisanship. The country does NOT want to see the Democrats reach out and give up 40 percent of any legislation they pass to GOP far-right-wing nonsense. We want what Canada, and the UK, and France, and every other industrialized Western nation has enjoyed for decades: health care for ALL citizens, and real health care, not an illusory coverage that disintegrates the moment one of us becomes seriously ill. A health insurer that only wants to cover me when I'm not sick is like something out of Franz Kafka. We need an option that views providing health care to its patients as the primary reason for its existence, not something to be given up grudgingly only after all dodges and excuses have been exhausted.

    The HMOs have complained loudly that a government-run health care system will run them out of business. Well, WE DON'T CARE IF THAT HAPPENS. The sole purpose for health care providers' existence is to help sick people get well. It is not to increase the value of executives' stock options and it is not to serve as a bold declaration of the vibrancy and efficacy of the free market and the capitalist system. Health care is a RIGHT. It's not a privilege, and it's not an opportunity. If HMOs are more concerned about maximizing profit than maximizing lives saved, then they deserve to be driven out of business.

    Not everything in this world should be about making a buck.

    This is really too important. By even suggesting that your administration is not willing to go all the way on this, you are gambling with people's lives. You are giving the enemies of health care reform the ammunition they need to whittle away support in Congress. Please let us know that this article misstated the case. Please don't tell us you're going to walk away from another fight in order to minimize conflict. There's a time to reach out and there's a time to push back. And you can't reach out to a party that offers you nothing but a closed fist.

    I know you've often said that we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    But, Mr. President, sometimes the good is just not good enough.

    Please fight for real health care, with a public option for all. I sincerely thank whoever in the White House reads this letter for your time.


    Monday, June 29, 2009

    Tweeting the Dialectic of Technological Determinism

    "Tweeting the Dialectic of Technological Determinism"
    by Ted Friedman / Georgia State University - Atlanta

    Excellent article about Iran and the so called Cyber Revolution.
    I don't necessarily agree with this point of view but the author is clearly pondering what I'm pondering.

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Patrick Vent's over President Obama

    Another Obama signing statement giving himself the right to ignore part of a law.

    Essentially, Bush (43) and Obama have both reclaimed the line item veto. Clinton briefly had this power from 1996-8 but the Supreme Court ruled the law as being unconstitutional and struck it down. Now both his successors have decided that the president can merely choose to ignore parts of laws they sign by stating that certain provisions would interfere with the powers of the executive.

    Well, that's not how it works, my friends. If a bill does that, then you don't sign it into law. You veto it and tell Congress to try again. If Congress overrides it you have the Justice Department bring suit against it and go through the courts. I understand Bush doing this, he was not a lawyer and he was someone who was easily manipulated by his royal court. But Obama, someone who A) taught constitutional law and B) criticized Bush for doing this very same thing, knows better but has decided to try this out and see if he gets much push-back. Which I'm sure he won't. The media's criticism of presidents revolves around whether or not he endangers capitalism, i.e. the entrenched system of wealth distribution that funnels money upwards from the poor to the middle class to the insanely rich, i.e. the very people who pay their exorbitant salaries. So they have no problem getting tough on Obama when it comes to "nationalizing" General Motors (which it did not do) or trying to pass any kind of health care reform that doesn't consist solely of providing massive subsidies for everyone to buy expensive private coverage. That makes the media pat itself on the back for grilling the president and living up to the legacy of Woodward and Bernstein, an ethic that even Woodward and Bernstein couldn't maintain. But stories about the Office of the President abusing power, stealing power for itself, torturing people for political ends, refusing to play straight with the electorate? Bo-ring! Where's the percentage? Their bosses don't really care what laws presidents break so long as they don't have their taxes raised. And both Bush's and Obama's people know this.

    Yes, yes, I know, Obama's very smart. And he probably knows things we don't know. And he's playing the long game. Biding his time. Waiting for the Republicans to trip up and drop from 25% approval down to 15%, or something, and then he can REALLY stand up and do the right thing. I'm not sure how much longer people will keep resorting to these excuses - and that's what they are, excuses. And I don't know what to make of a president who can't roll over the GOP in their current dessicated state. I can only conclude that he doesn't intend to. He's an adjuster, not a reformer. Even health care, I suspect, is going to end up being nothing but a big giveaway to the HMOs without any real guarantees that people can't be dropped whenever they actually get sick. And Obama will give his usual line about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, and no one will dare to tell him that sometimes the good just isn't good enough.

    Sorry, but I'm more and more disappointed with our president lately. Being "better than Bush" is not a high enough bar, for Christ's sake. Khrushchev was not a great statesman simply because he didn't kill twenty million of his own people like the last guy did. A leader must be judged by his own actions, and we can't keep giving Obama a pass just because he isn't George W. Bush. Just my opinion.


    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Tipping Point?

    Excellent Article by Wilson da Silva in Cosmos


    As an outsider I have watched in horror as the outrages of the fascist, theocratic, dictatorship in Iran have escalated. I am always resistant to advocate the use of force in political matters. I have tried to favor peaceful change through passive resistance. If, however, even a small part of the reports now coming out of that country are accurate; I don’t think that peaceful protest is still a viable option. The brutality of this corrupt regime has become unspeakable. It shows, more clearly than even their most zealous and verbose detractors could ever hope to, the depths of depravity the former leaders of that country have sunk to. I say “former leaders” because no matter what happens from here they no longer represent the people of Iran. These are your own people you are attacking!
    Needless to say this is no longer merely about an election, or votes, or anything of the sort. By resorting to this kind of viciousness the situation has escalated into a full scale revolt. By letting their fear drive them, the former leaders have done what their enemies could not and turned the people of their own country against them. Like men, no country is an island. These crimes will long weigh on the minds of your neighbors and indeed the rest of the planet.
    This is not the first time this has happened nor, I fear, will it be the last. What is also important here is the speed with which it all happened. The technology that facilitated this rapid change is more ubiquitous everyday. Imagine if North Korea allowed unrestricted internet access and Twittering.
    Even as President Obama has maintained a hands-off approach from the US government (a decision I support by the way) the people of the US and the rest of the world have reached out and embraced the protesting Iranians. Their peaceful and reasonable demonstrations and cries for Democracy and Freedom reach us and we are with them. Not merely months or years after the fact, but in the moment. We hear their voices and we raise ours in support of them.
    This will be even more and more the case as we move forward and these technologies expand and are refined. As more and more people around the world attain the ability to speak to each other directly the age of repressive dictatorships is gradually ending. As I watch the continuing events in Iran, I say, good riddance.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    I am REALLY sorry about last night.

    Well folks, things got a bit out hand for me yesterday. There was too much drinking, and then some more drinking, and then it all caught up to me. I remember telling some age inappropriate stories and jokes, and offending some some people I haven't seen in a long time, and I feel really terrible about it. Later it got so bad my wife and friends had to call 911. I remember some EMT's and then waking up in the hospital. My sister Denise, who is a nurse, was working at the time and her and Gina looked after me.
    Later Denise drove us home, thanks again for that.
    This morning I am, of course, dealing with the aftermath of my own stupidity.
    I am, as I say, home from the hospital, and I feel as well as can be expected and better than I deserve.
    I want to sincerely thank and apologize again to everyone involved especially Gina.
    There are no words I can use to express the depth of my shame.
    I hope that at least some of you will find it in your hearts to forgive me for getting so carried away and acting so stupidly.

    Monday, June 15, 2009


    Twitter is going wild today as it has become the primary source of information on the demonstrations and riots in Iran. This ties into something I was trying to explain to my friends a few weeks ago. The rapid advances in technology and communications are becoming tools for change, almost in real time. The days of a repressive state locking down the coverage so no one can see what they are doing to repress the people internally are almost at an end. Twitter was, almost certainly, never meant to be used this way but here we are watching what the authorities in Iran clearly do not want us to see. How long can these regimes retain power when the people of their countries and their neighbors stand together and say "ENOUGH!" remains to be seen. However, I believe it will be less time than it would have been with the technology of even ten years ago.
    Power, and Freedom, to the People.

    "Revelations" in the news again

    The LA times has the article "Hollywood hits the stop button on high-profile Web video efforts" which mentions Shane, "Star Wars: Revelations" (see the link to the 47 minute movie, starring Gina and featuring me, on this page.) and "Trenches". It's an interesting article but I think it misses some key points. For instance it doesn't talk about The Onion and it's video offerings. This is an example of an existing product using webisodes to enhance their offerings.
    The fact that the television model doesn't work on the web doesn't surprise me. Let's be honest, it never really worked all that well for television. Their overall point though is well taken, when almost anyone can produce their own content and distribute it for free, we need a completely new business model.
    It' nice that their still talking about "Revelations" though.
    Shane is quoted at the beginning and end of the Article.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009


    Hot Damn! I'm glad to hear this.
    As Bender would no doubt say: "Compare your lives to mine, then kill yourselves!"

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    60 Marvelous Superhero Wallpapers
    Something for almost everyone!
    Thanks to 9swords on Twitter for linking this one.

    The Bunker Hill Bogs Wildlife Recreation Area

    The Bunker Hill Bogs Wildlife Recreation Area

    Ummm, yeah, . . naming stuff is not our strong suit around here.
    Still though, the park itself sounds nice. I haven't been on a hike in too long and I'm sure this is an easy walk.

    Starship design in the NEW timeline.

    Check this out.
    A 360 panorama of the Bridge fro the new Movie.

    A couple of notes:
    I'll never understand why designers love to put those needless ankle breaking steps all over the floor.
    The disco floor lighting under the Captain's chair is just plain dopey looking.
    The Captain's chair itself is, well, why don't I just skip that one.
    The very nice indirect ceiling light is wasted by the needless and ubiquitous spot lights all over the place. Also if you were trying to work at any of the wall side stations those lights would be right in your eyes.
    Lights mounted in bulkheads and support beams are a major mistake but you'll find them in all kinds of movie sets.
    The Chairs are clearly a nod to the original series but not something you would ever actually see or use on a Starship. Here is an area where they could have improved on the original and didn't.
    The transparent panels would be a lot cooler if they moved in some kind of track but they don't, they're fixed. Still I like the idea of being able to display all that information.
    I could go on and on, (You have no idea, really!) but overall, I think it looks like it was designed by a lighting technician. It's a mishmash of different Star Trek series and movie set elements just thrown together and over lit.

    "So much style without substance
    So much stuff without style"
    - Peart

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Trailer for "The Answer Man" with Gina
    You can clearly see Gina twice in this trailer.
    This movie stars Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham and it keeps changing it's name from "The Answer Man" to "Arlen Faber" and back again. We're hoping that you will really be able to see Gina do some real acting in this one. Seeing her in the trailer is a good sign.

    Brooke Elizabeth Collins

    Born: June 4, 2009, 9:07pm
    Weight :7 pounds, 4 ounces
    In: Community Medical Center, Toms River NJ

    Marcia and Brooke are both doing well!

    Welcome to planet Earth!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Cybersecurity vs. Human Extinction

    Interesting article on the Daily Kos (of all places) here.

    What's interesting about this article is some of the timelines they suggest and the concepts it practically takes for granted. Also I notice that nanotechnology is not mentioned. It seems like the closer we get to this Singularity thing the harder it is to get your heads around everything that it implies. This article seems to take a raw power approach to advancing technology. For all of that the timelines it suggest are still staggering.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009


    Pulsars for Interstellar Navigation.

    Argh! I said this like three years ago.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009


    Okay, okay, I confess the all the capital letters were just to get my buddy Patrick excited and it's a fan made trailer with footage and dialog stolen and worked over from just about everywhere, but it's still fun.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Thursday Night Quotes:

    Wife: "You're not listening to me!"

    Husband: "My god, you're right. Now why is that? Why would that be...we have a conundrum here. A mystery. The game is afoot. I shall begin my investigation at the nearest pub, don't wait up."

    Woman of ill repute: "YOU are the man I've been looking for."

    Man: "No, I'm his brother. I'll tell him you said hi, though."

    Amazon "Milk" reviews. No, I'm not kidding, too Funny.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Possible Battery breakthrough

    Breathing batteries could store 10 times the energy

    The key thing about this is not the story itself but the rate at which stories like this are flooding in. Rapid advances on almost every front continue to bombard us.
    Speaking of that, when I say "almost every front" even the exceptions are starting to be note worthy. For instance, why do we not yet have streaming video phone technology every where? All of the technology to make this happen is in place right now. You can even set it up yourself with a little know how. Why isn't is readily, commercially available and ubiquitous? Think about it.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    U.S.S. Integrity NCC-2112 - Reboot

    We are getting ready to relaunch the ship.

    This time it will be different and a bit of an experiment.
    This time there will be no dues, newsletter or monthly meetings.
    We will have the occasional away missions to conventions, museums, renaissance fairs and so on (but to be fair Gina and I never really stopped doing any of that).
    This time we will be writing an on going storyline that you can follow (on our new BLOG, Facebook group and Twitter account's) with the characters on the ship getting into (and hopefully out of) various scrapes.
    Any real time role playing will have to wait for some kind of acceptable interface.
    If you want to see your character in the logs; send me an email with a character name, Star Trek race (Human, Vulcan, etc.) age, desired section (Sciences, Operations, Bartender, Etc), desired rank (no promises) and as much or as little detail as you feel you need. Do not feel limited to whatever you had before, consider this a chance to start over.
    Finally, do not worry about the time line or the changes from most recent movie (We got that!). The setting is still a Galaxy Class Starship and Captain Logan is still in Command. Everything that has gone before will serve as back story.

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Food for Thought

    Excellent Article from New Scientist:
    Will designer brains divide humanity?

    I like this article because of the ideas it takes for granted.
    Consider some of the broader implications of what we're looking at here and I think you will agree that this is worth pondering. Also it raises that underling question; how much enhancement can we take and still remain . . . ourselves?

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    SNL Star Trek bit

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    From Facebook

    Frank J. Hernandez OH MY GOD!!! I just went to play Star Trek: conquest on my Wii and . . it's .. it's gone, there's nothing there . . erased from existence!
    9:15pm · via Blog It · Comment · Like

    Timothy Young at 9:48pm May 11
    It's been replaced by a younger, hipper game.

    Bill Kieffer at 9:49pm May 11 via Facebook Mobile
    Did u upload red matter?

    Frank J. Hernandez at 10:16pm May 11
    The stars look right but . . Vulcan is gone!

    Timothy Young at 10:23pm May 11 if millions of voices suddenly accepted their fate logically, and were suddenly silenced.

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    'I drink your dilithium! I drink it up!' STAR TREK SPOILER ALERT!!!

    Here it is, my review of the new Star Trek Movie.
    Final Warning - Spoilers Ahead:
    Do not read this if you haven’t seen it yet.

    You know when people make jokes about those really extreme Star Trek Fans. I AM that guy! I have a rule that there is not to be any Star Trek that I don’t know all about. I know more about the Star Trek universe and its lore than, well, than just about anybody. I’m not boasting here, I’m just giving it to you straight. I don’t memorize who wrote and directed which episodes or their original air dates and I don’t claim to be an expert on the behind the scenes, day to day details. Also I don’t look much like the average fan boys the media likes to portray us as, I don’t live in my parent’s basement and I have a wife and a real life - but if you want to know what Warp fields are measured in or discuss the Vulcan Philosophy of IDIC or just about any detail of Starship Operations - I'm your man. Before we talk about the new Star Trek Movie I just think you need to know who you’re dealing with.

    To start with I want to talk about what was good in this movie. There is a lot to like here. First and foremost the actors were great. They really manage to capture the characters without coming off like imitations. Second the special effects were just this side of perfect. Also the action was really well done. It is exciting and very cool looking.

    Now I’d like to talk about the things I was okay with. I was okay with the Spock love interest. I was okay with the changes to the timeline and, yes, I’m even okay with recognizing that the “Enterprise” series and this movie are now the only true canon. Everything else (and I mean everything else) are washed away and must be reset.


    So here we are - all disclaimers in place and ready to go.
    First a minor technical note - I really did not like that when we are on the bridge there is apparently a search light spinning just out of frame and regularly blinding us. In fact I hated this. I thought, when I saw this in the trailers, that is was just for the sake of the trailers - but no that’s the way those scenes are shot.
    This is as I say and by comparison a minor technical note.

    Here is an prime example of what I really did not like about the new Star Trek movie.
    It all starts when Spock says about Kirk; “Get him off the ship” and no one asks, ‘I’m sorry acting Captain, is something wrong with our brig?’

    Spock arbitrarily decides to send Kirk, his First Officer at his point ‘overboard’ in what looks like a single man escape pod onto the ice planet Delta Vega.
    You know, because Star Fleet officers do that kind of thing all the time.
    Wait though, we’re not done. We then have a drawn out scene with the ice creatures of Delta Vega (there’s always a bigger ice creature) and then ‘Professor McGuffin from the Exposition Institute’ shows up and saves him. By which I mean Spock Prime, who has been marooned on the same ice world by Nero, by complete coincidence, so he can watch the destruction of his home world, which he does, unaided, even though it’s in another star system, just happens to be right where Kirk is! Not merely on the same forsaken planet, but literally just a short run from where Kirk’s pod lands.

    Wait though because we’re still not done. On the nearby base, also shipped off to the gulag Delta Vega for screwing up, by Admiral Archer no less, they find Scotty.
    (Why not just have Baltar and Six show up as angels and tell us they arranged the whole thing.)

    After this we have the horrible Scotty beams himself into the Enterprise’s water system scene (reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate factory) and his unlikely escape. I won’t go into how many things are wrong with that scenario but I trust my point is made.

    Another thing that really stretches the imagination is Kirk going from Cadet directly to Captain of the Enterprise. Who knows though, maybe Spock Prime put a good word in for him.

    There are other plot holes that one could fly a Galaxy Class Starship through but these are illustrative of the overall problem.

    Having said all of this though, I want to also say that it is clear to me that this film is going to be wildly popular. JJ Abrams seems to have really struck a chord with the Zeitgeist in this movie and all of my nitpicking and ranting aside, people really love this film. As I said there is a lot to like about it. I just wish they had put a little more work into the plot issues. I mean Spock Prime was from the future for crying out loud, if he had worked his way to Delta Vega from wherever Nero had dropped him off because he knew Scotty was stationed on Delta Vega at that time or something, anything, it would have been so much more believable and enjoyable.

    Overall though I give the movie Six out of Ten and, of course, I will see it again, and again, …..

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Gina on the set!

    "Today we will be Marching, up and down the square."

    The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil

    This is just one part of a series but I thought I'd put it up here as food for thought.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Fun with Trek.

    Warning: Not work safe!
    No Eating or Drinking and please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Pon Farr Edition) from Darth Mojo on Vimeo.

    Thanks to Karen for sending this our way.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    "Star Trek" review from The Onion

    Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

    h+ Article on Transcendent Man

    by Ben Goertzel
    Link here.
    Another really good article. I can't wait to this. I'm just hoping I don't have to travel to far to see it. Who knows though maybe it will have wider release than I expect.

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    "Vulcans Never, Ever Smile" More from Newsweek
    This one is not as objectionable . . . but I'm still angry at the last one.
    Also this one has a bit of a spoiler so don't read it if you don't want to know anything going in.

    Newsweek: "We're all Trekkies now" . . yeah, sure.

    First of all it's "Trekkers" and second of all 'NO, you're not'. You may want to be but those of us who have been trekkers all along really resent you late comers jumping on the Runabout now after breaking our balls about it all these years.

    This is just like the RUSH (The Band, not the fat radio clown) is now cool thing.
    Bad news idiots! RUSH was always cool, you were just too damned stupid to realize it at the time.

    Elementary, my dear Watson.

    IBM builds new AI system to take on humans at the game of "Jeopardy".
    I think the natural language part of this will be the most impressive.
    Exciting stuff though.

    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Brian as First Officer

    Brian G. sent this over.

    Create Your Own

    Good stuff! Just like the old days.

    Sadly the auto play code must be embedded because I can't see it to turn it off.
    Oh well, there's always the "Stop" Button.

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    Trek yourself.

    Strange but kind of fun.

    Create Your Own

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Gina's new Comp. Card

    The actual final card, of course, includes more contact info but I really like the layout.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Transcendent Man

    Singularity Hub review

    Brigid Fitch Strikes Back!

    As my long time readers will know I have been saying for a while now that the Republican Party is dead. Just last night in fact I heard Chris Matthews of "Hardball" compare them to the Whigs. I must say got a chuckle out of that. Over the past few months I have tried to stay away from the political rants and focus more on futurism and personal stuff. However, occasionally one of my readers will submit something that I think bears posting, as is the case today.
    The rest of this post is the opinion of one Brigid Fitch.
    The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elysian Visions, Inc. or it's subsidiaries.


    Just think—150 years ago, the Republican Party was anti-slavery and for high taxes in order to help the poor. We are now witnessing a dramatic shift in ideology of that same party. I’m oversimplifying here, but basically the Democrats & Republicans flipped ideals during the Lincoln years and solidified their stance in the Truman administration. If you require evidence of this fact, just look at any Blue Dog Democrat right now. Those so-called Democrats are the remnants of days gone by—fiscally & socially conservative, traits now attached to the current GOP. So here we are in the 21st century, watching history repeat itself.

    Welcome to 2009, where we can witness the implosion of the so-called Republican Party. A Party that is embracing social conservatism at an unprecedented rate. They literally have no clue as to why they lost the 2008 elections. They’re so entrenched in their ideology that they believe a more conservative bent is the way to win over the American people. In the face of a 55% mandate, they maintain that their way—that of “Real America” (whatever that is)--is best. They sideline conservatives like Specter (who has already decided to switch parties), Collins, and Snowe. They advocate the “Tea Parties” as a way to show their dissatisfaction when they fail to do the same in Congress. They have become the Party of “No” simply because they can’t understand why they lost on Nov 4th.

    My friends, I invite you to witness the death of the Republican Party as we know it. I voted Republican in 1988. At that time, Reagan stood for something that I felt our country was lacking. However, when I looked at the broader scope of things (WTF—you’re cutting the education budget WHY??), I learned my lesson. 20+ years later, you’re experiencing the fall-out of that era. The GOP is nothing like it was 30 or even 25 years ago. Back then, it represented American strength against opposition in any form. Reagan made plenty of missteps during his administration, but I’ll give credit where it’s due: He knew when diplomacy was the better course of action. The USSR became a thing of the past (See his letters to Gorbachev as citations).

    But again I invite you to look at the GOP as it is today: A political party so myopic in its vision that its main focus is anti-gay marriage legislation, Hell-bent on being the party of “No”, and so ridiculously hypocritical as to be laughable. This is not the GOP that our fathers knew. No, this is a GOP that is kowtowing to a Fundie base, working towards a socially conservative lifestyle. One that embraces Big Oil, denounces any study that uses the term “carbon footprint”, and espouses the way of the Bible in the face of anything even remotely related to equal rights for gays.

    My point is that they’re so out of touch, it’s only a matter of time before the GOP becomes irrelevant.

    - Brigid Fitch

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Gina's other new Headshot

    Also from Chrispics
    I like this one. She looks like she's up to something.

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Falling into a Blackhole

    Computer simulation of what it might be like.

    . . . and speaking of the Singularity,

    h+ Singularity Article  with Vernor Vinge. 

    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Sneak Peek

    I snuck this picture when she wasn't looking. This sums up how I spent the day. And yes I went in the pool. 

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Gina's New Headshot

    Photo by Chrispics Photography 

    Is it me or does that look just like . . . Patrick?

    I'm just minding my own business, surfing the net, when suddenly, looking back at me is a sort of Microsoft, Cyber . . . Patrick.
    I'm freaking out here a little bit.
    This is like the "Mr Sparkle" thing on "The Simpsons".
    For those who may not know Patrick, um  . . . he looks just like this guy. 

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Toy Matinee - VIDEO???

    Warning Video Flashback

    Here they are from way back in the early 1990’s, one of the best bands you never even came close to hearing of.
    I used to love these guys.
     If you don't know who they are - you don't deserve to know.
     Nah, just kidding, I'll share, Wikipedia entry here.
     Still, I never knew there were videos.
     How cool is that?

     Everybody sing;
     "There was one repressed do good-er
     and a few who still believe
     Yes, I think there were five good men here yesterday
     But they were asked to leave.

     So we've kept the good old vices
     and labored to invent a few
     With cake in vulgar surplus
     we can have it
     and eat it too!”

    Navy Sniper

    I'd tell you where I got this - but then a sniper would kill us both. You know, I have no problem with the proper application of American military might and expertise. For instance, using it to protect American lives from criminals. What I object to is any improper or wasteful use of it. 

    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Quote of the Day

    Today's 'Quote of the day' is from the chronically misunderstood and misrepresented work of Ayn Rand. This is the character Dagny Taggart talking about sex. 

    "And to such among you who hate the thought of human joy, who wish to see men's life as chronic suffering and failure, who wish men to apologize for happiness -- or for success, or ability, or achievement, or wealth -- to such among you, I am now saying: I wanted him, I had him, I was happy, I had known joy, a pure, full, guiltless joy.."
    - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 

    I don't post a quote everyday, only when I feel like it. This is today's. 

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Teabagging Idiot Republicans (Take 2)

    Last time. I promise. Probably.

    I just want to say I totally agree with Janeane Garofalo here.
    Thanks to Patrick for sending this over.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Conservative Tea Bagging

    Sit down. Put aside any food or drinks.
    Place your tray in the upright position.
    Take a deep breath. 

    NOW, check this out. 


    This guy deserves an award for getting through this with a straight face.

    I'm not talking to or about my right leaning friends (Yes, I still have some) who favor smaller Government, lower taxes, a strong military and Capitalism.
    I talking to the ignorant racist morons who think this is a good idea.  
    The entire universe is LAUGHING AT YOU!!

    That is all.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Star Trek - Clip "Answer me"

    I gotta say, this is growing on me more and more.
    Also there is something familiar about this scene, what could it be?

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Researchers build 'flying' micro-robot

    This is really, really  . . . you know what? I'm running out of terms for this stuff . . .
    This is really pretty wild though.

    Flying Micro-Robots 

    And then from Singularity Hub there's this. 


    A $500.00 dollar self replicating 3D fabrication printer.
    Available in the distant  . . . um Right NOW!

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    From "Aida"

    "To sail away to half discovered places,
    To see the secrets so few eyes have seen 
    To see moments of enchantment on our faces,
    The moments when we smile, and those between."

    “There'll be no ties of time and space to bind us,
    And no horizon we shall not pursue, 
    We'll leave the world's misfortunes far behind us, 
    And I will put my faith and trust  . . . in you”

    Not quite a quote but strung together it sums up this morning's moment of Zen. 

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Kepler Update from Centauri Dreams

    Very exciting stuff. There will of course be a period of calibration first, but soon, it looks like we'll be up and running. 

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    In my backyard . . . Right now.

    Gina and I are home, safe and sound. 
    I picked up some gourmet food at a local shop. 
    I have the stereo, fire-pit and grill all going. 

    "and everyone, who had a talent for it, lived happily ever after."
    - Baron Munchausen

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Big News!!

    We are getting on the road again headed from Sarasota, FL to Jacksonville, NC. to see the grandkids. Also have just found out that we are expecting. Our first together!!! Turns out we'll be picking up as many baby things as we drop off.
    April Fools!
    Come on guys, I won't even let her get another DOG. Any more kids are right out. 

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Sixth Sense TECH

    Thanks to Pete for bringing this to my attention.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Battlestar Galactica: Over

    No spoilers I promise. The end of Battlestar Galactica was dramatic, action packed and full of beautiful, emotional, brilliantly acted scenes. For that, and for many of the splendid individual moments it has brought us over the years I am truly grateful.
    Having said that, the big problem is that, for all of the advertising promises that claimed “You will know the truth” and leading us through a mysterious, prim rose labyrinth for the past five years, the explanation for everything we’ve seen is . . . um . . .god or demons, or magic, or something.
    In other words they don’t tell you. Ever.
    There are also glaring, unrecyclable inconsistencies with what has gone before. I promised no spoilers here, but if anyone is looking to have a rambling three hour conversation about it, feel free to bring it up, at your own risk.
    The first time I ever learned Ron Moore’s name was after watching the ST:TNG episode “The Defector” which impressed me so much, that I looked up who had written it. My friends told me this would happen, but I insisted that my man ‘Ron’ would not let me down. I was a big fan. I had a lot of faith in this guy but, sorry, I feel let down.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009


    A documentary on Ray Kurzweil. Looks interesting but sounds a little one sided. Still let us not prejudge it. I'm looking forward to this and, of course, "The Singularity is Near" later this year.,743193.shtml

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Future Watch

    Excelent Article on Advancing Technology here. I was talking about this stuff with the boys and they were pretty skeptical, which is healthy, but I felt like I wasn't getting my point across. This article sites much of what I was trying to explain.

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Watching the Watchmen

    Yes, I have seen it! It was glorious and disturbing. I highly recommend it but please keep in mind this is not a movie for kids. That "R" rating, they're not kidding about that. I don't want to put any spoilers here but, in general, I really liked it.

    "I've walked across the sun. I've seen events so tiny and so fast they hardly can be said have occurred at all, but you... you are a man. And this world's smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite."

    - Dr. Manhattan

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Looks like Ragnarök!!!

    Here is a quick shot of the backyard. Needless to say I am working from home today. In fact, my company has decided to stay closed and have everyone work from home today. Hopefully all the work I've done over the past year making sure people can work from anywhere will pay off today. Meanwhile we are all set here at the house, except, that the milk, that I have plenty of here in the house, has gone off.
    Oh well, black coffee and rice cakes for me. I went shopping for food yesterday so we are all set on everything else. The snow shovel and salt are by the door and we have a lit candle right next to a bunch of utility candles ready to go in the event that we lose power. We're just going to hunker down wait it out.

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Meet the 'New' old Enterprise

    Check out the whole original article and more pictures here.
    Also thanks to Patrick for sending this over.
    Now then, my problem with this is the nacelles which look almost steam punk. Why not just put a pair of giant wagon wheels back there. They are out of proportion and they do not fit with the original look or the look we saw in "First Contact" on the Phoenix or on "Enterprise". Also the Bussard collectors on the front of the nacelles need to be red.
    At first glance the deflector array (the part on the front bottom of the secondary hull) looks like it is straight off of the NCC-1701-A. It's looks anachronistic. However on closer inspection it really is very nice. The neck mounted torpedo launchers are also anachronistic but we'll let that go. The rest of it is not too bad. There is nice smoothing of the back of the neck of the ship. The neck overall looks bulkier and reinforced, but that's the kind of change I can live with. The lines on the ventral view are very nice and true to the original. Also the saucer section seems to have an NCC-1701-D style observation lounge behind the bridge, but here again, overall the saucer section looks pretty good and of course the detail is splendid.
    Those are my impressions after just a quick glance but this is the problem with taking the whole Star Trek universe backward instead of forward. Oh well, we will see how it all comes together.
    To those of you who are reading this and going "OMG what a geek?!!"
    Shut up!
    I know more about this stuff than you know about real life.
    Just shut the hell up!

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Star Trek: Conquest

    I have defeated this game. I don't usually play video games but when Nick bought me this for the Wii I made an exception. It took a little while to work out the mechanics of how it worked and I could play it all the way up to the hard level as the Dominion, Klingons and Cardassians - but not as the Federation. I just could not work out how to win on the hardest level as the Federation.
    Until tonight.
    If anyone wants to know what the tactics I used are drop me a line and I'll be happy to share. Fun stuff.
    Thanks again Nick!
    This is for EARTH!!!

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Gina on the set

    Here is a quick shot of Gina and some friends, Sharon and Andi, on the set "Jack Goes Boating" which is being directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gina and the girls were playing nurses and generally having a grand time. Gina says the set they were on is also used for "Fringe" and maybe "Law & Order".

    Thursday, February 19, 2009


    I was really sick yesterday. I am still sick today, but nowhere near as bad. I spent most of the last 36 hours unconscious. Today I am back in the office but I’m running primarily on good intentions and will power. I don’t know why but, although I rarely get sick, it’s never just a mild head cold where I can just take a palliative and keep on going. It’s always got to knock me off of my feet completely. Gina was sick also but not as bad and today she is working again too. She has a 4:00PM call for something. I can’t remember what. She has been working pretty regularly so we’re scraping by. We’re both hoping that things really pick up for her this spring.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Farpoint 09

    Just a quick note here on some of the details. We saw "Trenches", which was really good and I felt left the audience wanting more. We caught up on all the latest Science Fiction and Fantasy movie news and upcoming projects. We bought some stuff that's easy to find at conventions. Gina met Alan Tudyk and got an autographed "3:10 to Yuma" tee shirt as a gift from him. We spent some nice time with a lot of friends and very much enjoyed the new hotel.
    All in all another successful mission.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009


    I just got a new Haircut.
    It's a bit extreme.
    Let's just say I am now really "Aerodynamic".
    Start with "Bald" and work up from there.

    I am ready for my Role in "A Few Good Men."

    You want to see my haircut - YOU CAN"T HANDLE MY HAIRCUT!!!

    Heh. The Captain is IN!

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Gina Update

    Gina is working today as a Stand In for Gina Gershon on the set of "Life on Mars". It's tough being a Stand In because no one will ever see your work, on the other hand it pays pretty well, and it can become pretty solid work, if they like you and you get a contract. In any case, Gina is starting to work pretty regularly and she loves it.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    About Joe

    from Brigid:

    GOP Congressional staffers have invited Joe the Plumber to this morning's weekly strategy meeting. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Wow--it's like the Republican Party has become a parody of itself at this point.

    I'm trying to get away from political post, but Dammmmn!
    This is just calling out for a SNL Weekend Update "Really?" segment.

    Also this from Patrick:
    Do not be drinking or eating anything while clicking.

    Singularity University

    This could be very important.
    The idea of training people to take advantage of new, existing tools and to help develop the next generation of tools, whatever they might be, is powerful in it's own right. Add to that the natural networking that could grow out of this and it has the potential to lead to staggering changes in very short time frames.

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Is it just me . . .

    or was that, like, the best episode of BSG EVER?!?!
    That was up there with some the best television I have ever seen!
    I don't want to put down any spoilers right now, right after it aired - but DAMN!

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    Feeling poetic

    The air is cold, crisp and clean
    The sky is clear and bright
    I embrace this winter scene
    And in my eyes all is calm, warm and right

    - Original

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Today . . .

    "Chasing the horizon, Racing with the sky, Dreaming like a madman, As the scenery flies by . . ."
    - Original

    Also . . . looking forward to Pizza night.
    Gina is working again, on "Cupid".
    That's a TV show I'm given to understand.

    So much strange stuff going on it's hard to focus but remember;
    George Bush is no longer President!!

    That was for Patrick, who has taken to getting the attention of people in other cars, gesticulating to get them to roll down their windows and shouting it at them!
    Patrick: "Hey! HEY! George Bush is not President ANYMORE!" and he speeds away.

    . . .

    Wife: "Honey, who was that man?"
    Husband: "How the hell should I know? All I know is; I've got to scrape that damn McCain/Palin sticker off of the bumper."

    Seriously though, a couple of points:

    To the FOX News moron who said that because there was some missed cues over the actual oath, that Barack Obama might not actually be president, and that this could go to court, #*$% you, you #$!@$$# CENSORED CENSORED (Seriously, no one should read this!) CENSORED &*%% if you ever bothered to READ THE CONSTITUTION, IDIOT! Jesus Wept!
    Plus, they did it again anyway, just for you.

    Also, how many days do you think it will it take for Obama to do more good than the last guy did in eight years? Anyone?

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Watching from Home

    Watching history unfold from the house. Champagne at the ready! On Facebook, Twitter and Blog! Bye George, you will not be missed!


    Monday, January 19, 2009


    I still say we should have impeached the lot of them! I am literally watching the clock and counting the hours like a kid before xmas.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Beer and relaxation.

    I am doing nothing today. Just got out of bed, having an Anchor Steam Beer, leftovers, watching events in DC and relaxing. Do NOT disturb!!

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Bad Day and some Notes

    Rough day here at work today. Don't ask just do us both a favor and take my word for it.
    Meanwhile though I wanted to talk about next Tuesday. I will not be going down to the inauguration, I will be staying home. I took the day off and will quietly celebrate with some champagne as I watch the whole process from afar. I generally like to avoid any events that involve huge crowds, armed security and cold weather. I really did want to go, but so does about half of the rest of the planet apparently, and I just don't see a way to make it work for myself.
    On another topic I'm really looking forward to seeing some fresh BSG tonight. I need it after the day I've had. As I write this it's only 12:35 and I am already ready to go the hell home. Don't get me wrong I love my job and the people I work with are great, it's just been a really brutal day.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    "Star Wars: Revelations" in the News . . . Again.

    An interview with Clive Young author of "Homemade Hollywood" makes mention of "Star Wars: Revelations" yet again. Good stuff! Check it out here!

    Gina Update

    Well, after putting up with about as much stupidity, rudeness and abuse as any reasonable person should have to (and then some) Gina finally had enough and left her job at the law office yesterday. She just walked out and has no intention of going back except to collect some of her things. I can’t say I blame her but I am worried about the financial implications for us. She has already started submitting for acting jobs again and we’re weighing our other options. I guess we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully she can bring in more than she spends working as an actress. I really wish SAG would settle their pending strike one way or the other. I actually support much of the SAG position, but things being the way they are with the economy, the one thing we can not afford is this ongoing uncertainty.

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Rough morning

    How are you today? Feeling those Monday blues?
    Well allow me to cheer you up by telling you about my morning. I am still hobbling around because it feels like I’ve got knives in the back of each leg but I manage to get through my morning routine without too much trouble and make it out the door of the house. That’s where things go right off the rails. I limp over to the car and the driver side door is frozen shut. I’ve seen this before, it only happens when it’s really cold and, as I spent most of the day on my back on Sunday, the car sat unused, in the cold, for more than a day. Great! So I shuffle over the passenger side and it’s working just fine. Okay then, I throw my backpack on the floor of the passenger side crawl inside and pull myself painfully into the driver’s seat. Then I do something I’m really going to regret. I try the driver side door from the inside. There a little resistance and a slight pop but the door opens. The trouble is that when I swing it out and back in an attempt to close it again, it simply bounces off of the car. It will not close. It is now frozen in a position that prevents it from latching. Great, just great! I start the car and turn up the heat to see if I can warm it up enough to get it to close. I know it’s just a matter of time and warmth, the thing is I don’t have either. I consider my options. It’s Monday and on Monday’s I like to hit the 7-11 right up the street and pick up some fat free milk for work, a lottery ticket and a hot coffee. I reason that I can hold the door closed long enough to make it to 7-11. I’ll park away from the doors (outside the no idling zone) and by the time I get my coffee and stuff maybe the car will be warm enough for the door the function properly. Decided I buckle up and put my plan into action. A few minutes later I am taking my time limping around the store getting what I need and then back out to the car. (Passing on my way two other cars left idling, right outside the door, in the no idling zone.) The driver’s side door however is still locked open. I need another plan. I decide to pop the trunk and see what I can use. I reach down the pull on the trunk release and . . . nothing happens. Ah ha! The trunk is frozen shut too. I sip my coffee in silence. The Universe is clearly trying to tell me something. I wonder what it could be. I decide that this is a test of some sort and I resolve to take it on as such. I turn off the car and take the keys around to the trunk. I try to open it directly, no luck, it’s really frozen tight. I throw my weight on the back of the car figuring that if I can compress it, just a little, that might break it loose. I try the key again and it works, take that Universe. I find a small piece of nylon rope in the trunk that will meet my needs perfectly. I close the trunk again and hobble back to the driver’s seat. Once inside I open the front and rear windows on the driver’s side just a little and run the rope through the window around the frame of the car and back through the rear seat window. I loop it a couple of times and tie it off. The door is now closed. I pull out of the 7-11 and make my way to work with the heat and stereo both up as high as I can take them. By the time I get to work the driver side door is working perfectly again.
    Now, don't you feel better?