Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hidden Artifact

Spring comes a little earlier in Houston than in most of the USA. I think it might already be here.

Becuase it's been warm for a few days in a row, my wife decided she needed some free labor to achieve her backyard vision. So, this past weekend, I was out pulling weeds, trimming and even cutting down trees for several hours.

Our backyard was pretty damn overgrown when we first moved in. So much so that everybody in my family never even saw this before we moved in:

This statue has been in our backyard for months. We had a freeze a few weeks back, and a freeze a few weeks before that, and a freeze a few weeks before that. Unusual weather for Houston, which usually sees a freeze like this once every five years or so, not three times in one year. And because of that weather, all the overgrown plants in our backyard died off, and this statue rose from the jungle like a phoenix from the ashes or...um Batman from that cave thing in the third movie when his back was broken.

It had been hiding back there, and despite the many hours we'd spent in the pool all summer long trying to be able to handle the sweltering heat, nobody noticed it. Just crazy. I don't know why, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Do We Really Need This?

I know that the modern day society is addicted to likes and shares, but is this something we really need?

Yes, I can now like, love, laugh at, and so on my own texts! Why is that necessary? Are we that emotionally needy that we need reactions to every damned thing we ever say? Can't we just let people's response to our texts be their response to our texts? I don't know, but I find this so sad. Now everyone can tell me why I'm wrong. Go.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Stodgy

I know I'm a stodgy old curmudgeon traditionalist, but you'll never convince me that there's any merit to a pizza that looks like this:

What is that, dandelions on there? The worst part is that it's almost gone. PEOPLE HAVE EATEN THIS THING? I think the CDC needs to be notified right away.

The Man Just Isn't What He Used To Be

I was out with my kid at Hermann Park, and came across this sign:

It's nice of the man to be so encouraging these days.

I don't know why, but things like this always make me chuckle. I suppose it's because I'm still really immature or something.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Starman

They launched the Falcon Heavy rocket today. It was pretty cool to see, especially because of the way the booster rockets returned back to their platforms and sat back down after doing their job. That's just rad.

This mission is just a test mission to see if they could everything to work properly, and it looks like they still have some work to do, because the third booster didn't make it back quite like it should have. As a sci-fi nerd, I'm always excited about the possibility of space travel, so I can't wait to see just what all will come of this.

And now that space has been opened up to private companies, it's interesting to see some of the things they've come up with, like Starman:

Is there anything out there that could make a nerd like me smile more? It's just so very cool.

Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems like one of those moments that will be forever crystalized into this unforgettable image. In the future, the picture of Starman cruising the heavens in his Tesla roadster will probably sit side by side with the pictures of Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon, the photo of his footprint, and the photo of the American flag planted in the lunar dust.

Can't you just see some future version of whatever will pass for mass media doing a flashing promo with Starman's likeness in just the same way that MTV did with the astronauts?

I couldn't help but throw together my own quickie video with what we'd rolled off of the Starman feed.

And then, of course, there's the fact that they called him Starman. If you know me much, then you know that I appreciate David Bowie who I got to know well because of writing a story ostensibly about him. It's called ChloeyYou can read the story here, or listen to the Dunesteef episode that featured it here.

Check out the animation of the mission, set to the tune of Bowie's "Life On Mars?"

I wonder what those future Martians a thousand years from now will think when they go and visit the site of Starman and his Tesla roadster the way we visit the pyramids or the colisseum in Rome. Will Bowie will live on echoing through their minds? Will there even be humans in existance by that time? I just love to think about it. I love it when something like this comes along and fills me with wonder.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Prude?

I've been really getting into funk music recently, both the original stuff from the sixties and seventies and the newer revival stuff. So, I really enjoy Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" with Bruno Mars in it, as well as "Feel Right" with Mystikal in it.

I find it funny though that I can't bring myself to get the explicit version of the song. I know it probably makes me super white or something, but I just don't like songs that are an endless stream of profanity. Here's the original, explicit version:

I feel like a complete hypocrite, but I got the clean version of the song. I'm the same guy that rails against anybody who wants to take a filmmakers original concept of a film and cut it down to make sure it doesn't offend somebody's sensibilities, and here I am doing the same with a song. I hate those people like VidAngel, and have complained about their affront against art for years, and then I get the clean version of "Feel Right".

Is it different with music? They made the clean version for squares like me to buy, right? So, it's not the same as some third party eviscerating the things that their sensibilities say shouldn't be allowed, is it? I'm curious, because I honestly don't know.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Silent Generation

My external hard drive crashed right after I came to Texas, and I've been slowly trying to get everything from my backups and back onto one new external hard drive. All my backups consist of things like Google Play Music for my music files, Google Photos for a lot of my photos, DVDs for the rest of my photos, and so forth. So, recently I came across these ancient pictures that my father has, and I scanned into the computer years ago. My dad was born in 1937, so he's older than the parents of most of my contemporaries. For example, my wife's dad is about the same age as my oldest brother.

My dad's not a baby boomer, like most of the kids my age, nor is he from the Greatest Generation...which I'm sure was called something else before Tom Brokaw came along and renamed them. He's from the generation between those two famous generations. The internet just informed me is called the Silent Generation. Could the name be more apt considering I had to look it up just to find out its name? He was born within the time that included the Great Depression and the Second World War, but he was too young to participate in them in any active way, and for the most part, he doesn't remember all that much about them. He was already an adult when all the social upheaval of the sixties took place. He was one of those kids in Back to the Future though. He graduated high school in 1955. And I think he tried to cut in on George McFly and dance with Loraine in that one scene only to be turned away when George finally grew a pair.

Sorry I ramble so much. The reason I made this post was to show you a picture. Because my dad is older than most of my friends' parents, he lived in a different time. A time before a lot of the technology that we consider an integral part of civilization was introduced or at least widespread. His house had an outhouse for example. And when Halloween came, his sisters wore costumes like these:



Why are old Halloween costumes always so frightening? And was Halloween in 1940 what it is in 2018? How was it different? I probably ought to ask him some time before he and his generation becomes permanently silent. Sorry, that was kind of a dark ending. Here's a puppy:



My dog when I was a kid. What a cutie.