Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 for all original literary content by author(s)

27 October 2012


Bringing a town together -- with a fork in the road.

A six-foot-tall fork appeared in Carlsbad, California, at the intersection of Levante Street and Anillo Way on Tuesday. The unnamed artist is a 62-year-old retired teacher who said he was impressed by the joke in The Muppet Movie in which Kermit and Fozzie encounter a giant silverware fork when they are looking for a fork in the road.

Carlsbad residents got a kick out of the sculpture, but a city crew removed it on Wednesday. You might say they got the fork out of there. Another resident erected a sign in its places that say "Why the fork not?" which the city also removed. Then residents then began taping real, normal-sized forks to a nearby sign. A spokesperson for the city said the sculpture is a code violation. (via Fark)
A fork on a "U-turn" sign might have a completely different meaning.

I found on: Miss Cellania

WCG+ 27-Oct-2012

20 October 2012

Carry On! Parental Alienation

For my P.A. friends scarping the bottom of life today...

Time to get away from the problems with no solutions and find (or make) some adventure, some reason, some fun, some friends, good food, and maybe just a wee bit of adult beverage. It is what Saturdays are for and is its own sort of justice.

WCG+ 20-Oct-2012

A Cuban Missile Crisis era Party which turned terrifying:

My mother and Father at party in October of 1962, Richardson, Texas.

Almost immediately after this image was taken, one of the most spectacular meteor showers occurred -- appearing very much like ICBMs under the circumstances. The party soon broke up.

WCG+ 20-Oct-2012

13 October 2012

Common Purpose

It is Texas-OU weekend and ACL Festival time and the crowds are gathering with common purpose

WCG+ 13-Oct-2012

12 October 2012

Texas Launch Facility

SpaceX launch facility in Texas? Not yet, but...

The dazzlingly successful start up aerospace company, SpaceX, has been more than just eying the southern tip of Texas for a new launch facility-- they have been buying land there.

What little is being reported on this venture often misses some important points.

First, launching to orbit requires tremendous energy, and the rotation of the Earth, spinning on its own axis, is a tremendous free source of energy. The closer to the equator, the easier it is to place an object in orbit if you launch toward the East-- in the direction of the Earth's spin.

That limits the locations of possible launch facilities within the continental US to South Florida and South Texas.

Because of the possibility of the need to self-destruct a launch if a rocket motor fails, it is also important to have an unpopulated region east of the launch site-- preferably ocean. This is why NASA placed the original orbital launches at the Cape. South Texas has the same or better advantages with the Gulf Coast and a slightly more southerly location (by about three degrees).

Second, the environmental impact mentioned as the chief, perhaps ONLY, stumbling block deals with local wildlife. That the beach area within yards of the proposed launch complex is a nesting ground for the endangered Sea Turtles is a fact. Whether that would impact egg-laying or egg-hatching is hard to determine.  My guess is that turtles do not care anymore than they do about a thunderstorm.

What is not mentioned is where these endangered turtles nest. They nest on every sandy beach on the planet. Any sandy beach is used. A mile or so of Texas beach is not going to make dent in the reproductive abilities of the turtles.  I love those turtles.  No, I do not eat them, although I do hear they taste a lot like California Condors; but when I body surf or snorkel along the coast, I often delight in finding one swimming along beside me with interest. *

Other animals of concern include only rare strays from South or East along that small section of the coast, as it is native habitat to none of those creatures.  The Piping Plover is an excellent example.  Anyone who has used Google Earth to study the Texas Gulf Coast in recent months will be aware that one cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a Piping Plover nest when the migrate to the Gulf Coast (all of it!) for breeding.


* For other body surfers and snorkelers, here is a hint:  Sea Turtles find humans fascinating.  If you keep your arms at your sides when submerged, they will approach and swim along with you.  Flailing arms scare them off, no matter how slowly you may move them.

WCG+ 12-Oct-2012

07 October 2012

The Cranberry and the Squirrel

In the "Fun with Facebook friends" category (and for whom this post is placed)...

I woke on the first chilly morning of the Texas Autumn, made coffee, and sat down to see what I had missed since falling asleep early on Saturday night, by taking a look at what my friends had posted on Facebook while I had slept.

I was amused by an "myecard" share from a friend with whom I went to Elementary School:

As I shared this with an author friend of mine, Sue, I was intrigued by the thought that my elementary school friend, Sarah, might also be a writer.  I scrolled down through the various posts and came upon yet another post from her:

Awesome, is it not?  She had shared this from another Facebook page and in a follow-up comment, when asked by a friend, "What is it?" Sarah responded, "It looks like any number of unfinished stories waiting to be discovered."

The plot thickens! I thought, and so I commented.

Me: "Okay, Sarah, what is the deal with the story-writing theme?
"I mean, I am sitting here with my word processor up, and trying to decide which, if any, of my gazillion unfinished sto
ries I may work on today, and this is the second such post from you I have seen. (Sidetracked by making a list of real-life people who have annoyed me, and so will be killed off in a story!)"

Sarah: "LOL @ Crews. I love this image. Any image that is so perfect in exposure, focus and lighting, AND is of such interesting, flawless artful composition as to make you wonder about it, is award winning photography. I get images from stories, and from really good images, I get stories.
"This one is about 125th of a second in time, maybe twice that, but it is somehow not that stagnant. It defies it's medium and moves forward suggesting a rather interesting series of events yet to unfold. And a complex back story.
"Go ahead, I challenge you to write it!"

I did.

The Cranberry and the Squirrel
The cranberry woke in the cold morning frost and, realizing its predicament, said, "Damn" and gave up its last. After fermenting there for about a week, the very squirrel which had gnawed its way, first into the attic, second into a box of my unfinished manuscripts, and finally into the papers themselves ventured out of the relative warmth of its winter nest and ate the sweet and strangely pungent cranberry. Minutes later, the effects of the fermentation took hold in a most unfortunate set of circumstance, as drunkenly the creature darted under the front right wheel of my car as I returned home from work. Clutched in its tiny paw was a mere scrap of paper from the box of manuscripts-turned-squirrel-nest. It read, "The Cranberry and the Squirrel."

Time for that second cup of coffee.

01 October 2012

A Good Morning.

Good morning!

It was 57 degrees this morning before dawn. Had a light, but long sleeve, shirt on for the first time since the short Texas Spring. As usual, I start work at 5:30, but have twenty minutes of nothing to do but wait at about six-- my favorite time of the day.

All is quiet, and I sit cross-legged under a street light and a tree at the rear of our parking lot, and look up at the stars-- sometimes with coffee, and sometime with a cigar-- this morning it was both.  It is one of my "special places" and I go there for a reason every morning.

Orion was high in the East, Jupiter higher above his head, and the nearly full Moon to the West and, as always, I begin the Daily Office of Morning Prayer-- with only birds and perhaps a few angels near enough to hear. An order of Sisters live in a Chapter House on the other side of the fence and I often wonder if they are praying the same... the unknown Spiritual Community... and the unseen one...

And the birds, when I return to that parking lot at about seven fifteen-- now it was my turn to listen to their morning praise.  Several mockingbirds, quite a few grackles and two dove make up "the regulars" and they flutter about and we all listen to two Mockingbirds sing all our songs into one.