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Tales from the Olde Phoenix Inn

A spot never posted in, well hardly ever.

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September 10th, 2014

Hew Machine

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It just got very quiet in here.  After 6 years of constat use I shut down Phoenix.

"The Beast"
Corsair server case. hence the name.  Huge case tons of space and super quiet fans.  A total of 13 drive bays of all kinds.
ASUS Z97-AR motherboard, intel 3.4 gig quad core.  8 gig ram (Upgradeable to 32).  1 gig Nvidia "silent" video with dual monitors, I'm using the on board sound.  (I have a separate machine for sound)  750 watt power supply.  120 gig SSD for the root that boots in five seconds and programs fly.  A pair of 2 terabyte servers drives for long life and the usual DVD burner.

Hoping for at least another six years.

October 11th, 2013

Scott Carpeter

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Scott Carpenter has joined his comrades in flight today.  Of the first seven only John Glenn remains.

The heroes of my youth.

I'm going to sit here and be sad a while.  I'm going to remember the crisp voices on the radio, and the rumble and crackle of a rocket launch.  I'm going to remember the daring-do and the will to accomplish.  Walter Cronkite and the enthusiasm he put into his every report.  The tension of waiting for the launch, always seeming to be delayed.  The bright white and red chutes, (even though I never saw the colors).  Hearing  John A. Powers; "The Voice of Mercury control"  Reading off the count down.

"T-minus 15 seconds and counting.  10...9...8...7...6...."

I'm going to be very sad for a while.

March 26th, 2013

Enough already

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I am tired of portmanteaus involving the form "man-something".  They are stupid, unnecessary and frankly come across as condescending.   So enough.  Don't use them,don't make more, don't spread the stupid.  I don't need to make a list or condemn then one by one.  I'm not going to spend the time and effort to seethe and be catty about it as is so popular with come bloggers.  Enough.

December 30th, 2012

The Real War

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Arpanet was built to aggressively route around damage, the orders must get through.  The Internet is arpanet.  Our nice friendly internet was designed as a war machine. Censorship is damage.  The Internet is at war with censorship.

October 26th, 2012

Dice with the Devil

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There is danger for those of us that dare dream. The creative urge is way to close to insanity. It is not a case of us just talking about it or claiming it; science agrees.   Every creative soul plays dice with this devil. Some of us more than others.   The safe, sane people never change anything. They go about their lives half aware and that saves them.

Those of us that open our eyes to the unreal, those that dare dream of things that don't exist but could exist if you are willing to put forth the time, tears, sweat, and blood. We don’t just see the bright futures and the beautiful things. We see the dark corners. We see how bad it could be. And sometimes we fall into that abyss. There but for the grace of God go I. Very real and very sobering words. Frankly if not for the care and love of one very special Woman I would not even be talking about this. 20 years ago I would have curled up and died.

I tell people I create because I must. The urges to make the dreams real are not things I can ignore, be it words pictures, or objects. I must create.  So along with the rest of the creative souls I roll my dice against madness, and cling to the anchors in my life that keep me out of that abyss.

Thank you anchors, you know who you are.

October 3rd, 2012

I Quit

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This is my letter of resignation from the civil religion. I don't care about flags and songs. Civil symbols without principles are meaningless.

I was not asked if I wated to join. It was assumed, like my attending church. My parents went, therefore did I. In the case of the civil religion it was practiced in school every morning. We stood and made the pledge of allegiance to a rather colorful piece of cloth. No one asked if I did this by my free will. The teacher said do it so we the pliable youth, fearful of punishment, did.

The American flag is rectangle of cloth. By itself it means no more than the old t-shirts in my closet. Patriotic songs are meant to tug at the feelings indoctrinated into me by the school. Mark this: I believe in the founding principles of this nation, that all men are created equal, that the law stands above men, that freedom and justice are things we should strive for.

But we are not. The ruling class has taken the reins of power and none of the responsibility. They wave the symbols of the civil religion to spark the ingrained reactions, while they trample the founding principles into the dirt. The symbols mean nothing without those principles.

I take back my allegiance given unwittingly in school rooms. I will not stand for the flag, I will not place my hand over my heart I will not utter those words again. The things that have been done in the name of that flag sicken my heart. I will not honor the national anthem. I strike from my personal songbook the hymns of the civil religion.

I affirm my allegiance to the principles of the Constitution. I will point out those that have broken the oath of office "to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". Yes, the worse foes of the Constitution and the people are in the houses of government. The Taliban hasn't done nearly the damage to our county and our rights as Congress and the President.

I affirm my allegiance to the principle of non aggression. "No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate, threaten or delegate its initiation."

But I quit the civil religion.

January 16th, 2012

Politics

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Politically I have given up on being an anything-arian. I am for Responsibility, accountability and nothing else. Hold the government, in specific the office holders, elected or appointed, responsible and accountable for all actions taken in office. Authority must be granted grudgingly and reluctantly. When it is abused it must be snatched away at once. Be it a minimum wage screener at the TSA or the President of the United States.

November 23rd, 2011

Anne McCaffery

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At about 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away.

She was always one of my favorites, both her writing and in person. My world is a little smaller and darker today.

In 77 I dragged all the money I had together and did the only out of town con I've ever done, Balticon 14 solely to meet her. I saw her again in Ferndale at the Little Professor on a book signing tour for "The White Dragon". Every time she was bright, cheerful, and warm. I'll always cherish those memories and the few artifacts I have to remind me of them.

Anne told wonderful dreams about fascinating places. Her characters were real people, the kind you would expect to meet. Okay, she wasn't terrific about continuity, we all have our flaws.

I remember reading Dragonflight, and Dragonquest pretty much in one sitting, fascinated by the storytelling. Deciding I wanted the magazines that her stories first appeared in led me to a wonderful evening with Howard De'Vore. Howard was always a good evening. (I miss him too)

I snapped up her books as they came out. For the most part I loved all of them., I will forgive her Dinosaur Planet. I still have her books and the wonderful dreams to disappear in when ever I please. That part of her will never die.

Thank you for all the wonderful dreams Anne.

August 17th, 2011

Life is so fair.

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Last Thursday we were working the back yard. My son and I are gluing tables together with great gobs of contact cement. Use in a well ventilated area, hey outside, well ventilated. My wife was clearing weeds from the side yard.

The great outdoors hates me. There was poison Sumac in the weed mix. My wife who was handleing the stuff, without gloves, got two tiny spots. My son got one spot. I was nowhere near the crap and got nailed across my head and the right side of my face. I'm typing with one and a half eyes here.

Saw the Doctor and got enough steroids to turn me into A-Rod. I'm still waiting for any significant reduction in the swelling.

I hate the great outdoors back. Would someone please murder a tree in my name? I'm not up to it right now.

July 24th, 2011

Into the Fray

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Well I took the plunge. I installed the 500 gig drive in my laptop and I'm currently doing battle with openSuSE 11.4 and KDE 4. Object, a laptop that works to my satisfaction. I have never enjoyed upgrades.

Copying the contents of the older /home right now. That will take a while. I know I have software to install and so forth. It usually takes me about a week to get a machine back to the place I like it.

After I have the laptop finished it is time to start the desktop. UGH!
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