Website of Daniel Boyd – Author and Blogger


There are two thing of potential interest here... my blog and my teaser page for my upcoming book, currently being written (as is the page).

Recent Blog Posts

So Much To Write About

There is so much to write about, I can barely figure out where to start.

I guess first and foremost, with this being the day after the Superbowl, congratulations to the New England Patriots for their amazing win, even if it was at the expense of my preferred team the Atlanta Falcons (not that I am any kind of NFL football fan).  Tom Brady is a football magician and obviously doesn’t crack under pressure.  Now if he could just find his jersey from the game…

I want to thank Lady Gaga for not turning a sporting event into a political grandstand.  While she may have performed “Born This Way”, she refrained from making ridiculous comments and ruining the evening.  Sadly, she got a hefty amount of disdain, outright criticism and ugly comments from leftists on social media who felt that she should have taken advantage of her performance to peddle leftist propaganda.  Those who commented represented the most reprehensible aspects of the current leftist derangement.

This was a disappointing year in Superbowl commercials.  Between the overt politicization and sleazy themes, this was definitely the worst I’ve seen in a long time.  I particularly find the NFL’s own commercial “Inside These Lines” to be the most ridiculously ironic commercial of them all.  The racial profile of the NFL is so far from being representative of our country as to make the entire commercial a parody.  With around 70% of NFL players being “men of color” (black, African-American, pick whatever label feels comfortable to you), their desire to be “all inclusive” was hilarious.  I’d say they are good to go as far as including everyone.

The T-Mobile ads that had a Fifty Shades of Gray vibe to them were appalling.  What poor taste and terrible presentation.  I literally forgot they were T-Mobile ads, which means the commercials failed the most basic tenet of advertising – make the viewer remember what company the commercial was about.  All of this politicizing and distasteful, poor advertising placed into thirty seconds spots costing over five million dollars each, not counting the production costs.  Enough about the Superbowl, let’s move on.

President Trump has had a wild first few days in office, but I agree with those who say that he thrives on the turmoil and hysteria of those who oppose him.  Never mind that the things he has proposed, supported and said are not wild, alt-right madness, but actually are very, very centrist ideas.  This just shows how far left the country has been pushed, manipulated and driven in the last eight years.  If he can get the economy going and achieve better than 3% growth (or even just 3%), which never happened under Obama, his “crazy” (not really crazy, just not loony left) ideas will be vindicated.  It would be hard to folks to argue if the workforce participation percentage rose to pre-Obama levels.  Forget about the unemployment numbers, they’ve been massaged to make it look like Obama did something good for the economy.

The mainstream media, fueled by the ridiculous hysteria of those who don’t understand the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration, will continue to bash the building of the wall on the southern border.  They will pick apart every sentence, tweet, nominee, and facial expression of Trump for the next four years, ever hoping that the next tweet, executive order, confrontation, or speech will be the downfall of our current president.

Strap in, conservatives (and even some of you centrists, when you figure out that President Trump’s ideas are your ideas also, even if they are presented in Trump’s one-of-a-kind style), it is going to be a wild ride!

Inauguration Eve Thoughts

January 2017 has been here for nineteen days now.  The inauguration of President Donald Trump happens tomorrow, most likely amid a circus of protests and nonsense.  It is good to know that with the absence of sixty or more Democratic Representatives there will be more room at the inauguration for people who actually care about the peaceful transfer of power.

Am I a huge President Trump fan?  Not really.  Did I think he was better than the alternative?  Definitely.  Do I think he can “make America great again” as he promises?  Don’t know.  I do know that the country was was off on the wrong track under the outgoing administration.  Gallup polls tend to agree with me.  Check out the numbers here.

The area he made the greatest positive impact on affects a small minority of the population.  In the next highest topic, energy, most gains were made in spite of him, not because of anything he did.  Climate change, whatever.  The economy, which he should have been able to improve by leaps and bounds, was basically a wash (+6 percentage points).  There really wasn’t anywhere to go except up with it.  The fact that he only squeaked out six points is telling.

Healthcare was evenly divided, no loss or gain.  Even with his signature healthcare bill, rammed through Congress on party lines, he made essentially zero impact.  Sad.  Yes, more Americans have insurance, but so many lost doctors and healthcare plans, things they were promised over and over by the outgoing president that they could keep.  Not so much…  Also, that $2500 the average household was supposed to save – that didn’t happen either.  The bill should be repealed mainly for being a pack of lies and a giant financial blight, with a lot of deceptive math used to explain how it would be financially sound.

In the rest of the criteria, public perception is that America has lost ground in every other category.  This includes race relations, including the situation for blacks, America’s world standing, massive debt ($20 trillion dollars – twice as much as when he went into office – it would probably have helped to at least present a budget to Congress, he didn’t bother to do that most years – it obviously interfered with golf, vacation, and hobnobbing with unsavory celebrities), the rise of terrorism, and to crime in general.

How can such a “great president” fail in some many areas?  I write it off to the fact that I never felt he cared much about anyone other than himself.  His “wonderful speeches” were filled with self-reference, no matter how well he presented them.  The fact that most of what he said, particularly in reference to his signature healthcare law, was proven false eventually, diminished my ability to even listen to him drone on in whatever affected speech pattern he may have chosen for the occasion.

All of this to say “good riddance” to the outgoing administration and “welcome” to someone who, if nothing else, will do something different, who will defy the norm, knock down some governmental idols and sacred cows, and maybe, just maybe, get something accomplished in the swamp that is Washington D.C..


Here It Is December…

Here it is December and almost Christmas at that.  I haven’t written a post in ages.  I just haven’t been up to it.

Things are a little better now and I feel the pressure of words building up in my head, so here I am, for at least one more post in 2016.  I don’t know how many words will tumble out here, so I am just going to start with an announcement or two.

First, I’ve found what I believe to be a good plugin to display chess games, so I’m going to post one or two sometime soon (after I play a couple worth showing to anyone else).  I’ll annotate with my own thoughts and also with the help of a chess engine or two.  If I can get the cooperation of my opponent, I’ll add their thoughts also.

Second, I want to post a couple of scenes from my upcoming novel, which is as far behind schedule as it has ever been.  It is so far behind schedule that my site still says “future home of The Daedalus Solution” and I’m not sure when that will change.  But I’ll get some scenes posted here and offer a taste of what’s to come.

Third, I want to post a few commentaries on political and social issues, and hopefully a couple of “reflection” style articles about particular Biblical passages.  For those who need a trigger warning, it will be pretty obvious from the title what the content will be (I need to write about those, also).

Big plans, I know, especially considering my total absense from my site since August, but I want to get moving on some content, post some articles, get some real comments from my readers (not spam promising to dramatically increase my traffic, or selling jewelry, or some other nonsense), and have real discussions.

Keep checking back, and I’ll be sure to tweet out when I post.  If you want, sign up for my mailing list – I promise it is not high volume, nor will I send you spam.  It should be available somewhere on this page!

In case I don’t post before then, I hope you have a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, and an incredible New Year!

Why God Doesn’t Mind Us Owning Guns

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here.  Life took a very unexpected twist at the end of June and I have been unable to write much of anything beyond simple emails since then.  I also haven’t sung much of anything since then.  I’ve hummed a few bars of some songs, half-vocalized the lyrics to a couple of favorite songs, but opening up with a full voice has been beyond my mental and emotional capacity.  I can’t even write about what I learned on the 29th of June of this year, at least not yet.

I have another topic in mind, and the grains of thought for this post have been sifting around in my head for a while.  I’m going to explain why I think God is OK with us owning guns, not just for hunting and fun, but for self defense.  I would not have given the idea two thoughts except I ran across either an article or a tweet somewhere that caused me to be interested enough in someone to subscribe to his email list.  I don’t remember his name and it isn’t really pertinent to what I have to say.  I remained on that list approximately two hours, terminating my subscription immediately after reading a post on his site that argued that we are selfish and are not trusting or faithful enough in God if we feel like we need to own a gun for self defense.  He cited verses that spoke of putting our faith in and trusting in God for everything, because He would protect us, and, even if he didn’t physically protect us, it was all still good because our salvation was secure.

His arguments reminded me of the following old joke, which I will embellish to some degree to emphasize my point.

There was a God-fearing, Christian man who, when the rains poured and floods began to overtake his house, put his faith in God to save him.  As the waters rose to his porch, a large four-wheel-drive truck came by.  The truck stopped and the people in the back offered him a ride.  “Come with us to safety,” they cried.  Confidently, he replied, “No, you go on, God will save me!”  The evacuees pleaded for him to escape with them, but he waved them away.  The truck drove on.

Later, as the waters rose higher, a boat came by.  The people in it who were escaping the floodwaters cried out to him, “Come with us!  We’ll get you to safety!  It is going to get worse soon!”  The man, sure in his faith, replied, “No, you go on, God will save me!”  They begged him to escape with them, but he waved them on.  The boat moved on.

The waters rose and the man was forced onto his roof to escape the flood.  Some time later, a helicopter flew over.  It hovered and dropped a ladder.  “Climb up the ladder to safety!  The waters are rising even more!”  “No!” the man cried, still convinced that God would intervene. “You go on, God will save me!”  He waved them on and the helicopter flew away to safety.

The waters rose higher and the man was eventually swept away and died as a result of the flood.  Being the faithful Christian that he was, he indeed went to heaven and as he approached God on the throne, he fell down and cried out to Him, “Why, God?  I had all my faith in You.  Why did you not save me?”  God looked at him with love, chuckled, and replied, “Child, I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter.  What more would you have me do?”

You might find that joke a little sacrilegious, but I see some real truth there.  While I put my trust in God to protect me, I also use what I feel is some basic common sense.  As much as the man in the joke should have considered that God was saving him through the actions of others, I feel that I should use some common sense about how I should interact with others, particularly those that intend me harm.  I am commanded to love my enemies, but does that mean that I allow them to harm me or my family?  I am commanded to live in peace with others, but does that mean I don’t take basic precautions when going into high risk situations?

You can wag your finger at me and proclaim I need more faith, and that I should trust more, and you might be right, but I see no sense in simply throwing my life away when attacked by someone who wants to do me harm.  I see God giving me the resources to defend or save myself, whether that resource is a truck, a boat, a helicopter, or even a gun.  It must be said that I am referring to situations where there is a simple reason that someone is threatening me.  That person just wants to do me or my family harm.  I see no verse in the Bible instructing me to allow that to happen.  Feel free to correct me, I am open to any attempts to show me how I am wrong.

With that said, I want to in no way take away from the concept that if someone is attacking me or my family because of our faith, we should count that joy, as Paul relates to us in Acts.  If I or my family are attacked because of our faith, there is something gained regardless of the outcome.  Am I as ready as Paul was in Acts 20?  Probably not.  Is it my goal to be that ready?  Sure, but that will be a long process because I am a fairly selfish person and I love my family every bit and more as much as myself, so if I am not defending my faith through trust in God, then I trust that I am to take on the responsibility to defend myself and my family, through whatever resources and tools God provides for me, even if that tool or resource is a gun.

I’m serious when I say, “Prove me wrong.”  Show me that God is OK with me allowing harm to come to me or my family when our faith is not in question.  I don’t claim to know everything, and I definitely don’t claim to understand most of what I know.

God be with you.




Life happens…

This has been one of those times in my life where I have just sat back and… life happens.  I have been consuming much more than I have been creating.  While it is easy, in a way, it is wasting a lot of time I could have spent writing.  Every night for the past few weeks I have gone to bed with a pile of regrets for what I could have done that day versus what I actually did.  It has annoyed me greatly and caused some lost sleep (which for me is a great tragedy – I value my sleep – it is my chance to recharge).  I’d get up the next day swearing to do better, and every now and then I did, but for the most part, I did not.

Here it is, the first day of June and I am in actuality no closer to being done with my sci-fi book than I was in January.  Sure, I have developed some characters, clarified some plot points, revised some scenes (a very bad idea), and tried to make sense of my fuzzy and fragile time line, but real, readable words on a page have been mostly absent.

How to I correct this?  How do I steer back onto the road?  How do I find my way out of the darkness of writer’s block and lack of motivation?  I think I have found the answer.  By bringing November to June.  June has thirty days, just like November.  By crafting roughly 1667 words a day for the next thirty days (including today), I can be at critical mass and begin to do some real editing and revising.

So that is what I am going to do.  Starting today, I am writing 1667 words, minimum, every day, just like I do in November.  It is going to be harder, because I must fill gaps in my story line, so I will struggle, and most likely I will simply average 1667 words per day at the end of the month.  That will be OK; I’ll take what I can get, because if I ever want to finish, I MUST complete the first draft.

I haven’t decided what my incentive will be if I make it.  I’ll buy myself something if I do get to that magical number of 50,000 words in thirty days, I just don’t know what that will be.

With that said, I am signing off, probably for at least thirty days.  Wish me luck – I am going to need it.

Nine days…

Nine days.  It has been nine days since I last posted.  How the time gets away from you (or me, to be more precise).  There has been much on my mind during those nine days, just not a lot of time to sit down and record it all (or when I had the time, I found something else to do).  I still grieve for the state of our nation’s politics, both current and future.  More on that later.  I find myself watching old TV shows again, from the very beginning of the series, already knowing what will happen, but drawn into the story even so.  I figured out why and I’ll explain that in a bit.  I see madness and confusion everywhere, and I’m not sure at times what can be done to slow down, much less reverse, the direction in which our culture is barreling headlong.  So here goes another “random thoughts” post.  Buckle in, it’s going to be bumpy.

Here in the middle of May, 2016, the country is saddled with over two hundred more days of President Obama’s reign.  That’s bad enough, but as we look to November and the choices that will most likely be put before us, the outlook is bleak and foreboding.  It is pretty much accepted that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee for the most powerful position on the planet, and… and, that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee.  I choke and cough as I type this, because this country has so many better candidates than these two (and no, I don’t mean Bernie Sanders, as socialism has decidedly proven its inability to maintain stability and order many times over, plus as a bonus, when everyone else’s money runs out, things tend toward the chaotic, as those who were living off others complain loudly that the gravy train has stopped running).

Why can’t either side offer better candidates?  I weakly argue that the Republicans did present much better choices, but the tour de force that is Donald J. Trump derailed them all.  The only other contender on the Democrat side besides Hillary is a professed socialist, as I can’t remember ANY of the names of the other Democrat candidates.  Shame on both parties for not producing candidates that are not loathed by a high percentage of the electorate.  At this point November looks like a toss up, with a slight edge going to the as-yet-to-be-indicted Hillary Clinton.  Her supporters can mumble all they want about precedent and “can’t prove anything”, but it is fairly obvious to the truly logical that Hillary Clinton violated law during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Of course, even if she is indicted, she could probably still get elected.  Such is politics in this day and age.

So, I’m watching One Tree Hill again, from season one, episode one.  I’m in season four at the moment.  Why, you might ask, am I watching that show?  Am I nostalgic for high school?  Nope, not really.  Do I like to wallow in drama and pain?  No, definitely not.  Do I love how music is used in the series to frame every scene, every montage, every climactic scene?  YES!  I discovered some great music on this show and I was reminded how great some of the music I already liked and listened to really was.  When I hear The Cure or Switchfoot or Foo Fighters or even Fall Out Boy behind scenes that were already skillfully designed to shock, surprise, hearten, or disgust, it amplifies the impact of the scene and weaves that music a little more tightly into my psyche.  When I hear music I discovered on the show like Matt White, The Wreckers, Michelle Featherstone or Trespassers William playing behind these same kinds of scenes, that music gets embedded into me a little deeper because of the associated images and situations, even though those situations are completely fictional and merely portrayed by actors and actresses delivering lines dreamed up by a screenwriter somewhere.  That’s why I am watching the series again.

Some of these situations mirror real life issues.  School shootings, teen sexuality, homosexuality, relationships, both good ones and bad ones, the unfairness of life, evil seemingly triumphing at every turn are all things we are dealing with every day.  It’s called life and we’re stuck here until we’re not.  Things do seem a little worse now.  No one in the fictional town of Tree Hill was at all confused about what bathroom to use, nor did Karen, the proprietor of Karen’s Cafe, get sued and put out of business because she refused to serve someone.  Pretty much everyone, even Dan Scott, the father everyone loved to hate, could look at a situation and evaluate correctly what was wrong and what was right, even if they didn’t do the right thing.

Just a few short years after the end of the One Tree Hill series, we have a world where evil is called good, good is called evil, and the rights and safety of the majority are disregarded in favor of the minority.  We have the federal government using its power to trounce on the rights of states and municipalities to decide what is right for their community, as long as some victimized minority is involved.  The government has no problem allowing states and municipalities to declare themselves free of the need to follow immigration law by designating themselves “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states”, but by no means can a state decide that a biological man can’t go into the women’s restroom.  Hey, if he feels like a woman, then he should be allowed to use the women’s restroom, right?  But who’s checking his transgender credentials at the door to make sure he’s not just some deviant looking to make trouble?  Oh, wait, we can’t force them to prove their gender dysphoria.  Wait, it’s not a dysphoria anymore is it?  It’s all about how they feel and it is of course, perfectly normal.  We’ve moved from calling this issue “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria”, to simply “transgenderism”, completely erasing any potential stigma.

But this issue is not even about the truly transgendered.  I bear no ill will to anyone who is transgendered.  My faith demands that I love my neighbor as myself, regardless of that neighbor’s condition or their feelings toward me.  I understand transgenderism is a legitimate issue, granted, one that has been brought to the attention of the entire country due to some fairly radical activists.  The real issue is what everyone likes to call “unintended consequences”, or what I generally just call “collateral damage”.  The collateral damage of this push to allow anyone to use any restroom they please is the potential abuse by those who are sexually and socially deviant.  I don’t want my children to be exposed to someone who willfully takes advantage of whatever rules and laws are the result of this activist nonsense.  You know it will happen.  Expect the number of transgender diagnoses to go up significantly – wait – that doesn’t even have to happen – as I said before – there is no one checking anyone’s transgender credentials at the door of the restroom.  The best thing that businesses can do is eliminate the large, multi-stall bathrooms and replace them with “single hole” bathrooms that either sex (biological or “chosen”) can use.  Congratulations activists – you have just increased the cost of doing business, but don’t let higher prices and expensive construction costs stop you from making the world a “fairer” and “more equal” place.

Enough ranting.  I’ve gotten this off my mind after allowing it to percolate for several days.  I feel better now.

My Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII

I promised a post on my thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII and here it is.  I write this post purely on my reaction to the movie and without any research into canon story lines, character backgrounds, fan rants, or fan drooling.  Some of what I say may cause blue-blooded Star Wars fans to burst into laughter and some may be complete nonsense and some may be spot on, but it is all my opinion, so I’m entitled to it, even if it is wrong (I’m not afraid of being wrong about a movie).

I’m going to break this down into distinct sections – I’ll divide it into characters, story, technical aspects and wild predictions.

Also, SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I will inevitably mention critical plot points and/or details that will ruin the movie for those who have not yet seen it!!!!  Do NOT read further if you have not seen the movie.  Run to the dollar theater and watch it or rent it from Red Box or buy it on Amazon, just GO and watch before reading further!!!

[White space intentionally left here to keep from spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it.]









First, there are the characters.  It was heartwarming to see old characters return, but for most, the thirty years between the events of Return of the Jedi and Episode VII have not been kind or pleasant and it inserted into the movie a tiny feeling of hopelessness.  Some returns were far too brief or left out much intervening story line that I hope and expect are explained in future installments.  Han, Chewie, Leia, and Luke were all in attendance, but all were in interesting and somewhat depressing times of their lives.  Other returning characters seemed to be in better circumstances, but they flashed by so quickly, I had trouble keeping up.

New characters were appropriately mysterious.  We once again, a la Episode I, have a mysterious Force-wielding character, although I found Rey’s almost intuitive, but definitely purposeful manipulation of the Force to be too easy – if the movie were to fall back to the Episode I crutch (apologies to George Lucas for that, but it did seem a little too easy to determine and explain the immense importance of Anakin Skywalker) of midi-chlorians, she would be blowing up the testing device.  It was as if the very Force itself was teaching her how to manipulate it, as needed, as she flew through the events of the climax of the movie.  From material manipulation to mind manipulation, to fairly adept skills with a light saber, Rey looked like a ten-plus year resident and superstar of the Jedi Temple, not a scavenger from a backwater planet.

I feel her mastery of her abilities will be explained down the road, but for now she looks like Yoda, Ben Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and yes, even Senator Palpatine himself all rolled into one and jacked up on steroids.  She defeated an opponent that should have simply crushed her with his empty hands based on his demonstrated skills.  In reality he should have been able to stop her without the help of a light saber… but he didn’t.  I’ll come back to this point in the section on wild predictions.

Impressive and faulty at the same time, Finn is the other notable new protagonist character.  His biggest fault is indecision.  He sees what is wrong with the First Order, but has a difficult time deciding to rebel and an even more difficult time deciding that he was not in it just for himself.  He doesn’t seem particularly Force-aware, but sees something decidedly different in Rey.  I was left with an unclear notion of his importance and of his dedication to the Resistance, but I like him, so I’m hoping he sees the light, a la Han Solo.

On the other side of the story is the mysterious Kylo Ren and his even more mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke.  Something must have gone seriously sideways for Kylo Ren to become who we see him as in the movie.  It appears he was enticed and corrupted similar to how Anakin was, but in a far more direct and brain-washing manner, almost like he was programmed.  We already see the chinks in his armor, though, so I am curious of his fate, both in the short term and for the conclusion of the trilogy.

Then there is the droid.  BB-8 is much cuter than R2-D2 (sorry R2), and he holds an incredible secret, just like R2 did in Star Wars (I refuse to call it Episode IV).  This secret is not for destruction, but for possible redemption.  BB-8 is resourceful, respectful, and better at staying out of trouble than R2 (how many times was R2 repaired?), but I can’t pick a favorite until I see BB-8 in more action.

So much for characters – let’s talk about story.  J. J. Abrams gives us a fairly dark background in Episode VII, where even with the Empire defeated and scrap Star Destroyers showing up everywhere, there is still a feeling of the superiority of evil.  The First Order kills without fear of reprisal, as they are beholden to no one but the Supreme Leader.  The parallels to Third Reich imagery are still palpable in this Star Wars installment, from the masses of troops in formation to their salute to their training methods to the very titles used for the leaders and positions of power.  The similarities to the defeated Empire are also startling, from the armor worn by the troops to the spacecraft to the construction of a super weapon that makes the Death Star, even the second Death Star, look like a BB gun in comparison.

Then there is the Resistance, fighting against The First Order, led by Leia and others, with roughly the same weaponry we have always seen rebels/resistance fight with.  Thirty years they have fought some enemy, whether it was the remnants of the Empire, who apparently did not go quietly after the battle of Endor, to their current nemesis, The First Order.  They have done this without the leadership of Luke Skywalker, who has disappeared.  Rey and Finn join up with the Resistance to some degree by the end of the movie, so it should be interesting how they progress in the next installment.

So much for story, I really need to leave some things about the movie unsaid.  Let’s move on to the technical aspects.  In this day of CGI, we can see droids like BB-8 roll around on screen and see freighters like the Millennium Falcon fly through trees and skip across sand dunes and be completely convinced of what we saw.  We can see light sabers inflict damage on surroundings , be awed by the sheer size of a rusting Star Destroyer, and encounter amazing creatures and believe every second of it.  J.J. Abrams and his crew evoked memories of scenes from movies past from barren deserts to icy landscapes to rich forest planets, all in the same movie.  It was a visual feast for this long time Star Wars fan, especially all the Easter eggs from previous movies.  A big thumbs up for the technical aspects!

OK, here’s the part I’ve been avoiding.  I told you up front that I have not researched any canon material of the time between Return of the Jedi and Episode VII, nor have I read character backgrounds or any other “fill-in-the-gap” books or articles, so these wild predictions are all mine.  First, I see Kylo Ren escaping the dark side, possibly amid his last breaths, but escaping all the same.  Second, I see a dark road for Rey.  Whether it was intentional or not (and J. J. Abrams doesn’t leave much to chance), I saw some clues during her confrontation with Kylo Ren that Rey might succumb, at least temporarily, to the dark side.   She definitely used some anger to successfully oppose Kylo Ren.  Has she been trained in some way to use the Force?  She is wicked powerful, a la Anakin Skywalker, which also brings up her mysterious pedigree, so keeping her “in the light” may become a pivotal focus in this trilogy.  Who are her parents?  Does she have parents or did she miraculously appear as it was suggested that Anakin did?  She is steeped in Force awareness and control, so in keeping with one of the underlying themes of the Star Wars universe, she could be a Skywalker, as they have long been crucial to the balance of the Force and the fate of the galaxy.  We’ll have to wait and see…

That’s it.  These were my most pressing thoughts on the new Star Wars movie.  The last question I have concerns the name.  I have continually referred to it as Episode VII, and not by its subtitle “The Force Awakens” mainly because I really have no idea what that means.  Has the Force been dormant for decades?  If so, why?  Hopefully J. J. Abrams will let us know in December of 2017 when Episode VIII premiers.

Thanks for reading and let me know if I just completely missed something.

A Lament for Regular Posting

Here it is May 1st and it has been 26 days since my last post.  My good intentions and haphazard planning did not translate into actual posts and I find myself apologizing again for my lack of follow-through.  So I offer a lament for regular posting.

But my intentions now are to resurrect the regular post, not through a challenge or by daring myself to post, but by simply being intentional.  I have a number of posts in progress that are crying out for completion, so I will publish those first in the next few days.  Once I have posted those, I will actively pursue new topics.

Along with posting new articles, I am resuming first draft work on my sci-fi novel this month, so hopefully I can continue to tease you with scenes and characters from it.  You have met two characters, Anya and Johnny, and will soon meet a third character, plus get a sneak preview of a scene from the book.  That’s all coming in the next two weeks.

I don’t plan to post every day, but I do hope to post every other or every third day.  Along with my fiction, I plan to post at least two technical articles, and possibly another short vignette, similar to the story of watching the storm.  I might also include my thoughts on the new Star Wars movie (yes, I finally watched it!!!), both good and bad.  I’ll definitely include a huge spoiler warning at the beginning of that post for those who still haven’t seen it…

A couple of random thoughts for the day – It looks more and more like the Republican nominee for president will be Donald J. Trump.  This near-certainty truly chills my blood.  Of all of the capable, likable, and appropriate candidates in the Republican party, we offer Trump?  God help us all, and I mean that sincerely.  While the Democratic primary looks closer, I still can’t see the Democrats offering up Bernie Sanders as a candidate in the off chance that Hillary Clinton is either indicted or self-destructs, so now the electorate on both sides is left with a decision between the lesser of many evils, with no good candidate in sight that has a chance of winning.  The next four or eight years are going to be interesting…

And last, I want to mention the fact that our current president, who has made the last seven and a half years almost intolerable with his particular brand of “leading”, is once again parading around the world making a nuisance of himself and casting the greatest country on the planet (yes, I believe that, even with all of the failings of our country) in an ill light.  I almost makes me want to think that anyone else would be better, but I know based on what I see right now in the presidential race, that this is not the case.  It is, at least, high time for him to get out of the way and let someone else make their particular brand of mistakes and for us to hope that we don’t all bear the brunt of those mistakes like we have for the past seven years.  A mere 263 days left as of the day I am writing this before whoever this country elects takes office.  Hopefully, we’ll make it.

Falling Down

I’m falling down on the job again.  I wrote everyday on this blog in February, now I’ve only written two times since then.  I’d like to say that I am working hard on my sci-fi novel, but that’s not happening either.  I really want to call myself a writer, but I seem to be unable to fulfill the fundamental requirement of the job – writing.  With that in mind, I have decided to follow the advice of a myriad of sites that I read about writing and use a tried and true writing prompt – writing a letter.  The suggested target audience is always to myself, whether to a future self or a past version of me, like the dorky band-nerd I was in high school.

Since I don’t really have anything useful to tell my high school self, I’m going to write to a future self and maybe, just maybe, some of the things I mention in this letter will be realities whenever that future self gets around to reading this.  So, to myself in five years, I offer this letter.

Dear Self,

At the time of this writing, I am desperately trying to finish a novel.  I currently have six works in progress, all from different genres, all about half done word-count-wise, and all needing my attention to come to fruition.  I have at least one mostly eager reader who wants to know how they really end.  The fact that I am married to her does not diminish, but augments, her importance as an “audience member”.

Here is where I hope you are when you read this.  I hope you have two novels published, whether you have made a dime off of them or not.  Having two complete works of creativity out there for consumption is important, mainly because it shows that you can actually finish something and not let it die on the vine.  If this in fact is true, it means that you finally got off your backside, recruited someone to create covers, a bunch of folks to read and critique, and might even have hired an editor.

My grander vision involves you not having to maintain a day job.  Mind you, I didn’t say you weren’t working a day job, just that you didn’t have to.  There’s a difference.  I hope that where ever you are working, if you are still in the day job business, you are happy to be there.  I apologize for not having the wherewithal to have already completed one of the works in progress.  As of the time of this letter, I have recently taken two whole weeks off (not consecutively), and have been incredibly unproductive both times.  It doesn’t bode well for completing anything.

I start these novels out so rapidly, writing furiously for 30 straight days, then everything seems to stop (or, I “finish” one and realize that it must be split into two different books, putting me right back where I was before – halfway done with both).  It is frustrating.

I expect that you will have a couple of new hobbies, unless I/you lose interest in them before you read this.  I completed a lamp made of CDs, and started making men’s jewelry, particularly necklaces.  Both endeavors are immensely satisfying, especially since they have produced actual finished works.  Each one took a number of hours, but  enjoyed almost all of the time spent (trimming the excess, melted plastic from the CDs was not much fun).  Hopefully, the CD lamp will be lighting up an office that belongs exclusively to you when you read this.

Speaking of that, the nest will be just about empty by the time you read this.  Your daughter should be out of school, and your son should be in it.  That will probably make you feel terribly old, but them’s the breaks.  Hope you’re still having fun!


Your 2016 self.


More Thoughts on Stuff

I haven’t written in a few days, so I decided to just pour out more thoughts on more stuff and see what happens.  There are a fair number of things going on right now, and I have a “very busy” feeling about myself, even though at the moment I am avoiding going to a class that is very interesting to me, just to avoid the brain exercise.  That means that this thought dump might get interesting before I am done.  I’m fairly certain I will not finish this in the time I have before I have to go do something else, but I’ll try to pound out as much as I can.

First, I’d like to say bravo to those brave souls across the interwebs who have taken the time to gather up a few hundred old CDs and DVDs and some miscellaneous parts, and devoted a fair number of hours to drilling and trimming and constructing to make a CD lamp.  I finally took the plunge a couple of weeks ago, and discovered that even with my pathetic crafting skills and lack of proper tools, my time was going to be almost completely consumed by drilling and trimming CDs to go into the lamp.  My lamp is designed to be eleven inches high (CD-wise) and that requires dozens of CDs to properly build.  Each CD must be drilled out in the center via drill press, then carefully trimmed to allow them to stack flush on top of each other.  The process is mind-numbingly time consuming.  Will I love the lamp when I’m done?  Probably, but every time I look at it I will be reminded of how much time went into making it.  If you are unfamiliar with these very cool, very geeky lamps, just pull up a web browser and search for “CD lamp”.  You’ll be amazed at the ingenuity of the various crafters.

I couldn’t get through a random thought post without reflecting on the state of politics, and there is plenty to reflect on these days, most of it bad.  Donal Trump still holds a solid lead over Ted Cruz, who holds a gigantic lead over third place John Kasich.  Now that Marco Rubio has suspended his campaign, the real state of the GOP race can start to take form.  Unfortunately, that means that Trump most likely gained more support from Rubio’s exit than Cruz (not mentioning Kasich again – he is living in a dream world if he thinks he has a shot).  I still am dumbfounded at the level of support for Trump, especially from people who I thought were conservative, but apparently have either lost their minds from fear of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders running the country, or are just duped by Trump’s nonsense, or were never conservative to begin with.

The escalation of violence and the way it has been handled at Trump campaign functions has been especially alarming.  I am less alarmed at the level of left-wing protest – this type of behavior is not unexpected from liberals, than I am at the cavalier and abusive attitude that Trump addresses these threats with and the rhetoric he espouses to his fans on how to deal with protesters.  This type of belligerent buffoonery appeals to his core base and is not repulsive enough for the hangers-ons to outright leave him for another candidate.  I still believe that some of the people who are Trump fans now are so out of fear of either a sociopathic liar or a socialist running the country and are misguided into thinking that Trump can beat either one in the general election.  While I am not saying I will not vote Trump at that point, I keep praying and hoping that I am not forced to do so when the time comes.  My stomach churns when I think about putting my support behind putting such a raging narcissistic personality like Trump in the Oval Office.  I thought the present occupant was bad, but as I have said before, Trump has him beat eight ways from Sunday in regards to self-centered narcissism.  Trump also has him beat on speaking in vague terms and not answering questions, and Trump hasn’t even been nominated for the office yet!  I fear for the future of the country in any candidate’s hands except Cruz’s or the other guy I’m not mentioning again, who has no chance to become president.  Enough of the gloomy state of politics.

On a related topic, Fox News reported the other night how Hillary Clinton claimed that the U.S. did not loose any men in Libya under her watch as Secretary of State.  I guess she forgot about her ambassador, his aide, and the two ex-military guards that died in Benghazi.  Oddly, CNN reported NOTHING on this gaffe, at least not that I could find the other night.  Their “fact-checking” column made sure to mention a couple of whoppers she told during that same town hall meeting, but made no mention of the Libya comment.  Imagine that coming from the Communist News Network…

To end this post on a happier note, I am excited to make mention of a video produced by a friend, and awesome guitarist, previewing an original song written by members of the Sunday evening worship band at my church.  You can see it here, but you’ll have to wait for a better rendition of the song itself until they can record it and produce the video.  This video will tell you the genesis of the song by the lyricist and composer.  They have a story to tell and have done a masterful job of telling it.

Until I post again, be good to yourself and others.

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