Friday, November 23, 2018

This Thanksgiving I am Thankful For YOU

 A little Fanfare for you.

Thank you, gentle reader.

Thank you for the problems you fix, for the work you do, and for the art you create.

Thank you for wiping dry a child's tear to let them know they'll be okay.

Thank you for for every time you said, "I can do better." before sitting off to achieve your goal.

Thank you for not assuming someone else will take care of it.

Thank you for setting a good example, even when no one was looking.

Thank you for taking care of yourself.

Thank you for not letting your mind go to waste.

Thank you for dreaming about going to the stars.

Thank you for treating strangers like friends.

Thank you for knowing the power of words.

Thank you for giving hugs.

Thank you for asking, "What if?"

Thank you for all the times your deeds and ideas picked me up and kept me fighting.

Thank you.

We can be heroes, just for one day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Goodbye, Stan. EXCELSIOR!

Well fuck.....

Stan wasn’t alone in encouraging generations of readers to walk the Heroes‘ Path but he was the face of it for many. He balanced power with responsibility. Showed us that while strength comes in many subtle forms it doesn’t make the wielder any more perfect than you or I. He knew humor healed. He was one of several gifted creators that made the heroic seem within our grasp if we only reach out our hand.

Goodbye, Stan. Be at peace.

Stan and Joan a long time ago.

Stan putting talent to the war effort,

Why does a smile seem so natural for this man?

Oh yes. This is real.

 A bit of history about the iconic pic.

Excelsior, Stan.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Stranglers meet the Mystery Men

Ever stumble upon a song only to remember it from your youth? Then by rediscovering the song you truly discover the band for the first time? Then by the discovering the band you open a vista of existence that was invisible yet always there?


Oh, well never mind then....

To hell with that I'm going to continue. This happened to me this week thanks to the recommended feed of YouTube. I know the site's algorithms can sometimes act...hmmm... how do I say balanced? Irrational? Under the influence of seriously potent subscription drugs? If you frequent the site you know of what I speak. But this time! This time it did good.

Behold! The Stranglers' "Golden Brown" circa 1981.

The band The Stranglers have been around since 1974. I was five when they formed. That was the year Mohammad Ali fought George "The Grill" Foreman. Stephen King's "Carrie" was published. The Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world. Alanis Morissette was born. Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and Zardoz came to the silver screen while Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Planet of the Apes threw weirdness at us from our television screens. And they are still around today albeit with the normal trials and tribulations accompanying their age. Pretty damn amazing.

While delving into the band I discovered a popular release titled "No More Heroes." That sounded familiar. Do you recognize it?

Perhaps this?

That's the Violent Femmes covering The Stranglers. How cool is that!

This is the kind of thing I am talking about. Random chance nudges a domino and suddenly you're riding a wave to the delightfully unexpected. I want more of that in my life.

Do you?

I hope so.

Be well, gentle reader.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Star Trek TOS Set Tour: Set Phasers to IMPRESSIVE!

If this were a travel blog it might start like this:

"Nestled in the rolling hills of the Adirondacks sits historic Ticonderoga, New York. Its name comes from the Mohawk phrase, "At the junction of two waterways." for here is where Lake Champlain and Lake George connect via the many falls and rapids of La Chute River. A site of industrial and military importance in the early days of America, Ticonderoga today is known as having the highest number of confirmed alien abductions per capita in the world. In fact, aliens have returned more people to Ticonderoga then they have taken, which accounts in part for its steady population growth since the late 1980's."

But this is NOT a travel blog.

I'm here because the most accurate recreations of Star Trek TOS sets ever made are in Ticonderoga. And did I mention they were built by an Elvis impersonator? Sometimes fandom is a wonderful and beautiful thing.

Don't let the exterior fool you. Nerd awesomeness awaits you.
I am in no way affiliated with Star Trek Original Set Tours but I want to promote it so allow me to borrow from their website.

Found here: Star Trek Original Set Tours

"Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour is Located in Historic downtown Ticonderoga, New York.
When the STAR TREK television series was canceled in 1969, the original sets were dismantled and largely destroyed, only a few small items of the actual sets remain today, and those that have survived are in private collections. Trek superfan James Cawley began the process of rebuilding the sets just as they would have been seen 50 years ago when the series was being filmed, a 14 year journey has culminated in the most accurate rebuild of the original sets, and is now open and welcoming STAR TREK fans from all over the world!

Our sets are complete recreations built using the original blueprints, hundreds of hours of serious research and thousands of photographs – both period images and images culled from extensive review and capture from the original episodes. The sets will NOT and were NOT designed to move from one city to another and are fully licensed by CBS. The Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour Invites you to come see the Desilu Studio as it looked during the years between 1966-1969 while Star Trek was in production."

That's 100% accurate. While filming is not allowed during the tour, taking pictures is encouraged. Walk with me, won't you?

"Ma'am! You dropped your bread stick!"
Someone on my tour pressed the red button. Don't press the red button.
Working flat screen monitors. Cool.
Kirk's love nest.
"Get a life!" True fans get this...
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics!"
Set phasers to malky.

Can I sit there? Yes, yes you can.
Just a few of the props on display. 

I took a lot more pics but I won't post them here because I want YOU to see the place for yourself and hear all the cool tour info. And they have plans to expend into the Next Generation series! I don't want to give spoilers but THEY WANT TO MAKE THE TNG ENGINE ROOM! How cool is that! So who is the man behind the Blue Suede curtain that made all of this possible? Let me borrow again from the website.

James is not the guy in the chair.

"James Cawley grew up as an avid Star Trek fan.  He began collecting props and costumes from the original series in 1997 and acquired the original TOS  Enterprise blueprints  from William Ware Theiss when he interned on Star Trek: The Next Generation as a professional costume maker.  He then spent 15 years researching, crafting and refining his set replicas alongside other dedicated fans and craftspeople. Pouring over stills and frame captures from TOS and sourcing vintage materials and antiques, Cawley ensured that even the smallest details were accurately and lovingly reproduced. When not in the 23rd century, Cawley is also an award-winning Elvis Tribute artist. "

For more on James here's an article on Memory Alpha : I'm a link 

This man brings two of his favorite fandoms to life entertaining people from around the world. How cool is that! Kudos, Jim! Keep building it and they will come. Pass the peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

That's all for now, gentle reader.

Be seeing you,

Monday, August 27, 2018

SCP-4082 "Real Heavy" (A rejected SCP submission.)

Secure  Containment  Protect

(c) I have no idea who originally made this. But I like it.

Imagine all the most outlandish paranormal and super natural stories you've heard were true. Now imagine they are NOWHERE near as close to how alien and weird and dangerous the world actually is. To this add an organization, a Foundation, which is all that stands between you and the crawling terror that lurksin your glove box and sock drawer. Welcome to the community writing collective known as SCP where your favorite nightmare or world-ending demon might already have a room designed just for them. 

Let one of my favorite readers of SCP tales give you the rundown. 

Your journey begins here:

If you like your lore and headcanon the size of a small planet then SCP is your playground. From the silly to the sublime. From the hilarious to the horrific. Did we win an ancient war against a race we now call "Bigfoot"? Are Cain and Able real? Are some stairwells not stairwells? Is some street art carnivorous? What is the Dracula Factory? Should you vacation in UnLondon? How tasty is a bag of holding potatoes? Do living Legos make a good gift if you own Mega Bloks? Can the Hard-to-Destroy Reptile survive stepping on Legos? (I say no.) And what exactly is the Red Spot? Oh yeah. SCP has it all. Some of it is also really, really good writing. Here's an example from TheVolgun, one of my favorite SCP narrators. There are many quality SCP YouTube channels. You owe it to yourself to find one.

So I decided to submit my own SCP for the community to take a look at. 

The outcome of all my hard work is about to get deleted. Ha! 

Fair enough. Good feedback was given so no complaints. I'll circle back when I can and tweak the submission before seeking community input*. The idea was this: I was trying to relay the idea that the Foundation could mislabel the normal as an anomaly. It’s the idea of asking when does a series of coincidences stop being just coincidences. That’s why the decision to label “it” as SCP-4082 was based on quantity, not quality. That’s also why the “SCP” was a growing source of debate. Staff within the Foundation were pushing back at what just happened. When all you have is a hammer the world is full of nails, right? Let me know if this makes sense after you read it.

Item #: SCP-4082 – “Real Heavy”

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4082 currently has no known means of containment due to its random nature of manifestation, unknown level of sapience/sentience, and unknown state of being. However, researcher Larry (redacted) online examination of public blogs and vlogs has yielded promising statistical glimpses into situations and individuals likely to have SCP-4082 experiences. His group and individual role playing exercises using D-class personnel screened for intellectual openness has, so far, failed to yield a controlled method of manifesting SCP-4082. Experiments continue. 
Description: SCP-4082 is currently known primarily as an affect without source of cause. Aspects include, but are not limited to: a greatly enhanced ability to link and cross-reference dissimilar information, the ability to recall forgotten facts or life experiences, and a hyper focus on detail. While the attributes are temporary and innocuous on the surface, dependent upon the circumstances and those involved they can lead to the disclosure of sensitive or suppressed information. Individuals may also inadvertently piece together facts on subjects they have no direct experience with including the anomalous. Note: Seemingly no new information is being introduced to the person, such as in exposure to SCP-028. All incidents involve information already known to the person. SCP-4082 may account for spikes in actively suppressed knowledge being found in children’s books, billboards, song lyrics, video game cut scenes, the layout of new building construction, and other mundane sources. While such occurrences should happen due to random chance, the number identified by Foundation cultural monitors are well above any statistical norm.

SCP-4082 was first observed by Foundation staff during an offsite, afterhours bar crawl on June (redacted) in (redacted) located near Site (redacted) in Upstate (redacted). The event was actually a planned psychological evaluation. The staff at Site (redacted) are comprised largely of personnel who have received Amnestics, either voluntarily or involuntarily. One purpose of Site (redacted) is to monitor the mental state of staff members suffering from psychological or meta-psychological trauma.

The psychologist assigned to the event was provided a list of thematic elements to monitor for. The evening was proceeding without incident when Agent (redacted) suddenly paused mid-sentence. She turned to her co-workers and asked, “Did you ever wonder…” before describing a theory on the interrelationship of blinking with visible light in relation to quantum wave collapse in an Observer Created Universe. Her co-workers were jovially taken aback by this unexpected outpouring. She responded by saying she had read a few things over the years but had, “…never really thought about them.” Psychologist (redacted) noted many elements specific to Agent (redacted) wiped memories were mentioned. The Agent finished by adding, “Makes you think, right?” The psychologist was considering ending the event when another Agent also said, “Did you ever wonder…,” before launching into a stream of consciousness about “what size is” given the infinity of space-time, often decrying the lack of difference between giants and atoms. The Agent finished with, “Makes you consider the real stuff. The heavy stuff.” The event was then ended as again the thematic concepts matched red flag phrases for the Agent. Both Agents were later asked what brought this on. Each replied, “Not sure.” The incident was reported to Level 3 staff, per standard operating procedures regarding memetic phenomenon.

Several weeks later the attending psychologist made online searches of did you ever wonder. Millions of entries were, of course, found. But, after honing the search with metatags (redacted), (redacted), and (redacted) several hundred unusual incidents were found. For example:

1. A vlogger in (redacted) France (a plumber by trade) recounted a legal case recently brought against him by medical device company (redacted). He claimed a post about a childhood memory drew the attention of the company’s lawyers. In the original post he retold how he thought cars worked when he was two-years-old. Specifically, how the car’s “machine box heart” pumped petrol back and forth to the wheels making them spin. The memory, he said, suddenly came to him while drinking through a straw.  As best as he and his lawyer could tell, he is being accused of theft of intellectual property for releasing the designs of two artificial hearts the company had in development for several years. He defiantly called the company, “a collection of lunatics trying to sue a child’s imagination.”

2. A worried parent commented on a homeschool resource site that their thirteen-year-old son claimed he discovered a language in the arrangement of Taraxacum officinale petals (common dandelions) growing around (redacted) in (redacted). The youth deciphered the language after watching documentaries on modern train design, sports injuries, wall paper, and a history of film editing. She relayed her son said the petals read, “We are still here.” The location listed is only two kilometers from SCP-197.

3. A popular blogger in northern India writes on Freudian symbolism in Hindu mythology before transitioning to mythological symbols in the Middle East and Africa. This leads to them questioning United Nation actions in Ethiopia, secret paranormal research groups within the United Nations, Holy Grail legends, and the veracity of travel bans in certain areas. The blogger normally writes about Bollywood gossip. When fans asked about this departure from his normal format he replied, “Not sure. I woke up thinking about it.”

4. A megalithic site unique in all the America’s is discovered by a retired New Mexico Forest Ranger. The site contains advanced structures, unusual tools of unknown purposes, and examples of what might be writing. When asked how he came upon that area he said it was a,” Line of falling dominoes.” After learning a nearby spot was popular with birdwatchers he, “…got to pondering why the birds liked it so much. That got me wondering about updrafts, which got me to thinking about heat, then heat retention, then a whole kinda rope of different stuff that ended with me grabbing a map. Just knew I wanted to see what was there in that exact spot. Not sure why it happened like that in my head. It was fun, I will say that!”

5. A deleted website found via an internet archive yielded a strange tale. The site’s author recounted her battle with terminal stage 4 breast cancer. She claimed upon realizing her fate was set that the nature of predation became apparent. Having been, “…killed from within, killed by the place that should bear me the greatest kindness, the greatest safety,” she suddenly saw new patterns and connections in the world around her. She described body language, word usage, and eye movements until finally what she termed the Totality of Ending. She said this allowed her to see how the minds of murderers processed other humans. As her death rapidly approached an idea came to her. One last act of freewill before the inevitable. She posted an identical profile to three popular dating sites, advertised the selling of (redacted) on two classified sites, and created one social media profile. Within one week she was contacted by six individuals. Five men. One woman. She arranged a date, time, and meeting place with each. When the day came, however, each of her liaisons arrived early. Each carefully surveyed the area several times. Finally, each paid close attention to the vehicle that entered the parking lot and stopped in a secluded spot in the back. With a warm, relaxed smile and a cheerful wave each walked up to the driver while clutching a hidden weapon. She knew all this would happen as sure as she knew how to attract her intended targets. Unfortunately, the cancer would keep her from knowing what happened next. She would be dead two days when her plan unfolded. Would they be surprised? She hoped so. Would they spill blood? Oh yes. She was as confident in that as in her setting of the six scenes. True, the other six had been much harder to court. Much harder to fool. They were long-term serial killers, after all. But, she knew how they all thought. She had carefully measured and weighed each pairing so it would consume only itself and nothing more. Her final post before deleting the site reflected, albeit briefly, on her actions. “I may have become a little like those I understand. Why else would I smile when I imagine setting killers upon killers. Or is it that I enjoy my joke upon Life? Life takes me from within so I take from it twelvefold. Is my death, the source of my understanding, a blessing so that I cannot take more? I want to say I will ponder this, but I won’t. Let false nobility stay among the living. I will die soon and that takes up a lot of your time.” Foundation researchers have since confirmed several aspects of her story. In (redacted) during the early Autumn of (redacted) there were (redacted) reported missing persons cases opened along with the discovery of (redacted) bodies within a (redacted) mile radius. Two arrests were made.

The sheer number of such examples lead the Foundation to declare the phenomenon an anomalous. Close monitoring, cataloging, and subsequent censoring when required of such incidents when required is been advised. 

Addendum 4082-6: The recognition of SCP-4082 as an anomaly has become a subject of heated debate within the Foundation. Many staff members now think there is no SCP-4082. They argue the Foundation has become so focused on finding SCP’s, so fearful of missing one, that they are starting to see them where they don’t exist. “A sort of group Apophenia paired with confirmation bias locked in an echo chamber,” as one researcher put it.  The following excerpt is from a brief written by Senior Researcher Robert (redacted).

“Have we come to the point where the mind is anomalous? Sudden insights and flashes of understanding, even if not fully understood at that moment, are established fixtures in human history. Are we now not opening the door for this supposed SCP-4082 to come in and lay claim to some of what we call human innovation and discovery? Or are we laying most of it at its feet? Hell, why not all of it! Einstein? No, SCP-4082. Mendeleev? No, Scp-4082. Ramanujan? No, SCP-4082. Questioning the nature of existence with an open mind is part of why the Foundation exists! Are we now going to rip out the most human of traits and hand it to some phantom? Here you go! Thanks for letting us borrow that. What you are saying in this decision is this: We don’t understand these circumstances; therefore, it can’t be normal. Ponder that. As for the examples presented, they are indeed curious. Absolutely, they should be studied. No, they don’t fall outside the parameters and capabilities of human thought. We of all people should know that. As for Larry’s role playing experiments with D-class personnel, those should stop immediately. They are a waste of time and resources. If Larry wants to foster spontaneous thought he only needs a campfire, a cooler of alcohol, and some good music. Having said that, if I ever discover he is allowed those items I will quit.”

Addendum 4082-21: Based upon Agent (redacted) Wave Collapse/Observer Created Universe observations, Foundation physicists have announced two new theories on why some SCP's seem keyed to human interaction. While only in the thought experiment phase, the development of a so-called Uncertainty Box may lead to safer containment procedures for some of the most dangerous anomalies. It has been described as "combining quantum theory with the Pepper's Ghost Illusion' sp that neither the SCP or the human can be 100% sure either are observing or being observed.

Be seeing you,


*I made a few format corrections here based upon feedback. :)