Sunday, August 17, 2008

Schleping To Homer

One day after buying rubber boots for the wet and muddy conditions around here I decided to traipse from my mountain retreat to the bucolic town of Homer-by-the sea. I did not depart like Zarathustra, full of a light he wished to share with the world. Neither did I bound like a dog to whom after five seconds all scents, and sights are new, some say the first cynic was like that. No, instead I walked the way I always do, similar to a tourist surveying a new land while I carry a backpack of my previous places. I see the world with old eyes and the flowers are colored with the remembrance of the thousand flowers I saw before that is how I went down-going..

I went agoing like any other portly, middleaged man, who walks through a foot of mud for ten miles because he enjoys it. Maybe the picture below will you give an idea why.

After walking ten miles in my Neoprene Xtratufs I got onto a asphalted road and I saw this view. Some low lying clouds were around the cliff, the slight breeze was pushing them out to sea. In the distance I could see one of the many glaciers that are around here. Hopefully before winter I will be able to reach out and touch the head of the glacier and examine a crevasse. By the time I took this picture my feet, ankles, and hamstrings were quite sore. I sincerely hope gentle reader you never have to walk fourteen miles in my neoprene boots. Firstly because I am uncomfortable with lending out such intimate apparel as footware, secondly because it is very uncomfortable. Now I wonder why someone does not design Wellingtons with better support, I do not think the fishermen who stand in them for hours find them gentle on the feet either. Anyway I think the experience was worth the pain since I got to write about the pain of walking for miles with rainboots and take a nice picture. In the end Katya had to get me since I walked two miles away from town and my feet hurt too much to walk the five or six miles to her work.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunset Over Mount Augustine

One of the things that I like about living in a mountain cabin ten miles from Homer is that you can see the volcanoes around here. I was told by the SO that the one you can see easiest is active, on a really clear day its' possible to see Mount Augustine smoking. The other thing is there are some beautiful sunsets with the sea, the moutains, and the forest are all painted by the light of the eleven o'clock northen sun. There are many beautiful, wild places here and I am already trying to plan a hiking excursion to some of the mountians once I get a boat to take me.

After I read Call of The Wild & Two Against The North I imagined what it would be like to live here, I just hope I get to see a lot of the outdoors. Strange Death wrote about the sameness of the American commercial landscape. If he came here he would find that because of the many hippies and partial randites from the little I have seen of the architecture here its' a mix of; 19th century American homestead school, Native Alaskan design, fishing village chique, and Alpine lodge style. But then again I could be completely wrong since I am not by nature very taken to architetrucal critiques, however buildings are not designed in the same style as Minneapolis or Montgomery.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tell me Starbuck is that a Bradley Fighting Vehicle I spy out of the Corner of My Unglassed Eye?

I hate science fiction. I hate it the same way a former lover hates you. They know you in some ways better than you know yourself and know what makes you tick, your weaknesses and strengths. And if they are very insightful they may even realize that your strengths and your weaknesses make you the person that they loved. Knowing this may make your ex respect and like you even though they do not want to be with you. Well I feel that way about science fiction but with a dash of disfunction as a chaser since, as, a famous person once said; "Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in!" And patient readers Battlestar Galactica has pulled me back in.

The show drives me teeth grinding crazy in the way so many tellievision shows do and it makes the same mistake I see made in books and film. That mistake is being too closely tied to its' own time and place. For example in one of Philip K Dick would imagine futures where people would fly to the stars, killer androids roamed the earth while people fled from them in flying cars decked out with vinyl record players. Nowadys the original Buck Rodgers comic book & serial newsreel do not seem futuristic at all, instead in someways they are sad, played out ideas of a swashbuckling uber man who travelled halfway across the galaxy in 18th century riding boots, with a zap gun and saber. But enough about the past let us see how well BSG travasses the muddy shore of psyence fiction.

Well, five minutes into Season One Episode one of BSG I wondered why Commander Adorno was wearing glasses in a universes that had created faster than light travel, and where hundreds of thousands of folks could live in space ships full of gravity and all the joys of 21st century American Navy and more why the fuck did the captain have to wear glasses? "Anyway enjoy the show", I said to my self, "fuggedaboutit", but then the people following the newsman and his boom mike wielding soundman made me think of Space: 1999 and lousy 1970s fashions. As usual the people in the future are mainly caucasian with a token of African & Asian Americans. Where are the ethnic New Guineans, the Desis, Amerinds and the myriads of ethnicities?

Anyway the exhibition of atrocities continued with things like:

  • You would think that by then instead of having comms that look like phones everyone would have an implanted mike and receiver so that they could sub vocalize from anywhere in the ship.
  • How come funerals use the same type of caskets & elevators in BSG as we do now?
  • Anyone in our reality will feel right at home in a kitchen or restraunt in the Battle Star Galactica universe
  • All the audiobook, ebook users as well as environmentalists will be happy to know that books are made with dead trees. Antienvironmetalists and religous zealots will be sad to hear that the tress have been sad to know that the book pulping industry does no environmental harm to the pristine forests of Kobald since their pulp in produced by vats of GMO bacteria, pineoplastics and some kick ass biochemists who go round the tweleve colonies in geosynchronous orbit.
  • Lovers of military protocol will be happy to know that across the universe, thousands of years in time from us flags are folded the same way for fallen heroes.
  • Great War vets will be glad to see the Sam Browne belt making a comeback among the Kobol's soldiers, and pilots.
  • Lastly millions of women will be dissapointed that in the future their cigarette smoking doctor will give them shit for not doing their monthly breast exams.

I had been hoping that at the very least that humanity would be rid of cancer as a plot device in sci-fi but I guess I am naive. After all the skyscrapers in Kobald city should have told me that the future is already here just unevenly distributed in set designers & scriptwriters imaginations.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One Thousand Words

If historians were Rock Stars .....

Rick Perlstein would be Tom Waits & Fela to me.