Images pixabay (book covers are links)
A little while back someone on FB had a thread on the topic of why, in modern sf the systems of government of the future are usually feudal and hierarchical. I found this both interesting and amusing. THE FORLORN/MORNINGSTAR had various forms of feudal government – but it was on a colony planet where the level of technology had been knocked to at best medieval. Read more
“That’s cultural appropriation! You can’t do that! Shutup shutup shutup!”
“Do you think that cultures have a right to maintain their traditions, especially ones with a well-documented history going back hundreds of years? Cultural patterns which are as much part of their culture as breathing is part of your living? Cultural behavior which defines them, without which they would stop being their culture?”
“Good-o. Piss off, Asshole.” Read more
I spent some time on Saturday in a large plastic water-tank (about 6000 gallons) – A tank I had inadvertently put a crack into, and was now trying to weld. The tank has been used for at least 20 years to pump muddy dam water uphill to allow garden irrigation pressure – so it had more than a token amount of silty mud in it, and we couldn’t drain the last of the water out.
We tried leverage and to use a suction cup glass transporter to pull the edges of the crack into alignment – but alas, it didn’t handle the convex surface well, and it required more force than the suction could handle. So it had to be dealt with from the inside. Read more
‘Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires’
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Trans. Edward Fitzgerald)
‘The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost’
The Song of Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
New Year’s Eve – and I am thankfully not Ambulance call again until tomorrow night. I’ve done a lot of call over the holidays, and was on the last two nights, and had fairly little sleep on both, and busy days between, so this is not me at my ‘scintillating’ best, but I still want to wish all our readers a safe New Year seeing in, and all the creativity, persistence and success for 2019. Where the hell did 2018 go? Read more
Sorry about that, but tradition needs to be observed. It is Christmas Eve, after all. I have been out all day trying to roll sheep (being the nearest thing we have around these parts at this time of year to white fluffy stuff from which to make snow-men). The sheep did not seem impressed with the idea, although they did eat the carrot-for-a-nose. There is, however something to be said for dashing through the sheep, on a one a one horse open slay… The joys of Southern hemisphere, and traditions like hot Christmas dinner – when it 40 C (104 F I hope). Still: It’s still the season to be jolly, however. Or eat drink and be Mary, according your preferences. Read more
Image Pixabay. (does the future hold the frog or the flower?)
I’ve been reading several 1960’s sf novels (homework, and enjoyment) I’ve been through James Whites, a Mack Reynolds and a few Simaks. Interesting from the writers point of view. Style has changed a lot (books were much shorter). The stories are still interesting and well structured. They’re actually thoughtful books – far more so than modern rehash of PC thought. But the dialogue and the social relationships, the ‘mores’, the expectations and social structure… are very 1960s.
I like the stories, but there are times this makes it hard work as it throws me right out of my rapid reading trance. Read more
It’s been one those days, which, shall I say, has not gone well. We spent 7 hours sitting in our airport waiting for my younger son’s flight to leave (and him with connecting flights and business meetings to get to). The plane never ever arrived, and the Sharp – the airline company – don’t seem to have figured that telling their local front desk what is going on (let alone those saps, the passengers, who are paying more than a flight to New Zealand for this trip) is a really, really, really good idea. It’s not just good business sense, it is near essential for the little local tourism industry – which provides their customers and is our second biggest income earner and employer. Being unreliable is a problem for tourists and visitors. Sometimes that is unavoidable. Telling them they have 6 hours to spend at the beach, beats the trousers off leaving them sitting in the airport, guessing, getting angry, frustrated and upset.
Let’s be clear, the local staff do a great job and are very popular with the islanders. The pilots are exceptionally competent – flying a small ‘plane (16 seater) into a small, windy roaring-forties airstrip. If you have been on this run, you’re a skilled pilot, used to dealing with exceptionally bad conditions, in an old-ish aircraft, without the modern tools to make easier. One fondly assumes the ground-crews and mechanics do a good job as none of the planes have crashed. But their communication – presumably one person — suck, letting all of the rest down. Read more