goochland landscape 2    05-11-2013Two frogs on a bike 2   05-11-2013

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Ray Bradbury

 

 

 

 

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I didn’t real tons of his writing but I loved what I did read. Fahrenheit 451 will always stay in my mind because of it’s message about censorship and thought control. While it hasn’t become widespread here-yet-there have been many instances throughout the world where books, thoughts and words were banned. As a writer I find this to be highly disturbing because I’m a strong advocate over free speech. I might not agree with what you say, in fact I might find it disgusting and ridiculous, but I’d defend your right to speak your mind to my dying breath. If we can’t have free thought and expression, then the ability to write fiction goes out the window.

The second book of his that I read was ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes.’ How many times have we as little kids found something in the circus or travelling carnival to be frightening? This novel takes that idea and runs with it. A travelling fall carnival (according to Bradbury’s narration in the novel the don’t come in the fall…carnivals come in the spring and summer) comes to town and sets up shop. Lead by the sinister Mr. Dark, who is covered by tattoos (each one representing a person tempted to join the carnival), they start to tempt people with their deepest, most secret desire.

Bradbury is masterful in his covering the good and evil in our natures, the time of growing up, and the concept of immortality. I recommend reading it if you haven’t before because it’s well worth it.

 

Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires

While I understand there seems to be a “fad” for them, when do publishers say ‘enough is enough?’ I have spent the last month looking for a new science fiction novel to read and can’t find one. Why? Because the shelves are overloaded with Vampire/Werewolf/Zombie stories-and I don’t care for that subject! Then, if that isn’t enough, a majority of what’s left is some sort of time travel and/or alternate universe.

What happened to the good old fashioned science fiction action story? Have we become so jaded as people that the idea of people having adventures in space means nothing? Where has our sense of wonder and desire to lose ourselves in something that can potentially be uplifting? I feel that the big occult rush (and those of people turned into animals too) doesn’t do a thing to lift the spirit of a person. If you’re in darkness, then it’ll do nothing to help you feel better.

I miss the days of Asimov, Bradbury, McCaffery and (before he started going downhill) David Weber. There’s something about losing yourself in a good story that leaves one happy at the end of the day.

And it’s not just science fiction that does that too. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series is one I love. However, I wish my library carried the ‘Crystal Singer’ trilogy from Anne McCaffrey. Killasandra is a neat character and the world around her is so neat that it makes a nice break from reality.

I guess I’ll have to keep watching anime to have my science fiction adventure fix.

Ridiculous and Stupid Experience

AshCloud

 

 

This day started off early for me, which is not necessarily unusual, so that part doesn’t matter. I had strict instructions to get 2 new tires put on the truck. So, I left the house at 1030 and that’s where things started to go downhill.

I arrived at Pep Boys twenty minutes later and tell the guy I needed two Dakota Definity’s for the truck. They have them in stock. Fine. Put them on.

“We can’t put them on the front…it’s company policy that the best tires go on the rear.”

What the hell??

So I spend the next ten minutes arguing with the guy that I don’t need them on the rear but the front so the truck could be aligned. No go. Fine. I bought to two tires and took them to a hunting buddy of Dad’s who has a service station. They mounted and balanced it. Good, end of story. Time to eat and go home. Now mind you, my cell phone also has been Grand Central Station this entire time so I’m starting to get really annoyed with the constant stream of calls.

I leave the station and drive a little over a mile west and stop to have lunch at Shoney’s. Nothing bad there..an all-american burger with the salad bar. Yummy.

Well, I haven’t even reached the truck before my phone is going off again. It’s dad. “Take it down to xxxxxxxx and get it aligned for me. Might as well do it all in one shot.” Great. Now it’s going to be another hour at least before I get home.

This is 230 this afternoon. I finally leave the shop at 4pm and then have to stop at Advance Auto to pick up a windshield wiper. I drive back out of town to the rural suburb we live in. Stop and get gas and then two cans of pork and beans mother had asked me earlier, during the deluge of phone calls I got, to pick up from Food Lion. By the time I actually pulled back into the driveway, it was 5pm. Mind you I left at 1030.

Should’ve just worked today instead.

The ridiculousness of the situation was the “inability” to put tires on the front as requested. How stupid is that? Supposedly they got sued for it so no one can get it done now. This is inane given the fact that they always want to align the front end. You can’t do that with OLD TIRES. The geometry changes between new and old tires, so what might be completely lined up with the used tires won’t be when you put new ones on, which then means the new tires will get chewed up.

Knowing business as I do, I’ve got a feeling this is more to get you to buy 4 tires instead of the 2 you want. That way they get to double their sales at the time. Just one more reason to know what’s going on now days.

Consider it a warning for the next time you need two tires.