Saturday, October 31, 2009

An Experiment: Tweetbooks

I am trying out a new experiment in literature. A tweet  book.

That’s right.  Tweetbook. As in a book done Twitter style.

I am going to see whether people would actually read a short serialized story in tweets. Everyday I will feed 15 - 20 tweets into BasilsTweetBook until it is all on the page.

Please take part in the project and give it a whirl. Just go to Twitter and follow  @basilstweetbook and see how the story unfolds.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Liberty is to Faction as Air is to Fire


Freedom and free thinking. Two things on which America was founded. The ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness all of our days.

But what is freedom? What does it mean to be free? Does it mean doing whatever you want whenever you want to? Is it some sort of system where everyone makes their own path as long as we don’t hurt anyone else? The sad truth is that such a freedom cannot and will not ever exist. Because each different person has a different idea of what happiness might be. Therefore what is one man’s happiness may well be another man’s horror.

No, such total freedom would only lead to anarchy of a sort not seen since the dark ages. For there are those whose idea of freedom involves taking everything you have and spreading it around to their friends…or just keeping it for themselves. I am sure the Viking raiders of the 800’s or the Muslim invaders of the 1200’s or the Mongol Horde of the 1400’s, or the Communist revolutionaries of the 1900’s all felt they were advancing their version of happiness, their ideal of freedom. But to those on whom it was being advanced, those on whom the single ideology of a foreign invader was being forced, it was most certainly not a recipe for joy. With their lands laid waste and their peoples slaughtered or enslaved, the other man’s idea of happiness was nothing like that which they had hoped to pursue. The destruction came when the other side was too weak to defend its ideals, or its borders. And those conquerors in time found themselves on the receiving end of the same fate they dealt to the previous inhabitants.

Whether you are conservative or liberal, always be aware that it is not in the destruction of the other side that you will find your peace. Happiness will not be discovered in enforcing your ideal way of living on your neighbors. It is rather in the balance of ideas, the place in between where the best of both sides come together not to make a compromise, but to make a society based on the what is best of both worlds.

There will always be at least two sides to every issue, usually many more sides than that. Be careful not to invest yourself too deeply in one side to the destruction or damage of the other. For it is in the balance of opposites that a boat stays afloat.

But there is a type of joy that every person can experience in a same way, and at the same time. The joy we find in being with people we love, in a place we call home, a place we feel at peace.

Of course if the other simply refuses to meet on common ground, or worse they just plain lied when they said they wanted to parley then the old warrior’s credo comes into play.

Pray for Peace, Prepare for War and only fight to win.

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My nerdiness / geekhood has been confirmed! I spent nearly twenty hours figuring out/debugging my websites Drupal php files to PC Boxfind out why i could not upload pictures to my website blog. And in the end, it was a combination of resetting lines of code and flipping on a switch i didn’t know existed until I flipped it.

I love it when things work the way they’re supposed to.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Windows Live Writer Thingy

i am trying out this new windows live writer doo-hicky to see if it

works for both my website and my blogger site. If it does, great if not …well then I will have to keep trying until I can find something that does work.

On way or another, it will fit.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Has email been killed by IM'ing?

The Wall Street Journal posted an article last week stating that Email is moving towards the grave. Replaced by instant messaging (IM) and services like Twitter and Facebook, even cell phone texting. While IM is certainly growing in popularity, especially among the younger folks out there, I do not necessarily agree that email will leave the world anytime soon anymore than I believe eating oatmeal with a spoon will be replaced by sucking it out of a toothpaste tube. The latter is certainly faster, but the spoon method is definitely more enjoyable.

I have used email since 1989, two years before the internet went public. I still use it all day, everyday. Best for business as it is a great way to keep a digital record of forms and correspondence. It'll be a long time before it is gone, just because of the easy archival of emails, and the attachment of documents, images, etc.

I also use Twitter, and Facebook almost everyday. They are a great way to chat and have conversation. I recently got back into MSN messenger (I usually shorten the pronounciation to 'messin')because relatives in far off countries wanted to video chat for free rather than call long distance for a $1 a minute. Once in a while I use Myspace as well.

With all of these different applications I have decided to create a single application that will combine MSN with Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook into one easy interface on my blackberry.

I am calling the new app

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Aging toward deliciousness

I felt perpetually 25 until my oldest graduated high school last year. At the same time I realized that my middle son was having serious discussions about marine biology and my youngest knows a surprising amount about musculo-skeletal anatomy and uses words like endocrine and genetic anomolies in sentences without blinking.

I am still only 4.1 decades old, but suddenly feel as if I have grown up. I'm no longer a kid. For that matter, if my oldest suffers a foolish indiscretion I could easily become a grandparent.The thing is, having completed the first third I relish the idea of the next third of my life.

Yeah, I'm going to live to 120. And like the anticipation of enjoying a fine aged wine, I'm really looking foward to it.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Political Discourse for Lemmings

As one who makes part of my living doing political discourse I am usually astonished by the fact that a lot of folks really don't want discourse. They just want everyone to agree with them. An how often they are willing, even enjoy, being crude and abusive to their opponents but find the utmost offense if the treatment is returned against their side.

Like herds of disgruntled lemmings they curse their enemies for foolishely rushing willy-nilly into the abyss when all the while they are rushing into the very same pit, to the very same death, on the very same canyon floor, just from the other side of the precipice.

Sigh....that's one of the things I will when I finally become king of the world.

That and creamy peanut butter.

Because both have the same sense of "hey I just ate something, and my breath smells, but my mouth isn't satisfied at all."
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

I can survive/fix/fight my way out of anything

Over on the Kill Zone blog Michelle Gagnon brought up the subject of things authors write into books that are just unrealistic in order to keep the protagonist in the game. You know, those just in time salvation things that enable them to escape, beat the bad guys, rescue the damsel in distress, or puppy in a creek, or whatever.

Well I just got out of my truck and realized that it is a haven of just that sort of unrealistic clunky plot devices. I checked around and discovered the following in my little ol' F250 Crew Cab:

1. running shoes in my gym bag
2. a military wool blanket
3. a rain poncho
4. a backpack
5. two knit caps
6. a baseball cap
7. about fifty feet of parachute chord
8. an extra pair of glasses
9. a folding shovel
10. enough tools to do most of whatever I'd need to do
11. two pairs of thick wool socks
12. a K-Bar combat knife
13. a Gerber hatchet
14. a first aid kit
15. a whistle
16. a compass
17. a set of maps covering most of southcentral alaska
18. a case of water bottles.
19. a FRS radio / walkie talkie
20. a shortwave radio
21. a flashlight
22. two different multi-plyer tools
23. mosquito repellent
24. a magnesium fire starter
25. a long stemmed lighter
26. a wad of steel wool (makes good tinder)
27. numerous straps, bungees, and zip ties
28. two MRE meal packs
29. a canteen on a web belt
30. a 20x20 blue tarp
31. two rolls of duct tape (one black, one silver)
32. Four pairs of gloves (only three pairs that match though)
33. a candy bar and four packs of gum
34. a canned air-horn
35. a .38 revolver and ammo
36. a chapstick

Most of it was within arms reach from the drivers seat'd think I lived in Alaska....or a war zone

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Books of Destiny!

There are several books that changed / effected my life.

1.The Torah & The Bible : actually I can't say it changed my life as much as shaped my life, I've been reading it almost daily since I was six. The study of a culture, their worship, history, laws, interactions and philosophies in the light of a single over arching purpose will effect a person's thinking on the deepest levels. When read in context as a whole the ramifications of its teachings are awesome.
2.The Practice Effect: by David Brin, (c. 1984).
It wasn't terribly deep or elbow patch's & a pipe philosophical but really made me think that if you can imagine it you can do it. That has become my own prime directive of sorts.
3. Once an Eagle, by Anton Myer
One of the best books I have ever read, a contrasting view of life as a whole, beginning to end. One of the few books I will read more than once.

Honorable Mention:
Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Red Badge of Courage
Johnny Tremaine
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

What is in a name?

I almost always remember faces and the majority of details of how I know the person, sometimes even the conversation we had and what I ate just prior. But names...not.
So I have developed a system for remembering names. I use a descriptive nickname for the person to help spur me towards rememberance. These nicknames usual refer to a physical attribute or overt personality trait.

For instance I might remember a person as something like these:

Spandex Fitness Hottie
Sparkly Dimple Smile
French Roast Stubble
Stoned Tortoise Face
Combo-Over Tuna Breath
Gadunka-dunka Butt
Perky Booby Chihuahua Girl
Peanut Butter Pimples

and so on.

The down side is that this doesn't always work as intended and usually I still don't remember the name and may suddenly blush as I shake hands and remember only the nickname but barely stop myself from saying "Hey, Nasal Whiner Toad! And your wife, Sticky Toe Fungus Lips. Long time no see!"

So maybe everyone would be best off to just wear a name tag.
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