A bull with a view

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Well, that certainly sounds science-fiction-y, doesn’t it? So my first instinct would be to choose the Ringworld, Larry Niven’s Grand Cosmic Artifact and just about the ultimate of all tourist destinations. But that would be cheating, since this is writing assignment. (Also, I do not want to meet any angry Protectors).

So: where I want to go on my summer vacation


The singleship drops out of hyperspace smoothly, as it does automatically whenever it encounters a stellar mass directly in its flight path. With a gentle lurch, the probe is away, its sensors already collecting data even before the AI begins to ring the alarm in the pilot’s cabin. With a yawn, I reach over and kill the buzzer, and the ship’s AI begins scrolling data down the far wall.

There is no impact warning, and a quick glance at our orbital math in the display shows the singleship is already thrusting to attain a stable orbit. So nothing to panic over, just a routine dropout.

I scratch and yawn and stumble to the kitchen unit, which already has my coffee waiting. One of the many benefits of traveling with an onboard AI; it generally anticipates my needs, and knows I’m not good for much of anything without my morning coffee.

Another ten steps, into the ship’s bridge, and I call up a live video feed. “Let’s see what’s outside, Kepler.”

Kepler is the astronomy subroutine of the AI’s greater whole, and since we’re dealing with a new stellar mass, he’s my go-to boy for in-system primary explorations. Plus, I like his accent.

The viewscreen drops to black, and then is rather suddenly filled with an enormous, luminous blue ball of light.

“The display is dimmed by several orders of magnitude, of course. What you’re looking at is a B-class giant with a luminosity of roughly 700 Sols,” Kepler lectured, in that slightly German-accented English. “Spectral readings indicate this is a known mass, visible from Earth.”

It would be, if it was that bright, I thought. “Catalog designation?”

“Beta Tau, also known as Gamma Aurigae, or Elnath or Al Nath, ALS 15829. In the constellation Taurus, a naked-eye object in Terra’s night sky.”

I rubbed my chin regretfully, clearly no discovery bonuses to be had for this trip then. “So we’ve dumped hyperspace for one of the five thousand?”

“Yes sir, it is a very well-known stellar object, but ours is the first exploratory vessel in this physical location. It is generally ranked the 27th brightest stellar object in Earth’s sky, just after Bellatrix. It has a binary companion, would you like the data?”


Drew it to a close at this point, lest we get past “travel brochure” and into a full short story or something. Swiped a lot of elements from Niven and Pohl and all of my favorite classic SF authors…but space opera seemed an appropriate approach, given the topic.

I have a special place in my heart for Elnath, of course, since I chose it as my GM handle, too.

RecDave Seal

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20 minutes of free writing

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

9:50 PM

Mr. Toad shifted his weight unhappily.  A bit of undigested fly was making itself known, and Mr. Toad was having difficulties. His waistcoat seemed tighter and the day before, and beads of sweat were collecting around the band of  his bowler.

What a waste of a beautiful afternoon. Bright sun, cool breeze, shade from the trees at the edge of the lake. All in all, a quite enjoyable day, except for Mr. Toad’s somewhat rebellious lunch and the ominous gurgling making itself audible from the region of his cummerbund.

Oh bother.

“Mr. Toad! Mr. Toad?” The damned otter twins, Burt and Alex, smooth ripples spreading out in bow-waves behind as the two sharp, wet noses drove directly for Mr. Toad’s chosen lily pad.

“So much for my afternoon nap,” muttered Mr. Toad, quite unhappily.

“Mr. Toad, Mum said you was to watch over the Holt while she’s away visiting with Auntie El.”

Oh double bother. He had promised.

“Boys, you know I can watch your holt quite easily from this very spot, if you can manage to stay out of trouble for just a few hours,” grumped Mr. Toad.

“Who, us?” The two otters barked quiet laughter. “Why Mr. Toad, you know we never get up to any mischief.” The picture of innocence, the otters did their very best “perfect angels behaving themselves in church” poses.

Rolling his big  eyes, Mr. Toad harrumphed and kept his doubts entirely to himself.

10:11

RecDave Seal

Day Ten: Dress Up Your Sidebar

Today’s assignment: add and/or customize two widgets. If you want to write a post, try something shorter-form.

Well, a short post certainly isn’t ever a problem.

I skipped a couple of days in the 101 course schedule, since I’m so far behind and still playing catch-up, anyway. And they were projects I’d already done or toyed with on my own.

So (FF button) here we are on day 10. New widgets cluttering up the sidebars. We’ve got the

photo gallery slideshow thang <–over there ,
and the ‘My customers’ thang –>over there

 

Not sure I like all of the clutter that’s building up all around us, or even double sidebars at all. I may dump some things, and/or move to a roomier reading environment, single sidebar. We’ll see.

Whatta you guys think?

RecDave Seal

 

Kitchen prose and gutter rhymes

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

My dream reader has (I hope) a sense of whimsy, and not too much art critic…

You might find a pathetic old codger
Who lacks even the skills of a bodger
His verse is quite trite
And his wisdom is slight
And he just ain’t that much of a blogger

RecDave Seal

(incidentally, I haven’t written any poetry since “Ex-Husband Stew”, which I wrote for a Witch singing at a Bardfest…long story…which was, I hope, a tiny bit more serious that a limping limerick. I’ll see if I can find a text of Ex-Husband Stew through the magic of the internet)

A penny ain’t worth what it used to be

I tend to let cashiers keep the copper, anyway.

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Ew. Okay well: I had just finished reading a couple of books that got my brain working along alternate-income-sorta lines. Those “Passions” posts…25 questions to help live a passionate life….The hundred dollar start-up, a couple more. Anyway, I’m not really still pursuing those vague maybes. Nor am I spending much time on Python right now, too distracted by the wonderful combined worlds of those high-intensity time wasters, Facebook and WordPress!

Maybe there’s a way to turn spare-time writing into cash, but…no, not really likely to happen, is it? I’m digging this ’cause it’s fun, lemme dig that for a while!

Sometimes I feel like the chasing latest bright-and-shiny idea IS my passion, “short attention spans R us”.

Ya’ll see why I need to Reclaim Dave, right? heh

RecDave Seal

 

 

Playing catch-up

Not because I must, but because I want the practice. Today’s post is dated April 15 (it’s Nov 7, so I have a lot of catching up to do)! That’s good, it will keep me posting…but the post-calendar is going to be très confused for a good long while!

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I’m Dave, one of the “Park”(s) in ParkInkSpot, and your host for this not-exactly-magical mystery tour. You can find a little bit more about me on the Narcissist pages (“About” and “Hobbyist”), if the ‘who am I’ is interesting to you. Old, married dude; I don’t expect it will be.

“Why am I here” is harder. In essence, I don’t much like the misanthropic guy I became. “Reclaiming Dave” is trying to reconnect with people, with fun, with younger me, my relations, friends, society…all kinds of stuff; it’s a pretty vague idea. We’ll be striving for more empathy and less grumpy. And much more contact.

That’s why I went full-public instead of some sort of live journal or whatever, to get out there where people are and roll around in ’em.

What this blog is “about” is way less clear. Not just about me (I hope!) My original tag-line was ‘a blog in search of a theme”–so maybe we’ll  find out what the *theme* of this here blog is together. Or maybe I’ll have a heap of disconnected ramblings.

But we won’t be able to say I didn’t give it a shot!

RecDave Seal

Ooh hey, the back-dating thing actually worked. Sweet. And dangerous, in the hands of a politician!