Wednesday, December 30, 2009
What do you think the new decade will bring? Sure, flying cars and peace on earth are probably long shots, but what might we really see? Given the rate at which human knowledge is doubling, what is possible?
Here are my bold predictions ... at least some of them. Hopefully without too much sarcasm ...
#1. A "cure" for glaucoma. I think that the work on the human genome and the discovery of defective genes that lead to some types of glaucoma, a drug therapy will be made available that will effectively cure this disease. I'm looking forward to it!
#2. From a planetary perspective, we will have a near miss by an asteroid or comet. Statistics being what they are and all, maybe the government will get serious about funding some basic research and early warning mechanism. We've learned about the importance of early warning systems for tsunamis in the oceans, right? While they're at it, I'm holding out hope that the government will take steps to fund more basic scientific research and also defend our wildlife, soil, air and water.
#3. Someone will actually get serious about the size and rate of growth of our federal debt. Seriously, if the United States were a person, what would your reaction be? Yep, pay the man $5 and let him squeegee the windshield.
#4. Rush Limbaugh will make his last radio broadcast and retire. Nope, it won't happen because the gulf between conservative and liberal mindsets has closed. It will happen because common decency and respect for others will finally become important enough social forces to get people to just turn the channels on radios to something less hateful. By the same token, Janeane Garofalo will stop (politically anyway) foaming at the mouth, hire a new agent and once again earn an honest living as an actress.
#5. I will complete my collection of Le Creuset cookware, master the souffle, and successfully (FINALLY) poach an egg in red wine.
#6. On December 21st, 2012, I will watch the sun set over the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, and won't be disappointed at all that the world didn't end. Sure, it would be very cool indeed to witness an alien first contact or something extraordinary like that but what are the odds? Well, I'll have a bag of popcorn and be ready for the light show just in case :-)
#7. Finally some football talk. Our beloved Oklahoma Sooners will win another National Championship. I want to hold out hope that one day our much beloved Denver Broncos won't stink anymore and will be good enough to win playoff games, but ... You know, that brings us back to the probabilities of having flying cars, a cure for the common cold, and world peace.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Yes, I've talked about OKC's best taco stand, Los Tacos, before. They're still the greatest! Today, my son and I had lunch at Los Tacos. Their combination burrito and chicken tacos RULE. What's better? Their taco sauce of course. Yummy for my tummy ... and then a nice long nap. Life is just that good.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The moon is trying very hard now to do something very rare - be full twice in the same month. This second full moon will happen on December 31st so we will have a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve! Sky watchers calculate that the next time this will happen is way off in 2028. What will the world, your world anyway, be like on New Year's Eve 2028?
I finished moving yesterday. While unpacking a box of books, I found an old bookmark given to me by someone very dear. It is a curved pointer made of brass with a red tassel and inscribed with one of George Sand's most memorable quotes: "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." Naturally, it was hiding inside a Jayne Ann Krentz novel. One of the reasons I like reading her novels is that she writes the best, most interesting prologues of just about anyone in the business. If you get the chance to read one of her novels, go ahead and give it a try. Read the prologue. You'll be glad you did.
Speaking of prologues, I have had the hardest time writing one for this novel I've been working on since September. I completed the first draft of this beast in three weeks writing out 387 pages in longhand in two different composition books. The second draft just about killed me. In order to be true to the story, I had to do some re-plotting. Wouldn't you know that one of secondary characters had stolen the story about the time I started the second of the 99 cent composition books. That character is a dying matriarch. She sustains and unifies her family, and tries to prepare them for the difficult times that will come once she's gone.
The larger story is a Southern Gothic flavored romance. Now that the third draft is finished, Flannery O'Connor's mischievous flock (faith, grace and redemption) perch on the branches of my story and sing till the sun goes down. Not too loudly, of course, just enough to get someone to go out and refill the metaphorical suet cake feeder out back.
This story needs one more pass through the draft to be right with the world. What it needs most of all is a prologue that hits the mark. Have you ever had something you've worked on that just doesn't feel right to you and you just have to keep working at getting it right?
That is this story. Another quote from George Sand seems to say something scary about "authorship"; that is, "The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession." Does anyone else get this feeling about their creative work?
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hopefully next year won't be so exciting. If you've followed this blog, you're up to date on most everything - until the last week! Whadda week ...
As much as it sounds like a lyric from Billy Joel's "Piano Man", my
dance instructor, Jacqui, joined the Navy and probably will be in it for life.
This year there were several new and innovative Christmas light displays. This one was around the Chesapeake corporate campus. Of course my camera couldn't do justice to it. It was really great ...
Then came the snow and more snow and then ... even more snow. Driving through the blizzard to get home was an experience. It took 3 hours and 2 minutes to make the 22 miles drive ...
The next day, there was loads of snow around the house ...
I've found some comfort in an old bit of genuine wisdom. "Cast your bread upon the waters and you shall find it" (Ecclesiastes 11-1).
This is going to be my approach toward this next year. I'm not sure what the new year will bring, but I know one thing for certain. I can think of ten things right off the top that are gone and don't look to be ever coming back.
Don't ask. Casting bread upon the water sounds whole lot more postiive than living a lyric from that old Jimmy Buffet song "Margaritaville". So THAT'S what I gonna do!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Am moving this weekend. Will be finished by Christmas. This year has been an interesting time. Ironic that wish that on someone is a Chinese curse. Life goes on.
Was thinking about what the happiest states were. Found THIS article on the net. Where do you live?
Here are the 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) in order of their well-being:
8. South Carolina
12. North Carolina
15. South Dakota
20. Oklahoma ... Me!
24. New Mexico
25. North Dakota
27. New Hampshire
34. West Virginia
37. District of Columbia
42. Rhode Island
49. New Jersey
51. New York
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
That's the story, Morning Glory. That old hard drive is going into a ziplock bag and then it will spend the next day in the freezer. Will try to recover files and data from it if it can be brought back to life. If not, well ... time for a new drive anyway.