Friday, July 27, 2007

Getting away from it all

One of my friends and I decided we'd had enough of the news, enough of mundane jobs, and enough of the crap of the "real" world, so we decided to get away from it all today and go to Mt. Evans.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mt.'s one of our bigger fourteeners here in Colorado, and it has the highest road in America. We didn't actually make it to the summit because it was pretty well clouded over, and the road up had scared the hell out of her. There are a few places where the road drops off right at the edge and falls several hundred feet. The road from Summit Lake to the actual summit is even worse, so we decided to forgo the final few miles, but I did get some good pictures...

Echo Lake

A cool tree stump

The road to the summit

Some lower lakes

A great shot of Summit Lake

A great cascade

Some flowers by the cascade

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not all terrorists are Muslims

If you listen to the Bush administration, it would seem that all terrorists in the world are Muslims, and this simply isn't the case. There are countless little groups throughout the world with their own religious or political agendas that are willing to use terrorism to get their point across. Terrorism is usually the only means of expression for an oppressed least that's the logic I used in Opium to justify the use of terrorism by the heroes of the story.

Today, one group, ETA, used the Tour de France to get their point across. ETA is a Basque movement in Spain that wants their own homeland in the Pyrenees. Since today's Tour stage ventured into Spain, they chose this as an opportunity to commit a terrorist act. They planted a couple of small bombs on hillsides on both sides of the Tour route. However, their goal was not to kill people, but rather to get some recognition, so they blew them up after the Tour caravan (a publicity parade) passed and before the riders actually arrived. No one was hurt, and it was obvious that ETA didn't want to hurt anyone. If this had happened in America, there probably would have been mass panic, and the stage probably would have been cancelled, but the Tour went on without being re-routed. There are so many Basque cycling fans that it would be counterproductive to ETA's goals to actually attack the race. The title of this entry links to a Yahoo article about the "attack."

Still, our "War on Terror" continues to be waged only against Islamic groups. When someone blows up an abortion clinic here in America, they aren't usually charged with terrorism, although that certainly sounds like terrorism to me. I don't care what your opinion of abortion is, killing other people is wrong. The Bush administration has also never addressed other terrorist groups throughout the world...sure, maybe they haven't attacked us, but if we're really going to stamp out terror, shouldn't we be going after it wherever it is?

The plain and simple truth is that terrorism will always be with us, no matter how many wars we "wage" on it. Terrorism can be an effective tool, and although I certainly don't agree with it, I can certainly see why some people might use it. And as far as our current war on terror, I still think it has more to do with religion than anything else...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tour de France Geekery

One of the top riders in the world was tossed out of the Tour today for blood doping. If it's true, then I say good riddance. Unfortunately, here in this country, the only way the Tour can get coverage is if there is a doping scandal. People seem to like to point their fingers at the sport and talk about how dirty it is, but at least cycling is doing something to clean itself up. What other sport would throw one of its top participants out because of doping? Certainly not football or baseball. This rider, Alexander Vinoukorov, if found guilty will face an automatic two year suspension, plus he won't be allowed to rider for a top team for another two years after that. In addition, he will be fined his entire 2007 salary. Given that the guy is 33, his career is over if he really did blood dope.

Now, back to the stupid American sports casters who keep saying that the sport, and especially the Tour have died. To them, I say watch this video...

The guy in the white jersey that keeps attacking is Alberto Contador of Spain. He's 24 years old, and he's beating up on one of the best climbers in the world, Michael Rasmussen. Not only is Contador young, but a few years ago he crashed heavily, causing a massive brain hemorhage that almost killed him. He now rides with a steel plate in his head, and he's amazing to watch.

I would like to ask those sports casters, if the Tour has died, why are there so many fans at the top of this mountain...and they sure as hell seem passionate about the sport. Attendance hasn't dropped off in the Tour, and some even estimate that it's now higher than it was during the days of Lance Armstrong...and that's because the race is a lot more exciting.

You also have to love the commentators on the can certainly tell who they're cheering for...even if you don't speak Spanish...

He can't really think we're this stupid, can he?

I just read an article that said our Imperious Leader George Dubya has stated that Al-qaeda in Iraq poses a direct threat to the United States, and that is a justification for why we're at war in Iraq. Is that not the most circutous and asinine argument any of us has ever heard?

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is only a threat because we invaded Iraq, and our presence there has led directly to the rise of insurgency and terrorists using Iraq. Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before we went least not in large numbers. In truth, there were probably fewer members there than there were in the US at that time.

If we're going to follow this guy's flawed logic, then there can only be one solution...we have to invade the United States! Follow me on this. The United States is directly responsible for giving rise to an increase in terrorism world wide. The United States has been the one to implement policies that foster terrorism both over seas and here in the Mother Land...sorry, Home, whatever the hell we're supposed to call this place. Therefore, the United States is a threat to the United States, and we have to protect oursleves against any and all terrorist threats worldwide...

Does anyone really think we're going to survive another 18 months with these morons destroying our country?

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I haven't been around much, so I thought I'd at least drop in with a brief update to let you all know that I am indeed still alive. Contrary to Keith's theories, I was not the gunman at the capital here in Denver who claimed to be the Emperor of the World. Although it is true that I sometimes think I should be the Emperor of the World, I never actually have delusions that I am...somehow I think I could do a better job than the current nitwits running various countries...including our own.

The gunman who wanted to "meet" with Governor Ritter actually did live just a couple of miles from me, and he bought the tuxedo he was wearing just a couple of blocks from my apartment. I would never harm Governor Ritter...he's an old friend of my dad' that wouldn't be good for familial relations. I think it is important to note that the guy thought he was on a mission from God...religion at work once again.

As for me, nothing much is really going on. I'm still working a lot, and I'm still having trouble adapting. Plus the pain in my ribs is only getting worse. So, I haven't done any writing in a while...although part of the reason why I'm not writing is because I can't find the time, and that's mostly my fault. I have a couple of friends who are going through a rough spot, and I'm the kind of person who tries to be there for people...but in all honesty, one of the main reasons I can't find time is because the Tour de France has been such a damn great race this year! It will be over in a week, and hopefully I won't come up with another excuse for writing, because that's really all it is. Or is it writer's block...not really sure. I just know that I can't seem to string words together right now to form stories...hell, I don't even blog as much as I'd like.

There's not much more to report. I'm just hoping the re-release of A Problem in Translation by Sam's Dot will sell some more copies.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush to have brain surgery

That's right folks, tomorrow our beloved president is having a colonoscopy. So, for roughly two and a half hours tomorrow, Cheney will be president. Is that enough time for him to nuke Iran like he always seems to want to do?

Really, why are these idiots still running this country?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Problem in Translation

Sam's Dot Publishing has announced the re-release of my illustrated short story chapbook A Problem in Translation.

Understanding aliens will be difficult, but what if those aliens use a language that involves more than the spoken world, and what if the other aliens you meet bow down to the difficult to understand aliens. Originally published in Alternate Realities, A Problem in Translation is now available as an illustrated storybook from Sam's Dot Publishing. With wonderful illustrations from Teri Santitoro and Janis Marshall.

This chapbook is one of the best selling fiction chapbooks Sam's Dot has ever released, and now it has much better cover art. This is also an early version of the first chapter of the book I recently finished...and that is now looking for a home.

If you enjoy alien contact stories, then I think you'll like this one, as I tried to do something a little different than what is traditional for SF.

Click on the title of this entry to order...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jon Stewart on Cheney

Every time I watch this video, I laugh my ass off, so I figured I had to share it with all of you. This is from The Daily Show talking about Cheney and how he tries to not belong to the executive or legislative branches, while claiming that he's actually in both.

I talked about this a while back, and I saw this when I came home from work last night, so I thought I'd share...

Dick Move

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Day off

After seven straight days, I have today and tomorrow off. I basically feel like someone took a baseball bat to my ribs, but I guess I'll survive. I suppose I shouldn't complain too much...there's a guy in the Tour de France who crashed yesterday, fracturing his coccyx. He finished the stage, and proceeded to ride today's 200km stage. I can't even imagine what it would be like to sit on a super hard racing saddle with a broken coccyx. The pain has to be unbelievable, and tomorrow they ride into the Alps, so I'm sure that's going to hurt even more.

I'll try to come up with some more interesting posts later...I just wanted to make sure you all knew I was still alive...

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Recently one of my best friends had to say goodbye to her boyfriend as he was sent off to Baghdad to fight in the stupid chimp's war. As a result, she has been a bit, shall we say emotional of late. So, she and I have spent a lot of time on the phone while she tries to learn to adjust to this. Why anyone should have to adjust to this is beyond me (since we shouldn't be there in the first place), but that's not the point of this entry.

You see, all of this talking to her has made the number one lady in my life quite jealous. So, while I'm on the phone, I've had to endure things like this...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy 100th

Today would have been Robert Heinlein's 100th birthday. Heinlein was a huge influence on me as a young writer, probably second only to Isaac Asimov. Even though some of his later works got a little strange, I still think he was one of the best ever. It's too bad he died "young." I would have liked to have seen what he might have come up with had he lived.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Opium Reviewed again

From Book of the Moment:

"The Opium of the People" is a realistic albeit horrifying example of what the world would be like if the government were overthrown, and authority were assumed by religious zealots. The book itself is an incredible story, yet left me feeling disgusted and mortified, similar to the way I felt after reading Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaids Tale." While the stories really don't have much in common, they evoked similar feelings from me.

"The Opium of the People" also reminded me of the "Left Behind" series...If you've never read any of those books, they are marketed (and rightly so) as Christian Literature, and detail the Apolcolypse, and the world of aftermath. This story reminded me of the series in that it detailed an equally unforgiving and cruel world, left in the hands of the faithfully religious who were carrying out the work of God. "The Opium of the People" though, is much less preachy, and focuses much less on the religion aspect than it does on the characters who are trying to survive.

The story alternates perspectives; from members of an underground revolutionist movement, to former literary scholars who have a hard time accepting this new way of life, to the actual religious leaders in charge. Through the alternating perspectives the reader is given the opportunity to understand the story from multiple angles, which leaves little hope of not getting drawn in.

It's a fairly quick read, not much over a hundred pages, but its a hundred intense pages that really will make you ponder the what ifs. My only complaint was the ending, which seemed abrupt and somewhat rushed; without giving it away, I wasn't satisfied with the resolution of two of the characters...though in the author's defense, he did the right thing...going into anymore detail really would have been wandering from the focus of the story.

If you're looking for something different to read or if you like politics vs. religion, snag yourself a copy of this'll enjoy it.

Now, click on the title, and order a copy...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Olbermann rips into Bush over the Scooter "pardon"

It's Tour Time!!!

That's right folks, the Tour de France starts this Saturday in London, and they're expecting between a quarter and a half million people for the first day alone. I know a lot of people have been down on cycling because of all of the doping problems they've been having, but I think the truth of the matter is that all sports have major drug problems, and cycling is just the one that's really going after the problem. Plus, cycling is a hard ass sport, and that's probably why so many of the riders have turned to drugs.

Granted, we still don't actually know who won last year's Tour, and as a result, the race has decided to not give out a number 1 this year. Normally the previous winner, or the top rider from the previous year wears the number 1, but this time they've decided to start the numbering with 11, which I think is fair.

If you're interested in watching a video that shows some of what I like about cycling, you can go to...YouTube, and watch some highlights from 2005.

Also, although I don't think anyone will take me up on this, if you're interested in challenging me in the Fantasy Tour (it's like fantasy football), you can go to Velogames and pick a team.

Sadly, this will probably be the final Tour for Bobby Julich, who I used to race against here in Colorado. He'll probably retire at the end of this year...and that makes me feel old...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fred Saberhagen

SF and fantasy author Fred Saberhagen has passed away. I met him at MileHiCon in 2004, and he was very gracious. He really seemed to love talking to his fans.

Yet another creative voice has been silenced...