Great tribute image by NASA, ISS science officer Samantha Cristoforetti, and Star Trek designer Michael Okuda. I’ll let slide the Next Generation communicator pin and it’s too-high placement on the tunic, and just enjoy the Enterprise NCC-1701 no bloody A, B, C, OR D! floating outside the window. I would say the shirt is the wrong shade of blue, but with the recent flap about the color of clothing flying around the Internet these days, I’ll just let it pass.
March 3, 2015
February 14, 2015
It’s a long movie. I mean, really long. At 2 hours and 49 minutes, it requires you devote a lot of time and attention to a story line that does not move quickly. The unfortunate thing with that is there are enough plot holes that are large enough to fly a spaceship through, and the science is murky, at best. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
A quick synopsis: Continuing crop failures on Earth predict the collapse of human civilization. Our only hope? A secret plan from a NASA in hiding. Send exploratory missions through a recently discovered, and not natural, wormhole, to another galaxy to find planets capable of supporting human life. (they might have reasonably called the movie “Intergalactic”, since the new worlds are in some unspecified galaxy, far far away. I suppose it didn’t test as well as “Interstellar”. Pity.)
The hero of the story is a former NASA engineer-turned-farmer who, after a convoluted story that leads him to the secret NASA facility, must go and find out what happened to the exploratory missions.
Worm holes, black holes, snarky robots, time dilation, relativistic issues, and love all work their way through the story, mostly killing people. But in the end, our intrepid hero saves the day, saves humanity, and then steals a spaceship to join the woman he didn’t realize he loved on a desolate planet in another galaxy.
If you can ignore the glaring science fails, like a space station in Saturn’s orbit that is way too small for a 1g environment as shown, and too far away from the Earth to be as big as it is, and the seemingly random use of relativistic time issues while ignoring them elsewhere, to list just two, and focus instead on the story, then you’ll enjoy “Interstellar”.
Unless you’re really a sci-fi geek, however, I’d recommend waiting until it’s on DVD, Blu-Ray, or a streaming service to watch it. That way you can take a break or two, and not feel like you’re a prisoner of doomsday.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine.
Three and a half stars (or galaxies?).
February 7, 2015
So, after about 40 years of waterbeds, I took the ‘plunge’, so to speak, and bought an actual mattress. Even with the occasional stays in hotels, I wasn’t quite sure whether this idea would float or not. I had really been spoiled by my waterbeds, and wondered if I would find a regular mattress comfortable enough to stick with.
I first acquired a water bed back in the mid 70’s, while I was in high school. My first was a California King, with plush white ‘leather’ padding on the headboard, footboard, and side rails. One of our cats at some point decided to ventilate the headboard by sharpening her claws on it, but fortunately never tried that with the mattress. I had that bed for 15 years or so. I bought the bed you see here next, another California King, and have had it ever since.
Now, I’ve loved my waterbeds through all these years. Soft, warm, and comfortable as anything I’ve ever slept in, it was a huge decision to give it up. The time had finally come, however.
I had been thinking about getting a regular mattress for some time, as I had been noticing a tendency to some lower back pain if I stayed in bed too long. As I really love lazing around in bed before getting up to start my day, this was proving to be a problem.
There are some other considerations that factored into the decision as well, but lets just say that waterbeds can sometimes be a challenge in romantic relationships and leave it at that. It seems it was time to make the change.
I did some online searches and found a Sealy California King on sale at Sears, for $1,000 off the ‘suggested’ retail price. A quick online form was filled out, my credit card took a hit, and a delivery was scheduled.
I’ve had the bed for just over a month now, and I think I’m pretty satisfied with it. The biggest problem I experienced with regular beds during hotel stays was keeping warm, but that hasn’t yet proved to be an issue with this bed. While I do miss the gentle rocking of the waterbed, the firmness of the mattress is more comfortable than I expected. Hotel stays, with only one or two exceptions, had seemed like sleeping on boards, or on the floor. I’ve not felt like that with this change.
New sheets added to the adventure, and I’m becoming more and more acclimated to my new sleeping arrangements. I still find myself sitting on the edge of the bed, sometimes, and unconsciously trying to adapt to the expected wave motion that is no longer there. Also, rolling over in bed is a new experience, and has taken a bit of adjustment to get used to.
So now waterbeds are a thing of my past, and will probably remain so. I’ve kept the mattress, liner, and heater, though, just in case. You never know when I’ll wax nostalgic, and decide it’s time to get all retro and hipster, and fill that puppy back up. Groovy, man.
January 30, 2015
So that was an odd, out-of-the-blue comment on my Twitter feed recently. It was in response to posts I’d made back in November regarding the LGBT contingent in Porterville’s Veteran’s Day Parade. JewishBoy must have been trolling old commentary looking for ways to spread the good word.
Here’s how the entire conversation went:
December 8, 2014
November 11, 2014
I was thinking, earlier, about writing an entry for my Alternating Currents blog, about Veterans Day. At first, I was contemplating a short piece about the veteran closest to me, my father, Jim Reeves (Sr.). As I thought about what I might write, and how I might talk about his time in the United States Air Force, it became increasingly difficult to find the “hook” I needed. Dad was in the Air Force for eight years, serving at bases in El Paso, Texas; Atwater, California; Tacoma, Washington; and South Korea. Serving after the Korean “police action”, but before the Vietnam war, the only “action” he saw was paperwork moving across his desk as he worked administrative duties in the Strategic Air Command’s efforts to counter the threat of the Soviet Union. How then to comment on his years of service without diminishing or inflating his contributions, or those of other veterans who sacrificed so much more than he did?
As I stared at this picture of my father, barely 19 years old, I started thinking how little I actually know about him. An ever present part of my life until his death in 2006, I find it remarkable how poorly I know him as a person.