Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Report from the Mobile Man Cave-

The Mobile Man Cave had a previous incarnation as a family vehicle for my sister and her family. When I met the MMC (Mobile Man Cave) it was sitting in their driveway. I asked about it, and not much later she had sold it to me. I do still owe her a bit, and will be delighted to complete payment when the house sells in a couple of weeks.

The home sale is another story. The MMC has been more of an office and personal retreat for me, since preparing for the move has left little time for road adventures. One is soon coming, however, when we hand over the keys to the house and hit the road. The MMC, my dog Bernard and I shall head once again North to Medford, Oregon, from whence the MMC had come.

The MMC had previously been a seven passenger vehicle. It has since become a RV suitable for one person, and currently can easily accommodate only the driver and two passengers. The rear bench seat is folded down into a bed. I have a twin sized mattress on that bed, which leaves a bit of room being used for storage. Mostly plastic crates holding clothes, books, food, and miscellaneous items.

The left passenger seat in the center of the van holds a plastic dresser sort of thing. This holds underwear, socks, and various items I often need to access. In front of that seat sits a toilet. This is one of those bed-side hospital toilets. On top of that is my water jug and a waste basket. Below them is a container serving as a urinal.

Below the back seat/bed are plastic containers holding a lot of other necessary items. In the far back is a basket of tools, a basket of clothing and miscellaneous items, extra propane cylinders in an air-tight container, and a folding camp chair. Accessible from the middle of the van is a bin of higene intems, a bin of useful hardware (including extra batteries), and a bin of cleaning supplies. Two buckets are also under that seat.

The other center seat is my office chair. I am sitting there now, writing on my netbook which rests on a folding table.

The drivers seat and front passenger seat remain pretty much as intended. Between them is a power storage system, and a bucket that contains my catalytic heater and currently holds up my fan. I am running on electrical power from the house right now, and the power line comes in through the passenger window and is split on a power strip.

My laundry bag sits on the front passenger seat, and my binoculars hang there should I need them. I also have a barbecue of sorts on the floor in front of the front passenger seat. On the drivers seat sit a bus tray filled with a number of items I have not yet put away.

My rear curtain and curtain between the driver's section and the living quarters are made from Army blankets. My privacy is protected by the built-in curtains in most windows.

Since I am using electrical power right now I have also added an electric lamp. This will certainly save on batteries. When not on "shore power" I use the LED lamps I have acquired. Both use very little power and the batteries last a long time. One is a Northwest Territories standing flashlight, the other a head light held onto my forehead by straps. They have proved to be quite adequate.

I have some plans for the future. Since this is intended as a camping vehicle and the base for many future road adventures I am considering removing the front passenger seat. In its place I would like to build more storage, and a platform on which a camera tripod can be mounted. A video camera could then be used to record travels in real-time.

This modification would also provide more leg-room when I am sitting in my office chair. Perhaps a little table could fold out to hold a computer near the driver's seat, to provide a navigation resource. Alternatively, navigation instruments and a back-up camera monitor could be mounted there.

This vehicle is still water-tight and mechanically sound. I look forward to seeing how long I can keep it on the road, and what adventures we might have together. I also have some other camping configurations in mind for other vehicles, should I have the opportunity to explore and experiment a bit along that line.

I am certainly having fun with this, and hope to get out and do some exploring in the near future. Until next time, then.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Deep Space Nine-

I love the Star Trek franchise. The original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine. Even Voyager, though it had some issues. I finished viewing the whole NG (Next Generation) a while back. Recently I finished DS9 (Deep Space Nine.) It is always a bit emotional, reaching the end of a series, much like the ending of The Lord of the Rings. In both the book and the film it ends with Sam Gamgee saying, "Well, I'm back."  The bittersweet feeling I get at that point is similar to what I felt at the end of TNG and DS9.

There is a richness and depth to these long tales. Perhaps a sufficient separation from reality as I know it allows me to connect. I don't particularly like cop stories, or social commentary, or complex people stories, which are too much like real life. Problems in real life compel a compassion I haven't the resources to meet. It is overwhelming. In realms of science fiction and fantasy I can address my feelings associated with these all-to-real problems without the immediate connection to real life compelling me to do something.

Why not do something? I am possessed by a spirit of vengeance. Not a demonic type possession. It is just a part of my nature. In another era I might have been a knight errant taking up the cause of the downtrodden, or something of the sort. Someone behaving like that today would simply be placed in prison, and rightly so. to go out as an agent of vengeance would accomplish little, and I have spent too much time in jail (wearing a badge.)

In events when someone is victimize here in the real world I do feel compassion for the victim. However, I am not the one drawn to their side, offering aid. Others are better equipped to do that. I feel compelled to seek out and find the villain, the victimizer. Seek them out, and visit justice upon them by my own hand. Oh, I don't do this, of course. There are systems in place to see to the exercise of justice. Sterile, impersonal systems, but they are probably better for that absence of passion.

So, I enjoy the richness of these tales, the spectacle of the images that support the illusion of life in space, and the openness of the unexplored frontier. I also have a fondness for old time cowboy movies that have the same sense of frontier adventure, but those are tales from a time now past. The placement of tales in the future  contributes an essential flavor of possibility. The dead past, even the fantasy cowboy past, is devoid of such possibility. It can only lead to now.

So, it is off to space, the final frontier. DS9 managed to use that great stage to present some very interesting tales, and develop some quite interesting characters. Some explored political associations and the complexity of those relationships. Others were character tales, or tales of growing relationships. A few were even exploration of the very idea of writing and producing tales of life on a space station far from Earth.

I have begun the Voyager series, to complete my viewing of the Star Trek franchise. Some hold DS9 to be the pinnacle of the Star Trek adventures. I must grant that there is a temptation to take such a position. However, I don't see the need to compare the original series to Next Generation to DS9 to Voyager. They are all available to enjoy for their own contributions.

It is truly a delight to live in an era where many things Star Trek have not only come into being, but are sometimes superior to the dreams of those writers who created tomorrow over the course of decades. Vacuous Valley Girls routinely use technologies superior to those impossible dreams presented in the original series, and even subsequent and more modern Star Trek iterations. The future comes fast, these days, and seems to belong to everyone.

How long until Star Trek in it's entirety is old and dated as a cowboy matinĂ©e feature? Who can tell? The future is coming so fast that I can barely see for the temporal wind in my eyes. We shall hopefully be surprised and delighted by how it all turns out.

Live long, and prosper. \\//

Monday, July 5, 2010

Regarding ebooks-

I just posted a blog on ebooks over on my short story blog. I didn't want to post twice, when I could do this little reference thing. I have different followers on the two blogs, and thought everyone might want to read my pro-ebook ramblings.

We hope to have the house sold in the coming weeks, and make the move to Medford, Oregon. Once settled I hope to get back to writing again. I have missed it, and amazingly some of you have, as well.