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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Bad News

 Well, the MRI said I had cancer. The biopsy said I had cancer in all 13 spots taken. I'm now going to have a PET scan, then to an oncologist for radiation, hormone treatment and chemo.

My father had prostate cancer and they did surgery. Today they have better treatments and that won't be necessary.

On a good note, I got my tax W-whatever and I earned $23.12 last year. Almost all of it from the UK for:

So far sold one of them to the UK this month.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Vintage Science Fiction Month

 Berthold Gambrel reminded me that this is Vintage Science-Fiction month. He chose Childhoods End by Arthur C. Clark. 

I thought about it and came up with Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy.

They were originally written as a series of short stories in science fiction magazines from 1940-52.

What Asimov created in these stories was what he called Psychohistory. The combination of psychology, mathematics and history to predict the future.

It is from these stories I truly understood the purpose of history. It's not just stories about people who died centuries or millennia earlier. History is our Chrystal ball to understand the future. Think of your credit history, life insurance actuarial tables and driving history. How empires rise and fall, political systems change from monarchy to dictatorships to democracy to republics. You can predict the cycles. It's not that history is forgotten it's that each generation thinks they are coming up with something new and better than what their parents and grandparents had. Hegel's Dialectic.

In Foundation Hari Seldon predicts the collapse of the Galactic Empire resulting in a dark age that will last 30,000 years. Then a second empire will emerge. The first four short stories were compiled and put in book form in 1951. 

Foundation and Empire was released in 1952 and Second Foundation came out in 1953. Later Asimov would write prequels and sequels to the series.

Selden proposes a plan that will shorten the dark age from 30 thousand to just one thousand.

A foundation is created, and plans are put in place to follow the teaching of Seldon.

The first foundation is set up on a small solar system far from the center of the Galactic Empire. This solar system would then start reconquering what was lost. 

 Seldon predicts certain phases of the collapse and how to mitigate the damage. He makes videos that at certain times of crises he tells his followers how to handle the crisis.

 In Foundation and Empire, all is going as planned until something strange happens. A man conquers the galaxy by psychic powers that makes everyone like him.  

When the foundation meets to see Seldon's prediction his video mentions a possible civil war. The man referred to as "The Mule," is an aberration. There is no further planned future for them from Seldon anymore.

When the Mule dies things go crazy, but the First Foundation clings to the hope that Seldon prophesied there was a second foundation on the other side of the galaxy.

The third book is about the search for this mysterious second foundation and it has an ironic ending.

The whole trilogy is a retelling of the fall of Rome, and the dark ages that followed. The foundation solar system is good old England. I liked the Mule as he inserts Charlemagne into the story. 

While the Galactic Empire is slowly falling apart it encounters the first foundation and the general in command of the forces of the Empire can't understand how this pimple of a solar system keeps beating his forces. He's referring to the Byzantine Empire and Belisarius, but when I was reading it and then gave it to my father, we both likened it to Vietnam.

It's still a great read.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

WC010924: Celebrity I'd like to meet.

Today's challenge is the celebrity I'd like to meet.

Hands down Linda Ronstadt.

Halloween 1979, first year of marriage and didn't have two nickels to rub together. 

Linda came to town for a concert, and I was ready to sell blood or rob a bank to buy a ticket. Wife had more sense and kept me in check.

Newspaper had pictures of her performance and she came out in a skeleton suit singing Heat Wave

Sweet Linda, I have her rock albums and CD's, her Trio albums with Dolly Parton and Emily Lou Harris, and her big band CD's. On Spotify I can listen to her to my heart's content. Read her book Simple Dreams.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

WC010324: Hobbies I used to enjoy.


Starting the new year off for the Wednesday Challenge. Hobbies I used to enjoy.

1. Model airplanes and cars. It was fun gluing the pieces together and painting them. The last one I did, was in high school, 1971. AFJROTC we all brought an airplane, and they were hung from the drop ceiling of the room. I did the Concorde SST. 

2. Collecting and reading comic books. Mom would give my brother and me two quarters and we would go to the Rexall drug store a few blocks away and that would buy us 4 comic books. Good for a couple of weeks until the new ones came out. We had original Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Hulk, Spider Man, Silver Surfer and others. Our closet was crammed full of them. We were millionaires until Mom threw them all away.

3. Paint by numbers. Something Mom got us to keep us busy during the cold months. 

4. Writing poetry. I was rather moody growing up and I would write poetry. I never showed them to anyone as they were more my way of journaling my feelings. The last serious poem I wrote was going through my first wife's near fatal illness and then divorce. I've been sneaking that poem into a science fiction story for the last thirty years. It's still a work in progress, but it's getting there. This is the poem; the story is about a planet invaded by space travelers and in a hundred years totally destroyed. This was one of my ways of dealing with a deep depression.

BTW I am looking for some beta readers on this story in any are interested.


I shiver huddled in a lonely cave.

I shout, I rant, I rave.

The game of life has been played.

Though I don’t know how I strayed.

The ache within my chest

Will give me no peaceful rest.

Oh Buzi

 Oh Buzi



 I hurt.

I am Niqmiepu of the tiller Grails.

We tilled the soil with the ivory in our tails.

We sowed the ground in a single pass.

Now all around me is not a single blade of grass.

Hunters from the sky came to kill,

and we didn’t know why.

They traded with the Prails.

And allied with the Drails.

They slaughtered us, Grails.


It was the ivory they sought,

Too late we vainly fought.

With all the farmers killed

None of the land was tilled.

As fallow our soil does lie.

The Prails and Drails now die.

 Finally, there was only Ishme.

and me.

We hurriedly fled.

Our feet sorely bled.

We rested by a tree.

There was no one we could see.

Ishme, my wife was hurt.

And her face was covered in dirt.

We holed up in this cave.

Where for water we began to crave.

She grew thin as a rail.

And as white as her tail.

While in a fever I perspired

Ishme’s breath gradually expired.

Panting on her side she did lie.

Slowly I watched her die.


I buried her with dust and tears.

She was the last of my peers.

 Come sweet death.

Take my lonely breath.

My race is lost.

At tremendous cost

My tail I kept.

My eyes have wept.

For those who died

And for those who tried

To save my race

Now there is no place.

For us to live

And no love for me to give.

Come sweet death.

Take my lonely breath.