gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Death)
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The coming water crisis. We are in a world where clean, potable, water may soon run low. The Colorado River used to run all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, now so much is diverted it ends in a muddy swamp in Arizona. Droughts are becoming a way of life and aquifers are shrinking. Without clean water, expect not only mass deaths but epidemics like cholera to spread.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - CAR -15)
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Die Hard
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - ATT Park)
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I honestly don't have a list this year. Things are so tight for everyone that we've been formally absolved of our obligation to buy things for the nieces, and I'm feeling bad enough about that.

If I were to ask for one thing it would be two left-field bleacher tickets to the June 2nd game between the Giants and the Chicago Cubs. It's their Turn Back the Century game, with both teams dressed in the 1912 uniforms.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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- Vice-President George H.W. Bush (During a visit to Schofield Barracks, HI.)
- Robin Williams (I blogged it)
- Phil Lesh (While trying to find an address in Atherton. Got to show him The World's Worst Grateful Dead Tattoo. He loved it.)
- John Entwistle (While on a flight home while in the Army.)
- Randy Cross (49ers Offensive Lineman, he used to bring his cars to the car wash I worked at in Los Gatos. He let me wear his Super Bowl XVI ring one time.)

There have been others, for example I've met a ton of famous authors just from being a SF fan and going to conventions. I'm also ignoring brief encounters like asking Paul Krugman to autograph A Theory of Interstellar Trade at the Montreal Worldcon.

One really funny one. I met General John A. Wickham, Jr., Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. This was the man who commanded the entire US Army. Next step in the Chain of Command was the President. I met him on my first full day as a soldier, fifteen minutes after haircuts and uniform issue. I knew enough to try to stand at attention, at least.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Space - Solar flares)
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A HST image of the Eta Carinae and the Homunculus Nebula
gridlore: A Roman 20 sided die, made from green stone (Gaming - Roman d20)
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Pay off everything. Cars, credit cards, debts. Use the remainder to set up a financial plan that would allow me to stay with Kaiser past the end of my COBRA coverage (I like all my doctors, damnit!)

OK, two fun things: Get all the Pathfinder books I need and some really cool dice. Seriously, dice made from Wooly Mammoth ivory? Want! The second thing is paying for the trip to the 2014 Worldcon in London with a couple of extra weeks to see Europe's high points.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Army - Infantry)
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I miss the apocalyptic thunderstorms we used to get at Fort Benning. Growing up in a place that barely had seasons, let along weather, left me totally naive about what a storm really was.

Picture the scene. A hot August day. Well over 100°F/37.7°C. 80%+ humidity. You're out in full early-eighties infantry kit: steel pot, BDUs, LBE, M-16A1 and ammo for the M-60. The air is so thick and still you swear that if you stay in the same place you can use up all the oxygen around you. The air is a solid thing. Humidity and sweat have plastered your clothing to you and you can see that the camo face paint is running off your platoon mates' faces.

Then the word comes: storm moving in. The order is given to take off and stack all metal equipment. Everyone lies down in the open, well away from the treeline. Then a line of ink-black clouds appears, boiling across the Chattahoochee River valley. The temperature drops 15 degrees in 15 seconds, and the air suddenly become crystal clear. The world goes dark as the clouds blot out the sun, and the temperature falls even farther, leaving you shivering. Then the rain comes down in sheets, drenching you and turning the ground to red muck. Above you lightning arcs from cloud to cloud, or streaks towards the ground. Deeper in the storm, lightning merely lights the clouds, giving you momentary glimpses of what most surely has to be a war between the storm gods. Thunder rolls and crashes until you can't tell when one peal ends and another begins. This goes on for twenty minutes or so, then the storm front passes and light returns.

Yeah, I really miss that.

What I don't miss is snow. I despise the White Slushy Menace in all its forms.
gridlore: A pile of a dozen hardback books (Books)
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1. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder. Through this book I came to look at history not as a series of events, but the people and actions that led to those events. World War II started when Adolf Hitler couldn't get into art school in Vienna. I often look around at crowds in a mall or at traffic at a stop light and think "and what paths brought all of you to be here, now?"

2. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. Half ripping yarn and half treatise on the ethics and philosophy of the military. Reading World War II histories made me want to be a soldier. Reading Starship Troopers made me understand why I should be one.

3. Traveller, Book 1: Characters and Combat, Book 2: Starships, Book 3: Worlds and Adventures by Marc Miller, et al. To say these books influenced and changed my life would be a gross understatement. :)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Believe in Shadows)
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George Lucas walks into his office only to find Darth Vader waiting there. As Vader Force-chokes Lucas to death, he says "I find your incessant meddling.. disturbing." *thud*

Luke walks in, and glances at the corpse. "I don't know why you're complaining; at least you got laid. You got laid, Han got laid... for all I know, Chewie was getting busy with the Ewoks. Me, I get my hand chopped off and become a Zen monk."

As Vader strides from the office he mutters "Holy crap, was I ever this whiny?" From the office Luke shouts "Based on Episodes II & III, hell yes!"

Vader spins around. "This!" he thunders pointing a shaking finger at Luke, "This is why Jedi are forbidden to have kids!"
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Death)
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"You have Hodgkins Disease. It will probably become detectable in your early twenties."

Screw the rest of the time line; if I can avoid the horror of the past 16 years, I'll take it.

EDIT Almost forgot! "Tell Dad that he is not, under any circumstances whatsoever, to get rid of our 45 yard line, right under the press box, season tickets for the 49ers. He cannot do it."

I was 10 in 1976. He dropped our awesome seats in 1979. The 49ers won the Superbowl in the 1981-82 season.
gridlore: A pile of a dozen hardback books (Books)
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I've got three. Can you name them?

"He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead..."

"Once there was a dead man."

"On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre Dame de la Garde signaled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, from Symrna, Trieste, and Naples."
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
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The Waltz. Never mind that it dovetails nicely with my love of Victorian military uniforms, but when introduced it inspired outraged sermons from ministers across Europe. Which only made it more popular.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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Metropolis.

Not just no, but Hell No.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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"If you draw a good hand in poker, bet conservatively until the last round. Then ramp it up to a level that will make most people fold."

"Any bar that can't make a decent whiskey sour isn't worth staying in."

Amusingly, both of these were given to me when I was about 13, and both came on a cruise.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Gaming  - Ars Magica)
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The Czech Republic. Because I'm a medieval history geek and this was the crossroads for everyone.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Music - Mindcrime)
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Imitation Grace Jones
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - ATT Park)
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The visitor's clubhouse at AT&T Park. Do my bit to make life hell for any team coming in to face the Giants.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Drama)
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The Atelier Versace gown, but I haven't worn that since the 2009 Hugo Awards.

In purple I'm stunning.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - No Crying!)
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Baseball
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
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I had it. I drove a truck. I had a corner office with an ever-changing view. My boss had a volume control and an off-switch. If wanted to listen to Thrash Metal, no one complained. So long as my deliveries and vendor pick-ups were all made, no one cared how I did my job. I cam in most days exhausted, bruiseed, and with a grin on my face.

It's in the past now due to my health. Trying to do that job again would literally kill me. But I'd die happy.

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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