Thursday, July 12, 2018

Short Stories for Summer Reading

Enjoy some light sci-fi and fantasy reading this summer.

Twenty-Nine Stories

Have Fun!

Haiku Four - honoring a former Iowa Governor

hot southern winds blow,
carry away dripping sweat;
see procession pass.

Governor's honor,
good man honored by public.
Rest in peace Bob Ray.

Example to all,
humanitarian life;
historic high mark.

Words few or many,
inadequate to express the admiration
for a human being who lived his beliefs,
walked the walk,
put his acts beyond where his mouth was.
Would that we could do half as good.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Haiku Three

smartphone informs me
TV programs delight me
bugs eat my garden

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Haiku Two

Twenty-five years ago, in 1993,
all 99 Iowa counties were declared
disaster areas, qualified for federal aid.
250,000 people were without drinking water.

Now, today, the Saylorville reservoir is full,
not quite to overflowing.
More rain is on the way this weekend.
Rain in northern Iowa that will flow our way.

We had a letup this week, with lots of sunshine.
The calm before the storm?
Another major disaster looms?
Anything can happen, and usually does.

Here is hoping this is not the case,
that the rains will be gentle, mild, light.
That more sunshine will drop the reservoir,
lower the rivers and streams back to normal.

Cross your fingers everyone.
And keep emergency supplies handy.

- - - - -     Haiku Too

more rain keeps coming,
reservoir filled to the top.
get ready, Des Moines.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Haiku one

rains fall down endless
water flows against gravity
plans and lives submerged

Friday, June 29, 2018

Blocking Financial BS

There have always been pursuits of a better economic system for transacting business.
The latest incarnation is, of course, the Blockchain, and digital currencies. The idea seems to be to remove the central banks from these transactions, and simply have people exchange digital chits back and forth. Trouble is, theories seem simple, until you put them into practice. Bitcoin has been reported on extensively. This currency seems safe, in that it is pegged to the total quantity of gold – 21 million ounces or somesuch. So its value is going to go up, theoretically. But somehow, the digital entity, decentralized as it is, got swept up in speculative frenzy last fall. The value of one bitcoin went ou to near 20,000.00 – and then collapsed. Now it stands at around $6,000.00 .
     This behavior seems remarkably like any other bubble or speculative froth. What was supposed to be a distinct entity, not at all like some penny stock, ended up behaving a lot like some penny stock, some pump and dump thingy. The blockchain technology itself is suspect now. It seems to require more and more computing power, as the ledger contains all of the transactions ever made regarding the digital currency. Some are saying that the processing power to “mine” bitcoin or process the ledger's transactions is equal to that of a small country. Others are saying that the blockchain model is good for pursuing other goals that require huge amounts of processing power.
     To me, the whole idea of crypto-currency seems to be a real slick way for one or a small group of people to print money on a colossal scale. The recent story in Wired about the Tezos currency is a good example. Time will tell, and I could be wrong. But for the average small investor, with only a few bucks to spare, my advice is this: Open a savings account, and toss some money in every month.       You will keep all of it, and you should even get some fractional interest money. No commissions, no transaction fees, and no bullshit. Just your money in the bank. Oh yes, and try not to touch it.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


The salamander can automatically regenerate a limb. The hydra, a microscopic water animal, contains a lot of stem cells and can continuously regenerate itself – it is being studied for longevity properties.
     There are intangible things that also endlessly regenerate. The bright optimism of the young.
Glowing promises of politicians and salespeople. Hope of oppressed humanity everywhere that somehow, things will get better tomorrow than they are today.
     Oh, and hatred. Hatred is a ten-headed monster that endlessly regenerates, no matter how much love, tolerance or tit-for-tat we hurl at “it.” Repressive politicians promise justice and retribution. White Supremacists wave swastika flags, and sprout like dandelions all over the landscape. Mass migrations and refugee exodus happens over and over, with a predictable reaction, over and over.
     Us versus them, my tiny infraction is nothing compared to your major crime, get your uniqueness off of my unique patch of earth. Hatred springs eternal. Fortunately, like cold to hot, so does love. The duality of nature seems to go on forever. It is beyond comprehension to know when it will all end.

- end

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer Reigns

The bees, flies and mosquitoes know it,
flowering shrubs and weeds show it.
Birds sing melodious tributes to it,
Soft sprinkling breezes add a caress to it.

The warm season is here, high summer!
Festivals add their own gaiety and color,
outdoor concerts send aloft musical notes.
Live theater, picnics, gatherings of happy folks.

Highways are crowded with eager travelers,
plans made, executed, changed over and over.
Movie theaters pack them in with a new mega-show,
Even political machinations 'take a back seat' when
confronted with peoples summer celebrations.

Us creatures of usual habits and social certainties
emerge from our burrows and throw lawn parties.

Enjoy the ephemeral Iowa summer beauty,
before comes too soon another winters cruelty.