Thursday, April 28, 2016

random thoughts

Just when I'm cruising along and the day is fine, something crappy has to happen.  Literally.   someone has to excrete all over a toilet and the floor, and guess who gets to clean it up?  Yup.  Yuck.    Fortunately it didn't take too long to clean up, using all of the tools at my disposal.  And it gave me something to complain about today.    It's like that old saying about hitting your head against the wall.  "It feels so good when you stop..."

      Another thing that sticks in my craw is the false argument popping up lately about gender-specific restrooms and all.  The  "Oh you'll have adult male pedophiles going into girls restroooms to molest little girls."   As if it isn't enough that they could theoretically already go into the Mens restroom and molest little boys that may wander in.   What, little boys don't matter as much as little girls?  What a bunch of horseshit.   Just have more "family restrooms" so that people in transition can use them, and the problem is solved.  Besides, doctors will tell a transsexual candidate to dress and use the restroom, etc of the sex you are transitioning to for A YEAR before you even commit to surgery.  So it is for the most part a doctor-prescribed activity for a male or female in transition to get used to using the "other" restroom. 

   Truth will not be mocked.  

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Time Shared is Well Spent

Into each life purple rain may fall,
some exotic artist “blowing you away,”
Savor the novelty, gone too soon.
Friends meet at a club and discuss
another fallen hero or icon.

Surely
each of us
thinks to themselves
“Glad it is not me.”
We could add a
“Yet!”

We mark time and events
discussing with close ones;
Maybe forgetting those close
people are the most valuable
thing of all.

Plans fail,
businesses close,
people lose jobs,
people get sick,
everything happens.

All we seem to have is each other.
All we can seemingly do is
make the best of it.

     - end


Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Man

The unusual, offbeat, out-of-kilter
was made an institution by this singer.
Starting with a falsetto, he moved on and
into a more raw, gritty, emotive core sound.

His music touched and shaped memories,
both mine and many others, from the 1980s
up to the present day. Lately I had forgotten
him, as other concerns and details pressed in.

Suddenly he is gone, and his artistry is
brought into sharp focus once again.
The world is mourning his loss.
We are considered “famous once we are dead,”
and Prince just proves it once again.

When Doves Cry Purple Rain,
Nothing compares 2 you
Erotic City and all the rest,
works of audio art that will last
many lifetimes.

Another great one lost.

- end

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Iowa State Parks

Some states have mountains, and others have oceans. Iowa has neither, so we must make the best of it with what we do have. Fortunately there are still some attractive sites to spend recreational time during mild weather seasons. I have enjoyed visiting several of these places, and intend to see more as time goes on. This agricultural state, sometimes in partnership with local organizations, has done a pretty good job in creating some attractive spots for enjoyment of the outdoors.

Big Creek state park, just north of the Des Moines metro area, is easily accessible. There is a marina, bike trails, and many fishing spots around the lake. There are even shooting ranges nearby. For those who like to sail, kayak or canoe the lake provides plenty of opportunity. Saylorville Lake nearby provides even more room for power-boaters and pontoon boats. Both Saylorville and Big Creek have swimming beaches. And Saylorville has a full-service marina, where some keep their boats year-round. It isn't Florida, but for a landlocked Midwestern state, the marina does offer plenty of services for boating enthusiasts.

Lake Rathbun is another large reservoir in Appanoose county, near Centerville, with recreational opportunities. Here you will find the Honey Creek State Park, and a full-scale resort. Lodging, cabins, cottages, golf course, a water park and other amenities are offered. There are fishing and boating options galore there. Hunters are welcomed too, to seek out a variety of game. There are several small towns in the area that offer amenities like shopping and dining. These locales have re-invented themselves as tourist destinations, so a visitor gets to enjoy the result of all their hard work. Flower-decorated main streets and many quaint shops await the adventurous tourist.

A fascinating area to visit is the Loess Hills area in western Iowa. These tall mounds of silt were created over thousands of years, with a unique silt-soil being blown off of Nebraska and Iowa lands after the end of the last ice age, to accumulate into “Iowa's mountain range.” There are small roads that wind through this area, some small farms, and even a boy scout camp. One National Scenic By-way winds throughout the whole 200-mile range, from border to border in western Iowa. There are also state parks. Waubonsie state park is one, Preparation Canyon park is another. There are hotels and restaurants along the way. If you give yourself enough time, a lot of fun sightseeing and picture-taking is in store. (see http://visitloesshills.org/) From personal experience, this area is quite beautiful. Plants growing near the top of the hills ore more common to alpine climates. One can stand atop a hill and look far out over the Missouri river basin and into Nebraska. This area is a real treat for nature lovers, and it is only two hours from Des Moines.

For those who like to clamber around in caves, There is a state park for that. Maquoketa Caves area has a complex of caves to explore. From tiny little affairs, to the main “dance-hall” cave, there are deep underground places to prowl. Water drips from the ceiling and runs throughout, so one always has to watch their footing. There are also limestone bluffs and trails there. Other caves around Northeast Iowa are Crystal Lake Cave in Dubuque, and the Decorah Ice cave. Some of these places charge, but it is a unique experience to enjoy right here in our humble state.

Backbone state park is another destination park. With camping and lodging options, this seems a great place for the family to spend the weekend. Modern cabins with heating and air conditioning are offered. There is rock-climbing and rappelling, swimming and boating in the nearby lake, hiking along many trails, including up the 'Devil's Backbone” limestone formation. There is a lot of original construction done by the CCC during the 1930's depression. A rustic stone lodge can be rented for family reunions or other special occasions. This is the oldest state park in Iowa, opened in 1920. Well worth a visit with friends or family.
Effigy Mounds National Monument is not an official state park. Located just north of Marquette along the Mississippi, it is notable nonetheless. There are literally dozens and dozens of effigies, or mounds of earth raised in the form of birds, bears and other animals. These are sited across an area of northeastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois. The Effigy Mounds park contains 14 miles of hiking trails, but no paved automobile access. The Mounds themselves are carefully protected, by law since they represent an ancient burial ground for several native American tribes. They have a main building with examples of prehistoric tools and other artifacts, and hold summer demonstration programs. This area abuts the Mississippi river, and has gorgeous views of the river valley from high bluffs that also contain the mounds. There are other recreational spots nearby, including Yellow River state forest and Pikes Peak state park.

The Ledges state park, just off of HWY 17 north of Luther, is another venerable destination for relaxing hikes, or some play in the water. It consists of a large canyon area, with streams that run across a tiny roadway at several points. There are hiking trails along the canyon ledges, and on top of the hills. There is also a wonderful trail that penetrates deep into a wooded canyon area, surrounded on both sides by forest and hills. This park does not presently have lodging, but does have a primitive camping area, plus 40 electrical hookup sites, and shelters available for gatherings. It was used long ago by Native American tribes for recreation, and is still used for that purpose today by us.

Palisades-Kepler state park is a slightly smaller park. But no less charming. Located off Highway 30 near Mt Vernon, it has 26 campsites, and hiking trails. Boating is allowed on the Cedar river. A nice nature spot located not too far away from Cedar Rapids.

Wildcat Den state park is near the Mississippi, 10 miles east of Muscatine and 15 miles south of Davenport. There are a variety of hiking trails and shelters available. Cross-country skiing, interpretive areas and youth group areas are also available. Primitive camping is also available. The river is a mile away, and offers many additional amenities, including a fish cleaning station, fish hatchery and boat dock and ramp.
Personally I have visited all of these places at one time or another, except the last two, Palisades-Kepler and Wildcat Den. They have the advantage of being local, inexpensive, yet containing some nice surprises. I visited the Ledges in early November, on a nice day. There were many families with young children enjoying the shallow streams, and hiking around the cliff walls. Myself I took a long hike into the canyon area, and at one point, could not hear another soul. But a short hike back out, and there were many people about. It was a delightful visit, and all it cost me was about ½ tank of gas and my time to drive there from Des Moines.

Another time, a friend and I visited the Loess hills area, and Preparation Canyon S.P. That was a two-hour drive. We got to explore the area just north of 80/680, from Pisgah up to the park. There were pullovers to hike up a hill, and take photos. There was another area where we stopped to picnic, and then hike into one of the side dirt canyon areas. Everywhere the soil was the same, a soft, silty brown dirt. It was a unique, exotic experience. All for the price of some gas and time. After a day of hiking and exploring, we were back in Des Moines that evening. Not too bad for a humble agricultural state.

When I drove to the Effigy Mounds area, it was Sunday. I had started in late morning, and it took me until late afternoon to make the park. So I spent an hour there, hiking and taking photos, before driving back to Des Moines. I saw a hotel in downtown Marquette, and if I had planned it better would have gotten a room for the night. But I was amazed again at the variety of spots there are around here, and resolved to return. So many places I want to see, and never enough time to see them. It was a fun visit, even if it did only last an hour.

I also made a trip to Lake Okoboji and visited Arnolds Park. This was a brief experience as well, being approximately 200 miles from Des Moines. But Okoboji is a part of the Iowa Great Lakes region. Spirit lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa. West Lake Okoboji is spring fed, and 134 feet deep. This area has year-round recreation offerings, lodging, restaurants, boating, swimming, etc. This is of course well-known and one of the oldest recreation areas in the state. There is even a Winter Games that takes place here in late January. Something for everyone here. And like other areas, a place I hope to return to someday.

There are many other state recreation areas and forests to see. From the Volga River area up north, to the Stephens state forest in Lucas country, there are many other state recreation areas to explore. This spring will be time to get in the car and start again. So glad that there is still so much to see in our small spot in the middle of the US mainland. Happy Park'ing everyone.

 - end
 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Choose Carefully

When in a gigantic storm of emotion,
we are often faced with a choice.
It may be split-second, or drawn out.
It is a choice to take a path,
a “fork in the road”

These times are a time to pause,
take a deep breath and
beware the evil path.
“I don't care about morals,” you say?

Evil can take many forms,
including wrecking your entire life
just because of one rash moment.
Driving after too much drink,
running from the cops instead of stopping,
joining a gang or cartel.

Taking that first hit, drink or snort...
Instead of walking away, you
commit yourself to endless frustration,
chasing that first high forever after,
spending all of your wealth,
and in some cases your whole family's too.

Making a jail cell your new home
for months or years, or a lifetime.
(Because you will get caught – everyone does.)
Evil in the sense that it has wrecked any hopes
you may have had at a happy, productive life.

Instead of an accomplished musician, painter,
lawyer, banker, actor, singer, or whatever,
now you are a number and a problem to society.
Instead of a celebrity to society, your are its
worst problem, one it just wants to go away.

No longer welcome, you are persona non grata.
No longer a youth with potential, now you are
the scum of the earth!

So the next time you are confronted by evil,
choose wisely, my young person.
The wrong road leads to endless evil,
for you most of all.

Thanks for reading.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Get em while they're hot!

Shadow Intersection – Poetry www.amazon.com/dp/B00AWZNGYA

Future Property – Sci-fi short stories www.amazon.com/dp/B008HHEWVQ

A Strange Enterprise – Short Stories and Alternate History - www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXP9D7Q



Epic Prime Collection – www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8107K0

Experimental Tales – www.amazon.com/dp/B01AWJSRBC

The Osmotics – www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDW1OFM

New Venture – First Contact in the Kuiper Belt – www.amazon.com/dp/B00U9URST2


 - thanks for taking a look and/or buying  :-)  


Friday, April 15, 2016

Special time



“I stop the world and melt with you”
- line from a 1980's tune.

I stop the world and check my phone,
ignore the world and read your text.

You selfie me and I text you,
we meld our lives in ether joy.

Net works weak links,
we forge strong loves.

Your sim taps my sim,
we synch real cool.

Be happy you get me,
B8ZS will not stop love.

Code me a line,
your text makes me fine.

Data trips my inner joy
when you send it coy.

Dance underneath your SE
I'll groove with my model 6.
We'll touch our flesh tonight,
genitals make everything right.

Music of our bodies link
makes images of phones sink
from mental screens overloaded
with orgasmic color-tones.



For How To

For how to read that latest automatic device?
Every post and graphic takes a toll.
My eyes are wearied by all the random vice,
memories replaced by by the gossip scroll.

Why do I want to lose passages
from “Lord of the Rings” just to
remember the latest Cracked gossip?

Which is more important, the
Shakespeare sonnets, or
the latest Boy Band faux-pas?

Do I disappear that old Bradbury tale
just to make room for Trump's Tweets
lambasting every other candidate running?

The stories that I've read by Michener,
Asimov, Brin and Pournelle are fading.
Eyes that scanned Bear's galactic vistas,
now struggle to focus on terrestrial things.

No reason to weary these flesh-lenses further,
or strain memory corridors with the latest
social-media video follies and fluff.

It is time to conserve ocular resources ,
stick to watching television and maybe
reading parts of an old novel here and there.

But for that, one has to power up and log in,
troubleshoot the Kindle and the Smart TV.
These things don't log in and run themselves!

God-danged technological society.
What can you do? LOLZ.

  • end