Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Honors

They fought the good fight,
suffered privations, injuries,
Some made the highest sacrifice.
So we could enjoy a peaceful life
in civilized, well-fed comfort.

This is the day we give our thanks,
honor their sacrifices and memory.
Our salute to their bravery in battle,
their unceasing dedication in peacetime.
Thank You to our veterans, here and gone.

Thanks and Honors to all those
departed loved ones.
We shall never forget you,
on this day or any other.

- end

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Iowa Greenery Today

Was taking a drive today, and had to snap some late may scenes of Iowa greenery, etc.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Did Not See It Coming

No majestic spaceships landed,
no grand announcement over the airwaves.
Our TV signal didn't even change;
The Internet seemed its usual kind of crazy.

Only breezes wafted over us,
spring fragrances pungent,
perhaps a bit too much so,
then again, that is also normal.

But tiny atoms and molecules
spun and re-oriented as per instruction;
Hardly any of us felt a thing.
And when our bodies began to bud
and sprout new appendages,
it didn't really seem that unusual.

There are always those few resistant:
some got oozing, painful sores and howled.
Postings and stories began to circulate.
But the recalcitrant soon began to drop.
Automatic culling was highly effective.

When we all gained wings, tentacles and
350% more brainpower,
it somehow made sense.
This was the next step in evolution,
and the world was looking just fine.

What did it matter if it was not our idea?

- end

Cannot ride a bike in the wintertime

So nice to see the plans form
for splendid new skyscrapers downtown.
Gleaming exteriors of glass and steel,
they offer central city living at its finest.

Yet driving to downtown gets more
interesting day by day.
Fleur drive is flower-bejeweled yet bumpy,
a jolting, jostling ride to the inner core.
University is little better,
East 30th gets patched regularly,
yet falls apart rapidly again.
The litany of bad streets could go on...

We should get these ambitious developers
to build new city streets.
Instead of bumpy asphalt lanes,
perhaps a smooth concrete road?

Instead of some pathetic excuse for a bypass,
one lane each way, and one sidewalk, with lots
of cheap little lightpoles – a parody of a new road;
we might get a four-lane divided road with two sidewalks.
Maybe they could charge tolls on them.
That would be worthy of the moniker “bypass.”

Or maybe someone could allocate a bit more money
to infrastructure, and a bit less to flowerpots
and corporate giveaways for low-paying jobs.

Perhaps it is time to learn Spanish, since
we are looking more like
Mexico around here every day.

  • end

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Solar Energy Dreaming today

I look out over the Iowa landscape, and see all of these immense wind turbines. Sometimes they are even turning, producing 'free' energy. I've never seen one that isn't painted white. But a thought occurred to me. They do have available flexible, thin-film solar cells. Since we are already using the vertical 'real estate' with these, why not coat at least part of each one with the flexible solar cells. This could provide a complement to the wind power, or even a replacement when the wind stops or slows. It would increase the power produced by each turbine assembly, and possibly greatly reduce the need for backup generators. 

I would recommend coating the lower sections of them, for ease of maintenance access and so forth.

See links:

Certainly something to consider – as long as they are spending huge amounts of money on these turbines, spend a bit more to coat them with solar cells. Thanks for indulging this thought experiment.

Shine on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Channelling Carl and Neil

Poltergeists on a galactic scale,
these denizens seem so alive;
made up of mere matter,
they maneuver titanic energies.

The binary stars that circle and dance,
the pulsars that emit regular energy bursts;
enormous clouds of gas and dust birthing stars.
All anchored by massive black holes,
that set the universe on permanent spin-cycle.

They speak to us in many wavelengths,
colors and radio and ultraviolet shimmers.
In turn, we draw charts, graphs and pictures,
trying to get a sense of what stellar stuff
coalesced to make our very selves.

It took numerous brave people to challenge
early religious dogma to discover what the
universe is really all about. Yet we are not finished.
Discoveries are still being made, new hypotheses formed.
Just as Galileo would be amazed to see our progress to date,
we will (most likely) be amazed at what will come.

In the meantime, our universe whirls and gyrates,
sings in color and radio and gravitational pulses.
Lucky us observers who get to enjoy the show,
no matter how little or much we comprehend
the underlying meaning that laces throughout.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Circling a Common Topic

My zombie friends and I
decided to check out some crop circles nearby.
We set our phones to monitor bots,
and asked Cortana to find us lots.
Siri objected and Google remained mum,
But we were on our way to have some fun.

Donald Trump or Prince could not have foretold
a better way for us to adventure and act bold.
If Hillary and Bernie held an arm-wrestling match,
We might not have gone to hike in weedy thatch.
Let some regal Queen Elizabeth edict all she wants,
We were out to find the real extraterrestrial haunts.

Only the zombies walked this way, that and the other,
I took one look and exclaimed, “Oh, bother!”
These un-dead friends of mine were making new designs;
Just in case, I snapped some pics to later post online.
Just then strange lights in the sky did appear,
geometric-shaped craft came into the clear;
A beam of light lifted each of us onboard star-liners;
I was the only one to think of Jay Leno one-liners.

“Have ya ever wondered how it would be inside a UFO?”
“All that Elvis music would drive you batty!”

After much scanning, probing and other indignities,
I was returned to the Earth, with a case of the sillies...

They put much scolding in my mind and memory,
We are fouling Earth, and destroying human family.

How dare that we should create Hollywood,
loose zombie hordes on the galactic neighborhood!

Nothing to be done, I simply carry on my life,
speak my mind and avoid unnecessary strife.
Tell no one I've seen the far side of Pluto,
briefly glimpsed out some crystal window.
And should some jerky dead-thing come up to me,
I'll shoot, burn or destroy it – and finally be free.
(No more Zombie Burgers right before bedtime and dreams!)

- end

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thoughts on recent Crop Circle docu-drama

The designs appeared at differing times,
spiraling circles, dots and lines.
Could it have been extraterrestrials?
Or bored kids with boards and rope.
Few knew for sure.

But two brave men carried things further;
Copying the crop designs on paper,
and designing a “machine” out of them.
Would it jump time? Fly into space?
Perhaps create a whole new form of energy?

They decided to build “it” and find out.
After five years, visits to a milling center,
and hiring help at times, they found out.
Minute quantities of electricity came out
of a spark plug mounted in water,
attached to an underlying “apparatus.”

Oh the fancy, intricate rings and components
they cut and ground, fantastical hardware.
Seemed right out of a Sci-Fi epic.
But the things relied, in the end, on
boring, pedestrian, run-of-the-mill
laws of physics that are immutable.


With seven more months and millions
of dollars, it might have been scaled up.
But they ended it. Too bad.
We might have had a real, working UFO.
But I doubt it.

never stop tinkering.

Because in the end, you never know.
Edison found 10,000 ways not to
build a light bulb, and the wright brothers
built a flying machine that contemporary
scientists claimed was absolutely impossible.

- end