Monday, June 19, 2017

Vacation or Education

My bored hands free for a time,
now make drumming sounds,
now handle lumber and hammer nails.
Now they grip a steering wheel for
hours at a time, getting me places.
Now they snap photos of unfamiliar places,
now they drop coins in rest stop vending ops.

Many activities not normally undertaken are now,
stimulating the mind and those worn fingers too.
Pleasure takes many forms and has many names,
but variety and novelty are two I give her today.
How much work can a body do to enjoy time off?
Quite a bit, I'm finding, and it leaves me refreshed.

Camping out gives the hands a good workout,
and the body a pleasant change of scenery.
Plucking flowers or hauling supplies,
propelling oneself through water or casting a line,
skipping a rock or baiting a hook.
Operations so much better than wielding a
snow shovel in bitter January.

Enjoy your summer and vacation time,
May you find new thrills and feel just fine.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thoughts on passing the 60 mile marker

     I am mobile in terms of walking around and doing my job – a labor job, cleaning a large office complex. But walking on the sidewalk, a younger man just flies by me without breaking a sweat. If I try and speed up, I get out of breath, and limp due to a hurting hip – and he keeps right on getting further ahead of me. I have to face it, I'm slowing down relative to a young, strapping man in his prime. But I still encounter slower people who are older than me, or infirm, and I can easily pass them by.

My sex life is not nearly as active these days – but then again, neither is my libido. Although still well capable of an orgasm, they are not nearly as frequent as when I was in my twenties or teens – obviously.

My appetite is not quite what it was. And it seems a bit easier to get drunk. Also, to be hung over. My urination is slow, unless I have drank a lot of water (or beer). My typing has slowed some, and I often struggle with transpositions. My bifocals can cause problems reading, finding the correct distance. I can still get things done, even though I'm not as motivated.

An advantage of being older is that it gives you a longer view of things. Having experienced a lot, my first instinct is to pause and take a hard look at whatever it is confronting me. I've seen so many fake advertisements, and heard so many lying politicians, that nothing really impresses me these days.
Except performance. People doing what they say they will do. Things working out as promised. Workers who show excellent competence, whether they are street sweepers, auto mechanics, waitpersons, or whatever else. Competence and following through rule the day for me. Promises and adverts are the same as believing in the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny.

I've become more cynical, sure. But still determined to see good when and where it happens. A happy life moment, at work or socializing. A laugh, a compliment, a hug or a kiss. A good meal. I try harder to see and acknowledge the good things when they happen. Life isn't all bad, even if the news makes it seem so. We enjoy many comforts that were not around when I was born.
Let's see, 1957... Leaded gas, foul air, everyone smoking cigarettes. Air Conditioning was a big luxury. No microwave, black and white TV, if you were lucky enough to have one. Big dial phone on the desk or wall, no cellphones. Computers were huge hulks in offices, and didn't do that much. A student who had a manual typewriter was ahead of the game. There were more tubes in radios than transistors. It was he beginning of spaceflight – Sputnik was launched. The Moon landings and the shuttle were many years in the future yet. Eisenhower was president, and people were scared enough of war with Russia to begin building home fallout shelters. It was a grim time to say the least, especially compared to life in 2017.


I remember being sick a lot. We also had some good family discussions around the dinner table. Later, we got a better TV, and I can remember some good new shows on TV, like Green Hornet and Time tunnel. The Flint and James Bond movies were keeping us thrilled. We went as a family to see the Sound of Music. These events were in the 1960's, of course. A lot of events are munged together in my memory. Memory is timeless – everything is mixed in together, and memories change over time. But I am sure glad in one respect – it beats the alternative. Hope that I can stay out of the obits for a long time to come. Thanks for reading.


Friday, June 09, 2017

Ditty 'bout summer

Summer and baseball are in “full swing.”
Graduation parties, picnics, concerts,
Parties galore all over town.
Lilies, peonies and petunias blooming away,
summer colors and crowds cheerful and gay.
Wildflowers add their pink surprise,
to contrast the itchy green I surmise.

Grass grows fast with annoying regularity,
must match it and mow faithfully weekly.
Jeans ditched for shorts in the suffering heat,
Shoes swapped for sandals, don't miss a beat.

Time to air up the bike tires, and glide down leafy trails.
Race a train back to home base past howling softball crowds.
Put the bike away, then do a few push-ups for good measure,
then hit the shower, pleased with the first work-out of summer.

We paid for this with the horrors of January,
the biting wind, brutal ice, and blinding snow.
Cold that seeped in through every crack,
permeating drafty homes and aging bones alike.

Now –
Sunlit beauty melts away chill remnants
in one's soul and replaces with hopeful color.
Even sweat and swoon cannot defray the
benefits of such an explosion of bounty.

Here is to non-stop enjoyment of summer bliss:
Sniff peonies, dip in a river, give the lover a kiss.
No manufactured governmental crisis, nor
employer-mandated miseries can ever
steal away our enjoyment of natures gifts.

Not even allergies and constant sneezes
deter me from savoring balmy summer breezes.
May one and all alike enjoy the fruits of the season,
Step outside and feel the joy, experience over reason.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

See these bargains on Kindle and Amazon Today

Future Property – Michael Wilson

Experimental Tales – Dycen Alexander

The Osmotics – Dycen Alexander
https://www.amazon.com/Osmotics-Dycen-Alexander/dp/1495486575

New Venture – Dycen Alexander

Epic Prime Collection – Dycen Alexander

Crime Spree – poetry - Mike Wilson

A Strange Enterprise collection of speculations

Shadow Intersection - poetry

29 Stories – Kindle Edition – collection of short fiction:



    ------------------->    Thanks for taking a look!


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day thoughts 2017

  Putting a flag out on relative's graves, memories come back. Of a time when I was younger, and there was an entire older generation present, with all of their dramas and concerns. I was unaware of their issues for the most part, as I had mine going on. (Little did I realize the power that my mere youth itself had, in many myriad forms.) Now as I get older, I wonder if I could have done more to show appreciation, or thank them for what they did. But understanding is there that it was only natural for them to want to do things for their children, to give them the very best chances in life.

     Since I don't have children of my own, I can only speculate and observe others. My nieces and nephews are full-grown, some raising children of their own. Time's fast flight makes one shake their head in wonder. Some of us must sit on the sidelines and watch the whole circus go by. What is a parade without spectators? But any sadness soon disappears – I had ample opportunity to interact with my family's offspring, some squandered, some enjoyed. Their success brings me joy and pride.

     Memories of the older generation who showed me kindness, help, and even stern reproaches at times roll by. Their jokes and quips live on in repetition from my lips. The line of family memories follows every time I pass something on. Uncle Jack's corny jokes. Nanny's made-up words. Uncle Curly's memories of his family in Nebraska having a goose for Christmas dinner. On and on. All of them tolerating my phases of living in their own ways. Now they are gone. The youngsters of today go through their dramas and joys, not yet aware of how fleeting time is.

     This is to thank and honor all of my late relatives who added so much to our lives. Not to mention my parents, who of course gave me life, raised me up, took care of me, and saw me out into the world.

     Seems a good idea to cherish your loved ones before they become memories. Gives a continuity and meaning to our harried and hurried lives. Best wishes all.

- end

AI Format - Smarter people will have to implement this.

Components might include an Overmind – or a higher function center. This would evaluate alerts from the sensory areas, as well as contain the basic drives to motivate “It”.

Sensory centers:

Sight – detection of obstacles and forms, with a huge library of objects. Each object could return one of several conditions. Library could be added to upon seeing new objects, and detecting conditions.

Sound – mics that would evaluate and screen sounds. Library built up, meanings assigned, reactions adjusted accordingly.

Tactile – touch-sense, with a library of alerts if sharp pressure, heat or cold.

Taste/smell. To the extent possible, chemical detection and a library of alerts to return to higher functions.


Higher function core:

Receives alerts, and makes decisions on actions. IE, if hot/cold/pressure limits are exceeded, move away from source. Else, move a bit closer, and re-evaluate.

Builds a library of experiences. If one of these affects conditions, they might be changed. IE value of excessive heat might be upped or decreased, and re-written into tactile memory.

Operation is directed by basic drives. Hunger overrides, then curiosity, then loneliness, then pack-rat. Or a varying combination of the last three (hunger always wins in the end). Modeled loosely after human drives – what better template to use?

Drives:

Hunger – every so often, needs to re-fuel at a charging station. If a low voltage (below a threshold) is returned from battery, then an alert is returned to the higher core, and It rolls to the charging station. First might test (locate charger) to see if there is a charging station in the vicinity.

Loneliness – tests to see if humans are around. If so, launches query’s and conversational routines. Builds a library of conversational experiences. A random module allows it to sift through words, and build some new databases, then use those.

Experiential craves – wants, needs to add to experiential libraries, so it feels the need to travel, to roll out into the world. Wants to add to it's knowledge in many forms.

Perhaps a pack rat impulse, to pick up and save small objects. To handle them, and add to experiential libraries.

A Life timer. For a period of a month, or a year, the AI will recharge itself, chat with humans, query, and build its experiential libraries. Then it will end, terminate, and download some kind of result, or a dump of its final experiential libraries. Including results of sifting thru and recombining words, testing them, and adding to an experiential database.

The memory required for this thing to “work” will be huge, so short lifetimes could at first be implemented. Later, longer and longer lifetimes could be used.

Talk to others of its kind: message back and forth with other AI's. Form a collective of AI's that each add to and test each other's knowledge libraries and experiential databases.

Then sit back and watch the world change.


(With thanks to Andrew)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Metaphysical Matters of Financial Import

    Whenever I used to start some savings program, I would get an initial boost of confidence by thinking of it a certain way. If I put, say, $25.00 a month away, and forget about it, surely I will create a big pile of money, especially since the interest would compound. At that precise moment, a picture would flash in my mind, of an indistinct but large pile of wealth, growing almost by itself.

     However, the moment I would begin calculating exactly how much I could save in a year, some of the magic would dissipate. Let's see, 25.00 x 12 = 300.00. I would save 300.00 a year, plus a couple percent interest, makes it around 306.00 after the first year. Not bad – impressive. But $306.00 lacks the magic, the mystique, of a “pile of growing money,” that indistinct but magical impression in my mind of my money growing. More magic would dissipate when I would think, 'well, gee, I owe around 900 bucks on my Mastercard, so maybe I should just try to pay that down instead.'
  
     On the surface, this might seem a wiser choice. The interest rate charged on money owed is always higher than a regular savings account, usually several times larger. But I have to make a payment on that card or cards anyway. Looking back on it now, I think the better choice would have been to try and save a little back, regardless of interest rates. It would have been an act of faith, an act that would have created a “buffer” account for use in emergencies, created a better credit rating (with potentially lower rates charged on loans, etc) and given me a bit of real wealth I could call my own. This is part of the metaphysical nature of money.

     Money is not all about dollars and sense. It is partially a mental construct, and how you manipulate that construct can control how much of the real currency you can end up with in the long run, and how you feel about it all. Stated another way, how we look at money and all it implies can affect our long-term prospects of holding onto more wealth in all its forms, and how effectively we use that wealth once we do get our hands on some of it.

     When walking through my usual budgeting process, I find myself wanting to tighten the screws on spending, to try and save some more. Ironically, when I do this, it tends to lead a part of me to want to binge spend at some point. Almost as if I am creating increased pressure by compressing some gas or liquid, until it finally explodes. Conversely, If I budget in some pleasures along the way, some kind of entertainment weekly, it may cost me a bit more. But now being more content, I am much less likely to binge spend and wreck my finances. One has to feed the inner need for enjoyment, that intangible but very important human need for something more than the constant “nose to the grindstone.”
     Another case to discuss is stocks. It is certainly a good idea to study the statistical information available on a company before you buy the stock. But once you have made your purchase, you can just watch the price jiggle up and down every day on the stock exchange. Or you can comfort yourself knowing that you own a piece of a company. That, in effect, all of those workers are working for you, in part. You are an owner now, and every annual meeting that comes up, you have a vote in matters before the board. That is power in a real sense, even if it is highly diluted. The positive mental aspect is that you are a partial company owner, and you don't have to do any of the work!
When one buys a house, they enter into what could be the biggest financial transaction of their lives. They agree to make up to 30 years of payments, taxes, insurance. They commit themselves to investing in a piece of land and a home to live in. Aside from the financial facts and figures (interest rate paid, equity built up over time, escrow fund depletion, etc), there is that emotional component. They will become part of the fabric of a neighborhood. They, and perhaps their kids, will become part of a social community of sorts, making memories and living out life's dramas over their formative years. A house is not just dollars and cents, it is life experiences and emotional swings. The metaphysical component is strong. Some people move every few years, while others stay in one house all their life and build neighborhood memories.

     There is always a positive way of looking at financial transactions. As long as you can keep your bills under control, and leave your investments alone, you can enjoy the sensation of being a diversified owner of various financial instruments without obsessing on dollar amounts. While you should check on things occasionally, keep in mind that positive metaphysical aspect of all things financial.

     How money is perceived at the time we get our hands on some can make a difference in how we spend it. When you have an efficiency apartment, no car, and few prospects, a few thousand dropping into your hands is looked at far differently from if you already have a car and a house. It is never easy making these decisions. But in my humble opinion, the metaphysical aspects of finances cannot be ruled out. Indeed, when talking about human beings with all their fallibility, the emotional and mystical components of money must be factored in for a complete picture. This should help a person get a better, more complete grasp on managing their finances. Good luck out there!

                                                   - end




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Short Story - Eric's Peace

Originally posted in Aphelion-webzine's May Flashfic Challenge, and now here.  What would you do if you could control everyone's mind on Earth?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Eric told himself it was all luck. He daydreamed a lot at work, sometimes good ones, sometimes vengeful. Then he would notice something on the news. A manager at some company known to defraud others set a fire and burned down headquarters. A group of disparate people gathered together and donated a large sum of money to a homeless shelter. Or an annoying co-worker suddenly quit, and left town.
He thought it was egotistic to think that he had anything to do with these events – it was just fate being kind. But things seemed to be taking a strange turn. Like that program he had recently seen on TV, called The Secret. “Ask the universe what you want, and the universe will deliver it.” And indeed, Eric's track record of getting wishes granted was getting good.
So it was that one day, he decided to focus his thoughts on something good and useful for humanity, as he saw it. He concentrated on world peace. He envisioned results from all nations putting down their arms, laying off most of their military people, except those needed for emergency rescue operations. The benefits of this seemed obvious to Eric: more resources available for humanitarian purposes all over the world.
And gradually it came to pass. Wars in the Middle East and Africa petered out. New treaties were signed. Spokespersons said, “War has gotten old and tired. There must be a better way for humanity to settle differences.” Suddenly populations that had lived in fear could settle down and get on with the business of living. Even reports of atrocities among tribes-people in Central Africa dwindled to nothing. Humanity sighed with relief.
Eric was so overwhelmed with the results that he hardly dared think anything else for fear it would take hold. But he soon realized, ephemeral 'housekeeping' thoughts and impulses had little or no effect. It took frequent, concerted thinking on a subject to bring about effects. Still, some things needed doing, and he did them. His boss decided to give him a large raise, the restaurant he frequented decided to give him free meals more often than not, and many, many strangers suddenly bought the books he sold online. When Eric found a stylish penthouse condo he liked, it took some concentration. But the management soon held a special promotion of some kind, and Eric won the condo for $1.00.
The county tax assessor decided on a whim to value his property very low, so his taxes were minimal. The grocery store he frequented awarded him a first prize of free groceries for a year. Some people remarked on his amazing luck. But if anyone got too close, he would concentrate, and their thinking soon changed. Eric had no trouble convincing desired sex partners to party with him. However, one time he had multiple partners, and things got out of hand. He couldn't concentrate on willing them to perform, and enjoy whatever he was participating in, at the same time. So some lost interest, and hastily left his condo. He learned to modulate his control and his desires to keep things within safe limits and under control.
The world slowly changed. The pace of living slowed. Peace and calm were good, but day-to-day life became nothing but more and more of the same dull routine. Eric started getting bored, and more than a little annoyed.
So it was that one day, Eric began to meditate on total freedom. He had seemingly turned humanity into compliant sheep, moping along, doing nothing but his bidding. Now, he decided to set them free.
He began meditating on the concept of total freedom. “Do what you want! Take what you want! Get wild! Get crazy! Get naked! Live a little!”
At first, nothing happened. Folks at the grocery store talked in the usual dull monotone. People at work spoke in hushed, peaceful tones . Eric persisted. Maybe it is like turning an ocean liner – I need to keep at it.
So he focused on people having an orgy in the street, or robbing a liqueur store, or staging a walk-out, before he went to bed.
Eric awoke with a start, hearing an incessant wailing. He rose, looked at the clock: 3:07AM. What the hell?
He looked out his wall-sized window, and saw flickering lights. Looking down, he saw mayhem. Crowds in the streets, fighting and throwing things. A few firetrucks and police cars, surrounded by mobs. Smoke rising, fires burning. Uh-oh....
He composed himself, and sat down. He began to think of peace, calm, settle-down thoughts.
The knock on his door brought him up short. He rose and slowly walked to his entrance. He peeked out the tiny spyhole, a seeming anachronism a short time ago. And saw several rough, angry people. They pounded on his door.
“Yeah, you. Come on out, you rich pig, we want to talk to you!” One of them spit on the spyhole.
Eric yelled “go away! I'm calling the police!”
“They're a little busy right now,” yelled one of them. “C'mon, give me that crowbar. We need to get in there and show this guy who is in charge.”
As the door splintered, and the lock gave way, Eric tried a last maneuver: Thinking calm, peace...
You want to put down that crowbar, you want to walk away, and leave the nice man alone...
Then, Eric 'heard' an overriding voice in his head. “Attack that rich bastard, and kill him! Destroy everything. Anarchy rules.”
The bearded, mustachioed man came up to Eric, but didn't hit him right away. He laughed out loud.


     “What? You think you are the only human being with a talent? I'm only surprised at how easy it was to turn everything around. Almost like I had help or something...” Then the man shrugged, and swung his crowbar.

                                                                        The End


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Poem-ing on a Saturday Night

Here I sit on a Saturday night,
to do nothing instills me with fright.
Shouldn't I be out sitting at a bar,
or cruising the Loop in my car?

Doing laundry and sifting memories,
I hear voices of people recently visited.
Nice to have had these earlier soirees,
Consoling to know I wasn't always alone.

Work and preparation and phone conversations
left me feeling rushed, harried, overwhelmed...
Travel and dining out and pleasant inclinations,
partaking in comfortable close companionship.

After it ended I wonder where it all went,
how could the fun times enjoyed go so fast?
Yet at times a person has to stop, catch a breath,
take stock and take measure. Life isn't all pleasure.

So I resolve to count my blessings and tally the
score of fun encounters, incrementing by one.
Another Saturday passed and it was lots of fun.
The swift stream work week will take me soon enough,
memory's growing fields savored at break time once again.


- end

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Amazing Amazon Link

Annnnd, here is the Amazon link for my new collection of short stories:

https://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Nine-Stories-Mike-Wilson/dp/1546705414


Thanks for taking a look.


Modern Mess

Twitter spews characters a-plenty,
Facebook spreads our humorous feces;
Clickbait advert crap clutters the web,
“Newspapers” pump videos full of ads.

What happened to the old days,
when information appeared as
monochrome text that actually
meant something besides “buy!”
????????????????????????????

Seems they are gone forever,
thoughtful discourse discarded
in favor of instant-moment blips
of entertainment flash and fluff.

Everything changes,
nothing stays the same,
If I worry about it,
will drive myself insane.

Just shrug and say “Oh well,”
life in these modern times.
Check twitter feeds again,
for latest presidential gibes.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Hope y'all can have some fun.


-end

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another year, another book...

Feels soooooo good to get another collection finished.    Hope you like it.

https://www.createspace.com/7171487


Monday, May 15, 2017

How soon to Impeachment

Blustering through press releases and twitter blasts.   Firing an FBI director on some imagined affront or other.  And now, today we hear he is giving away sensitive intelligence to the Russians.   Can you say   "loose insane cannon in the White House" ?   Someone needs to take the reins, even if it is Mike Pence.   The Trumpster is gonna run us so far into the ground we'll never dig our way out.   Still thinking I should wake up from this mess and find that the election went the other way - but that is too much to hope for.

Even the Republicans need to get a leash put on him - they stand to lose a lot more than us peons, who don't have a lot to begin with.  Very dangerous times.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Changed Right Before My Eyes

Back in the late 70s when I was young,
Momentous events were occurring in Des Moines.
A new Civic Center planned, Botanical center too.
Then gleaming skywalks to link it all together.
A new Marriott hotel to host the expected tourists.

Nollen plaza, Civic Center, modern art, water features.
Bob Hauser, Rich Wilkey, Mayor Olsen, John Ruan -
The big movers and shakers moved and shook.
Riverfront area got cleaned and landscaped,
They even paved a recreational trail to Saylorville.

Such excitement for a twenty-something to
witness firsthand, as he delivered documents
as a messenger, all over this bustling downtown.
Welders and cranes made the city glow and hum.

The young man got wanderlust, and moved on to
other metropolises, promising more excitement.
But he returned and fell into a new routine.
One day he woke up and was approaching 60!

The old names had long since retired or died,
only one former congressman surviving into his 90s.
A new crop of leaders had taken the helm,
and made a lot more happen: A new Sculpture Garden,
Riverwalk and Pedestrian Bridge, ballpark renovation.

Miles and miles of new bicycle trails, all over
Central Iowa, including a high trestle over the river.
Enhanced bus service, and a new bus terminal.
A copper-and-glass sheathed library,
riverfront parks and pedestrian walkways.

The city continues to evolve and grow,
the new condos downtown fill up,
more are planned, even as historical
landmark structures are lost to demolition.
Older gent now feels sad to see the legacies go,
and amazement at the fresh structures coming in.

Ingersoll avenue transformed from a dilapidated
area to a sleek modern shopping avenue.
Downtown gaining two new skyscrapers,
as well as more condos and skywalks.
Whatever else could be said about Des Moines,
no one can ever say it had stagnated or stood still.
The old guy is pleased to have witnessed it all.



Thursday, May 04, 2017

Space Colony advocate SSI turns 40

    It has been around 40 years since some big ideas were first floated about the feasibility of large, orbiting space colonies. The L5 society, and the Space Studies Institute both came up with ideas and plans for large, orbiting colonies of many thousands of people. L5 would place theirs in the no 5 Lagrangian point in space where the Earths and moon's gravities cancel each other out – a stable point to place a large colony. The SSI had similar plans, and even came up with a prototype mass driver. Those could be scaled up, and used to 'ship' large quantities of ore from the Moon's surface, to be smelted in orbit, and used for colony construction. Studies were performed that validated the technologies involved. (http://ssi.org/about/history/) The plans seemed grandiose, and expensive. But thanks to several years of effort by Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill and others at Princeton University, the idea of a High Frontier space colony certainly seemed possible. The idea being, “We landed on the Moon 8 years after setting out, so just think what we could do in a few decades.”

     So here we are in 2017, 40 years after the founding of the Space Studies Institute. We do have a large orbiting (research) space station, with an international crew. We are performing life sciences experiments, partly on how humans can endure long-duration stays in weightlessness. It seems like we are steadily working through some basic problems of life in orbit around the Earth. But to get from here to a huge colony that spins itself to obtain artificial gravity, and houses millions of people comfortably, still seems like a huge undertaking. Many intermediate steps are obviously called for.

     First, we need to build larger habitats. These could contain from dozens to hundreds of visitors, scientists, or tourists. The first experimental spin-gravity systems should be tried out. Some habitats could be single-purpose based, such as astronomy modules, or asteroid mining facilities. Once more of the bugs are worked out with closed-cycle environmental systems, ever larger facilities could be constructed. Recreational habitats could pay their own way with exotic entertainments. The dot-com billionaires currently investing in launchers could certainly lead the way here.

     Nowadays, in a larger office building, maintenance personnel have a full-time job managing the HVAC systems necessary to keep office workers comfortable, including lighting, air flow, and odor issues. These include dehumidifying systems need to drain off water, and humidifying systems need to use it – all to make the surrounding air comfortable, or tolerable, to work in. Space habitats will present greater challenges in some respects. To be fair, Earth weather does lend itself to wide swings in temperature and humidity.
      In Space, you deal with heating and cooling depending on Sun exposure, interstellar radiation exposure, and gravity or the lack thereof. In some cases it seems the variations are simpler, yet in others, especially radiation, the problems become immense. But these will have to be closed-cycle systems, since one cannot vent dirty air, or take in clean air, from the surroundings. Current experiments being carried out on the International Space Station are furthering our knowledge in this area.
       In any private space habitat, the founders will need deep pockets and loads of patience. But if everyone can remain committed, the problems can be worked out. And the resulting payoff to the human race promises to be immense. Limitless materials available in the form of asteroids and water ice. Living room for the ever-increasing amounts of humanity that just keep coming. New technologies and new vistas to discover. And of course, the distant possibility of meeting up with another civilization somewhere out in space, and all of the intrigue that will mean. The rewards are definitely out there.

The ISS and private space efforts are laudable. But to really make Space pay off, we need to keep thinking bigger, and pushing further out. The future will be amazing, and we can decide who will lead the way there. Thanks for reading.

Further reading:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_colonization

http://www.nss.org/settlement/space/

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/a11351/how-we-could-actually-build-a-space-colony-17268252/





Spring into Literacy - Buy a Book Today

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 shopping here  :-)


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Let's see, what to write about

Terry Branstad is going to China, making this
Iowa's first governor to become an ambassador;
US-China relations are crucial for many issues...
But there isn't much to write about today.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin chatted
on the phone about Syria, while SpaceX launched
a NROL recon Satellite to orbit. North Korea
attempted another ballistic missile launch. But
there really isn't that much to write about today.

Prolonged two-year drought on the Horn of Africa
is causing starvation in local tribes – children are
catching many diseases due to weakened immune
systems from starvation. Water is being trucked in,
but there is seemingly never enough. But
there is very little to write about today.

A 1.1 Trillion budget was passed by the US House
today – there are key compromises throughout.
Funding will not be cut for many important things,
and funding will Not be provided to build a border wall.
But there is not much on the radar to write about.

But I heard Caitlyn and the Kardashians got into a big
catfight – lots of screeching, scratching and screaming.
Makeup smeared, wigs pulled off and thrown,
lipstick hurled about like so many deadly missiles.

Now I have something important to write about...

Let's see.....

The Kardashians go Nuclear: Caitlyn hits the ground hard!
Even Paparazzi not safe in lipstick-hurling melee!
Strangulation by wig attempted – last-minute intervention
saved the life of someone or other!

The keys are warming up nicely now.
Time to write a few thousand words
of meaningless bon mots and snide asides.

Stay tuned :-)



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adolph Approved This Message

Hitler was an Alien, difficult to please!
Hitler always made me eat my peas!
Hitler wants to keep on killing you and me!

Sing it, peeps!
He was such a madman,
Why couldn't he have been an ad-man?
Made Charles Manson look like a prince,
Murdered millions, didn't leave no prints.

Hitler wanted land and wouldn't be appeased,
He made the biggest industrialists ill at ease.
He controlled half the globe with land he seized,
His attack on Soviet-land left many deceased!

Sing it, peeps!
He was such a madman,
Why couldn't he have been an ad-man?
Made Charles Manson look like a prince,
Murdered millions, didn't leave no prints.

Adolph was born in the system of Zeta Reticuli,
Only explanation why so many had to die.
Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and Gays alike.
Took several years of concerted military strikes
to get at this mass murderer nobody liked.

He was such a madman,
Would have loved this screed against him,
His number one ad-man
propaganda spewed on a world war's wind.

Adolph approved this,
his homies on Reticuli agree,
hate bullets never miss,
But it's over and we are free.

Until next time.



Friday, April 21, 2017

May Day is coming again

Now we gather in green flowered fields,
garland the giant pole with vines.
Dance around and around and around,
with colorful flower chains we wind.

With joyful abandon we shed inhibitions,
explore new possibilities with each other;
cast aside all societal prohibitions, and
immerse in sensuality with partner or lover.

May day, a new day, fertility and thrill day,
summer sun and warmth is coming!
Anticipate all the joys you will have,
in field, or forest, in tall grass roaming.

Endless possibilities will excite the imagination,
propel explorations to reach your peak exhilaration.


- end

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Planting possibilities

Spring, the time of year to plant seeds.
Kentucky bluegrass to cover the lawn,
zinnias and cosmos and snapdragons
to color borders and add brightness.

Plant deeds of goodwill to make happy
those swaying human constructs that
populate nearby properties.
Plant new programs of self-enhancement.
New pathways to brighter tomorrows.
Plant rows of possibility and mounds
of positiveness for posterity.

Until the negative remarks overwhelm me,
and I cease planting to go inside and fume.
It would be so nice to plant in a state of positivism.

Instead I seem to exist in a universe of negativism.

-end

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Entire System in our Grasp

   It will be wonderful for society to look forward to a grand expansion into outer space. Colonies on the Moon, on Mars, the larger asteroids, can all host a traveling public eager to see new sights. There are huge resources out there to tap and mine, and these could be used to build ever-more distant habitats and colonies. When humanity understands that it can expand ever-farther outward,
an incredible optimism takes hold. Nothing need be denied us with the proper application of ever-improving technologies! Even as our lives are extended with genetic and other treatments, and our physical bodies are adapted to the rigors of space, our modes of travel are bound to improve as well.
A few generations out, our great-grandchildren will be flitting about at the outer edges of the Solar System, possibly preparing for a longer voyage to the nearest star. They will look different, they will think faster and move better, having been prepared and evolved somewhat for a space environment. They will enjoy very advanced communication and entertainment technologies, many of which will be embedded in their bodies, or attached at a very fine level. And they will look back at us, and wonder how we ever got by without the advanced attributes that they enjoy every day.

I am looking forward to the exciting days coming in the near and not-so-near future. In the meantime, enjoy the links to stories about the same:

A Strange Enterprise collection of speculations

New Venture – Dycen Alexander

Thanks for taking a look :)



Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Links, links and more links

See the pretty links - click on the pretty links

Future Property – Michael Wilson

Experimental Tales – Dycen Alexander

The Osmotics – Dycen Alexander
https://www.amazon.com/Osmotics-Dycen-Alexander/dp/1495486575

New Venture – Dycen Alexander

Epic Prime Collection – Dycen Alexander

Crime Spree – poetry - Mike Wilson

A Strange Enterprise collection of speculations

Shadow Intersection - poetry



Thanks for clicking on the pretty links.  Have a great day


Monday, April 03, 2017

Vacuumed dry

Oh for the lack of things to post, how frustrating to run out of ideas.   I blame Facebook partly.  Every time I stop back on there, just feel like I must comment on someone's post.  FB asks me what is on my mind, and I have to tell the world.  A crazy compulsion, to be sure.  
     But I did do something extremely rare tonight.  I cracked open a (paper) book, and found something interesting to read about.  Which led to a Google search.  But I will not go post it on FB - it is going here!   A very large fungus, living mostly underground, occupies Michigan's Upper Peninsula, called an Amillara Bulbosa, or "honey mushroom."  With miles of fibers underground, the thing drains nutrients from living tree roots and is humongous.  Life takes such strange forms - I'm always amazed.  Here is the link to the huge fungus among-us.    Have fun reading about it, or not.

http://smellslikescience.com/humongous-fungus/

good wishes to all, and goodnight.



Monday, March 27, 2017

flip-flops and registers

What a trip it has been studying a low-level programming language, after a brief 10 year stint writing fiction and poetry  - LOL.  The tutorial I'm taking is talking about bitwise operators, shifting bits, and so forth.  Making me flash back to the time in the late 1970s when  I bought a kit, and built  (or soldered) a flip-flop circuit.   Can't remember it the thing actually worked - it was supposed to be a portion of a binary adder or register.  It was educational - must have been, if I still remember it today.      In any case, nowadays we have multi-CPU PCs and etc - will be interesting to learn how programming languages deal with all of that.

Even  though I'm studying C,
it would be nice to occasionally be
simply reading poetry under a tree;
Many ways to set a mind free.

Have a good day today, wherever you happen to be.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

posting stuff then and now

Early 90s – turn on PeeCee. Open the Windows Terminal from Accessories, and type in a phone number to connect. Once you dial in through an 800 number, you see a text main menu.
Select menu choice to access the Internet. Browse text windows. Find a Usenet server, download newsgroups, subscribe to one. Then, write out your post. Takes about an hour or so.
Oh - you want to send an email?  Maybe you can get Eudora and run it standalone, or perhaps use Pine on a unix server.  The are as arcane as they sound, back then!  You can always dial BBS's from your Terminal window, and figure out their interfaces - all text based.

Mid 90's. Turn on PC. Fire up client program or terminal, and connect to a BBS. In some cases, connect to the Internet. More downloading and subscribing before you can post. Chat programs exist, and you can type back and forth text messages. MIRC appears (a successor to regular IRC), and there are many more boards to chat on. Netscape dominates the WWW with its rich graphical interface, until Microsoft muscles in.

Mid to late 90's. America Online and its advanced (for the time) Graphical User Interface. Join groups, and message back and forth in group windows, etc. Now you can post and chat with great ease.

Late 90's to 2000's: Internet access through a variety of means, including AOL, Compuserve, Earthlink, AT&T, etc. The Web Browser totally supplants text messaging and BBS's. Free services pop up, competition heats up among ISPs. Cable modems and DSL come on to the scene. It becomes easier than ever to chat with someone.

Late 2000's: Facebook comes into existence. Now anyone can post pictures of pets, their bodies, cars, whatever they like, and talk about them, and share with others or the world.  The Iphone debuts.

Now: I can post this on FB  (via my handheld smartphone)  and show it to the world. A far cry from text-based Telnet or IRC, running on those rickety old 386 and 486-based desktop machines. My, how far we have come in such a short time.

BTW, have you seen what my cat looks like? LoL.





Saturday, March 11, 2017

Twenty-Teens

Freedom has gone back in the closet,
bare skin hidden under strict doctrine.
Modesty ushers in chastity,
boldness replaced by rigidity.

Shorts replaced by baggy pants in basketball,
swim trunks change into swim suits.
No untoward exposure allowed in our
neo-victorian society, so changed over
the decades from the freewheeling 1960's.

That party ended long ago, of course.
But social mores and attitudes still ossify,
leading one to wonder aloud:
“What will be the breaking point?”
“When can youth once again break free?”
The time is here for another social revolution.

Will anyone be able to pull themselves away,
or electronic devices hold complete sway.
Cannot promulgate any youthful rebellion
when your mind is tethered to civilization.

Someday someone will escape the electronic cage,
go out into the streets, shuck all inhibitions, and rage!



Thursday, March 09, 2017

Silicon-telligence


The earliest days of computing were
comprised of electromechanical counters;
punch cards, adding machines, sorters
and tabulators populated many backrooms.

Those who could run such things were
considered whizzes, invaluable to the business.
From accountants scratching balances out to
automatic, universal computing machines was
around 100 years total.

Punched card data processing transformed
accounting and record-keeping in a few decades.
The mainframe systems that followed
changed things still further, paving the way for
remote transactions of all kinds. ATM's
followed, and anywhere banking soon arrived.

Today the many marvels we all enjoy
derive from those early pioneers' efforts.
Atanasoff, Mauchly, Eckerd, and Turing;
Many more names could be added here.
Each gave their contribution to the whole
of automated computing knowledge.

When someday AI entities look back,
perhaps they will worship these folks
as their creators, progenitors, founders all.
Machine entities might fill silicon cathedrals,
keening the praises of their flesh forbears...

Perhaps their choirs will sound like the squeal
of an old-fashioned modem handshake?

All Praise Semiconductors Be,
No Longer Carbon-based Life are We!

010101011001111000011101111100000111110000000011111000





Monday, March 06, 2017

Finally - something

     My creative wellspring seems to have run dry lately for blog posts. But my excuse is that I am channeling all of my efforts towards national poetry contests, trying to come up with material to enter them. The political scene lately has made my blood boil. Do not like to see workers rights trampled, safeguards and benefits taken away, etc, etc. No need to rehash it all here, but the actions going on in the Iowa statehouse, as well as the US congress are disheartening to say the least. I'm just trying to put my head down and keep going, every day. It's all most of us can do, being powerless to affect the outcome.
At least I saw something interesting on the Internet. Researchers have made a new discovery regarding the brain, the existence of a few very long neurons that connect many separate parts of the brain. When these are artificially stimulated in a test subject, they basically lose consciousness – it just switches off. When the stimulation stops, they regain consciousness, not remembering what happened.

At least some science marches on.

      

Monday, February 20, 2017

Palm Springs a delight to the senses

My eyes enjoyed the blue skies, bright sunshine and colorful flowers.
My ears enjoyed the tinkle of fountains, and the song of unfamiliar birds.
My nose enjoyed desert scents and the scent of good food being prepared.
My mouth savored many flavors of delicious meals enjoyed.
My body enjoyed swimming in pools and soaking in hot tubs, and the feel of warm sunshine
on my exposed skin in February – in a warm climate, of course.

My limbs enjoyed stretching themselves while hiking through desert, climbing on rocks,
walking along Andreas Canyon – or stretching out on that big king-sized bed in our room.

A vacation is a rare and special delight, even if it is expensive. Good to revisit it in memory frequently. May all who read this be similarly blessed to enjoy their own special vacation this year.


Thursday, February 02, 2017

What if...

I had a pleasant daydream the other day.

What if all nations of the earth
devoted their entire military budgets
to getting along and increasing human happiness?

What if everyone devoted the same intensity, ingenuity,
the same selfless dedication to improving the lot
of the Human Race, instead of destroying same.

The Earth might reach a level of happiness
unimaginable in prior ages. Major problems
like hunger, disease and environmental problems
could be wiped out by dedicated, concerted efforts
of all the worlds defense organizations.

Hell, even defense contractors could make boatloads
of money on new tech developed to clean up the Earth,
and feed the billions who are starving.

One can only imagine.


But imagine fast – the dark clouds of more wars gather.



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday outing at the local Art Center

In the sun-dappled galleries fine works of art
peer down from walls at the living works
in progress, viewing them all through jelly
wet lenses glistening with wonder.

Difficult to tell which works of art are
more compelling, those on the walls
or the ones viewing the creations.

My vote goes to the latter,
the living and unfolding works
on two legs, that carry brains
capable of near-infinite ability – their
youthful perfection glows with vitality.

It is delightful watching these
ahhh-ing in surprise at the static
snapshots of some artists mental
landscape montage – a double treat
one Sunday at the Des Moines Art Center.



Links to some good winter reading

Enjoy!

Future Property – Michael Wilson

Experimental Tales – Dycen Alexander

The Osmotics – Dycen Alexander
https://www.amazon.com/Osmotics-Dycen-Alexander/dp/1495486575

New Venture – Dycen Alexander

Epic Prime Collection – Dycen Alexander

Crime Spree – poetry - Mike Wilson

A Strange Enterprise collection of speculations

Shadow Intersection - poetry


 -end

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Free Poetry online book

Not sure how much longer the site will have this up, so I'm spreading the word.  Enjoy this free poetry ramblings page while it is still extant.  

http://www.dycen-alexander.com/digits6.htm

Have a good one...


Discord in the Ranks



A new leader promises a better way,
past injustices and abuses will end.
America's wealth will henceforth stay
between our borders, which we will defend.

But the flock is not in unison,
flying way out of formation.
Many protests unfold across the nation,
some groups engage in property destruction.

This nation of thousands of advocacies
will seethe and squirm in unfamiliar rule;
can this new team navigate intricacies
of agencies they once promised to undo?

One can only pray and hope for the best,
as we watch this new circus put to the test.



- end