Monthly Archives: January 2012

Are YOU More?

At each point in my life my perspective has changed a bit but the one question remains forever – am I more?  What is the point to existence, if any?

When I studied mathematics and science the underlying belief is that everything works according to laws which can be theorized, proven and recreated.  If a proof does not yet exist, it is simply a flaw in our understanding, but everything is predictable if we know all the laws.  In electronics, I learned impetus (voltage) and flow (amperage).  A short would increase flow dramatically, an open would stop flow.  Resisters slowed flow, capacitors stored flow, potentiometers adjusted flow, transducers change impetus, etc.  It explained things.

When I learned computer science, everything was input – processing – output – feedback loop.  It explained everything.  I began to see life in the same way.  When I did my post-graduate degree in finance and economics, it was the “Invisible Hand” of Adam Smith that explained all.  People maximize their “utils”.  If someone is charitable, it is not to help others, but because they get utils from helping.  If they really like cars, they spend cash on them to maximize their utils.  Everyone using cash as a means of barter to maximize their utils.  It all made sense.

In sociology and psychology, I learned nature vs. nurture.  You have genetic dispositions, inherited traits and animalistic instincts.  To that mix, you add nurture, your environment, your exposure to things impact you.  It explained it all.  When I was at the Capitol, it was all about 31, 16 and 1.  The number of votes needed to pass something through the House, Senate and the Governor.  It made sense to ignore the rest.

However, if it REALLY explains it all, then we are nothing more than a pre-determined system of actions.  We really have no control over ourselves or our actions and everything is simply a complex formula too difficult for us to see, but there nonetheless.  It makes life a meaningless process with inputs and outputs, a re-run so to speak that plays out with no change in the script possible.  To me, this explanation is somewhat terrifying.

At a young age I was exposed to another explanation – Christianity.   That we are not just animals, but we were created with an eternal soul, that this life serves as a testing bed.  We have free will and must choose service to God, or service to evil.  This also explains everything.  I choose to go with this explanation, because I want to believe I am MORE.

How about you?  Are you MORE?


Filed under Humor and Observations

Best Item Ever on Antiques Roadshow

I am not sure what they appraised this at, but I would pay a lot.  Unfortunately, it would be a bidding war between Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader and Princess Leia.  You know they all have more Imperial Credits than I do…

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I will be appearing at LepreCon!

The wonderful folks at LepreCon and Patti Hulstrand have included me in the schedule for the upcoming LepreCon!  Thanks to this wonderful bunch!  I hope you can all go and participate in this convention.  Here is a link:

I know, I have to get a new picture, but I haven’t settled on a look yet, in a wild stage now, shaving, growing beards, shaving, growing moustache, letting hair get long, cutting it all off…Second childhood I guess…

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Dogs Have Been Our Furry Friends for over 33,000 Years!

New bone remains show that our furry little critters have been with us all along.  They used to think that at some point some tribe decided to adopt some wolves and domesticate them.  Now they are coming to realize that as far as history goes back, Man’s Best Friend has been there, cuddly and begging for scraps from the latest kill.  Here is an excerpt from the story:

An ancient dog skull found in Siberia and dating back 33,000 years presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication.

When combined with a similar find in Belgium, the two skulls indicate that the domestication of dogs by humans occurred repeatedly throughout early human history at different geographic locations — rather than at a single domestication event, as previously believed.

“Both the Belgian find and the Siberian find are domesticated species based on morphological characteristics,” said Greg Hodgins, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory and co-author of a study reporting the find.

“Essentially, wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded, and domestication results in this shortening of the snout and widening of the jaws and crowding of the teeth.”

In homage to our dogs, I have a folder full of cute dog pics, but I won’t put them all in here at once, simply a couple, and maybe make this a weekly item.  If you have cute dog pics, and I know you do, feel free to post them under comments, or send me a reasonably sized file to and I will post it here.  But it has to be very cute to make the cut…

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Filed under Animals

Imperial Outpost Also Selling Hard Copies of My Book

Imperial Outpost in Glendale, Arizona has joined the list of folks selling hard copies of my book, The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship.  They are a great group of people who sell a variety of gaming merchandise and regularly have live play at their store for fans.  I have also discussed having myself and some fellow sci-fi genre authors do a book signing at an upcoming event.  Here is their blogsite, and you can also friend them on Facebook:

Please support this store as there are too few cool places left in this economy.  Comic books, sci-fi and gaming don’t pay well, so let’s all look out for each other.  Also, please check out my Store, as I have new publications with my shorter work in them, including the latest Palo Verde Pages and the ConNotations NewZine.  I regularly update that location for newly published items.

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Truth in Advertising

Hal C F Astell at told me at DarkCon that he liked the fact that my book was exactly what it advertised.  The cover reflects fun and adventure and the back flap description was accurate.  He enjoyed actually reading a book which was true to its own advertising.  I hope everyone will check out the Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship and it still has a 5 of 5-star average on Amazon reviews.  It is what it advertises to be.  Just for fun, I wanted to repost this to show how that is not always the case:


Filed under Humor and Observations


I was reflecting on brotherhood and thought I would share a few thoughts.  First, for the ladies out there, I know there is also a similar concept called Sisterhood, but despite being around women all my life, my understanding is limited to keeping me from inadvertently upsetting them as often as I used to.  I don’t know if Sisterhood is the same, similar or completely different, so I will leave that to someone else.  Brotherhood is a strong invisible bond felt between men, instanced by different situations.  The strongest is probably that of men who have fought side by side in battle, in situations where they leaned on each other, cried without shame, saw horrors, and saved each others lives.  All great generals know that soldiers fight for their brothers on the line, not for country, ideals, or concepts.  It is that deep comaraderie.

My best friend Scott and I met in 1989.  Throughout the years, any time we meet new people together or go to dinner, the movies, etc., we are usually asked if we are brothers.  We look a bit similar and maybe act a bit a like, but there has always been this kinship.  The minute we met, we were brothers from different mothers, and just clicked.  For us to play games like Taboo where we give clues to each other is almost cheating, as we think on the same wave length.  But why?  He has an entirely different past, present and future than I do.  We think alike, but we make totally different life choices.  We argue at times and mostly I annoy him, as I am annoying in general, but the relationship stays.

My own biological brother and I have no bond and nothing in common.  I think he is dead, but no one knows for sure.  About twenty years ago I had an address for him in Ocean City, California.  Hesitantly, I went to drive by his place with my wife.  If it did not look too bad, maybe even say hello.  We found his place.  You can’t make this up – it was surrounded by police cars and there was my brother on the hood being cuffed and arrested.  My wife and I figured maybe we could say hello later.  No one is my family has heard from him since.

I have had many close friends over the years that I felt the bond of brotherhood.  My friends George and Kevin in Hawaii, my great friend Frank Chow who now lives in California.  Growing up my friends Jerry and Mark.  I have been blessed with the bonds of brotherhood.  To my pleasant surprise, I now have that same bond with my own son – Alex, 24.  We will always be father and son as well, but now that he has grown to manhood, we can share our hopes and sorrows together, hang-out and support each other, and I feel that solid brotherhood connection.

Where does it come from?  Is it chemical?  Is it chosen by God?  Is it simple circumstance like a shared foxhole?  I wish I could distill and manufacture it for others because to experience it is very special.  We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

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Filed under Humor and Observations