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I wonder if there is a Herat glass being made still?

There was in 1973 when these dogfights took place in a gravel pit outside of Kabul.

Pattern Recognition

I have been working on my pattern recognition software upgrade.

Character Development


               This is a question about character development.  If you as a reader or writer came across this internal dialog of a character, would you consider it to be a bad character or a good character?  By this I mean, would they be a good guy or a bad guy?  I guess I am also asking of the character would work psychologically?

                My thought on it is it is too soon to tell.  It would depend on further development by thought and action in the story.  What do you think?  They would be some sort of detective, soldier, law enforcement kind of character in a pulp fiction piece: smuggler might do, somebody on the other side of the Law.


‘I can understand where a Nazi is coming from.  They want to kill the bad guys.  It appeals to a certain sort of person.  I know, I was programed all my life to kill Nazis.  Captain America kills Nazis.  Hollywood’s American Army kills Nazis.  In my schooling says America kills Nazis.  Fortunately, in my upbringing I was taught to think about who the Nazis are.  If they are trying to get me killed, they are Nazis.  If they are shooting at me, I know they are Nazis.

                I know my sins; I can tell the difference between if they are shooting at me for my sins, or just because I happen to be in the line of fire for no damn reason at all. I happen to have a prayer rug the size of a good-sized room to pray away my sins.  Some men only have rugs the size they can kneel on.  I know my sins intimately; I will see those who I wronged, and they may get that free shot because I am such a bastard.  It depends on the day I am having.

                This current breed of Nazi raised in the U.S.A. is fair game, well, they will be once they start to shoot at me for whatever reason.  I see what they are.  They are right bastards that need to be put down.  When they are shooting at me, I will put them down.  I will try to make sure my letters of marque let me kill them with as little hassle as possible.  What do I care, I am getting old, less to live for unless somebody comes up with the elixir vita, the philosopher’s stone, or nanotechnology, the hassle might be worth while if I am feeling really old that day.

                But I am hoping that the “good” guys who see me as an acceptable loss in their battle against Nazis recognize that I have more and more really tired days.  I am still looking for that elixir vita, and I am not going to trust that whole resurrection into eternal life thing if I die thing; nobody has laid out the rules to my satisfaction yet.  I will depend entirely on the kind of day I am having.’


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Somebody gave me a puzzle the other day. I may have seen it in the past, but who remembers. The trick is to move the top of the pyramid to the opposite direction by moving only 3 coins. I poked at it all day and didn’t get it done. Got up the next morning after some sleep, started looking at it from another angle before coffee, it took me about 5 minutes. Problem solving is sometimes a matter of sleep and coming at it from a different direction. The old aphorism of “If it doesn’t fit, force it. If it breaks, it needed to be replaced anyway.” does not always apply.


There is something more hands on, more pleasing to certain parts of the brain in sketching.  The new toy in the last few weeks is Skyfied Scratch Paper Art Set, the kid learns and I learn, everybody learns.

The kid holds up a tiny feather and says, look treasure!

Old stories get sorted through.

Metal Detecting

I finally went over the ground where the old Railroad House used to be.  It serviced the line workers back when the trains were still in operation.  How it wound up in the hands of the local counterculture after sixty-nine I will never know.  I remember the pig roasts.

It is now a little caravanserai on the green way, with picnic tables and a receptacle for plastic bags and dog poo.  I was hoping for the twenty-dollar gold piece that I lost in a past life.  I found six cents by the picnic tables with the metal detector.  I found four cents just walking back to the rig.

The most interesting find was historical.  I found the die cast metal side for the magazine of an old cap gun.  The kind that looked like a revolver cylinder.

In the tattered thatch of forest debris from old poplar, willow trees, and choke cherry bushes the area has sprouted a few pet graves.  I am not sure it can be classified as a pet cemetery yet.  I only found two markers, but I imagine that there are at least of a couple of unmarked graves.  I do not think we are at risk of the pets coming back wrong.

Autumn 2021, Earth

The north side of Kamiak Butte between Lughnasadh and Samhain, it is still three weeks before the autumn season starts on the solar calendar.  The forest floor is turning to dry yellows.  The trails are dust.

The caterpillars are spinning silk in the trees.

The light is growing harsher in its highlights of the gray.

The harvest is rolling up outside the shadow of the tree line.

A withered and brittle field of chickpeas is left standing.  I break open a few pods to see how the crop fairs.  I can remember breaking open a few pods about ten years back when I was walking the edges of the city cemetery.  I had never seen garbanzo beans in the field before.  Those then were twice the size, maybe even half again that size than the ones I took home in my pocket to measure.


A drawback of cultivating a persona is that pretty soon a person starts thinking of themselves as seperate from it. Then the voices in their head start talking back. If they have manufactured more than one, it can turn into a mob of babble. It must get confusing.

Well Number Six

Below the galvanized metal guard rail across the asphalt from the town’s latest pump house, down the embankment of tumbled basalt boulders, the course of the creek provides a trail for the wildlife to pass in and out of town.  The water course and the old right of way wandered off to the east of a farm chemical distributor and an old gravel quarry. The town’s suburbs had spread out to the crossroads on the other side of the highway. There was a bright blue water tower to catch the precious fluid for the new subdivision that had gobbled up the wheatfield.

He remembered when the number three well was a delapidated, wooden structure that must have been build at the beginning of the last century. It had been been replaced with a concrete blockhouse and new landscaping just like number six. The City Council had started to put art on top of decorative columnar basalt pedistals around town. Number three had a metal fish skeleton by it. It might have been that of a salmon.

Cory was out burning sugar from his blood stream, looking for sign of the interection between man and nature. What he saw was not encouraging, and none of it was shiny like gold or silicates. The tidal forces between civilization and what it encroached upon had not really changed in the last few millennia.



Lightning Strikes

The sun is engulfed in smoke as it sinks in the western sky.  It has changed from a burnished disk of copper into the color of a maraschino cherry waiting on the top of soft serve ice cream.

                The glassed walls of the new industrial complex on the eastern side of the highway which runs up to an old logging mill town catch the light from the sun, turning the windows into a bright neon sign glowing in the dwindling day.  There are no smokestacks billowing forth from this park.  It makes a safer form of electrical component for the modern world, but the neon like reflection brings to mind certain shady districts in an urban sprawl.  Business is just business.

                It was soon after the Fourth of July that the fires began to leap up under the heat dome.  The Media reported on the minor blazes stamped out quickly from the fireworks.  They also mentioned a ruptured femoral artery, a casualty of war.  A week later they mentioned the seventy odd lightening strikes in the state.  Their electrical discharges must have been throughout the western states.

                Most forest fires are caused by lightening you know.  Somebody was fond of telling me that.

                It must have been the “Only You” on the hat with Smokey.

                The Media also mentioned a woman dragged from her tent and eaten by a Grizzly.  Through the years, I have witnessed some live Grizzly behavior.  Mothers protecting their cubs from the young human cubs, digging burrows like big prairie dogs, bears will be bears.

                Fire will be fire.  Electricity will be electricity.  They have been observed by our kind for the twelve-million-year journey to owning industrial parks.  They were probably observed by the giant cave bear.  Ursa Major does not live here anymore.  The bear’s stars shine down in the black void above the smoke.