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Posts Tagged ‘Serenity’

As regular readers know, I’m a Browncoat for life. However, I am not the sort of über-fan who will buy anything they slap a “Firefly” logo on. Yes, I have Firefly-related t-shirts, a couple of “behind the scenes” books, and on the back of my car there is an “I aim to misbehave” sticker, but I’ve passed on most of the comic books, the graphic novels, and other paraphernalia that’s out there vying for my Browncoat credits.

A series of novels, though? Sign me up.

The Magnificent Nine is the second installment in the new Firefly novel series, penned by James Lovegrove, who also gave us the first in the series (a review of which can be found here.) I was underwhelmed by Lovegrove’s first title, but I enjoyed the book despite its flaws.

Alas, this title also has its flaws, some of them serious.

But first, what’s good . . . (more…)

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Full disclosure: I am a Browncoat.

I wasn’t an early adopter, in that I never saw Firefly during its brief broadcast on FOX, but once a friend lent me his box set of DVDs, I knew I had found my all-time favorite science fiction television show.

That said, you might think I’m about to go all gosh and gee-willikers about Big Damn Hero, the first official Firefly novel.

And you’d be wrong. (more…)

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The weather has turned cold here in Seattle. Nothing like what most of the nation is experiencing, to be sure, but cold nonetheless. The leaves that haven’t fallen are withered and frostbitten on their stems, and the remnants of Autumn’s glory now lie in patches of brown detritus scattered across the gardens.

Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WAOn clear, cold afternoons, when the sky is a robin’s egg blue and the sun has just melted the frost off the shaggy lawns, I hear the machinery of modern yard maintenance fire up. Mowers, blowers, strimmers, and edgers set up a whirring, sputtering rumble that blankets the neighborhood as homeowners take advantage of a rainless November day.

For myself, I prefer to use manual tools when possible. The lawnmower, the strimmer, these I keep and use, but on bright autumn days I reach instead for the rake, the broom, and the shovel to tend my garden. I spend so much of my day working nothing but my mind–analyzing systems, cross-checking code, diagramming solutions, navigating interoffice politics–that the thought of surrounding myself with machinery and noise is abhorrent.

Before I step outside, I bundle up with scarf and gloves and quilted overshirt, but soon, as I warm to my task, these layers drop away. It takes me longer to tidy my garden than it does my more mechanized neighbors–yesterday, after a couple hours’ work, I only cleared out the patio and lower section of the back garden–but it’s a quieter time, and that’s what I want.

Peace. Serenity. Take in a clean, cold lungful of air and let it out in a frosty breath.

Repeat.

k

Typewriter

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Simple Living

One evening, when I was courting my wife-to-be, we were at my place when the phone rang. Since we were talking, I ignored the phone. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” Nope. If it was important, they’d call back (I didn’t have an answering machine). This was my relationship with technology in those days. Technology was my servant, not the reverse.

Well, sometime during the last three decades, that has changed, so I’m just now coming off a full week of an “internet fast.”

Overall, I am surprised at how easy it was. I stuck to my “going dark” guidelines so successfully that when I tried to go back online, I found that all my little electronic connectimoids needed to be charged up. The computer, the tablet, even the smartphone had gone almost entirely unused for a whole week.

What did I miss? What didn’t I miss?

(more…)

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TFL Problem

I will not be employing a shabbos goy this week.

When I lived in Jerusalem, I learned about the shabbos goy. The shabbos goy is a non-Jew who will do tasks of work which are forbidden to Jews on the Sabbath. To keep everything on the up-and-up, the shabbos goy should be someone who would be on the premises anyway, such as a maintenance worker or babysitter. Thus, on the Sabbath, a shabbos goy can turn on the house’s lights or rekindle the fire (both of which are forbidden to Jews), and everyone benefits from the work that the shabbos goy did. No commandments were broken. Nothing to see here. Move along.

So, as I said, I will not be using a shabbos goy this week.

In a prevoius post, I mentioned that I was considering an “internet diet.”

Well, today it begins. Today I’ll be going dark.

I’ll be taking it One Day at a Time, but my goal is to go a full week without major technological contact.

What does that mean, specifically? Good idea. Let’s define terms…

(more…)

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TFL ProblemYesterday, I started and then deleted no fewer than six posts. My mind was fragmented by circumstances and events, leaving me unable to concentrate on anything.

I started posts on the usefulness of writing conventions, on the reasons for using a pseudonym, on office “open” floorplans, on my reputation as an arrogant bastard, etc., etc. I tried repeatedly, but could not cohere my thoughts to a single subject long enough to form a reasonable discourse.

What was going on? (more…)

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There is nothing so infuriating to my liberal mind than FWPs–First World Problems–and this week I have been beset with them.

Why do I find them so infuriating? Because with each FWP, with each annoyance, with each disruption to my life and my regular routine, as I climb the mountain of frustration, as I reach the pinnacle, the apex of exasperation, I am also acutely aware of how lucky I am.

I know that, should I step away from the desk in my home office, take my iPad and a fresh cup of coffee out onto the deck and wirelessly tippy-tap my woes out into the social medium, my friends (who are also online) will rally to my side, nod sagaciously (albeit virtually), and say “There, there” in their myriad, understanding ways. I also know that my rant, were it to come before the eyes of someone outside my tiny, privileged world, someone who had real problems, it would be met with gaping incredulity.

  • I have a connection to the internet.
  • I have a handful of devices with which I can connect to the internet.
  • I can connect to the internet wirelessly.
  • I can connect from my home.
  • I have a deck on which I can take a break from my job.
  • I have a job I can do from my home.
  • I have a job.
  • I have a home. 
  • I have fresh coffee.
  • I have water. In my home.
  • I have food. In my home.
  • I have a loving spouse.
  • I am healthy.

So, as the top of my brain is screaming because the latest upgrade to Widget-Master 19 has completely destroyed my DirectAccess Connectivity Assistance Service, thus forcing me to lose two whole days’ worth of work as I re-install and re-configure everything on my workstation, as my inner Time Management Center goes ballistic because the weeds in the back garden are growing faster than I can find time to pull them, and as my personal I-Want-It-All-Now nodes are confounded by rain (no drives in the convertible), the rest of me, my deep-brain reality receptors, they know that it’s all hogwash; it’s all just silliness and maundering.

In short, I’ve got it good, and I’m going to shut up, now.

k

Simple Living

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