Thursday, December 29, 2016

Farewell 2016 and Catch Up

Due to a stint  in the hospital and being  sick I missed a couple of LBC posts so I will catch up here.

The  person I admire most is Neil deGrasse Tyson - who says "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."The enthusiasm he brings to his discussions is infectious and you can see the sparkle in his eyes as   he speaks.   As  a black man he faced many hurdles on his way to becoming an astrophysicist.  He is easily one of the most interesting people on the planet.

Am I enjoying what I am doing ?  Not really. I should not have moved to North Carolina. I belong on the other coast to be frank. That aside, I have been frustrated by many issues here. Plus, I miss working. Maybe this is just a bad time - a blip in my timeline. Time will tell.

Lastly - this week's  topic - Farewell 2016. It has been a challenging year health wise and  otherwise. I now live with 5 other people - so much for a quiet retirement. But as things turned out health wise it is lucky for me I had those people around - and still do. So happy trails 2016 - I won't miss you. 2017 promises to be most interesting with Donald Trump as President.  Hopefully my health will continue to improve and the future will be brighter.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Outlaws LBC 12/9/2016

Truth be told,  I have been so sick the last 3-4 weeks I decided to pas on this weeks topic. Thn I saw it and was quickly energized by the thought of this - one of the most kick-ass tunes ever recorded

That should be enough energy to suck to finish the post.

Outlaws have been romanticizes since the tales of Robin Hood - feared by the bad, loved by the good. that sure hooked me as a 5-yr old in Pueblo, Colorado

Here in the USA we romanticize several outlaws - like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Did they get out of South America?

All of that is well and good but the fact remains - most outlaws are genuine bad guys. Bonnie and Clyde were stone cold killers. So too were Jesse James, Billy the Kid maybe even so-called hero of the west Wyatt Earp.

It's  tough to romanticize the outlaws of the 20h Century .  There was very little steal from the rich and give to the  poor -just steal and kill.

Enter the 21st century and suddenly things change. Hacking jumps to the fore. Sites like Wikileaks leak thousands of documents, exposing warts and flaws of anyone they hack. Part whistle blower, part activist - your point of view likely rests on which side of the coin you choose to support. But the fact remains - they are still outlaws.

Curious what my cohorts have to say??  Ramana   Pravin

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Favorite Fictional Character is..... LBC

This weeks topic was my suggestion - part of a string of our favorite things that tell  a bit about each of us that choose to write on the topics.

When I suggested the topic  I knew I could not give a single answer that would be totally honest. I have always been a voracious reader. This year alone I have read over 90 books. I freely admit most of my reading is recreational and mystery fiction.  Considering my age - 67 - I have read through multiple generations of fictional characters, beginning with Nero Wolfe, Sherlock Holmes, Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade to Spenser, the Nameless Detective, Kinsey Milhone, Lucas Davenport, Milan Jacovich  and many more.

With such a breadth  of characters to choose from I have chosen three - Spenser (Robert B Parker), Travis McGee (John D MacDonald) and Kate Shugak (Dana Stabenow).

Spenser appeared in 1973's Godwulf Manuscript and is currently being authored by Ace Atkins since Parker's death in  2010. Spenser is a former cop, extraordinarily literate, cultured hen it suits him and as you would expect  tough as nails. As originally written, Spenser  was at one time heavyweight boxer who once fought Jersey Joe Walcott - which gives a clue to his age. He is a seriously smart-mouthed guy with a committed relationship with his girl - Susan Silverman - and a best friend -Hawk- who defines the bad in bad-ass. His home base is Boston but there are stories based elsewhere.  Learn more about the character here  Spenser

Kate Shugak is a modern-era heroine based in Alaska. Dana Stabenow is a superior writer who has created a delightful series that captures the modern era - warts and  all - as viewed through Kate's eyes. I cannot recommend this 20 title (so far) series enough.  Kate is an Aleut and lives on a homestead in  a fictional park in Alaska. She has an assortment of family and friends - including her current boyfriend, Alaska State Trooper Chopper Jim Chopin and her adopted son (of her deceased former boyfriend) as well as an various Aunties. Kate's stories play out throughout Alaska and offer a look at the history and culture of the state.

Check out Kate and Dana here Kate Shugak.

Were  someone to hold a gun to my head and force me to choose one of the three characters to be my  favorite it would be Travis McGee, the Florida based creation of John D MacDonald. McGee resides at Slip F18, Bahia Mar Florida on a houseboat  - The Busted Flush - that he won in a poker game. McGee is a salvage consultant - he recovers things for people for a flat 50% of the value fee. McGee is the last resort for recovery so the fee is rarely an issue. The series hit the streets in  1964 with the Deep Blue Goodbye and ended with 1985's The Lonely Silver Rain.

McGee's philosophy of life was decidedly anti-group. His best friend and occasional partner in arms is a world renowned  economist named Meyer - who has the physique  and pelt of a bear and lives on a cabin cruiser called the John Meynard Keynes. Travis has attitudes about sex that are definitely a part of the times in which his stories were written but he does learn and grow with the times. He fights corruption, lies and deceit wherever he goes. His vehicle of choice is his customized 1936 Rolls Royce pickup painted a horrid blue by a previous owner that he calls Miss Agnes.

I think it is time to go read a bit. Be sure to see what Ramana 
and Pravin have to say on their blogs.