Observations & Hobbies

The urge to include personal interests in a web page seems to be universally appealing. I'm not immune to the effect. Perhaps it's instinctive.


Fantasy & Science Fiction

Do you read fantasy or science fiction? Try a few of the following titles. All of these folks deserve more attention than they seem to be getting.

*Thomas T. Thomas, ME
*
Douglas Bell, Mojo and the Pickle Jar
*
William C. Dietz, Bodyguard
*
Jack McDevitt, The Engines of God
*
Walter Jon Williams, anything...
*Glen Cook , anything in the Garrett series: Old Tin Sorrows, Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts,...
*
Mark Frost, The List of 7, The 6 Messiahs.
*
Dave Feintuch, the Seafort Saga: Midshipman's Hope, Challenger's Hope, Prisoner's Hope, Fisherman's Hope. Very dark, but possibly the best SF series of the last decade.

Readers of military science fiction will certainly enjoy these titles.

*William Forstchen, The Lost Regiment series: Rally Cry, Union Forever, Terrible Swift Sword,...
*S.M.Stirling & David Drake, The General series: The Forge, The Hammer, The Anvil,...


Music

Tired of "top 40" music? Give these folks a listen.

Ofra Haza

Ofra Haza

Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennitt

Kate Price

Kate Price

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Chihiro Onitsuka

Chihiro Onitsuka

70's metal head who's given up wandering the musical wasteland? That was me, until I discovered folks started performing decent stuff again in the late 90's. Don't believe me?

Nightwish

Nightwish (before Turunen's 2005 departure)

Within Temptation

Within Temptation

Epica

Epica

Rammstein

Rammstein

Under Heaven

Under Heaven

Shadows Lie

Shadows Lie


Models

My kids have me building models again after a 20 year break - mostly warships of the Russian and Japanese navies of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Some of these models can be viewed at ModelWarships.com.

ModelWarships Gallery: Kniaz Suvorov, Russian Battleship -1905
ModelWarships Gallery: Mikasa, Japanese Battleship - 1905
ModelWarships Gallery: S.M.S. Königsberg, German Light Cruiser - 1914

ModelWarships Review: Battleship Kniaz Suvorov in 1/700: Combrig vs. Modelkrak
ModelWarships Review: Combrig 1/700 scale Russian Ships Varyag and Koreyets
ModelWarships Review: Combrig 1/700 scale Russian Armored Cruiser Ryurik

ModelWarships Buildup: Building the Russian Battleship Kniaz Suvorov in 1/700


Karate

This is something else my kids have pulled me into. It's a great way for someone who works with computers for a living to stay halfway fit. I earned my black belt in May of 2004, and continue to work out two or three times a week with Pratt's Karate Club's Buda TX class.

Pratt's Karate Club


Home Brew Beer

Better living through applied microbiology. This is a great deal of fun if you have a bit of patience and can tell the difference between a good beer and a bad one. My favorite homebrew suppliers are Midwest Homebrewing Supplies and Austin Homebrew Supply.


Politics

I know a murderous barbarian when I see one.

Men who fly hijacked airplanes into civilian buildings are murderous barbarians. Men and women who strap on explosive belts and blow themselves up among crowds of innocents are murderous barbarians. Without exception, all those who support them are murderous barbarians. I do not believe these criminals can be holy martyrs. If they were martyrs, then their god could not be the same as my God. He would be an evil god, fit for worship only by murderous barbarians. Any honorable man would spit upon him.

I avoid products made in the People's Republic of China.

On April 1st, 2001, a Communist Chinese (P.R.C.) military aircraft collided with a United States military aircraft operating in international airspace. Embarrassed by the results of the recklessness of their pilot, the Chinese military proceeded to detain the crew of the damaged American aircraft after their properly announced emergency landing at a Chinese airfield. Until the United States receives an apology for this act of piracy from the gang of thugs who rule of the “People’s Republic” of China, United States citizens should consider a boycott of products made in the People’s Republic of China.

Finally, food for thought for those of you who believe it's OK to take liberties with the Bill of Rights in search of a more perfect society:

"First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."

Martin Niemöller: The Resistance (1892-1984).


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