Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Aureliana Kemp

This is the second entry for Nanowrimo 2014.

Aureliana had never gone home with a stranger before. She had no idea what to expect, and honestly no idea what to do. Indeed, she didn't know why she did it in the first place.

Lucius was not particularly remarkable in the way of looks. His ROC was a mid range model several years old. His costume for all-hallows eve, a store bought light play character, was pedestrian.

Oh, but his passion in the way he complained. It was almost like poetry. Of course, Aureliana did not yet realize that Lucius' particular brand of poetry is best appreciated after a few glasses of wine.

Still, he was quite the gentleman. They had not consummated their relationship last night. She seemed to remember him saying something about not having any lovers' purses.

The sunlight finally found its way onto her face. This was enough motivation to get out of bed. It was at that moment that Aureliana discovered that her cloak was not on her person. Looking about the room, it was apparent that her cloak was not anywhere near.

When she removed the blanket to get up, she was greeted with the fact that Lucius did not enjoy spending more of his salary than he had to on heat. It was not going to be the last example of Lucius' unnecessary frugality.

Walking out into the grand room, she discovered Lucius' appreciation of large windows. Lucius' neighbors across the way discovered Aureliana's unencumbered form. She swiftly discovered and put her cloak about herself after waving to them.

She did not even have her Arab's water yet. The four glasses of wine from last night made such immodest displays to strangers that much more embarrassing. She hadn't need to worry, though. The fact that Lucius had visitors of any kind let alone a young woman was shocking in its own right.

Lucius had been gone for a while. Perhaps there was a line at the Water Tower. Her stomach gurgled. Luckily, the layout for houses in this neighborhood of Districtum was quite familiar, and Aureliana was soon making her self a hand meal. Two pieces of bread, some hard salami, and a bit of egg paste had been her favorite snack since childhood. She was struck by the thought that Lucius deserves some credit for a reasonably well stocked pantry.

She really did hope that he would be back with the Arab's water soon, though.

 An amber man that did not own a light box. That was a new experience for Aureliana. Indeed, she realized that even her grand parents owned a light box. They mostly used it to purchase unnecessary home appliances. Well, some of them were unnecessary. The gladiator grill that was her Christmas present was used every other day by her room mate.

Still, without the light box to distract from her headache, Aureliana was beginning to wonder what exactly was the plan that she had last night. The man speaking on the radio about the Egyptian plane crash did not set the most cheery of moods.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lucius Martialis

This is the first entry for National Novel writing month 2014. The Roman empire never fell, and it is the year 1999 A.D.

Lucius never wanted to be an amber man, but with a name like Lucius, he felt compelled to walk the talk. Now, in his third year as a jouneyman amber worker, he was strongly considering joining the legion and leaving behind the wires, fuses, plugs, and all of their trappings behind. It wasn't so much the work, but rather what the work was leading up to: Lucius Martialis was never one to celebrate a new year. Unfortunately, this year seemed to make such a notion impossible.

At any rate, his home city Districtum was piggybacking the end of the second Christian millennium with the kick-off of a two-year celebration of the founding of the city by the Gauls in 1701. This meant lots of amber work. Lots and lots of amber work. This was a blessing and a curse for Lucius.

Work was its own reward, and his salary certainly did not suffer, either. Still, Lucius was helping to waste a great deal of Cyprus metal to light up a great deal of unnecessary lights to facilitate an unnecessary celebration of a city whose biggest accomplishment was bringing rock oil chariots to the common man. The haze that made the sun rise that much more beautiful punctuated that fact.

All in all, Lucius did not have a lot of joy in his life. He is good at his job that he never wanted to do. He is paid well doing something for his job that he found pointless. His home seemed to revel in the fact that it was helping to ruin the environment. His attitude towards other people suffered for it.

Of course, all of Lucius' troubles were "primary world problems", as the song on the radio called them. Unfortunately for Lucius, he listened to Empire Public Radio and left the top fifty to be listened to his neighbors. The striking chords of All Things Conquered awoke Lucius to the first day of Nine. Hrodbehrt Siegel started the day off with news of a plane crash. All 217 people were presumed dead.

This news seemed to start the day off just the way Lucius wanted it to. For a man with no real worries, hearing terrible news seemed to distract him from the misery that was his good fortune. Lucius had a hard time making friends.

Of course, that fact was confounded with the gentle feminine moan that arose next to Lucius. Indeed, he was quite startled by it. With a great deal of self control, he managed to spurt out "Good morning." Lucius, in spite of his throbbing head, decided that "what the hell are you doing here?!" was probably not the best way to greet the young woman to the new day.

For her part, she seemed to appreciate the effort. "God Morning, Lucius. Tell me, do you have any Arab's water in the house?" This was a problem. Lucius was never one for the bitter, dark drink. In fact, he did not even own an Arab's water maker.

Still, while Lucius may not have been the most friendly person on the surface, he knew how to be a good host. "I will be right back. The Water Tower at the end of the block has plenty." The Water Tower had just celebrated its 28th year since its founding in 1971 in Seattlium. It seemed to be opening new stores in the same way that kudzu spread.

Lucius got out of bed, threw on his cloak, and walked out the door.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Spencer Fullerton Baird

In 1843, Baird traveled to Mexico and observed the tapirs named after him. In El Salvador, Baird's Tapir has been extirpated through a combination of deforestation, hunting, and war.

In short, the Salvadoran civil war is my least favorite historical conflict.

Any way, Happy New Year, folks. May your fortunes grow long like a tapir snout!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tasha Arnold

She went outside for a total of three minutes.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Elvis Presley

Today is the 13th of July. The second and last day of the Michigan Elvis fest.

Sadie, Violet, and their friends are playing in Prospect Park. I am enjoying a park bench.

Awesome sauce, friends.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kimber Arnold

She locked herself out of the house, so she walked up to our picture window as I was raising the shade. I screamed, fell down, and yanked the shade from its mooring.

Kim then proceeded to laugh heartily.

I would like to say that my family is healthy and safe. I am very glad of that, and I am truly lucky to be briefly terrified by the mother of my children.

I hope you can say the same.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fred Rogers

Here is a link about how to talk to children when tragic events happen. http://fci.org/new-site/par-tragic-events.html

My heart is broken over what happened in Connecticut. I hugged my children, and cried when I saw the President cry. We need to overhaul our mental health infrastructure in this country, and we need to do it now.