Category Archives: Thoughts

Am I on the National Security terror watch list yet?

 

Last night I was thinking about a story I want to write. My thoughts lead me to several questions.

  1. Thoughts
    1. Lasers
      1. I know that lasers can be used to blind people there is fear that a hand held laser could bring down a jetliner.
      2. Though light is affected by gravity it is very minor and even over long distance can easily be calculated unlike lead.
      3. Lasers are not affected by wind.
      4. Lasers are used for surgery to make highly precise cuts.
      5. Lasers can cut through thick metal.
      6. I’ve heard of killer satellites that use lasers to kill other satellites.
    2. Drones
      1. They’ve been in the news a lot lately.
      2. We know the military uses them to hit targets deep behind enemy lines.
      3. Recently a drone crashed on the Whitehouse lawn.
      4. They are hard to protect against.
      5. Amazon and others are looking to use them for quick delivery service.
      6. A drown carrying drugs crashed near the California boarder close to San Diego.
      7. Apparently there is something called Drone Boning which uses drone mounted cameras to produce voyeur porn.
      8. Anyone can buy them now.
  2. Questions
    1. Lasers
      1. How big would a laser need to be to quickly kill a man?
      2. How much would it weigh?
      3. How much power would it need?
      4. Could such a laser be mounted on a drone?
      5. Why couldn’t a laser be used as a sniper weapon?
    2. Drones
      1. How far can one fly?
      2. How long can it stay air born?
      3. How much weight can they hold?
      4. Could a gun be attached to and fired accurately from one?
      5. If the can deliver drugs and other packages why not bombs?
      6. Wouldn’t they work great for spying?
        1. Video
        2. Directional mic.

As I’m researching these and other questions I knowing how much the NSA is monitoring American’s internet searches. Is Big Brother tagging me as a terrorist threat? Should I expect the FBI and SWAT to be knocking down my front door anytime? The joys of trying to become a writer.

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Nature vs. Nurture

One of the main discussion points in early childhood development is nature vs. nurture. How much of a child behavior is based on upbringing vs. genetics. The same question can be asked about any animal. Is a pit-bull mean because of its breeding or because of how it was raised?

My world of Kavilion is based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) in fact many of the ideas come from AD&D roll playing. In AD&D intelligent beings have an alignment. This alignment is like the points of a compass good vs. evil and lawful vs. chaotic. A creature may be lawful good, lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral good, true neutral, neutral evil, chaotic good, chaotic neutral, or chaotic evil. At first glance one might think that lawfulness and evil are mutually exclusive. Hitler was an example of lawful evil. He followed laws though the rules were not in the best interested of society, he demanded order yet it was an evil order. In AD&D a creature’s race has a lot to do with their alignment some races like Humans can be any alignment others like Drow Elves are chaotic evil. Yet, in R. A. Salvatore books Drizzt a Drow Elf breaks off from Drow Elven society and becomes good. So we must ask is it nature or nurture that makes one the way they are.

In the “Elven Lords” books Lord Ferguson’s sister Moenna is raised by Dryads and becomes a Druid, rare for full elves. She embarks on a quest with her brother to battle an Evil Red Dragon that has been terrorizing the local area. Druids are priest of nature and by their basic character are true neutral believing in a balance of good vs. evil and chaos vs. order. They will fight with the underdog no matter which side against a greater force to restore balance to the world. In this adventure Moenna and her companions slay the evil dragon only to discover an egg. The bulk of the group wants to destroy the egg before it can hatch to become an evil dragon. Moenna insist on protecting the egg allowing the dragon too chose its own path in life. As they are actively discussing the issue the egg hatches our baby red dragon sees Moenna first and attaches to her as its mother. Throughout the remaining books Flame becomes a major part of the story as he grows up in a humanoid world raised by an Elven Druid mother and a human Thief father. He experiences such adventures as getting a claw stuck while learning to pick a pocket then in panic flaming his intended victim. Getting excited and burning their house down. He must learn that things in this world are not as straight forward as one might hope. Just because mommy screams when daddy tickles her doesn’t mean she needs to be protected. Flame goes on to become a Druid proving that nurture not nature is the rule.

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A visit from the NSA

A strange idea hit me over the head the other day. This is in line with my posting a few weeks ago about NSA, Facebook, and Google. Could a sniper rifle be set up with an electronic trigger, a small high quality camera aligned with the scope, and placed on a stand set up with electronic servos that are connected to a smart phone app that would allow it to be remotely controlled via an app on a tablet or computer? This would allow the shooter to not even be near the rifles, hence they could be put in place days ahead of time, and the shooter could even be out of the state or country. Take it one step further by placing an explosive charge that could help destroy any evidence. I did some research and apparently the army has an electronic trigger surprisingly you can buy one on eBay for a paint gun, I am sure it can be modified. Simple robotics could give ultra fine controls for aiming, better than what a man could do. Then I got thinking could two or more guns be set up allowing one person to hit multiple targets?

Now let’s put it all together we have a man who wants to take over the government, he identifies an ex solder maybe an ex ranger who has sniper back ground. He is unbalanced and has talked to his shrink about how bad the government is and how someone needs to do something. He I hired “just to buy the guns” on days he is known to be out someone enters his home and does searches on modifying guns, robotics etc. everything is setup to make it look like this one person did everything. On the day of the shooting, he is killed in such a way it looks like he killed himself. If the government takes the bait then the true killer is in the clear. No one will ever be looking for him. The perfect crime.

Well, would it work?

My mind does strange things to me sometimes, most be all the meds the VA has me on or the lack of sleep. I am still waiting for the feds to show up at my door and drag me away because of my internet searches and my posts. If you never hear from me again you will know why.


Ok honestly I am not one of those people who think the government is out to get me. I just think some of the things we do and say just might ring bells in the wrong places.  Writing can be dangerous but fun. J

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Shipwrecked

 A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agree that they had no other recourse but to pray to God.
However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”
“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”
“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”
“Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”
“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”
For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us. Remember this and always pray for others too!
– Author Unknown

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David Farland’s Kick in the Pants

Today I receiver the latest of David Farland’s writing tips where he talks about writing to the seven senses. He starts out by saying “I was judging a contest this morning and found a story that I really wanted to love. Unfortunately, the author didn’t transport me into the tale. He didn’t use smell, taste, sight, touch, or sound enough. That’s too bad, because the character and conflict were fascinating”.

In the next paragraph he adds this advice from a dear old friend “Dean Wesley Smith, teaches authors that they should reference each of the senses at least every 500 words—or every two pages. I think that’s wise counsel for beginning writers. Doing it might seem mechanical, but if you take it up as an exercise, it will quickly teach you to make sure to ground your story in imagery”.

When I was in school I only learned about the five sense sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. David goes on to add two more kinetic or motion and thought or emotion.

As I read through this email I couldn’t help but think of the writing I did yesterday in one of my books and what I could do to include the seven senses in my story. I need to do a complete write not that it was really bad but there was more tell and less show then there should have been. One of my Characters is a young Sylva Ranger. I talk about what they are; I need to rewrite this with his thoughts and feelings about having become part of this élite group. After all at the start of the story no one knows what Sylvan Rangers are some might realize that Sylvans are a type of elf often called wood elves and rangers are warriors that specialize in caring for nature. Therefore, they might assume that sylvan Rangers are wood elf warriors that care for the forests. Though many readers might remain clueless as to what they are and all will fall short of who they really are.

In my world elves are divided into six tribes High (Original), Gray, Sylvan (wood), Desert, Aquatic, and Arctic. One member from each tribe is called to represent “Lord” the tribe to the Elven Council. Each tribe has a small security force the best of the best that protects their interest and to a lesser extend provides security for their selected “Lord” Each is based in Mount Corellon where the Elven Council meets The Sylvan Rangers report to the Sylvan Lord and are warriors with some magical ability relating to nature and the forest. These abilities are different from Ranger to ranger but might include the ability to talk with animals or plants, the ability to control the weather, the ability to make a plant grow, to heal the sick, or purify food and water. There are many Sylvan elves that are rangers but only the best are selected to become Sylvan Rangers. They are selected in their youth based on the skill and potential they show. Few are selected and those who are must work hard to improve not only their fighting skills but also to discover and develop their special skills.

I need to change the start to include this young Ranger thinking about his selection to the Sylvan Rangers, what he went through and his thought of pride for being selected. Then add in the thoughts and other senses as they first see the smoke rising above the forest in the distance then as they arrive to find the burned out encampment and slaughter of a group of their fellow Sylvan Elves.

I’m not going to give away the story line but there is a lot of work to bring these few short pages up to where they need to be so the reader can see and feel through the eyes of this young elf what he feels and sees. Something new for me to learn and experiment with.

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How do elves age?

My experience with elves is mixed between Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and reading fantasy.  In AD&D elves do not reach maturity until they are around 100.  If this is the case how does their body and mind age as compared to humans?

I’ve read in The Lord of the Rings elves mature mentally faster than humans but their bodies mature slower, with them reaching adulthood at somewhere between 50 and 100 years of age.  Again how would they age as compared to humans.

This becomes important to me because I have several eleven characters that grow up during the story.  In the case of Ferguson and his sister Moenna take part in several of the later books and their age will have an effect on how the story plays out.  Ferguson is a young elf, far from mature when his father dies.  At this point his sister Moenna is a new-born.  Even though still a child by elven standards Ferguson must take over his father’s responsibility and lead his people.

How would the elves respond to being lead by a child?  How would you respond to being lead by a child?  In ancient days when the king died if his child was not yet of age they court would often appoint a regent to run things until the child reached adulthood.  A vital part of the story calls for Ferguson to take charge and lead his people.

With the death of their parents Moenna is a new-born.  It isn’t long until she becomes a main character in the stories.  Do the story have to wait a hundred years for her to age to adulthood or is she able to become an active player earlier.  Keep in mind that a major element in the story is human, so a wait of even 50 years would be the passing of multiple generations.

I like the idea from middle earth that elves mentality mature faster than they do physically.  At a year an elf child is able to talk, sing, walk, and dance but their body is still that of an infant.  Their mind will continue to grow faster than a human so by their teens they are metals as mature as a human adult, but their body will still reflect that of a human child maybe a toddler.  By fifty even though they have been mentally mature for many years their body is still that of a young teen.

This type of aging would allow them to be accepted more by elven society even though human society would still see them as nothing more than a child.  A human would most likely have no respect for an elf of fifty because they would see the physical not the mental maturity of the elves.  This will work in my favor in the stories because Ferguson has assumed his role as a leader among his people, but he is forced to deal with humans many of which will see him as a child and act accordingly.

Thus an elf at fifty my assume some adult responsibility but still be physically limited in the tasks they perform due to their physical ability.  You would not expect a young teen ager to be as strong as an adult.

To sum everything up elves mentally age faster than humans but their body matures more slowly.  Thus their body won’t reach full maturity (mid to late teen) until around 100 years.

 

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Bookworms

A bag of bookworms

Bookworms

I saw this the other day on Facebook and thought what a great idea. When I get to the point that I am doing book tours. I think I will make up a bunch of these to hand out to anyone who buys my books. Then I thought maybe the sour worms would be good for books with a bitter sweet ending. So of course at Smiths today they had large bags of both on clearance. So I bought a bag of each to make some up for family and friends. Now I just need to get ink for my printer so I can give it a try.

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My Stroke

I haven’t posted much on here recently, my stroke really messed up my plans and I am still working hard to overcome the effects. I still can’t really use my left hand but at least I can move it now. I haven’t given up on writing I am just slower having to type with just one hand. I was a slow typist to begin with and even slower now. I will overcome this and will publish my books. My brain is fine it’s just my body that’s on strike. It could have been worse I am thankful that I have come as far as I have so fast.

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Back Up Vital Records

This tip is taken from, Las Vegas Preparedness, one of Ed’s other sites

Part of any emergency preparedness plan must include backup of vita records and data. For a family that could include passports, birth certificate marriage licenses, family photos, etc. For a business important financial records, customer records, suppliers, etc. For the home we recommend a fireproof lock box, something portable that can be grabbed in the event of an evacuation. A safe deposit box is also a great choice, I just like the ability to have personal control and being able to take it with me, this must be maintained at a secure off site location. A back up that is destroyed along with the business is of no value.

Today our world is digital. Everything from personal photos, to accounting and other vital records are kept on our computers. A family’s loss of vacation photos may seem devastating but they will survive, statistics show that the loss of business records is devastating, most businesses involved in a disaster never reopen, and many that do fail within a year, the difference between those that survive and those that done is the maintenance of offsite backups. Las Vegas Preparedness Recommends the following data back up plan. First make copies of all you software license documents and secure them in an offsite location. Some place where they are readily available 24/7. Additionally either maintains the original back up media or a copy at the same location. With the price of external storage so low our recommendation is to use external hard drives one for each day of the week plus four weekly, and three monthly for a total of 12 devices. This way if one fails not everything is lost. Next back up your data using the following schedule 1.Daily perform a sequential back up of all data that has changed, keep five sets, one for each day of the week. This allows the rebuilding of anything that has changed in the last few days, we recommend that these backup are maintained on separate media. 2.Ever week make a full backup of all financial, and customer records as well as all other documents. Maintain four sets/ this is a back up of all records and data that could be changed but does not include the programs themselves or the operating system. Just the data files it’s smaller and faster. 3.Monthly do a full system back up of everything including all program files and the operating system this will take time, but don’t be tempted to start it and leave a lot of good it would be if something happened that night. Keep at least three full backups.

All backups should be maintained off site with the copies of the install media and license information. There are several great backup utilities available Las Vegas Preparedness isn’t going to recommend any one. Instead talk to the people you buy you equipment from see what they recommend. This way they are more likely to be able to support what you are using and answer any questions you may have.

If the business has multiple computers have a network professional configure the system to use roaming profiles, so all data is stored in one central location not on each computer. It is easier to back up one location than several and if a user computer fails, the files are not lost they can log into the network from any computer and see all their files.

Lastly spend the money to hire a professional to set up your network and backup. Don’t be tempted to save money and hire an expert off Craigslist our out of the local paper. As a professional I have fixed hundreds of computers after an expert has worked on the. You get what you pay for. I once had someone comment about how they were surprised how fast their network backup ran. Turned out they were making blank backups, the expert never specified anything to back up so the software ran created a file and it was done. Good thing we checked on it before they needed it. Always hire a professional from a license company that guarantees their work.Back Up Vital Records

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Midnight Thoughts

Don’t you just hate it when you wake up in the middle of the night still wanting to sleep but your mind says no.  I’m having one of those nights so I find myself thinking about my books and making some updates to my websites.  The other night I had a detailed dream that got me thinking about another book this one is Zerham’s Star in my dream I saw the whole thing played out and awoke knowing I had to at least get some of it down before I lost it, and so another story begins.

My goal with this New Year is to set aside time every day to write. I want to get my first book out during the first quarter of the year and go from there.

One of the problems I’ve been having is that I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I keep jumping from idea to idea. So for the most part I’ve picked a couple of them to concentrate on, unless something else comes up I am making an effort to get them out of my head and into a book.

My first book is going to be one I’ve started on WordPress. I’ve worked in the computer industry most of my life so it just makes since to start there. I am also working on a Christian themed book then I want to dive into Kavilion. Kavilion is the series that started it all, I told my future wife about it when we were courting and she’s been after me to write it ever since, so Kavilion is truly for her.

 

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