A Vinyl Record Haven

Always a music aficionado, I have all kinds of musical instruments, a few cassettes, hundreds of CDs – and a grand mess of vinyl records. Yes! LPs!

I have an old stereo turntable, but a few years ago I got a new one that you can attach to a device and record the albums onto CDs. Never actually did it…yet. Nonetheless, it plays the tunes well!

Since they came out, I’ve been a CD freak and listened only to them for many years. Just recently I set up that relatively new player and brought some records up. Whoa! The memories! I still have the first album I ever bought at the Ben Franklin 5&10 store! Having to flip them is annoying, but worth it. Who knows, some might be worth something!

Curiously Curved Trees

As many are aware, I live far out in the Kentucky woods on 100 acres of wild forest in a log cabin I designed and built. From the get-go, I have wondered why there are trees of several types that mysteriously start bending, usually a few feet up the trunk, and continue or even twist as they grow larger. Examples:

Sure, if a new tree is growing on a hill or monkeys start swinging on them, they’ll bend. These don’t fall into either category. There are many more around here, too. So why this Shag Bark Hickory or that Post Oak? Mystery indeed!

A while back, I published a series of books called ‘Take-A-Break Shorts’. They each have a few short stories, grouped by the type of story; about a dozen eBooks at only $0.99. There’s a story, a sci-fi answer set at the end of the Civil War called The Curiously Curved Trees. Read the whole story here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085161BHG/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p2_i5

Possible Hope?

Striving to help the light and dump the dark

Trying to keep busy sewing dresses, skirts, jackets

or painting on canvas

Weeding the garden

Making bread, yogurt, cookies

Writing…

Job ripped from me, no friends, no pay, alone

Reason for eating regularly?

Reason to keep my heart beating?

Reason to imagine soaring sheep?

Sheep bleating in the clouds – yes, I could pull another crazed story from my brain. Forget it.

Today? Cozy in my homemade jammies and housecoat, what about today? Get dressed!

Too much sewn , I don’t need more bread or yogurt, nowhere too hang anymore paintings, all outside is dormant. Another story or book? Nobody reads them, so why?

In the early morning sun’s shadows, I walk to the end of the long gravel driveway and see the wild yellow narcissus plants budded out. I look closer. Many new ones, the established ones have big, tinted buds, and there! There are a few in bloom! Spring’s grand harbinger! Possible hope? Barky nudges my knee for a pat and wags her tail.

The Tragic Wreck of the USS Possama

“Sir, the last communication with the submarine occurred at 0331 on the 5th of this month. May I play the message now?” Lieutenant Matthew Masert acknowledged the Captain’s nod and ran Captain Arnold’s message:

“Alert! We are being surrounded fore, aft, starboard and port by Russian subs. This started when we completed our Kamchatka assignment. Now we’re halfway to …”

Captain Ensano frowned. “That’s it?”

A week later, no further word from the Possama nor had any searches succeeded in discovering any reason for the boat to be missing. Russia denied any activity around the sub at all. The USS Possama became another lost submarine in the Pacific, flags at half-mast.

Captain Arnold laid his cards down with a grin as the other three officers of the Possama fanned their hands out in defeat. The Captain took the last package of chocolate cookies and quietly secured them in his satchel. His comm unit vibrated. He reached for it and held it close to his ear. He replied in a whisper, “We’re ready but do not make any outside communications yet.” He pulled the cookies out slowly and opened them with a shove to the officers as he rose and went forward with care to not pant too loudly. Perhaps this ultra-silence could end soon!

Later that evening, Lt. Masert trotted to the Captain’s quarters and knocked, hoping Ensano hadn’t hit the sack yet. When the door opened, Masert stood at attention and stated, “The USS Possama is now found.”

Captain Ensano clenched his hands before his chest, almost as a prayer. “Is the crew alive?”

“Uh, Sir, the submarine just pulled into Ballast Point, all alive.”

“San Diego? That boat is out of Hawaii! Que Demonios?” His arms fell limply to his side.

“Admiral Musavel wants us to make way to San Diego for an update with no mention of this to anyone.”

Ensano stepped lively on his way forward on his Destroyer USS Kentucky and reached the Control Room. Soon they were in the lane to southern California. He laid on the power as this he did not wish to miss!

The meeting room had past Admorals’ pictures in an array around the walls. Captain Arnold stood at the podium in full dress uniform and greeted his old friend Pablo Ensano, Admiral Musavel and several others not familiar to him. When they all got seated, he began.

Arnold straightened his lips side to side and closed his eyes for a couple seconds, then appeared more relaxed and spoke. “Welcome all. First, I apologize for causing anxiety over our lack of any signals. I have a reason and I believe the ruse was absolutely worth it.

“We took photos and recordings at the Kamchatka mission site. As we left, Russians ganged up around us and tried driving us to the west. We did not want to end up in their custody, so we opened our torpedo hatches and were immediately fired at. We pushed the reactor as high as it would go and sent out a decoy. It worked but we pretended it did not, with us opening some valves to let out bubbles. We settled into a low spot and cut all services. At least one Rusky sub observed us for nearly a week before leaving and thank God for that as the O2 had gone down to beetle crap. We eased on some vital services and searched for any sign of Rusky presence. None! We left as swiftly yet secretly as we could and beelined here.

“They probably kept monitoring south in case we tried to get back to Hawaii, so we came here due west with as much stealth as we could muster. You see, we caught proof of a temporary installation of Ruskies near Alaska, under an extending shelf with buoys floating around above them that were not left by fishermen. I have all the data including cryptic signals being reviewed now.”

Arno stared at the attendees and tapped his right foot. “No comments?”

Ensano stood. “You went back into your days in the country! You played possum!”

Arnold smiled big.

Ah, Playin’ Possum!

Where’s the Nearest Spaceship Repair Shop?

HURRAY! I got my newest book published and available on Amazon! So far just in print, working on the eBook. In short, the Alefinna is a standard biped ET outfit that roams the galaxy looking for customers and sellers for the Galactic Hub. The Hub is the nexus for trade, entertainment, communications and any other activities to share among the solar systems. They invite a strange group aboard to discuss joining, but the strangers instead blast their navigation systems thoroughly with acid. The Alefinna barely land in one piece in the U of L football field.

Cardinal Stadium, Where the Alefinna Spaceship Landed!

From there onward is a study in how different parts of Earth social fabric assess and treat these ‘Galactics’. To complicate things, one of the crew (Dez) had been to Earth before as a surveyor. The idea was to measure the love and light index and the things that make Earthies unique. In the early 1960s US, L&L looked great with the big peace movements. In the 1980s much had changed; all but his love for his 1960s sweetheart. He did not know that liaison resulted in a daughter.

How would NASA respond? Ultraconservative haters? University Astrophysics majors all over the globe? Governments around the world, especially when the Alefinna offer the US high-level technology to build a repair facility for them. Is your mind spinning with widely varied reactions already? Read how our ambassador spins the story at the United Nation meetings.

SNOW GEEK!

After rain, rain, rain and more rain, I got jazzed to not only get some snow but 8 or 10 inches of it! I’ve lived in New York, California, Illinois, Florida and a little Indian Ocean atoll, but have the dearest attachment to my birth state of Kentucky. I love the environmental diversity, the equality of seasons (usually) and the log cabin I built here amidst the woodland and wildlife.

Yet I still love science and the fascinating areas of astrophysics and energy production. I study the climate issues and pick out the constellations on clear nights. I write science fiction with real science issues in them.

These two aspects coalesced on a snowy afternoon, impelling me to etch a Snow Geek in the freezing white fluff. Enjoy your day!

Silly but fun, needed for sanity sometimes!