Still Sounding Good

This looks like a fun thing to do.

Twittering Tales #59 – 21 November 2017

is a project from the awesomely prolific Kat Myrman. This week’s photo prompt

hands-1840487_1280

Hands by Pexels at Pixabay.com

led me to write the following within the new limits of 280 characters.

Old together but the sound is still sweet. Lady Clairol matches hair to your black keys.  New teeth match your white keys. Couldn’t do much about the hands but it’s the sound that’s important. The sound is as ever. Piano rolls never go out of style.

(249 characters)

Go check out her site. There is a new activity daily.

All Genes Are Not Equal

From the title, we can guess that A Perfect Society is a series prequel. This short story sets the scene for an ideal world community. It is proposed that money will no longer be used. The currency for everyday transactions will be the worth of the individual to society. A person’s potential lifetime worth will be measured at birth and a value assigned by the government to everyone. The individual then will trade on his/her assigned worth to obtain daily necessities. But not everybody will have the same potential worth. As this story begins, it seems people of color are valued less.

Starting out as a YA novel, Persephone (Pepper) is in the fifth grade. At home, there is a barn where a friend of her father, Dr. Terry, works. Dr. Terry is black, the son of a man who was a soldier with Pepper’s father. Cort and Tuck had served together in Iraq where Cort had contracted a disabling disease due to chemical weapons. Tuck permitted Cort’s son, Dr. Terry, to conduct research in a barn behind his home. Dr. Terry, an MIT graduate, was doing genetic research, the kind of stuff that might affect values of social worth assigned by the government at birth.

The year is 2020. The government has finally passed a law institutionalizing the digital society, the perfect society based on a person’s predicted worth. Pepper’s personal life is terrible. She has no friends as all previous ones shunned her as the daughter of a family harboring and supporting a man whose research will disturb the new proposed society. Her only friends are two boys, one black and one white, who are in a romantic relationship. At school, the three sit at a table for the rejected as they suffer taunts based on racism and sexist intolerance. At home, Pepper’s mom has separated from the family. There are no friends or visitors other than Government representatives who visit to enlist Dr. Terry with Tuck’s help.

This short story ends with an unexpected event, a tragedy, and a surprise ending. It is followed by an excerpt from Skin Trials. I don’t usually read follow-on excerpts out of some contrarian reaction to being manipulated into buying a novel by the cliffhanger from the prequel. In this case, I am glad I read it. It carries forward but does not really explain, what happened in the prequel. I was quite happy, surprised, and intrigued by the unusual and well worked out premise to these stories. I will read further books by this author as they become available.

Now It Can Be Told

Reading this is like sticking a mixing device in your brain and setting the mixer speed to high. However, it made me want to revisit “Breakfast of Champions,” a book I found too non-sensical when I was a serious high school student. High School and taking things seriously was a long time ago.

Flashbytes

by Kurt Vonnegut – a Kilgore Trout story…

kurt vonnegut kilgore trout Now It Can Be ToldThe premise of the book was this: Life was an experiment by the Creator of the Universe, Who wanted to test a new sort of creature He was thinking of introducing into the Universe. It was a creature with the ability to make up its own mind. All the other creatures were fully programmed robots.

The book was in the form of a long letter from The Creator of the Universe to the experimental creature. The Creator congratulated the creature and apologized for all the discomfort he had endured. The Creator invited him to a banquet in his honor in the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where a black robot named Sammy Davis, Jr., would sing and dance.

And the experimental creature wasn’t killed after the banquet. He was transferred to a virgin planet instead. Living…

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Lest we forget

I tend to avoid most of the pomp and ceremony that tries to illustrate the depth of feelings on 11 November, Veteran’s Day, celebrated in the US and other countries under the names Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day, and Remembrance Day. The overall idea is/was that the Great War, WWI, was to end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. And that was to be it. No more wars. Obviously, not.
The video here is not in celebration of that day; it celebrates instead ANZAC day, celebrated as a public holiday on 25 April in Australia and New Zealand. So why do I reblog this several days later? I believe it addresses the universality of feeling about the horrors and senselessness of war that is not tied to a specific day or nationality or time of the year. As a US Army veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, it is easy to place all the memories in the US experience basket and downplay the contributions made by the individuals, civilian and military (conscription) of other nations.
As I watched this I immediately defaulted to my experience in Vietnam and I remembered the Australian and New Zealand soldiers serving alongside the US. Also, the South Korean soldiers. Canadian Allies were there and stayed after the “end” of the US experience as their nation attempted to assume a peacekeeper role. The Philippines contributed components that included civilian support. The Thai and Lao governments contributed many types of forces that were involved in something today called a “shadow war.” The Republic of China (Taiwan) played a role as did Cambodia, always a fragmented nation that was to pay a heavy price after the US left the region.
Two other countries of the time contributed heavily; North Vietnam and South Vietnam. It amazes me that there are articles found on the web that ignore South Vietnam as a major contributor. North Vietnam is an acknowledged belligerent but when tallying the forces fighting with South Vietnam, I have noticed “the South” omitted. As a father of several Vietnamese-American children (and husband of their mother), I feel sad about this failure to acknowledge the contributions of a group of people, civilian and military, who died for an ill-defined cause.
All of this goes back to the universality of everyone caught up in this final, insane activity that occurs when diplomacy fails. Remembrances can occur anywhere and anytime. There is plenty of insanity to go around. And it continues.
So, I reblog this. Lest We Forget. Thanks, Angie Trafford.

AngieTrafford

We will always remember.

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The Wand Has It

For those that think a cover has little to do with a reader’s selection, I beg to differ. How could I pass up a title like Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey? This is like finding a whole new subculture. I found the cover tastefully provocative. No, I won’t explain what that means.

Continue reading “The Wand Has It”

Don’t Take the Dummy on the Robbery

After being impressed by Fallen Angel by James Harper, I followed links and found another freebie No Rest for the Wicked, a lengthier short story than Fallen Angel. There is a subtitle on the cover that might be a mantra: “There Ain’t No Such Thing as Free.”

There is a robbery gone wrong. Three people entered a store, all were wearing masks. The store owner tried to protect what was his and was shot for his troubles. There wasn’t supposed to be any shooting but one of the three gang members, one who was short several cards of a full deck, overreacted. The three fled, taking a female clerk hostage. Intending to flee to a nearby hotel deserted for the winter, they had not counted on the entrepreneurial spirit of the hotel owners. There was a promotion to which only three select couples were invited as test guests prior to a grand opening. Unfortunately for the evildoers, Evan Buckley (it’s a series) and girlfriend Gina were one of the couples. Another couple canceled. But that left two guest couples, a manager and a chef, four bad guys, a hostage store clerk, and one small child (brought by the other couple) to weave an entertaining tale.

Continue reading “Don’t Take the Dummy on the Robbery”

Unjustly Jailed?

I opened my emails this morning (11 November 2017) to find an offer from Wild Blue Press to review a copy of Targeted by M. William Phelps. The book is a non-fiction true-crime novel, a type that I really like but so many of the ones I have read put me off to the point that I avoid the genre. This one, however, was inciteful, thoughtful, balanced, and so detailed that the general reader might shy away from it. But just as the reader might be nodding off like some of the jurors Phelps describes, the author takes a break and follows a new tangent to draw the reader’s attention back to the wider, more comprehensive, less detailed but still interesting context.

Tracy Fortson is a murder. Juries have spoken, judges have decided sentencing, Tracy is in prison currently serving a mandated life plus ten-year sentence for killing Doug Benton and this condition is unlikely to change short of possible parole board clemency. There is no surprise ending, no “gotcha” moment in the book. So, why read the novel? I am a “Law and Order,” “Homicide Hunter,” and “CSI” fan as well as a former sheriff’s deputy. Tracy Fortson is a former sheriff’s deputy. So much for why I am interested. Feel free to read and review this and explain why you think it is interesting.

Continue reading “Unjustly Jailed?”