The drizzle began around 6:10, as I was letting Daughter out to play soccer. (I suppose I should call her Teen (TM) now, following the old Strib column nomenculture.) As with yesterday, we couldn't find the field. Oh, it was the right area, but there were many teams, and she was doing practice, which meant no uniforms. Eventually she just went looking and gave me a wave from the other side of the field: found them. That's when it started to rain.

Went home and arranged things. The imperatives of Fall, the turning in, the neatening and straightening the den for the long hibernation. Got rid of expired medication from the drawer of unguents, marveling that I'd had some antibacterial stuff for ten years past its use date. When I was done with the drawer I printed out a rebate for the dog's medication, and thought: this is serious. I never do rebates. This is the surest sign of the Fall Imperative yet - so strong, so sudden. Rebates! I hate rebates!. But there it was, printed and folded and addressed and stamped.

What am I becoming?

Well, we'll see if I get through the piles of things sorted from the unboxing of old boxes. We'll see if I scan those documents tomorrow and cut up the matchbooks and rip the DVDs and archive the movies and so on. And so on. I hope so. A few years of incremental work scanning and arranging and sorting everything seems to have accomplished more than I thought.

I'm almost done.

Went back to the field at 7:20 to pick her up. Dim. Dank. Overcast. Planes cut through the fog overhead, lights cutting though the clouds. The field had eight, ten games when I dropped her off; just two, now, a few kids on the enormous empty expanse. I looked for the green socks - there. And that shirt. Walked across the field, shivering. The kid turned around. Wasn't her. Didn't see her anywhere.

I didn't see her anywhere. The last I'd seen her she'd waved an OK from waaaay across the field. Felt that old familiar sluice, that jangly jolt in the chestral region - but no, green socks over there.

It's been years since I've felt that. It's an emotion that's coiled an watchful, ready to spring. It's the same when they're 13 as when they were three and wandered off at Target. But of course I can't imagine it'll be the same when they're 23.



I forgot to mention yesterday a very important detail: the meal I had planned instead of eating in the car at McDonald's was lobster ravioli tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese with a dollop of red sauce and fresh bread. Since we did not eat that I planned to have it on Tuesday.

It did not work out that way today, either. Soccer is destroying our family togetherness. The Lobster Ravoli must be used or frozen by Thursday, so it's not a critical situation yet.

Please be assured I will keep you posted.


On the work blog a few days ago I introduced some new people to Horse_eBooks. Not everyone knows of this twitter account. Or, as Horse_eBooks would put it:



It is a robot account that scrapes and recombines this to get clicks for some site run by a Russian programmer. It is legendary. It is widely followed for its lyrical surrealism and blunt tough advice.



It has its own wikipedia entry.


I mentioned yesterday that I’m doing a little thing called “redesigning the entire site from the ground up.” The matchbook sites are an example, if you checked yesterday’s offerings. Nothing looks different, except for a navigation bar at the bottom that takes you straight up to the main menu. Most sites are suffering complete overhauls. Would you like to see an example? Of course. This is what the current Black and White World: 1920s site looks like:


And here’s the new version, more or less. I did the main logo quickly this morning after one cup of coffee and will torture it some more. The navigation bar at the bottom is a bit busier than most, but that’s because there are two submenus to get back to, AND a link back to the 1920s project, which links to this subsection.

The videos have been re-encoded for mobile platforms. It’s all HTML5 compliant.



Are you joining this already in progress?

How apt. The first installment is here.

My suspicion for this episode: lots of cutting back and forth between our heroes and the bad guys, with an air of General Peril leading to a Specific Peril at the cliffhanger. This week:

Atoma is the planet on which the bad evil but disarmingly casual Tyrant lives. As with most science fiction, the entire planet has one (1) political system. As with 50s science-fiction, it has an science-type name, although “Atoma” is like “Earth,” in the sense that the planet is named after the material it’s made of. I always thought that calling this place “Earth” was like calling it “Dirt.”

As we last left Captain Video and the Ranger, they were heading towards two onrushing asteroids:



Unable to correct course due to a malfunction in the plot - I mean, they could have just gone down, or up - they climb into the back of the ship. This is their escape capsule.



It disengages from the ship:



Now. Let’s think. The escape portion is the rear. It has no controls or power, according to Captain Video. Yet that’s where the engine was. So the escape pod is powerless and rudderless even though it has the engine, and that’s what you get into to escape. From onrushing asteroids. How? By disengaging from the front half, which cuts off the engines, which makes the escape capsule fall.

Captain Video and the Ranger landed on the planet when the gravity of Atoma took their escape capsule and laid it down gently about 14 feet from the front door of the evil bad guy’s lair. What a stroke of luck! They dress up as natives. Aliens always dress like 19th century Arabs with big futuristic guns.



Meanwhile, the evil earth Scientist TOBOR who is NOT a ROBOT, sorry kids, has detected a problem in Sector K. This is very high-tech for the show, because it does not have a dial. It’s the Jony Ive of Captain Video design:



Elsewhere, the guards have convened with their ray-spears . . .



. . . which don’t shoot rays. At least none I’ve seen. But they must shoot rays. There has to be a reason for those, because you couldn’t run someone through with those ringed doodads. They’re looking for the Ranger, because the future of the interplantary war hinges on finding a lost teenager with no particular abilities.

They find him, and two incredibly fit intergalactic soldiers use a mind-reading device to find Captain Video.



Of course, the mind images look like “serial footage.” This always bothered me as a kid: video screens that showed something where there weren’t any cameras. First bothered me in “You Only Live Twice.”

Ah, but what of the robots?



Of course, the mind images look like “serial footage.” This always bothered me as a kid: video screens that showed something where there weren’t any cameras. First bothered me in “You Only Live Twice.”

Ah, but what of the robots?



That narrows it down.

Advancement of plot: two microns.

Back to work on the novel; the despair has passed and I'm banging away at it red-hot. It actually makes sense this time. See you around!






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