Going Off Site

This was originally published in Watch The Skies.

A couple of weeks ago Watch The Skies did something we’ve never done before. We headed off

site and set up a table at a charity event. Any other time in the past 14 years when something

was going on, people were coming to us. This was new and exciting.

The event was the Carlisle High School SciFi Saturday. This was the second annual version of

the event. I have to say, the turnout and enthusiasm was far, far more than I expected.

The CHS SciFi club was working with a number of charities raising money and donations. The

charities included Project Share, Community Aid and Furry Friends Network. They lined up a

gymnasium full of folks interested in what they had going on and laid out a whole day filled with


This was a charity event, but it really seemed more like a mini convention than anything else. The

participants spanned all kinds of genres. There was a media star there (no, I’m not saying who it

was – you should show up next year and see for yourself) there were artists, costumers, authors,

editors, comic book shops, and all kinds of fun stuff. A DJ set up in one corner. I heard the theme

to Land of the Lost at one point during the day – how often do you hear that blasting from a DJs

speakers? That Game Place was set up and running game demos through the course of the day.

There was a lot going on.

The school had club members ready and willing to help carry things in and out. Everyone’s space

was laid out on a map. Set up was quick and easy. In terms of logistics, I’m not sure it could have

gone better.

WTS wasn’t actually selling anything. We were there for promotional purposes only. We donated

a couple dozen cans of food to the food drive but that wasn’t the bid deal. The big deal was that

we gave away 90 books. That’s right, we were promoting science fiction, fandom and reading by

giving away books. I believe there were a lot of folks that didn’t know how to feel about what we

were doing. Yes, for free. No, it’s wrapped up so it will be a surprise when you open it. Gave them

all away. Many thanks should be given to Jeff Young (our fearless fanzine editor) for organizing

the book collection and getting our group all set up. It was a grand success.

In all, the only thing I can say was we didn’t see enough people show up. Sure there were lots of

folks in the gym, but it would have been better if it was packed. That’s the part where you come

in. If this even runs again next year (and I suspect it will) I plan to be part of getting WTS there

and participating again. What we need is for YOU to be there. I certainly hope you will be.

Star Lord

Going Up!


I know there aren’t many folks on my list that geek out over the same kind of stuff I do – but this is one of those times when I’m going to share because the future is creeping up on us. You’re too close, you won’t see it right away but suddenly you’ll look around and think to yourself, “how the hell did we get here?” while staring at all the little things that have added up over time.

Check out the place being built directly over the top of an operational rail yard HERE.

I was fortunate enough to have heard a presentation on this project a couple of years ago. There was a lot of discussion about how the coordination and the software was being handled because of the massive amount of logistics involved. It really is an amazing project that we’re not hearing much about. I find it fascinating that we’re taking our most definite steps so far toward becoming the land of Fifth Element – we’re building up, directly over other places that have already been built.

Anticipated Reading

There aren’t many books that I’ve gone gaga over. Ready Player One is among the few that I have been really taken with. I’m glad it is a stand alone book. I’m anxious that the movie can’t possibly live up to the hype it will be greeted with (even if they manage to get the rights to all the stuff they need – and I doubt that will ever happen).

Now there’s another book coming out from the same author. I’ve taken a peek at the first chapter and there is hope for another book that will drag me in and push me along on another amazing ride.

Check out the first chapter here.

I don’t have tons of reviews up, but you can check out other books I’ve read if you track me down on Goodreads or see what I’ve got posted over at MilSciFi.com.

Reflections on my Birthday

Today is my birthday, but I don’t celebrate much anymore. I’m in between the joy of being another year older you gain when you’re young and are desperate to reach all the milestones set ahead of you and whatever feeling accompanies the milestone birthdays as you age. I’m not 16, nor am I 60. At 45 I am right in the middle of everything and maybe that’s why I don’t see it as a particularly celebratory occasion?

I don’t want that to sound as if I’m unhappy (and text without emotion and facial expression is often misinterpreted) because I’m not. I’m happier than I ever understood I could be. I have so many things to be thankful for in my life that any list would be woefully short and inevitably I would forget something important (isn’t that a sign of getting old?). My family is healthy and happy. We have a wonderful home in a nice area with good schools. I have some success with work and such a myriad set of hobbies I can’t keep up with them all.

Maybe that gets to the crux of what I’m feeling today. It’s not so much a celebration as another distance marker. A warning if you will. Today is a great reminder that every day should be special. I have often said there are not enough hours in the day. I have, for the most part, said that in the context of another day with long hours at the office and a list of things I need to finish at the house, but the heart of the matter isn’t that at all. When I say that I think, “45 already? How the hell did that happen? I have so many things I want to do. I have so many things I want to share with my daughter. I have so many places I’d like to travel to with my wife… I’m going to run out of time if I’m not using every single day to the fullest!”

I am so grateful for all the good in my life. I’m thrilled to share that with my friends and family. I’m fine with being 45 – I’m right in the middle of all the things! I have a lot going on. I can’t wait to do more, be more and share more. There are so many places, people, things out there I’ll never get to them all – but I’m sure going to try. So in that sense, yeah – it’s a happy birthday.

Birthdays and Social Media

I’m planning on writing up a quick reflection on my birthday later – but I want to throw a couple of other little items out there first.

It’s more than a little creepy that my Google page has a birthday note on it. Birthdays are generally things I think of as celebrations for friends and family, not multi-national search engine companies.


I’m so happy to see birthday messages on Facebook. Little things really do make the difference. It has also become a distraction to my day. Having everything linked together is fantastic most of the time. Having my phone going off and my e-mail chime and my tablet announce new messages every time somebody posts isn’t generally an issue. Today they’re going off constantly – but not at the same time. I’ve had to restrain myself from jumping to check things in order to get any work done at all. I know – total first world problem. Not a complaint, just an observation. Maybe it’s all the noise and celebration of a birthday party, just spread out over the course of the day?

Thank you to all my friends and family for the birthday wishes. It matters. I appreciate it.

It’s my birthday! I’ll probably celebrate by mowing the lawn or finishing the laundry tonight. Look out for my life on the edge!