07JUN2018 – OCF Update

The summer is now an actual thing and get-togethers and parties are happening.   But things will continue unabated here on OCF, the pulse of the spite filled, unforgiving, vindictive vengeful right.  I’m starting to read David Reich’s book “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”  It goes over a lot of the same ground as Gregory Cochran’s book “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution,” but from a very apologetic, politically correct, “diversity is our strength” point of view.  But from of the small parts I’ve read it’s still very interesting to see the pushback he experienced.  Should be instructive.  I’ve got the last Majipoor book to read and the next Galaxy’s edge installment and some other sf and I’ve got some photo projects lined up.  But the elephant in the room should be the DOJ IG’s report coming out this week.  I’m hoping that will trigger a lot of stuff.  Maybe even the end of the Mueller investigation or at least a counter-attack to take him out.  So good stuff coming up.

On a more local note I’ve been intrigued by the general dearth of comments.  Now this is my first blog so maybe it’s how it works but I’m curious, so I have a survey poll on it.  I’ll leave it on the next few posts and I look forward to the info I get.

26MAY2018 – OCF Update

The thirty degree mornings have relented.  There is a break in the seemingly endless succession of torrential rain and wind storms.  I have a non-work day where I can cut the grass and put the yard in post-winter order.So today may be a bit slow.  What’s on tap and coming up soon:

  1. Photos from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  2. Photo essay on the Sigma 150-600 Sports lens on the A7 III.
  3. Book Review on Robert Silverberg’s “Valentine Pontifex.”
  4. Book Review on “Kill Team (Galaxy’s Edge Book 3).”
  5. Book Review on “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”
  6. Review of the Vanguard Alta GH-300T Grip Head for heavy lens shooting.
  7. Review of Deadpool 2.
  8. Review of Capture One 11 Photo Editing Software.
  9. President Trump’s summary firing of the intelligence agency conspirators.  Wait I’m not supposed to write that.  Let’s call that Trump Humor.

And some of these may not be in this order.  I am human after all and sometimes the mood strikes me to switch stuff up.  So stay tuned.

06MAY2018 – OCF Update

This week I’ll finish up reading Larry Correia’s “Monster Hunter Seige” and post a review.  The hard cover version came out back in July but I buy the paperback for convenience and that version just got issued.  The site has been a little slow because I’m putting together a sort of “best of” post on my southwest landscape trip for a link that Captain Capitalism is providing me and it’s a time-consuming endeavor.  It’s like eleven hundred files and I’m still learning how to use Capture One.  So bear with me.  That post should be pretty interesting for the photo enthusiasts.  As I mentioned earlier I’ll get those rental lenses on Friday the 11th and that will spawn some interesting posts on the viability of using Sigma lenses with Canon mount on the Sony A7 cameras.  That may be interesting to Canon shooters with Sigma glass who have been interested in switching to Sony and anyone who is still constrained by Sony’s telephoto and macro lens choices.

The other thing I am interested in writing about is the direction of right wing movement.  I am trying to formulate my own particular spin on what makes sense going forward.  There is a lot of confusion and undirected anger that doesn’t seem to be producing much in the way of results.  And there seems to be a certain amount of opportunism and charlatanism that makes it difficult to know what is solid and worthwhile.  Sometimes it seems that several people have each latched onto a different piece of the puzzle needed to reform the current situation but like the blind men and the elephant they only “see” a small part of the reality and are missing the big picture.  And because of that, they diagnose that small part of the problem and their solution doesn’t address the broader situation.  And some of the “wise men” are too extreme.  They would throw out the baby with the bath water.  The more I think about solutions for the social disintegration the more I think that restoring the common-sense institutions we used to have is the solution.  Stopping unlimited immigration is neither impossible nor radical.  Restoring respect for the traditions and institutions of our forefathers is important and relatively straight forward.  And replacing social justice and reverse discrimination with actual justice is so rational that it shouldn’t even require explanation.  I think some of the emphasis on race reality is a response to the absurdity that occurs when racial and sexual protectionism and intersectionality tactics are used to attack the American white middle and working classes.  If you eliminate these irritants then the rules of American society should be competent to allow different types of people to function relatively harmoniously.  Anyway, that is what I’m starting to think.  I’m definitely interested in other opinions.  And I read around to hear what other people are coming up with.  For instance I’m going to read Gregory Cochran’s “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” and David Reich’s “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past” to see if there’s anything in biology that rules out my optimism for a functional multi-ethnic America.

And finally, I’d love to get more feedback from the readers.  Even if it’s negative.  It’s useful to know what you like and what you don’t.  Or even to just say hi.  It’s definitely appreciated and part of why I made this site.  I am interested in hearing other points of view.  And if you find something interesting on-line pass along the link.

22APR2018 – An OCF Update

I was thinking of putting up a comical post about Trump and the Republican Midterm Panic but I’m not feeling it.  The mainstream media is drum-beating the gloom and doom of a Blue Wave coming for the midterms.  I’m guessing they’re hoping for a self-fulfilling prophecy and knowing the gutless republicans I completely believe that they could be stampeded into almost anything, up to and including sex change surgery to try and sway liberal voters into their camp.  Let’s face it.  These GOP guys truly are hopeless.

But it’s boring and my readers deserve better.  I mean really, do you think Trump is that much better off with the Republicans in charge of the House?  Sure, the Senate is important because of the Supreme Court and the odds favor the Republicans holding on to their control.  But the House has been a joke.  Ryan might as well have been a pro-amnesty Democrat for all the help he gave.

The bigger story is what is happening between Trump, Sessions and his DOJ operatives.  Here the stories are just as crazy as the Blue Wave stuff but much more interesting.  The scenarios run the gamut from Trump gets indicted to Sessions is getting ready to round up the whole lot of the DOJ conspirators and get them to rat out Obama’s lieutenants.  Trying to figure out what actually will happen is virtually impossible.  But at least we can see developments happening in a relatively straightforward manner in the news.  So that is why I think the next [Trump vs …] gag will involve Comey being broken on the wheel and probably giving up his cable guy for installing free HBO.  Or maybe Andy McCabe doing an impression of Jimmy Cagney in White Heat, going on the lam and shooting it out with Library of Congress police over some overdue VCR tapes.

I guess the problem is that events although still pretty wild have sort of slowed down since porn actresses were popping up on network news shows a few weeks back.  I’ve become jaded.  Luckily Deadpool 2 will be released in the next few weeks.  I think the wise-cracking masked superhero will recharge my sense of humor and inspire me to plunge our larger than life commander in chief into some new absurd and hopefully funny crisis.

Meantime I’m busy testing out the Sony A7 III camera I just bought.  I’ll have a review on it soon.  One thing I will say is the autofocus is an order of magnitude better than the second generation A7 cameras and pretty close to the performance of the $4,500 A9.  My biggest problem is getting long lenses.  Sony only has a few and they cost an arm and a leg so I may get some Sigma Canon mount versions with an adapter.

And I just started using Capture One as a replacement for Lightroom.  I’ll do a post on my thoughts about switching.

I’ve got a ton of photos from my US Southwest trip that I’ll continue to dole out one a day.  Later I’ll put together some background info and travelogue type post or three.

Science fiction wise, I’m reading the second book of Robert Silverberg’s old Majipoor Series.  This volume is a collection of short stories tied together by a clever plot device.  After that I may read the next book in the Galaxy’s Edge series.

That post I put together on space opera has got me thinking about putting together some more theoretical, generic comments on science fiction, fantasy and fiction in general.  It seems to me the reason fiction is in the state it’s in is that people have sort of forgotten why people read.  Hint, it’s not to provide employment for would be “artists.”

And finally, I really do need to update the Directory of Right Wing Businesses.  I was hoping I’d get a lot more stuff from the readers but I guess I should make a good faith effort to do my part.  So, I will.

A big hello to the new readers from Captain Capitalism and Day by Day.  I’ve seen a lot of people looking at lots of content and return viewership is way up and that’s extremely gratifying.  If you want to sign up for the e-mail notifications you can.  And feel free to leave comments on the posts or the forums to give me feedback, suggestions or encouragement.  It is most appreciated.

And most especially a thanks to the loyal regulars who’ve been here since the beginning.  Have a good start to the week.

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11APR2018 – OCF Update

Welcome to the new readers from Captain Capitalism and other pages.

I put up a pretty random mix of stuff.  I link and comment on some of the opinion sites when I see something interesting or well written.  I review mostly science fiction books and movies but often add in other stuff I like.  Lately I’ve been putting up quotes and short sections of fiction that I think are interesting.  I have a bunch of photos from Zion and the Grand Canyon that I’ll post over the next few weeks in the photo section.  And I like to do satirical Trump fiction (very goofy stuff).  I like to think of the President as a cartoon character.  And it’s actually a friendly gesture.  I honestly think he is the last hope this country has.

I let folks have their say on the comments and the forums.  But try to keep it reasonable.  I’m right of center but I don’t need an echo chamber so feel free to speak your mind.  I am beginning a list of right-wing friendly businesses and organizations.  If you know of one and want to add it and give it a good word, go ahead and add it to the forum page.

 

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23MAR2018 – OCF Update

Well, I’m back in the saddle at work again and catching up here on the site.  I’m halfway through Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle (hat tip to Tom) and should have the review soon.  And based on the story so far, I think I’ll read the other two books at some point.  I have some movie and tv reviews coming up very soon.  I’ve got over a thousand photos from the Southwest to edit and rate so I should have a few photo posts coming up soon.  The political situation is like some kind of crazy kaleidoscopic nightmare.  It sounds like Ray Bradbury’s formula for his stories, “The trip—exactly one-half exhilaration, exactly one-half terror.”  And now we know just how many women are willing to admit to having sex with Donald Trump.  I guess he was right about them letting him grab them.  But they do seem to have been paid for the experience.  Trump truly believes in capitalism.  Well at least he wasn’t attacking them like Slick Willie.  Either way things seem to be going well.  The Republicans are afraid of losing the House, blah, blah, blah.  Well they are pretty lame so anything is possible.  But they really should embrace populism and try to show some backbone.  It is the smart move.  I still have to read some of the political columns I missed but whether there is something important to share remains to be seen.  From my point of view Trump needs to clean the stables and drain the swamp.  Then he can move onto policy.  And he needs to punish the sanctuary cities and send the illegals home.  And finally, Justice Kennedy, go away, now!

Huzzah! I’m Almost Back Home.

So tomorrow is the flight home and tonight I have wifi access.  It was a remarkable trek (for someone as feeble and lazy as myself) and went from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, to Vermilion Cliff National Monument including a side trip into the White Pocket area and then over to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and finally back to Las Vegas where I took a few shots of Lake Mead and environs.  I almost exclusively used a Voigtlander 10mm f\5.6 lens with the rest being a Sony 55mm f\1.8 for the tighter shots.  Heaven only knows what that’s going to produce but I’m excited to see.  Sorry for this short note but I need to catch up first with what is going on in the big bad world.

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11MAR2018 – Current State of Affairs

Here we are, believe it or not, fast approaching the first quarter mile turn on the metaphorical 2018 One Mile Trump Derby Race and Fashion Show.  Currently, the favorite, God-Emperor (1) is ahead of SJW’s Last Hope (13) and JEB’s Your Daddy (17) by at least 8 lengths and his jockey has now reversed his seat and is making funny faces at the rest of the field as they rapidly shrink into the middle-distance.  Abandoning the horse racing metaphor (‘cause I can’t think of anything more), we have CNN and MSNBC praising President Trump’s initiative with North Korea, the President of the Steelworkers’ Union telling Chuck Todd that Trump will get electoral support from the rank and file over his trade stance and NeverTrumper Senator Dean Heller is slobbering over President Trump in the forlorn hope that this will help him win his primary.  Oh baby, the times they are a changin.

And the only real threat on the horizon, Mueller and his Russian witch-hunt, seems to be turning into a case of the besieger becoming the besieged.  I get the impression that the Trump Administration is building a case against Mueller to be used to put some teeth into a tit for tat agreement to end his investigation.

And let’s look at the political environment.  The Media is hanging around porn shoots trying to scare up interest in impeachment.  Congressional Democrats keep insisting that 2018 is their year to win back the House and Senate.  Congressional Republicans are trying to memorize the phrase tax cuts and jobs.  The NeverTrumpers are becoming increasingly lonely and confused.  The Dissident and Alt-Right are becoming so confident that they are almost giddy.  Some of them are toning down parts of their message to broaden their appeal.  Others are actually hardening their responses to leftists in the Social Media and the broader culture.  In general, there is a sense that the tide is turning against the left.  Whether this change is momentary or something that is gaining momentum is still unclear.  But there is definitely a change going on.  Good.

The Left of course is counter-attacking furiously wherever it can.  Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have basically expelled the Right from their sites.  California has declared war on ICE and the Federal Government.  And the activists federal judges are doing everything up to and including criminal malfeasance to block the Trump Administration wherever they can.  But I think they know they are getting their butts kicked.  Basically, these are delaying actions, scorching the earth behind their retreat.  Good.

So, what about me?  How do I feel about all this?  I am generally optimistic.  I think President Trump has shown that he can handle random catastrophes like the school shooting and deflect a lot of the media noise away from himself and his agenda.  And with the extremely strong economic news and the positive foreign policy news he’s positioned to help the hapless Republicans weather the 2018 midterms.

As a sanity check I understand that bad things are going to happen intermittently throughout the Trump Administration.  And some of them may be so dire that they destroy the progress currently being made.  But that’s the nature of life.  What Trump has done is demonstrate that we need a leader as President not a bureaucrat.  We must demand that whoever is the next President gets results.  He must work for us and not the global cartel.  I just hope Mike Pence is taking good notes and Donald Trump will give us his honest opinion of who his successor should be.

So, there we are.  Things are good and look to get even better.  Maybe Justice Kennedy will do the right thing.  He can vote constitutionally for freedom of religion on the Wedding Baker case and then retire to his beach house on Fire Island and allow a deciding vote Right Wing Justice to ascend to the bench.  We can hope to see the Justice Department prosecuting California for obstructing the immigration laws.  And we can hope to see Mueller ride off into the sunset with his tail between his legs.  Stay tuned.  Better days seem to be upon us.

 

Spring. Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Everything’s Blooming. All That Crap.

I quote this deathless sentiment that George Constanza spoke when thinking of a way to postpone his upcoming nuptials.  As evidenced in my recent post of the mallard photo, life is returning to Southern New England.  This exhibits itself in a random walk up and down the thermometer and barometer.  We’ll have 70 degrees F followed by a foot of snow and back again in dizzying alternation.  It’s very much as if a spiteful nature deity is heaping abuse on the home of the staunchest believers in global warming.  Of course, we innocent bystanders also suffer but shoveling wet heavy snow is good for the soul.  Anyway, without a doubt, spring is in the air.  Plants and animals are stirring and even I, your ancient but faithful chronicler of all things interesting to the deplorable, is feeling 17% spryer.

So, in the interest of full disclosure I’ll be taking a little trip between the Sixteenth and Twenty First of March.  During this interval, I will be both frequently outside of wi-fi range and too occupied with death-defying heroics to post.  I will do my best to provide some content but I fear it will be sub-par in both quantity and quality.  I apologize in advance and beg your patience.  I am hopeful that the trip will provide a goodly stock of interesting photos and narrative.  Until then I will endeavor to provide the usual mixture of irascible political opinion, sophomoric parody, self-important book, music and film reviews and general harping on the foibles of human behavior.

And right on queue a foot of snow was dumped on us last night.  Apparently snow holds no terrors for the mallards but the weather gods are certainly making it difficult for me to get to work.  Guess I’ll just work from home today.

 

Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Mallards on the Puddle in the Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Mallards on the Puddle in the Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Mallards on the Puddle in the Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm

 

Mallards on the Puddle in the Aftermath of 07MAR2018 Snow Storm