This has been a pretty eventful week compared to the preceding few. William Barr was approved as the new Attorney General. The President has declared a National Emergency on the southern border and expressed his intention to use that declaration to build a wall on the border. The useless Congress has produced a bloated awful budget document. The President continues to chip away at the Obama legacy such as the “disparate impact” criterion by which even good legislation is made worse. Amazon has reneged on their decision to put a headquarters in New York City, much to the sorrow of Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo (they really need the tax dollars) but much to the delight of that dingbat Ocasio-Cortez. Even the Chicago Police Department couldn’t acquiesce in Jussie Smollett’s lies about being attacked by MAGA quoting noose brandishing hooligans and seem to have identified the alleged attackers as a Nigerian actor on the show Empire and his brother. Another four or five Democrats have declared their 2020 Presidential race aspirations. One of them, Elizabeth Warren was mocked mercilessly by Howie Carr in the Boston Herald because of her ongoing exposure as a lying hypocrite who used her fake native American ethnicity as a ticket to the Harvard Law School faculty and thereby fame, fortune and a senate seat.
I have some more winter photos and I’m embarking on a project in astrophotography. And because this is Orion’s Cold Fire my first subject will be in the constellation of Orion and I’ll use the Orion 10010 Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount to track with. I’m very excited but full of trepidation over the time needed to master the equipment side of it.
On the review side I’ll continue to plow through the Twilight Zone and I’m a third of the way through the latest Galaxy’s Edge volume (Retribution) and will review it when completed.
Now I’m off to my grandson’s basketball game. Have a nice Saturday everybody.
Looking ahead to next week, I assume the big news will be the Senate vote on Barr. I read that the vote should be done this week. The media will probably throw a fit about it and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mueller unleashes some new nonsense or even his final report.
The last volume of the Galaxy’s Edge “Retribution” will arrive this week. Actually I got a copy last Friday but the first eight pages were missing so I sent it back. It’s the final volume but now they’re calling it the end of Season One. Good Lord, how many seasons will there be? Well, I’ve been enjoying the series immensely and I’m sure that will continue for a long way still.
I was threatening to put out my recommendations on Sony E-mount lens choices. I’m still working on that. I’ll be putting out some winter landscape and macro photos of the day starting this week. And in the distant future I’m planning on some astrophotography. I’m looking into what kind of star tracking drive I should get. I saw an amateur photographer’s site who had a multiple exposure overlay of the Andromeda Galaxy that was a thing of beauty. I’m very jealous.
Of course I have the Twilight Zone episodes to review. And I have some old country (or folk) music reviews and other dribs and drabs coming up.
And finally, soon I assume there will be some more substantive stuff coming out of Washington. The Wall and the Swamp.
It’s been pretty quiet on the political side. From my point of view anyway. The Virginia Governor outrage doesn’t interest me because either way Virginia is run by a Democrat. Everything else is just us waiting for President Trump to get tired of waiting for Congress to not do anything and do something on his own. This week is the SOTU address. Probably nothing much there. Thursday the Senate subcommittee votes on Barr for AG. That’s big. The military situations in the Middle East and Venezuela are important but it looks like nothing substantive will happen anytime soon. For me Barr is the big news and that’s four days from now.
Here in New England it’s Super Bowl rehash. Blah, blah, blah. Honestly I’ve skipped the whole NFL season for the second year in a row and it’s now standard operating procedure. Same as the Oscars, same as the Hugos. No different.
I’ll start to dig out some interesting stuff on the edges. I think the de-platforming stuff is going to be more in the news now that some legal push-back is occurring. And I’ve found some winter woodland photo opportunities so I’ll be putting up some different stuff up soon. The Twilight Zone has been fun so far so I’ll keep churning it out and we’ll see what other reviews I can find.
Just a few notes on what I see as the interesting topics coming up.
- Shutdown – Caved or Maneuvering? We’ll see soon whether this is over or just beginning. A two week funding is very little time. This will “evolve” in the next couple of weeks.
- Barr’s approval – Judicial committee meeting on Tuesday. Figure two weeks to get him approved.
- Sony e-mount lens review – Over the last few years options for the FE cameras have been proliferating. I did some posts:http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/02/08/what-am-i-missing-in-the-sony-e-mount-lens-line-up/
Lenses for Sony – Part 2 – Wide Angle Lenses for Full Frame Cameras
Lenses for Sony – Part 1 – Introduction
Well, it’s time to not only re-evaluate what I should do with my lens situation but I think it’s time for a thorough series of rating the options for the different kinds of photography (e.g., landscape, wildlife, portrait, event, sports, macro). That’s going to be a multi-post series and will require quite a bit of research so I’ll break it down into small bites in my own inestimable fashion. There are a lot of good resources for lens reviews (including LensRentals blog entries by owner Roger Cicala who does thorough evaluations and ratings including MTF measurements). Should be highly useful for me and maybe some of our other readers.
- I’ll keep plowing through the Twilight Zone series. It’s actually proven to be more fun than I thought it would, both because some of the bad ones are fun to mock and because there are actually more good ones than I remembered.
Looking ahead this week I’m rereading Rod Dreher’s “The Benedict Option” to see if there are any insights to help me with my investigation into founding a new fraternal organization. I remember he had information on structuring family, school and community activities around a religious life. I don’t remember too much about fraternal organizations but maybe there are some general principles about setting up groups that I can ferret out.
I’ve been waiting for the next installment of Galaxy’s Edge to show up but I’m getting impatient and will look around for something else to review.
I may have a post on the land rush by the major (and minor) camera makers to join the full-frame mirrorless market. Sony, Nikon, Canon, and now Olympus and possibly Panasonic and Fuji. I guess sony wasn’t crazy after all.
And finally we all want to know who will blink first Trump or the Swamp. Stay tuned American patriots.
I’ve been reading through the resolutions and predictions from various sites. Pretty dismal stuff. While I won’t deny that the coming year will be full of rampaging House democrats investigating and impeaching whatever they can, I don’t think throwing up my hands and waiting for the apocalypse is the correct response.
What I think should be done is look at the situation on the ground and figure out ways to make changes. Granted everything we can do as individuals will be incremental and local but nevertheless, it should be done. Actions are cumulative and at the local level they can be significant to the individuals around you, especially people you have close ties with. And action boosts your morale and the morale of those around you. Pollyannaism isn’t necessary. It doesn’t do any good to be unrealistically optimistic about the situation we’re in, but refraining from despair is key and making even a small improvement in your local situation is very encouraging.
And in line with that idea, I think it’s important not to spend all your time reading doom and gloom. Following politics is inherently depressing because so many of the players are terrible human beings. Make sure you reserve a good chunk of your free time for pleasurable activities that provide uplift and a chance to interact with people who share your interests and point of view.
In the last few months, more folks have been commenting and some of the readers have kindly provided articles of their own to the site. I find this extremely encouraging and take it as a positive sign for the direction OCF will be going. A community of like-minded individuals sharing their interests and opinions is the original concept I had for the site and now I am beginning to understand how to attract the people who would be interested in this and how to organize the web pages to accommodate this.
I intend to run some promotions to increase readership substantially which should also expand the scope of the topics covered. I know about photography and have some literary and musical preferences that I can write to. Adding individuals with other interests and expertise will expand the circle of people who will be drawn to the content here.
Beyond that, I am interested in having other writers on the political side. I have had some folks who have expressed interest in this. But I definitely don’t want the site to be politics 24/7. As important as it is it would bore me to death. That’s why I do the Trump humor posts. I have to break up the horror with some humor.
But let’s do the New Year’s thing.
I resolve to:
- Put in some time at my fiction writing.
- Research actionable ideas to improve the political/cultural situation.
- Identify the best existing cultural, educational and commercial resources in order to avoid wherever possible the corrupt versions around us.
- Help my family, friends and folks on our side to thrive in this nihilistic culture we’re living in.
- Share as much happiness and good humor as I can with those on our side of the divide.
Happy New Year everyone. Stick around and in the New Year stop by and resolve to leave a few comments. I’d love to hear from you, even if the comment is critical.
I’ll put together an end of year retrospective of what I think are the important events and items in the various categories that I cover (politics, culture, books, movies, tv and photography). It’s a good day to reflect and plan for the new year. I’ve learned a lot about running the site and reaching people so I feel like 2019 will be an important year for the site and a fun year to be a reader here.
Merry Christmas, to all of you who visit here!
I’ll have a photo and quote for the day on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But I will be hobnobbing with my fellow wizards and ingesting mass quantities of Christmas comestibles both days and so I cannot promise much posting. But I just want to wish all of you a happy and well-needed celebration with all your loved ones.
If the Fates allow, I like to take off some time at the end of the year away from the sausage-making-factory. And as things worked out, I am off until the Second of January. There is no more wonderful prospect for a man of my temperament, than the prospect of escaping the treadmill for a few days. And because of this situation I will be able to indulge my inclination to publish frequent posts to the site. So if reading my ramblings is pleasant for you then you are in luck.
Thursday and Friday were critically busy times around the office so I haven’t been able to post much. But after next Wednesday I’ll be vacationing until New Year’s Day. I anticipate a bunch of posts will be published including reviews, political opinion and photographic. So sorry for the drought. Things will be back to normal very soon.