10FEB2019 – OCF Update

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.
Stay tuned.

04FEB2019 – OCF Update

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.

Stay tuned.

26JAN2019 – OCF Update

Just a few notes on what I see as the interesting topics coming up.

  1. 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.
  2. Barr’s approval – Judicial committee meeting on Tuesday.  Figure two weeks to get him approved.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Stay tuned.

09JAN2019 – OCF Update

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.

My 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

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.

31DEC2018 – OCF New Year’s Eve Update

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.

24DEC2018 -OCF Update – Christmas Wish

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.

photog

Φωτογ Λυόμενος – Photog Unbound – O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! I Chortled in My Joy

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.

15DEC2018 – OCF Update

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.

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Can We Move the Needle?

So, the mid-terms are over.  Pelosi or some other moonbat will be obstructing the House and raving on the front page of the Times and Post for the next two years.  Soon the Democrat candidates for the 2020 race will begin foaming at the mouth.  Nothing legislative will happen for the next two years, except approval of presidential appointments in the Senate and the budget farce to produce continuing resolutions from both bodies of the Congress.  President Trump has his work cut out and will have to use all his wits and resources to clean up the Justice Department and remove as many illegal aliens from the country as he can.

What should we be doing?  It seems to me we need to make some progress on our own.  There’s all kinds of talk about building our own platforms and I agree with that idea.  But it seems there’s more talk than building going on.  Well, in the spirit of being part of the solution I’ve been putting my money where my mouth is.  I’ve been investing in advertising on various conservative sites.  I’ve used both an advertising company and also contacted directly with a couple of sites that place the ads directly.  And I will say that although the company that can put your ads on big sites like Drudge gets lots of traffic the direct advertising gets plenty of traffic too and is a good value on a per click basis.  I plan to continue investing in advertising and also attempt to broaden my content by partnering with other writers who have similar points of view to my own.  As an experiment I requested some content from one of our viewers last week and thought the results were excellent.  I think providing a broader range of content, including non-political subjects is a necessity if I intend to grow the site.  I also intend to start running contests to encourage more comments and participation.  As an example I am accumulating all these paperback books from the sf&f reviews I’ve been doing.  I could bundle some of these and make them a prize for some contest.  And similarly, for a photographic contest I can make some camera equipment a prize.

Basically I’d like to expand the site to build up a community of people mostly on the right who enjoy the experience of communing with like-minded individuals on subjects that they enjoy.  Not to be grandiose, but it can be a social media locale on a much smaller scale than a Facebook but with a lot more satisfaction in the interactions.  And I don’t minimize the probability that I’ll run into the usual problems with trolls and cyber-attacks that go along with anything on our side of the political divide.  But I think it’s important to actually make the effort to get going on it.  Talk is cheap.  Organizing is a lot of talk but it’s also time and money and I’m encouraged already that with a little bit of both I’m already seeing some results.

Thanksgiving.  Short work week and then the Thursday and Friday family gatherings.  I expect posts may be a little sparse those two days.  But most folks will be equally busy with their own doings.  As a consolation I’m off most of next week and will use up all of that turkey and pumpkin pie typing away feverishly at OCF content.

Here’s to hoping 2019 will be the year when the right starts doing its own thing and stops waiting for the government to do it for us.  Here’s hoping that the New Year will start to look like a new world.  But it will only happen if we ourselves individually make it happen in large and small ways.

Stay tuned.