11JUL2020 – OCF Update

Sorry for the posting drought but it couldn’t be helped.  I have off for the next week and had to pay the piper for it.  In other words the day job.  In addition, nothing grabbed my attention enough that I had to write.  The waking world has taken on a strange dream-like or nightmarish quality that disorients the chronicler.  What formerly would have been astounding events has now become mundane.  More riots?  Sure.  Statues toppled?  Check.  Cities burned?  Are there still any un-burned?  Supreme Court outrages?  Whatever.

I just finished Spellbound, the second volume in Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series.  I’ll write up the review but right upfront I’ll say it’s very good.  I’ve always liked his Monster Hunter books but this historical urban fantasy is even better.  I’ll rave about it soon in a post but now I’ve got to get the third volume on order to see how it turns out.

Believe it or not, I haven’t done my taxes yet.  Actually this is my signature move.  I always wait until the deadline. It’s a family tradition.  But this year my laziness has actually driven me to take advantage of one of the tax services to prepare my forms.  I can only imagine how painful this will be.  But they say suffering is good for the soul.

A week off in July is the high point of my New England year.  It is the least likely place in the calendar for snow and full of the things that are most likely to make me smile.  There are lightning bugs (or fireflies if you like), fireworks, watermelon, barbecue, ninety degree days, dragonflies, butterflies even a swimming pool if I want.  I might even find a preying mantis in my garden.  I can spend hours trying to get a good shot of a hummingbird or a fox or a tiny golden bee.  I can watch favorite old movies way into the night and make believe I’m a kid again.

So forgive me if I’m a little delinquent here at the site.  I’m sure to have some good stuff this week.

“If I had my way, I’d remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.”

Roald Dahl

 

Me and My Shadow

 

Tuning In and Tuning Out – Part I

During a recent discussion I was having with a friend, I was told to stop worrying about the culture wars because, “It’s not ideological, it’s just the globalists pitting people against each other to maximize their profits.”  I couldn’t convince my friend that this wasn’t very comforting.  Knowing that the Elite that offshores our jobs and the rabid Leftists who want to destroy everything normal and wholesome in our live aren’t really ideological allies is cold comfort because despite their differences they have managed between them to destroy the United States of America.

But one good comes from the realization that the old America is gone.  You no longer have to try to fix the country.  There are just two things you have to do.  You have to look for the good things that are out there and tune into them and strengthen them.  And you have to tune out the bad things and insulate yourself from them and do whatever you can to weaken them.

Easier said than done.  Try if you can, to figure out how to do those two things.  Think of examples from your daily life.  For instance, during the recent riots my employer decided to have managers engage their direct reports about injustice toward blacks in America.  So, I’m listening over the computer to a Canadian telling us that he hadn’t heard of “Juneteenth” before.  And then he wanted to know if we had any thoughts.  Well, what I wanted to do was tell him that since the rioters had looted and burned down the downtown areas of numerous American cities, I no longer cared about their centuries-old tribulations.  But that would have been unwise if I wanted to keep getting a paycheck from them.  What I did do was tune this nonsense out.  I actually spent the time while this sermonizing was going on checking my e-mail and replying to some comments on this site.  And because of that I felt better.

And as far as tuning in, I spent time last week reading a couple of authors from our side of the political spectrum.  Larry Correia, the author of the Grimnoir series was the leader of the revolt of science fiction authors against the social justice school of science fiction.  He led the Sad Puppies movement that revealed the Hugo Awards as the social justice fraud that it really is.  And he writes fantasy stories that are 100% free of political correctness and social justice whining.  And Jason Anspach and Nick Cole’s Galaxy’s Edge series is a military science fiction breath of fresh air in a world of Star Wars gender confused losers.  Enjoying those books and spreading the word on them is my way of tuning in to a part of the world that I want to strengthen.  And because of that I felt better.

In that way, I can endure the endless betrayals of John Roberts and the other traitors to America that daily sully the news with their crimes.  I can endure the cowards on the supposed right and the thugs and lunatics on the Left and the corporatist parasites who work to sell off what is left of the nation.  I concentrate on what is good and do my small part to pass the word along.  And I work to help the people in my locale who are on my side.  I first off, help my family and my friends.  Then I work outward to my acquaintances.  And that can be fertile ground.  I’ve found like minded people at work where I never expected it.  It can open up your circle of friends dramatically.  Making new links and building new friendships is exciting and makes life better.

Your life is very valuable.  Your happiness is also valuable.  When the Leftists commit their atrocities, your misery is part of their victory.  Your unhappiness weakens you and it weakens our side collectively.  And, conversely, when you are happy it strengthens our side.  That’s part of the logic of this shutdown.  The unhappiness and loneliness it breeds is demoralizing.  But if you can tune out the psyops propaganda then they lose and we win.

So, come on.  Strike a blow for our side.  Call a friend and set up a party or a poker game.  Or just get in touch with an old friend you haven’t spoken to in an age and say hi.  Send a good book or a link to a good article (maybe this one) to someone who is on our side of the fence.  Contribute to President Trump’s re-election campaign.

And tune out the nonsense from the other side.  Ignore the doom and gloom.  Stop worrying about the elections.  Stop worrying about the COVID stuff.  Stop worrying about the House and the Senate and the Supreme Court.  None of those things are helped by you worrying.  Sure, you can convince people on our side to vote and you can make sure you do too.  But you aren’t going to turn any tides by yourself so stop worrying.

There, don’t you feel a little better already?  I do because writing this is my way of tuning in.

All Outrage and No Fun Makes photog A Dull Boy

In the immortal notes and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin:

“Summertime, an’ the livin’ is easy

Fish are jumpin’ an’ the cotton is high.

Oh, yo’ daddy’s rich and yo’ ma is good-lookin’

So hush, little baby, don’ you cry.”

While statues of Lincoln freeing the slaves are being pulled from their pedestals maybe cotton fields aren’t the acceptable subject of song, especially with all that yo’ and mammy going on in the lyrics.  But here at Orion’s Cold Fire we appropriate culture with a rakish grin and a tip of the cap.

Anyway, we are bearing down on July and anyone who has been hanging around here for more than a year knows that July is my sacred time.  I live to have a week or two off during the hottest, sunniest, least wintery time of the year.  It must be my Mediterranean heritage.  Relaxing in a country environment during this time of the year with no work responsibilities is as close to heaven as I am ever likely to get either before or after death (being an irredeemable sinner).

Because of the COVID hoax I will be deprived of the annual pleasure of seeing all of my relatives this summer which is tragic.  But I refuse to let this insanity cancel this most joyful time of the year and I intend to fulfill all my usual rituals and revel in all the things I enjoy.  I intend to grill up a barbecue and eat watermelon and corn on the cob, enjoy potato salad and lemonade.  I’ll watch old movies and listen to music that evokes memories of the best of times.  I will photograph birds and bugs and flowers and I will sleep in a hammock under a tree and listen to the music of the wood thrush and the song sparrow (or at least a blue jay and a mourning dove).  And for a few days I will ignore BLM and antifa and Nancy Pelosi and even my soulless boss.

But what I will not ignore is OCF and the good folks who come here to see what crazy things I’m talking about next.  I will have things to say and reviews of things I like.  I will share photos and anything else I think might be interesting.  Things may slow down a little but there won’t be a gap.  What hopefully will be missing is outrage.  At this time of the rolling year I think it is more than desirable to forsake the doom and gloom that is so all encompassing in our daily lives and look for the good and happy and fun.  I will seek out the traditional sources of wholesome happiness and sling them at you folks with both hands.  I will accentuate the positive.  I will be jolly if it kills me.

And so, this is my intention.  It is possible that some new atrocity will preclude all this.  If the Jacobeans come marauding down the highway and torch the Compound then most probably my plan for revelry will evaporate.  Bad weather could throw a damper on my plans or illness could ruin it.  But I wish everyone out there a very happy high summer, especially you folks in the northern latitudes.  This is the time we look forward to during all those short snowy days and long frigid nights of winter.

Here Comes the Sun

26JUN2020 – OCF Update

As we head into the heart of the summer and the upcoming Fourth of July holiday I figured I’d just put together a note on how things will be going.  I’ve been extremely busy at the day job.  This unfortunately cuts into my blogging time.  I’ll be putting up a review of Larry Correia’s book “Hard Magic.”  I enjoy Larry’s Monster Hunter books and I can already say that the review will b extremely positive.  Larry has a knack for writing an enjoyable fantasy story.

I’ll have the chance to test out that new 200-600mm lens I bought and hopefully get some good photos of birds and critters.

I have some political posts that I’m working on and we’re bound to have some new BLM atrocities on the 4th so stay tuned for more to come.

16JUN2020 – OCF Update

You folks will have to forgive me for my lack of output today.  The SCOTUS decisions have put me in a despondent mood.  Neil Gorsuch is the biggest disaster since George W Bush.  Handing the Left such a victory is stomach churning.  I’ll have more to say on that but I don’t want it to engulf the world right now.

On a positive note, yesterday the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens showed up on my doorstep and I have been playing around with it.  I guarantee that everyone will be heartily sick of hearing about this lens and equally sick of the images of birds and beasts that wander into my field of vision in the coming days, weeks and months to come.

I’m currently expecting the next installment of the Galaxy’s Edge saga to show up.  This the first volume of “Season 2.”  I’m interested to see what direction they go in this season.  This is my first foray into one of these endless series.  I had my doubts about how it would maintain quality but I have been very happy with the consistency of the story telling so far.

I am also starting on one of Larry Correia’s other series (in other words, outside of the Monster Hunter universe).  Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles is arriving soon.  That should help to keep my mind off Neil Gorsuch’s epic betrayal.

So as I said, apologies for my silence but I am only human.  I drowned my sorrow in a viewing of W.C. Field’s “The Man on the Flying Trapeze.”  In the words of the great man, “I’ll knock’em for a row of lib-labs.”

14JUN2020 – OCF Update – Things Seem to be Accelerating

So today is the President’s birthday.  I wish it would be a more peaceful time for him but that is not in the cards.  But I wish for him the strength he’ll need to deal with the madness that is engulfing our world.

I have a post I wrote yesterday but it already is somewhat overtaken by events.  I may strengthen it or just skip it.  Things are accelerating and we may see resolution of some things and new priorities emerging.  But certain things still hold.  Ground yourself in reality and focus on the things that will be important to you regardless of the outcome of political and cultural events.

We’re getting into unknown territory.  Some of the rules we thought were laws of nature are starting to break down.  Don’t take too much for granted.  Situational awareness could be very important.  If you live in or adjacent to unstable areas be especially careful until things settle down.  Keep in touch with family members and be ready to lend support if the need arises.

So as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus used to say on Hill Street Blues, “let’s be careful out there.”

06JUN2020 – OCF Update

The poll on yesterday’s post Which State Will Grovel the Least to the Looters?  has already accumulated over 150 votes and dozens of useful comments.  When the link to whatfinger expires sometime tonight I’ll review the results and add some comments of my own to say what I’ve learned and what I’ll do next to use the info.  But thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

18MAY2020 – OCF Update

Good morning folks.  As we rapidly approach summer I have had the chance to confirm certain things I believed.  The shutdown was a terrible idea foisted upon us by incompetents.  The at-risk population was the elderly and especially the chronically ill.  We have crippled our economy and possibly permanently decimated the small businesses of our independent middle class with nothing to show for it.  Very soon the Democrats will attempt to blame President Trump for doing the things they were shouting for him to do and not doing the things they forbade him to do.  So be it.  It’s his task to expose them as the liars they are.  It’s ours to support him.

One thing this whole sad spectacle has exposed is that there are way too many overweight and out of shape Americans.  Part of that is the result of an elderly baby boomer bulge in the population and the higher life expectancy today.  But our sedentary life style is extremely unhealthy.  And even a chronically lazy man such as myself will now endeavor to mend my ways.  At this point dying of the corona virus would be just too much insult to injury.

So now the part of the COVID-19 story that will interest me will be how President Trump revitalizes the areas of the country that might vote for him.  Of course he’ll want all areas to rebound but the Northeast is going out of its way to cripple its own economy by stretching out the lockdown.  He should preferentially help areas where his voters live.  And the rust belt states that got him elected should get special attention.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Add in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and maybe New Mexico and you’ve covered the areas where the President wants to add to supporters.

The Northeast has no electoral votes for him.  They should have the same opportunities to recover as the rest of the country but the President should direct those voters to the governors who shut their businesses down and continue to block efforts to restore life to their economies.  If they expect to escape the consequences of terrible judgement they might want to rethink their allegiance to the Left.

Surprisingly, the DOJ investigations seem to be active.  Maybe I was wrong about Barr.  Time will tell.  As far as Biden’s campaign, I think the Left can’t decide if it’s time to pull the plug by supporting Tara Reade’s story.  They are holding onto it as an insurance policy to switch candidates at the last minute.  We’ll know the moment has arrived when the networks and the newspapers suddenly discover her story’s credibility.

Looks like we’ll have a busy time ahead.  As always feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments sections.  Hard as it is to believe, there may be opinions other than my own that could be heard.

14MAY2020 – Boosting My Morale

I remember how much fun it was to watch the compilation videos of the 2016 election and the reactions of the Left.  To hear them go from arrogant assurance to nervous uncertainty to shocked disbelief and finally crash land into wallowing misery was a comedic masterpiece on par with the best of Seinfeld or Monty Python.  The loopiness of the lefties both famous and unknown was marvelous.  Their gob-smacked stuttering shock was music to my ears.  In every way it was poetic justice.

And I’ve missed that experience.  It’s a great tonic to see your enemies driven before you in panic and derision.  At the very least, it’ll be six months until the election and even the debates, if they happen, are months away.  So, what’s a deplorable to do?

YouTube may be the Great Satan but it is the lazy man’s answer to any audio-visual search that could exist.  So, I searched under President Trump and Acosta and I found all kinds of comic gold.  It really is remarkable just how much abuse Jim Acosta has absorbed in the last three years.  President Trump has called him a hack, a liar, a purveyor of fake news, an employee for a fake news network.  The only thing he hasn’t done is make fun of his mother.  And then I saw some videos purporting to show the President attacking female reporters unfairly.  More gold.  For them his favorite line is calling their questions nasty.  One compilation claimed that the President especially attacked women of color.  And of course, that was the focus of that video.  But it’s great to see the President doling out equal derision and scorn to all fake news purveyors regardless of race, color or sex.  In fact, I like to think that the President would be proud to give the same messages of scorn to a tall muscular man in a sun dress as he does to a petite Chinese woman or a plain old doofus like Jim Acosta.  His message is one of egalitarianism.  No matter who you are and what you look like all it takes to qualify as a purveyor of fake news is a bedrock lack of honesty and an IQ of about 85.  In a way the White House Press Corps has become a sort of Ellis Island or mixing pot of dishonest talking heads.  Probably the biggest distinguishing characteristic is just how rude any particular reporter is willing to be to the President of the United States.  In this competition women have without a doubt taken the lead.  And this is another area where women’s rights could advance.  I have always harbored the hope that one day in the middle of one of Acosta’s rude outbursts against the President that he would instruct the Secret Service to drag Acosta out by the arms and legs and hurl him out the door.  If they tossed him just right, I always thought that he might bounce a couple of times like when you skip a flat stone over the surface of a lake.  The move could be nick-named the “Acosta.”  What would be great is if someday a woman could be acosta-ed just like a man without any sexism about how women aren’t just as capable of two or even three bounces on that polished White House floor.  That is my dream.  That a reporter not be judged by the choice of its pronouns but rather on the basis of its aero dynamicity and bounce elasticity.  Kinda chokes you up, don’t it?  I can almost hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing somewhere in the background.