21APR2020 – OCF Update – The Joy of Blogging

Keeping a website stocked with content is work.  Finding and posting a quote and a photo each day takes time and effort.  Researching and writing political posts takes time and thought.  Watching and reviewing movies and tv shows and listening to and reviewing music and reading and reviewing books takes even more time.  Keeping up with the software versions of the website plug-ins and other features is annoying and confusing.  Doing all these things while also working full time in a highly demanding profession in a very exacting company is extremely difficult.  But I consider running this website one of the more enjoyable aspects of my life.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I consider it important to socialize with like minded people.  And just as important as it is to talk about politics, I find discussing recreational and cultural topics just as important.  It’s like the feeling you get from going down to the local tavern and shooting the breeze with friends from town.  You can compare notes on what’s going on in the neighborhood and talk a little sports or discuss the local school issues or the state elections.  There will be differences of opinion but being likeminded people in similar circumstances with a similar history and world view you mostly have similar opinions.  And that’s a comfortable situation.

But nowadays people are always on the move.  We move because we lose a job and need to find a new one.  Or we move so our kids can go to a better school.  Or we move because our town has grown too crowded or because the crime rate has gotten too high.  So, we lose that circle of friends we used to enjoy so much.

Another thing that happens is your kids grow up and once they do, you lose track of the other parents whose kids used to hang around with your kids.  We all go our separate ways and before you know it, you’re pretty isolated from everyone but a small circle of family and a few very good friends.

So, you start to spend time on-line.  You get involved in websites that cater to your interests and hobbies.  And that was something that I did.  I frequented sites that had to do with my various hobbies.  Photography was one of them.  Field biology was another.  And fantasy and science fiction were a third.  And it was fun talking to people with similar interests and sharing information and experiences.  I met a number of interesting people.  But I also found out that politics was a stumbling block in all these areas.  What was true in each of these creative areas was that there existed an orthodoxy that underlaid all the other levels of thought that each of the sites was involved with.  And that orthodoxy was a progressive point of view on politics, social issues and even science.  It was anti-American (especially on sites that had a heavy European presence), anti-religious, anti-traditionalist, pro-homosexual, stridently feminist, globalist, against gun rights, anti-free speech and it rabidly believed in global warming.  I can remember on one particular photography website being banned for saying that Hillary Clinton was a criminal that deserved to be thrown in prison for life.  This was during a thread where the same sentiment had been expressed about George W Bush.  The second statement didn’t even warrant a comment from the moderator or a warning of any kind.  It was after this kind of unequal enforcement of the rules of internet etiquette that I figured out that all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.  And I figured out that if I wanted to enjoy discussing political and social subjects in a more or less free environment, I would have to own the space myself.

So that’s why this site is worth the time and expense of hosting it myself.  No one can tell me that I can’t say that Hillary Clinton is a criminal.  No one can tell me that I can’t say that global warming is a scam.  And no one can tell me that I can’t say that gun ownership is what makes this the freest country on Earth.  By the same token if someone wants to disagree and say that global warming is a very serious problem, I don’t have problem with that.  Let him state his case.  If he can prove it to me, then I’ll admit it.  If he can’t convince me then we’ll agree to disagree.

If someone believes that affirmative action is fair, let him state his case.  I’ll disagree to the last but I’m not in the brainwashing business.  If he can have the discussion without foaming at the mouth and calling me names then have at it.  I’m not afraid of people giving their opinions.  As long as they don’t go off the deep end and start ranting and raving.  This site has a definite right-wing slant.  I state that right up front.  But if someone wants to talk about photography or old movies or old books I don’t particularly care if you’re a communist as long as you can behave like a grown up and contribute to the discussion.  I’ve been in discussions about religion between atheists and priests.  And they were able to keep it polite and even friendly.  They each knew the other wasn’t going to budge but they enjoyed the chance to tell their side and have their say.  And it made for an interesting discussion.

So, this is my way of saying thanks to the regulars and to the new readers and to encourage you all to read and comment and have your say.  Give and take is fine and is the reason for the whole thing anyway.

Okay that’s enough.

22MAR2020 – OCF Update – Locked Down in New England and Annoyingly Upbeat

Don’t ask me why but for reasons unknown I am disgustingly cheerful today.  It can’t be the temperature because it was 20F this morning and that’s not spring in my book.  Maybe it’s the sunshine and the increased daylight hours.  But whatever the cause I haven’t got any angst to distribute this morning.  What’s a prophet of doom to do?  So, I’ll use my COVID-19 lockdown leisure time today to walk the prison yard, shank a few of my enemies with a shiv, or shiv them with a shank and start a new tunnel to freedom.

I was looking around at a number of science sites talking about quinine derivatives that might be a component of an effective COVID-19 treatment and a couple of interesting things emerged.

  • The first is that there is some pretty good evidence that chloroquine and azithromycin is effective in preventing COVID-19 infected people from developing life threatening pneumonia.
  • The second is that many people in the pharmaceutical industry hate Trump so much that they are angry that he may get credit for pushing a successful treatment forward in a timely manner.

I work with a lot of technical types and they are mostly anti-Trump.  There will be a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth if the President gets credit for shortening the pandemic to something manageable.  These people really are almost gleeful in the face of a looming depression.  That’s how much they despise the President and, by extension, how much they despise us.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m optimistic and cheerful today.  I think the therapy being mentioned is going to be effective at lowering the death rate to a very minimal level and allow the rest of us to get back to work.  Boy, that would piss off a lot of people I know.  Good.

This week I expect some more movie reviews and possibly music reviews.  I also feel it is time for a political satire.  What exactly it will entail is hard to say sonce there are so many targets to choose from.  I think I’m overdue to put together a description of the current state of Sony mirrorless photography and identify the much smaller number of holes in the system that exist currently.  And going along with my recent defense of Western Civilization, I think I’ll have a post giving my take on outreach to the various groups that are assumed to be wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democrat party.  I mean, some of those people, women especially, probably haven’t heard a conservative argument about anything in their whole lives.  We may be able to do some recruiting.

And on the photo side I’m going to do a few more focus stacks.  I was at a standstill this week because suddenly my computer thought my camera was a storage device and not a camera and so I couldn’t use the software that allows remote control.  I found that the only thing that fixed the problem was reloading the drivers for the USB devices.  Of course, it is a little chilly for outdoor focus stack work but I am a martyr for my art.

Finally, a suggestion came up during the preliminary planning for ShatnerKhan II.  It was hinted that maybe the program could include non-Shatner-related themes.  It seemed like heresy to me but I said I would consider it.  I throw it out to the readership if this is anathema or is it the natural evolution.  I think the only way to even consider this is if deep theoretical research is done in advance to justify the validity of non-Shatner content.  I foresee the need for enormous quantities of deli meats and potato salad to even begin this kind of philosophical discussion.  What do you think?

So good morning my fellow prisoners of the COVID-19 gulag.  We have nothing to lose but our chains so have a fun day.

OCF Best of 2019

Happy New Year!

This has been a momentous year and it leads directly into a presidential election year.  So much good stuff, it’s hard to choose but I’ll give you my opinions below.

 

Most Important Political Developments

Failure of Robert Mueller’s Investigation

Naming of Special Counsel John Durham

Inability of Impeachment to Lower President’s Poll Numbers

The Haplessness of the Democrat Presidential Candidates

Boris Johnson’s Election Triumph

 

Best Books Reviewed

Best Non-Fiction

American Nations – A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America – by Colin Woodard

This book puts the social tendencies of the various regions of the United States in an interesting perspective.

Best Fiction

Galaxy’s Edge (Volume 9) – Retribution

This was the final volume in the series (or at least the first “season” of the series) and did a good job of settling the present war that had been raging.  But there are plot ends dangling in all directions and the next season must be imminent.

Best Movie

Hell or High Water

Most Important Cinematic Conference

ShatnerKhan I

 

Best Quotes

03JAN2019 – Quote of the Day

Much of the appeal of feminism is that it encourages women to do what they always felt like doing anyway: take everything personally. But to succeed at the highest level, you need some objectivity, which feminism hates. Feminists see objective reality as a conspiracy out to make them feel bad about themselves.

Steve Sailer

 

15FEB2019 – Quote of the Day

“The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.”

Margaret Thatcher

 

18AUG2019 – Quote of the Day

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.

Isaac Newton

 

19AUG2019 – Quote of the Day

Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.

Werner Heisenberg

 

07JAN2019 – Quote of the Day

“Almost by definition, secularism cannot be a future: it’s a present-tense culture that over time disconnects a society from cross-generational purpose. Which is why there are no examples of sustained atheist civilizations. “Atheistic humanism” became inhumanism in the hands of the Fascists and Communists and, in its less malign form in today’s European Union, a kind of dehumamism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. Post-Christian European culture is already post-cultural and, with its surging Muslim populations, will soon be post-European.”

Mark Steyn

 

23JAN2019 – Quote of the Day

A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.

Ronald Reagan

 

24JAN2019 – Quote of the Day

It’s not that liberals aren’t smart, it’s just that so much of what they know isn’t so

Ronald Reagan

 

14FEB2019 – Quote of the Day

“There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it.”

Margaret Thatcher

 

04APR2019 – Quote of the Day

Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.

Winston Churchill

 

26APR2019 – Quote of the Day

If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate, you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Winston Churchill

 

29APR2019 – Quote of the Day

The Man in the Arena as it is called,  is part of a speech called Citizenship in a Republic made by Theodore Roosevelt in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.  It’s well known but well worth requoting.

 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

 

Best Photos

 

Butterflies, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm F\2.8 Macro Lens
flower, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm F\2.8 Macro Lens
Butterflies, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm F\2.8 Macro Lens

 

Stay tuned in 2020.

 

photog

 

11DEC2019 – OCF Update

I didn’t post anything extra yesterday or today, just the Photo and Quote of the Day, because all the action was Monday.  All the rest is the spin going back and forth and honestly I’ve grown bored with that.  When Durham does something then I’ll remark on that.  As far as the impeachment jazz, ho-hum.

And I guess we’ll all have to wait for tomorrow for Boris and the Brexit election results.  Looks like he’ll win the day whether it’s a 28 seats or 68 seats majority, it’s more than enough to finish off Brexit.  If he still fails then it will reinforce the far right’s conspiracy theories.  But I am convinced Boris will get it done.  He may finesse a few things because he isn’t a social conservative but he will cut the cord with the EU.

As far as the Dem primary, there hasn’t been anything funny enough to mock lately.  But I’m sure it will errupt soon so hang in there for that.  I’ll start doing some Christmas stuff soon becuase I enjoy that.  And some more reviews and of course Star Trek continues.

So pardon the lull but I just don’t want to say the same things over and over.

17NOV2019 – OCF Update

It’ll be busy at work this week because I’m taking the whole Thanksgiving week off.  But I’ll try to do my part to make OCF an interesting site for my loyal readers.

Of course there is the last installment of ShatnerKhan 1 and the weekly Star Trek episode mockery.

And I’m just dying for some info to come out on Horowitz’s report or John Durham’s investigations.  It might have to wait until Thanksgiving week but I can always hope for something sooner.

I believe we’ll have to wait for the British General election in December for the rest of the Brexit saga but maybe something interesting will surface sooner.

The Fat Man will bring his inimitable review style and cinematic acumen to bear on the recent release of Ford v Ferrari.

I will have something to say about the Sony FE 100 – 400mm f/4.5 – 5.6 GM OSS telephoto lens.  In fact currently all the Photo of the Day selections beginning with the bald eagle today were shot with this lens.  This includes the “macro” dragonfly shots which are actually enormous crops of a much larger image.

I’ll have a review of Sturgill Simpson’s two most recent albums but unfortunately for Country Music fans there’s nothing there to look forward to.

So stay tuned.

25OCT2019 – OCF Update

This has been a very interesting week.  Probably the biggest story is that the investigation into the origins of the Russiagate scam by William Barr’s hand picked man, U.S. Attorney John Durham, has expanded into a criminal investigation.  That means that hostile witnesses can be subpoenaed, grand juries can be empaneled and suspects can be indicted and tried for crimes.  I was starting to wonder if any action would be forthcoming but based on the panic on the Left I’m guessing this is the real thing.  Speculation is that James Clapper and John Brennan are the first targets but real information will have to wait for the names of the subpoenaed witnesses before the guesses are meaningful.

I’m finishing up another of Anspach and Cole’s Galaxy’s Edge books.  This one, Requiem for Medusa is not part of the main series.  It takes place before the Battle of Kublar which is the beginning of the main sequence of the series.  It involves an anciliary but memorable character, Tyrus Rechs whose origins tie him in with all the main threads of the saga.  At this point in his career Tyrus is a bounty hunter, a wanted man, working outside the legal system.  And the story is about vendetta for the murder of woman he loved.  Now this is a little removed from the mil-sf that makes up the heart of the Galaxy’s Edge novels but the bounty hunter’s revenge story is suffused with the machinations and action associated with a military mission.  When I finish it I’ll put up my review.

The Brexit battle is a story of betrayal by the traitorous Tories that joined the Remain movement and sold out their fellow Britons.  Whether Johnson finds a way to get the general election called anytime soon is difficult to say.  Up until now he’s been stymied in every direction by the conspirators in the Remain camp.  One of the stranger aspects of this situation is that Macron of France could theoretically block an extension of the exit date.  Because Macron is leftist scum, I highly doubt he would do anything as beneficial for our side but who knows.  We’ll have to stay tuned on this one.

I’m enjoying the Star Trek reviews so far and the next episode is “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” which in addition to having the usual Shatner bufoonery is actually a good sci-fi story.

So there’s a preview of some stuff coming up but I predict lots of additional political drama and leftist imbecility will be on tap next week.  Stay tuned.

 

19OCT2019 – OCF Update

Tomorrow I’ll go see “The Joker” with Camera Girl.  I know she’s not thrilled about going and I had my reservations about inflicting her with it but she volunteered so……  I’m sort of two minds on it myself but enough people said it’s not a left wing propaganda piece so I’m trying to keep an open mind.

I’m still finding my way into the Star Trek reviews, a work in progress for sure, but so far it’s been fun.

The next couple of weeks should be busy on the political side.  Brexit is on a 31OCT deadline so we’ll see if Parliament forces an extension on Boris and what that means for a general election.  Pelosi seems to be running a gaslighting operation that won’t turn into an actual impeachment investigation anytime soon.  Barr is scurrying around digging up info on Joseph Mifsud and the other Deep State conspirators.  Will anything surface from this soon or at all? Let’s hope but don’t hold your breath.

I just started reading “Requiem for Medusa (Tyrus Rechs: Contracts & Terminations) (Volume 1),” sort of a prequel in the Galaxy’s Edge universe.  As usual it’s highly entertaining and action packed.  I’ll have a full review once I finish it, which won’t take long.  The Galaxy Edge stuff is too good to put down.

My usual Monday morning post should be out there on time.  Many things to write on but still deciding.  We live in interesting times.  Stay tuned.

 

 

07OCT2019 – OCF Update

Wednesday the last Twilight Zone episode review will be posted.  I finished it last night.  One hundred fifty six posts, that’s quite a milestone!  As I’ve mentioned I’ll follow up with some full series analysis and commentary but before that I’m going to do some new stuff.  I’ll review the Star Trek Original Series pilot soon.  That should be fun.  In the weeks ahead, mocking Shatner, Nimoy and all the rest should be like a rejuvenating serum for me.  That should be fun.  I’ll have to come up with terminology to categorize the various acting devices that Shatner uses to ply his magical trade.  “O, brave new world that has such people in’t!”

And I want to do some more of the Heinlein Juveniles reviews and finally, Halloween is sneaking up and I have to do some classic horror posts.  I reviewed the Universal Classic Monster movies in the past.  I may repost  some of them or write some new stuff and link the old posts in.

It’s good to do some of the fun stuff.  As much as I want to cover all the gory details of the President Trump’s battle royale with the Deep State I need to think about fun, interesting things too.  Even trying to think of ways to flourish in this cock-eyed globalist fever dream is less depressing than contemplating the fact that James Comey, John Brennan, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden aren’t behind bars.

Fall has taken hold here in New England and if I get the chance I’ll try to get some foliage photos.  But I still have a lot of summer photos to upload so it will be a while before they show up on the site.  I do want to do some more photo gear reviews and I plan to rent the Sony A 9 II when it comes available.  Honestly I certainly don’t need it but I’m curious just how capable the “state of the art” moving object autofocus is.  Plus I still need to rent the Sony 200mm – 600mm lens.

I’m tempted to go see the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie that’s out.  But it actually looks like an autobiography of one of those nuts who shoots up a movie theater showing the Joker, so I’m not sure I’ll enjoy it all that much.  We’ll see.

Stay tuned, plenty will be going on in the wide wonderful world to thrill and apall us.