Flash Fiction #178

empty

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

RUNNING ON EMPTY

Ah, the fervor of youth, when we could accomplish anything.  Too many of the inexorable calendar leaves have rudely smacked me.  Now, as I approach the ¾ of a century mark,  the saying, ‘I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once, as I ever was’ is no longer a joke.

The mind is willing, but the body is weak – and stiff – and sore.  I would still like to be able to do more.  It feels like my mighty engine has been removed.  I’m running on empty.

***

life

Click on the title to hear Jackson Browne sing my elegy, and go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

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U-Turn. No, You Turn!

 

Dictionary Bible

Recently, in a very unofficial interview, Pope Frank was quoted as saying that there was no Hell; i.e. there was no place, full of fire and brimstone, where souls were tortured for eternity.  He said that the torture for non-believers was merely to be removed from the presence and grace of God forever.

Immediately, the Official Church Organ (Not the one with the keys, which makes the music.  The one between priests’ and Bishops’ legs, that’s used to molest altar boys and choir girls) swung into action, denying, and “clarifying.”  The Good Catholics, who know more than the pontiff, who is infallible in doctrinal matters, began screaming, ‘Give us back our days Hell.’  (That “days” thing was the April Fools who thought that, somehow, part of their lives had been stolen when Pope Gregory rearranged the Julian calendar.)

The Vicar of Christ has now put his other strangely-shod foot in his mouth.  I don’t know if the situation was intentionally caused, and, if so, who caused it.  He attended the re-dedication of a renovated Catholic elementary school, attached to a cathedral. He and his goon-squad  bodyguards several Cardinals sat at the front, a microphone was set up about 10 feet in front of them, and each student was allowed to come up and ask him a question.

A 12-year-old boy could not speak his question into the mic, so a Cardinal grabbed him by the arm, and he was allowed to approach, and whisper his question into the Pope’s ear.  He and his mother were ‘good Catholics’, but his father, who had been a good man, but an Atheist, had recently died.  “Was his father in Heaven?”

Like, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”, this is a no-win question.  If he says ‘No,’ the pope disappoints a grieving son and all his schoolmates.  If he says ‘Yes,’ he contradicts Church doctrine.  The Pope considered for only a few seconds, and then said;

“God, our Father is like your father.  He is good and kind, forgiving and loving.  If your father was truly a good man, then God will forgive him, and welcome him into Heaven.”

I have written that the unchanging Catholic Church will take years – decades – centuries even, to ‘modify’ their dogma and catechisms.  This may be an attempt by Pope Francis to un-paint the Church from some of the corners it’s got itself into.  This could be the start of something good.

***

Speaking of Christians changing definitions….  I got some ironic laughs from Blogger Barry, in his replies on my Childlike Grace post.  If you don’t believe in a supernatural God the Father then, by definition, you are an Atheist!  If you don’t believe in God the Father then, by definition, there is no Christ the Son for you to be a non-theist (?), or post-modern, or Liberal Christian follower of.  😳

Please come back again soon.  See you at the dictionary, kids.   😉  😯

 

Five Long Years

calendar

That’s what Colin James says my blog has been.

FIVE LONG YEARS
(click above, to hear him say so)

Five years ago, to the day, on November 21, 2011, I first dived into the blog-pool. I had no idea what I was going to say, or how often I would say it.  I finally calmed down enough to casually mention when I reached post number 600.  This one is number 687, reaching toward number 700.  I’ve accumulated 878 followers, (Now I’ve got 879.  Do I hear 880?)(Okay!  I’ve got 880!  Anybody want to go for 900?)  and had 9400 visits, for 32,000 views.

For me, everything is still the same, and yet, everything is different. Society is different.  Politics is different.  The Internet is different.  My writing and posting are different.  Some of that is good.  Some of that, at best, is questionable.

While some of my favored blog-sites from five years ago have shut down, or atrophied, many newer ones continue to entertain, amuse and educate me. I continue to do my best to do the same in return.

The traditional gift for a five-year anniversary is wood. I already have a solid block-head, and I possess several wooden nickels, and even a wooden quarter, so I guess all that’s left for you lovely readers to do, is to commend me for not dying, and not shutting up.  Many thanx to all who visit, like and comment.   😀

Flash Fiction #85

Hourglass

PHOTO PROMPT – © Sandra Crook

DUMBSDAY

That there cockeyed hourglass were put up there coupla years ago by Mr. Lillington….excuse me, Doctor Arnold Lillington, ass-tronomer.  Silly old coot.  Crazy as that Doc Brown in them ‘Back To The Future’ movies.

He put it up on that funny angle on purpose. Says he’s got proof – mathematical proof – that an asteroid is gonna smack into Earth, November, 2018.  When it does, it’s gonna tilt the whole world on its axis by just enough to straighten that thing up long enough to count down our extinction.

Yeah, right! Hope it hits them Mayans first, and busts their calendar.

***

When the first experimental atomic bomb was exploded for the Manhattan Project, the builders watched from, what was thought to be, a safe distance. As the shock-wave approached, Enrico Fermi, the great physicist, tore half a small envelope into tiny pieces, and dropped them like confetti as it arrived.

He then measured where they fell with his foot, and by eye, and wrote a number on the other half of the envelope. When the ‘experts’ later calibrated how large the blast was in kilotons, he set the paper in front of the general in charge.  His ‘guesstimate’ was correct to three decimals.

As late as the day before the Trinity blast, the team of scientists were still arguing about whether exploding the bomb would set the entire atmosphere on fire, destroying all life on the planet. Later, perhaps regretting what he had helped create, J. Robert Oppenheimer is quoted as saying, “I am Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds.”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Buffalo Roast

Bison

I’m still in negotiations with Upper Management about final details. If I can get my contract extended, one week from today, on Monday, September 21, 2015, I plan to turn 71, and self-host my own birthday roast.

This will be your chance to prove to Archon how much you love him by laying down some good comic insults, and (hopefully) racy comments.

dinosaur

Archon is descended from a long line his mother once listened to.
I’m surprised that Archon hasn’t turned into coal, like the rest of his childhood friends.
(Infrequent) Sex for Archon must involve ‘petrified wood.’
Archon was born so long ago, that his SIN (Social Insurance Number) is 2. (Actually II, but Canada went metric)
The only guy in Canada older than Archon, is Santa.
Archon used to party till it hurt. Now it hurts him to party.
Fifty Shades of Grey refers to his hair. (And have you seen that beard?)

If my memory is still working, the post will appear about 2:00 AM, the same time of day I was born back in 1944, though on a Thursday that year.

I’ll try to keep my naps to a minimum, so that responses to comments will be more or less in real time. If I do doze off, feel free to talk about me among yourselves.

Remember; mark next Monday on your calendar with a big X. (Or a Q, or….whatever. “My baby, she wrote me a letter.”) Ball up a big one, a sharp one, a cute one, and be ready to let fly next Monday. There will be prizes for the best single and team insults. (Doesn’t matter, both prizes will be leftover lasgna, and you have to come to the house to pick it up.)

I look forward to waking up, without my photo in the obits seeing you here. 😀

Archon SDC10926

I Can Read You Like A Book

I’ve read books all my life.  As I saw myself getting near to retirement, I laid in a stock to keep me interested, and my time filled.  There must be 25 or 30 lying around the house that I haven’t got to yet, with more arriving all the time. I promised poor Art Browne @ Pouringmyartout, that I would read his eBook by October, and here it is January.

I discovered blogging, and, composing my own pitiful output, as well as reading and commenting on what you guys write, has cut down on my book-reading somewhat.  The busiest year I ever had was 1977, when I read 72 books in the calendar year.  Usually I read about a book a week, or about 50 a year.  This past couple of years, the totals have been less.  In 2013 I read 31 books.  The following is a list of how I spent some of my time.

The first two batches are the community writing I posted about.  They are credited to a “James Axler”, but no such author exists.  Instead, 8 or 9 writers for each series, rotate publishing a book a month.

Deathlands Series:  Hell Road Warriors1-Hell Road Warriors

This is the book I had the most trouble with.  The action scenes are fine, but the story starts 50 miles from my home town.  Early in the book I was already saying, “That highway doesn’t connect to that one.”  Then it goes north across Lake Huron.  This is the passage where they got there early to get a good birth on the ferry, but forgot to chalk the wheels, and the breaks failed.

Then they went through the Soo Locks, to get into Lake Superior.  The “locks” are giant log and steel constructions, pulled across the river by 40 pairs of oxen, to prevent unpaid passage.  This ignores the 21 foot difference in water level between the two lakes.  Every chapter, sometimes every page had a word misusage.  This is probably the straw that broke this reader’s back.

2-Palaces of Light 3-Wretch Earth 4-Crimson Waters 5-No Man's Land

 

 

 

Palaces of Light – Wretched Earth – Crimson Waters – No Man’s Land

****

Outlanders Series:

1-Dragon City 2-God War 3-Gensis Sinister

 

 

 

 

Dragon City – God War – Genesis Sinister

***

One Day on MarsTravis S. Taylor – One Day on Mars

*

1-Grantville Gazette IV 2-The Eastern Front 3-The Saxon Uprising

Eric Flint – Grantville Gazette IV – The Eastern Front – The Saxon Uprising

***

4-The Tangled Web (Virginia DeMarce)

Virginia DeMarce – The Tangled Web

*

5-The Papal Stakes (Charles E. Gannon)

Charles E. Gannon – the Papal Stakes

*

1-Overkill 2-Undercurrents

Robert Buettner – Overkill – Undercurrents

**

1-Killing-Floor 2-Die-Trying 3-Trip-Wire

Lee Child – Killing Floor – Die Trying – Tripwire

***

1-Sinai Secret 2-Voodoo Fury

Greg Loomis – Sinai Secret – Voodoo Fury

**

Fire Ice

Clive Cussler – Fire Ice

*

1-The Knowland Retribution 2-The Lacey Confession

Richard Greener – The Knowland Retribution – The Lacey Confession

**

1-Tinker 2-Wolf Who Rules 3-Elfhome

Wen Spencer – Tinker – Wolf Who Rules – Elfhome

***

1-The Human Division

John Scalzi – The Human Division

This book was originally 13 long chapters, essentially short stories, published in an on-line journal.  They have the same general group of people, on and off the same interstellar spacecraft, but the paper and print compilation seems somewhat disconnected.

*

2-The Inquisitor's Key

Jefferson Bass – The Inquisitor’s Key

*

3-Deep Fathom

James Rollins – Deep Fathom

This is the first in a series new to me.  There are eleven more, and all available at no cost from an on-line library – if I can wrestle the Kobo away from the wife occasionally.

*

4-The Righteous Mind

Jonathan Haidt – The Righteous Mind, Why good people are divided by politics and religion

This is the deepest and most educational book I read all year.  The author explains how and why people make certain thoughts and ideas “sacred”, even when others, or the evidence, don’t agree with them.  It gave some nice insights into puzzling behavior.  I’m almost proud of myself for reading this one.

We all read, because we all write.  Anybody else want to brag about a book or two you’ve recently read?