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Serial Saturday #2.3: The Apartment

Sarah adjusted her lemba as she walked back down the avenue toward her apartment. It had been a perfect night. A hiragasy troupe from Terra had been touring all the cities of the diaspora on Venus, and New Toliara had been their final stop. The merchants had stayed open late. Someone- she suspected Andry- had shipped in kegs of Three Horses Beer. Everyone had come to the zocalo. Moments like this were rare in the diaspora, but when they happened, you learned to savor little slices of home. The women in their brightly colored lembas , matched by the men in their vivid suits. The brassy horns and drums of the hiragasy dancing. People laughing, talking, children running everywhere. Sarah stopped and sat on a bench under her favorite baobab tree. She slipped off her shoes- new ones that had given her a nice set of blisters. The street cleaners would have already been through, so on an impulse, she decided to go barefoot the rest of the way. She liked the feel of the vibrations of the c

The Future of Writing

If we combine enough publishers we get publishing Voltron. That’s just science. — Michael Mammay (@MichaelMammay) March 30, 2021 On the face of it, who the hell am I, right? I'm just some random dude with a blog. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of random dudes with blogs out there. It's not like I know much of anything at all. I'm just a random dude with a blog who likes to grapple with big, deep ideas sometimes. Sometimes that's not always pretty, but sometimes it's fun and you know what? After participating in a fascinating discussion about this very issue in one of My Friendly Neighborhood Discord Servers, I figured it might be fun to break out some ideas and look at... The Future of Writing! [Impressive Fanfare, Theme Music, etc] Initially, when considering this question, my brain went immediately to two points. First, the internet- if it hasn't already (see: music, movies, television, etc) will disrupt a lot of the standard creative art

Boozehound Unfiltered: Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

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It's been a while since I've dipped into the Glenmorangie range. I know I've had the Quinta Ruban but I cannot for the life of me recall whether I've ever tasted the sweet goodness of the Nectar d'Or.  A quick check of the archives of this iteration of my blog reveals that I have not reviewed it since at least 2016. A quick check of my former (now retired) blog reveals that I have reviewed the Glenmorangie La Santa before. So this is shiny, it's new and man, it's delicious. In the world of single malts- I really do like Glenmorangie. Glenfiddich is widely available locally as well. I'll admit this: it's been a while, thanks to COVID since I've had the pleasure of hanging out with fans of single malt. But my experience is that a lot of them tend to love Islays. I love an Islay now and again- and while the beer metaphor may be inaccurate when it comes to the world of single malt- but if you don't want to sip on the whiskey equivalent of a high

Serial Saturday #2.2: The Power Converter

"How can you have the job you have and be afraid of heights?" "Shut up, Andry. What are you even doing here, anyway?" "This power converter feeds two of my largest berths and I want to see which cheap ass corporation made it so I can never do business with them ever again." The elevator rattled to a halt and Sarah clutched at the side to steady herself. "Why the hell do they put these things down here?" "That's easy," Andry said. "If we have to do major work, we can get maintenance rigs down here and if there's a fire, it's easier to contain." He extended a hand to her. "Come on." Sarah took a deep breath. He guided her out of the elevator to the railing of the gantry. They both reached down and clipped the carabiners attached to their safety harnesses onto the railing.  It had been a week since the walkway collapse and the power converter underneath Maromokotro was still causing problems. The anti-gravit

Bookshot #141: Extreme Ownership

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You listen to enough podcasts these days and sooner or later you'll hear an interview with Jocko Willink on one of them. And if you hear an interview with the guy, you'll soon hear about how he gets up every day at 4 am to work out- and probably, you'll hear about his books, Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership and finally, I figured I'd heard enough about them that it was time to actually read at least one of them, so I snagged the audio version and gave it a whirl. Interspersed with accounts of both Willink and his co-author Leif Babin's time in Iraq serving with the Navy Seals, Extreme Ownership methodically breaks down the leadership lessons that both men developed through Seal Training and their time in Iraq. I don't have a lot of experience in the whole genre of 'self-improvement' books but this one stands out right away. First, there's a lot of real world experience- and I suppose since we're dealing with Navy Seals, we sho

The (Surprisingly Complicated) Question of D.C. Statehood

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Look, to me, it's pretty simple: Taxation without representation was a founding Revolutionary principle of this country. So if the people of D.C. want to petition Congress for Statehood I don't see how you can possibly say no to it.  But as simple as that was for me to type, doing some basic digging on the interwebs reveals a fascinating mess of a problem that, if our discourse was not so shitty, any halfway decent country would have sat down and solved years ago. The crux of it all comes from the District Clause of the Constitution: The Congress shall have the Power to exercise executive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by the cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress become the seat of the government of the United States. The mess of it all begins here because it essentially gives control of D.C. to Congress- and sure enough, the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 did just that, and almo

Squawk Box: Borgen/Queen's Gambit

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I actually own a Season of Borgen that I've kind of watched, but never actually finished- because who watches DVDs these days when you can stream anything and everything? But when I heard the news (via a Marginal Revolution link) that Netflix was joining forces to bring the 4th Season to life and they had acquired the three-season run of the show, I immediately plunged into the show once more and this time, I watched it all the way through. The series opens on the eve of an election in Denmark and Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), the head of the Moderate Party is expecting to just do all right- but an unexpectedly strong performance in the Final Debate, where her unapologetic idealism catches fire with the voters, combined with a late-breaking scandal that the main opposition leader, Michael Laugesen (Peter Mygind) tries to pin on the Prime Minister Lars Hessleboe (Soren Spanning) pushes her Moderate Party into an unexpectedly strong position of being able to actually form