The Game

I didn't watch.  In retrospect, that seems almost sacrilegious to admit- but in my defense, I don't have cable or live streaming at the moment. I also get a little superstitious sometimes. I get paranoid that as soon as I start watching or listening things go awry and it all goes pear-shaped, so I didn't watch. I figured that I followed the game versus Maryland last week on Twitter and Iowa stomped 'em, so my superstitious game brain figured a good result from doing that last week more or less demanded the same this week. Happily, it turns out that superstitious game brain was correct and Iowa won. This was the first top-five match-up in Kinnick Stadium since #1 Iowa versus #2 Michigan all the way back in 1985. That would make it titanic enough, but it was also the first Big Ten top-five match-up not involving either Michigan or Ohio State since 1962. In every way, this was Iowa's biggest game in decades and it more than lived up to the billing.  I had a roommate in

Serial Saturday #2.22: Six Months Later

The gentle beep of her alarm woke Sarah up. She rolled over and stared up at her ceiling, trying to gather her thoughts. Coffee. I need coffee. It was going to be one hell of a day. With an audible groan, she sat up and then swung her legs over the edge of the bed, taking a deep breath. “Get. Up. It’s time… to… get...up.” With another groan that turned into a yawn, she forced herself upright and padded across the plush carpeted floor to the bathroom. She shucked off her clothes and turned on the shower- this one had the option for water, but not wanting to be wasteful, she opted for a sonic shower.  It had been six months and Sarah didn’t want to admit it to herself, but finally, she had given up the struggle inside her own head: she was the Director of the Malagasy Venusian Authority and she had the best job in the solar system. A few minutes later, she emerged from her new apartment building and started heading up the avenue toward Antananarivo Tower, past the baobab trees, sipping h

Bookshot #146: The Anarchy

I did a lot of research focused on South Asia for my Master's Thesis, so I've been slowly collecting books over the years that, should I ever go back and take a run at a Ph.D., would help me have a well of potential historical and source material to call upon- or at least be familiar with, as I would plan to focus on South Asia in some way should I ever get that wild hair up my behind to go back and get a doctorate. And in that sense, The Anarchy is an excellent addition to a small and growing collection of books. But, it is also a fascinating historical account in and of its own right. It traces the story of the East India Company- from its humble beginnings in 1599 when it received a royal charter that granted them a monopoly on all trade between England and Asia. Early on, no one really took the English all that seriously. The Portuguese and the Dutch were still the dominant trading forces in the region and the English were just trying to get a foot in the door.  Their att

Serial Saturday #2.21: The Battle

Still a little unsteady on her feet, Sarah pulled herself upright and looked along the maintenance walkway. As she had predicted: quiet. Ema arrived next. Kamara and Mendrika grabbed her and helped her over the railing. She nodded thanks to them and collected herself for a moment before: “Which way?” “Elevators are that way,” Sarah pointed down the walkway.  “No other way up?” Ema asked. Sarah shook her head.  “Let’s go check it out,” Kamara suggested. “I might be able to make some magic happen.” “All right,” Ema pointed to the far end of the walkway. “Alan, Mendrika, watch our back. Sarah, you lead.” Sarah nodded and slipped past Ema and strode down the walkway to the elevator. “Don’t touch anything,” Kamara called from behind her. “Let me look at it first.” Sarah stepped aside and let Kamara squeeze by her. He glanced at the elevator and then tapped on a panel above the call button. He grinned and reached into his protective gear and pulled out a small screwdriver. “You contracted wi

Serial Saturday #2.20: Return to New Toliara

The Enugu was quiet. Perched in a particularly thick cloud, just outside the scanning range of New Toliara, they were rigged for silent running and everyone was speaking in hushed tones. “So, there’s been nothing?” Harcourt looked unhappy. “No,” Kamara replied. “The city itself is there. There’s just… no communication. No nothing. Not even local channels or frequencies appear to be operating.” “Has their dome been compromised?” Sarah asked. “If everyone was forced into shelters and they’re running on emergency power that could-” but Kamara was already shaking his head. “The Dome is still up over the city.” “I don’t like this,” Ema frowned. “It feels-” “Like a trap,” Harcourt finished. Ema nodded in agreement. “I still say we should just do a frontal approach. Make like we’re docking,” Mendrika put in. “And if the city is controlled by the enemy?” Ema asked. “What then? We’d be sitting ducks, especially with the way the docks are laid out here.” She leaned forward and poked Harcourt on