Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dreamin' & Thinkin'

I have my moments of clarity every now and then. It happened to me recently when I was discussing Sci-Fi with a couple of friends of mine on a message board. We were getting all old fogy ("Get off my lawn!") and saying how kids today didn't have the Sci-Fi that we did and I wrote without much thought, "Yeah, Star Wars allowed us to dream, while Star Trek allowed us to think." Everyone was like, "Whoa, you're right!"

I didn't mean to be profound, but it came out that way, and it's true. I grew up in the late 1970s and early 80s with two versions of Sci-Fi, the cerebral like Star Trek, Fantastic Voyage, Forbidden Planet, etc. and the fantastical Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Galactica, etc. The two major influences were Star Trek and Star Wars, of course. I've blogged before on how the original Star Trek set my moral compass and how it's a pretty good foundation to build our lives upon morally and philosophically. Trust me, the world would be a better place if we lived our lives by Star Trekian code.

But then there is Star Wars, which expanded our imagination and made us wonder. There is so much more thrills and excitement we can have and we are only limited by our imaginations. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, anything is possible.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seven Months

As this summer flies by and I'm busy with work and doing revisions to go back on submission with LISTEN, it's easy to forget little milestones and, being a bad daddy, I nearly forgot an important one today.  Seven months ago today my daughter Elena was born.  Happy 7th Month Birthday!!!

One of the main reasons I almost forgot it is because this has been a laid back week compared to last week.  On Saturday, August 4th we celebrated our son Alex's 7th birthday with a big party at our house. A lot of family and friends, a lot of games for the kids, a lot of food for everyone, and a lot of booze for the adults.  It took me a day to recouperate after that one. But, unfortunately, little Elena got sick the day after the party.  We thought it was just a fever and related crankiness, but a day later her fever spiked and wouldn't drop so we rushed her to the hospital.

My poor daughter was suffering from coxsackie A virus.  It was scary at the hospital and until the doctors figured out what was ailing her, but once they did it was relief.  When you start thinking about blood diseases and leukemia it is absolutely frightening, and she had showed some signs of that early.  But all turned out well.  She stood in the hospital for three days with my trooper wife spending the nights there and me with them during the day. By late in the week she was fever free and back home with her appetite back and her relentless spirit to crawl everywhere no matter the obstacle. 

Back to normal and it feels great. So normal that I almost forgot the importance of today. I love you, Elena.  Happy 7th Month Birthday!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Chalk this one up to the old saying, "you learn something new every day." I was originally going to write a blog post opening with some thing along the lines of, "In these dog days of summer ..." and then realized, I wasn't sure when the dog days actually are.  I just thought of it has some time in late July through August when it's really hot and humid. The paradoxical time when summer seems to drag because of the heat and when summer seems to have rushed by because you realize September is right around the corner. So wanting to find the answer as to when the Dog Days are, I, of course, researched it.

When is not nearly as fascinating as how the term "Dog Days" came about.  I thought it was something recent, but oh, no.  The term "Dog Days" has existed since Ancient Roman times.  Yep, the Romans gave something else that still exists.  The Romans associated the hot weather with the star, Sirius, the Dog Star, named as such because it is the largets star in the constellation Canis Major, aka Large Dog.

For the Ancient Romans, the Dog Days ran from July 24 to August 24. In later times, the period was pushed back or pushed up, depending on the culture or what calendar was used.  I like the Roman version, even if we account for the fact that we use the Gregorian rather than Julian calendar today.  Late July through August seems about right.