Category Archives: Paffooney

That Bluebird of Happiness

Blue birds

I often go back and re-read old posts, particularly when I discover that someone else has read them.  It is amazing to me how differently I perceive things from when I actually wrote the post.  As you write, squeezing huge, boulder-sized portions of hot, magma-like burning ideas and passions out through writing orifices not nearly big enough to accommodate, you usually hate what you wrote and are still writhing in pain from the creation of it as you try to edit it, trim it and brush its unruly hair.  (How’s that for a mixed metaphor to make you cringe?)  But given time and distance, you can really appreciate what you wrote more than ever before.  Things that you thought were the stupidest idea a man ever put in words suddenly have the power to make you laugh, or make you cry.  You are able to feel the things the writing was intended to make you feel.  You begin to think things like, “Maybe you are not the worst writer that ever lived, and maybe that’s not why nobody ever reads your books.”  But then, of course, your sister reads the post and tells you that you write like a really old, really crabby, really ancient old man.  And you use the word “really” too much too.  I know I deserve that, Sis.  Especially the “really” part.

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Here’s a post that I reread and liked today about Bob Ross.

This is the thing about happiness;  It is elusive and rare as a real-life blue bird. But capturing it for a moment is not impossible.  And as long as you don’t try to salt its tail and keep it prisoner, you can encourage it to sing for you.  (Much better metaphor this time, don’t you think?)  vintage-coca-cola-ad-1950s-1960s-clownb

When I am accused of being gloomy, old, and boring, I can happily admit it and make it into something funny.  I am something of a conspiracy nut, but not so serious that I believe all my own assertions.  For those people who took offense at this conspiracy theory of mine; Coca-Cola Mind Control, I would like to point out that “Hey, I was joking.  I actually like clowns.”  Even though there is a serious side to everything and there can’t be laughter without some tears, I am basically happy with the way things are.

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I started listening to “Live Happy Radio” on Sunday mornings on KLUV in Dallas.  They point out on their program of endlessly droning happy-talk that happiness is something that you can work at.  Like humor writing in blogs, it takes practice and practice and time.  They even asked me to share the word about their happy magazine and products, so I am doing exactly that right here.  Sometimes you simply have to put your cynicism in a jar on the shelf next to the lock box where you keep depression and self-loathing.  So you can find their Live-Happy folderol right here.

So I am bird-watching again with an eye out for the bluebird.  You know the one.  It is out there somewhere.  And I need to hear that song one more time.

Blue birds

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Filed under artwork, goofy thoughts, happiness, humor, insight, inspiration, irony, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Some New Scans of Old Art

Sometimes I just need to update my portfolio in the world of modern technology. Some of these images may be used in upcoming projects. Some are just attempts at restoring things from the past that may never be useful for anything, but that I still wish to preserve. So, all of these pictures, whether you have seen them here before or not, are fresh scans with better color, alignment, and scan quality. It has helped to update software on old machines.

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AeroQuest 4… Appendix 1

Useful Index Updated #1

Dramatis Personae

Gedeliah (Ged) Aero – Possibly the hero of our story, Ged is a moral man, a hunter, a spacer, and soon to be a teacher because of his immense ability with Psion shape-changer skills.  He can transform the cells of his body into anything he desires (at least if he’s tasted the flesh of it).  He has now become the White Spider of the Web of Space.

Hamfast (Ham) Aero – Pilot and owner of the safari ship, the Leaping Shadowcat.  He’s also Ged’s brother and maker of the plan to get Ged into unknown space.  He has foolishly joined the Corsair Rebellion against the Thousand Planets of the Imperium and was captured by Admiral Tang.

Trav (Goofy) Dalgoda – The goofy one is capable of practically anything, and living proof that dumb luck is real.  He likes to blow things up and kill stuff.  His shoulder advisors are called Avarice and Greed.  He is the murderer of Count Nefaria and the enemy of Maggie (the Knife) Blastarr.  He also loves to wear Donald Duck hats and ties with comedy messages on them.

The Madonna – A Nebulon Princess and rescued slave girl, she falls in love with Ham Aero.  She becomes his wife and the mother of his blue children.  She is also the mother of Junior Aero, born in her captivity, so she is not closely attached to her own firstborn son.

Hamfast (Junior) Aero Jr. – Unwanted blue-skinned Nebulon Boy.  He becomes attached emotionally to Ged Aero and also possesses Psion skill.  He is the beloved childhood companion of Sara Smith.

Sinbadh – A Stardog Corsair Lupin (half-man, half-dog) who is marooned at Don’t Go Here for the crime of being a vegetarian.  He has become a trusted crewman and cook aboard the Leaping Shadowcat.

Tron Blastarr – The space-pirate leader of the Pinwheel Corsairs.  He has a scarred eye.  He is also a very capable pirate leader tired of the depredations of the Galtorr Imperium.  He becomes one of the primary rebel leaders. As a former Imperial Space Navy pilot, he became an Ace in the Pan Galactican War against the Faceless Horde.

Maggie (the Knife) Blastarr – The wife of Tron, mother of Artran, and hater of Goofy Dalgoda.  She is also fond of using knives and cutting people like Goofy Dalgoda.  She is the one person Trav Dalgoda most needs to avoid, though he doesn’t see it that way himself.  After all, Goofy Dalgoda is kinda stupid.

Artran Blastarr – Son of Tron and Maggie, a space child who enjoys the adventure of being the son of a famous space pirate.  Goofy Dalgoda made him laugh.  The Star Nomads made him an Explorer and turned him into an instant adult through time-travel.

Hassan the Elf – A Peri, artificially genetically-engineered to be a living creativity generator.  The space elf helps Happy Jack to create his robot child.  He also becomes a favorite sidekick of Captain Tron Blastarr.

Happy Jack (AB-101 Astron 99) – A teacher robot created to teach Artran Blastarr, but fired from his purpose in life by the Blastarrs.  He is the mommy-bot to Tiki Astro.

Tiki Astro – The silver, sentient, child-robot with a working penis that Happy Jack and Hassan created so that Happy Jack can be a mommy.  He is the beloved companion of Artran Blastarr, at least in the last novel.  In this novel, he bounces around between the Star Nomads and the White Spider Disciples.

Scheherazade – The beautiful black-skinned corsair pilot and warrior.  She is loved by all, but has her eye on the King of Killers whom she married shortly before her heroic death in space combat.  Of course, death does not disqualify characters from being in this novel or any others of the series.

The King of Killers – Tron Blastarr’s right-hand man, King is second in command of the Pinwheel Corsairs.  He also is in love with the beautiful Scheherazade who sacrifices herself to save him.  He is somehow supposed to be an important character in this so-called history.  Maybe he earned that right by fighting beside Tron Blastarr and Arkin Cloudstalker in the wars against the Faceless Horde.

Wicked Wanda Pierce – The holo-epic star of such entertainments as All Spaceways Lead to Galtorr, Naked Slave-Women of the Vampire Starport, and the comedy masterpiece You Probably Won’t Believe This.

Elvis the Cruel – The guitar-playing pilot for the Pinwheel Corsairs who is probably the most feared member of Tron Blastarr’s pirate band.  He definitely has scored the most kills in combat going all the way back to the wars against the Faceless Horde.

Dana Cole – An agent of Count Nefaria and also the woman who falls hopelessly in love with Trav Dalgoda, a mistake that gets her boss killed and makes of her a traitor.  She is probably either really dumb or hopelessly evil, either way making her a dangerous character.  Being in love with Trav Dalgoda seriously complicates the problems.

Sorcerer 3, 4, & 6… and maybe 12 – The evil, vicious Syn Corporation robotic assassin who won’t stay dead, coming back again and again to irritate Trav and the Aero Brothers.

Arkin Cloudstalker – The pirate leader of the Lady Knights Corsairs.  Arkin is a heroic, rebel-leader sort of character.  He aspires to do great deeds and save the known galaxy.  He has since he and Tron were rookie teenage pilots together in Pan Galactica, the reason for the white cowboy hat.

 Tabitha Blue-Arrow – The best of Cloudstalker’s Lady Knights, Tabitha has recently retired to own and operate an inn at Aerobase Frieda, the Starport orbiting Don’t Go Here, the planet of the Flintstone Cavemen.

Razor Conn – Leader of the Blackhawk Corsairs of the water-planet, Dancer.

Shad Blackstone – The oriental-looking second in command of the Blackhawk Corsairs.

Carleton Keyser, the Thin White Duke – A sector duke of the Galtorr Imperium who also happens to be the ruler of all pirates and smugglers.

Fez Amin – Tattooed leader of the dreaded Monopoly Brigade.  He is ruthless and violent, and also probably evil.

Grand Admiral Brona Tang – The leader of the entire Space Navy of the Galtorr Imperium.  He always appears in bright red body armor and no one in living memory has seen the actual face underneath.

Emperor Slythinus – The Galtorrian-Human fusion who currently rules the Imperium, at least until everyone learns that he died while in exile on the jungle-planet Stanley.

Ace Campfield – The malevolent Mechanoid bounty hunter hired by Count Nefaria to kill Arkin Cloudstalker and Tron Blastarr.  He is relentless, but also witless, and is now relegated to a mere head and torso imprisoned by Arkin Cloudstalker and kept around to laugh at and gloat over.

Frieda – The intelligence released from the Crown of All Stars by Trav Dalgoda. She helped them take possession of the entire planet of Don’t Go Here.  She turned herself into a sentient starport as well as a beautiful humanoid robot entirely colored gun-metal gray.

Tara Salongi – Cave girl and gifted telepath who falls in love with Ged Aero.  Current whereabouts are a matter of considerable concern.  She may be imprisoned by Mong the Miserly of the planet Mingo.  But she may also be in the custody of Raylond King, one of the ruling triumvirate of the Mingoan Worlds.

Banzai Joe – The owner of a deep-space station called the Arthur Rimbaud Memorial Outstation and Weapons Storehouse.  He is a rogue and a con man well-known to Tron and Trav and many other pirates and corsairs.

Xavier Tkriashav – A Psion Master marooned on Don’t Go Here, planet of the cavemen, and awaiting the foretold coming of the White Spider.  But once liberated he pursues his empire-building passion to create the New Star League.  He is possibly elected or possibly self-appointed as the first Senator Prime of the New Star League.

Dr. Naylund Smith – The immortal who waited for the White Spider to appear on the planet Gaijin.  He pledges himself to the White Spider in order to help him teach the Psion children he will lead to fulfillment of prophecy.  His own daughter is destined to become a White Spider Disciple.

Sara Smith – The daughter of Naylund.  She’s a gifted Psion healer.  She is among the first of the White Spider’s students.

Shu Kwai – The gifted Psion Telekinetic who becomes leader among the White Spider’s students.

Friashqazatla “Freddy” – The Black Wolf, Psion Shape-changer who is among the first of the White Spider’s students.

Rocket Rogers – The gifted Psion Pyro who is a space-cowboy refugee from the doomed Bradalanth Colony.  He is also a student and then a Disciple of the White Spider.

Jadalaqstbr “Jackie” – The gifted Psion Teleporter from the planet Zarane.  Well, actually from a gas giant moon in that planet’s star system.  She is a dusky-colored beauty from the former Psion Space Empire.  She is also a student and then Disciple of the White Spider.

Billy Iowa – The gifted Psion Clairvoyant and refugee from the Pan Galactican Wars against the Faceless Horde.  He is the best friend and protector of Gyro Sinjarac.

Gyro Sinjarac – The gifted Psion Transmuter who loves to invent things, especially with his psionic ability to change one atom into another with his mind alone.  He is a Nebulon and son of the Sinjarac Ambassador who saved the life of Billy Iowa.

Mai Ling – The gifted Psion Telekinetic from the planet Gaijin.  She is a dead shot with any slug-throwing or thrown weapon.  She can throw a pebble faster than a gun can shoot a bullet.

Bres, the Face-Dancer – The Psionic Black Spider who proves to be nearly Ged Aero’s equal as a Shape-Changer and teacher of Psions.  Ged defeated and banished him from Gaijin.

Phoenix – The Psionic Pyro trained by the Black Spiders on Gaijin.  He is the one that surrenders his team to Ged Aero and helps them all join the White Spider’s Dojo.

Taffy King – The Psionic Telekinetic who is, like Phoenix, a racially mixed fusion-race Galtorrian/Human.  She is also trained by the Black Spiders on Gaijin and also defects to the White Spider’s cause.

Alec Songh – The Psionic Un-Healer or Hurter, he is Gaijinese and trained by the Black Spiders to use his healing power to hurt others and break them down in battle.  He defected to the White Spider, but is consistently the one who is most likely to be tempted back to the black ones.

The Crew of the Megadeth – Captain Tommy Lee, Pamela, Pilot Vince Niell, Nikki Sixx, Cold Death, Slash, and sometimes the evil robot T-bop.  They are a motley crew.

Professor Googol Marou – That’s me!  The genius astronomer/inventor/physicist/pie-baker who lived through all of this and decided to tell the story.  Believe me, I am the smartest guy you could ever meet.  Well, human guy, anyway.

The Star Nomads – Some of the original explorers from the Galtorr/Human Fusion Empire evolved beyond bodies.  Men like the famed Martin Faulkner, Dakota Jim, and Stemperus Achs of Galtorr Prime would evolve into bodiless beings inhabiting suits of lead armor to prevent irradiating everyone they meet.  They became Star Nomads with names like the Geomancer, the Magnificent Wanderer, the Black Knight, and the Dark Traveler.

**Yes, I know this is too long for an ordinary post, but it does cover five books.

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Ghostly Reflections

Haunting
I do not believe in ghosts.

So, I am probably the last stupid goomer who should be writing this post.  But I do have a lot to say on the subject that will more than fill a 500-word essay.

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At my age and level of poor health, I think about ghosts a lot because I may soon be one.  In fact, my 2014 novel, Snow Babies has ghosts in it.  And some of the characters in it freeze to death and become snow ghosts.  But it doesn’t work like that in real-world science.  My ghosts are all basically metaphorical and really are more about people and people’s perception of life, love, and each other.

Ghosts really only live in the mind.  They are merely memories, un-expectedly recalled people, pains, and moments of pandemonium.

I have recently been watching the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House.  It creeps me out because it latches on to the idea that ghosts haunt us through the revisitation in our minds of old trauma, old mistakes, old regrets… We are never truly safe from ghosts, no matter how far under the covers we go in our beds, deep in the dark and haunted night. Ghosts are always right there with us because they only live inside us.

I am haunted by ghosts of my own.  Besides the ghost dog that mysteriously wanders about our house at night and is seen only out of the corners of our eyes, there is the ghost of the sexual assault I endured at the age of ten by a fifteen-year-old neighbor.  That ghost haunts me still, though my attacker has died.  I still can’t name him.  Not because I fear he can rise up out of the grave to hurt me again, but because of what revealing what he did, and how it would injure his innocent family members who are still alive and still known to my family, will cause more hurt than healing.  That is a ghost who will never go away.  And he infects my fiction to the point that he is the secret villain of the novel I am now working on. In fact, the next four novels in a row are influenced by him.

But my ghost stories are not horror stories.

I write humorous stories that use ghosts as metaphors, to represent ideas, not to scare the reader.  In a true horror story, there has to be that lurking feeling of foreboding, that sense that, no matter what you do, or what the main character you identify with does, things probably won’t turn out all right.   Stephen King is a master of that.  H.P. Lovecraft is even better.

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But as for me, I firmly believe in the power of laughter, and that love can settle all old ghosts back in their graves.  I have forgiven the man who sexually tortured me and nearly destroyed me as a child.  And I have vowed never to reveal his name to protect those he loved as well as those I love.  If he hurt anyone else, they have remained silent for a lifetime too.  And I have never been afraid of the ghost dog in our house.  He has made me jump in the night more than once, but I don’t fear him.  If he were real, he would be the ghost of a beloved pet and a former protector of the house.  And besides, he is probably all in my stupid old head thanks to nearly blind eyes when I do not have my glasses on.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

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Taking My Own Temperature

I now have 2,001 followers on WordPress. I’m almost sure my success as a blogger has peaked, but I am still making new readers guffaw, groan, or shout, “Eeuw!” and turn purple in the face. When I checked the history of views and visitors, I noticed that the trend during the height of the pandemic was about 50 or more views, 20 or more visitors, and 12 or more likes. The last two months, after the pandemic was receding in ferocity, I have noticed that the trend had gone down to 50 or less views, 20 or less visitors, and… well, you get the idea. So, I am headed over the hump and onto the downward slope of the bell curve.

I have reached the point of having 20 books published and still in print. Cissy Moonskipper’s novella is book #20. There are, besides that, two books of essays that come directly from this blog, and 17 Young Adult novels. Though, technically I have classified my nudist novel, A Field Guide to Fauns, as an adult literary fiction.

This weekend I finished the completed manuscript for AeroQuest 4 – The Amazing Aero Brothers. It will become book #21,

Of my published books there are 56 reviews that have been accepted as useful and legal by Amazon. They have, for reasons of their own, removed about six reviews, thus resulting in the current number of 56. There should be one more coming via Pubby, and I don’t anticipate they will remove any more of the existing ones… but you never know.

I make about $5 month on royalties. So, I guess my temperature as an author is not exactly hot. My thermometer reads, “Tepid.”

I have been feeling ill today. But my body temperature has not gone above 37.1 Celcius today. My cough has gone away for the most part, and no diarrhea since yesterday. So, I am not hot as a human being either.

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Two Shots (1 & 1 together is a pair.)

Illustrations for fiction often work best with two characters together in the same picture. Then you not only have the two individuals. You also have a relationship. Valerie and Kyle are father and daughter.

But what’s the relationship between Leopard Girl and Dilsey Murphy (#81- Carl Eller’s Jersey)? Possibly Dungeons and Dragons character and player?

Brother and sister… the children of the superhero Muck Man (whose super power is his criminal-paralyzing body odor.) Muck Woman (NOT Muck Girl!) on the left, and Muck Lad (You can call him Muck Boy if you like. He doesn’t care.) on the right.

Two ESL students.
David and Me, circa 1986.

Two ghosts on the coast at night… not to boast.

Blueberry Bates and her devoted boyfriend Mike Murphy.

Francois and Mr. Disney, the dream-clown from Zoomboogadoo.

Farbick and Davalon with Mars in the background.

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How Your Kids Turn You Evil Over Time

It is actually a good thing I am atheist enough not to believe in the existence of Hell. If I believed in eternal punishment for saying bad words and having evil thoughts, I would surely find myself in the char-broiled section of Satan’s kitchen of charcoal justice. The reason for this thought that might rile both Catholics and Muslims is that I am a father of three grown children and a survivor of a collective twenty-one years’ worth of dealing with a teenager.

Yes, I have argued about when it is necessary to sleep, when it necessary to get up, why you have to go to school, why you shouldn’t sleep during school, why math is simple and worth knowing how to do, what causes zits on the end of your nose on very day of the big date, what condoms are for, what condoms are not for, why you should not say, “**** you” to your parents in the Willow Creek Mall, why you should not yell, “**** you” at your teachers during parent’s night at Newman Smith High School, why the stereo was not yours to sell at the pawn shop, why you can’t sell your brother at the pawn shop and shouldn’t even be trying, and why you can’t swim naked after midnight in other people’s backyard pools.

It does cause insanity. It does convince you that you are wrong about everything. And it condemns your immortal soul to the Hell I don’t believe in.

It is bad enough that I had to talk in a form of English that teenagers can comprehend for the thirty-one years of teaching middle-school and high-school, but I had to talk in simple sentences with no profanity, cussing, god-damning, or sacrilege for twenty-four hours a day during the entirety of my three kids’ teenagerhood. Gradually I lost control of my tongue. Now, as an aged and teenager-misbehavior-forged grumpy old coot, I can’t help but use profanity constantly. I have used the magic F-word and the magic S-word repeatedly on the family dog who grins her dog-grin and wags her dog tail supportively in response. I swear and use profanity as a necessity for relieving stress. And as a former parent of teenagers, I am permanently scarred and stressed for the rest of my life.

So, I contend that, since I survived those fateful years of being a parent of teenagers without actually killing anybody (that can be proven in court at any rate) I am not guilty of becoming evil. I take no personal responsibility for my use of foul language or my commission of evil acts. It is all somebody else’s fault. This is the lesson being a parent of teenagers has taught me.

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Obsessively Self-Reflective

I honestly hope you are not reading this blog to find advice on life, the universe, writing, or anything. That sounds more like something I myself might do, and I am goofy enough to think this purple paisley prosy thing is a humor blog. I don’t really give advice, good or otherwise.

Even as a teacher I didn’t tell students how to do things in a do-this, then-do-this, and then-do-this lecture format. If anything, I advised by showing them how I did things, leading by example. I taught skills and concepts by setting up tasks that let kids do things for themselves. Most people learn by doing.

This idea applies no matter what the learning goal is. If you want to do magic, you have to cast some spells for yourself. Roger Bacon’s students in the 13th Century learned to do alchemy and eventually chemistry by blowing up the laboratory repeatedly. If I am capable of any sort of artistical or literarical magic, I have achieved it only by trying to do it, trying to be creativical, and getting readers’ and viewers’ attention by being marketableical and somewhat ironical in my blogging with over-use of artificial -ical endings.

So, I treat this blog as way to generate ludicrous ideas and goofy content in order to fascinate readers and sometimes even make them laugh. And I have nothing more to write about than myself and my own experiences. It is obsessively self-inflicted observations about myself. Kinda like standing naked in front of the mirror and learning to laugh at warts and wrinkles. I believe in taking the clothes off of my life experiences and finding the naked truths that were previously hidden. And, no, that doesn’t really explain why it seems I like drawing naked people so much. It’s a metaphor, dang it!

Gilligan never realized how good he had it as the only realistically eligible bachelor on that island.

So, that’s what this blog is all about. I am explaining what this blog is all about. I am looking at my own experience of life, the embarrassments, the sad truths, the disappointments, the triumphs, all the most personal, private, and public stuff. And I am laughing loud and long. Because that’s what life is. Mastering that fundamental skill. Learning to laugh at life.

Here’s a brief summary of the only good advice you can possibly find by reading this blog. If you want to write well, start writing and teach yourself how to do it. And if you want to learn to laugh, look for what’s funny and laugh loud and long and clear.

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AeroQuest 4… Canto 141

Canto 141 – The Critical Task

Safely back at the newly-constructed Gaijinese Starport, Naylund, Sara, and Junior walked down the exit ramp from the space ship with Ged Aero, the White Spider.  They were all  four relatively quiet and somberly thoughtful.

“Are you sure you have no lasting effects from dividing yourself in two?” Naylund asked.

“Naylund, old friend, don’t worry about me.  I could feel his thoughts when we first separated, but each of us came to terms with our new, separated identities rather quickly.  By the time we were ready to leave, not only was the planet well under control, but we were each feeling like two separate people.”

“What did it feel like to split yourself in half like that?” Junior asked.

“It hurt a lot at first.  He got the right half of my brain, and I got the left.  But we each grew out a fairly perfect copy of the other half, me as Ged Aero, White Spider, and him as the new Grainmaster Aero.  So, we are now both very different beings, me a human descended from Earthers, and him a Cornucopean Ear of Corn,  controlling all the plant life on the planet.”

“It wasn’t really a fascist thing from the start, was it, Ged-dono.”

“No, Naylund.  It was more of a hive-mind as if the entire planet could think as one plant-creature.  And all of it flowed through the Grainmaster’s brain.”

They found themselves confronted on the Tarmac by three Blackhawk Corsairs, Razor Conn, the leader, Shad Blackstone, his second in command, and newly uniformed Dana Cole.  They looked rather grim.  And Ged knew immediately without telepathy or clairvoyance that they came bearing really bad news.

“So, what’s happened now?” Ged dared to ask.

The trio of Blackhawks explained about the death of the White Duke, the preparations for rebellion against the Galtorr Imperium, as well as the battle of Coventry and the war crimes of Trav Dalgoda.

“That’s almost hard to believe,” said Naylund.

“Except it was Trav.  I’m afraid I have no trouble believing that,” Ged added.

“Trav died for his sins,” reminded Dana, “And the new creature he has become… well, I’ll personally work on reforming him.”

“And what about the Tesserah thing that Trav used to destroy half of a planet?” Ged asked.

“That’s what the new White Spider of the Space Lanes will be needed for,” said Razor Conn.

“We believe the thing is counting down to the destruction of the entire universe.  We don’t want that to happen.”

“Yes, I agree that it does not sound like a very good thing to allow to happen,” Ged said.

“We need you and your students to take it away and destroy it,” said Shad Blackstone.

“You are the only one we believe can actually do it,” added Razor Conn.

“Me?  I have no idea what to do.”

“It’s from the prophecy, Ged,” said Naylund.  “It suggests that the new White Spider will destroy the Ancient Most-Evil by burying it in the heart of the black hole.”

“What black hole?”

“The one with an Ancient construct orbiting it, Little Swirl.”

“My holy God!  That’s all the way Coreward on the other side of the Imperium.”

“It will be your greatest test, Ged.  It will be the quest that establishes the reign of the new White Spider of Prophecy.”

“We are going to take a good long look at what this prophecy-thing actually says.  And if there is any other way to accomplish it, we are going to consider that instead.”

“We will help you plan the mission, Ged,” said Razor.  “But this whole prophecy thing has foretold everything without missing a single detail.  I know it’s sorta spooky stuff, but it’s also real.  And time is running out for the whole universe.”

“That sounds like a good plot for a whole book,” said Sara, smiling.

“Yeah… but we better take a lot of care about which dumb nut we let write the danged thing,” said Ged.

I, Googol Marou, the author of this book, swear to you, he actually said those words.  And I only resent the “dumb nut” part of the comment a little bit.

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Un-Doxing the Fermi Paradox

When rationally considered, the number of stars and star systems out there statistically guarantees that there is other intelligent life out there in the galaxy besides us. And since many star systems are far older than ours, there statistically should also be civilizations far older and far more advanced than ours.

Enrico Fermi’s Paradox, simply stated is, “Since they should already be out there, where are they?”

Why don’t we see them through telescopes? Why haven’t they landed on the White House lawn and introduced themselves? Why haven’t they made themselves known to us and said flat out, “Hello, Earth people, so nice to EAT you.” Why aren’t they already here? Why aren’t we all on platters covered in ketchup?

Remember please, that this is a humor blog. The answers in my head are all fundamentally totally unserious.

But I am going to share them anyway. You know, just for laughs.

I think it is possible that they are no better at finding answers to Fermi’s Paradox than we are. I mean, isn’t it possible that they are no more inherently wise and capable of knowing the answers than we are?

I also mean, heck, I don’t know how to make my own television from parts I whipped up in the garage! I can barely handle learning new apps by watching YouTube videos about how to do them and then risking blowing the sparks out of my old laptop trying to trial-and-error the things I see those young whipper-snappers doing on videos until I accidentally stumble upon the right sequence of lucky guesses. The average Nebulon from the Great Nebula is probably only equally adept at doing the technologickalicky things her blue-skinned people do with space whales and brain-enhancing hairpieces. Our matching abilities to find each other in the vast oceans of stars and star systems in outer space probably are equally sucky.

Technology, after all, is only possible because we have learned things from the recorded results of other folks’ trial-and-error lucky guesses so that we don’t have to re-discover those things ourselves every single time we try something new.

So, we don’t connect with other so-called “intelligent” lifeforms in space, and they don’t connect with us, because when we do focus our fancy telescopes or radiation-recombining sindalblatt star viewers on each other, we don’t see that life over there as adequately intelligent… or intelligent at all… to be worth calling it intelligent life.

Of course the alternative explanation could be that they are already here and building underground and deep-sea bases, and our government is just not willing to tell us about it. Of course, says the horse, the government would never lie to us or cover something like that up just for the potential riches and power they could individually gain by keeping us in the dark about such things. And Bob Lazar is a fake human being, and the Roswell saucer was a weather balloon, and Barney and Betty Hill were just imagining getting probed by gray aliens, and Travis Walton’s missing days weren’t spent on a spacecraft, and the fact that he and other witnesses all passed lie detector tests about it only means that you don’t have to believe lie detector equipment when it gives you what you know in your little black heart is the wrong answer.

And maybe, just maybe, if they actually were incredibly smart enough to travel vast interstellar distances to the planet of the monkey people, who actually stumbled over the secret to blowing everything up with nuclear boom-a-booms, they will also be incredibly smart enough to not risk inciting the savagely stupid things the monkey people of Earth could do to each other, as well as to the smart aliens stuck with the awful assignment of living here and watching over us so that we don’t go all off-world and start wrecking the interstellar neighborhood.

Anyway, it’s a paradox, something there is no way to resolve with reasonable answers to reasonable questions. And physicists hate paradoxes. And this is a paradox created by a physicist. Gads! What a riddle within an enigma within a… grandmother’s cookie tin? No, that last one is a non sequitur. Stuff for another day.

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