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Author Topic: Random musings.
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thank you, extrinsic.
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Princesisto
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Thank you, Extrinsic for the very full answer.

I have to study this!

P

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Princesisto
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First issue that comes to mind: L Ron Hubbard, the father of Scientology?

Controversial at least, I daresay, without at all wanting to get into a religious debate. I think all religions would agree that Scientology is controversial, even Scientologists!

I thought this was a Mormon site: Mormons, do you feel 100% relaxed about endorsing participation in what may be a Scientology operation? Would you feel totally happy to win this contest and maybe get linked with Scientology?

Yes, I know L Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer and apparently a good one. I even think I read one of his books before I knew about his later activities.

Yet give me a chance to win an Orson Scott Card award or an L Ron Hubbard award and I should much prefer to be associated with Uncle Orson!

I am very much open to reasoned argument and information on the above points. I am just stating some instinctual concerns that I am sure are not mine alone.

P

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extrinsic
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Our host Orson Scott Card has judged several of the WotF contests. The roll call of WotF judges reads likewise: numerous judges without a preeminent membership card to any particular exclusive clubs except science fiction and fantasy.

Nor is Hatrack a Mormon site. I'm not. Nor is any religious test a prerequisite for Hatrack or the culture. Nor is any religious or political agenda foremost here. Other than sacred creative expression and prose pages.

Participation in the WotF contest or any facet of science fiction and fantasy culture, all of publication culture, does not endorse any agenda per se above another, other than literature's celebration.

Though recent years have seen several trivial political movement slates and factions within science fiction and fantasy culture attempt to define membership by narrow, self-absorbed, petty ambits, to exclude whole swaths of social segments, to force their pathetic publication ambitions and opportunities above others', and failed miserably, as does their mediocre writing. Irrespective of if anyone or I would wish otherwise -- like life -- literature takes all kinds.

[ May 14, 2019, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Robert Nowall
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Deep suspicion of the backers kept me from submitting to the contest more than a couple of times, and those long ago now. Swore off it when I got Scientology junk mail. And if SF literary success meant going through it, I'd just as soon pass.
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extrinsic
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Part of how I separate yada from my personal sphere, if indicated, or include, as it were, is learn as much as is available and practical about yada and forge transcendence strategies from consequent metastable personal opinion positions. Anecdotes and jurisprudence documents about yada's and yadas' shenanigans and consequences are abundant and legend.

Apart from Dianetics's fodder-all, Hubbard's unique Objectivism species contrast-compared to Ayn Rand's and others', as well as the belief system's conventions and bases, occasions convoluted investigations and singular conclusions: a warped "the chosen one" -- out of many, one (E pluribus unum, a motto of the U.S.: out of many states, one country) -- self-fulfillment prophesy and survivorship bias.

Rand's objectivism, Gene Roddenberry's, and about as contrary opposite warped as can be, Hunter S. Thompson's, too, to name a few other objectivists.

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WarrenB
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Princesisto Ė a reply to your question from many comments back:

I skipped it. Things 'just feeling wrong' may be a poor basis for political decision making, but it was the only basis I had for my decision not to vote last week.

As you say, the results were predictable, though I'm not sure ethnicity was a primary factor for most people. Race, history, tradition, a lack of options, the remnants of a powerful liberation narrative, plus our local version of the slowly-vanishing-centre (that seems to be a global phenomenon) all played their part though. No surprises, though the growth in the left and right wings is a little concerning.

Anyway, my issue wasn't really about whether my vote would make a difference. The guilt came from a sense of duty deferred. But then I rationalised thus: a fair amount of my work is at least democracy-adjacent, so I could claim a free get-out-of-guilt pass. (Do I think this holds water? No, but it sufficed at the time.)

Apol's if the above is a little incoherent. No time to edit myself today Ė deadlines loom and sleep is scarce.

Stay well. W.

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Princesisto
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Warren

Without having studied South African election participation rates, my guess is that your lot won.

In most democratic elections today, if the count is out of 100%, the abstainers win or at least have the plurality.

Of course, the countries that have compulsory voting, like Australia, are not included in this observation.

When New Zealand reformed our election laws in the 1990s, there was some discussion of putting a "None Of The Above" line on the ballot. Parliament did not dare! It would be like that Sex Pistols's song "Anarchy In The UK" had come true in New Zealand, when the "NOTA" line won every election.

IF politicians are evil, they are a necessary evil. As Winston Churchill said, "Democracy is a rotten system. But all alternatives are far worse."

P

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along with Orson Scott Card, but I do not think I have ever done anything to make this forum a "Mormon" forum. So I'm confused by your assertion, Princesisto, that it is "a Mormon site."

There have been quite a few members of my church who have participated in and won the Writers of the Future contests, and therefore have been published in volumes of the Writers of the Future anthology. I was in volume 9 as a published finalist, and the latest volume is #35.

When I attended the week-long workshop, there was discussion of the writing practices of L. Ron Hubbard, but nothing about the practices of Scientology.

As for unsolicited mail, I recycled it.

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Grumpy old guy
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Rest easy, kdw, I haven't seen any God botherers bible thumping around these here parts. Believe me, I'd notice.

Phil.

PS. No offence meant to anyone of 'faith'.

[ May 16, 2019, 07:20 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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No offence taken, Phil.
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walexander
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quote:
Writers of the Future is still going. I was wondering why there hasn't seemed to be any interest in it lately.
For me. It's all about time. Between writing, work, and trying to get out and breathe fresh air. Very little time left. My friends have been twisting my arm to start dating again, and I tell them the same thing, no time. relationships require time and money investment. I have other goal priorities right now. They don't get it, of course. they're all part of that idi*t crowd that believes that anyone now can write a book and through it on amazon. It's not hard, they say. drives me crazy.

And on the other subject. I wouldn't be here if there was any sign this wasn't an open site and all are welcome. This site is pretty much the only one I bother with. The others have to much fluff and just tell you what you want to hear. The only way to get better/published is with the hard truth. I find that here.

My 2 cents.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thank you, walexander. You just told me something I want to hear. [Smile]
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telflonmail
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TLLA 4 (The Long List Anthology Volume 4) Digital @AMZ (and other sites) for .99USD today
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extrinsic
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The Long List Anthology is edited by David Steffen of Diabolical Plots, an online science fiction and fantasy zine, and The Grinder, a submission tracker website, and an active Hatrack member between 2008 and 2013, member name steffenwolf.
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Princesisto
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To have said that this was a "Mormon site", in the sense that the originator and the administrator are both Mormons, was not at all a criticism, Kathleen and other Mormons. To say that something is a Mormon site does not mean that no one else is welcome. It is like a Catholic school: its origins are Catholic but many non-Catholics will send their children there because of its traditional values.

In fact, one of the reasons that I feel comfortable, even though not a Mormon, on this site is that it has some traditional values as standards, which comes partially from the Mormon influence. There are limits to what you can say about people here.

My point, about the contest, by the way, is that this is not a "Scientology site", as everyone will agree. The sight of Mormons promoting a Scientology operation like that contest seemed strange. And may I say, Kathleen, with all due respect, that the more that you and other contributors tell us about that contest, the more I see that the Scientologists are deep in with both feet propagandising in that contest, more than even I imagined. Yes, as you say, you can resist it. But people ought to know about that. I am glad that they do know now and can decide intelligently. In that sense, my comment, did achieve something. But I hope that it did not offend any Mormons, for whom I hold the greatest respect, as fellow believers in traditional values.

P

[ May 23, 2019, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Princesisto ]

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walexander
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I'm agnostic and truly don't care about the faith behind any contest. My concern is with my writing career. The WOTF can be Scientologists or purple people eaters for all I care. Winning WOTF puts you on the map for agents and editors to see. Every contest, every judge, every editor, agent, publisher has their own guidelines and prejudices they bring to the table. That's just a fact of life. Winning any of the large contests gives your manuscripts a chance to move from the bottom of the slush pile, to just maybe, the eyes of someone who loves it. KDW's motivation about WOTF is based on this site has produced several different level winners of the contest. And those wins are very hard earned. I know, I've competed, and listened, read, and brain-stormed with the best of them. Politics and religions aside, just the act of competing sharpens a writers craft. My 2 cents.

And since we are talking contests, for all you self-published novelists here, don't forget to submit your self-published book to the
NSBP North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books.
Contest submission ends on June 30, 2019
One grand prize winner will receive $3,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $450 value)

W.

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extrinsic
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Note that faithful Latter Day Saints reject the labels Mormons or Mormon. Mormon is an ancient prophet-redactor who gave revelations to church founder Joseph Smith, somewhat comparable to Moses, Christ, Mohammad, Buddha, Brahma, etc.

Faithful Judean persons also refuse the secular label "Jews." Jewish, Judeans, not Jews, nor Moseses; Christians, not Christs; Muslims, not Mohammads; Buddhists, not Buddhas; Hindus, not Brahmas; and Latter Day Saints, LDSs, not Mormons.

Hence, such labels are blaspheme to those active of the respective faiths.

However, secular mass culture would impose shorthand, profane, stereotype, and objectionable labels upon and all sundry.

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Princesisto
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I never knew about that, extrinsic, e.g. that "Mormons" and "Jews" rejected those names, having heard them use such names about themselves. I sincerely apologise to any such persons whom I have offended.

As for calling Christians "Christs" and Buddhists "Buddhas", etc. that is just total confusion about grammar and I have never heard it done.

P

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WarrenB
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Hmmm. Has Hatrack gone to sleep? Or am I just not seeing new posts highlighted anymore...? Perhaps the coming of summer to the Northern hemisphere is the cause? Do you all move to wifiless beaches?

Just checking because I was planning to post a fragment for feedback late this week/early next... But wonder if anyone's out there? <out there?> <out there?> <out there?> ...

Hmmm. Echoes...

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Grumpy old guy
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I'm still here. Been sick, better now. Lots better. :-)

Phil.

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WarrenB
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Glad to hear it, Phil! I haven't been active here for a while Ė internet access issues while our house was renovated + deadlines + attempts at making social media work for me (so far, not a resounding success). But I do pop in to read posts pretty regularly. It's our North American colleagues who seem to have vanished. Mass abduction? The day the States shut down? Perhaps there's a story in it. :-) Stay well. W
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Robert Nowall
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I post when I think of something I can say about the issue in discussion.
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Grumpy old guy
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I was just watching the very first episode of The Outer Limits and, guess what? It is based on a novella by George RR Martin. Who'd a thunk it?

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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"Sandkings," right?
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Grumpy old guy
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Yep. With Jeff and Beau Bridges and some of the worst acting on the planet.

Phil.

[ June 21, 2019, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Robert Nowall
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According to my quick research, Martin wrote two episodes. But, a point of order, the episode wasn't the "very first," but the first in a revival of a show from the sixties.

(Martin was active in "The Twilight Zone" revival and also "Beauty and the Beast.")

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Grumpy old guy
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Didn't know that. I have seven seasons and thought there was only the original and not any remakes of the series.

Phil.

PS. Sandkings is in two parts. It was also Lloyd Bridges, not Jeff.

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Robert Nowall
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Well, as I see it, the arc of Martin's career was:

He started out as a promising science fiction writer. Then a couple of Hollywood sales encouraged him to go out and get work in Hollywood, which pays well if you can get it, but just as often involves writing things that never get made. Then when that petered out, he decided to "me-too" onto the fantasy craze with "Game of Thrones." And he used that to get back into Hollywood.

I miss the promising science fiction writer.

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telflonmail
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My favorite Martin story is The Way of Cross and Dragon which is now forty year old this month. My second favorite is Sandkings published two months later. I guess my third favorite would be A Song for Lya. I haven't read him in years and never got into his fantasy work.
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Robert Nowall
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Well, I didn't read Game of Thrones because I've gotten weary of endless series that (1) never end, and (2) require you to read all the books to understand what's going on. I could also add (3) never publishing a final volume. I think there's a monologue or two around here about my dislike of that, be it science fiction or non-fiction. (A second but not final volume of Gary Gidding's Bing Crosby biography finally appeared late last year. But with biography there's often ways of finding things out from other works.)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I have enjoyed some of George R. R. Martin's books - his take on vampires was interesting (FEVRE DREAM) and I liked DYING OF THE LIGHT.

I only read the first Game of Thrones book though - it drove me crazy that the first interesting character in the book (to me, at least) was stupid enough to get himself killed almost immediately. I thought Tyrion Lannister was also interesting, but not interesting enough for me to keep reading about his nasty siblings.

I also liked the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST television show that he was part of, and was sorry to see that cancelled.

He was on Henry Louis Gates Jr's FINDING YOUR ROOTS recently, and it was interesting to see what surprising things about his family could be discovered using DNA. I hope he followed up on what they told him.

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Grumpy old guy
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Since joining Hatrack I have only been half the writer I was. The drive to learn the craft and better understand the processes needed to tell a story well was, and still is, there. However, the spontaneous creative flair and drive to actually write a unique and compelling tale was missing. My own stupid fault; I thought I could cure my problem through strength of will alone once I knew what it was like to be well. Wrong!

I have tried three previous times to recapture the circumstances which gave me an inestimable gift. Iíve finally managed it; donít ask me how. Fate? Maybe.

All I know is this: All of a sudden on Tuesday last week the churning ocean that is my storytellers mind suddenly reawakened with a passion. Countless story/plot/character possibilities were forming, coalescing, shifting and moving, changing and, bumping into others, dissolving to form new and exciting combinations. Think of this as a writerís case of extreme OCD. All the world falls away as I wallow in story choices and pass the day operating on auto-pilot, even when working. Ah, the agony and the ecstasy. No wonder I was manic when it all went away.

Is this what it feels like when you get the idea for a story?

Phil

[ July 13, 2019, 03:54 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Grumpy old guy
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Can't understand it; when temperature gets around 40F all I can do is eat and try and NOT fall asleep. I'm not always successful at the last. Huh? Where did that half hour go?

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Maybe you're part reptile (I'm part dragon) and you just get sleepy when it gets cold.
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Grumpy old guy
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You may be right, but which type? I'm certainly not a skink or gecko; a monitor lizard perhaps. Biggest one I can think of is the Komodo Dragon.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Komodo dragon sounds good to me. [Smile]
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Grumpy old guy
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IĎm tired. So very goddamn tired. Up until about 10 months ago I was working 5-6 hours a day leaving me a lot of time to think about writing, and also do a bit now and then. That all changed when I realised I had to plan for my financial future for the next 40 years, or so. I needed money. More importantly, I needed lots more money in my investment portfolio so it would support me in my retirement. Now Iím working 10-11 hours a day and stuffing money in said account.

Which is why Iím tired.

If you factor in the mechanics of life it works like this: 10 hours work, 7 hours sleep, 3 hours cooking, eating and cleaning, and, 1 hour for just sitting and scratching my navel. This leaves me 3 hours a day for writing, thinking about writing or critiquing; but if Iím tired, just how much of that is worth it? Just saying.

Itís also the reason Iím probably a lot grumpier than usual.

Phil.

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walexander
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i faced a similar conundrum. A few of my male friends passed away in there 50's and 60's hardly touching any retirement. i ended up plagued with worry, what if i spend all this time and energy saving for something i never get to enjoy? i decided to shift my priorities to open up space in life so as to enjoy some of it in the here and now just in case my future is a brief one.

When i think of all the years i put life on hold, dutifully working toward the future, ignoring possibilities in pursuit of money, and the cheese at the end of the maze. two marriages down and a bought with deadly cancer that almost killed me, woke me up, to look around with new eyes, and re-prioritize. But that's me, we each have our own path's.

But I will say this. Two of my best friends, more healthier, better insurance, fit as fiddles. both died in the last two months, quick natural deaths, that shocked everyone. Death is a merciless bast*rd that doesn't care about your money, your ethics, or your age. Will take someone eight as easily as eighty. Best to give death the respect it is due and live life while you can. That doesn't mean don't save for the future, just don't make that your sole priority, or you could find yourself greatly disappointed in the future outcome.

just a thought,

W.

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walexander
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Never really noticed it, but i kind of have a dislike about 1st person. I don't like books in first and I don't like to write in first.

I noticed this when i was rereading an old story of mine that was in first. It's funny how first makes you really kind of feel you are writing a story about yourself, not someone else.

Just a funny note about a glitch in my internal software. Not really worth the discussion thread.

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Robert Nowall
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Long dormant thread, but any longtime readers might remember...

I'm claiming first sighting of a Statue of Liberty.

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Grumpy old guy
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I've never really understood the cultural significance of this. Then again, the Interhoax is full of quirky anthropologic oddities.

Phil.

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Grumpy old guy
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In case you hadn't noticed 13 million acres of Australia have been burnt to a crisp. To put it in context that's 6 times the size of the fires in California this year and it's only the first month of summer here.

Welcome to the brave new world of global warming.

Phil

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Robert Nowall
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Blame the greens, not global warming.
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Grumpy old guy
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Of course, how silly of me. The greens arranged a four year drought and then orchestrated a series of extreme weather events of unprecedented strength and ferocity. I must be stupid for not seeing it.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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The greens saw to it that living in the wilderness wasn't managed---brush not cleared, utilities not upgraded, and so on.
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Grumpy old guy
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That was actually our fearless leaders in Government. Too afraid to act.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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True. The fires in Australia are the fires in California writ large.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I can't speak for the whole world, but I know there are many people who are praying for Australia, and grieving for the terrible losses.

We have heard that there has been some rain. I pray it will continue, and that it will be enough to make a difference.

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Grumpy old guy
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First: 100 or so firefighters have arrived from the US and Canada over the last few days. Heartfelt thanks to all of them.

Yes, there has been drizzle over the last few days (about 5mm) but not enough to dampen the fires. What it does do is give the firefighters a bit of a rest and time to try and strengthen containment lines etc.

Thanks to all for their thoughts.

One last thing: Friday we expect more 43C heat which may come with strong winds. Bugger!


Phil.

[ January 08, 2020, 04:28 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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