An admission: Or why I’m a liberal now

This last election I did something that I’ve never done before in my life. I voted Democrat, pretty much right down the entire ballot. I had several reasons for doing this. First, I have the vain hope that in this classically Republican state, I would be part of a growing trend of people switching sides. I wanted that to be part of a message to Republicans that they needed to change because they were losing people. Second, I honestly feel that Democrat representatives are more in line with my beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have faith that either political party has the interests of the people at heart. Both are completely devoted to serving their own needs before those of the people they claim to represent. Washington is a cesspool of corruption and it extends to both sides.

With that being said, over the last couple of years, the group that has made me scream “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” is hands down the Republicans. Most of that is the Tea Party’s fault as its gotten its claws deeper and deeper into the GOP. Although, in all honesty, I was drinking the Tea (koolaid) only just a few years ago. I’ll admit it. I listened to Glenn Beck. I worried that the end of days was right around the corner, and Obama had sold us out to enter us into a new dark age where all Christians were locked away in concentration camps and liberalism and political correctness destroyed freedom, truth and the American way. I kept it quiet, because my opinions were not shared by my friends.

Then, I stopped listening to AM radio. I started reading. I started listening. In short, I started thinking for my own damn self, instead of taking the word of some radio hosts as the gospel truth. I finally started listening to what the ass-hats on Fox News were saying, and how they were saying it. It didn’t hurt that they also said some terrifyingly stupid things during that time that made me hate them. It also didn’t hurt that during that time, I was exposed to more than a few things in Church that made me question the Conservative mindset.

Please, also keep in mind that when I say I was Conservative, I say that mainly on the basis that I thought smaller government was better, that people needed to take care of themselves, as opposed to getting welfare, and that all our overseas actions were awesome because the troops deserved respect. To further clarify, yes, the troops do deserve respect; the people giving the orders are the ones that I have problems with.

I disliked Obama, when he was first elected, because I thought that his “Hope and Change” would destroy America. Now, I’m just disappointed, because I don’t have any Hope that Change will ever happen in Washington. Despite the entire theme of this post, I don’t like to get political. I disliked it even when I was a dyed in the wool Conservative. People talked about politics, mocked each other over politics, and made assumptions over peoples intelligence over politics that were often unfair. I even do it now, though I think my reasons are a little better.

So, the question is, why? What caused me to switch sides? There’s a lot of reasons, but much of it boils down to what the Republican party has become since the Tea Party came along. Its no secret to those of you who know me, science is kind of a big thing with me. I’ve spent pretty much my entire life either watching, or reading science fiction, learning about science just because its fun, and desperately wanting to go into space myself someday. Or be a cyborg. Or have a robot exo-skeleton. Or all three. I’ll take all three and be a cyborg, Ironman in space please.

When you take that into account, it was probably inevitable that myself and the right-wing would have an eventual falling out. They promised that trickle down economics would solve everything. It didn’t. Science promised me tablet computers. Guess what I’m writing this post on. They told me that global warming isn’t real and isn’t an active threat to the planet. It most certainly is.

*sigh* I’m actually getting tired of writing this… and since I don’t expect many people to read it, especially not this far, I’m just going to say that everything that the right-wing has promised me has failed. We have two dollar a gallon gas right now, and Fox News is trying to convince me that’s a bad thing, because the economy will suffer from billionaires losing money and investing elsewhere. I’m not posting links, I’m not going to really engage in any conversation, this isn’t a call for help. This is me, finally telling whoever cares in “The Establishment” that I’ve changed and I did it long ago.

If police fuck up and shoot a kid, they should be held to the same laws that they try to enforce. If someone has cancer, why in God’s name should they even have to worry if their insurance will cover it? If we are destroying our planet, the only damned planet we have, how is it bad to take better care of it? Creationism is not science. Religion does not belong in government. Government does not belong in religion. Stop saying political correctness, and start realizing that you don’t have to be a dick to people. A better use of money would be feeding people and funding research rather than building weapons and fighting wars.

And most of all… WHY IS TED CRUZ GOING TO BE CHAIRING THE COMMITTEE THAT OVERSEES NASA?! I’m trying to find a better way of saying “That’s like putting a moron in charge of some of the smartest people on Earth,” but it is putting a moron in charge of some of the smartest people on Earth.

So, I’m a liberal. Because in at the end of the day, progressive isn’t a bad word. It means you want progress. There isn’t much about the way things were or are that I want to conserve, so lets shake things up a bit, try something new, grow as a country and as a species.


Holy crap… Its the future.

Let me walk you through something.  Its something you probably realize, but maybe just don’t grasp the significance of.  Pull out your phone and take a look at it.  Is it a two year old Android P.O.S. that you got for free with your cell phone contract, or the newest iPhone 6?  Is it just a plain old phone with an LCD display?  Doesn’t matter.  That shit was impossible 30 years ago.  How did you get your news 30 years ago?  TV, newspaper, or radio, I’m assuming.  That or word of mouth.  You kept all your music on tapes that held… 10 songs?  If you didn’t like one of those songs you just suffered through it.  Computer monitors had 2 colors, unless you were really fancy and they had 16.  You stored information on 5 and a half inch floppies.   If you wanted to talk to someone you called on one of these:

Rotary Phone
How does this work again?

Just… think about that.  Twenty years ago, people were just getting online. There was no Google.  There was Webcrawler, which if you were too young to remember it, be grateful.  You couldn’t use the phone while you were surfing the web or checking email because it used your phone line.  You probably had a calculator.  Think about it.  It was probably about as big as your current phone.  If you wanted to find something in a library you still needed to use a card catalog.  If you wanted to buy a book, you went to the bloody store.  You bought things from a JC Penny’s magazine.  You found something in a crappy pseudo-book someone mailed to you, then you called a person up, on that crap phone, with your order between the hours of 8 and 6.  You might have wrote them a check.

Lets go ahead and fast forward to now.  Lets say you have an iPhone.  It has between 3,200x and 26,200x the memory of my family’s first computer.  Want a more detailed look of how far computers have come in 30 some years?  Try this.  Well, that’s comparing the computers of yesteryear, the first personal computers to our modern day smart phones.  If you’ve got a tablet, you’re holding science fiction technology in the palm of your hand.

Your music collection might still be on CDs, but chances are it isn’t.  Even if you still buy CD’s you bring it home, pop the disc in your computer once and put that thing in a digital library that probably contains THOUSANDS of songs.  To listen to any one of them, all you have to do is search, and click play.  Before I went to college, I thought people were lying to me when they said that they could download and watch whole movies, now its rare that I even bother going to get a physical copy of a movie that I want to own.  When I went on vacation as a kid, I had to find room to pack two or three extra paperbacks, just to make sure I had enough reading material.  Now, I have an eReader that currently holds nearly 400 books and it weighs less than a single paperback, takes up less room, and has a built in light, and connects to wireless internet to go and get MORE books.  My first MP3 player held about 13 songs and ran on AA batteries.  My iPad holds thousands of songs, audiobooks, tv shows AND has access to both Amazons library of music AND video AND Netflix … so on and so forth.

Lets talk about maps.  How many of you can find your way from your current location, to somewhere you’ve never been, in a different city, using a paper map?  That’s how my parents used to navigate on family trips, and I have no clue how they did it.  Well, I know how, and may be able to myself…maybe.  But my phone knows where I am and can tell me how to get ANYWHERE.  Most of the time.

We have video watches.

We have honest to goodness cyborgs!

We have machines that can turn human waste into electricity AND drinkable water!

Self-driving cars? On the way.

Private space flight? Check.

Want to do something cool? The average human is your investor now, go and do it!

Sure, back to the future two prophesied that we would have hover boards, flying cars, and Jaws 19, but I think that what we’ve actually got is way better.  Well… Mr. Fusion sure would be nice. Oh.  Wait!  Also, flying cars would be a terrible idea.  I know I don’t want the jack-asses I have to drive with every day in control of something infinitely more dangerous than a car.

So… here we are! The future!  How do you like it so far?  Got any favorites that I missed?  Discuss!


2015: Kicking in your door.

This is the annual blog post where I resolve to do things, to better myself as a human being. The problem with resolutions, is they tend to get left by the wayside as the year wears on and different problems take precedence. Or maybe that’s just for me. Still, its good to have goals, and one of the best ways of keeping to them, is to be able to track them and see how good you’re doing. Also, know your limits. You probably aren’t going to get six pack abs by July unless you’re also prepared to completely give up pizza and spend all your time in a gym. I’m prepared to do neither of these things. Here’s my resolutions: Continue reading…


2014 in Review

I don’t know about you, but its been a pretty good year in House Swanson. We went to Phoenix Comic-con and had a blast with the Edge of December crew, despite the state being filled to the brim with creatures whose only purpose is to kill. I’m not even talking about the con attendees. I can not fathom how people have cities in a place where you might have a scorpion in your shoes in the morning. It might be there, or not. A venomous surprise first thing. Schroedinger’s scorpion. I remember we went out to swim in the pool one night, and Glenn was looking around for something near the pool, and he said, “Be careful, there’s some black widows over here,” like I might say, “Hey, there’s some ice on that stair.” *shiver* The two are NOT EQUIVALENT!

Katie and I moved into a nice new house. Its been a great little house so far, and we’re looking forward to staying there for a few more years before we’re ready to actually buy a house and settle down somewhere.

I completely recoded and revamped WordKeeperAlpha and launched it in … August, I think. Since then I’ve gone from about 5 users on the old system to over 250 at last count. Prior to the new version being launched I got maybe 5 hits a day, most of those from some dumb web crawler out of the Netherlands…which I’m still trying to figure out how to ban from my sites completely. Jerks. I digress… Now I’m clocking in at nearly 40 hits per day, and as many as 80! Its really kind of awesome that people are actually using this thing that I made. I know that I’ve said that before, but I really thought that I’d be fortunate if 100 people ever found it, let alone used it on a regular basis.

I got started with a new writing group, well, just one patient person who’s helping me with Impervious, as I’m helping them with their project… at least, I hope I am. Still, its good to be in a writing group again.

Impervious is coming right along, even if the second draft isn’t done yet. I’d hoped to have that done by the end of the year, but I’m at least still making progress. I’ve got a nice week and a half before I have to go back to work, and I’m going to be using that time to punch in a few more words before the years over and to get a nice head start on 2015. I’ve got some grander goals for 2015: getting my second draft finished, the third draft started and finished, starting the second draft of the second book, and using NaNoWriMo to get a jump start on the third book in the trilogy … if its a trilogy, I’m not sure yet.

I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo this year, only clocking in at 25,000 words. Am I disappointed? A little. But, it seems like NaNo is going to be more for punching out most of a first draft than working on second drafts. I’ve been much more picky working on the second draft of Impervious, which is why it hasn’t been coming along quite as fast as the first draft did.

I was hoping that I’d be able to write at least 180,000 words in 2014, but I ended up getting about 120,000 done. I still feel pretty good about that, mostly because of everything I was able to get done with WordKeeperAlpha. I’m not really going to be talking about my goals for 2015 right now, I’ll get into that in a different post at the start of 2015, but I am going to be putting more focus on both reading more books and writing.

So. 2014. I didn’t get in shape. I didn’t finish the second draft of Impervious. I did kick ass at making WordKeeperAlpha. I’m happy, healthy (relatively speaking) and not wanting for anything other than more hours in the day to do more stuff. I think I’m going to call 2014 a success, and work on making 2015 an even better year. Here’s to all of you lovely people, hoping you had a great year, and the coming one will treat you better still. Happy New Years, folks!


Editing and Deleting Records is LIVE!

Heya folks.  I know a lot of people have been waiting for the ability to Edit and Delete word records that got messed up, either through experimentation, or by mistake.  Check out the Word Logs section of the Goals and Projects page.  Alternatively, check out the About page for more instructions.

There’s more upgrades and updates coming, but now that I’ve got this out, its time to get some writing done this month.  Next up though is going to be public profile pages to share your progress, then looking into blog widgets, or setting up an API so that equally enterprising individuals can make their own.

OR suggest an upgrade here and talk to me about what you’d like to see most in WordKeeperAlpha.  Seriously, I love hearing from my users.