Visit to Maryland Renaissance Fair

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Saturday, I paid a visit to the Renaissance Fair north of Annapolis, MD (actually Crownsville).

I’ll note some hightlights and embed my own comments.

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12   An art shop that reminds me of the Third Dominion in Clive Barker’s book “Imajica”.

13:  A preview of my screenplay “Do Ask, Do Tell: Ephiphany”.  This would fit into the 1776 Training Center (Sector 2 of 5 in the space station ashram — and by the way, I need to review if for how the memories of how the protagonist “me” got there progress — rather like waking up from general anesthesia.

14:  There is a glassblowing shop and training station in Sector 2 in my screenplay

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Crownsville, by the way, is the hometown of the Andraka brothers.

I guess everybody is forgetting about Brexit.  (Whoops?? England?)

(Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 at 12:45 PM EDT)

 

Visit to Cumberland Gap, a place in 3 states (TN, KY. VA)

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I made a three-day odyssey this week, to visit Cumberland Gap and drive the tunnel on 35-E completed in 1996.

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The old road (a “high way of death”) was torn out and returned to its natural condition as a trail for Daniel Boone.

I visited a Veteran’s Memorial Part on Cheat Mountain, looking west, 20 miles S, on 25-E.   Another veteran was there.

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The views of the town of Cumberland Gap and the two ends of the tunnel can be seen from the Pinnacle (although the tunnel opening itself cannot be seen and there is no parking area for a photo).  The rail tunnel can be visited on foot from the Tennessee town.

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By Stratosphere – Own work, GFDL,  link  under CCSA 4.0.

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(Posted: Friday. Aug. 26, 2016 at 11:30 PM EDT)

“After-Life on Doomsday Planet” — short film by me

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Here’s a little sci-fi film (“After-Life on Doomsday Planet“) about what would be like after a Carrington Event solar storm and coronal mass ejection, or after a high-altitude EMP attack.  Actually, I took the footage Saturday night at the Montgomery County Fair in Gaitherbsurg, MD, and there is electricity in some scenes.  Another way to interpret this little film is that it is set on an alien world.

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Clip 1 — Pumping well water

Clip 2 — water

Clip 3  — country dancing and merriment

Clip 4 — dogs do what they do

Clip 5 — hypnosis  (remember the 1960 horror film, “The Hypnotic Eye“, that used to air on Saturday night “Chiller”.

Clip 6 — rides 1

Clip 7  — rides 2

Clip 8  — ride on a tractor through an alien planet city

Clip 9 — alien ride — Part 2

i don’t know if some of the gizmos on sale are Pokemon Go monsters, or come from Japanese manga and Danganronpa.

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Homage for all doomsday preppers!

(Posted Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, 10 AM EDT)

My own piece, played on organ, a first public reading

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Today, Sunday, August 21, 2016, after the 11 AM service at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC , and after the Postlude, the organist-choirmaster Dr. Lon Schreiber played a brief composition by me, which sounds like a hymn (with one familiar melodic line), harmonized in somewhat modern style (maybe a touch of Prokofiev).

I have called the composition “Losing It”. It was conceived as a miniature episode in a symphonic movement of “songs without words” back in 1972.

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The piece as shown is in 4/4 time in B-flat Major, in moderate tempo, something like an “Andante moderato”.

There is a second stanza that changes rhythm to 3/4 for a while and plays with ascending passages in F minor and G minor, before returning to B-flat, this time be dragged down to say in minor. It isn’t necessarily a happy ending.

In the picture above, note the items in the hair dressing of the guest. Are these from Pokemon, from Japanese manga or danganronpa?

I will upload the entire PDF and iTunes mpg file when it is done (as played on my Casio).

Here is an article on the Austin organ at the First Baptist Church.

Here is an article on organist Lon Schreiber.

 (Published: Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 3 PM EDT)

New “DuoSkin”, artificial epidermic for temporary tattoos, can server as smartphone interface, maybe fodder for sci-fi rituals

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There’s a bizarre new technology, “DuoSkin”, which can be “pasted” onto human skin, and then be used as a smart phone interface, even as a trackball.  It can even glow.

So people will use it as a temporary tattoo, decoratively.  Most of the videos about it show the users as women.  With Caucasian men, other than bikers and swimmers, care would need to be exercised in placing it.

I can imagine adding a ritual to my screenplay “Do Ask, Do Tell: Ephiphany” near the end, where one of the “angel candidate” characters has the skin applied as part of a ritual, to be “survived”.

Microsoft is supporting this product with research; not sure how they find willing subjects.

Here’s an article on the subject on Geekwire.

CNN has a more expansive story on the aesthetics of the technology here.

There are known issues as to whether wrist tattoos  (especially in some men) interfere with “smart-watch” functions, but that’s a different issue.

Related posting earlier on Notes blog.

(Published: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 at 10 AM EDT)

Pimping out my own DADT books at Outwrite DC today.

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I did set up an exhibit at the Outwrite DC in Washington DC today at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, in the atrium at 2000 14th St. NW (ha, ha, only about 5 miles from Nationals Park, a half-mile from Town DC and 930 Club, and Atlantic Plumbing, for that matter).

So I got to do a good interview.  I covered the narrative of my own William and Mary expansion, my own getting drafted during Vietnam, how that mixed with the debate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and led to my first book in 1997, and how 9/11 complicated my proposals for a “Bill of Rights II”, leading to the second book in 2002, and how freedom of speech and the Internet led to the substance of the third book in 2014.  I did mention “open access”.  I mentioned that I have a draft screenplay for how you might film it.

The interviewer did get the idea that external pressures matter, and that even with a fight for liberation and equality (and the tension between those two concepts), individual moral compass, in reacting to the needs of others in any group one belongs to, matters.  That’s kind of paradox of identity politics.

I got three clips.  The people filming me were unfamiliar with my camera, so the sound is hard to hear,

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(Posted: Saturday: August 6, 2016 at 6 PM EDT)

Update: Aug. 10

Here are a few more videos (other than the QA for “Queer Brown Voices” which is here).

A “simple song” video

Introduction 1

Introduction 2

Introduction 3

Introduction 4

Again, On the Road: Spruce Knob, W Va

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Spruce Knob, on the Allegheny Front eastern continental divide, is the highest point in W Va and the highest point within 200 miles of Washington DC (about 185 miles, 5 hours including 40 minutes to drive the narrow paved road, 12 miles, to the summit, from US 33/WVa 28 near Riverton).

I thought I hadn’t gotten to the summit since 1994, but I then discovered I had been there in August 2010, and then returned to Blackwater Falls in September.

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SR 93 from Davis through the old strip mine fields is now replaced by US 48, which is being made into a freeway.  The Atlas shows 48 intersecting 32 just north of Davis and south of Thomas.  But the sign still says 32. The W-bound side still is about 8 miles short of completion to Davis.  The reclaimed strip mines look like terraced landfills, near the Mt. Storm power plant.  There is one coal processing plant. Halfway between Mt. Storm and Moorefield there is a rather ugly quarry, shortly after the scenic overlook, looking east from the Allegheny escarpment (with wind turbines on top of the ridge).

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(Posted: Friday, July 22, 2016, at 11:30 PM EDT)

A couple more cell pictures, posted on Instagram

Spruce Knob summit

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US 48 view,  some stripmine cuts or quarries visible from overlook 20 miles NW of Moorefield

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More on the idea of “character diversity”, particularly in love or intimate scenes, for my own fiction

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I wanted to add a note about any potential “casting diversity” or, for that matter, character diversity issues in my own manuscripts (last taken up in January 2016).

It’s true that many of my manuscripts (novels and screenplays) focus on “me” or my avatar as a central driving character, and that my tastes in what is “desirable” (Fort Eustis memories) drive the tension.

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In fact, there is a certain pattern in many of them.  A character like “Bill” meets a charismatic, larger-than-life and tall young white male hero (symbolizing “virtue”)  in the early chapters (rather like Ayn Rand’s fantasy for the young John Galt). Later, he loses his “individual contributor” job and has to face becoming more “sociable”.  He gets contacted to go to some sort of re-regimenting “re-education academy” in the country (in West Texas in a couple scripts, in West Virginia in another, and a simple “intentional community” in DADT III last story). He has to learn to do “real jobs”.  It sounds a little like Maoist re-education (the right and left come together at the other side of the Moon, you know).   At the “academy” he encounters the hero, and builds up to an intimate confrontation.  In the meantime, the outside world has an existential catharsis.

“Bill” is different but he’s not supposed to get off as a “member of a group”.  He has to learn to share the risks that others had to endure.  It’s seen through a moral lens.

But a couple of more recent manuscripts present the narrative primarily through a separate, heterosexually married white male character, with “Bill” inn his backstory, and with some gay interests.  In the novel, the character is a good family man whose marriage will be challenged by a gay college student, as well as “extraterrestrial” events (and a mystery virus to boot).  In another screenplay “Titanium” the protagonist is a white male journalist whose fiancé has been abducted (possibly by aliens) when she “went up”.  But the reporter has another girl friend, who is of opposite race, and helps the girl friend raise a child.  But I’m in the background. It get’s pretty complex.

I grew up in a world where most movies and entertainment catered to conventional white stereotypes of what is desirable from men and women.   People did not think about the idea that other kinds of people should be presented as “attractive” then as they often do today,

(Published: Friday, July 8, 2016 at 11:30 AM ET)  Related post today.

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