More steam less punk


I enjoyed reading Bill Willingham’s interview at Bleeding Cool. Willingham’s thoughts on the name steampunk brought a smile to my face.

English: Steampunk image of author G. D. Falks...
English: Steampunk image of author G. D. Falksen Français : Photo de l’auteur G. D. Falksen habillé en style Steampunk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tony: Is this your first time working in the steampunk genre?

Bill: Yes. It’s a genre I avoided before, for no better reason than I like everything about it except its name, which was started as a joke, but then stuck. The things I like about steampunk have nothing to do with the qualities of a punk. These are the worlds of HG Wells and Jules Verne. They didn’t write punks. They wrote of gentlemen adventurers, men and women of dignity tempered with grit and bold action. Punks perfectly fit the cyberpunk sub-genre, because cocky punks is exactly who they were, and which is exactly why I never warmed up to it. A better name for this sub-genre would be steampulp, but I suspect the ship has already sailed on that possibility.

Fire on the mountain

♫ Fire on the mountain run boys run ♫

Sunrise over Table Rock, seen from Wiseman's V...
Sunrise over Table Rock, seen from Wiseman’s View looking east across the Linville Gorge. Photo taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 in Burke County, NC, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps there should be a sign posted reading “paranormal sites are flammable” as yet another paranormal location burns. In this case, Linville Gorge of North Carolina, the location for the “Brown Mountain Lights”, lost over 2,000 acres. It is believed that a careless camper left his campfire unattended.

Should they find the camper, I propose as punishment that he wear a Smokey the Bear costume while replanting those 2,000 acres. Just an idea.

What are the lights? I don’t know, but I believe that it is a natural phenomena. BTW you can read Joshua P. Warren’s research of the lights at I highly recommend it. You can also check out more on Warren’s work at

Ring for an “old soul” mate

I suppose most women would prefer a diamond ring, but an “old soul” soul-mate might like a ring of dinosaur bone, meteorite and gold. How awesome and unique is that? Of course, it takes the right sort of woman.

wedding bandsource:

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be … ghost hunters

♫ Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be … ghost hunters. ♫

Okay, as it turns out, while some Mothers may not want their sons to be cowboys, some Mothers at J.E. Jones Elementary in Wisconsin don’t want their children exposed to ghost hunting.

“We’re not going in there with Ouija boards, dowsing rods, to conjure things up. This is not the point. We’re there to document what may have been reported,” paranormal investigator Noah Leigh told a local news reporter.

A modern ouija board plus planchette
A modern ouija board plus planchette (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All in all, it sounds far more interesting than my elementary art class where my buddy Carl was sent to the principal for eating the watercolor paints. I mean WTF Carl — geez — and he ate pencils too.

Of course, some of the religious families are opposed to their children ghost hunting. I suppose, if I had a problem with the course, my objection would be to give the kids more reading, writing, and arithmetic. Having said that, I really don’t know the course load of the students, maybe they don’t need the extra time with the 3Rs.

I guess “misusing” instruments to document alleged paranormal activities is as harmless as the paint in Carl’s stomach. Yes, Carl survived.





Burnin’ down the house … the haunted house that is

lebeaux plantI was saddened to learn of an historic site that was allegedly burned down by alcohol-fuel ghost hunters. The historic LeBeau Plantation survived for 160 years until destroyed by a fire caused (allegedly) by (alleged) paranormal investigators.

These so-called ghost hunters have been charged with burglary and arson. While the blame clearly lands on these alleged paranormal investigators, I wonder if they share all of the blame. Perhaps some of the blame belongs to paranormal TV shows like “Extreme Paranormal.”

lebeaux plant2In the episode “New Mexico State”, the Extreme Paranormal team set fire to the old penitentiary. I blogged about the show saying, “In its first episode, The boys go to New Mexico State. They display their “extreme” ghost hunting techniques by setting fire to the floor. […] Oh yes, I can just see the hordes of copy-cat paranormal investigators.” (link) Did paranormal TV influence our alleged fire bugs? Were they copy-cats or nothing more than vandals. I don’t know.

All I know is that firefighters risked their lives putting out a fire, and that an historic site was lost. Perhaps the mantra of any paranormal investigator should be “responsibility.”

Angola ‘bans’ Islam

Angola ‘bans’ Islam, Muslims, becomes first country to do so

source at:

English: Shaded relief map of Angola.
English: Shaded relief map of Angola. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m of two minds on this development. On the one hand, radical Islamists are an obvious danger to civilization. Their inflexible attitude toward other cultures and belief systems has them clashing, often violently, with non-Muslims.  Having said that, I hate to see free speech banned when “more” free speech seems to be the better response.

I suppose that the most chilling comment in the article was, “Not just Islam, many other faiths which have not been legalised will face closure of their houses of worship.” Who decides what religions are valid? Is Gnosticism valid? Wicca? Can you be a Jedi?

I believe that any change to radicalism must be made by the Muslims and I believe that they will.

“Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

In my mailbox

mailbox 112313

Lost Covenant: A Widdershins Adventurewill be available December 3rd, just in time for Christmas — funny how that works out *wink*. It is the third edition of the young thief Widdershins. I doubt that I will have time to read this one before Christmas, but the YA crowd seem to enjoy it.

It’s been six months since Widdershins and her own “personal god” Olgun fled the city of Davillon. During their travels, Widdershins unwittingly discovers that a noble house is preparing to move against the last surviving bastion of the Delacroix family. Determined to help the distant relatives of her deceased adopted father, Alexandre Delacroix, she travels to a small town at the edge of the nation. There, she works at unraveling a plot involving this rival house and a local criminal organization, all while under intense suspicion from the very people she’s trying to rescue. Along the way she’ll have to deal with a traitor inside the Delacroix family, a mad alchemist, and an infatuated young nobleman who won’t take no for an answer.

I gave the previous Widdershins Adventures 4 stars out of 5 so let that be your Christmas shopping guide.

Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes

New title for the Sherlock fans has hit the bookstores. Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes

A follow-up collection to well-received The Perils of Sherlock Holmes!

Award-winning author Loren D. Estleman has curated a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories from some of the finest authors in Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes. This is the first time that these stories appear together in one anthology, including “Sons of Moriarty,” a Sherlock Holmes novella, appearing here for the first time.

Estleman’s last Holmes collection, The Perils of Sherlock Holmes, was authorized by the Estate of Arthur Conan Doyle and was met with rave reviews. It was dubbed “an excellent collection of short stories and essays” by the New York Review of Books, “an entertaining and diverting read” by, and was said to transport readers “to another place and time during the series of short stories that pay homage to the legend that is Sherlock Holmes” on the Pop Culture Guy Blog.

The World of Steam – The Clockwork Heart

I love this … I imagined that “The World of Steam” would be something special, and if the 1st episode is typical of the series, it will be!

The World of Steam – The Clockwork Heart (Episode 1 – HD)

Episode 1 (Pilot): Hieronymous Smythe has lost his wife, and tries to rebuild his shattered heart… from clockwork. But unfortunately he has not considered if you can do something, whether or not you should..


The Bible is fiction … according to Costco

I doubt that this is some awful conspiracy from Costco. I worked as a Pricing Team-leader for several years; and you would be amazed at the labels in a store’s computer system. That being said, I think this is a missed opportunity to consider the sensibilities of the very costumers who would be buying this product. You just might sell a few more Bibles by respecting, or at the very least tolerating, the beliefs of the customers that you are hoping will buy this product.

I had a pagan friend who was thrilled about the Bible being listed as Fiction. I had to point out that “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” — how would he feel about pagan books listed as Fiction? I suppose that the real question would be, if this was an error, would Costco have allowed this error to go this long uncorrected with the Koran?