Back to the Roots

Until recently, there was a giant tree next door to my house that was diseased and had to be removed.  All that’s left is a large, flat stump perched upon a gnarled root system spanning at least thirty feet.

Part of that root system extends into my yard.  Since there is no longer a tree for it to feed, fast-growing shoots are popping up from the roots right next to my driveway.

I keep waffling between sadness for the tree that was removed, enthusiasm for the shoots trying to come back, and annoyance at having to keep cutting them back.

A Thing of Shining Beauty

I watched the International Space Station fly over again tonight.  As I scanned the western sky, she leaped out from behind Venus and arched over my house, a thing of shining beauty slipping between clouds, stars, and silhouettes of trees.  She passed from the muted blue of dusk through the gradient into night, and I smiled.  In her wake, I felt hope. I felt peace and inspiration, and the wonder that Ray Bradbury had awakened in me when I was a child.

Nature’s beauty is always there, but sometimes it takes a pinpoint of light to make me look.

Tweets from a Twoll

There’s a science fiction writer whose work I admire, and whose personal integrity and discipline I admire even more.  I’ve known for some time that this writer has a group of anti-fans and Twitter trolls (twolls?) but I never expected to interact with them.  However, after I sent out a tweet mentioning the writer yesterday, I received responses from one of the twolls shortly thereafter, insulting the writer’s abilities and success.

What drives people like that?  Why do they hate this writer so much that they resort to baiting and taunting him in a public forum?

Is it just jealousy?

Old at 44

I overdid it riding my bike to work this morning.  I felt faint and had to lie on the floor for a while in my office before I could start my day.

I only live a mile and a half from work, but over that short distance my route drops about 120 feet in elevation, then climbs back up another 90 feet.  Back when I was mountain biking regularly, that would have been nothing.  Now that I’m older and out of shape, pushing hard on that climb — even on pavement — is too much.

At least someone brought doughnuts.

Victims’ Rights Week and OKC

This is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, as well as the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

This week, I honor my wife, who was in a building two blocks away from the Murrah building when the truck exploded.

The shock wave blew in the windows and threw her to the floor.  She was several months pregnant with Logan at the time.

Some people say she’s not a victim because she wasn’t actually in the Murrah building.

Tell that to her fibromyalgia and PTSD.  Tell that to the shards of plate glass embedded in the wall behind her chair.

Victims' Rights Week Awareness Tree