The mugs of me and the Mrs.
I’m a bit of a recluse. I’m content to stay in for a quiet night at home. The one thing I am certainly not, is a bar person. Yet, however, part of my routine and a large part of life involved one. At the tender age of seven, my family moved to Charlottesville for a new job opportunity for my dad. He became a manager at a restaurant owned by my godfather. This restaurant was called “St. Maarten Cafe.”
For the last 21 years, a hefty part of my life had connections to this restaurant even after Dad stopped working there. I’ve made many friends through that place. I could always come in, even after not showing up for years, and feel at home and that someone there would know who I am.
It was sad to discover this morning that, without warning, an integral part of my life had been shut down. Never again will I sit at that awesome island bar, pull down a mug so I get some extra light or chat away the night in debate with people I called “friend.” I can no longer tell Shannon that I’m hungry and get my classic Big Production Burger, with a side of cajun cheese fries with a side of ranch. It’s hard to imagine my life without Maarten’s in the picture, but all good things must come to their ends I suppose.
To Jim, Russ and all the people I’ve met through Maarten’s over the years, I raise my mug to you.
Thanks for everything.
It’s no secret that I’m fan of space science, space travel and NASA in general. While I revel in the robotic missions out to the far reaches of our backwoods corner of the Milky Way, there is always a special place in my heart for manned space flight. From Mercury to whatever will follow our now-ended shuttle program, I cheer for those who brave the wilds of cold uncaring cosmos. Those brave and curious few who dare to dream that we may travel among the stars. However, these upcoming days always brings to light the dangers that we sometimes forget are present in the pursuit of our journeys to the unknown.
The most major space-related disasters of the United States space program have anniversaries within one week of each other. It is a humbling and difficult time for those, like me, who see the cosmos as the next great adventure for humankind.
On January 27, 1967; during a launch rehearsal an electrical fire within the cockpit of Apollo 1 claimed the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
On January 28, 1986; a faulty o-ring caused troubles and the disintegration of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the deaths of its crew of seven.
On February 1, 2003; during re-entry the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated and cost seven more lives.
Many others, from other nations, have also given their lives in this great experiment.
For all those who have given their lives in the pursuit of our dreams of yearning to explore; my heart, sympathy and thanks are given with utmost gratitude.
Remember way back when last week when the internet got is panties in wad over something Congress wanted to pass called the Stop Online Piracy Act? And sites like Wikipedia, Reddit and others (including my own) shut down because we weren’t going to stand for the nonsense that bill was going to try to do?
Letter from my Congressman.
Well, not only did I knock my site out in protest (thus inconveniencing all 2 of you out there), I wrote to my representatives: Senators Mark Warner [D, VA] and Jim Webb [D, VA], and Congressman Robert Hurt [R, VA-5]. Warner was already opposed when I wrote, and I still haven’t heard from Webb. Today though, I finally heard from Rep. Hurt. Unlike Warner who just sent out a mass email, I actually got a physical letter in the mail. That was a nice surprise.
Over the years, I’ve gone from apathetic youth to involved citizen. This is the first time I’ve written to any of representatives. Each year, I try to make my point of telling people to vote as it is the very least one can do. Now that I’ve participated and truly voiced my concerns, I may try to keep this up.
Thank you Rep. Hurt. I may not always agree with you, but thank you for taking the time to listen and show me that for all the problems with congress, that my voice isn’t just lost in the crowd.
How many times do I fail at keeping this thing updated? How many times have I come back with the promise of content and then fall off the face of the web only to resurface at some much later date? I really want to know. I’ve lost count now.
Alas. Once again, here I come in with the promise of posting content once more. Probably not the art or comics of years past as somehow that aspect of things that I do has died down, though I do want to get back into that. Anyway, I digress.
Now that I’m done with the whole getting married thing, and the holidays are over, I want to get back into writing on my blog (and maybe try to help my buddy revive GeekLore). I’ll be frank, I like writing. It’s fun, keeps my lexicon and grammar skills sharp and it’s a great way to dump my brain driblets out for the world to see. I likes it. So I’m really going to attempt to post at least once a week. And not like the Friday Five once a week. Though I’ll likely revive that feature as well. But post some rambling, news commentary or other assorted items of interest. No set days, no schedule, just when I’ve got something to share, I’ll share it.
So, here, my few readers who are out there. I ask of you: What would you like to comment on?
- General nerdiness?
- What I had for dinner?
Let me know! I’m interested to hear what you like. I want to open up the dialogue with my scant amount of visitors.
Also, did you know murfSTUFF has a Facebook fan page? There’s a handy widget box to the left where you can “Like” murfSTUFF, or you can visit the page on Facebook proper. It’s a great way to keep up with when I post new entries. Anyways, pass that along.
I dislike getting overly political on my blog. Today, however, is different.
Shortly, I’ll be installing a plugin which will blackout my site for the day in protest of pending two Congressional known as SOPA (for the House) and the PROTECT IP Act (for the Senate). These bills aim to curb online piracy, which in itself is not a wrongful goal, but the means by which they are attempting this action can best be described as “Scorched Internet.” I won’t get into details as others have said far better than I, but these bills would essentially kill the internet as you know it, chill innovation in the internet industry, stifle free speech in the modern era and most concerning to me of course, that these impacts could affect millions of jobs in the internet sector, including my own.
I know hardly anyone visits my site. I know this would barely register as a drop in the pond, but I feel the need to take part and get word out, even if only one person hears it.
Do you part, help save the internet, call your representatives and tell this bills is no good.
You can learn more about these bills, and what you can do please visit FightForTheFuture.org