Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sam for President? (UPDATED. Scroll to bottom.)

Look at that face! My God, he's got my vote!
Just sent an email to the NYS Board of Elections to make sure I am PROPERLY writing myself in for President this year. Which, incidentally, will mark the third Presidential election that I write my OWN name in. I know me and I know I actually care about me!

In the meantime I will complete the FEC Form 2 for proper filing in case you want to write me in.  Nothing formal being announced here, of course. Nope. Just saying.

Here are some notable other candidates for this year's election according to Mind you, these are REAL (no joke) filings for individuals under the Federal Election Commission. There are HUNDREDS of names, most of which I'm sure are legit. This is but a small sampling of the ones that caught my eye:

Dat Ass
Lil Based God B
Osama Bin Liften
Rocky Balboa
KC Matzo Balls
Cookie Sir Zealot
Why Not Zoidburg
Dank Ass Weed
Darth Vader
Toy Testicles
Bippy The Clown
Butt Stuff
Taylor Swift
Patrick Stewart
Allah M Snackbar
Anakin Skywalker
Kylo Ren (Star Wars fans or Disney's marketing department? You make the call.)
Riff Raff
Bitch Please
Cranky Pants
Deez Nutz (always makes me laugh)
Mickey Mouse (a perennial write-in)
Beast Mode
Have Sex With Me
Some Lice
Frederisckson Asshat Kazoo
Hip Hop For President
Hey He Stole That Guy's Pizza
Forrest Gump
Blue Hair Guy
Kermit Frog
Coffee and Donuts
Disco Daddy
Ourlordandsavior Dr. Cthulu
Mic Check
Joan Cena

---and a few others I won't list because even I have standards.

Every election is important so I seriously hope you vote for whomever you want to. Nothing gets the Establishment's attention and ear more than a large voter turn out.

I probably should check out Dat Ass before I finalize my vote. Yeah. That sounds like a plan.

UPDATE: I completed the FEC Form 2 online. I think I filled it out correctly and I received the auto-reply it was received so I take that as a good sign. The form has to be submitted two weeks before a candidate announces so I will take the next two weeks with my advisors, Illuminati backers, and the ghost of Al Lewis deciding on my next step.

UPDATE 2:NYS forms printed, signed, notarized, and faxed to the Board of Elections. I have the confirmation it was received so I should be good. Mind you there are 802 pages of election law so who knows for sure. Oh yeah. This is for real....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

You Can't Go Home Again

Peaceful, right? Yeah. I used to think that too...

This is going to be a convoluted piece. You have been forewarned. The subject matter evokes too many emotions and thoughts to properly fit into a single box. I started and stopped, deleted and re-started it several times. I recorded a few vlogs to see if a visual format was the better, but it was actually worse. So, I'm going to jump to an end which is not an ending to take you backwards with me. Reverse engineering has its benefits, after all. 

Just a normal part of any waterfront landscape.

In the first picture you can make out the green steel lattice of a footbridge behind the train truss. I started with this so you can see the general layout of this lakefront area. I want you to see the landscape where I found the new addition of a needle disposal box sitting by the river, quietly and powerfully demonstrating how my default hometown of Plattsburgh has changed.

I hate it. 

I absolutely hate it. 

There are layers upon layers of symbolism at work in my mind that I still can't process. There are social factors, social pressures, and dark human tragedy all bundled up in that photo. I mean, you walk along the bridge enjoying the complimentary cup holders...
That's a cup holder. 100%.

Enjoying the views of Lake Champlain and the fishermen...

Taking in the landscape and enjoying all the memories you have of a part of a town that makes you feel at peace...

And at the end of the bridgel you see this...

I understand the value of these receptacles and completely agree with their use. That doesn't mean it wasn't a brutal punch to the soul to discover this physical manifestation of suffering and addiction in a place I have explored and enjoyed time and time again over the years. It reminds me of a mailbox. Can you see that? Each needle spelling out a downward spiral as clearly as in a letter. I know many, many towns and cities are dealing with heroin and have been for years. I know. I also know that every needle is a person, a story, a life, and that I want to do great harm to the people that profit from the pain.

My first inclination for this blog was to turn this discovery into something positive. Post funny, uplifting stuff. "We can beat this, fellow humans!" kind of thing.


And I need that right now. We all need positivity and laughter to different degrees and for different reasons. But that's not what I am doing in part because of recent trends in my local community. Our local police department here in Saratoga Springs now recommends parents, "... consider inspecting a public restroom before allowing a child to enter it unattended."1 Needles and spoons are being found in retail store and restaurant bathrooms around town. Yay.

Pretty damn hard to laugh about that. But then again, as a historian it can be pretty damn hard to laugh at AT ALL! But we need to, that's for sure.

So what's the point? What is Sam leading up to? After roughly 100 posts on this blog you definitely get the impression that I have reasons for drafting my words. In this case I am just mad. Mad and sad, to be clear. I can't fix this problem. I can only try to arm and protect my children. So yeah. That's it. I am posting that I am mad and sad about a problem that is growing and destroying people and I can't do a damn thing about it. I can't punch this away, but I want to very, very much. 

Downer subject matter, I know, but I also know you probably feel the same way sometimes. I know you want to fix this or other problems. I know you sometimes want to take the people responsible for the ills of the world by the neck and then MAKE them fix what they broke. I wish it was that simple. I do.

Final words...

I care for you, gentle reader. I want you to be safe, and healthy, and happy. I want to stay away from behaviors that make needle depositories grow from the riverbanks of small towns. Will you do that for me, if not for you? Please?

If you need help in New York for a drug or alcohol problem please contact NYS's HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369. All calls are anonymous and confidential. If you are outside of NY they may be able to connect you with an organization in your area. The point is, make the call. Thank you.


2. My thanks to whomever made the Jon Lovitz meme

Friday, August 26, 2016


photo copyright NASA…no…no

Adam plucked the object off his bedroom floor and carried it back into his small living room. He decided against risking, what, damage (?) tainting (?) the space where he slept and hurried back to his first choice. He plunked the object down in the center of an open space he had created earlier by nudging his furniture against the walls. He stared at “it” wondering, again, if he was being smart or stupid. 

I am being smupid, he thought. 

It was made of a metal that held the color of brass.  A swirling, curved handle at one end and a long, delicate stem, like an extended elephant’s trunk at the other. This lamp looked exactly like every picture and movie he’d watched growing up. The surface was covered by an intricate spread of carvings that might have been several patterns woven together, or a single, complex design that eluded him. It felt oddly old to the touch. He had dug it out of his back yard. He thought of it as his backyard despite the fact he shared it with three other tenants in the building. He was the only one who ever used it anyway, and he was certainly the only one to ever search it with a metal detector. The matter of the object actually belonging to the property owner was dismissed quickly because it never entered his mind. She was only a name on a check mailed mostly by the fifth of the month.

The one redeeming part of all this was no one would ever know. IF he was right he would stick to his plan. If he was wrong, no one would ever know it.  No blood, no foul, and positively no video for the world to see. Quiet and private, like all good craziness should be.

Stories described friction as the means of activating the power within it. Adam thought this sounded familiar. He extended his right pointer finger, touched the lamp’s body near the handle, and with a firm, swift motion swiped it across its surface. 


He wiped his hand against his shirt. The fabric stuck to his chest. He was excited by the absurdity of it all, but he hadn’t realized he was sweating. He blew on his finger tips to dry them and tried again.


Do I try this one more time or hundred times a day for the rest of my life?

The implications of the question set in after a moment. The possibility that THE IMPOSSIBLE or THE FANTASTIC was very real gripped him. He wanted this to be real, despite all the terrifying doors that would swing open as a result. He had thought long and hard about the human monsters paraded in headlines and the pages of history. What if they, through this lamp or something like it, were granted the power to impose their whim upon us all? For that matter, would the kindhearted utopian do any different? The world would become a chaotic shadow shaped by these whims. Matter shaped by the whisper of a saint or a sinner. Perhaps both had tried it before? And weren’t the words or intent of the wisher often twisted in tales and legends? This would explain a lot about the world.

I should re-bury this thing.

But who might find it next? What if a politician found it?!

Better to waste a lifetime, he thought.

Adam made himself comfortable on the floor. Using two fingers now he again swiped across the surface of the lamp. Nothing. Three fingers. Nothing. He placed his full palm against its surface covering as many of the carvings as he could swiping this time down its full length. Instantly a dull green glow grew from the carvings.

…oh God…

Opening the lamp had been the first thing Adam did when he found it. It was empty. He was then aware of an odor coming from the lamp. He scuttled back several feet. The smell grew stronger. It was like…like a memory. Adam pictured rain…thunder and lightning…OZONE! It was the smell in the air after lightning strikes! Whatever was happening in the bread loaf sized lamp was generating power. A lot of it. Adam’s chest suddenly squeezed against lungs as if under a great weight of water. His ears drums popped shooting pain down the sides of his neck.

Lightning in a bottle…

Panic set in. He couldn’t think clearly.  

Genie in a bottle…

He glanced at the lamp.


Looking at it burned his eyes! Reflexively he turned away twisting his neck in a painful wrench from the sudden motion. His eyes watered, forcing him to rapidly blink. The familiar details of his living room blurred into a milky haze. He rubbed his eyes praying he hadn’t blinded himself while cursing himself and the whole train of events leading to this.

Slowly the pain lessened. He opened his eyes bracing for another burst of pain, but none came. The haze, however, remained. He looked at his hands. They came into clear detail, as did his legs and feet. The pressure was also gone. He could breathe easily again. He looked at the haze a moment before realizing he was looking at it. The haze was around him, not in his eyes. The room was filled with…smoke? He covered his eyes with hands leaving only the smallest, tightest opening between his fingers letting in light like a child watching a horror movie they can’t turn away from. He scanned the room from behind his hand-shield. It looked like smoke but also like a thin liquid suspended in air. He braced himself and risked the briefest of a flicker of a glance at the lamp. To his relief, he felt no pain. To his shock, the smoke was pouring from the lamp. Something was missing? Wasn’t it?

…right…I used the smoke detector batteries for the remote…

Assuming it was smoke in the sense he or the makers of the smoke detector knew it. He took a glance, slightly longer, and this time he saw the face in the smoke.


Adam froze. He stared at a face that melted with the smoke, was made from it, and yet somehow was also illuminated against it. It stared back at him. Large dark ovals for eyes with no whites. Hairless. Pale. Where a nose should be it may have had two small slits. It may have had a mouth. The visage swayed in motions he could not follow or understand. Despite the tinge of headache and nausea growing the longer he studied it, he would not turn away. It was mesmerizing.

He looked at the face. The face looked at him. He looked at the face. The face looked at him. Adam waited for it to do something because it damn well looked like it should be doing something!  Then it occurred to him the ‘face’ may have been thinking the same thing. Waiting, being a better word. This was part of his plan, right? Part of his crazy theory that now sat in front of him.

…the face is an interface for a face like his face but not his face which was why people with faces like his face could not face the consequences of the face that only looked a little like his kind of face…the reason why it must go….

Adam mustered as much calm as he could and with a slow, clear voice said, “I wish you into the nearest star,” while pointing out a window at the Sun. At the same time, as part of his plan, he pictured the lamp vanishing into space and hurling toward the massive fusion engine.

It vanished.

The room was quiet. The smoke was gone.  It was. Then it wasn’t.

Slowly he stood. He rubbed the ache from a knee as he walked to his window. He opened it and listened. Normal sounds fell through the opening. No screams. No explosions. But did it work? Had the lamp been safely destroyed? Had anything been lost in translation? Softy another question raised it's head to be counted. What next? Adam pondered this to the rising thrill of a successful adventure. Maybe there was a way to sort of tell other people. He could write a story. Pretend it was all fiction.

Maybe post it on his blog.

It wouldn’t be hard to draft. He had lived it after all. He smiled considering the thought. It would make a good short story. Maybe it could be the start of a number of stories that took classical ideas and gave them a new twist. It could work. He sat for about ten minutes and mentally plotted out the first story about the lamp. He’d have to change his name, of course. He needed a normal, everyman kind of name…

Sam…That’s pretty boring. That’ll work.

A child’s rising laughter from somewhere outside caught his attention. Listening, it wasn’t a laugh. It was a scream. The sound of many screams piling upon each other had tricked him into thinking it was single voice. He looked out his window. He didn’t see anyone, but the sounds of screams grew. And it was getting darker outside. He looked toward the Sun. Jagged lines like black lighting raced across its surface crossing and crisscrossing. A small piece of the star that would have blinded him to look at it only minutes ago slowly floated away to dim into nothingness. The world dimmed a little more. The air on his face noticeably cooled. As slowly as the fragment had faded he slipped back to the floor. It worked. The plan worked. The lamp made it to the Sun and had been destroyed. The object…the thing, whatever it was that could undo the laws of the Universe was gone, and whatever made it work was now free and destroying the Sun. Or something like that. It was hard to think with all the children screaming. He never knew so many lived in the neighborhood. The ground shook as the solar system unraveled itself.

Careful what you wish for…

He closed his eyes one last time to his last thought.

At least no one would ever know it was me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Where is your center?

"The core of a true martial art is the art of living." 

I remember instructors first telling me that in college and totally thinking they were wrong. 

And of course, I was wrong. 

So I ask you with that in mind: Is this a karate video? 

 Sensei Rick Hotton

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Captain America shield is done!

One shield down and ???? more to go. I think I'll go for a shiny look on the next build and try different paints to see which style I like more. And for the one after that? Hmm...still deciding. The darker stealth shield from was cool. I like the half shield/half Hydra image so that's a possibility. Oh! battle damaged! That sounds cool.

Regardless of what I do, I hope the build helps with your own superhero DIY builds.

Be seeing you,


Sunday, July 24, 2016


In the next few weeks I'll be posting a DIY video for a build I'm working on. I don't want to give any hints so I'll post a few pics I know won't...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Your Guide To Easy Reading!

It is time for an index! 

This will make navigating the blog easier given its volume of material. I left out a few posts, like old Kickstarter updates, because they are no longer relevant. I'll make updates as I create new posts.


And so should you!




The World is But a Stage(coach) for Mary
Words Have Meaning
Of What Weight is a Piece of Infinity?  
Planet X, you say? 
Home(stead) for the Holidays
Local necropolis, er, cemetery. 
Local necropolis, er, cemetery. PART 2 
When Superman fought the KKK  
iVon Daniken 
How Fast The Great Pyramid


Spock Thoughts
Settle Down Fellow Nerds
Happy Mother's Day!
Farewell, Prince
Holy LEGO, Batman! 
Gimme a Red! 
The Election Rant Post I Should Just Cut-n-Paste Every Four Years 
Self Defense starts with SELF for a reason  
I am Very Offended that I could not come up with a better title for this blog. 
The Color Purple (Man)  
The Internet  
Consumed by Zombies  
Goodbye AJ  
The NAKED truth about internet privacy. 
I Mourn the Loss of Evil  
Atlas gave them One Shrug  
I said do it… or else.  
V for Ven-Stupid  
It’s the End of the World. Again.  
Star Trek Ruined Me  
25 Favorite Children's Titles 
Watchmen and Reagan 
Fixing the Electoral Process 
Loaded words. 
San Diego Comic Con 2008 Recap


The 12,500 yr old Interview. Kind of…  
So this guy walks up to me at a con…  
This Interview Would Have Been Bullshit  
Here’s to hope! 
Strongarm Interview 3: Dr. Steel 
Strongarm Interview #2 Smeff 
Strongarm Interview: John "Widgett" Robinson


Where is your center?
My Captain America Shield is done!
The Circle of Internet Life
Cooking With Vsauce
Geek Moms and Geek Dads  
Hail! Our new Alien rulers!  
WALL-E you look at that! 
TAKE MY MONEY. LEGO® Scooby-Doo Sets and...YOURS?!


You Can't Go Home Again
Kill It With Fire!
I'd buy that for a dollar!    
A Retinue of Reviews 
Beauty and the Beastmaster 
Six months of insurance sales hell 
Visiting Hours. A true ghost(?) story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Circle of Internet Life

I made this meme about five months ago from a pic I snapped on the way home. In true internet FULL CIRCLE form, my spouse just saw it on someone's FB wall. It returned home! It made me chuckle after a very long day. Then I saw it has almost 13,000 views on so far. Really? It's not Earth shattering of course, and it's not like I get paid for them, but it was still nice. Sometimes it is the little things that keep the day moving, you know? Yeah, you know what I mean...

Fight the power! Unless they are fixing the damned pot holes on my road!
Be seeing you,


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cooking with Vsauce

If you've read even a passing number of my blogs (which of course you should) it is not hard to discover that I enjoy sharing knowledge. The video above is a recent post by Youtuber Micheal Stevens, better known as Vsauce, which I am sharing because he is one of the sources I go to for knowledge.

Michael tackles science, philosophy, technology, enigmas, and a wide range of other intellectual subjects in a way that is fun (shocking!), interesting (gasp!), and leaves you wanting more (utterly crazy!).

I encourage you to watch his videos and perhaps even subscribe to his Youtube channel.  Discover for yourself why 10.5 million people have already subscribed and why he has garnered over a billion views.

It is a wonderfully amazing world out there, my friends, and you are part of it.

Go explore!

Be seeing you,