This is a Weekly Coffee Share.
Our get-together is hosted by: Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from any who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Good Sunday all. Welcome to a last chance dip into the coffee & snacks tray. I’ve tried to save some goodies for your visit and realize how late it is, but as we say at the office, I’ve been pretty much back to back with stuff and only now have a few minutes to visit before we’re out of weekend and all need to return to our normal week responsibilities so I’ll be brief.
This past week has been frustrating in the writing department. I only progressed what I expect to be a longer length piece of fiction that has been fighting to see any glimpse of day light. It’s a speculative science fiction story wrapped around the only form of artificial gravity we know of so far, a spinning floor producing centrifugal force against the inside walls, where people would be intended to walk and work and live.
My story would unfold using a concept of my own based on what is known as a pair of O’Neill (long) cylinders, counter rotating that provide enough surface space to house and employ at least 100.000 souls and all the farm land, air, water and space needed to run a space based mining business where the citizens decided to declare their independence as a country. Obviously they would be huge to have this much space, something like 1-2 miles in diameter and each cylinder perhaps 10 miles long.
There are lots of details to be worked out and I may have to quite my day job for the story to ever reach maturity. I have only a few characters described, but I just decided to begin getting pieces down in actual readable words and have a decent opening that teases some of story so you may be hearing more in the future about, “The Island Just West Of Jupiter.”
But there was scant progress this weekend. I spent almost all of Saturday helping a large bunch of scouts learn how to shoot a shotgun safely. This is always a treat for us. There is an amazing look in the eyes of a young man or woman who has never shot before, after they take aim at a flying clay pigeon (a small ceramic Frisbee-like disc), pull the trigger releasing a mighty blast of shot (a small hand-full of tiny beads) which lines up with the disc and instantly blows it apart leaving only a small ceramic dust cloud – and the watching crowd goes wild with applause and cheers. They all walk away from their turn looking a bit more grown-up and some come back for more, polishing their skills to where they are able to hit almost every pigeon.
So, this old guy was already tired after a 10 hour day of this, only to shower up and make my way to nearby Petaluma for a high school reunion, where I hoped to make only a quick visit to see some folks I’d not seen in a long time and escape before the loud music started.
But something real funny happened that will take me some time this week to mop up after. I’ll share it here because I’m still laughing about it. I’ll lay it out with a timeline for brevity.
- Circa 1963, a peer grammar school friend, his younger brother and I, try a new fun stunt that involves a giant inner tube and a really steep hillside. The younger brother should have died, but didn’t and this became a great story that I told to whoever would listen because it was so funny.
- Circa 1974, I’m going to a trade school in San Francisco to learn electronics engineers, when a friend reaches me by phone to tell that my friend from the inner tube adventure had been involved in a really bad car v motorcycle accident and was in bad shape. I raced off to see him at the hospital and wow, he really was in bad shape and I was surprised that the accident did not kill him on the spot.
- A few months later I contacted someone (who exactly has been long forgotten now) to see how my friend was doing and was told that he had died of his injuries. This was no surprise and I regretted that such a good friend was no longer with us, but went back to my books to prep for some test.
- A few years ago, circa January 2015, I wrote up the story of the inner tube adventure so this wild ride would not be lost to oral history. It remains a cornerstone of my collection. It’s here if you’d like a great laugh.
- About 6 months ago, say May of 2018, one of the gals putting our reunion together put out a Facebook request for anyone who know of one of our graduate peers passing away to apprise her so she could add the name to a list she maintained for a big chart she was making for the reunion. I reviewed her list and found my friends name missing. He and I were never really part of the popular crowd so it was easy to see how his passing might have been missed. I gave her a heads up and she added him.
- Finally, reunion night: I arrive and as I passed by the big chart of the deceased while with friends in the line for dinner and noted that one name had been taped over (weird, but maybe it was just a printed typo). Anyway I overheard some others chatting about it and laughing. One guy was really enjoying the mistake and told a nearby friend that, “Yea, I was here last night helping set up and noticed that Mike S.’s name was on the dead list – but I had just talked with him last week. I had to call him and ask how he died… Lots of laughter, but I’d heard my friends name and that he WASN’T DEAD… What the? Oh – noooo.”
- Later, I stepped away from my dinner to grab this guy and get the details. We were laughing so hard because Mike really is/was a great guy and the news of his death indeed was greatly exaggerated and I had been wrong all these years. My attempt to make sure he was not forgotten renewed the mistaken account of his passing for a few hours until the truth reasserted itself.
- I got his his phone number, because why would I keep the number of a guy I thought had died what, 41 years ago….?
- I’m looking forward to calling him this week to own up to being the source of the mistake and congratulating him on surviving both that accident 41 years ago and my accidental rumor. Isn’t this just a riot!?
That’s enough for now. I’m looking forward to reviewing your coffee shares.