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Where Very Little Happens

Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2030-12-31 00:51
Subject: Test
Security: [sticky post]
Tags:glitches, links, livejournal, n00b, test, who am i
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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-05-13 00:40
Subject: FreeWill Zeros In
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, horoscope, ideas, sports, the future, things carried, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of May 14, 2015

Sagittarian Matt Stutzman competes in the sport of archery. He's the world's record holder for longest accurate shot, having hit a target 230 yards away. What makes his accomplishment so extraordinary is the fact that he was born without any arms. He holds each arrow in his mouth and grasps the bow with his right foot and the help of a chest harness. In the spirit of this armless archer, and in accordance with your current astrological omens, I invite you to initiate an attempt to triumph over one of your so-called disadvantages.

I actually have a number of Matt Stutzman trading cards.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-05-02 19:37
Subject: I Shouldn't Mind That I'm Too Old...
Security: Public
Tags:age, culture, history, music, pop charts, pop culture, pop music, r&b, research addict, rock, school, time, time machines
...But I am afraid that I'll be the wrong kind of old just as I was the wrong kind of young.

 My Research Addiction brought me to the website of a classic rock radio station that regularly polls listeners and then publishes the results of these polls.  I've just pored over the latest "favorite songs of all time" list, and while I expected that the songs of not only my childhood AND my high school years would be old enough for "classic rock", it turns out that the music of my COLLEGE years qualify now as well!  It shouldn't have surprised me but it did.

The good news is that now I've found a bunch of acts I've probably HEARD but don't so much KNOW about.
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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-04-21 20:05
Subject: FreeWill Doesn't Want To Be Touchy-Feely This Time
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, dread, horoscope, models, money, poison, shopping, the future, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of April 23, 2015

As I climb the first hill along my regular hike, both sides of the path are dominated by a plant with glossy, three-lobed leaves. They're so exuberant and cheerful, I'm tempted to caress them, even rub my face in their bright greenery. But I refrain, because they are poison oak. One touch would cause my skin to break out in an inflamed rash that would last for days. I encourage you, too, to forgo contact with any influence in your own sphere that is metaphorically equivalent to the alluring leaves of the poison oak.

I am now in possession of a gift card for my favorite hobby store.  But I'm in perhaps the roughest stages of rumination as to whether I should buy something off the shelves now or wait for a bargain to come along.  It is wonderful and horrible all at once.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-04-07 20:38
Subject: FreeWill Gets Industrious
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, creative muse, creative process, horoscope, the future, work, writing, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of April 9, 2015

The English term "engine" refers primarily to a machine that transforms energy into mechanical power. But its roots are in the Old French word engin, which meant skill or wit, and in the Latin word ingenium, defined as "inborn talent." I'd like to borrow the original meanings to devise your horoscope this week. According to my reading of the astrological omens, your "engine" is unusually strong right now, which means that your cultivated skills and innate talents are functioning at peak levels. I suggest you make intensive use of them to produce maximum amounts of energy and gather more of the clout you'd love to wield.

I do want to start writing again.  I just hope I have some good opportunities.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-03-20 15:40
Subject: The Price Is "Yeah, Right"...or Inflation Hopscotch
Security: Public
Tags:geoeconomics, history, life on mars, money, reading. life, research addict, time, time machines, who am i

It's about time I did something like this, if only for my own notes.  I found This Inflation Calculator today while referencing something on Tumblr, so I'll play with it and show how a Dollar isn't a Dollar over a lifetime.  Hmm...backwards or forwards?

* 2010: I go to Tech school after a Spring Break trip to Florida.
What would cost $1 (2010) ~ $1.07 (2015)

* 2006: I attend GenCon Indy with my buddies.
What would cost $1 (2006) ~ $1.16 (2015)

* 1999: I'm working in Gatlinburg for $10/hour as a Night Auditor.
What would cost $1 (1999)
~ $1.40 (2015)

* 1995: I move to Tennessee.
What would cost $1 (1995)
~ $1.53 (2015)

* 1992: I get my A.S. degree from Saint Petersburg College.
What would cost $1 (1992)
~ $1.67 (2015)

* 1988: My sister gets married to her first husband and my brother graduates High School.
What would cost $1 (1988)
~ $2.00 (2015)

* 1985: I leave High School with a G.E.D.
What would cost $1 (1985)
~ $2.17 (2015)

* 1982: My frosh/sophomore year in High School.
What would cost $1 (1982)
~ $2.50 (2015)

* 1979: My family moves from Pennsylvania to Florida.
What would cost $1 (1979)
~ $3.22 (2015)

* 1976: My family moves from Waterford to Gibsonia.  Hurray for the Bicentennial!
What would cost $1 (1976)
~ $4.11 (2015)

* 1974: Is there LIFE ON MARS?  My family moves to Waterford, PA from Chilicothe, OH.
What would cost $1 (1974)
~ $4.75 (2015)

* 1971: My brother is an infant; my family moves from Erie, PA to Chilicothe.
What would cost $1 (1971)
~ $5.77 (2015)

* 1969: If you believe, they put a Man On The Moon.
What would cost $1 (1969)
~ $6.37 (2015)

* 1967: I'm an infant, my sister is a terrible Two.
What would cost $1 (1967)
~ $7.00 (2015)

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-03-10 15:20
Subject: FreeWill's At A Pleasant Elevation
Security: Public
Tags:angst, astrology, balloons, depression, drugs, horoscope, mental health, paranoia, the future, thinkers, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of March 12, 2015

One of your important assignments in the coming week is to get high without the use of drugs and alcohol. Let me elaborate. In my oracular opinion, you simply must escape the numbing trance of the daily rhythm. Experiencing altered states of awareness will provide you with crucial benefits. At the same time, you can't afford to risk hurting yourself, and it's essential to avoid stupidly excessive behavior that has negative repercussions. So what do you think? Do you have any methods to get sozzled and squiffed or jiggled and jingled that will also keep you sane and healthy?

I've got some balloons but I need helium gas.  In theory I can get a cheapy tank at WallyWorld...but would it be worth the hassle?

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-02-24 15:57
Subject: FreeWill Takes A Load Off
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, horoscope, pop culture, pop music, the future, things carried, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of February 26, 2015

"Don't worry, even if things get heavy, we'll all float on." So sings Modest Mouse's vocalist Isaac Brock on the band's song "Float On." I recommend you try that approach yourself, Sagittarius. Things will no doubt get heavy in the coming days. But if you float on, the heaviness will be a good, rich, soulful heaviness. It'll be a purifying heaviness that purges any glib or shallow influences that are in your vicinity. It'll be a healing heaviness that gives you just the kind of graceful gravitas you will need.

And here on Saturday I have the prospect of making my office and workshop portable for a lecture at HobbyTown at Turkey Creek.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-02-17 15:38
Subject: FreeWill Sleeps With Kings And Counselors
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, depression, horoscope, mental health, the future, writer's block, writing, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of February 19, 2015

In Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener," a lawyer hires a man named Bartleby to work in his office. At first Bartleby is a model employee, carrying out his assignments with dogged skill. But one day everything begins to change. Whenever his boss instructs him to do a specific task, Bartleby says, "I would prefer not to." As the days go by, he does less and less, until finally he stops altogether. I'd like to propose, Sagittarius, that you take inspiration from his slowdown. Haven't you done enough for now? Haven't you been exemplary in your commitment to the daily struggle? Don't you deserve a break in the action so you can recharge your psychospiritual batteries? I say yes. Maybe you will consider making this your battle cry: "I would prefer not to."

I'm sure people who've known me and seen me lately would believe I'm already at this point and the only place to go from here is Bartleby's ultimate oblivion.  But I want another choice!
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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-02-04 18:07
Subject: FreeWill Takes the Scenic Route
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, california, driving, errands, horoscope, the future, who am i, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of February 5, 2015

The crookedest street in the world is a one-way, block-long span of San Francisco's Lombard Street. It consists of eight hairpin turns down a very steep hill. The recommended top speed for a car is five miles per hour. So on the one hand, you've got to proceed with caution. On the other hand, the quaint, brick-paved road is lined with flower beds, and creeping along its wacky route is a whimsical amusement. I suspect you will soon encounter experiences that have metaphorical resemblances to Lombard Street, Sagittarius. In fact, I urge you to seek them out.

I think I've already done that this week, in a weird fashion.


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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-01-22 00:45
Subject: FreeWill Reminds You: No, It Wasn't Written For Looney Tunes
Security: Public
Tags:art, astrology, creative muse, creative process, creative skills, horoscope, humor, ideas, magic, music, the future, writing, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of January 22, 2015

Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) didn't like to work hard, and yet he was also prolific. In fact, his desire to avoid strenuous exertion was an important factor in his abundant output. He got things done fast. His most famous opera, The Barber of Seville, took him just 13 days to finish. Another trick he relied on to reduce his workload was plagiarizing himself. He sometimes recycled passages from his earlier works for use in new compositions. Feeling good was another key element in his approach to discipline. If given a choice, he would tap into his creative energy while lounging in bed or hanging out with his buddies. In the coming weeks, Sagittarius, I recommend you consider strategies like his.

"Looney Tunes", huh?  Maybe I ought to find some cartoons to watch.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-01-13 13:47
Subject: FreeWill Reduces For Resolution Season
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, bad habit, habits, horoscope, new year's, resolutions, responsibility, the future, writing, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of January 15, 2015

In 1939, author Ernest Vincent Wright finished Gadsby, a 50,000-word novel. It was unlike any book ever published because the letter "e" didn't appear once in the text. Can you imagine the constraint he had to muster to accomplish such an odd feat? In accordance with the astrological omens, I invite you to summon an equally impressive expression of discipline and self-control, Sagittarius. But devote your efforts to accomplishing a more useful and interesting task, please. For example, you could excise one of your bad habits or avoid activities that waste your time or forbid yourself to indulge in fearful thoughts.

I'm already giving up a habit for my New Year's Resolution.  Maybe there's another thing I can cut out.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2015-01-08 21:04
Subject: Placeholder
Security: Public
Tags:florida, holidays, livejournal, photography, pirate, ships, who am i, writing

Not much in the world I feel like posting about, so this is an archived picture from Tampa Bay Online/The Tampa Tribune of the ship Jose Gasparilla at the Gasparilla Invasion.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-12-30 21:08
Subject: FreeWill Pulls Out All The Stops
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, history, horoscope, music, the future, travel, who am i, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of January 1, 2015

Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707) was a German composer whose organ music is still played today. He was a major influence on a far more famous German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). When Bach was a young man, he decided it was crucial for him to experience Buxtehude's music first-hand. He took a leave of absence from his job and walked over 250 miles to the town where Buxtehude lived. There he received the guidance and inspiration he sought. In 2015, Sagittarius, I'd love to see you summon Bach's determination as you go in quest of the teaching you want and need.

Okay, so now I know how to spell "Buxtehude".

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-12-23 13:36
Subject: FreeWill: Tonight There's Gonna Be A Jailbreak...
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, bad habit, freedom, horoscope, ideas, money, the future, who am i, work, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of December 25, 2014

"The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he's in prison." That quote is attributed to both Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky and Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Regardless of who said it, I urge you to keep it in mind throughout 2015. Like all of us, you are trapped in an invisible prison: a set of beliefs or conditioned responses or bad habits that limit your freedom to act. That's the bad news. The good news is that in the coming months, you are poised to discover the exact nature of your invisible prison, and then escape it.

I'm sure it's work-related or monetary in nature.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-12-04 00:41
Subject: FreeWill Gets Beatical
Security: Public
Tags:astrology, christianity, holidays, horoscope, music, religion, the future, zodiac
Sagittarius Horoscope for week of December 4, 2014

With both symbolic and practical actions, Sagittarius-born Pope Francis has tried to reframe the message of the Catholic Church. He's having public showers installed for the homeless in Vatican City. He has made moves to dismantle the Church's bigotry toward gays. He regularly criticizes growing economic inequality, and keeps reminding politicians that there can be no peace and justice unless they take care of poor and marginalized people. He even invited iconic punk poet Patti Smith to perform at the Vatican Christmas Concert. You now have extra power to exert this kind of initiative in your own sphere, Sagittarius. Be proactive as you push for constructive transformations that will benefit all.

Maybe I ought to lobby for "G-L-O-R-I-A" to be added to the canon of Christmas music.

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-11-22 23:32
Subject: Of Conflicting Visual RNA Genomes In My Legacy Reading Material
Security: Public
Tags:books, childhood, colors, download, era, fandom, history, ink, magazines, mass media, military, nostalgia, printer, reading, war, who am i, ww2

A couple weeks ago at the Knoxville IPMS meeting, a fellow member was clearing out his closet of old periodicals and some of us got to divvying the pieces among them.  When I saw that he had old issues of War Monthly and True War among them, I shamelessly scooped up as much of those as I could.

Both those magazines were influences on me, and perhaps more than I'd care to admit.

War Monthly was the product of the Marshall Cavendish publishing powerhouse, and (I felt) a good value for the combination of artwork, writing and layout work.  The articles would get repurposed into volumes, and from there sometimes into whole coffee table books.

True War, on the other hand, was the product of the notorious low-budget tabloid schlockmeister and pornographer Myron Fass at Countrywide Publications.  The only color content was on the cover, and the interior was made up mainly of archival or press-release photos and cut-to-the-bone prose.  True to form, their presentation on the Battle of Arnhem (for an example) was slimmer in both page count and journalist prowess as the photo spread of Cornelius Ryan's book A BRIDGE TOO FAR!  I got a replacement copy of an issue of True War I thought I lost in 1978 and now that I think about it, I think one of my parents could have thrown mine out in disgust.

To make a long story short, I couldn't afford as a kid to subscribe to War Monthly, and even if the option were available my folks probably wouldn't have condoned me subscribing to True War.  My main go-to publisher of magazines from then was Challenge Publications (Air Classics, Air Combat, Air Progress, Military Modeler, etc.).

But I'm glad to get back these.  And then I found a bunch of online sources for .pdf versions of War Monthly, so one way or another I have all the content from the get-go through to Issue 49.  The series lasted much longer than that, but the later ones are very hard to find because they were subscription-only and most went to library collections.


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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-11-18 16:35
Subject: All This Machinery Making Modern Music...
Security: Public
Tags:cars, chevy, driving, errands, kentucky, music, prizm, travel, weirdness
Took a daytrip to Kentucky yesterday.  It perpetually mystifies me the way that Moonshine's Sony sound system will play some cuts from the keydrives I have, but not all of them.  Really I wish I knew how to remedy this issue.
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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-11-14 13:01
Subject: A Favorite Factoid
Security: Public
Tags:books, crime, history, military, pirate, ships, theft, violence, war

From a book I found years ago in the Carson Newman University library on the history of privateering in America...

How the prize money was divided among the crew of a Revolution/Napoleonic-era ship:
15% -- The Captain, who might be obliged to pay his superiors in his fleet
10% -- split between the Captain's Lieutenants and the Sailing Master
10% -- split among the Marine officers, the Surgeon, the Purser, the Boatswain, the Gunner, the Carpenter, the Masters' Mates and the Chaplain
15% -- split among the Midshipmen, the Surgeon's Mates, the Captain's Clerk, the Schoolmaster, the Boatswain's Mates, the Steward, the Sailmaker, the Master-At-Arms, the Armourer and the Coxswain
15% -- split among the Gunner's Yeomen, the Boatswain's Yeomen, the Quartermasters, the Quarter Gunner, the Coopers, the Sailmaker's Mates, the Sergeants and Corporals of the Marines, the Drummer, the Fifer, and the Petty Officers
35% -- split among the Seamen, the Marines and the Boys

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Stephen "FPilot" Bierce / 美朝深恬
Date: 2014-11-13 19:25
Subject: COAT.
Security: Public
Tags:clothes, cold war, errands, photography, seasons, sevierville, shopping, winter

Bought this evening at the Old Navy Outlet, Five Oaks Plaza, Sevierville.
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May 2015