Roaming Robots

I just completed a story on Examiner.com about a project to produce (under government sponsership) an autonomously ranging robot with sponsorship of the U. S. military, which refuels itself by foraging for suitable burnable materials. My take was that the proposed application is some sort of a mobile recon platform that doesn’t require the presense of a human operator…the original drones were just for recon and now they are weapons…I wonder how long before these things are armed?

I had a vision of herds of these things roaming through grasslands taking the grass for fuel sort of like a herd of bison. Just a dream?

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Magnatude Nine-plus Earthquakes

I hear a lot, off and on, about the expected magnitude nine-plus earthquake that is likely to happen sometime in the geological near future of the coast of Oregon. Such a quake and the resulting tsunami has all the makings of a disaster movie or book, and I’m now in the process of doingsome preliminary research. I’ll need engineering, architectural, seismic and geological info–sol it’s off to the races

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Writing for Examiner.com

I’ve now been writing for Examiner.com for about a month and am just now feeling like Im beginning to get a handle on time management. There is the necessity to do research finding stories and checking them out as well as the actual writing. Then there is the marketing piece, i.e. getting the word out to a plethora of book marking sites, social networking sites etc. And, of course, finding available pictures to enhance the story. Until recently this has left little time to spend on the novel or on short stories. I think I’ve turned the corner on the time thing this week. Good way to approach the weekend.

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Time Managment and Researching Finance Stories

Well, as I posted in an earlier blog, the difficulty I encountered in the past with remembering to post a blog on a regular basis is difficult to overcome. I just finished posting a story on Allvoices.com about asset based secutiies, and the research I had to do was formidable since business/finance was not my main area of expertise. Coming to grips with the many arcane terms used in the world of finance and trying to figure out the logic behind some of these investment instruments seemed to eat up all of my available time. It’s posted now, under the byline Cantus500. Back to trying to regularize my blogging schedule.

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Researching the Auto Industry

In researching a short article on the ability of the U. S. auto industry to remake themselves into viable participants in the global industry, I came across hints that some connections may exist between high officials that served in the Bush administration, the oil industry and the auto industry. This is a rumor that makes some logical sense in the light of the industry’s bizzar reaction to California’s air quality requirements. I’m looking forward to doing some more investigting.

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Republicans Star in “Night of the Living Dead”

It looks like Grover Norquist is still in charge of the Republican Party. No sooner was the stimulus put forward than Grover was all over Fox News and radical right-wing radio talk outlets spouting about tax cuts. Strangely, almost immediately, most (but encouragingly not all) congressional Republicans suddenly turned into reason-dead automatons intoning “tax cuts…more tax cuts…” in spite of the fact that the Bush era tax cuts more than wiped out Clinton’s budget surplus, and combined with two wars created one of the largest deficits in history–all this before the current economic collapse.

The Republican Party doesn’t seem to realize that tax cuts mean nothing to people without jobs, since they pay no taxes anyway. Grover seems to have the Party in his pocket as he continues his quest to eliminate taxes to the point where the Government is “starved” to death. It would be interesting to know how many of the congressional zombies have been breaking bread with Grover at the weekly strategy meetings at his K Street digs.

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Happy Birthday Oregon

Today my family and I, and dozens of others converged on Champoeg State Park to celebrate Oregon’s 150th year of statehood. All the visitors shared in a cake made specially for this comemoration and which was shaped like the state of Oregon, with topographic features rendered in icing. I also learned that the initial event that severed the dependance of the settled population on the Hudson Bay Company(British) was a vote to establish a provisional govenment. This proposition carried by only two votes, but set the stage for eventual statehood.

Point taken! Every vote counts.

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The Dark Side of the Internet

For a writer the ability to ferret out information on almost any topic with just a few clicks on the keyboard is invaluable, but it comes at a terrible price. At least it does for those of us who are information junkies. I find that entirely too much of my time is spent in finding out more and more about less and less, leaving me almost no time to do any actual writing (hence the long interval between the previous post and this one). Every branch can lure me off the track with interesting, but probably not useful for the current project, information. What can a writer do to use the internet for needed research and still not be seduced?

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Too Much Inspiration

I recently wrote a story for a contest and was limited to 4500 words, but in the writing, became overly inspired and wound up with a work of about 16000 words instead. Now I’m debating whether to push it as a novella or novelette or try to expand it to a full length novel? Cutting it proved impossible without changing the full impact of the story.

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