On the wine front–United Federation Of Planets 2017 Old Vine Zinfandel

April 10, 2020 Leave a comment

One thing about this “stay at home” order, I am getting a lot of use out of the Coravin I bought on sale in February. Just dropped my needle into the 2017 Old Vine Zinfandel from the Star Trek Wines 2-pack celebrating Star Trek: Picard. I am not one for dry wines, just to warn everyone ahead of time, but I do tend to favor red and desert wines.

This is just a scrumptious wine. Winemaker’s notes: “Elegant, stately and dignified are but a few words to describe the wine that Federation dignitaries might enjoy at their gatherings. It has aromatics of concentrated strawberry, blackberry and plum preserves with a chewy-layered mid-palate filled with hints of white peppercorn, sweet red and black fruit.”

Yeah, while I’m not entirely sure I can taste the white peppercorn, the rest I will absolutely agree with here. I don’t think I could add anything else to that description, to be honest. I wouldn’t say it’s quite worth $50.00 a bottle as a general wine purchase, but I do consider the special edition Trek bottle to be part of that cost. That puts it a little closer to being worth it. In addition, I am seeing some other 2017 Sonoma County old vine zins that I am going to be more inclined to try considering how please I am with this one.

No, I haven’t tried the Chateau Picard bottle yet. I may drop my needle into that for Easter.

Categories: Wine Tags:

Welcome, Thirteen.

July 17, 2017 1 comment

Dear Whovians: if you have your head up your arse about 13 being female and how Timelords have to be men and such, please go back and watch “Destiny of the Daleks.” I’ll wait…..

Romana “tried on” a few decidedly non-human bodies during her first regeneration, proving that if a Timelord has enough control, they can direct their own regeneration however they wish. Why are so many forgetting that? If you’re voicing an issue with the gender shift, that tells me that you can accept an alien species that can make itself look like another completely alien species with regeneration, but God help us if that results in the alien in question presenting as a different gender post-regeneration. We know the Doctor doesn’t have the regeneration control that Romana learned in the Academy, but there are some things the Doctor can do, like direct the energy into the severed hand to create a second Ten. Twelve wore the face of Caecilius as a reminder to always try to save people. Perhaps there is a story reason for Thirteen presenting as female? Hmm? For all we know, a second set of regenerations has a rule that there will be a shift in either gender or species at some point in order to expand the Timelord knowledge level? How many Timelords with a second slate of regenerations have we actually seen so far? Certainly not enough to form a full idea of what’s involved. Don’t apply human logic or even human biology to an alien species. You just set yourself up for being dumbfounded or disappointed in the end.

I get it, you think your childhood hero has been bastardized by the female regeneration. “Why can’t we have a male Wonder Woman, then?” and other absolutely narrow-minded (IMNSHO) comments. We can’t have a male Wonder Woman because the Amazons were created female. It was kind of the point. You’ll have to blame the ancient Greeks for that one. Also? I’m not an expert, but last I checked, the Amazon princess Diana of Themyscira doesn’t shapeshift. Changing her gender presentation is absolutely not in-universe from a storytelling perspective, and you’d be fully justified to bitch if that happened. I’d be right there with you. However, a Timelord changing into a brand new body with regeneration, whether it appears as a different alien species or just a different gender, is absolutely in-universe for Doctor Who. Just because it hadn’t happened to this Timelord in the 50+ years we’ve been along for the ride doesn’t mean it was never going to happen.

Trust me, I grok your childhood heroes being rebooted and how annoying it is. I wasn’t happy with the idea of the BSG reboot when I first heard about it, either. The original series helped shape my childhood. Just about all I still remember of my 1970s childhood was Space 1999, BSG, Doctor Who, and Buck Rogers. Reluctant as I was to like it, the first season of the new BSG was one of the best things I’ve seen on television in the 21st Century. Even BSG had to change to survive. The only way a show like Who can last half a century is because it changes. The whole concept of regeneration was introduced to keep the show going. It is an object lesson in the reality that the world changes, and we have to change with it.

Perhaps some in fandom should take this opportunity to deal with their issues when it comes to change. To quote a character from a completely different SF universe, the great Lwaxanna Troi: “The mind opens, and in creeps wisdom.”

Twelve taught himself and us in that borrowed face that we should always try to save people. Our children could do well to take that lesson into the future, especially these days. Would we take that lesson from the children? I hope not. What does this regeneration have to teach us? Or are you willing to walk away from everything and stop learning from The Doctor? Me? I’m sticking around. If the stories don’t keep me watching, then that’s the way it goes. I am a creator. I know that there is no such thing as a permanent audience. I have lost count of the amount of shows in the last 20 years that I began watching religiously, but grew away from as it went on. Tom Baker was my Doctor. The Key to Time is the first serial I vividly remember watching. I have cosplayed as Romana I and built my own K-9 for that cosplay. I have a few memories here and there of watching Leela episodes, but the only one I ever identified was “Talons of Weng Chiang”. I wasn’t even ten years old when I first saw that back on PBS. I admit that I grew away from the Doctor in the Colin Baker era, but I came back. I am going back and watching those Sixth Doctor episodes every now and then, as I can stand that godawful technicolor abomination of a coat, but I am revisiting what I missed. To paraphrase another Star Trek character, the Doctor is, and always shall be, my friend.

Welcome aboard the TARDIS, Jodie Whittaker. You are absolutely welcome here, and I eagerly await meeting your Doctor.


Categories: Uncategorized

Independent Prosecutor

May 10, 2017 1 comment
We need an independent prosecutor right freaking now, folks. I don’t give a damn what political party you belong to. We need to know what the hell is going on with Trump’s ties to Russia. If you didn’t grow up with the Soviet Union, you can almost be forgiven for not understanding why this is such a major issue. Please look into it, though, because that past history is extremely important. The Soviet Union would have given anything to control the White House. Putin is former KGB, and has an eye to rebuild the territory that used to be the Soviet Union. Neither of those are state secrets. The threat has not really gone down since the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s just taken different shapes. And with Trump’s ego, he might have been precisely the kind of useful idiot the KGB liked. He might have been played like a freaking fiddle.
Let’s look at the three recent big events: Trump fired Comey….within days of it coming out that Comey essentially lied to Congress about the Clinton emails that were found on Weiner’s laptop. And let’s not forget that Comey also recently announced that the FBI was investigating the Russian ties. And add into that the reports that Trump’s personal security guard and longtime friend was the one who delivered the letter firing Comey? If those reports are true? That’s a personal move. That’s not political.
On a note unrelated to Russia, the campaign website is scrubbed of any information that might give a history of His Majesty’s previous stances on issues like the Muslim ban, which is an obvious middle finger to the Ninth Circuit, even though just about anyone who uses the internet regularly knows that major websites like that are definitely grabbed by the Wayback Machine. (And that move of their servers out of the US looks so freaking prescient right now.) This definitely signals a disregard for American jurisprudence and the Constitution.
And then there’s the Yates testimony, basically proving beyond any and all doubt that Trump was not just warned about Flynn’s ties to Russia, he apparently did not give a rat’s ass about the probability that his own National Security Adviser was compromised and a known foreign agent. If Trump didn’t think Flynn was compromised, it apparently didn’t matter to him. And the person who told him that Flynn was compromised? Fired.
All three of these events reek of actions taken in response to information that makes Trump and his “presidency” look bad or illegitimate. Firing Comey suggests that he can try to get an FBI director who he can exert more control over, and attempt to kill the Russia investigation in the crib. Scrubbing the website is an obvious (if unbelievably incompetent) attempt to eliminate the source of the documents that caused his precious Muslim ban to be shot down. Yates? Trump is old enough to remember when the Soviets were an existential threat to the country. To have lived through that time, and not move when told that one of your advisers had been compromised? That’s either one of two things: incompetence, or complicity. Incompetence makes him look bad. Complicity makes him illegitimate, and possibly criminal.
How in the world is this going to “Make America Great Again”? Mind you, I’m still waiting on why we weren’t already “great”, but that’s a whole different conversation.

God, the terrorists, and Trump

April 11, 2017 1 comment

Yes, that was an intentional “God, the Devil, and Bob” reference.

This whole essay was spawned by a friend on Facebook going off on me when I said that Trump invoking God in his speech the night of the bombing of Syria was stupid and we were going to get killed with this moron. He went off and told me that Obama had been “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”. I started to respond, but it got too long to stay on Facebook, so I thought it would be best as a post here:

Regarding the hit on Syria:
I feel I should state that I know I have a very situational approach toward combat and warfare. I am a firm believer in peace through superior firepower when it comes to warfare in general. The better your battle tech, the fewer countries will screw with you. However, in close combat, my closely held opinion changes. That isn’t relevant here, so I won’t go into it. This is large-scale warfare-level combat. In that case, yes, kick the tires and light the fires. Why do you think so many smaller countries buy their fighters from the U.S. or Russia? Superior firepower.

Now, that said, let’s look at Syria.

Obama actually did want to hit back when Syria ran over the red line and stomped it into submission. He asked Congress for a military authorization to intervene there back in 2013. Congress. Said. No.

Hell, Paul Ryan, now Speaker of the House even said:
“In fact, I fear it will make things worse,” Ryan said. “The President says a show of force will preserve our credibility. But a feckless show of force will only damage our credibility.” But, after he argued for Congress to support a response, Obama then inexplicably withdrew the notion. I totally disagree with that. He should have followed through. But responding without Congressional approval after seeking it might have been even worse for the country than what he did end up doing.

Now, while there wasn’t the major response to Syrian chemical attacks that Obama wanted in 2013, he did order strikes on known terrorist bases in Syria. He even ordered one before leaving office in January of this year. (The Telegraph). So, saying that he was “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”? That’s a notion that I just cannot find a basis for in reality. If the strike that finally freaking killed Osama Bin Laden is “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”? I would suggest re-evaluating your definition of that term. Let’s not forget George W. Bush and the battle of Tora Bora. Many, myself included, still believe that the U.S. backing off after al Qaeda negotiated a truce with the Afghan militia in late 2001 allowed bin Laden to get away. Because we didn’t press the advantage that we had, commit the troops that the generals wanted, and—dammit—finish the job, bin Laden got to live another 10 years. Hell, my alt-history brain often wonders what might have happened if Bush the Elder would have finished the freaking job in Gulf War I back in 1991 instead of retreating at the last minute, sticking us with Saddam still around after 9/11 to be the boogeyman for GWB’s Iraq invasion arguments.

This is not a simple situation. Anyone who tells you it is probably doesn’t have even the grasp of a civilian who has paid attention to what’s going on. Russia has been treating Syria as a “client state” for years. Basically, if we went into Syria guns blazing, no matter what atrocities have been committed, we run a very high probability of Russia getting involved. Hell, Medvedev already said the strike cut too close to forcing Russia to get involved, and that would have just created a shooting war. And we can see that Russia has looked at us pretty sideways since the hit. That risk is not even slightly mitigated at the moment.

I think we all know that a shooting war between the U.S. and Russia, especially with a president who has stated flat-out that he doesn’t quite understand the purpose of having nukes if we don’t use them, has the potential to actually destroy the planet several times over. Therefore, dealing with the Syrian situation requires treading very, very, VERY carefully. How to strike back at a Russian client state without forcing Russia to get involved? That’s a balancing act I’m not even sure our all-time great military or diplomatic leaders could manage. Basically, how do you punish a belligerent child who is not your own, without invoking the wrath of that child’s parent, who could very easily end your life today if they wanted to? That’s a balancing act. And nobody with sense takes a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to that kind of situation. This isn’t Hollywood.

You want to talk “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”? How about doing precisely what ISIS needs us to do to help them recruit new soldiers for the caliphate? How about giving ISIS plenty of footage for their recruitment videos? The numerous times that 45 invoked God in that speech was just exactly the kind of thing they needed. I honestly believe that that was absolutely the worst thing he could have done. I believe that doing that definitely qualifies as “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”, because it allows ISIS to portray this attack in their videos as one of violent Christian retribution against an Arab nation. You may not be aware but that’s EXACTLY what ISIS wants the world to think is happening. They want their followers to believe that Islam and the West cannot co-exist. By invoking what would obviously be considered the Christian God in an attack on a majority Muslim nation, 45 has basically come forward and stated ISIS’ central thesis for them. Words have power. Ill-used words have consequences. ISIS wants their holy war. By invoking one particular God so many times in that speech, 45 is basically saying that even though this strike was against Syria and not ISIS, he’s using the old “God’ll get you for that.” that my grandparents used to say. He’s invoking the Christian God in an attack on a majority Muslim nation. And we need to always remember that the U.S. is not a Christian nation, and it can *never* be a Christian nation. To make the United States a theocracy would invalidate one of the basic reasons we fought the Revolutionary War.

I have often referenced an argument for why the U.S. can never become a theocracy, but I have yet to go into it in any detail. Here it is, folks, my argument for why the U.S. can never be a theocracy under ANY religion, not and still remain the country the Founding Fathers brought into being. You don’t need to look at papers written after the Constitution to figure this out. Just look at the Revolution itself. As you could see whenever President Obama showed the Japanese PM the courtesy of a bow, the right-wingers got their knickers in a twist about how America does not bow to anyone, let alone a foreign ruler, even if it is their cultural norm for greeting. Period.

There you go. That’s it right there. It’s that simple. We fought the Revolutionary war to eliminate the rule of an external king over this country. Why in the name of all that is sacred and good would we EVER allow another foreign king to rule over the nation? God, no matter how you see it, could not possibly be American. Any possible historical Jesus was most assuredly not American. Yet many believe that the United States should bow down to them as rulers? What makes people think that a nation that was founded on the basic principle of self-governance, where blood was shed by thousands (including my own ancestors) to make sure this country wasn’t ruled by a foreign king, would ever bow down to another foreign ruler? I find the notion to be absolutely un-American. This is why any and all attempts to install the Bible as law in this nation need to be fought. I don’t care what your personal beliefs are. Those are yours, and you are welcome to them. This nation was founded to not bow down to another foreign king, and if you want the Bible to be the law of the land? You are telling me that you want this nation to bow down to your foreign king. (And before anyone goes on that it’s not the same, look at the widespread use of phrases like “Christ the king” or “Christ is king” or statements about living in the “kingdom of God”. Yeah, you’re not going to disabuse me of the analogy here, folks. If you want to live in the Kingdom of God, that’s your personal choice. I won’t take it away from you. I will, however, be there to stand in the way of your trying to force others to make that same personal choice for themselves.)

We are a nation of many different origins. As the United States motto goes: “E pluribus unum”, “out of many, one”. To deny that is to deny what it is to be American. We’re all of it. We’re the good. We’re the bad. We’re even the ugly sometimes. And to deny that we are a nation that is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist, Agnostic, Catholic, keep going until I hit all of the religions? That’s just willful ignorance of reality.

So, circling back to the initial prompt for this essay, we’re fighting a terrorist organization that wants the world to believe that Islam and the West cannot co-exist. And we have a president who seems to want to prove them right, even to the point of giving them all of the ammunition they could ever need in their PR battle against us. If THAT, my friends, is not “coddling those who want to destroy our way of life”, I don’t know what is. And that doesn’t even begin to cut into the investigation on the Russian interference in the election in a blatant attempt to get Trump elected. That is a whole ‘nother group who wants to destroy our way of life, and a whole ‘nother topic for later.

Please pay a visit to PlanetOsborne.com

July 15, 2013 Leave a comment

For those who don’t know, I’m also a dabbler in the visual arts. I have opened an Etsy shop at the very easy-to-remember planetosborne.com. Most of what I create are holiday ornaments, but I’m working to expand my selection of items to things that I believe my readers might also be interested in seeing. 🙂

Thanks, folks, as always! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

Meet Raina and Fen in APOCALYPSE 13

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Apocalypse 13 cover

For those who’ve been hearing me talk about Raina and Fen for far too long, they have made their debut in the Padwolf Publishing anthology Apocalypse 13.  The story is, of course, “A Djinn, A Werewolf, and Grey Walk Into a Bar”.  While it sounds like the start of a wicked joke?  It’s the story of what happens when a suicidal (and genocidal) grey alien who has been stranded on Earth for far, far too long decides he’d rather take the entire place out than be here one more day.  Raina and Fen are the djinn and werewolf who have to stop him and save the planet.

I’m working on getting the terriosborne.com store up and running.  In the meantime, if you’d like to purchase a copy, please feel free to use these links for Amazon.com.  Terriosborne.com is an Amazon associate site.  All sales made through these links serve to keep the site running:

For paperback (which I will happily autograph for you when our paths cross next):
Apocalypse 13

If you have any Kindle-enabled device, you can procure the book for just $4.99 at this link:
Apocalypse 13 (Padwolf 13)

Meet Astrid the mermaid in MERMAIDS 13

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

mermaids13Astrid has been working with the Norwegian navy during the early years of World War II to help Norway not only protect its waters, but make sure Norway’s neutrality is protected.  What the admiralty doesn’t know is that she is really the servant of a master they’ve long forgotten about, the Nøkken.  She’s working with the humans to protect the Nøkken’s Realm.  What happens when the German prison ship Altmark ventures into neutral Norwegian waters trying to escape British capture?  Based on the true story of the Altmark incident, “At The Waterline” tells of one mermaid’s battle between her loyalties to her lord, and her desire to help the humans escape a fate worse than death.

I’m working on getting the terriosborne.com store up and running.  In the meantime, if you’d like to purchase a copy, please feel free to use these links for Amazon.com.  Terriosborne.com is an Amazon associate site.  All sales made through these links serve to keep the site running:

For paperback (which I will happily autograph for you when our paths cross next):
MERMAIDS 13: Tales From The Sea

If you have any Kindle-enabled device, you can procure the book for just $4.99 at this link:
MERMAIDS 13: Tales From The Sea (Padwolf 13)

Apologies for the restart

July 14, 2012 Leave a comment

But we had a database issue and the backup didn’t quite work as well as I thought it would.

So, welcome to the official website of author Terri Osborne!

Categories: Uncategorized