Science Fiction Today – Privacy

This was a topic we almost covered during our A to Z Challenge posts on Science Fiction Today. However, it’s a big topic and probably not best in that shorter format. Also, we hit on Surveillance, so we somewhat hit on the topic. But government surveillance is only part of the topic.

My take on Privacy is that it is only somewhat a right – it is also something you have to fight for. We can have expectations of Privacy, but things like government surveillance remind us that we don’t always know when or where we’re being watched. But it can be simpler and lower-tech than that – when I am home I might have an expectation of Privacy, but if my blinds are wide open then someone may well be watching!

That’s what I mean as to fighting for Privacy – perhaps working on Privacy is a better term. Constant vigilance! Or maybe the blog is the best example. We have a right to free speech – we can write what we want here, and we’re not worried about getting dragged off to jail. However, we have been careful regarding our Privacy – like names, picture of us, things like that. Or of the Geek Baby. I know a number of bloggers who use a pen name, and plenty who splash their picture and such all over. It’s a personal decision, about how much Privacy we’re looking for. We’re not all looking for the exact same level! No matter what Facebook thinks…

I’m a librarian. I know Privacy is tough. I was working in a library when the Patriot Act was passed – when the FBI got the right to come in and request library records. When libraries around the US got paper shredders to destroy paper records. Got programs to erase browser history and downloaded files and such between computer users. It’s a fight. So let’s look at a couple of possible futures when it comes to Privacy.

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Weekend Coffee Share – Birthday Edition

Birthday Coffee

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it’s my birthday!

As has been my birthday tradition, today I get to write about whatever I want. In many respects, this differs in no way from any other day on the blog, but whatever.

So I would probably tell you about my plans going forward. Life plans. Dream-accomplishing plans. Read on for those – I’d love some input!

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The Story Song (with 5 favorites)

Something David and I have not discussed too much is our love of music. I personally like a bunch of different music, but one of the more interesting types of music is the story song. This is not limited to any specific genre or artist, it is what the song ends up saying.

Some songs end up just being about emotions, a break up, an empowering situation, etc. – but then there are other songs that tell you a story about a situation. These songs will often present a story in a short period of time, although some go longer than others. I think my love of story songs comes from growing up listening to Harry Chapin. Almost every song he did were story songs. It painted a picture of a person and a situation, bringing out the strong emotion in sometimes simple situations.

I have discovered some other artists that at times have definitely given us some story songs that  compare to Harry Chapin, but every artists works it out differently. With some of them it is about a whole album that takes you along a journey, but there is power when you can take a single song that encompasses an entire journey. Continue reading

Update on Warmachine – Journeyman League time!

Syntherion Battle Box - Borderlands Style

Tonight was the start of our first event with our Warmachine (and Hordes) community – the start of our Journeyman League! I’m finding what I expected, that the early weeks are going to be painful for me…

It’s designed for learning and growing a new army or starting into the game, and we have both of those going on. We have seven people signed up! So two new armies, four new players (three brand new)… and me.

With the Geek Baby, starting a new army just was not in the cards for me. Between buying – money! – and constructing a new army, I didn’t think it was even plausible. Then there’s choosing a new army… I wasn’t doing too well at that either!

So you can get points in the League for playing games, with three for a win or two for a loss. So not a huge difference, and it’s designed to promote playing the game. There’s also points for painting, and that’s going to be a lot of my goal. Since I’m not playing a new army, it’s time to get some of my new stuff painted.

Some of my new stuff – birthday loot! – only just arrived today. Timing! I set them all up, proof-of-life style, with today’s paper. So I have some to build, and some to paint – plenty to keep me busy!

I will also say that I am really enjoying the Borderlands theme I am going with. My leader is the Handsome Jack looking guy – complete with a mask – so that’s fun as well. Then lots of Hyperion yellow…

I’ll try to keep most everything to Instagram on this, but it’s a big thing going on with me right now so thought I would share! I’m particularly excited – and daunted – to build the big guy, the Prime Axiom. I’m planning on playing him in the later weeks of the League, once we get to high enough points. That way I am learning something new – a Colossal like that has its own set of rules! It’s basically a gigantic gun platform. With tow cables on the shoulders.

Yep, I’m looking forward to the later weeks… Just have to grin and bear it now!

I could answer questions if you have any in the comments, or share more pictures, including the inspiration pictures from Borderlands!

Thoughts – Agents of SHIELD, Season 3

We’ve had our eye on this show before it was on the air. We were always going to watch it; we were too much of fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of the Whedons. Of the son of Coul, first name Agent.

Season one took us pretty far down into “how much do you love all those things?” territory. Then they redeemed themselves gloriously after Captain America: Winter Soldier. Finally, it was the show it was always supposed to be, except that the title agency was somewhat kaput.

That didn’t stop them for a season two that was solid. Not stellar, but so much better than season one as a whole. They still felt a need to string us along with a mystery throughout the season, which if I recall boiled down to “Coulson is slipping information to the Avengers” and was explained away in mere moments. Not a big shocker. But it’s the things they took their time with, that they explored, that made the season. The Inhumans. Skye – now Daisy, a strong move towards redeeming a character who from the start had seemed superfluous or forced. Hydra, and a world coping with their existence. Ward, and his broken self.

Avengers: Age of Ultron did not do much to impact Agents of SHIELD, other than nailing the coffin in Hydra as we knew it. And there had been talk of a spinoff show – effectively cutting the cast in half – and that didn’t happen. Which is good, since one point so far this season is that they don’t have enough people to really have a full team… But that meant that they got to keep everyone together, and move forward with the story they have been building.

I wasn’t thrilled with the first episode – honestly, I had to go look it up to remind myself what happened. There’s a new agency out getting their hands on the new Inhumans. Doing bad things. They find a new guy, looks just like Ward, someone should really mention that. Anyway. It was nothing to write home about.

Then we watched the second episode of the season, Purpose in the Machine. And oh. My. Goodness. This is the sort of episode that is the very reason that you make this show. It had people working as a team. Science (Fiction). Comic book stuff. A returning character – from Asgard! Super powers. Heroism – and not from the people with super powers. Spy stuff. And a mystery that seemed like they might string it along for half a season (they would have, season one) that’s already been resolved, at least in part. It was harrowing.

We loved it.

I am now really excited for this season. I like where it’s going. I’m with them on let’s get Ward – they have effectively made him into a villain. I’m with them on Daisy – now looking like Quake – becoming more of a hero, more of a leader. And on her being torn – and wanting to merge – SHIELD and the Inhumans. I’m with them on the emotional and physical scars that a lot of the characters have – and that they’re working their way through them.

They’re putting the band back together.

And I’m with them on the piece that was thrown in for the comics readers, the folks who see what’s coming… Daisy and her “Secret Warriors.” This officially means I need to read my next Jonathan Hickman series, Secret Warriors. Oh, darn.