Release The Dover Stone! (Part 2: EBE BOP)

V-Blog Banner2

Howdy Folks! Been gone for awhile, now I’m back. And amazingly, that is a report that is more in-depth than a majority of journalism in our short attention span paradise. I’m sorry …what were we talking about?

Ok, back to “Release the Dover Stone!” Here is the next of ten stories: “EBE Bop.”

And, here is the soundtrack: the second piece on my new release “Concerto for Folded Space.” Featuring Bob Mintzer and Arlington Jones along with myself, Eclectric and The Maniacal 4 + 1. You will also hear my daughter Amber, my sons Matthew and David (The Wiesty Boyz) and their pal Kyle all playing the part of Krndyk Fllyk, Science Coordinator of the doomed Ibeyan ship “Discovery.” I took their voices, ran them backwards and then Phil Bulla and I put some cool George Martin-esque filters on them to give it that nice “EBE” (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity) treatment.

The combination of myself on low-register trombone, Bob on bass clarinet and Ryan Davidson on guitar with some kind of alien-pedal-processor THANG is the main “EBE BOP” theme. The overarching idea is that this type of music is very similar to…well, you should read the story first…

EBE Bop

(1947)

CHAPTER TEN

At exactly 82:15:35.7 on Kpypsday: 5578, the long range explorer mini-stringer Discovery lost contact with Rahston somewhere over the dessert zone of New Rahston that the local aborigines call “Roswell.” The loss of signal with the home planet was of course devastating as all of their onboard bio-tech suite was completely reliant on the Mother World’s Umbilical Beam.

“Byrp Fllyk! Shouted Kryd Sln, we just lost the Umbilical Beam.

“Impossible!” Answered Krndyk Fllyk. “Do you hear what the Bio-Tech Suite is thinking?”

“The Bio-Tech Suite is….dead Byrp Fllyk.” said Evlyn Glyb.

“That too is impossible!” cried Krndyk Fllyk. “No Bio-Tech Suite has expired in the history of the Modern Era! Please re-establish Bio-Tech communications.” Even as he relayed this order Krndyk Fllyk could feel deep in his soul that what Evlyn had said was true. There was a great sadness and emptiness present now in The Discovery that had never been there before.

“I’m….I’m sorry Byrp.” said Evlyn as she choked back tears of shock. “The Suite is really and truly dead.”

As Science Coordinator of The Discovery, Krndyk Fllyk contemplated this totally unprecedented event, the ship suddenly lurched forward at an impossible angle sending the three of them flying through the air. Kryd Sln died instantly as his forehead burst when it was impaled against the now useless Bio-Tech access cone, while Evlyn was thrown directly into the command console chair as Krndyk Fllyk slammed against the hull.

“I can’t correct our descent Byrp Fllyk! shouted Evlyn. I estimate contact with New Rahston in seventeen bromee…”

As The Discovery slammed into the hard earth of Roswell, New Mexico, the entire top front of the hull ripped open throwing Krndyk Fllyk clear of the ship as it began to roll uncontrollably across the ground like a tumbleweed. A trail of fire from the rapid fall through the atmosphere blackened the ground for the full 700 yards of the crash path as pieces of the interior of the vessel littered the landscape. When the Discovery finally came to rest, it’s stringer nucleus exploded in a directional release of energy that shot straight into the sky with a ferocious sonic boom that cut a hole in a huge cloud overhead.

Krndyk Fllyk struggled to his feet and staggered over to the wreckage hoping against hope that Evlyn Glyb had somehow survived. The Discovery’s final position was upside down, with Kryd Sln hanging gruesomely from the Bio-Tech access cone and the charred remains of Evlyn Glyb lying next to the ship in the full brightness of the harsh New Rahston sun.

Byrp Fllyk fell to his knees next to the blackened body of Evlyn, his last thought before losing consciousness was “Evlyn, my love. Only one Cyrdsday before our Joining and this heinous ball of rock has claimed your Soul. My love, how am I to continue life, my dear…dear…”

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Byrp Fllyk awoke to a nightmare. Wrapped in a irritating material of some primitive make and strapped in a tight painfully restricted manner to a flat surface being carried very quickly across the ground by New Rahston aborigines. Staring at him with their ghoulish tiny fur-covered heads mounted atop the floppy stalks on the crests of their frail bodies, the aborigines looked like Blue-Madwrglrs more than true sentient beings. And the sounds that issued forth from their access ports were hideous! Until this moment, Krndyk Fllyk had written off the descriptions of the aboriginal “languages” of New Rahston as xenophobic hyperbole−no longer! Such grunts, chirps, belches and other assorted offensive noises as he had never heard!

What vile creatures. It was a relief to once again lose consciousness. This time upon returning to the land of the living, Krndyk Fllyk was greeted by impossibly bright lights that exploded into his eyes. As his inner lids snapped shut to fend off the worst of the effects, he noticed two aborigines sitting on metallic chairs on either side of him. They were both chirping and belching at him wildly making it very difficult to hear what they were thinking. All he was able to hear was that the male was named approximately “Man Tmm” and the female was “Woman Krsty.”

The aboriginal mind was totally chaotic and virtually impossible to understand. Each thought was riddled with extreme emotion piled upon layers of insecurity and guilt mixed with what only can be described as a “lonely” feeling of universal superiority. What audacious creatures! Even at their profound level of primitive ignorance and in the midst of their belief at being alone in the universe, they were convinced at an almost instinctive level that they were created in the image of The Love Supreme! This was the closest that Krndyk Fllyk had ever come to a personal experience with blasphemy.

He did not like it and instantly shut down, stopped listening and drew within himself falling into Plyk-Str: the deepest state of inner peace.

When Byrp Fllyk came out of Plyk-Str, the lights had happily been turned off and he was alone in the room. It was completely stark, no furnishings but the two metallic chairs, and a flat low structure covered by the same irritating material he had been wrapped in as he was brought to this strange place.

“Evlyn” he thought with great, almost unbearable pain. The unshakeable image of her once perfect body: Soulless, burned and peeling in the horrid New Rahston sunlight simply broke his hearts.

Looking to his right, Fllyk saw that the aborigines had inserted a primitive metal tube into his arm, essentially turning his vein into crude access port. Such brutes! He thought. Connected to the tube via an artificial vein of some sort was a vile of clear fluid, timed to drip the liquid slowly into his body. Experiencing a momentary twinge of respect at the primitive’s ingenuity, Fllyk carefully removed the contraption and began a healing Plyk-Plyd stretch.

In the corner of the simple square that made up the extent of his surroundings, there was one other item. A small square device of some primeval nature, most likely a rudimentary communication node. Krndyk Fllyk had heard that the aborigines had fashioned basic amplification devices that converted their offensive sounds into simple radio waves. These same signals had first been picked up as they intersected with an Umbilical Beam from Rahston, alerting them all of the aboriginal existence on their chosen colony world.

Krndyk Fllyk pondered all of these things in his hearts as he went back to his lone piece of furnishings and began his second rest-cycle of the day.

CHAPTER TWELVE

When Fllyk left his second sleep-cycle and began to move into the waking Plyk-Phoon contemplations that fuel each new day, he was once again greeted by outrageously bright and physically invasive artificial lights. Fllyk could not only see the primitive artificial illumination, but could hear it as the heated filaments spat and sputtered their wasteful electric current. Suddenly, Man Tmm and a new aborigine that Fllyk heard was called Dktr Mks, appeared out of the painful lighting and began burping, chirping, screeching, and scratching at a painful level within one bromeen of his face!

“Croak, blat, splat, simmer, tweet, scream, wail, belch!” they seemed to be saying loudly.

“I cannot hear what you are thinking because of the hideous sounds issuing from your access ports!” Fllyk thought as loudly as he could.

“Please, terminate your sonic expulsions and think with me!”

To this, Man Tmm and Dktr Mks seemed to redouble their heinous efforts:“Skwall, hurl, flack, hack, belch, snort, hock, wheeze, sling, moan, kree, skwack, burp, rattle!”

Fllyk could feel himself falling into Plyk-Str but resisted as too much Plyk-Str can cause one to become addled and light headed.

“Are you somehow trying to communicate with me with your horrid noises?” asked Fllyk. “Is this the “language” of New Rahston aborigines that I have heard of? Please try to think instead….please….please discontinue your sonic expulsions!”

“BRAP?…PAKKA BURP? Man Tmm seemed to be asking Dktr Mks.

Yes, this was most assuredly a language. Fantastic! Using some kind of resonant internal organ to produce sounds that are used as communication! How wasteful.

Returning their attention to Fllyk, the aboriginal duo began at an even more fevered pitch: “Pop, sizzle, scrape, scrape, retch, hurl, vomit, sneeze, explode, cough, belch, belch, BELCH!”

Plyk-Str could no longer be denied.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

The horror of these “interviews” continued for many more sleep cycles, with no improvement at all. The aborigines squawked and belched and refused to think. Fllyk had no success whatsoever in getting to the whirlwind of mental flotsam that lay hidden behind the audible barrage of filth that these primitive people used for communication.

Occasionally Dktr Mks, assisted by variations of other aboriginals, would conduct physical examinations. Reminding him of the child frightstories of his youth, these “medical explorations” at his expense were tantamount to torture. As the Grand Tdd once said:

“What does not rob us of life only strengthens our will to live.” How true.

During one particularly grueling session of primeval medicinal buffoonery, Fllyk went into a fit of such pain that he screamed a pure bolt of push-thought into the little room. A thing normally under the complete control of all Ibeyan as they mature, push-thought can cause great damage if unleashed, as well as embarrassment and even disgrace to the unfortunate Ibeyan releasing it. In this case, the push sent Dktr Mks and his assistants flying across the room and into the wall on the other side destroying their primitive equipment in the process (the destruction of said instruments of torture were not mourned by Fllyk) After a virtuoso round of belches, burps, wheezing, and generally ill-mannered audio-babble, the aborigines left the room for another sleep cycle.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Rising form his cycle pleasantly this time to a darkened room, Fllyk was able to go through the complete waking Plyk-Phoon contemplations as well as the celebrations for The Love Supreme. Feeling moderately Ibeyan for the first time in quite a while, Fllyk stood up from his one piece of furniture and performed the five healing Plyk-Plyd stretches known as Tyd-pa, Slyd-ko, Mnk-ra, Tyd-po and Ryd-ga.

As the faint dawn light from the New Rahston sun began to illuminate his small space, Fllyk was once again intrigued by the only other thing in the room (besides the harsh aborigine chairs), the communication node. A quaint construction that admittedly showed some level of craftsmanship, the device was made of New Rahston vegetable matter, stained with some kind of natural pigment and boasted a front covered by a fine weave of some other kind of natural filament. At its base in the front were a series of control nubs that seemed to adjust by rotation. Comically primitive in design, but not completely lacking in aesthetic pleasure.

In the midst of his consideration of the aboriginal communication node, an entrance to his room opened to reveal Woman Krsty. She began to chirp and whistle in a very high staccato manner that was somewhat less offensive than any other aboriginal sound Krndyk Fllyk had yet heard, but even so it tended to bring him to a point of near-nausea. “If these creatures would just open their minds and listen!” Fllyk thought with great frustration.

During this display of upper register primitive cacophony, Woman Krsty walked over to the communication node and began to manipulate the nubs on its exterior. Suddenly, an artificial male aboriginal cascade of belches, blurps and animalistic expulsions issued forth in a particularly irritating manner. “This madness is too much to bear” Krndyk Fllyk thought as he considered a return to Plyk-Str.

In the midst of this deepening despair however, Byrp Fllyk was given a respite in the form of a miraculous event. As Woman Krsty sat on her metallic chair chirping, wailing and belching− recognizable words began to come from the communication node! At first, he thought he was imagining it, but then…yes! Understandable words!

“To all brown run blue blue snap fit conglomerate” This phrase repeated and was followed by: “Bring bring bring flop from there bring bring bring.” Springing to his feet, Krndyk Fllyk ran to the communication node to listen more closely. Woman Krsty instantly stopped her cacophonous chatter and stared.

“To all brown run blue blue snap fit conglomerate”

Byrp Fllyk looked at Woman Krsty and then back at the communication node and then back at Woman Krsty frantically trying to let the aborigine know that this was special.

“Bring bring bring flop from there bring bring bring.”

“To all brown run blue blue snap fit conglomerate”

“Can you not hear?” “Can you not tell that your communication node is speaking?”

Woman Krsty rose to her feet as well and approached Krndyk Fllyk. Making aboriginal noises that were a little less harsh than usual, she knelt down by the node and looked into Byrp Fllyk’s eyes with what he felt must have been compassion. Suddenly, Man Tmm burst into the room waiving his arms in the air spewing forth a spectacular array of New Rahston aboriginal projectile gibberish! Krndyk Fllyk put his hands over his ears and dropped to the floor, curled into a fetal position and instantly went into Plyk-Str.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Returning from the state of inner peace, Krndyk Fllyk found himself on the flat surface once again swaddled in the scratchy, rough-hewn fabric of the primitives. Sitting up slowly, he noticed that there were three figures in the room with him: Woman Krsty, Man Tmm and a new aborigine with dark flesh tone who carried some kind of curved implement. Not knowing what else to do, Byrp Fllyk listened and hoped.

After some seemingly cursory opening belches and nasty clipped spittle-noises from Man Tmm, the dark flesh aborigine put one end of the curved implement into his facial access port. What happened next changed Krndyk Fllyk forever and opened the floodgates towards Ibeyan-aborigine communications. The dark-flesh creature began to speak with the implement! Here was the random phrase again:

“To all brown run blue blue snap fit conglomerate” followed by something new: “My feet passeth all understanding with pellets of gold, Oh yay Oh yay Oh yay meet me in St. Louis.” Byrp Fllyk was mesmerized!

The day that the dark-flesh aborigine (whom Byrp Fllyk later learned was named Man Brd) began speaking through his curvy implement, communications between Krndyk Fllyk and the New Rahston aborigines grew exponentially. In the multiple sleep cycles that came to pass, Byrp Fllyk was able to speak with Man Brd first via his curved speaking device and then ultimately through his mind.

Fllyk was fascinated with the mind of Man Brd! Here was an aborigine whose soul was perfect, a being who seemed to be directly connected to the humor and truth that is The Love Supreme. So very different from the befuddled and cluttered maelstroms of conflicting emotions that make up the thought patterns of typical New Rahston aborigines. And yet, Man Brd seemed to be completely subservient to the belching, spitting, coughing lesser beings that intruded upon Fllyk’s room with such regularity. It would take many, many brommesans to understand this muddled backwards society.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

With the help of Man Brd and his amazing curved communication device, Fllyk was able to teach Woman Krsty and even Man Tmm how to speak with their minds. He taught them much about the ways of The Ibeyan as well as life on his Mother World of Rahston. As The Ibeyan were unfamiliar with the aboriginal trait of telling falsehoods, Krndyk Fllyk also taught Woman Krsty and Man Tmm about the Ibeyan plan to colonize New Rahston and to educate the aborigines while giving them the honor of becoming honorary Ibeyan worker-drudges.

Fllyk never discovered why the Umbilical Beam was cut off that critical day over New Mexico. Even now, in 5633, the beam has not resumed. Krndyk Fllyk’s soul passed on to the String Life on Spyksday, 5624. Surely he is now finally joined with his beloved Evlyn Glyb.

Krndyk Fllyk was replaced as an Ibeyan ambassador to the council of aborigines known as MJ-12 by Brp Krn who has continued an exchange of concepts, ideas and technology. True, the tech exchange is heavily weighted towards the Ibeyan giving rather than receiving, but they have learned a bit about the craft of working New Rahston vegetable fiber into quaint furnishings.

The majority of the Ibeyan who were in the vicinity of New Rahston when The Discovery went down were trapped at the Aboriginal Observation Base on Luna. They have been quietly observing aborigine advancements ever since. A small group of other Ibeyan ships were thankfully on the ground when the beam went out and their crews have gone into hiding in the deep woods of the Missouri Ozarks (The new ambassador, Brp Krn comes from their number).

At present, plans have been terminated to colonize New Rahston, but if productive communications with the aborigines can continue, perhaps the two races will work together to find a way to restore the Umbilical Beam so that the surviving Ibeyan can reunite with the Mother World. And who knows? Under the guidance of Brp Krn and other Ibeyan, perhaps the aborigines will learn to live in peace and share New Rahston—from a distance preferably…they still insist on communicating mostly with their sonic expulsions which can only be described as disgusting!

Epilogue:

How could Krndyk Fllyk know that the dark-fleshed aborigine who spoke with the curved implement was Earth’s jazz legend Charlie “Yardbird” Parker? Of course, he could not know this. MJ-12 Communications Director Christy Wilson had brought the great artist to Area 51 once she realized that Krndyk Fllyk was responding positively to the radio show “After Hours Swing Session with Symphony Sid” and specifically to Charlie Parker’s alto saxophone solos.

Parker and John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie were in Los Angeles for a limited engagement and Wilson was able to convince Parker to stay behind when the band left to return to New York. Once it was discovered that the human art known as bebop could be taught to others and used as a platform to communicate with Krndyk Fllyk,

Parker stayed for a few more weeks, and then was told to leave. He was sworn to secrecy and ordered to never tell anyone of his experiences playing bebop for an EBE (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity). He was also told that if he did tell anyone, that his wife and daughter would “disappear.” Dealing with this threat along with the trauma of coming to grips with an EBE rattled Parker’s already fragile drug-devastated psyche. Charlie checked himself into Camarillo State Mental Hospital in California for a six month period, but to no avail. His secret became too great a burden and he tried to wash it away with alcohol upon his return to New York. Charlie “Bird”

Parker died at the age of 35 in 1955. How could Krndyk Fllyk have known this? Of course he could not. If he did, indeed he would have grieved. But a select group of humans did learn just how much of a universal language bebop really is.

Advertisements
Posted in Release The Dover Stone! | 3 Comments

Release The Dover Stone! (Part 1)

V-Blog Banner2

Hello Blogatious Buds!

I have decided to release my book, THE DOVER STONE in a fun way here at my CFFS HQ Blog. Because it is self-published and the Mega Corporation Wiestworld Productions has a VERY slim advertising budget, this (self-described) sci-fi delight is languishing and lonely in the deep cyber wilderness of  The Amazon Reign Forests…

(dot-com that is…virtual gold, Bezos tea.).

What?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s put an end to this poor ol’ tome’s unsolicited solitude right here-and-now! (insert cheer sound here)

Here’s what’s up:

For the next 20 weeks, I will release one story every two weeks with a video blog synopsis-teaser and the corresponding track from CONCERTO FOR FOLDED SPACE. (Fear not, you can still purchase the fine paperback or Kindle editions by clicking right HERE. You can even get an autographed copy by clicking HERE. I know right?!) At the end of each V-Blog (or “Vlog” as the hipsters say) installment, I welcome comments and conversation about each story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________________

Prelude and String Theory

 V-Blog #1: “Prelude and String Theory Synopsis”

“Prelude and String Theory” from CONCERTO FOR FOLDED SPACE:

_______________________________

The following is an excerpt from the novel THE DOVER STONE

  • ISBN-10: 1491202645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491202647

Dover Stone Cover

Prelude

I have some questions:

How long have we wondered if we are all there is in all of the cosmos?

Weren’t there dragons and fairies and all sorts of beasties wandering about in ancient times?

Where did they go?

How is it possible that there are so many stars and so many galaxies in an infinite universe that is so very old and that we here in the suburbs of the Milky Way Galaxy circling a relatively young star are the only people in all of creation?

Because we don’t hear our celestial brothers and sisters does it follow that they aren’t trying to call us?

Because we can’t hear them does that mean they don’t exist?

Have they been here before?

Did they ever leave?

Are we really alone?

_______________________________________

String Theory

(1157)

CHAPTER ONE

The first thing that you, the dear reader from the 21st Century, would  notice in 1157 would likely be the silence— a total lack of engine noise that is deafening in its completeness. We denizens of the fossil-fuel-addicted league of engines can hardly imagine what a world without combustion-sound would mean. The first thing you would probably hear would be a mad rushing or whooshing sound. This would be your own blood flow, the sound of which was so commonplace in our early history as to not even be acknowledged on a day-to-day basis, but lost to us who have constant mechanical incidental decibels.

The second thing that would come to you with enough power to cause you to weep would be the air itself. The atmosphere of the twelfth century is of a purity and sweetness that we cannot even begin to fathom. There are simply no pollutants except the mercurial remains of wood fires for cooking and warmth. But those momentary zephyrs of man-produced irritants bring their own delicious smells to justify their existence. Even the earth itself fills the air with fertile happy aromas. Each breath produces a riot of sensual delights.

However, the medieval years in England are not all-pristine and clean goodness— hardly. There are plentiful signs of the many, many dirty fingerprints of mankind especially as you near a village, hamlet or “city.” The open sewage ditches that line the streets of any gathering place are particularly impressive in their persuasively pungent warnings. The complete and total lack of hygiene of any kind is also evident at a glance—here is a bittersweet land of quick death and brief but lusty life.

But the observer from the year of our Lord 2015 would also see with great surprise the presence of “others” among the human folk. For the people of the 12th century weren’t superstitious as much as they were worldly beyond our modern grasp, actually “worldly” and cosmopolitan on a galactic level. They were aware of and accepted the presence of beings from other worlds in a way that the xenophobic, government-conditioned fragile citizens of “modern” times simply aren’t capable of. We “superior” people of the Post Information Age scoff at the primitive folk of medieval times and their belief in Fairies, Trolls, Grindylowe, Brownies, and Elves. What would we self-righteous people think if we were to find out that these beings of ancient times were not mythical creatures at all, but instead denizens of other worlds— aliens— who carefully used to live among us?

But they were here, as they were in the time of Gilgamesh, in the time of the Pharaohs, and in the time of the glory days of Greece, they were present and guiding the house-of-cards that we call the human race. And nowhere was this medieval zone of extremes more evident than in Dover, Kent at the tip of southeast England.

Known as “The Key to England”, Dover has always been a place of significance. Situated at the top of the famous white chalk cliffs there was first an Iron Age hill-fort, followed by twin Roman Pharos (light houses), a Saxon fortified settlement, Earthworks by William the Conqueror and finally, the great Dover Castle built by Henry II, King of England. Placed as it was at the doorway to the kingdom and as a guardian of entry, Dover was also a gathering place for British, Celts, Gauls, Continental Europeans of all stripes and non-humans—one of the many galactic melting pots of the medieval world whose membership has been lost in the mists of time and “mythology.”

CHAPTER TWO

By his 25th year, Ethelred was a journeyman member of the Free Mason’s Guild and under the employ of King Henry’s famous architect “Maurice The Builder.” Hard at work on The King’s great effort to atone for the murder of his fallen friend Thomas Becket (as well as a proper hall to show off his superior court to all important visitors), the great keep that would be the centerpiece of Dover Castle and Maurice’s crowning achievement was underway. Part of Ethelred’s duties consisted of daily councils of study with the secret mentor and advisor to the Masonic Guild, Hyp Zoon-ee. Hyp was an Urisk, specifically of the Urisk-Zoon-ee race. Brilliant well beyond all human capacity and a virtuoso raconteur, Hyp was also “afflicted” with the condition that kept his kind forever in the shadows: profound ugliness.

To gaze upon an Urisk-Zoon-ee is to look into the face of everything frightening and repulsive in the collective imaginings of humankind. It is difficult at best to read Urisk emotions due to the huge permanent smile that bristles literally from ear to droopy scar-encrusted ear. Because of the whip-like small appendages that regularly clean their huge teeth, UriskZoon-ee grotesque grins seem to always be alive with writhing worms. The Zoon-ee voice is impossible to describe. The closest humans have come to it is “an army of crabs scuttling across a cold stone slab…in the basso profondo register.” Whenever they do open their cavernous mouths to speak, three black tongues unroll and droop below their long scimitar chins while a tube-like thing twirls straight forward out of the depths of their oral cavity like a New Years Eve noisemaker (“part of some kind of monstrously complex vocal mechanism suite” is the current best guess as to this twirling mystery tube’s purpose.)

And their skin! Perhaps the most disturbing part of the Urisk-Zoon-ee visage (to humans anyway) is the texture of their skin. Ever undulating below the surface of their purple and green mottled outer covering is a network of bones and sinew that busily move about on some unknown Uriskian anatomical mission giving the impression that their bodies are thoroughly corrupted with maggots. The eyes of the Urisk-Zoon-ee are large saucer-shaped affairs that are pitch black and weepy with silver flashing orbs that zip about giving the impression of irises looking in all directions. Topping off this nightmare is an explosion of hair-like fingers that are the true repository of Urisk Zoon-ee emotional communication. When irritated, the Zoon-ee’s “hair-fingers” stretch out to full length, fully erect. And when a Zoon-ee laughs (which is quite often) the fingers crumple tight against the top of their heads and then pop rapidly upwards one at a time, creating a perfect “wave” formation.

Weighing in at a substantial 550 sloppy pounds and anywhere between 6’5” and 8 feet tall, with a penchant for flamboyant dress, the Urisk Zoonee are singularly impressive—and to humans—frighteningly repulsive beings. All of this meant very little to Ethelred Mason however. As a young initiate into the rites of Masonry, Ethelred had met Hyp Zoon-ee on the day of his acceptance as an apprentice. Upon being introduced to the alien being that it was said “could curdle milk with a single glance” Ethelred merely accepted that this was a proper look for a creature from an entirely different world. Hyp could sense this straight away, and was from that day on Ethelred’s greatest benefactor and closest confidant, as well as his Guild Mentor.

CHAPTER THREE

“How are you progressing on your masterpiece young Ethelred? asked Hyp, One would hope that you are not unready!” (For the thousandth time in his young life, Ethelred smiled in stoic acceptance of the humorous reference to his ancient royal namesake, “Æthelred The Unready” while Hyp’s hair fingers exploded rapidly in a frenetic variation of the “mirthwave.”)

Using words from one of Hyp’s own lectures, Ethelred began “Masters,” quoth he, “here now is my advice;” (actually, using Chaucer as a Middle English reference, it would have been spoken something like: “Lordynges,” quod he, “now herkneth for the beste;” but let’s skip this tiresome, albeit melodic, verbiage of the 12th Century in favor of a smoother ride.) Ethelred finished the Hyp Zoon-ee advice quote: “…render something both artful and practical as your masterpiece.”

“Therefore,” Ethelred continued, “I have chosen to create a scale design of a defensive right-turning helix staircase to be used in the castle.” “Excellent! said Hyp as his follicle-like digits waved merrily across his scabby mottled head.

“With such a design, a defender could run down the stairs with his sword arm free to move about while an attacker would be pressed against the newel wall thus restricting his movements and giving the advantage to the castle defenders,” concluded Ethelred.

“Brilliant!” said Hyp as his hair fingers seemed to be trying to form themselves into an ironing board-type of shape while quivering frantically. “I am most confident that the Masters will accept your work and welcome you into their fold.”

“Not everyone will welcome me, I’m afraid, said Ethelred.

“Oh, and who, pray tell, would not welcome a bright light such as you?”

“That damned Yates Lufeless,” said Ethelred.

“Ah, your beloved fellow Masonic Brother.”

“Not much to love with Lufeless Mr. Zoon-ee, said Ethelred, the man is infuriating! He seems to be talented, and I believe he may be brilliant, but a more socially awkward soul has never graced Our Lord’s good Earth. A grunt is all he favors one with as he passes us all by on the worksite each day with his nose high in the air. Yates fancies himself better than we mere mortals and declares himself to be the rightful next addition to the ranks of Master. And if it ended there, all well and good, but the man is out to destroy me! Every thing that I can accomplish, he finds a way to either diminish in the eyes of the Masters, or to undermine—he is insufferably jealous of all that I do.”

“Sounds as if young Yates is your Nbynk,” said Hyp.

“What is a Nub-Yunk?” asked Ethelred.

“We are all interconnected young Ethelred, said Hyp, all of us are made up of incredibly small particles that themselves consist of even smaller particles. On and on goes these regressions of size until we reach the sentient strings of energy fiber that connect us all. My people have learned to harness this string energy and use it to open the doors between Here-n-Now where our universe exists and That where you and I are now speaking. Indeed, the race we call Urisk-Zest and you call Fairies can tap into this infinitesimal world at any time. I firmly believe that one day your people will learn to understand String-Foundation as well.”

“What do strings and fairies have to do with the vile troll that is Mr. Lufeless? asked Ethelred.

“Ha!” said Hyp as his finger hair performed an extraordinary happy-dance, “Young Yates is hardly an Urisk-Grundy, or as you say: Troll.”

“How many races of Urisk are there?” marveled Ethelred.

“It is said that there are as many different kinds of Urisk as there are Strings in the Foundation,” said Hyp.

“But what of this Nub-Yunk business?”

“Simply put, young Ethelred, a Nbynk is your mirror-teacher—a soul that we all encounter at important points in our lives who will teach us some of our most important lessons. It is, by nature, extremely difficult to learn from a Nbynk because it is the natural way of things to be repulsed by all that we perceive as evil or abnormal. A soul’s Nbynk is quite often one’s opposite in all subjective life-preferences, and more often than not, a Nbynk can be a real threat to their student’s way of life.”

“You describe Lufeless perfectly Mr. Zoon-ee.”

“Your challenge young one, is to find out why your Nbynk is the way he is, to pity his plight, to understand him fully, and then to love him truthfully and completely. Such a resolution usually takes an extraordinary act of purely honest selflessness to achieve. Anything less than this will waste a great opportunity for growth.”

“Or I could kick him boldly in his meager man parts and follow that up with a knee to his sanctimonious visage,” said Ethelred.

“Or you could do that.” replied Hyp while his hair-fingers seemed to be anxiously discussing something with each other.

CHAPTER FOUR

As was their tradition, the Masons or as they were called collectively  “The Lodge” would meet as a group at the end of every workday on the southern side of the worksite where the stones of their shelter would be warmed during the daylight hours. As the site of the new castle at Dover was only in the early stages, such a “Lodge House” had yet to be built, so for now they all gathered around a cook-fire to take their meals. In truth, Ethelred preferred this. There was something mystical and wonderful about a fire made in the out-of-doors that had always fascinated him. Perhaps it was the way that sap in the logs would pop causing sparks to fly into the air and seemingly mix with the stars themselves that he loved. Or maybe the contemplative state that one achieves staring in reflection at the murmuring shades of red and orange that dance about the coals that form underneath the flames. Sometimes, his fascination would be inspired by the collective music produced when the crackling of the fire harmonized with the intermittent tinkling sounds that the occasional fairy (or Urisk-Zest as Hyp would say) would make as it playfully winked in and out of existence batting the star-sparks out of the air.

On this particular evening, he noticed a very unusual fairy, however. Usually a bit on the oafish side and quite male looking, this particular UriskZest was undoubtedly female. Her skin was of a rainbow hue that reflected the fire in an explosion of sparkling colors. As she batted playfully at the star-sparks, her long blond hair followed her movements just a space behind the beat in much the same way as the tail of a kite. Her glances towards Ethelred as he sat hypnotized by the fire seemed personal and captivating in a very pleasing manner. What a delight!

Into the midst of this happy cook fire reverie strode the notorious Yates Lufeless himself, he of recent Nbynk fame. Feeling nothing but irritation at the fairy display, Yates lashed out to swat the female Urisk-Zest as if it were a bothersome insect. Caught completely unaware, the fairy plummeted into the fire itself and instantly flew straight up into the air obviously injured and winked out of existence. “Mason,” Yates said to Ethelred, “Shouldn’t you be working on your “masterpiece” rather than staring blankly into the fire as if it will magically take care of your responsibilities for you?”

Sickened by Yates’ heartless and casual attempt at murder with the fairy, Ethelred was instantly plunged into a barely controlled state of rage.

“Ah, our good friend Yates,” Ethelred said between clenched teeth, “how nice of you to favor us with a full-blown and intelligently constructed sentence rather than your customary primordial grunt.”

This brought a hardy round of appreciative chuckles from the other masons seated about the fire.

“Such a sharp tongue for such a dull mind, said Yates. For your illumination, I am near completion of my masterpiece and will no doubt be a Master myself within the month. I, for one, take my work and this craft seriously. As should you Ethelred.”

Ethelred jumped to his feet at this affront to his dignity and instantly felt himself careening into extreme thoughts of violence.

Seeing the look of anger in Ehtelred’s eyes, Yates triumphantly began:

“Wouldst Thou strike me Ethelred? Behold the young mason Oh Lodge…not willing to work for advancement; Ethelred is more than willing to incite violence to deter others who are in the midst of honest endeavor. Think twice, all ye present, before inviting such a one as Ethelred Mason to advance to the highest ranks of this fellowship.”

With a grotesque and strangely unnatural smug look on his face, Yates turned around with a flourish and walked away from the fire. Ethelred, realizing the trap he had so boldly walked into, plopped down in defeat.

“Pay him no mind,” said Geoffrey Williams, a fellow journeyman and member of the present cook fire company. “I’ve known Yates since we were both wee lads and he has always been this way. There’s more than meets the eye to young Lufeless.”

Barely noticing the kind and intriguing words of support from Geoffrey, Ethelred was still in a dark place. “How easy it is, he mused, to let one’s basest primal instincts prevail. How effortless it would have been for me to pummel Yates senseless with my bare hands just then.” In his heart-of-hearts Ethelred knew how wonderful such a primitive course of action would feel, for in the depths of his soul-well lurked the murderous monster that lives in all men’s hearts. Revenge, hate, anger, brutality, the entire repertoire of the original animal forever paces the uneasy gates of every mind. “Let me lose,” it croons, “for I will make you manly—I will consummate your righteous fury in a celebration of blood that will be put to song and memorialized for generations to come!”…how easy…how very easy it is to be evil in the final analysis—and yet…what was it that Master Zoon-ee had said about the Nub-Yunk?”

“Geoffrey,” Ethelred said as he returned to reality, “what was it that you were saying about knowing Lufeless for many years?”

“I grew up in the same village as that unfortunate soul,” said Geoffrey.

“Unfortunate soul!” exclaimed Ethelred. “Rather the rest of us who must suffer his foolishness on a daily basis be thought of as unfortunate.”

“Perhaps, replied Geoffrey, but hear me out. Yates’ childhood fate is a sad tale that happens all too often these days. His mother died in childbirth and his father blamed him for her death. Raising Yates as his personal slave, Tom Lufeless beat the boy mercilessly telling him to remain silent at all times in his presence. In truth, I never heard Yates speak at all until our 13th year. By that time, I realized that he suffered under some sort of demonic disorder that had been compounded or perhaps even created by his grief blinded father.”

“Demonic disorder?” said Ethelred.

“Aye. Yates is as bright and intelligent as the day is long, but simply does not fit in with the human race. He is painfully introverted and has been given the “loving paternal gift” of profound insecurity on top of that. And along with all of this, the demons restrict him to a level of social understanding as is possessed by a toad or a mossy stone.”

“Well said my friend,” commented Ethelred with the beginnings of a smile.

“I’m afraid you misunderstand me Mason, replied Geoffrey. To the rest of us in the outside world, Yates seems to be haughty, indifferent, ill-mannered, short-tempered and a generally well-rounded awful sort.”

“Hear, hear!” said many who were still at the fire.

“Be that as it may my friends, Geoffrey continued, in truth Yates is a pitiful lost soul— a very intelligent and talented person without the ability to relate to the world. Doomed forever to be shunned, hated and reviled; kept in constant befuddlement by a legion of demons. Let us attend to the logs in our own eyes as Our Lord and Savior would admonish us to do, and leave the splinter in poor Yates’ eyes alone.”

“You’ve missed your calling!” commented another cook-fire Lodge member. “You would have made a first-rate priest.”

“Alas, replied Geoffrey, I have a deep liking for the female of our kind.”

With this, the discussion fell into the typically bawdy fare of an evening repast, leaving Ethelred alone with his thoughts of all that “Father Geoffrey” had said.

CHAPTER FIVE

Yates Lufeless was indeed working on his masterpiece. Actually, he had stolen the idea from a discussion he had overheard between Maurice The Builder and King Henry’s son Richard Plantagenet, already known as “The Lionheart.” Young Richard, only a year from becoming the next in line to the throne at the death of his brother, had just returned from France where the royal family spent most of their time.

“I was recently made aware of a new building technique called the arcboutant, are you aware of it? asked Prince Richard.

“I have heard some talk of it My Lord, replied Maurice, there is an abbey of the Burgundian order in Cluny that I believe uses something like that as a support innovation.”

“Yes, one and the same, replied Richard. I have also heard that the new cathedral in Paris is using the arc-boutant to achieve amazing heights of construction. Do you know how this works? I wonder if we might use it in one of our projects.”

“Alas, I have no working models My Lord, replied Maurice. Perhaps after some more research we can look into it.” Lufeless was hooked. If he could learn how this arc-boutant technique worked and then fashion a scale model, he would be guaranteed Master status! But how would he learn this new method if even Maurice did not have the knowledge? Hyp Zoon-ee! He would consult the dreadful Urisk beast and learn the secret of this technique.

CHAPTER SIX

Spending time with the abomination that the Guild called Chief Mentor or Master was ultimately worth it, because Zoon-ee had given Lufeless the knowledge he needed to get to work, or at least just enough to cause him grief. Hyp called this wonder of stone a flying support, or buttress. But how maddening! How could such a spindly, thin structure hold up a wall whose stress points pushed out? Try as he might, Yates could not perfect his model.

The challenge began with his choice of the pointed archway as the heart of the piece. Due to the ingenious placement of stones, the pointed archway sent all of its stress out and down and therefore could be built thinner than the bulky standard rounded arch. This was an advantage in the new so-called “Goth” art of modern cathedral building, which was just coming into vogue. Allowing an incredible amount of room for glass and therefore stunning amounts of light, the arc-boutant and the pointed arch were the heart and soul of Gothic construction. However, such arches had a bad habit of stressing their neighbor walls and columns. Lufeless reasoned that this “flying buttress” concept might alleviate the flaw. But each time he placed his arc-boutant, the standing arch ultimately collapsed. Knowing that the hateful Ethelred was no doubt nearing the completion of his piece, Yates worked feverishly day-after-day in the hopes of solving the stress riddle. How his father would have loved this conundrum!

“You’re wasting your time boy!” The deceased monster would have enjoyed saying. “With a mind as dull as yours, you’d be lucky to keep a job as a dung sweeper rather than indulging the ill advised farce of Master Mason.”

And so, Yates carried on— if only to spite his damned father whom he pleasantly hoped burned in Hell’s eternal fire.

CHAPTER SEVEN

The day after the cook fire episode, Ethelred had a bad taste about the whole thing in his mouth. “Perhaps I should go to Yates’ shop in town and speak with him,” he thought. Being the Sabbath, no work was scheduled, so Ethelred decided to walk over to Yates’ Stone Masonry in Dover.

It was part of being a journeyman to establish one’s own business while belonging to the Guild proper. As Yates’ shop could hardly qualify as anything more than a hopeful wish wrapped up in a optimistic dream, the building itself served not so much as a thriving business as a place to live during the construction of the castle. A dreary little abode lost in a community of equally cheerless small hovels on Market Street (a more proper name would have been “Stench Alley”), Yates’ Stone Masonry was devoid of any occupants when Ethelred arrived that morning. “Lufeless must be attending Mass,” mused Ethelred with more than a tinge of guilt at sleeping in that day.

Seeing that the door to Yates’ Stone Masonry was not only unbarred, but also standing ajar, Ethelred cautiously leaned in. “Yates, are you here?” he called. Hearing no answer after multiple attempts, he stepped inside. The interior of Yates’ shop was cold and Spartan to say the least. With an array of stone works in various stages of completion and a few practical sticks of furnishings—all arranged in an obsessively neat pattern on a meticulously swept dirt floor, the cold scene before Ethelred seemed neither inviting nor homey in any way. Indeed, the sad little display in Yates’ place of business seemed to shout: “Behold, I am lonely, and no manner of lavish orderliness will help me.” In the midst of this “museum of the forlorn Nbynk” however, one item was conspicuously dominant. “This must be Lufeless’ masterpiece,” thought Ethelred.

And indeed it was: standing in the center of the room was a pointed archway some three feet in height with peculiar curved braces on either side. As Ethelred watched, a troupe of fairies winked into existence on the very top of the archway and began moving into a comical formation one on top of the other, as a group of performing athletes would do at a tournament. Laying their wings flat and bending into shapes that were humorous to the extreme in their design, the Urisk-Zest troupe made an arch of their own on the highest point of Yates’ piece. Suddenly, a female fairy winked into existence and stood proudly on the shoulders of her topmost colleague. One of her beautiful legs was wrapped in a glittering cloth of some fantastical Uriskian type, but was obviously a dressing for a wound. Ethelred was sure that he was staring into the eyes of what was no  doubt the same hypnotic she-fairy he had seen Lufeless swat into the cook fire!

While he watched in complete fascination, the lovely fairy began to jump up and down on the troupe formation. At each jump, Ethelred noticed that one stone on each side of the archway began to tilt out and away from the arch formation itself. The twin flaws became more and more apparent until the entire piece collapsed gracefully with the outer lengths falling outward and the upper regions collapsing in upon itself. The fairy troupe flew instantly into the air tinkling in delight and then winked out of That and into Here-n-Now. Hanging back from the rest of her company, the female fairy flew straight over to Ethelred and up close to his face. Keeping completely still, Ethelred looked deep into her eyes and felt…joy? Mischief? Lust? As he thought about it later, he decided that it was all of these emotions all at once, felt in the extreme just as the she-Urisk popped out of our world and into her own.

Shaking off the bewitching stare of the she-fairy, Ethelred began to consider his situation. “I am standing alone in Yates’ home in front of his collapsed masterpiece…if found, I could say: “I am innocent! A group of fairies appeared and their female leader jumped up and down until the whole thing collapsed” and of course not a single soul would believe this story—“especially not my Nbynk; Yates Lufeless.”

So right then-and-there, he decided to rebuild the piece…and quickly! Two points worked in his favor: the arch had fallen into a convenient pile that suggested its rebuilding and Ethelred was blessed with a near perfect photographic memory. As he worked, he admired Yates’ level of craftsmanship in spite of himself. Each block fit perfectly against its neighbor and required no mortar or binding agent of any kind. The flaw in his design as Ethelred saw it, was that his remarkable “flying arches” had been placed too high. To remedy this, Ethelred removed a stone from each side of the straight portions of the braces. The resulting placement was amazingly strong and secure. Testing his workmanship himself by pushing on the top of the arch where the fairies had last conducted their successful demolition mission, Ethelred was satisfied that he had not only reconstructed Yates’ model, but also improved upon the original. Setting the two now superfluous stones in a bucket in the corner of the room, Ethelred left.

As he walked hurriedly away (Mass would now be nearly over) young Ethelred Mason resolved to wait a while before submitting his defensive right-turning helix staircase. “I suppose Yates’ could use some good news and glory in his life after all.” he thought.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Yates presented his flying buttress to the Master Masons and Maurice The Builder. Celebrated as an “English Genius” Yates was welcomed unanimously as the Guild’s newest Master. Having no idea at all why his model worked now after all those times where it mysteriously collapsed, Lufeless chalked it up to an intervention of The Almighty and happily accepted his promotion and newfound fame. Ethelred spoke about it one last time to Hyp Zoon-ee.

“And that, Mr. Zoon-ee is my story,” said Ethelred.

“I believe that you Sir, have learned a great lesson from your Nbynk, replied Hyp, and have become the true Master while Mr. Lufeless has many more miles yet to go.”

“I must admit, it feels very good at an extremely deep level to have weathered the storm of my own emotions and to have come out at the other end a better person,” said Ethelred.

“You are very wise my friend,” said Hyp as his hair fingers seemed to be marching haughtily across his mottled head. Of all the humans I have met over the decades, you have impressed me the most. What will you do now?”

“I think I will help build a castle,” said Ethelred as he took one of Hyp Zoon-ee’s undulating 8-finger hands into his and gave it a good shake.

CHAPTER NINE

As evening fell on the day of Yates’ ceremony, there came a ground fog across the glen that led to the famous cliffs of Dover. It was Ethelred’s habit of an evening to stroll over to the edge of the cliffs and ruminate upon the amazing view of the Channel. Tonight was especially stunning as the ground fog made it seem as though one was walking upon the clouds themselves. There was also a nip in the air as a slight breeze carried the first hints of autumn into play. As he gazed out over the water of the Channel far below, Ethelred was captivated by the fragile beauty of the stars, all the more brighter because of the crisp air, and the moon itself which spilled its light out onto the waters like paint from a brush that touches a watercolor wash.

At the edge of the cliff something that gave off a light of its own was dancing about in the night air. Intrigued, Ethelred walked over to get a closer look. It was the she-fairy! Just out of reach, darting through the air and giving off a phosphorus-like glow like some kind of multi-colored firefly. All at once, she turned her back to him and seemed to be undoing the front of her gown! As he watched, she coyly looked over her shoulder, then buttoned it back up spun around and flew closer to him, only to repeat the lusty dance again. Wanting to get a closer look at this strangely intoxicating carnal display Ethelred, with ground fog up to his ankles, walked even closer. The she-fairy turned her back to him again and dropped her gown off completely revealing a very shapely rainbow-hued naked back.

As she looked over her shoulder once again, she slowly began to turn, her arms innocently covering her breasts and seemed to be beckoning to Ethelred to come even closer. As he happily obliged and took one more step, Ethelred realized too late that he had actually stepped off the edge of the cliff itself and was thrown forward into the abyss 106 meters above the sharp rocks below. As he began to fall, he looked up and saw the she-fairy laughing at him and making crystal-like tinkling sounds.

As the old joke goes, the easy part is the fall itself. It seemed to take an inordinate amount of time for him to cover the 106 meters to the rocky shore below. As he was falling, he found himself thinking of silly things: who will feed my dog? I haven’t eaten dinner yet! He also thought of tragically sad things: I have yet to really fall in love. I will never have children. And he also thought of his entire life: my brother John, I loved him so. I miss my mother and father, I shouldn’t have shot our neighbor’s cat with that crossbow…did William cheat at our last game of knucklebones…

Suddenly, in mid-thought, there was a split second of searing pain as Ethelred’s body smashed onto the rocks and his head exploded against a tall boulder. Light flashed everywhere and sound suddenly took on other characteristics such as length and width and depth. A tunnel appeared with a fantastic bright light at the end. Ethelred could sense the presence of his long-lost family, his Nana and Grand Da, his parents, brother John! And also present and somehow known were an enormous army of Masons from time immemorial. His vision was becoming something… else. He sensed rather than saw with his eyes. He could tell above all else that he was still falling, he could feel himself getting smaller, infinitely smaller, passing through all understanding of size, becoming so very small that he soon began to feel huge! Ethelred could sense himself expanding as he neared the light. The illumination itself was joy as pure and right as anything he had ever known. Suddenly, Ethelred passed through the end of the tunnel and spread out among the strings that connect everything that is.

He had given up his opportunity to reach the highest levels of his craft but that day, Ethelred Mason became one with the threads that make up the foundation of all. Heaven—life after death; the energy that would one day fuel Earth’s entire civilization. Ethelred knew this was good and was well pleased.

Epilogue

Upon learning of the sad news of his friend’s death, Hyp Zoon-ee announced to the Lodge that Ethelred had himself been working on a masterpiece as well. Hyp presented it to the Master Masons and deemed it worthy of acceptance. Not only did Ethelred receive a unanimous vote as Posthumous Master Mason (In the ledger of the unanimous was the vote of one Master Lufeless.), but his defensive right-turning helix staircase was adopted into the construction of Dover castle, proved itself to be an ingenious defense mechanism time-and-again through the years, and remains a popular part of the castle to this very day.

How could Ethelred know that Yates Lufeless was living with a condition that hundreds of years later would be called Asperger Syndrome? He could not know such a thing. Hyp Zoon-ee knew, (although he used the Uriskian term Tymswat Gwee to describe this disorder) but realized that letting Ethelred think of it as being caused by “demons” would suffice for the times in which they lived.

And so, the universe is at it should be. People learn from their Nbynks if they keep their minds open and their hearts receptive to growth. The human race progresses, and somewhere deep down in the center of us all, Ethelred Mason waits happily for his time to power a stringer ship into the very cosmos itself.

_________________________________________

More Cool Stuff About Things in This Story:

Dover Castle:

NOVA: Building The Great Cathedrals:

(A nice layman’s guide to cool Gothic Architecture)

King Henry II and Thomas à Becket:

A Roll Call of 22 Top English Mythical (?) Creatures

(Our boy The Grindylow shows up at 16:41)

______________________________________

Next Up on RELEASE THE DOVER STONE:

EBE Bop

Stay tuned…

Posted in Release The Dover Stone! | Leave a comment

From Here to There… (AGAIN)

BLOGGER NATION! Where have I been? Well, as the title of this blog suggests, but the following words will flesh out…I was in transit. From here to there indeed. Of course… what was here is now there, ’tis the nature of transit. But what of this “AGAIN” reference? Long story short: my family and I are now happily settled in PARADISE, otherwise known as Colorado-or as I like to call it: Wiestorado.

Just look at these happy folks:

Happy Family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, that is the continental divide behind us. Pretty cool eh? The result of this trek across the country is joy, contentment and vastly improved health. Goodnight everybody!

Oh, but there is more to the title of this delightful wordsmithery that I offer up today. “From Here to There (AGAIN)” can mean a great many things. Indeed, when we get to the very heart of this blog (which is of course: the moving of as much Wiestworld product as possible. Oh yes, I said that) we find the underlying scientific principles of my sci-fi novel The Dover Stone. I speak of course of the process of “folding space” to sneak around the relativistic universal speed limit of 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light) Said topic is one of my favorites and has been discussed here before (see the original “From Here to There” from July 19, 2013) Thus and to wit…here we are AGAIN. The big difference is that the process of folding space to zip across the Einsteinian parking lot of real-time has become a true topic of conversation these days thanks to the wonderful movie Interstellar.

And now…at last…the true center of this blog: my take on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. In short: I loved it! Two opposable thumbs WAY up! If you haven’t seen it yet, please make plans to do so. That is, if you like the following on your cinematic menu:

1. Stuff to think about and ponder. Yes, it is ok and allowable to use that thing that fills your skull. (Hey, I might start a campaign to have that second sentence written in stone and placed in front of every school and gathering place in the U.S. …couldn’t hurt.)

school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Eye Candy FX that is true to science. Not seen really since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey. How was it true to scientific principles? Check out the involvement of Kip Thorne and all that they went through to achieve something as close to accurate as possible:

3. Music that is so epic in nature that it is almost an extra character in the story. Some have complained about this aspect, but as a composer I always find myself checking out movie music as much as the story it is supposed to be supporting “incidentally”…so I’m good with it. And the music is by MY BOY Hans Zimmer! I just LOVE his work. To me, Hans’ genius is being epic by using things that are very simple. No easy task. Check out this interview to see how Christopher Nolan capitalized on this Zimmerism even more with Interstellar:

4. A movie that is more character development and interaction than anything else. I have ALWAYS dug this. The Original Star Trek series excelled in this because they had no other choice: no bread = create greatness out of creative necessity. Because Gene Roddenberry had no money, Star Trek (TOS) had to make due with genius-level stories and hall-of-fame chemistry between their characters. But even though The Mighty Coalition of Deep Pockets  that made Interstellar had PLENTY of green, they focused instead on plot development and character interaction. BRILLIANT! No spoilers here, but they all did real good.

5. A plot that is impossible to predict. I thought I had it figured out a bunch of times, only to be surprised again, and again (Oooh, the temptation to add a spoiler or two here is overwhelming! But fear not, if I can cut down on carbs, I can control this urge as well)

So dig: if you are looking for a way to expand your intellectual horizons, with scientifically accurate eye candy and bodacious music, then treat yourself (preferably in an IMAX) to Interstellar!

Here are some morsels to whet your whistle:

Official Trailer:

More Interstellar Hans Music:

Posted in Science and Stuff... | Tagged , | 6 Comments

A Zooneyan Birthday Party!

Happy Birthday to James Carter “Saint James” “Pank” THE Pank” “Pankenstein” “Bunky” et al, Pankow!

Saint JAMES!

That’s right, everyone’s favorite rock-trombonist goes deeper into his 60’s today while retaining a body and creative heart that any 20-something would be seriously proud of. By this point in time, I have fully established in print just how much I admire the writing and performance persona of Chicago-The-Band’s composer-vocalist-t-bone man-deluxe…but now (What? you didn’t think this was going to be completely altruistic didya? This is MY blog, after-all) I have the joy of showing the world said veneration via “Zooneyan Reunion” and “The Neither Zone.” What-WHAT? Two tracks from my soon-to-be-released ArtistShare® project “Concerto for Folded Space.”

First-off: “Zooneyan Reunion.”

The whole of “Concerto for Folded Space” (CFFS) is programmatically informed by my sci-fi novel The Dover Stone (You have now officially entered the Narcissism Zone…) with each track being a musical analogy to the ten stories in the book. “Zooneyan Reunion” gets so deep that it needs two tries at explaining before you check out the track.

1. Here is the page on “Zoony” from the CFFS Liner Notes Booklet:

8. Zooneyan Reunion

Click on the thumbnail above to see a larger version where you can read the delicious prose…

2. Check out the program notes on this FREE PREVIEW SoundCloud track and then enjoy the music!

 

And now, a bit about the making of this cinematic workout: First of all, Daniel Pardo and I went to Nashville Tennessee to record both Jimmy and his band mate Keith Howland (Chicago guitarist-EXTREME!) this past May. What a hang! Totally righteous in it’s hilarity, frivolity and deep-pocket groovatious music.

Three Cats

The Cats! At “Sniggy’s Studio” Nolensville, TN U.S

Bubbles

An example of the session’s serious demeanor. (something about “bubbles”)

Keith absolutely DESTROYED it on the track titled “E’Vol” (a performance worthy of its own blog post…) and Jimmy recorded some classic solos for “Zoony” and “The Neither Zone” As you read in the copious liner notes, we tracked 8 different Pankow offerings and then I had the distinct pleasure of editing them all together into a “Pankenstein Choir.”

JamesColors

That’s what I’m talkin’ BOUT!

Now you KNOW Homeslice had fun chopping up Pankowian masterworks and pasting them into a landscape of crazy-cannons, fabulous fugues, and monster-motiffs…why YES I did! The results absolutely reflect my imaginings of what Hyp Zoon-ee does in the Dover Stone story (WHAT! You haven’t ordered your copy yet? Fear Not!)

And Saint James’ solo on “The Neither Zone” is simply one of the most soulful improvised melodic offerings I have ever heard. All of us in the studio were amazed but not surprised.  But of course, you will need to pre-order and-or purchase your copy of CFFS on September 1 by going to my website.

In the meantime, I offer The Pank my favorite birthday salute: As Gil Evans once said to Miles Davis:

“I sure am glad you were born!”

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

FREE CFFS PREVIEW! “Fermi or You”

FoU

Blogworld! The first FREE PREVIEW from Concerto for Folded Space has dropped, landed, materialized, been born, entered our realm of being, and otherwise been released!

As a big-time pull-out-all-the-stops promotion for the upcoming release of CFFS (September 1st) I will be releasing three pieces for preview on SoundCloud every week until September 1st. SUCH A DEAL! The mixes are really sounding cool and I can’t wait for you all to check them out! And if you have pre-ordered the CD (and why wouldn’t you really?) then you get all three tracks as a CD-quality download plus other cool goodies.

If you would like to pre-order, just click here!

_______________________

So, Here is the deal on Fermi or You:

Featuring myself with the Eclectric Band and special guest Bob Mintzer with The Maniacal 4 (+1), “Fermi or You” is programmatically informed by the story of the same name in my book “The Dover Stone.” In this case it is a tale about a romantic debate concerning the “Fermi Paradox” Where is everybody? Enrico Fermi basically said: The universe is incredibly old, there’s been plenty of time for older civilizations to colonize our galaxy…where is everyone? If you’d like to know the answer to that…buy my book “The Dover Stone” on Amazon:)

In the meantime, enjoy the track and my pal Bob Mintzer 🙂

Posted in CFFS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The People’s Space Program(s)

Blogonauts! Hey, so this is the 21st Century right? (I’m hoping that is a rhetorical question) Therefore, we should have all the cool things that we imagined would be here right? I have addressed this subject-soapbox before, but here is a recap (and a score card)

Things we SHOULD have in the 21st Century

1. Rayguns

Kirk Phaser

2. Robots

danger-will-robinson

3. Flying Cars

Jetsons

4. Spaceships

Spaceship

5. Aliens

Alien 1

Kirk and Gorn

So, how are we doing?

21st Century Cool Stuff For Everyone Scorecard

1. Rayguns: Nope. Not so much (laser pointers don’t count)

2. Robots: Well, kind of. We have machines that do stuff for us and ultra cool 4-tets such as this:

(The robot tuba player needs more time in the shed…just sayin’…)

But real-live artificial-intelligence-style “Danger Will Robinson” C3PO stand up George Jetson Maids? Not so much.

3. Flying Cars. Yes and No. the technology exists, but if you have ever seen Texas drivers in action….you know why this technology will NEVER be released to the general public. Self-driving cars? Well, ok I count that as a step in the right direction, especially because the development of such has inspired my all-time favorite commercial:

4. Aliens. Well, not officially. If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake that you are…just sayin’) then you believe in all conspiracy theories. To me, they are not theories…well most of them… But combine that with my firm belief in Occam’s Razor and , well…it narrows down the field quite a bit. That being said, yes, I believe we have been visited and that there are a select few here among us (Denver airport anyone?) But officially, unequivocally, empirically? Not so much.

5. Spaceships. TA-DA! YES! (DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!)

FINALLY! It seems that one of the things 13-year-old Stevie imagined would be here in the 21st Century is starting to become a reality. With the demise of the U.S. Space Program, it looked as though we were finished before we even got rolling! (NASA still exists, but OY! For someone who grew up in the 1960’s…GIMME a BREAK!) What up with THAT? (methinks a blog subject for another time…) But at last, the private sector is getting their game together.

With the advent of things such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and a number of other private sector efforts, it seemed to me that we might have a fighting chance. Although, I share the concerns of some that once the mission of space travel goes to the private sector… we could see problems. After all, money is the root of all evil (although it does come in handy when considering research and funding art projects…then there is eating and surviving…ok you get the drift…) Said concerns are voiced quite well in this article by Ian Ferguson from 2011.

But then along comes my boys at SpaceX.

Check out the new ride from SpaceX called the Dragon V2 (come on folks, The DRAGON V2…now THAT is a proper name for a spaceship!)

Click on the image below to see the video:

SpaceX J

How cool is THAT? Can we truly be on the verge of a new Space Age, but this time in the private sector? Is space travel safe in the hands of commercial entities? Where will all of this lead? HEY! That’s one of the reasons I started this blog…I want to learn from YOU: the great and powerful Blogosphere. Lemme know what you think.

Fire at will: Replies set to STUN!

Posted in Science and Stuff..., Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mr. Numinous

A beautiful still of Carl Sagan from "Cosmos: A Personal Journey" 1980

A beautiful still of Carl Sagan from “Cosmos: A Personal Journey” 1980

Blogatious greetings to one-and-all in the collective love-fest that I call “The Cyber-Cosmos” So, what up here in Wiestworld? Lot’s of things (all of which are vying for their very own Blog title…and so it shall be…) but in the meantime, I’d like to talk about my morning today: Thursday, April 10, 2014. Hey, a blog is the most self-indulgent thing next to a mirror, so why not?

It was a good morning, indeed…it turned into a GREAT morning. First of all, I finally listened to my all-wise wife Carmen (always a good thing to do. ) and decided to get a work out in on my stationary bike (literally, the least I could do for my poor body) And, as it turns out, she was right! (She always is, but I try not to think of that…for obvious reasons of self esteem and my on-going fanciful notions of being a sentient being…but I digress…) I do feel better after I work out and my blood converts out of its natural molasses-type state into a mercurial substance that is more inclined to actually flow. Amazing what a little blood flow to the brain can do, really.

So, in order to enjoy said healthy bike ride, I often go to trusty ol’ Youtube and fire up a documentary (No need to concentrate on the wails, moans and general gnashing of metaphorical teeth that my lovely 57 year old classic-antique body sends forth from the 10 second point of my workout all the way until the moment the exercise ends…so a documentary takes my mind off of it…kinda) .

I had just posted a short blurb about my happiness that the venerable science show “Cosmos” had returned with the great Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm. So Youtube decided that I needed some more, and automatically provided many Cosmos and Cosmos-related video options in my You-Queue (Youtube…you get me…your really get me man.) Glancing at the choices, my eyes were drawn to a familiar face from my young adult years and the namesake of this here blog: Carl Sagan.

I first became aware of the word “numinous” (as did many others) from Dr. Sagan’s use of it in the classic sci-fi novel “Contact.” Bloggist Jonathan Coleman does a great job describing this cool word with this treatise. Here is a snippet from said page:

“Numinous” refers to the experience of being in the presence of something holy and divine. Sacred. The word expresses a feeling of wonder and awe at that which cannot be wholly understood on its own terms. Which is to say that it is something beyond our experience, something that is Other. (from Jonathan Coleman’s post “The Numinous”)

Jonathan also includes the mind-boggling opening scene to the movie version of “Contact” on his blog where we follow the journey that our own radio waves have taken from Earth out into the universe- kind of a race through time to hear all of our transmissions in reverse chronological order from the present day to the very first transmissions…

Stunning footage no? One might even say “numinous” if one really tries to imagine what the film’s opening sequence depicts and experiences it as fully as one’s imagination will allow.

And watching this scientist, this astrophysicist, this author, this grand communicator, this…”Mr. Numinous” again (thanks to Youtube) was like coming home to my earliest universal awareness. Carl’s delivery is at once reverential, childlike and brilliant. In short, it feels very, very numinous.

If you haven’t seen the original, here is the first episode. And as Cosmos co-author Ann Druyan says: “…even though it has been 20 years (and now 34 years), the original Cosmos required very few revisions and was indeed rich in prophecy.”

Check it out, and be ready to get your numinous on 🙂

To me, the numinous is my awareness of God and all of his absolutely stunning creation. I believe that science is the key to achieving a higher understanding of how all of this works, how it was made, and how we can be better room mates together in the cosmos. And I believe that faith and science walk hand-in-hand.

What do you think? Have you ever experienced the numinous? I do every single day…and it never gets old!

Pretty cool eh?

___________________________

UPDATE!

Wow! How did I miss THIS! Here is an archive video of the live streaming Q&A session that was part of the big rollout of the new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyessey. It has the folks you would expect such as host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-author co-creator of the Cosmos: A Personal Journey Ann Druyan, but it also includes some people you DON’T expect like Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane… What WHAT?! and the Cosmos home is Fox… What WHAT? I say BRAVO! I do believe in my heart-of-hearts that we can all walk together and have fascinating conversations about the universe, the human condition and perhaps the non-human condition 🙂 Why not?

The comments under the Youtube post are sadly typical of the lethal non-civil dialogues that plague the U.S. these days, but consider the video: a group of VERY diverse people from wholly different walks of life having a fun and groovy discussion about….everything.

There is hope for the world it seems…


This captures the mood during this Q&A of the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Pre-Screening streamed live on March 4, 2014. This panel includes Host Neil deGrasse Tyson, Executive Producer/Writer/Director Ann Druyan, Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane, Executive Producer Mitchell Cannold, Executive Producer/Director Brannon Braga and Co-Executive Producer Jason Clark. 

Posted in Science and Stuff... | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments