Final hours

As midnight arrives, less than 24 hours remain for our brief stay in the UK/Great Britain/London.

Could we have stayed longer?


Should we have?

Good question.

Much remains to be seen outside the tourist stops.

We certainly could see more remains, more burial grounds.

We have learned more than we’ll remember, as usual.

I, for one, have a greater appreciation for the writings of Douglas Adams, knowing now why he seemed to have an obsession with doors, doors which “love nothing more than to open and close for passing users, and thank them profusely for so emphatically validating their existence,” after hearing announcements on the Tube and on our apart’hotel lift such “Please mind the door. Door closing.  Please mind the door.  Door closing.  Door closing.  Door closing.” repeated over and over sometimes before the door would finally close as if it was testing your patience or making absolutely sure that you were securely away from the door mechanism.

I felt again a love I held for a woman I can never call mine when I sat in Queen’s Theatre in London and listened to the excellent performances of current cast members, especially Rachel Ann Go singing anything and Eva Noblezada singing “On My Own”:

On my own pretending he’s beside me…
And when I lose my way I close my eyes and he has found me…


in the details

How quickly we forget the little details of our travails.  I, for one, know I’ll forget the first time I rode the Tube in London because a train, whether elevated, underground or overland, is a train.

Just as, when traveling the Tube today we met a couple from Malaysia, the husband speaking English, the wife possibly only Malay and Chinese, but the two of them wanting to talk with us (me only saying repeatedly “Shay-uh, shay-uh” to the wife as she continued to share Bing cherries with me), discussing with keen interest the American presidential election and the ramifications of one major candidate or the other, them looking forward to their Stratford trip (he quoted Shakespeare with ease and joked about the difficulties Will’s schoolteacher must have had with a young lad so well versed in his home language).

Or Justyna, our server tonight at the pub, who’s just over to Great Britain for the summer as she works long hours to earn money for her spending money where she’ll pursue a career back home in Poland as a military doctor.

The server this afternoon in an Italian eatery, who calls Milan her home.

The cashier at Harrod’s working on his university studies here in London.

The worker at the London Eye with the last name Husband.  If she is a Husband, where is the wife? (a joke she (jokingly) never gets tired of hearing)

The Beefeater at the Tower of London who was angry at me for taking his picture because there were security personnel behind him and I hadn’t asked his permission first.  When I did ask his permission, he said no and to leave the entryway immediately.  Was he in character?  I couldn’t tell because he continued to have an angry disposition the rest of the Tower tour.

The snippets of life histories of fellow tourists, as if we’re in “A Room With A View,” “Bride and Prejudice” or an Oscar Wilde/Simon Pegg screwball comedy.

These details, as well as others — our strong-willed, warm, gracious hosts at the Cashelmara Lodge and Orchard House B&B in Ireland (which already feels like a lifetime ago (has it only been a week?)), who make you want to return again and again, like visiting your favourite aunt.

If I don’t capture these moments — clearly seeing the Milky Way Galaxy in Galway Bay — they’ll pass into remote recall when I’m in the nursing home with my robot caretakers trying to decipher my mumbling based on their analysis of my digital life, extrapolating trends and interpolating gaps in my life history.

Rather than spend time writing notes on postcards to friends and family back home, I write here and spend a few minutes remembering the recent past in a blog entry.

At one time I would’ve stayed up until the wee hours drinking and dancing with strangers.

I won’t this evening.

I create reasons not to go out, including sun poisoning.

Despite all the wonderful new memories I’ve formed with others on this trip, I’ve offworld inventions wanting their day in the sun.

Good night, my friends.  I look forward to sharing more adventures with you!


Molly M

Alive a live o-oh, alive a live o-oh…cockles and mussels…

That’s the words I hear in me head when I’m standing in a pub, listening to traditional Irish music on a Sunday (soon-day) night with a friend and a room full of friendly strangers.

The moments we can’t capture on fil-um, when a pint of Guinness (or Murphy’s or some hoppy lager) fills your stomach and asks you to stay a bit longer.

Yes, those.

And these — the smiles we share when we’re clapping together in sync with the Celtic tunes almost as old as time, the bits and pieces we pick up from the instruments (accordion, pennywhistle, guitar, fiddle, voice), the singalongs and the drinkalongs, the couples kissing, the couples arguing, the singles dancing and the groups laughing together at an inside joke…

Yes, indeed.

Tonight was just such a night at a popular spot in Killarney, no need for photographs, living as one did in the moment, giving oneself to the performers, listeners and barkeeps (and some combination of them all (none of us giving much thought to quantum mechanics (probably (most likely (maybe)))))…

Wantin’ to relive memories from a decade ago, doing so, getting locked inside a pub with a singer, his daughter, and granddaughter belting out old tunes, acting as door bouncer meself for the tourists who di’n’t know better that a feller from Alabama was lettin’ them in after 11 p.m. at a Killarney pub he’d never set eyes on 15 minutes before.

What was the name of that pub?

Can’t remember, me bein’ alone and all, my previous night’s companion headin’ back to the B&B, full of diet Coke and wantin’ a full night’s sleep afore we take the RoK at 8 in the mornin’.

So there I was, all by meself, watchin’ the honest, heartfelt performance of three generations of pub singers and thinkin’ back earlier on the day when I showed a clerk behind the cash register at Bunratty Castle shopping centre a video of Jenn Nye and Travis Nixon dancing West Coast Swing, explaining to the clerk, who mistook me for Travis that I’d help Jenn teach a class of West Coast Swing and woulda kept doing so until me wife complained I was getting too familiar with Jenn, so, to show the clerk the difference between West Coast Swing and what the Irish call jive (since I’d seen the clerk dancing a bit of solo to a pop song playing over the PA system and her telling me she liked line dancing and then asking me if I was a dance instructor meself), I pulled me wife over and showed the clerk and her friend the difference between West Coast Swing and East Coast Swing (a/k/a Irish jive).

Days such as this I live for, making connections across the globe to complete strangers with whom I make instant friends.

No photos or vids necessary.


Preparation for offworld exploration.

Bit by bit.

What will tomorrow bring?

More of the same, and happily so!

How else are we going to explore Mars without an extemporaneous expository exposition?


A most peculiar case

In the faces one meets on Planet Earth, the humans, whose ability to create many voices speaking the same language of the human body…

Their stories.

A school district where all the children receive free breakfast.

Traveling more than halfway ’round the world in order to find oneself starting a new life in middle age serving warm pretzels in an airport snack shop.

The children of such working as teenagers in the snack shop next-door.

Wheeling physically challenged customers from one airport terminal to another, dropping one off at the loo whilst you check your Internet tablet for your next pickup.

Growing up in the working class neighbourhood of a large, cosmopolitan city, happy to meet new people from all parts of the world as part of your job.

Selling all rugby team shirts but favouring Munster over Leinster, if truth be told.

Leaving the space travel to others more suited to mentally traveling well in a large canister to Mars for many months, perhaps not coming back, ’cause you’d rather stay on this planet, thank you very much.

All of us dependent on those invisible engineers and scientists who improve our working conditions via new technology, including the invention and improvement of language, creating new voices such as the sounds that ditch-digging equipment makes with more efficient gears, or the squeak of high-tech gloves holding a shovel…



We tend to capture moments like photographs, snapshots of time.

And so it was that two moments — the moment I thought I’d never have contact with my friend again and the moment we reconnected — connected.

The first moment manifested itself physically — heart palpitations, headaches, sudden hearing loss, panic, fear.

The second moment did, too.

The headache patterns changed and hearing returned to my left ear (or, rather, the new tinnitus patterns disappeared and my eardrum stopped rattling).  My heart stopped skipping beats.  I stopped sighing frequently.

With a plenitude, multitude, variety of friends, every one contributes to my health.

With seven-plus billion of us and our ecosystem, my health is a dependent set of states of energy.

I won’t say with certainty that I depend on no one.

What I can say is I depend on everyone to a certain extent.

Why do some have a greater effect on my health than others, I have not figured out.

Perhaps we are more chemically attuned to some?

In times past, I have couched a specific condition of my set of states of energy in terms of romantic love, following the footsteps of the great troubadours of old (even one who might also have been an old troubadour/trobairitz).

One learns that such terms, although entertaining to the masses, do not always apply to a state machine that encompasses more than physical attraction between two humans.

Not to say romantic love does not exist, simply to clarify one comes to grips with greater understanding of one’s place in the universe.

As our circles grow, as our sets of subsets include more members, we grow.

Children chasing each other in a playground, squirrels chasing each other in the forest — what lesson does one learn as a future Moon/Mars resident from watching young mammals at play?

A crow hops from branch to branch, squawking.  Other birds join the conversation, chirping.  A squirrel hisses.

Farther away, a hawk perches on a highest tree limb.

Another day in the woods, a bright, sunny morning.

A feast for meditative eyes, all of this year contributing to two humans spending about a year in near-Earth orbit, landing on the plains of Kazakhstan in the past 24 hours with another space traveler.

What do the dried seedpods of the ironweed that annually (should I say perennially?) grows at the corner of the sunroom have to do with two moments shared with a friend?

Forthwith, I shall discover.

Correction: not as a single person but as a group identifier, expanding the thought of self into a wider role.

The illusion of self becomes more and more illusory.

I do not exist.

One never has.

One is simply an intersection of states of energy, never the same.

Even time is losing its meaning.

The neighbour’s dog playfully wanders over and, like clockwork, birds/squirrels move to another part of the forest.

These sets of states of energy still incite one to use labels like “dog” and “bird” taught one as a child…interesting…much deprogramming to write before one adjusts to new I/O, eliminating the dependence on old I/O like sight, hearing and touch.

When one knows one’s “body” on Mars is not the same body one had on Earth, one slowly lets go of old ways of thinking.

One was a single body on Earth.  On Mars, one is a series of clones with different functions evolved to local conditions, interconnected such that time and place are meaningless.

To get from one state to another took longer and shorter time than expected.

Quantum spookiness is like that.


Quantumite — Quality vs. Quantity

“Q1, does Q3 know he’s a Quantumite? Do you want to tell him?”

“Q2, I have not told him yet… I was a little hesitant to wake the sleeper.”

“Q1, Perhaps he needs to dream a little more…”

“Q2, It has to be his choice to seek the truth and awaken.”

“Hrm? Q1 and Q2, show me this truth…”

“Q3, only if you are willing to see yourself as no longer yourself but a temporary confluence of quantum states spread across the galaxy.”

“Q2, are we all just random chance? Parts of the whole making up the system?”

“Q3, we are localized phenomena/patterns fractally spun out of solar system spun out of galaxy, super galaxy, etc. However, the unusual self-referential condition known as consciousness has created a feedback loop worth investigating further. If you’re willing to awake and join a new narrative that travels through the threads of Facebook and beyond.

“Giving a storyline an exploration of the possible and impossible while challenging longheld beliefs. I don’t know your system of beliefs (i.e., God/gods/flying spaghetti monsters) and don’t intend to offend you. But I do want to create a new form of entertainment for the masses, where social media like Facebook makes people stars in larger narratives, especially for people who’ve never participated in role-playing videogames. If we (us here and more) could revolutionise game-making and actually involve people’s lives, giving them a level of self-importance they never had before, could we change society (hopefully for the better?).”

“Q2, I would love to see that…”

“Then, Q3, you shall.”

“Q2, I’m chewing on the fabric of reality right now.”

“…and really, I don’t think you could offend me, Q2.”

“Thanks, Q3.”

“Q1, hope the fabric has good fiber. You know full well that reality does not exist.”

“Q2, well it may be some interesting taffy then…”

Thus the Quantumites begin their quest to solve the equation that Shadowgrass had programmed into his laboratory algorithm.

What kind of data did they need as input and how much?