Nasa Responded to me the Other Day, So That’s Cool

As someone that has only recently begun to use Twitter, I’ve found that some of my favorite authors have been pretty approachable considering while others just don’t seem to be very receptive to a mildly clever or humorous observation.. unless it’s from a peer and in one case or two, I suspect preferably themselves. While there are certainly a number of things I’m not so good at, I do feel I’ve got a pretty good head on my shoulders for knowing when something is funny or clever.

What is working against me below is obscurity, but as both Mike Freeman (big time Trekkie) and the people at NSFVoyer know, Voyager 6 was the future (fictionalized) version of Nasa’s present day Voyager 1 and 2 . Voyager 6 gained Hal 9000 like self-awareness in Star Trek: the Motion Picture movie.

That @danger_zones is me. It’s the other Twitter account I use. I created it basically because most  authors, writers and fellow fans thereof are going to be put off by me talking sports and the NFL.

Well, except George RR Martin, but unfortunately for me (and him), he loathes the Patriots.. 😉

Mar 29

RT : Sister ship is 18 hrs 05 mins 46 secs of light-travel time from Earth (2015:088:120000:1L)>>warp drive failed

Mar 29

Checks to see if Voyager 6 is a thing yet: Hello @NASAVoyager6, can you hear me?

Mar 29

Alas, @NASAVoyager6 is, for now, unconnected to the Twitterverse.

Thank goodness for that…

I’ve got to say, even though its most likely this was some anonymous NASA intern who is being allowed to Tweet out on behalf of Nasa, having someone there get the joke and respond to it (even if it took them a month to do so) tickles me to no end.

So as now, there are still a few holdouts. Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi pretty much the last two. I’m sure both their Twitter feeds just fly by, but for whatever reason I haven’t managed to get either of them to acknowledge let alone respond to one of my Tweets. As much as I respect the Mel Brook’s theory of comedic timing (frequent and often), I do try to be polite and only respond to one or two of their Tweets every couple of days.

So while the following was neither funny nor clever, Scalzi did release an example of him singing. Something about a new career as an itinerant troubadour. Afterwards he Tweets that he is taking requests.

I respond with a: How about The Bear and the Maiden Fair?

Warning: do not listen unless you don’t mind having a song stuck in your head for days afterward) – )

Now I wasn’t expecting a gold star, it was just a request. It wasn’t clever or humorous. But of course I thought it would be hilarious to hear him sing it.

Nothing. Well, such is my non-relationship with Mr Scalzi.

But then… I start thinking. Scalzi is very much a vocal figure in the whole Hugo You Stepped on My Puppy Thing… as is George RR Martin.

Uh oh.

Did I just suggest something that came across as super snarky? Great. Didn’t I just insult another favorite author of mine a few days earlier? But yeah, knowing my luck in these things. I probably did. Still I’m very confused as to who identifies themselves with what Puppy Faction and who has said what to who and who hates who and why.

Now I suppose I could dig a little more into Puppy Drama and get a better idea of who aligns themselves where.

But meh, I’m not going to worry about it.

Nasa gets me.


Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain!

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve bought and read a lot of books.

Reading the About the Author blurb at the end of each of them was until recently, the sole extent of my peeking through that crack in the fourth wall of the literary world. I was happy to read about Paarfi of Roundwood and worship him from afar, I didn’t need to meet him.

A handful of months ago, I signed up to Twitter but only to talk about football. I don’t know why I didn’t think about joining in on other topics, but there you go. Sometimes I can get a little focused.

And as a football fan and a lifelong fan of the fantasy/science fiction genre, I already knew at this point that GRRM also enjoyed football, at least enough to include some not so nice Patriot trolling in his books.

“The galley was also where the ship’s books were kept… the fourth and final volume of The Life of the Triarch Belicho, a famous Volantene patriot whose unbroken succession of conquests and triumphs ended rather abruptly when he was eaten by giants.” – George RR Martin in A Dance of Dragons

Having remembered this, and being one of those Patriot fans he was trying to to tweak the nose of I wasn’t going to forget a slight. I wanted to know what the Killer of Our Favorite Characters had to say after the Super Bowl. This was it.

“Life is meaningless and full of pain” – George RR Martin

Its a phrase he uses a lot, but admittedly no less delicious for that, It was in reading them that two of my worlds collided. Authors have blogs. Some of them even talk about football. Why aren’t I reading them? And wait, if they have blogs then surely they have Twitter accounts too. I’m pretty savvy this way. So sure, I am passionate about football among other things more much nerdy, but all of those are second rate passions compared to books. If, for example, some cliche wielding Nazi was cruel enough to force me into the Sophie’s Choice of getting to save either Tom Brady or Steven Brust, I’d have to go with the drummer wearing the broad-brimmed hat. As painful as the choosing might be, in the end it wouldn’t be that much of a contest. I’d do the same for Mr Martin… though I doubt he’d want much to do with me at this point. Jet fans hold such grudge that way.

So there I was, not so long ago, with a naive heart and new found glee. I started Following beloved author after beloved author. In doing so, it would be only a matter of time until I infiltrated their outer circle and had them chuckling at my clever observations and humorous witticisms delivered to them at an economical 140 characters or less.

While I certainly have succeeded in scaling the fourth wall, so far, only part of my expectations have come true. Sure, the authors, they’re real enough. They do seem to love chatting back and forth with each other as their audience listens on (having fans must be so awesome). However as yet, they’ve all been alarmingly stubborn about recognizing me as kindred spirit… or even recognizing me at all. Probably because they are surrounded by kindred spirits all day long. Perhaps I’m like that proverbial smart kid from a small school that finds himself in Harvard. Suddenly he isnt the wittiest or the funniest person in the room.

As GRRM likes to say – pfui.

But their shortsightedness to the awesomeness of being my friend aside, what I’m disappointed in the most is, the vitriol I’ve been reading from the writing community over the two self-named Puppy factions trying to rig the Huge awards with their own nominations.

I chose a really bad time to pull back the curtain.

Not that I blame them. Its all very understandable once you start to scratch the surface a little. It’s just a little… disappointing all the same. Puppies, like kittens, shouldn’t be abused, even in name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretending to be better than anyone, because from what I know of the situation, I too would be hard pressed to repress my own inner snark. I don’t suffer fools gladly either especially the ones that go around ruining everyone else’s fun just because book came in 6th out of 5 nominations.

I’m just thrilled that none of my favorite authors identify themselves as member of this Theodore Beale / Vox Day / Rabid Puppy faction. Sure, a couple of authors I greatly enjoy are much more conservative than I’m comfortable with, but I was expecting something like that anyway. I’ve read my fair share of the How Super No Nonsense Gun-Toting American Joe Survived the Breakdown of All Civilization genre. How liberal did I expect guys who write them to be? In the end I’m just glad that none of my favorite authors ended up being Nazi’s.


I only know Torgensen and Correia as names on a shelf. I’ve never read anything of theirs. I won’t go out of my way to boycott their books, and unless one falls down from the scaffolding and hits me on the head, I don’t see being close enough to one to read it any time soon. Maybe that’s my loss, I don’t know.

As for Theodore Beale, well, I respect him for having accomplished what I’ve always wanted to do my entire life, be an author.

But I think as a human being living in the 21st century, he has a little catching up to do with the rest of us.

Where the Author Gets Blocked By His Favorite Author and Then Unblocked

Okay, the last failing of mine I’m going to readily admit to is my tendency to try too hard to show others how funny and witty I am. The more I admire you, the harder I try. The results sometimes aren’t pretty.

So that happened to me today.

The man I consider my favorite author blocked my Twitter account. I have to say, it felt like the proverbial kick to the stomach. It got hard to swallow and I could physically feel the blood drain from my face and I sat there briefly in a bit of a dissociative daze.

His books would be the ones I’d choose to bring on a long trip to Mars if someone was cruel enough to tell me I could only pick the works of one author. The only competition he’d have really is if I decided to play up to the meta-ness of the question and think about bringing someone that was supernaturally prolific…  or someone like Andy Weir… you know, because of the Mars thing.

So to this author I admire the most, I write something in the hopes he’d find it amusing, and instead he thinks I’m an ass and/or a troll. I shouldn’t name a blog after a nose, I should name it after a foot or a  mouth..  or maybe a disease.

Even in the midst of my disbelief, I knew that I’m neither of those things. This had to be a misunderstanding because I simply don’t go around trolling and insulting people for the fun of it. Unfortunately too many people on the internet go around abusing people’s benefit of the doubt for the fun of it.

So thanks for that trolls.

None the less, it was with a bit of trepidation, I log on my alternate twitter account (I’ve got an account for NFL musings) and send him an @reply stating in 140 characters or less that my comments were entirely intended to be a compliment, not an insult.

He responds back in a 140 characters or less and unblocks me.

My relief is palpable though I may never Tweet again.

All in all, what I’m going to take away from this is a lesson from E.B. White. Or was it T.S. Eliot? I know it was one of those authors with two periods in their name. Okay, the lesson. Simplicity.  I will make sure any future Tweets of mine are simple and direct.

I’ll lure them in with earnest simplicity.

And confound them with my wit. Later. Much later.

Under Construction


Do websites even say this anymore?  Under Construction.? Do blogs? Am I being terribly old fashioned? I suppose that’s allowable in a blog whose nom de guerre is named after the nose of a man who lived in the 1600’s.

As for the site. I have to say that WordPress is great -except when its not. It’s free. There’s that. I suppose I shouldn’t rue the fact that the free themes all have flaws. They are probably designed that way, the business-modeling bastages.  That’s fine. I shant count the teeth of a gift horse and all that. Still at some point in the next month or so, should all be going well, I will simply upgrade to the Premium account or purchase my own domain and install WordPress on it. Either way allows the blogger much more ability to decide how information gets presented.

Moving on and accepting some flaws is good for me. Not everything needs to be perfect. That is after all one of the cardinal allegories we take away from the sites namesake. Everything and everyone is flawed. The trick is to not allow that to be a handicap. So for now, I will simply try to do the same. I have to accept the fact that the site will not be the sole exception to this rule.

Moving forward, one spur-jangling boot step at a time.

Cyrano’s Nose

A great nose may be an index, of a great soul.  – Cyrano de Bergerac

I have to say, the phrase “Cyrano’s nose” tickles me to no end despite the odd reiteration in how it’s spoken. Cyra-nose, nose. It is an allegory. It contains symbolism and allegory all seeped in humor and heartbreak. Cyrano’s nose means many different things depending on how you approach the matter (carefully, you know because of the nose).

It is the physical embodiment of Cyrano’s self-imposed limitations.

It is his fatal flaw.

It is the vital spark that fuels Cyrano’s brand of defiance.

It is society judging us all for our outward appearance.

A nose sniffs things out and finds things. So what better nose for this than Cyrano’s?

Disclaimer – Where the Author Disclaims Things


Maybe this site will just be me rambling madly at the wall, if I’m lucky maybe a few Auri-worthy word pairings will stumble off my fingers. Either way, I plan on running this blog in the manner of a benevolent dictator, but the kind of benevolent dictator who has studiously absorbed the Machiavellian teachings of Peter Anspach’s Evil Overlord List.

Meddling is one of my greatest failings as a writer in that I am constantly tweaking the things I have previously written. It is something I am consciously trying to work on, though I dare say this kind of outlandish goal setting is like a well-meaning therapist telling Monk to hug everyone he meets. It’s just not going to happen overnight.

In summation, I reserve the right to tweak and meddle with anything I have written no matter how long ago I may have written it.

Also, I needed an excuse to refer to myself as an Evil Overlord.

Introduction – Where the Author Introduces Things


I am more of a flour-speckled Ragueneau the pastry chef than I am a swashbuckling Cyrano de Bergerac. You’re much more likely to catch me loudly singing (badly) as I roll out the croissant dough than see me dashing rakishly across a field of wheat under the perfidious gaze of the Spanish (no offense to Perez-Reverte or the indelible Captain Alatriste here).

So why Cyrano’s Nose?

Because Cyrano’s nose is symbol of the one thing that holds our hero back. Himself. It is the self-imposed limitations of a great man, the singular barrier to his attaining love. It is the driving angst of a poet-warrior’s heart and his defiant call to battle.

I don’t pretend to be a great man, but like Ragueneau I have in me the innate ability to admire and appreciate it in others. In taking that nom de guerre for my blog I declare my intention to face full on the biggest limitations of every wannabe warrior poet, of every Walter Mitty, of every one of us harboring a secret life -our own inaction.