Monday, August 21, 2017

"Imperfect Eclipse" (a poem for the Great Eclipse of 2017)

Yeah, yeah, I know, I've been away for far too long...

So, the Great Eclipse of 2017 was today, and I just had to write a poem for the occasion.  It just had to be done today.

And so, without further ado...

"Imperfect Eclipse"

Everyone was talking about it,
the first rare solar eclipse in a century,
and everything from gear to vantage points
everyone prepared in a hurry.

Unfortunately, I was held back indoors at work,
so outdoors I could not see the eclipse,
because I was needed here for the usual work,
heeding the orders from my bosses' lips.

And yet, unfortunately enough,
had I been allowed to step out and go forth,
I would not have seen its full splendor anyway-
a consequence of living too far north.

But luckily, I saw it from the window,
my eyes safely shielded by passing clouds:
a great map of ice floes floating in the sky,
filtering harmful rays through fine wispy shrouds.

It hung there, shining high in the sky,
an imposter of a bright moon crescent...
there was no way I would miss this sight,
this rare and fleeting celestial present.

Of course, nothing really went as planned,
because nothing in life is ever perfect,
but I'm truly grateful to have seen it,
even with my circumstances imperfect

And so all the heavenly bodies
continue their dance through the universe,
and with me having written these words,
I conclude this humble poem with this final verse.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

My thoughts on the STAR TREK pilot episode ("The Cage")

So yes, I had been meaning to do this for months, so of course I would only be able to get around to doing this on the very last day of the calendar year designated for the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.

Many months ago, around the time of the 50th anniversary of the airdate of the very first episode (the pilot episode "The Cage"), I decided to watch it for myself.  It would be the first of many Star Trek episodes which I would watch.  (That's my new plan, by the way: Watch Star Trek episodes on my tablet while I'm working out at the gym.)

So, after watching it, my verdict is...

Eh, it's alright.

Well, it was merely the pilot episode; there was much more to come, of course.  Actually, truth be told, it just felt like I was watching an episode of The Twilight Zone, except it was in color.

What really surprised me the most was that the captain wasn't even the famous Captain Kirk, and me being informed that he wouldn't appear for another few episodes or so.

So yes, there's that.

That's my contribution to the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, less than a half-hour before the calendar year of 2016 ends.

Live long and prosper, folks.

- Seth Shirer (a.k.a. StellarStylus)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day, 2016

I just couldn't let Veteran's Day pass without saying something about it.  Still, this isn't merely some obligatory "better say something nice about veterans because it's Veteran's Day" post; I got something really profound to say regarding veterans and those who serve our country.  And here it is...

I make it a point to always thank those who have served our country.

Whenever I meet someone who serves or has served our country, active or retired, I always make it a point to thank them for their service.  Some might find it silly, but then again, these brave men and women risked life and limb for us.  To paraphrase what some various wise men have said in the past, "they are those who sleep badly so that the rest of us can sleep well."  They deserve my gratitude - our gratitude - and so much more.

Happy Veteran's Day, America.

Monday, October 31, 2016

In Memoriam, Tripled: 3 Great Actors

So, I hadn't wanted to wait this long to do it, but things just got hectic for me in the past few months.  Only now, at the end of October, am I writing blog posts about what I wanted to write about all this time.  And among them is something for three great actors

...Then again, maybe it is fitting that I'm doing this on Halloween, of all holidays.  Does anyone think maybe they can see this from the great beyond?  Who knows...

And so, without further ado: IN MEMORIAM, TRIPLED

ANTON YELCHIN - The young actor who did Chekov in the few new Star Trek movies (starting with the 2009 reboot) was taken from us well before his time in a freak accident.  And although Terminator: Salvation got not-so-hot reviews for its time, I still liked his role in that as well.(And unlike the other two actors on this list, Mr. Yelchin wasn't among my childhood inspirations, especially seeing as he was somewhat younger than me... ****, I'M OLD!). RIP, Anton Yelchin.

GENE WILDER - As gifted and talented as anyone else, I know him not just from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but also various other comedies, especially those by Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, etc.  I also personally grieve for him not just because he's passed on, but because I once lived in the same general area as him and missed a good chance to meet him at a public event (a Borders bookstore, back when the chain was still in business).  RIP, Gene Wilder.

KENNY BAKER - Of course he was best known as being R2-D2 from the Star Wars movies, but he did plenty of other things too.  Only recently when I was rewatching Amadeus (great movie, BTW) on Netflix did I see his name in the end credits, and then recognize him as one of the opera performers towards the end of the movie when they're performing The Magic Flute.  I wonder what else he, or any of these actors, did which I should watch in the future?  RIP, Kenny Baker.

And now I can only hope that I did this post justice.

ADDENDUM: While writing this post, I wondered and then researched how to say something like "in memoriam, tripled" in Latin, just to make it truly cool and sophisticated.  According to my Latin dictionary, the adverb ter means "thrice" so I guess it could be something like "TER IN MEMORIAM" or "IN MEMORIAM TER" (remember, word order in Latin is much more flexible, allowing for more possibilities).

Truly, this is the end of summer (for now)... and Happy Halloween!

Funny, isn't it, how time flies.  I wanted to do an end of summer post all the way back in September (last month), and now here I am on Halloween, well into autumn, posting thoughts on summer after it ended.  I'd say that Halloween is definitely a good indicator of the end of summer (well, for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, of course).

So many things I want to say and have wanted to say these few months... and now I'm getting to them.

But first and foremost... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"There's Always a Flag Flying at Half-Mast"

So, I've been working on this poem for a few months now, especially after seeing the craziness in the world of the last few years (especially last year in 2015, with the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernerdino, among other things).  We might now be into the second month of the new year, but this might be just as good a time as ever.

And so, without further ado, I gave you my latest poem...

"There's Always a Flag Flying at Half-Mast"
by Seth Shirer

There's always a flag flying at half-mast,
hanging limply up there on the flagpole,
because of some tragedy now since past,
And now our hearts each bear an empty hole.

What bad thing happened somewhere this time?
What horrific scenes will be in the news?
Go hear the rushing vehicles and klaxons,
emergency response teams, rescue crews.

No one seems safe wherever they should be,
not even the children placed in their schools.
The evil ones seek infamous glory,
While bystanders look, act and feel like fools.

Some crazy people do these wicked deeds
in the name of some worshiped foul being-
gods, demons, or merely voices in their heads-
which only they're capable of seeing.

Some bitter person has an ax to grind,
bearing grievances towards all the world,
and so the innocent people are hurt,
and from the aggressor's hand, pain is hurled.

The talking heads all across the media,
The politicians up on their hill...
If none of those folks will do anything
meaningful, then who among us will?

Everyone, hear the dying and injured!
Everyone, see the spilled and spreading blood!
Everyone, stop this advancing foul tide,
Or else you'll all drown in the deadly flood!

Until everyone becomes serious,
to sound reason everyone will appeal,
these awful disasters will never cease,
and none of us will ever truly heal.

(Thank you for reading.)