Friday, May 19, 2017

What I found outside of Gene’s Body Shop.

This is the first time I’ve seen a hi-rail truck parked so close to my apartment building.

This chunk of rubber over the railroad wheel appears to be some type of mud flap.

Super Duty Ford trucks are so macho!

There are no dings, dents, or rust on this truck.  So, the auto mechanics of Gene’s Body Shop must have finished working on it, waiting for the owners to claim it.

The only company name anywhere on this truck is a small CN - Canadian National Railway logo.

Window sealing calk graffiti on a Duluth sidewalk

This graffiti is next to the entrance to Gene’s Body Shop at 28 North 2nd Avenue East.  I’m not sure what name or word this graffiti spells out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

While cleaning my apartment, I found one example of my childhood art.

Based upon the ship that was once often seen in the Twin Ports harbor, the Incan Superior, a railroad car ferry, a flat decked rail car carrying ship, was the perfect subject for my childhood obsessions with both boats and trains.  However, I have no idea why I named my ship the Inco Supper.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This is an undated article about the University of Minnesota, Duluth Anime Club.

I remember going to these club events as a UMD student.

Spring cleaning in my nice apartment

Getting some of my still useful, yet unneeded things out of my apartment and then giving these to my apartment’s thrift store.

A broken picture window at King Manor

Last Sunday night or early Monday morning, one of the ground floor, north side, of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) office picture windows was broken by unknown person or persons.

A maintenance worker is inspecting his temporary wooden wall.

Let’s hope that these maintenance workers can seal the window frame before the rains begin sometime today.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What I found in my apartment’s parking lot.

A recent rainstorm uncovered this tattered American flag in a melting snow bank.  I washed it before taking this photo.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Ponies after People essay.

“We came to America, either ourselves or in the persons of our ancestors, to better the ideals of men, to make them see finer things than they had seen before, to get rid of the things that divide and to make sure of the things that unite.”
- Woodrow Wilson

To celebrate the premiere of My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic Season Seven, I wrote this essay about the American civilization in the Ponies after People universe.  Starscribe and other talented writers have created a series of extremely detailed and highly entertaining fan stories.  Many of these excellent stories are as enjoyable and thought-provoking entertainment as the official TV series or comic series.

Follow this link for the Ponies after People fan fictions.

However, the lack of effort to rebuild the American society or even individuals acknowledging that they are American citizens is an oversight that should be corrected.  After all, there is nothing so far that’s described in the main story that is preventing the returnees and their descendants to rebuild their American society or any other nation in the Ponies after People universe.

In the first hundred years, most returnee communities are less than one hundred citizens and half of those are foals.  However, imagine that three hundred years after the Event, the American returnees, native-born citizens and immigrants, combined with their foal descendants would now have a sufficient population base in North America to attempt to restart their American society.  No longer worrying about basic survival, I can’t imagine that most American returnees would give up, without struggle, decades of loyalty and building their self-identities as American citizens.

For millions of Americans, being an American citizen is a defining characteristic of who they are as individuals and as belonging to something far greater than themselves and their everyday lives.  They take their oath of the United States pledge of allegiance as an important part in how they think and how they act.  These people have American nationalism and/or American patriotism.

I wonder why these humans turned into ponies and their pony offspring would attempt to create new societies from scratch, when it would be much easier to rebuild the existing American society.  Most Americans would not want their American society to separate into dozens of independent city states that in turn would inhibit social cohesion, military security, and economic growth.  Also, without the social cohesion of being American citizens, ponies could break into three separate tribes as described in the episode, “Hearth's Warming Eve”.

I have at least ten members of my family that have served in the American Armed Forces from the American Civil War to the Gulf War.  They knew that America could be knocked back, but never knocked out.  I would not dishonor their sacrifices by giving up on my American society.

Also, as someone who campaigns for political candidates, talks to politicians, and votes in every election; I imagine that if I become a pony in this universe that I would remember that I’m still an American citizen and then work at America’s restoration, revised as a multiple species society.

Imagine that you became a pony in this universe.  Would you suddenly forget all about being a citizen of your homeland or would you work to restore your nation?  In other words, drink from you own creative wellspring.  Ask yourself how you would react to being a pony in a world with few intelligent, talking individuals.  Then, put those answers into your Ponies after People fan fiction.

But, you might ask, would there be sufficient returnees and natural-born ponies at any given time to restart their American society.  My answer to that is the Nimitz Class aircraft carriers that have more than 6,000 personnel; while some cruise ships have between five hundred and six thousand passengers, not including crew.  All these returnees would not give up on their American society and accept being part of one of many post-Event created, city-states.

Imagine the conflicts when the three pony species and other speaking species decide to rebuild America:  First would be rebuilding at the city or county level, then rebuilding the states, and then rebuilding at the national level.  For additional fun, fans of Ponies after People stories would create original characters and then have them run for city, state, and national political offices, including the offices of President and Vice-President.

What about returnee politicians attempting to win back their political careers?  Imagine the fun of post-Event pony American presidential candidates attempting to court individual species, such as the Earth Pony vote.

How many citizens do you need to recreate a state government?  Four of the original 13 British, American colonies had colonial populations in the low five digits and still had functioning state governments using only the most basic communications tools.

The 13 Colonies by British colonial population in 1770

  1. Virginia                 447,016
  2. Pennsylvania         240,057
  3. Massachusetts       235,808
  4. Maryland               202,599
  5. North Carolina       197,200
  6. Connecticut           183,881
  7. New York              162,920
  8. South Carolina      124,244
  9. New Jersey           117,431
10. Rhode Island          58,196
11. New Hampshire      62,396
12. Delaware               35,496
13. Georgia                 23,375

If the state of Georgia with a population of just 23,375 citizens could have a functioning state government in 1770, there is no reason why transformed citizens could not rebuild their states with far fewer people than existed in 2015.

A strong and united America would balance the economic and military powers of more human populated nations.  For example, China would use their 1.3 billion citizens or India with their 1.3 billion citizens to rebuild their nations with returnees and their offspring at a much faster rate than America could with far fewer citizens.  Moreover, the more citizens a nation has creates more of the magic of friendship that in turn creates an energy pool that determines how many princesses a nation can bring to into existence.  For example, in the cannon Equestrian nation, the overall amount of friendship is increasing and therefore the number of Equestrian princesses has increased from two to five.

Only a national United States government could revive networks of simple, 20th Century communications technology such as Teleprinter and Wirephoto machines.  Or maintain a basic transportation infrastructure of roads, railroads, canals, and airports.  Or, maintain national armed forces, a common currency, or a set of common laws for economic growth.

Rebuilding the American society would happen in conjunction with other worthwhile projects, such as the party ponies rebuilding the United Service Organizations Inc. (USO Show) to uplift any returnees and anyone else who needs cheering up.

Imagine having the portraits of famous individual ponies and other species printed on future paper money and coins?  What about a pony version of Uncle Sam or Columbia?

How would you organize a rebuilt American nation?  With a radio network based upon basic radio technology.  I can imagine a network of high powered radio transmitters, while most civilians would have either crystal radio sets or batteryless radios.  And, with every vehicle that come back from the time stream provides radio enthusiasts with parts to create a makeshift radio network.

Ponies that travel for a living would have citizens band radios based on batteryless radios, perhaps crystal radio sets powered by Equestrian magic grown gemstones.  Come to think of it, Equestrian gemstones appear to grow like mushrooms as suggested in the opening scene of the “Gauntlet of Fire” episode.  If Equestrian magic has come to the once human world, why not have Equestrian gemstones grow in the ground as well?

In conclusion, there are numerous, logical reasons why returnees and natural-born ponies would at least attempt to restart my American history and heritage.  From my perspective, the Fourth of July holiday is more than a day off from work, a family picnic, and seeing the twilight fireworks display.  That day reminds me of the birthday of our nation, the memory of those who wrote the American Declaration of Independence as well as the hard-won freedoms that I’ve enjoyed as an American citizen.  I would not give all that up if I woke up one day as a pony.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This morning, I realized that two movies I saw on Tuesday have someone in common.

Ghost in the Shell and Smurfs: The Lost Village feature protagonists that defy the immoral and unlawful commands of those that created these protagonists.  Standing up for what you believe is right is a good message to learn at any age.

I bought Johnsonville ® Irish O’Garlic ™ sausages for our apartment’s My Little Pony celebration party.

I saved 74% on my sausages!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I’m baking stovetop taiyaki for my Anime aXcess friends!

This batch is chocolate chip muffin mix cake and Chug vanilla Milk shake milk, with M&M Minis for filling.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

More snow flurries for Duluth, Minnesota

My camera is looking south on Second Street toward North Second Avenue East.

There are three City buses that will soon be picking up passengers at the Duluth Transit Center.

A My Little Pony blanket for Kathy

I bought Kathy’s gift at Target in Duluth, Minnesota.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I got healthy food from the King Manor: Buy a Basket Food Club

This is what six fruit baskets looks like in one box!

My post for the March equinox and Starlight Glimmer day

Here are the reasons why I became a fan of My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic.

I have always loved unicorns, seeing them as a symbol of beauty, freedom, and strength.  Apparently, other people do as well, considering how popular unicorns have been for many centuries.  I loved children’s stories that feature unicorns such as “The Last Unicorn”, the winged unicorn Pegasus also known as Helios from Sailor Moon SuperS, as well as more adult stories such as “Ariel: A Book of the Change”.  I had also collected their images years before the debut of Friendship is Magic.

During one summer night when I was about ten years old, I dreamed that I was walking in a neighbor’s backyard.  I then realized that I had a white muzzle.  I looked down to my feet and saw that I was walking on white horse legs and hooves upon the green lawn.  A long, white mane fell to the base of my shoulder blades.  I said to myself, “cool” with happy, yet mild enthusiasm.  I looked up and saw a twelve inch long white horn was attached to my forehead.  I repeated saying “cool” with equally mild enthusiasm.  Then, I woke up, disappointed that I was still a human being.  Therefore, by the time I became an adult I was already predisposed to like unicorns as story protagonists.  It is no surprise that I’d love the unicorn Twilight Sparkle from Friendship is Magic as well as Littlepip from Fallout Equestria.

But, you ask me if so many other stories feature unicorn characters; why I am so interested in Friendship is Magic?  This series leading protagonist is a unicorn named Twilight Sparkle.  She appeals to me because we both have similar personalities, with almost the same virtues and flaws.  As the main viewpoint character, Twilight became my audience surrogate, a character who the audience, in this case me, doesn't just sympathize with, but actively see myself as.  In fact, on my headstone I’d love to have this written, “Here lies James Patrick Buchanan, the real world Twilight Sparkle.”

Stay Earth pony strong, Pegasus pony swift, and Unicorn pony smart.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Today, I’m making apple taiyaki!

My Rainbow Community Center taste testers tell me that my apple taiyaki are very good!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Yesterday’s rainstorm has become today’s snowstorm.

One advantage of apartment living is that you don’t need to shovel the sidewalk outside your apartment building’s front door.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I’m making blueberry taiyaki

If anyone has any ideas for future taiyaki recipes, please let me know in the comments attached to this post.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tomorrow, I’ll be making blueberry taiyaki

The more people that know about my wonderful taiyaki, the better my chances will be that other people will partner with me to make our taiyaki stand into a reality!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My progress at my MLP game

My Littlepip got to level 200 and that is quite an achievement.

My Littlepip has a weapon for every season to overcome any obstacle or opponent.

Here is the installed lock and cabinet door handles I bought some time ago

Now, no thief is stealing club supplies from the community dining room.

Downtown Duluth in a morning snow flurry

Now, my home city looks like Duluth in a February of my youth.

A morning snowstorm for Duluth, Minnesota

As one young woman who attended UMD once told my father, “February weather in Duluth makes me wish that I could move somewhere that I could wear a short sleeved sport shirt, shorts, and sandals all year round.”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I’m making my Roast Beef taiyaki

I’m making my Roast Beef taiyaki, while I’m watching Morning Joe - Joe Scarborough on!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Adding math to my version of the Alphabet Car Game

     In this revised game, all letters that start a word are worth ten points, letters that end a word are worth five points, and letters in the middle of a word are worth one point.  Thus, each successful player has a possible range of 26 to 260 points. This adds a strategy of finding letters fast in the middle of words vs. waiting to earn more points finding letters at the beginning or ending of words.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017