Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Robbie!

August 14th, 2007

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The Announcement

Co-Historian Says: I didn't hear from the boss yesterday so we must assume the weekend's computer surgery is still a work in progress or birthday parties in Texas get started real early. Hopefully this will be edited with his birthday stories later tomorrow.

Alternate Historian's Belated Addition: Thanks for the birthday wishes and getting the page up while we were having computer difficulties, Steve. Perhaps we should have brought Vesta over while delving into that alternate reality...
I have one alternate birthday poster for myself – but there's still plenty of time for you to send in alternate birthdays for Steve (November 22, 1967). Surely all you conspiracy-minded types can come up with a connection between him and certain other events that happened on that day!
Today, I am The Answer. It all seems so clear, now. If only I knew what The Question was. A lot has happened in the 2 years plus 4 decades since my birth. The hospital I was born in is now an office building; the house I grew up in belongs to other people; the city I have called home for most of my life has added a hundred thousand or so people to its population. I've been from one side of this continent to the other, and even left the continent for a brief stay in the “Old Country”. I took a stab at The Dream in Los Angeles, I found my dream girl right here at home, and now I have a baby. Along the way, I lost several family members, a few friends, and many preconceptions about what life was all about. I also gained new family members, new friends, and built a whole series of preconceptions about what life should really be about. I've had epiphanies, life-changing moments, death-defying leaps, and built plenty of character – and I'm still striving for all those things I wanted to be when I grew up. Now that I've reached The Answer, I realize that I'm looking at less time left to do everything I still have planned, and so I have to prioritize. But, how do you prioritize what you love?
No, that's not The Question...

Alternate Birthday Post On August 14, 1965, Robert A. Taylor was born. His first brush with notoriety--decades before his phenomenal publishing career and his marriage to pop singer/sensation Cheryl Vernon--came when he won the district spelling bee at Stephen F. Austin Junior High School and went on to national finals in Washington, D.C. Robbie was invited to the white house after his successful spelling of "synchronicity" and was give the opportunity to speak factually with Jimmy Carter about the concerns of American Youth. The young Taylor's stance on alternative energy became the capstone of Carter's second term as president and may have been the actual turning point of America's conversion from fossil fuels to more reliable and environmentally sound alternatives. In his diary, released consequent with his Nobel Peace Prize, Carter admitted to the world: "I was listening to this kid. He had my full attention. He told me what to do and asked me if I'd really do it? If he hadn't asked me that, I probably wouldn't have done it all. But I made a promise to him and I had to keep it." The rest, as they say, was history. - post by George Wier, whose Bill Travis Mysteries can be found on our links at the side -

In 2008, California based enterprise software author Macrosoft Inc. narrowly beat Saab Motor cars of Sweden to win the prestigious award for "zero defects product of 2007". The International Standards Agency reported that the code engineering in Macrosoft Vesta had defined new best practice in process standards.

The significance of protests at the awards ceremony was "de-emphasised" by Macrosoft executives. Many of these individuals had pessimistically disbelieved the minimum system requirements for Vesta, and had proactively purchased 2GB of DDR2 RAM. In fact, Macrosoft had squeezed the new operating system into 256MB under which it performed flawlessly, enabling the Corporation to offer no charge upgrades to domestic and developing country charities who had received end of life PCs. (Western consumers had been under the misapprehension they would not longer run multimedia applications and had wastefully transhipped units that could adequately run Vesta.)

Many North American businesses admitted they too were slow off the mark, holding out for Service Packs that were of course never required to achieve this remarkable stable platform. As a consequence, they had failed to leverage the compelling business benefits that could be attained by raising employee performance through the productivity enhancing interface.

~ entry from Co-historian Steve Payne:

"It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists.
Eric BlairHuman beings were trying to behave as human beings and not cogs in the capitalist machine. In the barber's shops were Anarchist notices solemnly explaining that barbers were no longer slaves.."
~ Eric Arthur Blair in “Homage to Catalonia”
Eric Blair - Aka George Orwell
George Orwell
In 1936, Eric Arthur Blair describing his role in the Spanish Civil War, an event that would have huge long-term consequences for the people of Europe. The full article is available at Amazon
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

Bless my cotton socks I'm in the news
The king sits on his face buttons all askew
All wrapped up the same
All wrapped up the same
The Teardrop ExplodesThey can't have it
You can't have it
I can't have it too
Until I learn to accept my reward

~ Lyrics to “Reward” - Click to Watch Sample
Marvel comic: Daredevil No.77
In 1981, at the height of their popularity, the English Post Punk/Neo-Psychedelic band received a legal challenge from the owners of Marvel comic book. Without their permission, Lead singer Julian Cope had taken the name of the band from No. 77 of the comic Daredevil published in 1960. During the dispute, Julian Cope found a new target for venting his anger. Cope spent the majority of his career raging at the “greedheads” who compromised his artistic excellence with commercial imperatives. The lyrics are available at at Always on the Run
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1980, the actor Steve McQueen enjoyed a dramatic remission of Cancer following a mysterious visit to Florida. McQueen's wealth had bankrolled an increasingly desperate worldwide search for a cure. To this day, speculation continues that the actor had been led to the Fountain of Youth by sympathetic First Nation indigenes whose cause McQueen had supported throughout the seventies.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1942, monumentally tough old infantryman General Bluemel told captured General Douglas MacArthur to snap out of it. The anguished MacArthur had suffered not just the Command failure of defeat, but the death of wife and son when his escaping destroyer was sunk during the Japanese conquest of the Philippines But all of the American officers at the old Spanish Prison in Manilla have misread the reason for MacArthur's preoccupied thoughts. "General Robert E. Lee often said that duty was the most sublime word in the language. Gentleman, we all know the duty of a soldier who has been captured." MacArthur spoke further of escape, he had plans to fade away.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

Rev.  Martin Luther King
Rev. Martin Lu..
In 1482, to pass the long night of six hundred years at St. George El Mina Castle, a new soft voice spoke to Kwame. ”From every mountainside, let freedom ring... and when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village ..
.. and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1943, on this day Winston Churchill wrote the immortal first line “Now this is not the end. ... But it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end.. " Containing speeches given at the turning point of the war, following defeats at Alamein and .. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchi..
.. Stalingrad and the abortive North Africa landings “The Beginning of the End” is a remarkable insight into the events leading up to “Churchill's Last Stand” in the Middle East.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Prince Albert
Prince Albert
In 2004, on this day the editor Peter Tsouras finalised the short stories entries for his compendium “Union Victorious”. This Anthology of ten speculative articles featured Andrew Uffindell's masterpiece "Hell on Earth: Anglo-French Stand Aside in the Civil War". The story turns in 1860, when Prince Albert escapes ..
.. death in a carriage accident and was alive a year later to moderate the British government's reaction to the Trent Incident. Confederate agents fail to escalate the Union-British tension with manufactured incidents along the Canadian border. The U.K. Determines not to intervenes in the American Civil War. Except for some early success around the Great Lakes, the Confederacy is eventually forced to sue for peace.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1976/1750, in New York City LeVar Burton suffers the most vivid nightmare of his entire life. The young actor dreams he is brutally forced into slavery in 18th century America. Assigned to work as a field laborer on a southern .. Kunte Kinte
Kunte Kinte
.. plantation, he attempts to escape and is severely punished. The following morning, Burton receives a telephone call from the author Alex Haley, who makes an incredible offer.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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