DIY – Time to Work on Things!

So I’m working on rebuilding my big box computer. My Desktop fried several years ago, and I am only now having the cash to rebuild it and not use some throw away small box computers we salvaged around here. I still have my preferences for parts and I’m still working that way. It’s just how I am.

It’s led me to ponder how I could do other things myself, how to build things that I would HOPE I could do myself instead of hunting down used or a box from Walmart or fancy expensive stuff from furniture stores.

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of things out there now you can’t put together and figure out on your own. We depend on smartphones, laptops, and tablets that are so delicate that any user modification is just insanity. But we still also use Desktops. We need places to put things, we have cars that we can somewhat work on with our own hands.

So I’m building a desktop out of parts, though I can’t do the whole printed circuit board design and build up from scratch thing, that’s Dad’s career. I can assemble parts just fine, of course with the way things are all you get really is a motherboard and everything is on it, you can add on later, but It’s all on the MB now. Still, it can be done by hand.

You can build a nice sturdy table, desk, or shelf with plywood and screws from the home improvement store. You don’t HAVE to just get the stuff made of particle board that’s cheap, or the extremely expensive antique stuff.

We need to do more DIY I think in the world. Let’s see what we can do and build up for ourselves instead of just getting kits from the store and reading their instructions. Let’s build something that will last and serve our purpose well. 🙂

Project Bookshelf: Default Content types and Features

So I’m working on Bookshelf some and I’m wondering what my default content types should be. Obviously I’ve already got three default types; Writing Prompt, Story Front Page, and Chapter Page. But should there be others? Should forum topics be active by default? Should I have default image galleries for everyone? That’s the question.

The Reason I’m thinking on this is for my User Content Management System (UCMS). My UCMS is designed around allowing the active user to have easy access to all of their content on a Bookshelf Archive, to include forum topics they have started. I’m still not entirely happy with how I did that on my 2.0 design, but I would like to try and make something similar to editing Chapters in my Story editing page. Something that just displays all the comments of a particular thread with the opening topic displayed and the table sorted by date of last comment.

It’s a thought at least.

Also, I’m trying to keep things simple and such, but I also need to have a good set of features for anyone interested. So there are dependencies to consider. Right now it’s dependent on Views, Panels, QuickTabss, Panelizer, and some of Core. I’m trying to keep things small mostly, but how much should be default and how much left to the person setting things up. I’m going to have to limit myself on this build.

I may consider, once I have bookshelf as something usable, recreating Dhampir Dreams on it and putting the cleaner setup into It’s going to be difficult either way as I’ll have to work towards a good migrate setup as well… but that being said I might be able to figure out a better way of things at a later point instead of my current content recreation work. No idea, I just need to get it all done.

Any ideas are of course welcome.

The Terran Confederation – An Introduction


The colonization of space. For decades it had been the subject of scientific debate and writers trying to visualize the future. A future where humanity would either join a community of species bound together in peace, or beset by constant warfare. A galaxy either teaming with life, or bereft of it everywhere but our home. At first, intelligence wasn’t the important qualifier of a world. Just that it had some kind of life on it.

The first ships were generational, the times expected to reach another star system so extreme that the original crew would have been long dead before even reaching a fraction of the distance. The ships built were huge, with rotating sections to mimic near-Earth gravity and large fields cultivated for both food and precious oxygen. They would never land on the surface of any world, but serve as a base of operations. A lone space station that would stay in orbit and act as the old forts along the frontiers of Earth.

As time passed on developments were made. Years after the generational ships were launched a new technology was created, and ships with the majority of crews in suspended animation were launched. Occasionally a small crew would be awakened to check over the ships course, but aside from that a computer would handle the majority of the trip. This allowed for less room and resources needed for the trip, as there wouldn’t be a constant drain on medicine, air, food, even power. The ships were still intended to stay in orbit however, and the travel times to even the closest of stars numbering in the centuries.

Many missions were sent out with this idea that even if it took longer than the lifespans of ten generations of people, that humanity would still survive if the world suffered a major cataclysm. One ark class mission left Earth with the hope of spending only a century in flight. A nuclear pulse propulsion system had been designed, and enough nuclear ordinance generated for the trip to Proxima Centauri. Though no evidence of planetary bodies existed, this was considered an important mission due only to the relatively short period of time the trip would take.

Several missions of various lengths were launched within twelve light-years of Earth, to include missions to Epsilon Eridani, Wolf 359, Aldebaran, Tau Ceti, and even as far as the Hades Cluster. And though colonization of the Sol System continued, missions such as this were sent out. Earth was slowly being repaired of the damage pollution, war, and overcrowding had caused over the last three centuries. And while many missions had left our home star system, development in making space travel faster still continued. The hope was to one day make interstellar travel possible within a crews life time, and one day even to make it feasible to travel between systems with no more time needed then a year to the nearest systems.

Science had theorized about potential methods of faster than light, or FTL, propulsion since the middle of the twentieth century. With the mining and exploitation of the resources found within Sol System, needed material to experiment was not in short supply. Various experiments were performed in order to, as one scientist put it, crack the light barrier. Research into physical dimensions outside the normal concepts of the average human held promise. However, the technology lagged behind the theoretical concepts for decades. Earth and the Sol System were now entering the year 3257. The Proxima Mission would have reached their destination system by now, however no one would know if it had succeeded or not for another four years due to the speed of radio signals. Assuming that the signal would ever reach Earth in the first place.

Technology progressed however, and not just in the fields of propulsion. Vast sky-hooks littered the orbits of Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus. The valuable minerals and gasses harvested from the Gas Giants and used to fuel to growing Human empire. Cometary debris had its course altered in order to impact on the planets of Mars and Venus. After centuries of work the two inner planets had been made habitable, with green fields and blue oceans now painting the once inhospitable globes. Rain forests and wet lands spread across Venus surface, the warmer yearly climate making for longer year round growing seasons. While at the same time, the planes of Mars were verdant grasslands and red mountains, herds of wild cattle and other animals flourishing outside the manmade dome cities. Many genetically recovered species, flora and fauna, called these two worlds home now.

This is not to say that the centuries had been filled with peace for the Human race. Wars still broke out both on the ground, and in the space between worlds. Where before it had been nations on a map, at times it had become more between various colonies or even entire worlds in the system. Mars would make demands of the Asteroid Miners Collective. Earth would demand fealty from the other colonies. Pirate ships, run more like the ships of old, would scourge across the system flying the colors of their particular band. Discord and Chaos ran rampant across the stars. Peace, in many forms, was in short supply.

Planetary defense forces grew into space based navies. Warships of various designs and concepts rolled out of the shipyards. Carriers, cruisers, destroyers, all types of ships were launched in efforts to defend or attack opposing forces. Fleets of massive warships would slip through the darkness of space taking months to get to any target in the system. It wasn’t until the advent of the wormhole bridge drive that the first movements toward unification of the Sol System began. With travel times shortened to infinitesimal periods of time, travel across the star system and to the various star systems became almost non-existent. Navigation however remained an issue, requiring a series of jumps to get from location to location.

Some of the earlier missions were in fact out paced by the new ships that the recently formed Confederate Alliance sent out to the nearby systems. Many had been forgotten, though the new fleets exploring the surrounding universe were aware of them just in case. Contact was made with the colonists at Proxima Centauri, The colonization of that system had progressed slowly, and a few planets had been declared candidates for terraforming though the process had encountered several setbacks.

Slowly Humanity as a whole came together, colonizing and digging in to the systems nearest to Sol. Massive fleets of warships patrolled the infinite vacuum of space, focusing more towards the core worlds of the Confederacy. Smaller fleets patrolled the frontier, looking for any signs of non-human intelligence. Though no sentient life had been found yet, that hadn’t discounted the possibility of life being found. The hope was that First Contact would be a peaceful affair, and not a fight for survival.

As new ecosystems were discovered new laws were enacted. The Alliance made it illegal to ravage the naturally developed biospheres of any world they found already suitable for habitation. The possibility of another naturally occurring sentient life form was too precious to risk. This is not to say that that poachers wouldn’t ravage a world and strip it of its resources. The Confed Navy patrolled all systems in order to at least capture and prevent such things. It also had come too late to prevent a group of scientists from using a proto-life world as part of an experiment.

This group wanted to be able to see how life evolved, over a period that would allow them to know the answer potentially within their lifetimes. They had setup several observatories around this world, all programmed to record the experiment and send information back to Sol System. Nanotechnology, much like all other sciences in the last millennium had advanced in ways not thought of when they were conceived. A batch of nanites, small machines smaller then a human cell were specially crafted and give one overriding directive.


The Fourth of July for 2015

This time of year it’s important for all of us to take a moment and reflect on the state of our Country. We talk about it all year round, but today isn’t really a day for protesting. It’s one of the days of the year we set aside for Family, Friends, and Fun. That’s really what the important part of today is. We take a moment to appreciate what we have and who we have. We remember how many of our ancestors fought to first establish this country, then to protect and ensure its continued existence. We remember all of those who gave their last measure of blood, the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, a lot of people only care to talk bout our mistakes, and we’ve made our fair share. It’s important to note that up until the turn of this century there really wasn’t any single country on Earth that wasn’t trying to dominate and control another through force of arms or economy. The previous Century brought forth change at a rate more extreme and rapid then any century previously. It only sped up after the Second World War with the advancement of computer technology, which led to more rapid distribution of information. Social reform as well sped up, where change that would linger and take centuries to even be talked about happened in barely years, a decade at most. It’s difficult to see things though, and to try and see them with the filter of present day ignores an important point.

Regardless of what happened, what battles needed to be fought, and what wrongs needed to be righted we stand together. Where Europe would continue to fracture and fight against itself or cause suffering on their neighbors we tried to remain united. When we fought against each other during our Civil War we shed more blood then before or since. The reasons can be debated, but at the end of the day we fought a war against ourselves about whether we would stay together. Those who fought for the Union won that war.

Most days we see those who would tear our world asunder for hate, for ideology, for money. We see people demanding we give up all of our rights because it offends them, or they threaten us with blood and death. We’ve spent the last fifty years trying to not just ensure peace at home, but to try and spread Peace for as many as we could. This is NOT something to be condemned or ridiculed. No other country made any attempt for centuries to try and improve life for those outside their borders, regardless of what those in the Old World would like to believe.

So we stand here this Fourth of July, when we declared our Independence from the Tyranny of Europe. We said All Men are Created Equal, and while we haven’t always lived up to that promise we’ve done our damnedest to do so. Even now we are still trying to figure out how best to ensure our people, our country can continue to Fulfilled the Promise of that Declaration without losing who we are as we do so. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially in this day and age, but we have to. If not us then who?

Remember those who gave their lives, their blood, to try and help and create a More Perfect Union. Not absolutely perfect, but as close as humanity can get. We get closer every time we stand, protest, assemble, debate, and agree or disagree. Only when we descend to violence do we fail. Peaceful discussion and debate leads to more ideas.

So Happy Fourth, and enjoy your time with the people who are important to you. And remember, you are the United States.