About All This
The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.
– Albert Einstein
Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
- Attributed to Mohandas K. Gandhi
God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
– Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
The place where I come from — as a human being — is standing out on the edge of what I know about Life, the Universe, and whatever this thing is we call our Existence.
Plato passed along this wisdom from Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living.
And Shirley MacLaine was good enough to note: A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never ceased to be amused.
My childhood was spent in the rural Midwest, where reunions, spending the night with family friends after a drive across the state, and staying in touch with the in-laws was a gentle pastime and a part of The Way One Lived.
By today’s jaded standards these rituals sound utterly tedious, and, well, they were.
But, one common part of these occasions could (and did) hold my interest. Frequently the grown-ups’ after-dinner conversation would linger on more contemplative subjects: flights to the Moon (still a few years down the road at the time), the vastness of the universe, flying saucers, the future, and (being the Fundamentalist Midwest) Biblical prophecy of the End Times and the Second Coming. Against these casual forays of mind-stretching more adventurous souls would sometimes take a stab at the biggest of the Big Questions, the Meaning of Existence, and all that.
I was fascinated, and further, my juvenile attempts to keep pace with these discussions were sometimes even met with thoughtful reflection (though more often with tolerant laughter). My questing mind and overheated imagination had found its natural element, and I would carry this with me throughout my life.
Part of my world has always been “out there,” traveling the literal or metaphorical heavens. I haven’t been able to get away from it, and in my heart of hearts, I never have really wanted to.
Welcome to my odd little universe.
While I was beginning to organize this site, I waffled on whether I actually needed an “About Me” page.
I mean, to paraphrase about half a dozen people, I is what I am.
So, I conceded to a “twenty questions” version of an introduction.
Name: Daniel L. Brenton
Age: Let’s just say I was born in the last century. (The latter half, at least.)
Place of Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada. I like this city. If it weren’t for the drivers I’d love this city.
Marital Status: (You know, that’s not one of those questions you’re legally able to ask in a job interview.) Married. My first, her last. All right, my last, too.
Children: (You’re not supposed to ask that one either.)
Originally From: Indiana. About 50 years south of Fort Wayne.
Hobbies: HA HA Ha ha (snort, chuckle).
Employer: I’m a writer, dammit. Next question.
Prefer Cats or Dogs: Cats, yes. I’m a writer, so I’m supposed to have a cat. I don’t have one at the moment, but that will probably change.
Since You’re a Writer, Are You Alcoholic? That’s the tradition, isn’t it? No, I hardly ever drink, period. It’s not a moral issue, it’s just that drinking makes me stupid, and I don’t enjoy being stupid.
Questions I decided not to answer:
Sexual Orientation: (What did you want, a date or something?)
Interests: It would be easier to tell you what I’m not interested in. On second thought, it would be easier the other way.
Race: Can’t you tell from the picture? (Actually, I have a tiny bit of American Indian blood on my mother’s side, from the Miami tribe, which used to dwell in the northeastern area of what is now Indiana. I have no idea why the name wound up attached to Florida. (Seriously. I have a bit of an epicanthic fold in my eyelids to prove it.) Otherwise, I think I’m basically a White Anglo-Saxon Mutt.)
Sorry, no more questions.
During my online career I have left quite a bit of digital wreckage along the shoulders of the information superhighway, and if you were wondering, here’s a (fairly) comprehensive list.
TruthWerks.com. This went through several permutations, but started off as a bungled self-publishing effort. It won’t be coming back.
GratefulNotes.com and WordsToHeal.com. I’ve visited inspirational material and the subject of gratitude several times, and these have also gone though a couple of variations. WordsToHeal.com definitely won’t be coming back.
OddLittleUniverse.com. A relatively short turn at a graphics/web design business. The domain will probably reappear eventually, repurposed.
GratitudeWatch.com and GratitudeWatch.net. My most recent foray into the subject of gratitude. The bottom line, honestly, is once you’ve really “gotten” the value of gratitude, then the subject sort of dead ends.
Luna15.com. My site dedicated primarily to Red Moon, the novel I co-wrote with David S. Michaels. It’s still up and running, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
HighOddness.com. A satire/humor site originally aimed specifically at a UFO/paranormal audience. I took it down when I realized the audience didn’t understand I was making fun of them. A later version aimed at a more generic audience was discontinued when I realized the material would be at home right here. (Hey, it’s all me, after all.)
Then, of course, I changed my mind again. After some reflection it became obvious that I shouldn’t have done that, and that this part of me needs
an institution a home of its own. And here it is again.
(That’s enough confession, isn’t it?)
So, what is this triangle thingie I’ve got all over the site here?
Oh … you’re asking me?
Honestly, the bottom line is that it isn’t anything, other than maybe something that looks kinda cool.
Now, I did have a psychic tell me she had seen something very much like this when she was in her early teens. I am assuming this was some kind of visionary experience, but she never really explained it. I suppose I could ask her, but she charges about $450.00 an hour. With any luck I might get an answer in about fifty bucks.
(I really doubt she works by the minute, though.)
It has become clear that I should post a policy for those interested in making comments here. These are my expectations of what I consider acceptable comments, and my statement regarding the ownership of the content of them.
Simply, if these terms are not acceptable to you, please don’t comment.
(Sorry, but a few bad apples have spoiled the barrel on this issue for the rest of us and I just don’t see any other way around it.)
Posted January 19, 2008
All comments are moderated by me or a designee, period. This is my site, and I am responsible for its content.
I ask that the commentor, out of courtesy to other readers, stay close to the topic of the article commented on. Also, though this site is not geared toward children, I request comments stay “PG” rated. I reserve the right to edit for “harsh language.”
Comments that are obviously spam won’t see the light of day.
I do however recognize some spam may be in the eye of the beholder. My general guideline is if any links provided take me to what is obviously a purely commercial site, I make a personal determination of whether the material on the linked site is relevant (or not) to the discussion at hand.
Naturally, comments promoting illegal, treasonous, or blatantly unethical behavior, such as hate crime, will not be tolerated.
I reserve the right to remove comments after posting, should I recognize something objectionable after the fact. Out of fairness to visitors, I will try to keep this to a minimum.
I invite intelligent discussion on the material. This, truly, can be helpful to me, and I think I am honest enough with my self that I can recognize this. By intelligent discussion I mean that not only is an intelligent argument being presented, but it is clear the commentor has understood the entire drift of what I am saying, and not simply “knee-jerking” to one statement without taking the entire context into account.
I am not perfect, and I feel I am capable of admitting mistakes. I ask that requests for corrections, clarifications, or retractions be made in a reasonable, non-inflammatory manner. I’m sure you would prefer to be treated the same way.
Comments that are openly insulting naturally will not be tolerated. I am a basically reasonable human being, and comments such as these make the assumption I am not.
Comments that are clearly based in a “debunking” mentality will not be posted. By this, I mean that it is clear by the content of the comment the individual is not interested in an intelligent discussion and dismisses my observations without sound basis.
Comments need to be understandable, not just for my sake, but the sake of the other readers. Anything written in what is essentially a personal code, or having extensive references to in-jokes, or in an opaque personal “style” have no place here.
I, in fact, went through a phase of writing many years ago, in which I recognized afterwards I was using deliberately obscure references and leaving it to the audience to figure the whole thing out. At the time I felt it was artistic. I now recognize I was being rude to my audience by making unfair demands on them. Because of this experience, I know this kind of writing when I see it.
Further, efforts to hide derision behind “artistic language” are immature attempts to humiliate, and are acts of moral cowardice.
Additionally, I did read A Clockwork Orange many years ago, and in doing so was forced to learn Anthony Burgess’s “Nadsat” language in order to understand the novel. Burgess later said this was an example of the use of brainwashing and was in fact what he was doing to the reader.
Been there, done that, not doing it again.
I do not support the efforts of other individuals to brainwash the public, and you should not either. (Mr. Burgess, I want those two weeks back, with interest. Now.)
There is unfortunately a need for a blacklist. This has been started and will be maintained.
Posted January 19, 2008
Comments posted here become my intellectual property unless a copyright notice is made with the comment.
That said, I am not in the habit of “mining” comments or other people’s material for use in my own, and have a very low opinion of those who do.
You may have noticed I post very few images here. This is for several reasons, but mostly because I am mindful of Copyright law and wish to observe the spirit of it.
If this is an issue and you feel the need to make some comment about an article or something here, you can correspond with me through my Contact page and we’ll work it out from there.
If you have comments here previously you want to maintain ownership of, feel free to contact me.
Posted March 28, 2009
(Sorry … more serious stuff here. I’ll keep it short.)
Information gathered on this website, such as names and email addresses in comments, websites related to those addresses, or names and email addresses provided in the website’s email subscription service will not be lent or sold or otherwise disseminated for any reason, with the only exception being binding legal action as directed by Law.
Information on location of origin, type of operating system, amount of time on web pages, etc. is used for statistical purposes only. IP addresses of visitors are logged by the hosting company and may be identified by this publisher as needed for the blocking of hotlinking or other abuse. Should abuse deemed as excessive be demonstrated, this information will be provided to the appropriate legal and authorities. Otherwise, IP addresses will only be disseminated in the event of a binding legal action as directed by Law.
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This website has from time to time used third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services that may be of interest to you. (For more information on these practices, see this Official Google Blog entry.)
If you would like more information about these practices and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here to visit the Network Advertising Initiative website.
This site is driven by WordPress. For the “theme” (layout) I’m sure if you have an eye for these things you’ll recognize it. Though I must confess I’m getting a little tired of the constant changes and lack of notification/documentation of minor updates, so I will probably be moving on soon.
For hosting, I’ve just switched to Host Gator and so far, I’m delighted. These folks are just light years ahead of what I was using before.
A note about browsers: I’ve put quite a bit of effort to ensure that this site works well in a range of browsers for Windows/Vista, Macintosh, and Linux platforms, but it doesn’t hold as intended with Internet Explorer earlier than version 7.0. (Internet Explorer is not WC3 compliant, and this a sore point to webmasters the world-wide, especially this one, who is has more than spent enough time addressing Microsoft’s disregard for unified web standards. Any questions?) If you are using a version of Internet Explorer older than 8.0, I would urge you to upgrade, or better, switch to the appropriate version of Firefox® for your computer.
If you have any just burning questions about me or the site, feel free to contact me.
© 2006 – 2012, by Daniel Brenton. All Rights Reserved.