Kara Thrace is Aurora Take 2

Or, Kate's personal canon. This is slightly revised, as I've been thinking about this more.

• The Lords of Kobol were/are "angels" made physical beings by God-who-doesn't-like-to-be-called-that (hereafter Gwdltbct), and they lived with humans on Kobol.

• The humans on Kobol created Cylons and, as usual, the Cylons rebelled. Eventually the Cylons went off to Cylon Earth and the humans went off to the Colonies (where, I now believe, they abandoned their technology, much as they would do later on Earth). Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, apparently had some special connection with the Cylons, given the presence of the Temple of Aurora on Cylon Earth.

• In Greek mythology, Aurora (Eos) had a human lover named Tithonus. In older versions of the myth, she made him immortal. (A more familiar version of the myth has her ask Zeus to make him immortal, but she neglects to ask for eternal youth for him, so he ages forever.)

• Sam Anders met Aurora in her temple. He may or may not have known she was the goddess, but he wrote the song "All Along the Watchtower" for her and sang it to her. She acquainted him with (other?) angels — maybe Head!Six and Head!Baltar, although they may have taken other forms at the time — and forewarned him and thereby the rest of the Five of the coming destruction of Cylon Earth. She also gave him hints about the resurrection process, which he used with the others to recreate it in orbit and thus escape the destruction of earth. That is, she ... makes him immortal.

• Gwdltbct thinks Aurora needs to learn about what it's like to be human, and what death really means, plus he sees an opportunity to perhaps end the humans-make-Cylons-who-almost-destroy-humans cycle. So he incarnates Aurora on Caprica as Kara Thrace, daughter of Socrata and Dreilide Thrace. Kara didn't know who/what she really was. After finding Sam Anders again, she dies, thus really learning what it means to be human. But Gwdltbct wants her to also lead the humans and their Cylon allies to the safe haven he has prepared for them, so he sends her back in physical form — still not really knowing who she is — until she completes her task. I think that, on Earth, after she says goodbye to Adama, when she's talking to Lee — I think then she realizes who she is, and that she can now go join Sam. And so she goes.

My Dad

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter:

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, at 2:15 PM PDT, my father, who is 82 years old, took off in an airplane that he designed and built, from Paine Field in Everett, WA. 18 hours later he landed in Fredericksburg, VA, after flying non-stop more than 2300 miles (3700 km). In doing so, he set a new world's record for distance in an airplane between 300kg and 500kg in weight.

My Dad is an aeronautical engineer and pilot who has been flying since he was 15. He met my mother at the University of Minnesota's Flying Club, and taught her to fly. He got his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering at Texas A&M, and it was there, the year I was born, that he first got interested in this effort as a result of a class design project. He has, in other words, been designing this airplane and planning this trip for my entire life. I grew up with sketches and models of this airplane; he had, for a long time, a propeller intended for it that was stored under my parents' bed, prompting my mother to insist that she was going to write a book about life with my Dad called Propeller Under the Bed. Sadly, she passed away a decade ago and did not live to see the culmination of all of my father's hard work.

I am extraordinarily proud of my father.

Mostly Obscure Musicians I Like

In no particular order:

1. Kirsty MacColl. If you've heard the Pogues' Christmas classic "Fairytale of New York," you've heard her sing. If you haven't heard her solo albums -- and most people haven't -- you're missing a wonderfully gifted singer and songwriter.

2. Sandy Denny. Usually called a "folksinger", which doesn't begin to do her justice. One of the greatest voices of the 20th century.

3. Fastball. Had one huge hit ("The Way"). Deserved to have many more -- brilliant songwriters with great pop hooks.

4. Screaming Blue Messiahs. "I Wanna be a Flintstone."

5. John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett. Actually had a hit in the UK with Otway's "Really Free." Sort of proto-folk-punk.

6. Pavlov's Dog. Came out of the St. Louis area in the mid-70s. Singer David Surkamp makes Geddy Lee sound like a baritone.

7. Salmon. My good friend Aaron Goodwin played guitar for this San Jose-area band. One album (Pablo, Drop the Chicken). Mined the same rap-rock vein as Rage Against the Machine.

8. Krenshaw. Another local San Jose band who released one self-produced album.

9. Syd Straw. Great singer, occasional actress, wrote a couple of my favorite songs.

10. Peter Blegvad. American expat in Britain, absolutely bloody brilliant songwriter.

11. Joan Osborne. Yeah, she had a huge hit with that folky "One of Us." What most people never realized is how atypical that song was for her; she's mostly a very soulful, bluesy singer who writes good tunes.

12. Toni Childs. Has an incredible voice and great songwriting chops.

New book about the Titanic

There's a new book out about the Titanic, called The Other Side of the Night, and while you'd think that every minute of the ship's voyage had been covered in great detail already, this one does, at least, attempt to focus on something a bit different, namely the other two ships that were intimately involved in the disaster. Those would be the Cunarder Carpathia, which steamed at a top speed no one ever thought her capable of to attempt a rescue, and the Leyland liner Californian, which was stopped up against an ice floe no more than 10 or so miles north of the sinking ship, but never moved despite the officers' witnessing signal rockets fired by the Titanic after she struck the iceberg. Most people familiar with the details of the disaster will already know the stories of these two ships as well, and the book doesn't really tread much new ground. (Although I don't remember ever knowing before that Second Officer Lightoller's feisty Australian wife Sylvia chewed out the Californian's junior officers during a break in the Board of Trade hearings about the disaster.)

There has long been a bit of a cottage industry of defenders of Californian's captain Stanley Lord, who claim that the ship was much farther away than 10 miles and that the rockets sighted were not those fired by Titanic. The book's author does an excellent job of both showing that this argument doesn't hold much water (so to speak) and pointing out that, even if the rockets seen by the Californian weren't those of Titanic, they were clearly distress signals as specified by the regulations of the British Board of Trade, and therefore the Californian's captain was negligent for failing to do anything. But equally significantly, he points out the falsity of the notion that if the Californian had just come to the rescue, everyone from Titanic would have been saved. While it's true that the loss of life would likely have been smaller, the reality is that by the time Californian actually got to the Titanic, even from only 10 miles or so away, there would not have been enough time to conduct a rescue of the sort performed, say, by the Ile de France at the wreck of the Andrea Doria four decades later. Titanic sank far too quickly for that. Still, there's no question that they would have been able to rescue victims from the water, and it's conceivable that the numbers of dead and rescued would have been reversed if the Californian had acted rather than not.

Good book, if a bit redundant.

My Own Personal Version of BSG Reality

Kara Thrace was/is Aurora, the goddess of the dawn.

The Lords of Kobol were/are "angels" made physical beings by God-who-doesn't-like-to-be-called-that, and they lived with humans, and, later, Cylons, on Kobol.

Something happened on Kobol -- canon is rather unclear on that -- but the Cylons went off to Earth 1 and the humans went off to the Colonies. Aurora apparently had some special connection with the Cylons, given the presence of the Temple of Aurora on Earth 1.

Sam Anders met Aurora in her temple. He may or may not have known she was the goddess, but he wrote the song "All Along the Watchtower" for her and sang it to her. She acquainted him with angels -- maybe Head!Six and Head!Baltar, although they may have taken other forms at the time -- and forewarned him and thereby the rest of the Five of the coming destruction of Earth 1.

Two thousand years or so later, God-who-doesn't-like-to-be-called-that sends Aurora to Caprica as Kara Thrace, daughter of Socrata and Dreilide Thrace; Daddy Thrace was probably another of the LoK and conveyed to Socrata how important her daughter would be. However, Kara didn't know who/what she really was. There's a story here I've not quite teased out -- that Aurora had to somehow become human and go through death in order to save both the Cylons and the humans, which is, of course, what she ends up doing, by reconnecting with Sam Anders, this time on ruined Caprica.

Iz mai story n Iz stickin to it.

Y Halo Thar

Ugh. Many ages since posting.

News: Just escaped from two weeks in hospital. I ... had my colon removed. (Short version: I've had ulcerative colitis for the last 35 years. Now, I don't. Yay?) I'm recovering. Two weeks in the hospital is enough, however. ;-)

It's a two-part surgery, though, so the joy is that I get to go back in 6 weeks. The second surgery is quicker and easier, though.

(For those who are terminally curious and/or interested in way Too Much Information, Google "ileoanal reservoir".)

Downsides: I can't go see Katee at Starland in Denver in April; having part of your insides on your outside, even temporarily, is ... weird.
  • Current Music

I am TOO lucky

Tonight, I went to see Carrie Fisher's one-woman play, "Wishful Drinking," with a friend of mine, who had somehow obtained front row, center seats. Which were about 3 feet from the stage.

Carrie is hilarious. She was smoking throughout the play and asked me to come up to confirm that they were clove cigarettes, not regular ones, and gave me one to keep.

At the end of the play, when she came out for her curtain call, we were all standing up, so I stepped forward to shake her hand, and she reached down and grabbed me and kissed me full on the lips!


Why, yes, I was just kissed by Princess Leia!

WizardWorld Philly Con Report

Wow, I haven't done one of these in ages...

I came to Philadelphia for WizardWorld, because Katee was going to be here. There was some last minute reshuffling of things — Katee was supposed to be here Saturday but got moved to Sunday due to scheduling conflicts — but it went pretty well all things considered.

There wasn't any stage appearance. The whole thing was a signing, scheduled to run from noon to four. Ouch. I got there a bit after 11 and staked out a place near the front of the line, which eventually snaked about a third of the way around the (quite sizable) convention center hall we were in. I had a ton of things for Katee to sign, since this is one of my last opportunities to see her. She confirmed that she will be attending Dragon*Con this year and that yes, it will be her last convention. She said (I didn't record this so it's a slight paraphrase) that she did cons for the fans of the show and since the show is ending, she will no longer be doing cons.

I gave her a bunch of stuff, and she signed a bunch of things for me: a model of Scar from Diamond Select, a poster of Grant Gould's, a poster from a guy at the show that he made just for the show, the motorcycle shot from Interview magazine ("That's the only time you'll ever see me in a bikini with Grace Park and Tricia Helfer!" — and yes, that is her Harley), one of the brand-new cards from the Season 3 set that just came out, the TV Guide picture, the famous picture of her choking me, and a couple of other pictures. And I got a hug, which freaked out the security guard, who, however, apparently decided from that that I was okay and therefore didn't give me shit for standing around for the rest of the afternoon taking pictures.

Towards the end she went away to do some "con stuff" (after all the line had been cleared) and then came back to sign for some stragglers who thought "noon to four" really meant noon to four. :-) Then the handlers all shuffled her off to the Ladies' Room while I stood there and chatted with another photographer, who then noticed a bag sitting on the table: The bag I had given Katee with all of her goodies in it. And, as it turned out, all the other various goodies that other people had given her as well! Ack! Fortunately, they were still in the restroom — probably fixing makeup :-) — so we were able to get it over to the security people before she came out. (Yes, they stationed security people outside the restroom while she was in there. Good move, seriously.) Then she got whisked off to the airport. As far as I could tell, she flew in last night, got up this morning, did the show, and then hopped on an airplane to go right back to work. I hope she gets some sleep on the plane!

Regarding the "no more cons" thing, since I know that this has caused some controversy in fandom. What she said to me was that she did the cons for the fans of the show, and now that the show is ending, she wants to move on from the show. I get the impression that if, for example, they had had conventions for fans of The Education of Max Bickford, she would have done cons for that. If she does another show that there are cons for, she'd likely do more cons. She is not in any way distancing herself from science fiction nor is she dissing sci-fi fans; she has repeatedly said that sci-fi fans are the most loyal fans and that she's enjoyed having the opportunity to meet them. Sadly, for whatever reasons, they don't do cons for non-sci-fi shows. (I've always found this odd, by the way — wouldn't soap opera cons be a big business??)

I have a metric ton of pictures and will be uploading them soon. I'm still here for one more day — as a guitar player for more than 35 years, with more than a dozen Martin guitars in my collection, I can't pass up the opportunity to go visit the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, just up the road a ways, so I am renting a car tomorrow morning and driving out there for that.