W.W.A.R.P. Part One

Well, I’ve been inspired by my son-in-law, who has been writing a novel over the past year.  I decided to try my hand at storytelling as well.  So here’s the start of what is either a short story or a massive novel.  I haven’t quite figured out which yet.  Maybe it’s a screen play.  All I know is I have a story in my head, and for once I thought I ‘d put pen to paper (so to speak) and get started…


So, the fact of the matter is that many of you don’t really know what happened on Earth fifty years ago, do you? You might think you do, but you don’t.  W.W.A.R.P. technology is something that you’ve grown up with, and you don’t give it a second thought. It’s as common to you as, say, the cell phone was to people at the turn of the century. Hard to believe that was nearly 100 years ago, and even harder to believe that I’m still around to remember it.

For those of you who use it every day, you probably don’t even remember what W.W.A.R.P. originally stood for. It’s just “warp here” or “warp there” or “let’s warp over to Jason’s place for a vodka zintini”. Well, for those that care, it stands for “Wallace’s Wormhole Algorithm for Randomizing Particles”. Yes, I know it randomizes terchons, not just particles, but W.W.A.R.T. just didn’t have the same flair.

I don’t have much time left, so I thought I’d finally pass along exactly WHAT went into creating W.W.A.R.P. You know, clear up some of the deliberate mistakes in the history books. Oh, by the way, my name is Ted.  Ted Wallace.

And this is the story of how I became humanity’s savior but destroyed the Earth in the process.


“Hey Wallace! Quit your daydreaming and get over here and help me lift this projector!”

Theodore “Ted” Wallace looked over at his friend, Norm, and said “Hey, you’re the one who’s always saying I’m the brains and you’re the brawn in this partnership. How could I possibly be of help to you?”

“Just shut your pie hole and get over here before I drop this! If I break it, all your precious smarts won’t be able to replace it, especially with those budget cuts coming.” Ted didn’t need to be reminded of the budget cuts. If he didn’t have a working prototype within the next month, he could kiss his project funding goodbye. “Okay, okay, I get your point.” He helped Norm wrestle the expensive particle phase projector onto the workbench.

“What do you need this thing for anyway?” said Norm.

As usual, Ted couldn’t resist screwing with his partner. “It’s used to calibrate the phase synthesis of the tarledyne emitter on the framijack to the same frequency modulation as the jaznark on the second level of the…..”

“Okay, okay! If I didn’t know better I’d say you were just making up words to mess with me.”

“Well, let’s just say it’s important to the project, and leave it at that then.” Ted had to admit even he didn’t know what he had just said…

Changing the subject, Norm asked “You planning on seeing Chase this weekend? It’s her birthday tomorrow, isn’t it?” Ted cursed. He had forgotten about her birthday again. As he thought about it, he remembered the subtle hints she had been dropping all month that he had been too preoccupied to pay attention to.

“Fark, Norm! Why didn’t you remind me earlier? Now I have to go out and get her a present, and you know the only places open in this neighborhood this time of night are the weedmarts!” Ted didn’t look forward to having to shop at a weedmart. When you walked into one of those places you couldn’t help but get a healthy dose of the “happy smoke” rolling around. He didn’t like the way it took the edge off his mind. He felt he needed to stay sharp all the time.

“Well, wrap it up and I’ll help you pick something nice. I’ve been needing a new pack of reefsticks for a couple days now anyway.” Unlike Ted, Norm didn’t feel the need to avoid the vice. Since the National Marijuana Legalization Act of ’24 and the government quality controls it put in place, it had actually become healthier to smoke reefsticks than it was to smoke cigarettes. There was even a bill in congress that would outlaw tobacco production altogether. Since most of the tobacco companies had shifted to marijuana production anyway, passage of the bill was looking more and more likely every day.

As they got in Norm’s car, he told it “Walgreens” and they took off. They passed by a couple of independent weedmarts and stopped at the drugstore near Ted’s house. Ted couldn’t help wondering what his great-great-grandfather would have thought of people going into the local Walgreens for their daily helping of marijuana and candy bars. He walked over to the gift section and started to look around. Norm said “I’ll be right back Ted, just gonna go grab a pack. Don’t pick out anything without me!” Ted had no idea what to get Chase, so he obediently waited for Norm to return.

“With money being tight, I thought I’d pick up some of the house brand this time,” Norm said, holding up a pack of Wally Wackies. “So, what are you thinking? Jewelry? Clothes? Stuffed animals?”

As usual, Ted didn’t have a clue, so he said “I thought that’s what you came along for. I do enough thinking during the day.”

“Well, let’s take a look at jewelry then. You’re not going to find anything real high quality here, but it’s the thought that counts, right? How about a bracelet?”

Ted looked at the display of bracelets, and finally picked out a nice rhodium plated bracelet covered with artificial trilinites. It was an obvious copy of a Kartoosh original. In a way, he was grateful he had forgotten to pick something up earlier. He would have been tempted to go to a jewelry store and get the real thing. That would have set him back several thousand creds, while this one was only about fifty. And he couldn’t tell the difference…

“Ted’s place” Norm told the car. As they took off, Norm asked “So, how close are you really? Are we going to get shut down?”

“Well, the only thing I haven’t been able to work out is focusing the beam tight enough to target the individual electrons. That’s what I’m hoping the new projector will help with. I’ll have a better idea after I test it out next week.”

As they pulled up to Ted’s house, Norm said “Well, in that case I’m glad I didn’t drop that projector after all. See you on Monday. Say hi to Chase for me.”

Ted headed into his house. As the lights turned on, he was thinking more of the project than of Chase. He told the house to wake him at 10, and remind him of Chase’s birthday in the morning. As he headed to bed, he went over his work for the day in his head. He knew it should be working. It had to be working…

When Norm got back in his car, he made a call. “Yeah, he says he’s real close. We’ll know better next week… No, I’m NOT going to tell him yet. It’s important that he think the money is coming from the college, not you. If he knew you were involved, he’d stop working just on principle… Okay, I’ll let you know. So long.” As he headed into his house, he thought again about how he’d been misleading Ted and, as usual, he regretted it. But there were some things more important than friendship.

Well, there it is.  Now I just have to keep at it long enough to finish the tale.  It’ll probably take awhile, but hopefully it’ll all make sense when I’m done.  I have it all in my head, I just need to figure out the best way to tell it.

And to make sure I don’t get any “Where’s the motorcycle reference?” comments, here’s a picture…

If you want the story behind this, click here… 

In the meantime…

Have Fun and Ride Safe,


A New Venture…

Well, I’ve started a new hobby (or should I say business?).  For those of you waiting for something to do with motorcycles – here it is.  I’ve had to leave my motorcycle out in the rain to make room in the garage for my new venture.  Apart from that, not much to say about bikes.  Nothing to see here.  Move along folks…

My wife Polly recently started an on-line paper crafting business.  She sells handmade cards, notions, etc. as well as some commercial items.  The name of the business is PNW Crafts, which stands for either Pacific Northwest Crafts or Polly ‘n’ William’s Crafts.  I tend to lean toward the former.  She’s been doing a pretty good business selling stuff to friends and on our web site which currently goes through etsy.com.  However, as you can tell by the name, when we set it up we intentionally did not limit it to just her stuff.  The plan was for me to get into some woodworking as I retired and include that stuff in the store as well.

PNWcrafts Logo

Well, I wish I could say I’d retired, but I haven’t.  But I have started on my woodworking.  Turns out that Polly was planning to do a couple of craft fairs this fall/winter with her stuff, and I thought it would be a good idea to start my woodworking early and include my stuff in the craft fairs, as well.  I’ve started with turned crafts such as pens, keychains, etc.

So I went and bought a small lathe from Amazon, along with some pen-making starter kits from both Amazon and a place called Penn State Industries.  They cater to people like I was about to become…


I promised I would make Polly a pen first thing, just for her, so that very first night I made my first pen…


I’m told, however, that’s not how it’s done.  I at least made it purple, her favorite color.  Perhaps if I had used purple Duct Tape instead of electrician’s tape she would have been happier with it.  There’s just no pleasing some people…

Of course, at the time I received my lathe I had still not received my pen making supplies.  So I improvised a bit more and made her yet another pen…


STILL not acceptable.  Hey, it’s purple again!  What does she want, perfection?  “The pen sticks out too much from the handle, sweetie.”  Well, la-de-freakin’-da.  That’s twice she’s shot me down!  She only gets one more chance!

Well, I finally got my pen kits and such, and have been happily turning large pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood and a lot of even smaller pieces (which she insists I vacuum up for some reason).  A side effect of all this is that I stay out of Polly’s way because I spend more time in the garage than in the house. Dunno if that’s a good or bad thing, but it is what it is…  The area I’ve taken up in my garage has expanded, but if I try really hard I can still squeeze my motorcycle in…


I’ve included a few of my creations below, but most of them will be posted on our web site.  Right now I’ve posted them all to our Facebook page.  Once I get prices figured out I will be putting them up for sale on our web site, or at least the stuff we don’t sell at the craft fairs.

Bolt Action 24kt in Desert Camo acrylic with insetComfort Grip 24k in laminated woodComfort Grip 24kt in PadaukFunline Slimline White Satin in Purple Swirl AcrylicSlimline Pen & Pencil in Padauk24kt Keychain in Rosewood and AcrylicCapacitive Touch Stylus Chrome in RosewoodStainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop in OakPocket Toolkit in BubingaMach3 Razor Handle in Padauk

Oh, and by the way, she apparently liked my third attempt at a pen for her…

Princess Pen Clear Crystals in Purple Grape Acrylic

I personally don’t see the difference.  All three were purple, after all.  But what do I know?  Maybe it was the Swarovski crystals or something…

Oh – one more motorcycle anecdote – I now look in the ditches on my way home for good pieces of wood that might make good turnings.  I recently strapped a three foot branch of Madrona to my bike’s trunk to get it home and make stuff from it!  Polly says I’m addicted.

Have Fun and Ride Safe,


The Therapy of Cats–What They Can Do For You

If you’re looking at this in hopes of figuring out the best therapist for your cat, feel free to skip it.  They’re usually WAY beyond any help counseling could give them.  This is about how cats can provide therapeutic value to their owners.  And, sorry to say, it has NOTHING to do with motorcycles.

I don’t know how many of you are cat owners.  In my opinion you should ALL be, but that’s beside the point.  I love cats (as you can tell by my “handle” BakaNeko, which roughly translates to Stupid Cat).  In any event, those of us who DO love cats know they come in several different temperaments.  We happen to have three very different types in our house.  They each add a share of therapy to our family, in one way or another.

1) Leave me alone – I’m better than you…

This is Anime (Ani for short).  She got that name from the fact that as a kitten, she had abnormally big eyes.  Ani is about 13 years old, and very much a perfect example of the stuck up kitty.  She will only allow you to pet her on HER terms.  And heaven forbid she should hear you shaking a pill out of a bottle to give her – you won’t see her for hours.  We thought we knew all her hiding places, but she still surprises us sometimes.  It seems the only time she WANTS you to pay attention is early in the morning or late at night.  Yup, you got it – feeding time.  Then it’s “mew mew mew” until you give in (or rather Polly does).  In the first picture she’s showing off her designer laser eyes.  Oddly, they came out different colors…  In the second picture you can see how terribly fluffy she is.  She’s got some Persian in her that leaves her with a tail roughly the size of a baseball bat, especially when she’s scared or very happy and it puffs out.  Ani’s therapeutic value comes from her laid back attitude, reminding us that taking it easy is not a sin.  She’ll just stretch out wherever she wants, and as long as you stay away from her, she’s happy.


2) Pay attention to me – PLEASE PLEASE!!!

This is Daisy Mae.  She’s about 8 years old and is pretty independent.  Note she doesn’t even need you to pet her, she’s found Polly’s hair brushes all on her own…  AND she’s her own best friend.  However, she gets these moods where she HAS to be on top of you and you have no choice but to pet her or brush her.  Unfortunately, this usually happens when one of us is on the computer, reading, or watching TV.  It’s very difficult to type with a cat on your lap, rubbing on your hands.  And the fact that she’s not terribly transparent makes it impossible to see the computer screen, book, and/or TV.  Her therapeutic value (or is it a super power) is that she likes to shed all over everything.  No wait, that’s not it.  Is it that whole bugging the heck out of us when we’re on the computer thing?  No, that’s not very valuable.  She purrs a lot – yeah that’s it.  Purring is soothing and peaceful.  Oh, and did I mention she likes to groom my beard and sideburns?  Very helpful…


Kitty Lickin’


My shirt AFTER Daisy has made her visit…

3) I’m here to make your day a little better

Then we come to Maggie Mae.  She’s our youngest, at only a few years.  All things considered, she’s also the one that provides us (or at least me) the most enjoyment.  She’s still got kitten in her, so she makes us laugh.  There’s nothing like sitting downstairs watching TV when all of a sudden she runs down the stairs, zooms around the room (sliding on the laminate flooring) then bolts back up the stairs.  But she’s also very much the lady (as shown below).  She has a regal bearing, but still likes to play.  She has no spine (oh wait, how did that picture get in there?), and she’s very expressive.  In the last photo I believe she was startled by seeing Polly without her makeup… (ooh, I’m gonna pay for THAT one when she reads this)  They shaved her belly when she got “fixed” as a kitten and it has never really grown back, so she has a fleshy pink tummy.  Her therapeutic value is that she makes us laugh, and she likes to cuddle.  The best part of my day is usually when I get up in the morning to go to work.  I sit down in my computer chair to put on my shoes, and she’ll come running down the stairs and jump up on my lap.  I’ll lean back and she’ll climb up, lay down on my chest, and rub my face with her chin.  This makes me extremely happy.  Then, as suddenly as she appeared, she’s off and running back up the stairs.



Well, there ya have it.  Three cats, three different ways of making our lives interesting.  They can often be pests, but those times are generally WAY overbalanced by the serenity and joy they give us.

Have Fun and Ride Safe,


On Growing Older (the Musings of an Old Man)

Growing old sucks.  Let’s just get that right out in the open up front.  I suppose for some people (Jack LaLanne or Bill Gates, for instance) it’s not that bad.  Jack had great health up to the day he died, and Bill, well, we all know what Bill has.  So, given my advanced age, I’m just gonna ramble on for awhile…


I’ve made note of several facets of growing old that I don’t particularly care for.  Here’s a much condensed list:

  • Aches and pains
  • Eyesight going bad
  • Hearing going bad
  • Other “things” going bad (let’s just leave it at that, shall we?)
  • Memory failing
  • Losing hair where I want it
  • Growing hair where I don’t want it
  • Lack of desire to do anything other than sit around (my garage is getting messier at this very moment)
  • Aches and pains (I know I mentioned that already, but it bears repeating)
  • Declining tolerance for kids, other people’s stupidity, extremism, and any number of other things that exist in this world
  • Memory failing (Did I already mention that?  Hmm, I forget.)
  • Watching friends and family “pass on”, as they say

I could do without ANY of the above conditions.  But alas, it is not to be.  As I passed my 52nd birthday a few weeks ago (or was it 53rd – there’s that memory thing again), I discover that I’ve succumbed to ALL of the above.  Not all at once, mind you, but little by little.  They all sneak up on you, just a bit at a time, until BAM.  You realize you’re not GETTING old, you ARE old.

Now some people would say that 53 (yeah, that sounds right) isn’t really old (after all, my mother is still golfing, and she’s a few years older than me – I forget how many).  Of course, those are the 20-40 year olds who have YEARS ahead of them before they reach this point, or at least that’s how they think.  Heck, it’s how I thought when I was 20.  When I was a kid, I figured out how old I would be when the “21ST CENTURY” rolled around, along with all the technological and medical marvels it would entail.  I discovered I would be 41.  Not too bad, especially since we’d be living on the moon by that time and everyone would be living to well over 100, if not immortal.  Wait, what?  We aren’t?  Neither one?  Well, crap.

A couple of my earliest memories are the original Moon Landing, and JFK’s assasination.  For many people reading this, those are just entries in history books.  Yes, I know I said my memory is failing, but those things happened LONG ago during my formative years, and have apparently been burned into my brain.  Ask me what I had for supper last Thursday, however, and I haven’t a clue.  Those events, in particular the moon landing, were the start of many advances in science and technology.  (But we STILL don’t live on the moon, damn it!)  I recently ran across the following picture on George Takei’s Facebook page:


This pretty much sums up where modern youth are in the scheme of things.  They take a lot for granted.  Of course, so did I when I was young, as I recall.  But I WAS in the forefront of the computer age.  My first computer programs were stored on 1 inch wide punched paper tape.  My first personal computer cost nearly $2000, and had the computing power of today’s calculators.  (As an aside, I debated on whether to invest that $2000 in Apple stock at the time, rather than buy an Apple computer – I really should have thought more about it, but DANG IT!  I wanted that computer!)  My first experience with what would eventually be called the internet was over a 300 baud modem running over my phone line.  So there HAVE been a lot of advances in my lifetime, but still no immortality, and no crater-front property on the aforementioned moon.

In case you think I’m being COMPLETELY morose in this post, I should point out a few of the GOOD things that have happened as I’ve grown older.  I’ve been happily married for over 30 years, have two wonderful children, and own my own house (along with the bank, of course).  I’ve also been gainfully employed (in essentially the same job) for over 30 years.  My daughter is, herself, happily married to a wonderful son-in-law, and both are doing well in their careers.  My wife and I have reached the point in our lives where we find it difficult to get each other presents, because we are financially stable enough to just go out and buy what we want when we want it, rather than wait for it to show up as a gift.  My job is also stable, and I’ll be eligible to retire in only a few more years.  I’m still able to ride a motorcycle, and haven’t succumbed to the need for a trike yet.  My wife is starting her own home and web based craft business that she’s really excited about.  I hope to contribute to the business myself as I have more time after retirement.  All in all, things are pretty good for us.  If not for those pesky things at the beginning of this tale, I could almost say life is perfect.

Now there are those of you out there who are quick to point out “You’re only as old as you feel”.  Well, if that’s the case I must be ancient.  I think, however, that it’s time to start changing my perspective.  “You’re only as old as you think you are” sounds a lot better.  So, starting tomorrow (or the day after, or maybe the day after that) I’m going to try to start thinking about NOT being old.  After all, nowadays 50 is only considered middle aged.  Mathematically, that means it should be EASY to make it to 100.  So if I look at it that way, I’m NOT really that old.  I should have another 50 or so years left in me, easy.  (And there’s always that immortality gig, of course – still got high hopes for that).  It will take a shift in my perspective, but I hope to be able to do that.  I’ll let you know in a year or so, if I remember…

Have Fun and Ride Safe,