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Recent Posts

  1. Prologue to Book 2 of The Ungettable Joke
    Saturday, June 22, 2013
  2. Book 2 Almost Ready for Reviewers
    Sunday, February 24, 2013
  3. Free Sample From Book 2...
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012
  4. Higgs Proves Hawking Wrong: Boson the Cloner Coming Soon
    Friday, July 20, 2012
  5. Testing the "Keyword Theory"
    Saturday, June 23, 2012
  6. Stephen Hawking: Blind Squirrel Finds Nut
    Sunday, June 10, 2012
  7. Rob Thy Neighbor
    Thursday, May 10, 2012
  8. A Symbol of Freedom
    Saturday, April 21, 2012
  9. A Different Path
    Sunday, April 15, 2012
  10. The Spark of the Future
    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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Prologue to Book 2 of The Ungettable Joke

Mocu-Mail, Postage Due

 

The upshot of it all was that Perry no longer considered his rabbit's foot lucky, and Fluffy was relieved.

 

I’m shocked to consciousness by explosions and a fearful intermittent whip-cracking sound. Tracers are zipping overhead, left and right. Flat on my stomach in the damp earth, gagging in smoke, I’m cowering from a bewildering crescendo of fire and noise. What the hell? I have a massive headache. My ears are ringing. Blood is running down my face.

“Idiot!” I say out loud.

I should have known better. I know what the amulet can do, and Bill and Dave warned me to be careful, but I trusted the damned thing too much. Now my boneheaded behavior got me into another predicament. Lost. A human target in God knows where. But why? The amulet always has a reason.

Flashes from the explosions blind me to whatever lies in the darkness nearby. I seem to be in an unplanted farm plot, feeling completely exposed. I hug the Earth beneath me, and keep down in a furrow. Lifting my head as slightly as possible, I peer forward for signs of an escape route.

Something flits about on the ground ahead of me. Great! Some kind of rat is in my way. I remember the Twinkie in my pocket, and worry that it was almost certainly smashed beyond recognition… maybe the rodent wants it. No chance buck-tooth, this is mine. I begin crawling, army style, as fast as I can, and straight toward the rat.

Just moments ago the danger from Threshgoat’s thugs was the worst thing I could imagine. After all, they were trying to kill the boys, and I was almost certain to be killed with them. I’d give anything to be back there now.

I flinch with each new burst, reflexively pulling my arms in to protect my head, then immediately I get back to the business of getting out. …Has to be artillery, or mortars, I think, and with that thought, the shelling stops.

Intermittent tracers still zip overhead, but after a minute without explosions, I am able to have a thought beyond my flight response. As I scrape over the dirt, I try to piece together how I got here. The passage had been manic, violent, but seemed to last only seconds. I became disoriented, almost nauseous. Then, before I could regain my wits, an explosion appeared in front of me. I must have been knocked out.

My thoughts are disrupted by new shelling. Much closer now. Each impact bounces me off the ground, and pressure waves ripple through my body. Excavated debris from every explosion pelts my back. I look desperately down the furrow, hoping to finally find some sign of cover, some avenue of escape. Again I see the small animal ahead of me, now vaguely silhouetted in front of a faint light in the distance. The light sways side-to-side behind the animal. It’s impossible, but even through the smoky blur, there is no mistaking the shape of that bushy tail.

 “Vidal!

A new twinge of hope grows in the pit of my stomach. I scramble forward, following Vidal, until finally the light takes on a recognizable shape. It’s an old-fashioned oil lamp. A small group of men is dimly lit by the glow. Hope surges again even as the heat from the approaching explosions begins to sear my clothing. I’m close! I will get out of this. I must.

“Keep going old man. You have important things to tell Bill and Dave.” I should have trusted them more when I had the chance.

“You want to go home don’t you?” …to Gladys?odd that I should think of her at such a time. Do you suppose I care for her more than I thought? “Aw, what difference does it make? I’m just laughable old Doctor M. to her.”

I smell burning hair. The men urge me on in strange accents… there’s a white hot flash.



***

Watch for updates on the release of book 2 at www.ungettablejoke.com

Book 2 Almost Ready for Reviewers

Our second book is nearly ready to go to the test readers. We're doing our final read-through and punching it up a bit while we're at it. In book 2, the guys discover the power of the amulet and where it came from. Bill attracts a love interest (with great comical effect), and a preacher and his congregation become convinced that it's God's will to kill Bill and Dave. A universe of mysteries are opened up and the source of ungettability is revealed.

If you want to be a test reader for book 2, go to our Fan Access page and send us a note saying "Make me a test reader." Test reader slots are limited, but we'll take as many as we can handle.

To discover more about The Ungettable Joke, and for links to all booksellers go to our Home Page.

The Ungettable Joke is only 99 cents everywhere.


Free Sample From Book 2...


Dear Readers,
In book two of The Ungettable Joke book series (due to publish Q4-2012 to Q1-2013), Bill acquires a girlfriend. Well, "acquires" is not exactly accurate. He actually just passes by and she attaches to him like glue. Bill escapes this girl, Trixie, on our first encounter with her, but it turns out her core personality attaches to him -- even in other realities.

Here's an excerpt from an encounter with a Trixie from another reality:

Bill pulled up at the curb across the street from the bookstore and surveilled the place for a minute.

“Looks OK to me. No sign of the Billy-boy fan club,” I jabbed.

Bill smirked wryly. “Remember where Dave told you to look Doc… right side, near the back, bottom shelf. Just get it over with quickly.”

“OK then. Here I go,” Moculare stepped out and hobbled stiffly across the street, apparently trying to look normal.

We waited as the minutes dragged by.

“Can you see any movement in there?” Bill asked.

I just shook my head. The windows were reflecting the midday light so nothing could be seen within.

Finally, Moculare emerged. He stopped, while still holding the door, and talked to someone inside. He continued talking, standing with his back to the door as if holding it open for someone. In another moment Trixie emerged. Her hair was different, but it was definitely her. Bill panicked. He looked the other way and put his hand up to hide his face.

“Bill, she doesn’t know you in this reality, remember?”

“So. I’m not taking any chances. This chick keyed on me like a homing pigeon.”

“Oh, I see. You’re irresistible. Is that it? You’re a magic man, and she’s just got to sprinkle you with Trixie dust.”

“Shut up. I don’t even know what that means… but shut up.”

“It might be safer for you to stay in the car, Bill.”

“Why?”

“Well maybe she’s just a freak for tall guys. If you stay in the car she’ll have a hard time noticing how tall you are.”

“Maybe.”

Bill was not totally convinced. He started the car, locked the door and rolled the window halfway up, presumably to prevent Trixie from crawling in and sitting in his lap.

Moculare shrugged as he approached the car.

“This young lady said she just had to meet the guy who was so interested in Gödel.”

“Great. That’s you Dave.” Bill reached across the car, opened my door and pushed me to exit.

I got out to meet Trixie.

“So, it is unusual that anyone wants to read Gödel. I mean, some people have heard his theories… usually misinterpreted by some college professor. But, I think I have only sold his book twice in three years. Why the interest?”

“Well, thanks for asking. I am not sure my explanation will –“

“Who’s that?” Trixie asked, eyes widening, as she peered around me toward Bill who was still trying to hide his face. 

“Oh. I’m very sorry. This is Bill. He is the other research assistant I told you about,” Moculare said. “Bill, this is Trixie from the bookstore.”

Trixie walked toward the car. Bill looked halfway in her direction and said hello, then quickly turned his head away again. Trixie said hello with a rising tone that hinted to her perception of Bill’s odd behavior, and she began to circle the car in an effort to get look at Bill’s face.

“Ahem! So Trixie, why the interest in Gödel?” I asked.

Trixie responded as if she had been awoken from a light, sleepy, daze. “What? Uhm… well, I uh, I did a paper on him in college, and I guess I became amazed by the fact that everyone else was still believing that science can prove everything. They don’t believe that anything is beyond equations and machines to understand or control.”

“And you do? Just because of Gödel?”

“Yes, but not only because of Gödel. I have seen things that… Hey, why won’t he look at me?”

Bill hunkered down tighter in his seat, still looking away.

“Oh, he’s really shy. Actually it’s because of the disfigurement.”

“Oh dear. I’m sorry Bill. I’ve been so rude.”

“It’s not your fault. Anyway, I’m used to rudeness. I spend a lot of time with Dave and the Doc there.”

“Well, you have a very nice voice… and, uhm, hair too. That’s some very nice hair you have there.” Trixie blushed.

“Thanks. It was nice talking to you.” Bill clenched, sensing he had said something too nice, maybe too encouraging. “…but we really must be going.”

“That’s too bad,” she said “I was really hoping to talk more about Gödel and his theories. So few people understand it. Maybe you can give me your phone number and I’ll call so --”

“No!” Bill snapped.

Trixie jumped a bit, her face showing instant distress.

“He just  means we won’t be around any phones for a while. We can drop by again soon; maybe next week. How would that be?” I said.

“That would be great.”

We said our farewells to Trixie, who could not suppress her curiosity, and never stopped trying to get a look at Bill’s disfigured face...

That is all for now. Tell us what you think.

Higgs Proves Hawking Wrong: Boson the Cloner Coming Soon

By Dave Squires,  Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

It was, I'm sure, not the intent of Professor Peter Higgs to run afoul of the grand assertions of his colleague from Cambridge. But, nonetheless he has taken Doctor Hawking's godless Grand Design theory and thrown it on the ash heap. Hawking himself said he had a $100 "bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found." With one or two caveats, and a smile, he admits he may have lost the bet. I appreciate that Mr. Hawking has a sense of humor.

Hawking previously spoke of his conviction that the whole model of the Universe was complete and did not require God (see external article). Given that he had bet against the Higgs particle and the Standard Model of the Universe that it confirms, and in view of the self-contradictory nature of the theory he previously posed, should Hawking now retract his previous assertions of a Godless Universe? I confess, I do not know if the two ideas are completely and mutually exclusive. But, perhaps Mr. Hawking and Mr. Higgs do know, and can offer an answer.

In any case, it seems once again that Kurt Godel's proof (see previous article) has placed an impenetrable wall between human logic and the founding of the Universe. We may discover how it functions, but perhaps never mathematically define why it came about. My own sense is, that mathematics is a product of the Universe and its Creator. That is, math is a tool that allows for measurements and definitions of what is, not of why it came to be. Godel's proof would seem to agree, and the true source and reason of existence seems securely hidden from prying human eyes.

Curiously though, the Higgs boson is a creative particle, perhaps reflecting part of the Creator's nature: somehow, the particle emits a field that imparts mass to passing particles. This is quite a trick since E=MC2 says that energy must be drawn from the universe to create mass. It seems the Higgs boson might be an "anti-Michael Bloomberg" particle -- making everything fat instead of stealing sodas from kids in New York. Anyway, can we now envision replicating things from pure energy? Who knows -- perhaps the RonCo "Boson the Cloner" will show up soon at an electronics store near you.

By Dave Squires,  Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Testing the "Keyword Theory"

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

As part of this blog, I occasionally want to inform readers about some discoveries made as we work to promote our book The Ungettable Joke. In this particular article, I am going to talk about an experiment I am running to explore the value of using keyword-focused articles to earn money on the Internet. Perhaps that sounds a bit shallow, so let me elucidate further. I do NOT intend to talk about writing meaningless articles, packed with keywords, just for the purpose of gaining an audience. That is not only silly, but also counterproductive. Any blogger or author wants to attract the right audience, and audience that will be interested in what they are selling.

In that regard, I have an especially tough row to hoe. The Ungettable Joke is an unusual book. It explores the connections between the human mind and the mysteries of the universe and its founding. "So," I ask myself, "how do I gain an audience online? What keywords and tools can I use to attract reader who will buy my book, and become energized by enough to be sales ambassadors for me?"

In the search for the right keywords, I need to identify the character of a loyal reader and follower of of The Ungettable Joke book and overall concept. Here's how I define the reader:

1. They think like me and are interested in where the Universe comes from.

2. They believe that coincidences are telling them something, that they often happen for an important reason.

3. They are not satisfied with "common sense" that they are told should be taken at face value. They believe as I do that common sense is often uncommonly bad.

4. They enjoy science and love to think in the realm of possibilities.

5. Movies like Back to The Future and Star Trek and Iron Man intrigue them because they show credible possibilities for a noble and exciting future of applied science, and our ability to move out into the Universe.

6. They believe in honesty, integrity, the rewards of hard work, and honor.

7. They are grateful for the sacrifices made by others to secure our freedoms and improve our lives. They might have made such sacrifices themselves.

8. They believe our Constitution is an inspired document, perhaps divinely inspired, and that those who violate it do not have the best interest of the country at heart.

9. Most importantly, they believe there is such a thing as universal truth and they want to know it. 

That is the beginnings of a definition of a loyal UJ reader and fan according to me. My co-author Bill might see it a little differently, but by and large we tend to agree on things. Clearly, this definition leans well away from readers of romance novels, and leans strongly in the direction of science fiction and heroic adventure. Those genre's are close to defining The Ungettable Joke, but not perfect. That's OK. I believe that no book should perfectly fit a genre, or it risks showing lack of originality.

So, what keywords will work best in the meta data and content of an article to sell this book? A very good question. There are some Internet experts and businesses that serve the purpose of listing the most used keywords on a daily basis. So, for my first experiment, I might try using some of these keywords. But, search engines are smart. Very smart. They can tell if the content of your site does not match the keywords and meta tags you have embedded in your pages. That means they'll give you low scores and shove you way down the page list when the search results return to the searcher (e.g. a Google search result). So, HOW on Earth do I get The Ungettable Joke to show up in search results unless someone searches for it by name?

[Mind numbing thoughts accompanied by dull humming sound.]

Oh, are you still there? Sorry, I think I took a nap. Marketing might be exciting to some, but I really just want to write books and live well off the revenues. So, in the ongoing quest for success, I am now experimenting with keywords and meta tags.

One Internet site recently listed the following top twelve searched keywords and phrases on their top 1,000 list (Please ignore the use of lower case. Internet software ignores it too.):

  • travel agents.
  • Africa
  • wireless
  • woodworking
  • properties
  • wine
  • star
  • day trade
  • work at home
  • CDs
  • enterprise
  • gift basket

Can you see connections to my core audience in these? It's a real stretch. The mere fact that I included them in this article won't help much because my loyal UJ reader (LUJR) is not necessarily looking for these things. Or, are they?

Here's the experiment I propose: Create key phrases that describe the loyal UJ reader with those that seem to align with the top search words.

Examples (it's OK to laugh -- the same way you might laugh at a wobbling two year old as he learns to walk. Warning: Some of these are ungettable, but you might laugh anyway.):

  • Time travel agents
  • back to the Africa
  • wireless people being honest
  • right to woodworking
  • Properties rights
  • liberal wine
  • Star Trek
  • groundhog day trade
  • right to work at home
  • venereal CDs (sorry)
  • free enterprise
  • conservative gift basket

I seriously doubt this will work, but it let's me stay on topic -- and it's fun.

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Stephen Hawking: Blind Squirrel Finds Nut

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Stephen Hawking, the famous wheelchair bound physicist, has declared himself the founder of reality and truth. He purports to have found something, and gives himself credit for it, but his own mathematics (or rather the mathematics of his contemporaries) defy his conclusion.

"But", you say, "isn't he a brilliant scientist?"

Perhaps, but he is not sufficiently brilliant to understand who God is, or how God could exist before the big bang. If fact, like the blind squirrel that finally finds a nut, it could well be that Stephen Hawking has accidentally discovered a law that guarantees God's existence. If he can interpret it correctly.

He explains that God could not exist before the big bang because time did not exist before the big bang. This is like saying that bacteria did not exist until we discovered the microscope. The idea that Mr. Hawking could understand the nature of God without an instrument through which to view Him is ludicrous. The bible itself says in many ways that God is timeless. God describes himself as having no beginning and no end. In fact, he describes himself AS the beginning and the end. That may be said to be description of time collapsed upon itself in an infinite loop so small that no time passes as you go around the loop. 

To illustrate Mr. Hawking's lack of imagination, let me provide you with an example that he gave on his television series "Stephen Hawking's Grand Design". (From this title you might get the idea that Mr. Hawking would like to be seen as the father of the godless universe he defines. I believe you are right.)

Here is Mr. Hawking's unimaginative example:

He said that looking for God before the big bang, before time existed, is a question that makes no sense. He says it is like asking for directions to the edge of the Earth. In his explanation, you cannot find the edge of the Earth because the Earth is a globe.

This is a poor analogy and simply incorrect. Mr. Hawking, and his wheel chair are sitting ON the edge of the Earth. The edge of a solid globe is its surface! We are all on the edge of the Earth unless we are airborne, underground, or underwater.

Now, the fact that Mr. Hawking cannot understand what a timeless being is, or how such a being could bring the known universe, or universes, into existence, does not mean this being cannot exist anymore than the bacteria that killed many a hapless plague victim did not exist because they had no microscope with which to view them. An unseen thing can be very real yet remain unseen until we learn how to see it. Will we ever learn how to "see" God? I suspect that will be up to Him. No person or quantity of people who pretend He does not exist will have any effect on His existence.

I am an engineer with a few years of physics under my belt as well. This does not make me the worlds greatest physicist, nor do I presume to be. But, in my work with other engineers and scientists, I have learned something about imagination, and what I do presume and assert is that Mr. Hawking's conclusion is unimaginative. He is like a proverbial blind man claiming to understand the complete description of an elephant by touching only its trunk.

His theory, by his own logic, cannot be proven. For, if time did not exist prior to the big bang, and he asserts that it is logical to conclude that God could not cause the big bang, then I assert that it is much more logical to conclude that the big bang could not cause itself. If there is no time, then there are no actions -- all clocks and motion are stopped as Mr. Hawking illustrated in his program.

To find the answer, Mr. Hawking may appreciate this interesting fact:

In the bible Moses asks God whom he should say has sent him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God says: "I AM THAT I AM... Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." In other words, God calls himself self-existent, and therefore timeless, having no cause and no creator. If Mr Hawking has discovered anything, it is this. That is, his calculations almost certainly prove the opposite of what he asserts. They prove that self-existence is possible, and that time must be started by something that is both self-existent but also animated.

So, Mr. Hawking, like a blind squirrel, might indeed have rediscovered a nut -- but he thought it was a rock. His self-existent particle from which he says the universe sprang is, again by his own assertion, frozen in time -- that is, it is NOT animated. Hence, the logical conclusion is that an animated entity is required to set things in motion. This animated entity must also be timeless. Such an entity has made Himself known to us. He has a name. He calls himself I AM. We call him God.

Sorry, Mr, Hawking, the name of the ultimate animated being is not Stephen Hawking, and the Grand Design is not yours, but His.

You can come back down to the edge of the Earth now. Welcome to reality. Now, go read Kurt Godel and King James and get your head on straight.

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Rob Thy Neighbor

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Perhaps you know someone, a neighbor or family member, who truly started with nothing in his life. Brought up in a poor, maybe broken, family this person had no head starts, no family business to work in, and no inheritance. He had only himself, his dreams, his determination, his faith that God had a plan for him, and a conviction that hard work would make him useful in God's plan.

After working his way through college, largely on his own, this guy began to build a life, probably losing sleep, working long hours for years while he built a career, paying his taxes, helping whom he could along the way, buying a house and remodeling it, and raising a family. After 20-30 years or so, maybe this person has reached a point where he is ready to build a bigger business, he might invest in something new, he might just want to take his family on a vacation.

Now, he is told by people who have yet to do anything with their God given abilities, that he must give up all he has built; give it to those who have squandered their time, talents, and treasure on idleness and frivolity. They say "he can afford it". Can he? After already giving his whole life to building a home and security for his wife and children, building retirement savings, can he afford to start over, just so lazy, greedy people can have an easy life?

Through one immoral act, the do-nothings want to steal the rewards of a life of effort and sacrifice. The Occupy Wall Street people want everything for free. They call this "wild futuristic thinking". I call it government-backed theft. Will these oh-so-superior futuristic thinkers hold a gun to the head of the hard working man and steal his life's work? Or will they simply shoot first and steal latter? Having most of their lives in front of them, isn't it really they who can "afford" to invest themselves in productive activity? ...and where is the true leadership to point them in the right direction?

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

A Symbol of Freedom

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

The US Space Shuttle, and America's space program overall have been symbols of the greatness of our system of freedom. These symbols have been torn down and the plan for replacing them is not funded (no official budget or spending authority exists). While some will argue the value of a space program, or call it a luxury we cannot afford in this economy, it has demonstrably provided more value, and created more progress than most government programs. If you watch television, check on weather reports, fly on a commercial jet, use GPS, listen to satellite radio, or search for Google maps, you are using space technology. Even the commercial rockets that launch the satellites that provide telecommunications, weather observation, space telescopes, exploration vehicles, and military satellites are spinoffs of the our space program.

I have spent 21 years working inside NASA as a contract engineer and consultant, and have gained some insight on the subject. I have looked at the value NASA provides compared to the money spent, and I have spoken on this topic to schools and colleges. The real fact is that NASA's budget is a minuscule part of the overall federal budget. It represents a budget fraction of 0.004 (only about four one thousandths) of all spending. So, let's say you pay 10,000 dollars in federal taxes in a year, this means you pay only about $40 per year or $3.33 per month for NASA!

Now, maybe you are not interested in discovering other habitable planets, finding out if there was life on Mars, tracking asteroids that might destroy the Earth, or learning about physics from the universe that produces effects that are impossible to recreate in miniature here on Earth. Perhaps you would like to destroy all those Hubble images and the science they provided, or maybe you don't care that a drug can be created in space that cannot be created on Earth (due to gravity), or that such drugs might cure cancer or treat other diseases. Personally, I like all this stuff and I'm excited to think that humanity's future could include colonies on other planets, advanced space travel and propulsion, and scientific discoveries that create a more hopeful future.

Many of the things I talked about above are part of the search for the unknown. That is , the discoveries that illuminate the reality of the universe and prove the theories upon which it operates. It is a search for knowledge that cannot be replicated in a laboratory. This search challenges human intellect to look beyond petty ideologies and into our own future, and that seems a whole lot better than fighting wars over Earth's limited resources.

But, if you like political science and ideologies, there is something more in all of this, something that is right in front of our eyes and often ignored. The greatness of our space program is in the fact that it was created by a free people. When NASA was establish in 1958 under the Eisenhower administration, it was the people who demanded it. Sure, it might have initially been a response to Sputnik, but We The People supported this response long after the Cold War purpose of the space race was over. Americans want exploration. Americans want to be the leaders in advanced technology, and Americans who pay thousands in taxes, do not generally begrudge NASA the few dollars per month it takes to make all this possible.

Some ask if NASA could be run more efficiently. Certainly. But, what government agency gives you so much for such a small investment?

The retirement of the Space Shuttle is appropriate. Although the Shuttle was an enormously effective system, it is old and limited to low Earth orbit. However, we have now lost our flagship in space exploration, and it must be replaced with something. This is an opportunity to reach higher and farther than ever before. But, where is our new program? I'm working inside NASA, and despite the claims of the present administration, the new launch program is merely puttering along at snail's pace. If there were a truly vibrant program for development of the Space Launch System, I would hear and see much more about it. All I hear are crickets -- and I can't see them at all.

The present schedule for the new launch system shows only 13 launches over a 15 year period. Of these launches, two are for show (loops around the moon with no landing), and the rest have no mission objectives established -- they are for either cargo or crew, most likely to service the ISS. While service to the ISS may be useful, it is perhaps the one of the most cost-ineffective things we can do in space. We need to reach higher.

A base on the Moon would be a good start. Given the recent discovery of water on the Moon (LCROSS mission), we now know that an extended stay on the Moon is possible with far less effort and investment than previously thought. Such a base provides a close neighborhood in which to practice landed space operations as a step to Mars and the asteroids. There are many things to learn in the process of moving out into space, and working on the Moon provides a near-perfect training ground for practicing our craft, doing some new science, testing new technologies, and reducing future risks.

You might wonder how I can know such things. Well, there is no single absolute expert on the array of subjects relating to space flight and missions, but I have been involved in a few programs that gave me useful insight. I was the supervisor of an electrical engineering group performing the development of multiple space shuttle payloads. I was the task leader and systems engineer for the Integrated Vehicle Health Management task under the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (2nd Gen RLV) program. I was the lead systems engineer and risk manager for Nano-satellite missions including GeneSat-1 and PharmaSat. I was the project manager for the O/OREOS astrobiology satellite, and I was the risk manager for the LCROSS lunar impactor mission that discovered water at the south pole of the Moon. I presently work as a consultant on University satellite projects and NASA's LADEE mission. I have also been the lead electrical engineer on numerous ground and airborne projects that support NASA's space and flight research.

Through all of this, I have seen some waste, but I mostly see engineers and scientists who are so dedicated to the work that they are willing to do it for far less income than they would get in industry, working long hours to meet ridiculously tight schedules, and achieving amazing feats of engineering and science in the process. Why? Because they have a spirit of exploration and they hope that what they do will advance humanity farther and faster than any other endeavor or political ideology could. They also have, at their core, a love for what they do and an appreciation for helping to bring something new into the human consciousness. They believe, as I do, that you cannot discover what "nobody knew" if you merely accept what "everyone knows". They have a heart for research and exploration that is released in a free country to do things that can scarcely be dreamed of in other societies. Our few dollars per taxpayer frees all of this drive and intellect to achieve great things on our behalf.

I hope this article gave you some real hope in our technological destiny, but not just in space. Our space exploration is comparable to exploration in other Earth-bound sciences that get far less attention, but are also seeking to pull back the curtain that covers hidden knowledge in the Universe. Discoveries in physics, nano-technology, micro/molecular-biology, bio-medical technology, and other areas can move us forward tremendously too, and they also benefit symbiotically from space research.

These are some of the things in which hope for the future of Americans might be well placed; and I believe that such hope comes only from a free people who can freely vote for those who support these things. We need leadership that can clearly state a vision as well as their commitment to it. Our present leadership has played political games with America's future and set us back years, if not a decade or more, in our progress.

I hope you also see the value in rebuilding our Space Program, and once again creating a new American flagship as a Symbol of Freedom to the world.

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke








A Different Path

By Dave Squires, Co-author of The Ungettable Joke

Have you ever been annoyed with the number of people that tell you every day “you ought to think this”, or “you ought to do that”, or “you should give more of yourself to this cause or that cause”? No matter what the subject, there is always someone ready to instruct you on how to steer the ship of your life so you can do things the “right way”. The thing is, when I hear these people they all sound the same to me, and only a few of them are really offering helpful advice.

Most of them sound like Captain Stubing, stammering ineptly and trying to direct the crew to behave. They seem to think there is only one important issue in the sea, their issue, only one way to run a ship, their way, and that all hands should all run en masse to their side of the boat to join their cause. But, it is plainly impossible to respond to all the stammering Captain Stubings of the world. There are in fact hundreds of causes trotted out every day in an attempt to separate you from your hard earned cash or gain power over you through politics.

People choose causes because it is in their heart to do it, and that is right. No one should choose a cause out of guilt. The person that tries to make me feel guilty is the person who wants me to run screaming in the opposite direction.

Now, this blog is not really about choosing a charity or a political cause. I merely used these things as examples of the cacophony of issues that bombard us every day. My own way of dealing with this intellectual noise has always been to think for myself first. I hesitate to tell you how I do that because it will sound too preachy and I do not say that everyone should do exactly what I do. I will simply suggest that thinking adults would benefit tremendously if they avoid getting all their ideas on life from other people, particularly those that want money or power. After all, why should you trust anyone else to run your life? Really, you probably have family members you don’t trust as much as you want to trust media people.

To put this another way: If you believe what “everyone knows” you will never discover what nobody knew. Meaning, one should think beyond the so called "common sense" which is often uncommonly bad. Often, ideas are sold to you as common sense and are really outright lies told in the self-interest of the speaker. Anyway, history is nothing if not an unending stream of common sense shot down by discoveries of the real nature of things.

I try always to keep that in mind, and weigh the array of inputs, shunning guilt trips at every turn, and defining my own unique path through life. I choose the things I will value and I apply my efforts to realizing them or supporting them. I try to help those around me through what I have learned -- if they are interested -- and I look for truly helpful people that want to share what they have learned through conversation, blogs, articles, CD's, or books.

It is unfortunate, but seems to be true, that a large part of our populous has been taught that the only place they can get a valid opinion on any subject is from news people, newspapers, or politicians. History shows that such mass mesmerization by the press, in concert with politician's speeches, makes a people subject to dangerous propaganda. I see it as my duty to look at all such information with extreme skepticism, and I choose my own path based on my own beliefs devised after ingesting as many wise thoughts as I can -- always leaving time for my own!

Thanks for reading!

The Ungettable Joke is a book that takes a very different path. If you are looking for some different perspective, maybe you'll find something you like in our book. In any case, it is a fun adventure and at the very least a break from the "you oughta's". Find it at Amazon or other e-book sellers on our website (e-book reader download links are there too).



The Spark of the Future

Posted Februry 15, 2012   By Dave Squires

You probably remember something in your childhood that grabbed your imagination like nothing else. For me it was the Apollo moon landing. I had the usual love of baseball and football and all things sports, and I dreamed of being a star athlete as I watched the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and the Olympics on our black and white TV in the ‘60s. But the moon landing, the technology that surrounded spaceflight, and mostly the spirit of exploration, sparked my imagination and set my path in ways I would not understand for years to come. In this incredible event, I saw possibilities for a limitless future.

But, my fascination with spaceflight would have to wait. As a kid I had a talent for music, and loved it too. So, along with my interest in sports, I played the trumpet. In high school I was so small that sports was simply not in the cards unless I wanted to be a featherweight wrestler – I stayed with music. Eventually, I played first chair soloist in the elite travelling wind ensemble at the University of the Pacific. From there, I joined a night club band, and travelled around California, Utah, and Nevada performing and writing. One of my songs was even something of a local hit, and a couple of my songs were produced professionally and presented to Arista records (who took a pass).

Through it all, I continued to be drawn to technological things and exploration. I loved electronic games and toys that allowed me to pretend I was in control of an aircraft, a spaceship, or a submarine. I particularly loved the first walkie-talkies my brothers and I received one year for Christmas. We spent hours riding around on our bikes coordinating imaginary manhunts over our “police” radios as we tried to track down the guy who was “it”.

Anyway, after four years performing as a musician, I realized the music business was not a business. I don’t need to dwell on the negatives, most people have a pretty good idea what they are, and there is something in the news nearly every day about a musician gone bad. This life was not for me. I was married and wanted better for my wife and future kids.  

So, with the support of my very understanding wife, I chose to return to college and get a degree in the one thing that had interested me all my life, but had previously seemed out of reach – electrical engineering and the space program. The spirit of exploration, and the idea that I could be part of the space program, had finally won out. The spark that struck me as a kid, became a flame. I wanted to take part in building the future of humanity. Not just any future, but one of limitless possibilities.

I’ve now been a NASA contract engineer for over 20 years and I never regretted my choice. Each new project has been an exploration in and of itself. Scientific knowledge has advanced due to the projects I’ve been involved with. In the end, everything I’ve done has been an exploration to some degree. I like to create things that are new and unique; things that have never existed before: music, engineered systems, and books. Each creation is an exploration in itself.  Maybe that’s just me, but I think it’s you too or you wouldn’t have read this much. If I’m right, you should enjoy reading The Ungettable Joke (lots of fun for just 99 cents).

Our book is an adventure in infinite possibilities and it starts where all adventures start: as soon as you take the first step. Be warned, the book requires imagination and the ability to suspend rationality – for a while. But, you can take it. Anyway, it’s mostly just something fun to help you take your mind of your high stress life for a little while.

You can find links to all popular book store sites, free eReader downloads, PLUS UJ videos, fan mail, author information, and this blog linked at the site above.