Andi Kitten

Andi Rheinherren: 22 May 2006 – 24 August 2018

My sweet 12 year old baby girl Bengal kitten Andi crossed over the
Rainbow Bridge today. She gets to rejoin with one of her litter mates
and joins the Pride of Astral cats that have long been part of my

She is survived here by her sister and litter mate Kagi who will miss her
a lot in the coming weeks. The liked to pick on each other as most
siblings do. Andi’s human mommy and daddy miss her terribly along
with the rest of her human family. She will always be in our hearts.

Ands’ was a very lovable and talkative Bengal. She always had to get
in the last word in any conversation. And she would talk to you even
if you didn’t want to talk. She always had to be in every conversation.

She always loved to lounge across the back of her dad’s chair or
snuggle right up against him at night, taking up a good “cat sized”
portion of the bed. Unlike her sissy, Andi loved to have her furry
belly rubbed and would flop over just to have that done.

Andi was a brave kitten, fighting seizures the last few months of her
life. She only grumbled a couple of times about taking her medicine.

She lived her life fully. 12 years as a playful kitten. Dearly loved and
she will be dearly missed.


It’s been a year

A year ago I lost my dad. And when I heard the news that he has passed I was devastated. He died on the morning of my 50th birthday.

My plans instantly changed and I made several trips to Fort Dodge and back. Working out the details of his obituary and planning a wake with the rest of my family in the area.

We had a great time at the wake. A lot of friends and family turned out for it. Stories circled around the room about many things dad had done in his 80+ years of life on this globe.

Dad would have loved the venue for his wake. The entire place was decorated with taxidermy mounts of all shapes and kinds. Taxidermy was one of the careers and hobbies dad had over the years of his life.

Dad was loved by many, and it showed. Siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and others. He had touched their heart with his own.

He had his quirks, but then who doesn’t. Some came from his generation of course. He grew up in a very different time and place from today. But overall he was a good man. He loved his wife Kathy as if they were two teenagers. He had a great sense of humor. He knew how to show love and forgiveness.

Now we are at the one year anniversary since dad passed. We have the heart-felt loss tugging at us from time to time. We have the memories of our times together. We have the shared memories from friends and family.

He is missed. But he is also just around the corner from us. Just a moment of time is all that separates us from him. Talk to him like you always did, use your familiar name for him.

Carry his memory with a smile.


It’s been 5 years

Today marks the 5th anniversary of Dawson’s passing from this earth. I still think of my son often. There are many times that something comes up and I think “Dawson would like that.”

I smile at his memory and miss him. I am far from alone in my feelings. His mom, his birth father, his sister. Jen and his grandparents. His many friends and members of his Fairemly. And his wife Meaghan.

All of us deeply miss his simile, his humor, and his physical presence with us.

To me, he was and always shall be my oldest son. But he also was a fellow gamer, a co-worker, and my friend.

My greatest hope was he would be able to get his seizures under control. And then I always to teach him the basics of driving so he could eventually get his drivers licence. It would have been a highlight of my life.

Although Dawson’s life on this earth was short. It was meaningful in the way he toucheed all of our lives.

He was a good example to follow. In his kindness, his generosity, and his love and forgiveness.

So on this day, have a Macallan in honor of Dawson. If you don’t drink, that is fine, just toast him with your beverage of choice. He’ll understand.


A Star Trek Discovery Review

I have been watching the latest Star Trek series. Star Trek: Discovery. The storytelling and plot are fantastic thus far. But like the reboot movies it has a lot of continuity issues.

The Discovery takes place some 10 years before Captain James T. Kirk conducts his famous 5 year mission on the Enterprise. So I watch for things that should not be in that time period of known Star Trek history.

First off there is the use of the arrow head emblem for all of Star Fleet. This is incorrect. The arrow head emblem did not become the symbol of Star Fleet until after Captain Kirk returned from his historic 5 year mission. Prior to that event every ship in Star Fleet had it’s own symbol. The arrow head was the symbol of the U.S.S. Enterprise only.

The technology seems to improve by going back in time of Star Trek’s history. They have holographic displays and consoles. This tech is even better that the tech of the Enterprise in The Next Generation under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

The Discovery even has a small holodeck for combat training. Something that wasn’t invented until the 24th century in The Next Generation, and then it was rather new and a questionable technology. It is flawless on the Discovery.

Everyone seems to use holographic communications as well. The Federation aboard Star Fleet vessels and even the Klingons themselves. No more putting the incoming communication “on screen”. There is a 3 dimensional person to walk around and interact with while communicating, although not a physical interaction like a holodeck. This is a technology never before demonstrated in the history of Star Trek. However it is a direct rip-off (or flattery) of the HoloNet communications from Star Wars used by the Republic, the Empire, and Rebels alike for 1,000’s of years.

I do like the new look of the Imperial Kingons. However in proper Star Trek canon the very existence of these Klingons from deep within the Klingon Empire were not known to the Federation until the V’ger incident. The Klingons were well versed in the science of genetic engineering, something that the Federation banned, and they created the Klingon/Human fusions that we saw in the original series.

We also have the Discovery’s spore drive. This is basically a kind of hyperdrive or jumpdrive. Ripped-off (or more flattery) from Star Wars and/or the reimaged Battlestar Galactica. Apparently this technology was either lost in the war against the Klingons or banned afterwards due to the biological component needed to make it work properly.

At the time of this writing we have yet to see the Romulans in this incarnation of Star Trek. But we shouldn’t see them either. Star Trek history tells us that Earth and the Romulans had a war about 90 to 100 years prior to the Discovery time period. As it had been 100 years since the Romulan war when Kirk and crew encounter them in the “Balance of Terror” episode of the original series. And at that point no one knew what a Romulan looked like either. Time will tell if this canon of Star Trek gets violated by the Discovery as it was already violated by the movie reboot.

It does seem to me that there is a continuity between the Star Trek Enterprise series, the movie reboots, and the Discovery series. However this continuity breaks down greatly when compared to the original series, the Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager series.

Within the Star Trek universe this can be explained easily as an alternate timestream or a parallel universe. If it is an alternative timestream, we have yet to see the Federation Time Fleet of the future come in and correct the errors that have been made. If is just a parallel universe then there is nothing to correct and it can be accepted as such.

But overall Star Trek Discovery is a good show and worth watching despite the multiple continuity errors as seen from the eyes of an old generation Trekker. Looking forward to the season finale and next season.


A decade ago

10 years ago my mom passed away. She lost her year and a half battle against cancer. But as it says in 2nd Timothy, she fought the good fight, she finished the race, and she kept the faith.

She is dearly missed on this earth and still very much loved by friends and family alike.

Rest in Peace mom. I love you.


Rest in Peace Dad

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. I was going to write a post reflecting on my half-century life. But I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me that my 83 year old dad had passed away.

My parents were divorced from one another by the time I was 2 years old. I never had much interaction with my dad while I was growing up. And a number of family members were always speaking ill of him. For a long time I believed those stories.

Somewhere along the line I learned that I actually looked like my dad the older I got. I thought that was interesting but never did much about it. Genetics after all will always play a part in your life.

When my grandfather passed away, my dad didn’t come to the funeral. I was upset by that and thought it was rather rude. At the time I didn’t know there was an unhealed rift between father and son which caused my dad to stay away from that family gathering.

Many years later, his older brother died suddenly and without any warning. I felt a call to reach out to my dad and heal that rift. Much like my own son did with his birth father. So I did reach out. I thought I had nothing to lose, if he didn’t want to talk to me then I wouldn’t have lost anything except a bit of time and a stamp.

My dad rejoiced at the re-connection of his youngest child. I learned a great number of things that I didn’t know about my family and my dad as well. It made sense out of a good number of events in life. I learned that I had a lot in common with my dad. It was a wonderful re-connection. One that I should have done a lot sooner but hindsight is always 20/20.

The last few years of being reconnected with my dad have been the best years of my life. I will treasure every moment I’ve spent with him and writing back and forth between those visits. I will also continue to reach out to his widow, Kathy, she is a sweetheart and one of the best things to have ever happened to my dad.


The Nature of Homosexuality

This is a brief post on the nature of homosexuality. This is not a post on the morality of homosexuality or any other aspect. Maybe another post will reflect more on these items and/or on additional aspects.

Homosexuality is not found in nature. There are no homosexual animals in the animal kingdom. Any act that resembles homosexual behavior in animals is unrelated to homosexuality among humans. Generally with animals, such behavior is a show of dominance over others of the same gender. Or a means of having a passive-aggressive contest between members of the same gender. And lastly, it is just confusion. The scent of a female who was in heat on the male that just mated can cause other males to attempt to mount each other. None of these issues are the pleasure stimulation gained by humans who engage in homosexual activities. Animals do not have sex for pleasure. And humans are not animals at all.

Homosexuality is a choice. Now there are many who will read that last sentence and just scream at me for stating it. And justify themselves or their loved ones with such comments like, “I didn’t choose to be a heterosexual. So it can’t be a choice to be gay.” But I say you did choose to be heterosexual. This choice was made at a subconscious level. We make these choices by the 1000’s every single day. Just by doing something. Our subconscious makes choices based on our life experiences and knowledge.

No one is born being homosexual. Now there are people born who have a higher degree of engaging in homosexual behavior than others. Just as everyone has traits stronger or lesser than someone else. But the choice is still made at some point, to cross that bridge or that line. However one wishes to envision it. The “first time” was a conscious choice.

What causes someone to choose a homosexual path? There we are dealing with the age old combination of nature vs nurture. Even if someone is more inclined to be homosexual, they don’t do to their nurture. While another identical person and circumstances may take that path. Just the same for the majority who are heterosexual leaning, may encounter something that causes them to choose to become homosexual later on.

These are debates for psychologists to discuss. I am sure there are hundreds of possibilities and they do not apply to everyone. Even many of those who experiment in homosexuality go on to be heterosexual. While others who have their first homosexual encounter become homosexual or even bisexual. The human mind is a very complex thing as is human sexuality.

But the true nature of homosexuality is that, although complex, it is a behavior and a choice. One that is made every day by everyone. And after a while like many of our choices it becomes automatic. A habit. And then it is hard to break.



Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day. This day is set aside to honor Dad’s across the nation. So today I’ll give my blessing to all the Dads out there. Even the single mom’s who are doing double duty.

Being a Dad is a great honor and with it is a responsibility too. Raising children and being there for them is the most important job out there.

I myself am not a biological Dad., but I have helped, in part, to raise and be a Dad to 4 children who are all now young adults. With 2 of them, I didn’t have much influence during there younger years but I am here as they continue as adults. Able to give fatherly advise and council with love. With the other 2, I was there during the teenage years. I had the privilege of teaching one of them how to drive and I eagerly awaited a chance to teach the other as well. But his life was cut short in this world and I miss him dearly.

Growing up, I was mainly raised by a single mom who had to preform double duty. Circumstance beyond my control had my parents divorced while I was just a toddler. I too had a step-dad. He wasn’t the best, but he also wasn’t the worst either as they come.

Within the last couple of years I’ve reconnected with my own Dad. It has been a blessing. As an adult, having been married, been through a divorce, a death of a child, and being remarried and also being a Dad myself. I can understand the trails that took place in his life. We have a lot in common, my Dad and me. It amazes me all the time on those similarities. And I love my Dad and I am so happy that I can reach out to him.

So Happy Father’s Day to my own Dad, Ray. I am honored to have you in my life. And Happy Father’s Day to every other Dad out there doing their best every day for their children as well. It’s a tough road but well worth it.


Star Wars Day

I’m a life long fan, well at least since I was 10, of the Star Wars saga. I am a fan of all of it. All 7 movies to date. All books, games (all though West End’s was the best RPG version), magazines, toys, and you name it. If it’s Star Wars I like it.

May Fourth is known by the fans world-wide as “Star Wars Day”. It takes a play of words from the slogan “May the Force be with you” and turns it into “May the Fourth be with you”.

So celebrate Star Wars today and May the Fourth be with you.


If I Could Be Serious for a Moment…

With all of the political talk going on, I wanted to take a break to throw out an idea that’s been rolling around in my head that…has nothing to do with politics whatsoever!

Although I write mainly opinion pieces, I have dabbled in other writing styles including science fiction. I am in the process of putting together a crossover story featuring one of my favorite superheroes (Green Lantern) and one of my favorite science fiction heroes (The Doctor). Although I can’t promise anything at this point, I would be interested in getting feedback on whether there would be enough interest in posting the story on this forum. It’s totally fine if you don’t want to read it, just as it would be totally fine if you do.

So, with that being said, what do you think?