5 Steps to Survive a 5:30 AM NASA TV Stream with your Kids

SpaceX Dragon CRS-8 on approach. Image via NASA.

We love space and science over here at Love Make Share, and we were very excited to get up really early and watch NASA TV’s live-broadcast SpaceX’s Dragon capsule being nabbed by the International Space Station. Without diving into a bottomless pit of discussion about the mission, it was important and cool for a few reasons: The Dragon’s ascent stage, the Falcon-9 rocket, finally managed a controlled landing on a barge in the ocean. Yes, a robot rocket lifted a robot spaceship to space and then landed itself on a robot boat. The Dragon…

Important, but aimless

I’ve been spinning my wheels here for weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I have. Thousands and thousands of words. Actually kind of an embarrassing amount of writing. Like, I have the opposite of writer’s block and it’s becoming something of a problem because I’m constantly a little bit distracted by the things I’ve been writing. But I can’t hit “publish.” I can’t do it. And the reason why comes down to a real philosophical thing I’ve been struggling about with this blog. I’ve been trying to be topical for the past month…

Happy Birthday, Whistler

whistler-birthday-small

I had a much harder time coming up with what to say about my Whistler’s birthday than I had talking about the profound experience I had with my little fish turning 8. In the summer, we had a bit of time to enjoy the event, to consider and to reflect. Not so with Whistler. Her birthday came hot on the heels of the wedding, so her seventh was more of a throw-money-at-the-problem sort of situation than a moment of contemplation. I think that it was harder with Whistler’s birthday, too, because her development as a…

Dear Stupid Blanket…

kids blanket patches

This is the story of my eldest daughter and a blanket that she’s had forever. It’s an old Indigo blanket. The kind that’s rolled up in a fleecy log near the checkout and you, like fifty thousand other germy consumers, absent-mindedly run your fingers along it and think to yourself, “This is nice.” It’s the kind of purchase that makes sense in a compulsive way, when you don’t know anything about it other than it feels soft when rolled up like a burrito in the impulse-buy line. It’s awful. My…

Star Trek is more important than Star Wars, and here’s why.

The Force Awakens opens in less than a week, and yet I can’t help but be just as excited for the Star Trek: Beyond trailer that’s going to precede it. Part of this is just the kind of nerd I am – I grew up at a particular time in the ‘90s when there was no Star Wars except for the odd broadcast or the Special Editions, but there were two Star Trek series on television and movies in the theatres. Now, there’s tons of quality Star Wars entertainment. Just…

Happy Misunderstanding Remembrance Day Week

poppies remembrance day

Halloween is tragically over and Christmas is mercifully still a ways away. We’re now entering a roughly week-long season that I like to call “Misunderstanding Remembrance Day Week.” It begins as November begins and peters out a few days before November 11th, when the internet and mainstream media loses momentum and interest. It’s a week of chaos and pettiness on social media, of op-eds in newspapers, of blog posts (oh look, here’s one now), of call-in shows and image macros and think-pieces and hot takes and the politicization of an…

Shake off your writer’s block with 6 fall-themed prompts

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about writer’s block lately. I have the opposite problem: way too many ideas rumbling around and not nearly enough time to develop them. Fall is the worst – with so much change happening, I’m noticing little things that get my creative juices flowing, and yet I’m so busy with work, Halloween costumes, and wedding stuff, I’m not spending almost any time writing. So let’s help each other out, shall we? Here are six short-story prompts to get you started writing that I’ve thought…

BHCA All-Candidates Debate

Beacon Hill All-Candidates Debate by Spencer Van Dyk

A big thanks to Jeff and the whole Beacon Hill Community Association Executive for putting on the debate.  It was excellently moderated and it was a pleasure to see candidates from six parties onstage. Candidates in attendance: Mauril Belanger (Liberal, incumbent) Coreen Corcoran (Libertarian) Nira Dookeran (Green) Christian Legeais (Marxist-Leninist) David Piccini (Conservative) Emilie Taman (NDP) Featured image by Spencer Van Dyk, who also liveblogged the debate here.

What do they CALL you?

The question always comes the same way. There’s a lean across the table, as the questioner literally positions him or herself on the edge of their seat. There’s a narrowing of the eyes, a pursing of the lips, a creasing of the brow. Concentration pinches their features, they summon up their boldness, and they ask: “So – what do they call you?” They’re asking about my kids. My stepkids, which is why the question is asked. Unless you’re actively chewing vegan granola on the roof of your biodiesel-fueled classic VW…

The True Benefit of Science Fiction

nessus ringworld larry niven alien

En route to a county fair last weekend, we stopped at the Martintown Grist Mill, both to explore the restored mill and to poke around the farmer’s market that sprouted up around it. While the mill itself was a charming piece of restoration, the real win of the day was in a battered cardboard box, placed carelessly on a picnic table with the word Free Sharpied across its sides. In it, I found a copy of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, which I understand to be a seminal piece of SF writing. I had never…

Happy Birthday, Little Fish

love make share family

Four years ago, I had no children. Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. I still can’t quite believe it when I see those words on the page. It’s still surreal to me that I have gone from no family and no inclination to having one in my 20’s to being a father. Even that word conjures up a little bit of imposter syndrome, even though I know it makes sense. Step-father, autocorrects my brain. But that word is broken, too. That step- has got so many connotations. It’s Cinderella, it’s drunks,…

Directions to the Cottage

cottage dock adirondack chairs

Hey! We’re psyched that you’re coming out to the cottage. It’s up the Valley a ways in small-town Ontario– it’s not hard to get to town, you just follow the highway, but you’ll need directions to get from town to the cottage. Don’t worry, there are only really four turns. Simple. Once you get into town, drive through towards the back way ‘round. Start looking for the turn after you pass the gas station that usually isn’t a gas station. It’s not easy to see, so get ready for it…