Community Room at The Avant

A Half-Century of a TimeHorse

In one month, I will be celebrating my half-century of existence. What’s more, I will, for the first time in a quarter century, single. After much hemming and hawing over my continued love for the woman who was my wife, with the frustration over so many things I can’t discuss, the coup de gras being things like Nowhere to run? and Sheltered in Place with a Domestic Abuser? and incessant unnecessary forced to sanitize when we really should just Relax—you actually don’t need to sanitize your food!

The thing is, these days I need to physically leave my premises 3 days a week because I’m required in the office. I’m typically the only one wearing a mask there because I do believe in being cautious—especially since the recent SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. It’s not like I’m endangering myself when I go to a writing group or an electric car event. I use due caution every time I’m out, typically 5 days a week. I’ve even tested negative, and triple vaccinated!

You’d think that’d be enough, but nope. Every time I return to the house, I have to do the four S‘s. I’m effectively forced to Surrender all of my items—iPhone, Apple Watch, wallet, even my glasses and wait for them to be Sanitized! Then I need to Strip to my underwear because my clothes “must be contaminated”. Finally, I’m supposed to Shower, but and only when I come home, never in the morning or before I go out.

I put up with a lot for all these years, from a profound lack of physical intimacy to constant threats of divorce whenever she was cross with me. I put up with it for all these years because I truly believed she was the best woman I could ever hope to be with. The truth is, she may still be the best, but with all I have to deal with, I would quite frankly rather be alone—though I’m not dead yet, so we’ll see what the future holds.

Now, you may be wondering why it’s taking me so long to move to my new apartment, especially since I’ve been paying rent since 30 January. Well, for the last 11 years, I have been enjoying extremely inexpensive charging at my house on the Dominion Schedule EV with my Clipper Creek CS-100. But, when I got #CO2Fre, my first Tesla #P三D, it came with free, unlimited SuperCharging. The plan was, I could take advantage of the free fuel, move to an apartment, and just charge up the vehicle on my way to work at the Sterling Supercharger.

But then, while coming back from a Star Wars cosplay event, where I was cosplaying Grand Moff Tarkin, running late for a barbeque with my brother, I found myself on the most evil road in all of Fairfax County. Braddock Road is mostly a straight road, but it makes this one incongruous bend which is the bane of all my existence. I had just paid off #CO2Fre 24 days earlier, when, on 25 July 2021, the same year I watched my mother die and attended my dear Aunt’s funeral, the greatest car I’ll ever own, and my ticket out of here was totaled. I was taken to the hospital and, because of the airbag deployment, I was even left in a cast—which you can see on my TikTok. To top it all off, my uncle died on 31 December 2021 to cap off an utterly tragic year.

GEICO and Tesla refused to fix it. I lost my ride, my free fuel, and my free celular entertainment system, the later a $99 per year value. Supercharging I can’t even begin to estimate, because I wasn’t using it during the Pandemic, and I knew I would need it when I moved to an apartment.

As it was, I did find an apartment with EV Charging. However, if you don’t move your car within 4 hours, you will be charged an arm and a leg, meaning you’d have to get home, and set an alarm to remind you to go back down and move your car. What’s more, while charging under Schedule EV costs me about 7.5¢ per kWh, the apartment costs 15¢ per kWh, double the price. And, if I wanted to use the Supercharger, it would cost 30¢ per kWh, four times what I’m used to paying. And that cost is constantly increasing!

People seriously lambasted me on social networks when I lost #CO2Fre. Of course, it’s just a car, but my whole plan went up in ashes with that loss, and here I am, 123 days with an empty apartment, stuck with the quadruple S‘s, because I just want keep saving on fuel. That’s why I was so sad when I lost my ride, because I knew life would be more expensive and I would end up staying longer than I needed. I wish folks could have understood—I had to take whole 2 month hiatus from social networks to avoid the vitriol.

However, here we are, today. I now have #NoSO2TeslaP三D, I pay for Supercharging and Premium Connectivity, but I got rid of GEICO, who grossly undervalued my precious ride, and now am insured by Tesla, constantly trying to improve my Safety Score to lower my insurance rate, as well as finally qualify to beta test my $14,000 investment in the Full Self-Driving Beta. And my wife is working with my to get the divorce finalized as soon as possible as a final birthday present to me.

And you know what? Imma have a party! A party to celebrate a half-century of existence, a party to celebrate my divorce and freeness, a part to play board games and sing karaoke and cosplay at your leisure, to grill with my brother and have pizza aplenty with plenty of vegetarian and other dietary options as requested. And unlike Jeffrey’s Jammin Birthday Bash 2 years ago, this party will be in person, on the third floor and community space of my new apartment in Reston Town Center. I’m hoping maybe even the Metro will open by then, but then, I’ll be lucky to just have you show up.

Get your free tickets here! Please remember to RSVP so I can let the concierge know you’re coming.

Grand Moff Tarkin admiring #CO2Fre

May the Fourth be with you, 2020

In this era of lockdowns, thanks to SARS-CoV-2, it feels like we can get a little stir crazy. Try to stay sane my friends and maybe go for a walk. But if you do go out, do it in style. It is, after all, May the Fourth and you know what that means?

Grand Moff Tarkin admiring #CO2Fre
“I wonder if this may be of use to the Empire” Grand Moff Tarkin admiring #CO2Fre. May the Fourth Be With You. © 2019, Donald B. Holmes

Thank you Don for taking this wonderful photo of my Grand Moff Tarkin cosplay. This so makes me want to cruise on the cloud again.

May the Fourth be with you my friends—or let it be crushed by the Empire!

The Timeless Children


Well, that was a wild ride. To be honest, I think the tension was right, but the number of questions left unanswered still leave me uneasy. I think the start of the episode with the Doctor following the Master was a powerful opening and the Graham and Yaz interaction as well as Graham continuing to be the expert idea man was awesome. Hiding in the Cybermen armor was genius and had a wonderful payoff.

My only nit there was that the Cyberman ship seemed to enter the portal right after they were seen being examined by the half-Cyberman with no ship showing the four of them descending or appearing on the planet. This made it seem, cinematographically, that the four of them were still on the ship when it got to Gallifrey. While the payoff of surprise when they show up and rescue Ethan. Kind of like when Chewbacca from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Not so much Deus Ex Machina, but cinematic misdirection. Not that I per se approve, but like I said, the payoff was kind of cool.

Meanwhile, the end of the half-cyberman was kind of anti-climatic. Using the Tissue-Compression Eliminator to defeat him was very dissatisfactory and I feel the drama and difficulty could have been played out more.

The Matrix was a nice throwback but the whole Time Lord origin story was just weird. What’s more, having the Shobogans be native Gallifreyans and Time Lords be a hybrid with another, non-Gallifreyan race was a bit peculiar. Will this form a quest for the Doctor to look for the origin of that race in future episodes?

More confusing was the use of the idea of the Timeless Child name. Who was the Timeless Child. Was she Tecteun, or was she the orphan that Tecteun tested on and discovered Regeneration from? We are told the Doctor is the Timeless Child, but does that make the Doctor Tecteun or the unnamed orphan? And what happened to Tecteun? Overall, this aspect of the story could have been clearer and more direct in terms of the conclusions we’re expected to draw.

What’s more, we’re left with so many unanswered clues and questions. Why does the Master call himself O in Spyfall when clearly Omega was the Time Lord with the most O in his name? And why did the aliens in that episode look like the monsters from The Three Doctors and Arc of Infinity? And why did the aliens from that episode come from a place that looked kind of like The Matrix? Where was Rassilon when Gallifrey fell to the Master, and how did Captain Jack Harkness know about the lone Cyberman?

The resolution was rather predictable. Obviously someone besides the Doctor would pull the trigger on the Cyber-Time Lords destruction. It could have happened inside that TARDIS or outside, but overall the fact that the Doctor escapes is natural, and that the Master isn’t seen in the destruction in the final scene is also quite expected. He will be back. It’s still unclear if he still has the Cyberium though.

The Cyber-Time Lords were cool, though. Those costumes were awesome!

Overall, I enjoyed the episode, despite its unanswered questions and inconsistencies. It just seems weird to end with the Jadoon invading the TARDIS and putting the Doctor in prison. What’s up with that!?

Next time, Revolution of the Daleks. Thus begins the long wait.

Guess I’ll just watch Steven Universe Future