Real Men Take Care of Their Children

Mon, Apr. 9th, 2029

08:57 am - Off-LiveJournal Blogroll and News Links

This will be growing by about two or three links per day as I get my bookmark data gradually transcribed here.


Most Recent Edit: Moon's Day, the 23rd Day of May, 2011 C.E., 4:31 p.m., C.D.T.


Amygdala; Animation World Magazine; Apostropher; Ariel Gore; "Arts Beat Weblog", the New York Times; Australian SF Bullsheet

Bad Astronomy; Bear's Battlestar Galactica Blog; Big Head Press; Black Gate; Blag Hag; BlastR; Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century; Brendan Calling; Bullshytitis; By Ken Levine

Chaos Manor Musings; Chaos Manor Reviews; Cheryl's Mewsings; Classically Liberal; Comics Ought to Be Fun!; Consumerist; Crooks And Liars; The Crotchety Old Fan; Cult News from Rick Ross

The Daily Dish; The Daily WTF; Dandelion Salad; Darth Mojo; Deadline|Hollywood; Disloyal Opposition; Drex Files

Eavesdropping with Johnny; Egyptology News; Escape From Terra; Eschaton

The Faculty Lounge; Fafblog; Famous Mark Verheidens of Filmland; Felicia Day; File 770; For What It's Worth

Generation Y; Goodbye, Microsoft; Grits for Breakfast

Have Phaser, Will Travel; Hero Complex; The Hill; Hullabaloo; Human Rights Now

Ideas; iFeminists.net; Instapinch

J. Neil Schulman @ RationalReview.com; Johnny Dollar's Place; JustOneMinute

L. Neil Smith At Random; Lance Mannion; Larry Nemecek's Trekland; Lifeboat Foundation

Mad Rantings of a Midwest Chick; Maddow Blog; Mightygodking; Mises.org Weblog; My Favorite Books

Neil Gaiman; Neptunus Lex; News From Me; Norman Spinrad at Large; Notes from a Final Frontiersman; notmymayor

Okuda Log; The One Ring; Operation Yellow Elephant; Orcinus

Pangloss; Papers, Please!; Peter Watts "Crawl"; PeterDavid.Net; Physorg.com; The Planetary Society blog; Popehat; Pro Libertate

Que Sera Sara

Real Live Preacher

Schneier On Security; Science in My Fiction; SFScope; The Sideshow; Skippy's List; Slacktivist; Something Positive; Soul of Star Trek; The Space Review, Space Solar Power; Spaceflight Now; Spaceflight Now News; Spider Robinson; Starship Dimensions; Startrekdom; Sunni and the Conspirators; Susie Bright's Journal; Swingers' Chatter

Tailspin's Tales; This Modern World; Thomas Jefferson Center; Threat Level; Tom Wilson USA...Large Man, Good Blog; Toonopedia; Topless Robot; Trek Movie Report; Trek Today

Uncle Jay Explains the News; An Unfortunate Set of Events; Universe Today

View from Above; Views from the Cyberhenge

Waiter Rant; We'll Know When We Get There; Wendy McElroy.com; The Wild Hunt; Witchvox.com; WWdN: in Exile

Zoe Paleologa

Current Mood: sicksick
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Sun, Apr. 13th, 2014

01:43 am - Please Help Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart



Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart has Myeloma -- bone cancer -- and her spine and later her pelvis fractured from the weakness; another tumor is in one of her femurs. She has had breast reduction surgery to reduce backbone stress, but she also has had trouble with kidney failure and pneumonia. A pre-wake is planned (so that she can see friends she hasn't been able to see for a long time) from which I infer that after several years of treatment, her prognosis is fatal. She is in hospital right now, but her and Oberon's 40th Wedding Anniversary is soon, and they'd like to be together for it. Medical expenses remain high.

If you know her or know of her through her many activities (the Neo-Pagan religious movement, science fiction fandom, the Society for Creative Anachronism, various Renaissance Faires, the breeding and raising of actual Unicorns, and more), and your life has been positively affected by her, please help.

Current Mood: distresseddistressed
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Mon, Mar. 17th, 2014

09:40 am - On Mr. Fred Phelps Entering a Hospice:

The morning news says Fred Phelps, famed for his family hate-church in Topeka, Kansas has entered a hospice. Here's my offhand prediction for what will happen after his death:

Just as the Worldwide Church of God (the people who used to send you those free subscriptions to The Plain Truth) and its Ambassador College in Pasadena, California fell apart after the death of its founder and theology dictator, Herbert W. Armstrong, so will the Phelps church do the same -- without him there to browbeat (or just plain beat) the other family members, eventually the fence will come down from around the group of houses.

Some of the family members will wander away into normal lives.

Some will reunite with other family members who escaped and are now shunned.

Some will join another American minority religion -- Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, Mormon, Pagan, whatever -- or become atheist, to distance themselves in angry reaction to how they were raised.

Some will join more conventional Protestant churches.

Some will have PTSD.

Some will seek therapy.

Some will self-medicate with a bottle, pill jar, or needle until they crash and burn.

A couple of them will have ghost-written tell-all books to promote.

Some will be approached by "reality" shows; some of those will accept, to extend their proverbial "fifteen minutes of fame."

Some will come out of the closet.

Probably the History Channel will make a biography of Fred Phelps heavy on re-created scenes with unknown actors who will only resemble who they're portraying in a dim room at night, interviews with a couple of family members edited to fit the slant the producer wants, and twelve minutes of actual information repeated sufficiently to fill 42 minutes of program time.

And probably some other pseudo-Christians, some relatives of dead military, and some gay and lesbian people will collectively imagine Mr. Phelps' head photoshopped onto Jeffrey Hunter's body in the scene from "The Cage"/"The Menagerie" of Enterprise Captain Pike under an illusion taken "from a fable [he] learned in childhood" (i.e., burning in Hell).

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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Wed, Jan. 8th, 2014

02:13 pm - Vortex?

If we're under a Polar Vortex, what I want to know is, why haven't we seen the TARDIS?

Current Mood: amusedamused
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Thu, Dec. 26th, 2013

04:50 am - Doctor Who?

I know who I am, would-be Daleks. And I know you.

I am David Kevin Michael Klaus.

You'll lose. You will never win!

Current Mood: jubilantjubilant
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Thu, Nov. 28th, 2013

09:37 am - As You Celebrate, Remember:

There has been a lot of hooraw and foofoorah about big box stores opening on today, Thanksgiving Day.

And rightly so -- I don't think it fair to the employees to be denied their holidays, either. If nobody was willing to shop on the holidays, the stores wouldn't be open, as they require a minimum amount of sales per hour to justify it. I know this because in the late '70s I worked at a Peaches Records, and we had to move $900 of product out the door every hour -- on nights when we weren't, the store closed early.

But as you celebrate your holiday, remember that other people, doing essential jobs, are working today: hospitality employees -- both hotel and restaurant -- firefighters and paramedics; bus drivers and transit conductors; ward resident and emergency physicians, nurses, hospital food service, laundry, sanitation, and miscellaneous support people (I was one and worked Christmas Day and Easter Sunday because I was needed), pharmacists (my late father opened his pharmacy a half-day every Sunday and holiday, so those who had gotten prescriptions the day before could get them filled); police officers (the good ones, we hope), electric power plant workers, water treatment workers, telephone support people for all kinds of industries, not just computers and consumer electronics, regular landline operators; pilots, flight attendants and counter people, air traffic controllers; radio and television station engineers; and oh, so many others, all so that we who are non-essential can enjoy our holiday.

So thank, too, the people you meet along your way who are at work -- hardly anyone ever does -- so you can celebrate at ease. They're doing it for you.

Tags:
Current Mood: busybusy
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Thu, Oct. 10th, 2013

05:56 am - What Actually Happened to Phil Coulson

I first read about Colonel Nick Fury, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, in Strange Tales #135 just before my tenth birthday in 1965. I know why the flying De Lorean in Back to the Future is an imitation of Lola, not the other way around, and I know why Agent Phil Coulson in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thinks he went to Tahiti after the Battle of New York and why he actually did not, and why he lost his muscle memory of how to work the slide of a semi-automatic pistol.

I don't know what showrunner Joss Whedon has told actor Clark Gregg about what happened to his character after he was stabbed through the heart by Loki in The Avengers movie, but I know that in-universe Phil Coulson is going to have a short, violent conversation with Director Fury when he figures it out for himself.









(I wish my deceased friend Richard Rosenberg, who would have filled Quentin Tarantino's Hollywood ecological niche before Tarantino existed if he were still alive. He and I would have had this "Aha!" moment virtually simultaneously, as we did with so many aspects of fannish popular culture.)

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: Aha!
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Sat, Sep. 14th, 2013

06:12 pm - Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Hate Crime

I may not always say anything, especially if the person wasn't someone I knew personally and could actually say something helpful about, but I mourn every time I see a death notice for one of "us". Fandom is a tribe, an extended family, even if we don't always get along with each other,

I never knew this man, but I mourn for him, a man who did no wrong and did lots of good.

--------------------------------------------

On Tue., 9/10/13, Andrew Porter wrote:

Subject: Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime [NYT]
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 8:18 PM

This guy was one of "us" -- he just didn't know it.... -- AP

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/nyregion/friends-mourn-man-fatally-assaulted-in-union-square-park.html

"Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime"
by Michael Schwirtz and Nate Schweber
Published: September 9, 2013

For more than a decade, Jeffrey Babbitt traveled two or three times a week from his home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to a comic book store called Forbidden Planet just below Union Square in Manhattan. There, he bought the latest copies of X-Men or Doctor Who, or sometimes just chatted up the employees, who over the years had become good friends.

For Mr. Babbitt, 62, who friends said was a retired train conductor, the store offered an escape into fantasy and a bit of a respite from home, where he cared for his 94-year-old mother, Lucille Babbitt. "He was just a really, really, really sweet guy," said Jeff Ayers, a manager at the store who has known Mr. Babbit for years. "One of our staff just had a baby and he was dying to see pictures."

Mr. Babbitt was walking through Union Square near Forbidden Planet last Wednesday when he was punched in the face seemingly at random by an assailant who, the police said, declared his intention to "punch the first white man I see." After he was hit, Mr. Babbitt fell to the ground, striking his head on the pavement, the police said. The attacker, whom the police identified as Lashawn Marten, then struck two men who came to Mr. Babbitt’s aid, they said. Mr. Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where, the police said, he was eventually declared brain dead and died on Monday morning.

In a neighborhood that had long ago moved past its rough-and-tumble days, the seemingly random act of violence at 3 p.m. in a bustling park came as a shock. The police said that Mr. Marten, 40, had a long history of arrests, some for assault and drug offenses in New York City and in Newburgh, N. Y. He was arrested shortly after the attack and charged with three counts of assault. With Mr. Babbitt’s death, those charges will most likely be upgraded by a grand jury that is to hear the case on Tuesday, according to the police.

Mr. Marten, who is black, has also gone by the alias Martin Redrick and listed a different birth date, the police said. He was living in supported housing for formerly homeless people and those with psychiatric disabilities provided by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, said Shelley Ruchti, the group’s chief communications officer. She declined to describe the reason for his living there. On Monday evening, many residents at Mr. Babbitt’s modest brick apartment building on Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay had something nice to say about him, and could only shake their heads at the senselessness of his death. “He was as good as good can be,” said Audrey Feifer, 75. “This should never have happened, no matter what color this person is.” Ms. Feifer said Mr. Babbitt, who she said moved to the neighborhood from Florida about twenty years ago, used to insist on giving her rides to bus stops or to buy doughnuts. Inside the apartment that Mr. Babbitt shared with his mother, Ms. Feifer said, he kept model steam locomotives, stacks of magazines about trains, and many comic books. He often wore shirts showing pictures of fairies and once drove Ms. Feifer out of state to join him at a Fairy-Con gathering, a festival for people who celebrate fairies. A sister, his only sibling, helped Mr. Babbitt care for their mother, but she died from cancer about two years ago, Ms. Feifer said, and Mr. Babbitt took over all the caretaking responsibilities.

He did not seem to mind, neighbors said. "He'd say, 'Hi, Mom!' so loud everybody could hear it," said Igor Sapozhnikov, 56. "He loved his mother, and his mother loved him very well."

Mr. Babbitt’s mother was at his bedside at least part of the time he was in the hospital, said Mr. Ayers, who visited him there. Many neighbors wonder who will care for her now. Mr. Babbitt’s death came as the police said they were looking for a suspect in another bizarre and possibly racially motivated attack on the M60 bus in Harlem on Friday, Aug. 30. In that unrelated attack, a man hurled a racial epithet at a 31-year-old Queens man, calling him a "cracker," before knocking him to the ground and punching him. The victim, whose name was not released, sustained a broken nose and a fractured eye socket. The suspect, described by the police as a black man in his late 30s, fled on foot and had not been located.

At Forbidden Planet, employees were left bereft by Mr. Babbitt’s death, said Mr. Ayers, who broke into tears several times during a short interview. Mr. Ayers had spoken to Mr. Babbitt the day before the attack when he came to the store looking to pick up a copy of a comic art book called The Art of Grimm Fairy Tales that he had ordered. The order had not yet arrived, and Mr. Babbitt was slightly annoyed, Mr. Ayers said. "He’s been hounding me for weeks and weeks for this book," he said. Mr. Ayers said employees were also concerned about Mr. Babbitt’s mother. He said they planned to set up a fund to help continue her care. "We’re a community here," he said. "These are people whose lives we’re tied to."

Jack Begg and J. David Goodman contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: "Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime".

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: nilajean is watching kittens on Animal Planet
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Thu, Mar. 14th, 2013

09:28 am


Kevin woke me up. "Dad, Dad, there's a bird in the house!"  I looked up, and there was one flitting around my overhead light fixture.

I said "Calm down.  Get a broom and gently try to chivvy it to a window."  He did and it landed where yugioh_boy could throw a towel over it, take it to the door and release it.  It flew away, undamaged, leaving only one spot of bird poop on the carpet to clean up.

I said, "Knowing that all criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot, my disguise must be able to strike terror into their heart. I must be a creature of the night. I know...I'll be Birdman, Attorney-at-Law!"
 

yugioh_boy was so gentle and straightforward, without panic, that I suggested he rethink that idea he had about becoming a veterinarian.  Then I started singing "You know the bird bird bird, the bird is the word!"

They almost threw a pillow at me.

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "The Bird is the Word!"
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Thu, Mar. 7th, 2013

06:38 pm - Steve Chapman: 'Moderate Muslim' is not an oxymoron | WashingtonExaminer.com

Steve Chapman: 'Moderate Muslim' is not an oxymoron | WashingtonExaminer.com

I've been saying this for years. I live in a neighborhood full of displaced Bosnian Muslims. They bought a failed Savings & Loan stand-alone building and made it a mosque, rehabbing the building and increasing its property value. They've opened businesses to serve their community in which non-Bosnian, non-Muslims are welcome to trade. They adopted the American custom of Hallowe'en and give out candy like any other adults in this neighborhood do.

Number of potentially violent incidents ascribable to Muslims against their Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Pagan neighbors? One, and it was a case of teen-age punks being teen-age punks, with no religious basis whatsoever. No violence actually occurred.

Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
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Wed, Mar. 6th, 2013

08:39 pm - This Is a Day of Miracles and Wonders

I normally don't think very well of Dr. Rand Paul. But today he is a hero. Today he is my hero. Today he is the Dutch boy blocking the leak in the dike with his finger. Today he stands with the Spartans at Thermopylae. Today he is standing in the path of the tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Senator Paul is today holding an old-fashioned filibuster -- standing on the floor of the Senate, blocking all other business, to demand information of how the President of the United States is or isn't exceeding his authority in ordering the murder of American citizens with near-Cylon flying robots. He is standing on belief, standing on principle, standing for the Constitution of the United States of America.

I could kiss him. Mr. Smith has gone to Washington, and he stands athwart the steamroller of politics and says "NO!"

This is a day of miracles and wonder. Goddess bless Rand Paul.

Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: The Rachel Maddow Show
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Mon, Feb. 11th, 2013

06:28 pm - To Live and Die in L. Avenue

I woke up this morning from a dream within a dream -- I dreamed I woke up in the house a block east of here in which I spent my young boyhood, with a television going in the middle room where we didn't have one. I walked through the hallway to the living room, entered, and my mother was standing to my left.

"You're dead," I said.

Mother laughed. "You don't have to be rude about it."

And I awoke for real.

Oddly, I felt cheerful. That was Mom's humor exactly as it always had been. She's been gone over seven years now, and I don't even have a grave to visit.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
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Sun, Jan. 20th, 2013

07:29 pm - The Perfect Knight

I cried today.

There are not one, but two statues of him outside the current Busch Stadium -- which is appropriate as he played his entire career two Busch Stadiums ago.

I met Stan Musial by accident -- our paths crossed in a hallway. My jaw dropped when I recognized him, and I stammered. He was friendly and gracious. I was 45 years old, yet he jokingly called me "Kid", and I felt privileged for it. My hero, now gone to Valhalla, baseball's Most Perfect Knight.

"He didn't hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn't hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her, never married a Marilyn Monroe. He didn't play with the sheer joy and style that goes alongside Willie Mays' name. None of those easy things are there to associate with Stan Musial. All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being. -- Bob Costas


The kids at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club never realized that they played on sacred ground, that they ran the same basepath that he and Babe Ruth ran.

"And, between the slugging and the greeting,
To the bank for a directors' meeting.

"Yet no one grudges success to Stan,
Good citizen and family man,

"Though I would love to have his job
One half tycoon, one half Ty Cobb.'' -- Ogden Nash


It's a truly wondrous thing when your childhood heroes turn out to be even better than you imagined they could be.

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Sun, Dec. 16th, 2012

12:39 am - Strait-Jacket

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058620/

This is another example of the Law of Conservation of Strange People.[TM]

I was not quite 8-1/2 when this was released, and when it showed up at our neighborhood movie house (the late, lamented Avalon in south St. Louis), my mother -- who had a thing for Joan Crawford -- couldn't get a sitter for me, and insisted I come along because she didn't want to miss it. I didn't want to go, since I had seen the poster outside as I walked by the theater. With all the sophistication that an eight-year-old can have, I thought it would be simply a Bad Movie.

She dragged me to it anyway -- I sat on the aisle and she sat next to me. At the first bloody axe murder, I said "This isn't good for people to watch, I'll be waiting for you outside," and jumped up and walked out.

For the next ten minutes or so, I stood at the box office, chatting with the ticket seller and the ushers, probably all teen-agers, who were bemused by this little movie critic who had left his mother inside. Then Mom came out, smiled sheepishly, and said "David, you were right." We walked home, and she said she wouldn't try to take me to this sort of movie again.

The big irony? Eleven-and-a half years later, I had discovered fandom, and was attending a convention in Kansas City at which the late Robert Bloch (or "RobertBlochauthorofPsycho" as he had come to be known to the general public by then) was a featured guest -- as a joke, I even got him to autograph the blood stains I had somehow unknowingly gotten on my shirt (I think I had accidentally scratched my side against a parked car or some such, as the seam was torn).

I had no idea he'd written this movie until just a short while ago.

I think he'd forgive me, given the circumstances.

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