Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

February 14, 2009

Friday February 13, 2009 “Britain’s Roman Catholic Church is advising lovelorn singles to direct their February 14 requests for love to St Raphael, rather than St Valentine.

“Over the years St Valentine has come incorrectly to be associated with finding love, the Church says. “He is the patron saint for those who have already found their soulmate. “St Raphael is the patron saint for happy encounters and it is to him those fearing the Valentine’s post should properly direct their prayers.

“St Raphael, according to legend, helped Tobias enter into marriage with Sarah, who had seen seven previous bridegrooms perish on the eve of their weddings.”

***Picked up meds at HealthPartners Riverside.

On my way back, shopped at Target. Sign: an advertised candy wasn’t available; caught up in the peanut recall. Near the pharmacy department, another sign: an energy bar had also been caught up in the recall.

***Marx and Cthulu on Money: The Pilot


February 11, 2009

Tuesday February 10, 2009 “Yep says I, don’t you remember the story about the princess kissing the frog to turn him into a prince? Well, every year, the Valentine’s Frog goes out into the world looking for a little girl to kiss him and turn him into a prince too, and he leaves chocolates and flowers and things like that to bribe them into thinking he is a prince.”

***Shopping run to the Aldi on Lake near Minnehaha and to Savers thrift store.

January 24, 2009

Friday January 23, 2009  Cops: New York dealers sold heroin branded with president’s name
“The branding of illicit drugs is a favorite of pushers, who have previously sold bin Laden heroin, Harry Potter Ecstasy, bricks of Teletubbies cocaine, and green-tinted crack in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day.”  Via The Drudge Report

In the 1960s, when I lived in New York City, I don’t recall reading or hearing about such branding.

January 13, 2009

Monday January 12, 2009 Snow, snow, and more snow.  There were fewer vehicles on the streets than usual, and they moved more carefully.

The Twin Cities Metro deals easily with weather that would close down Washington DC.  The airport isn’t closed for weather as often as Chicago’s is — and it’s not because Chicago has worse weather.  This was bad weather.

Off to HealthPartners West for my annual checkup.  I took buses, so I missed out on the fun of driving.

One thing in my medical history needed correction:  My hearing aid is for my left ear.  The right one has never worked well.

I got the checkup, a flu shot, and renewed prescriptions.

And when I was done, I had the fun of trying to remember where to catch the return bus.

And then someone offered me a ride.  Not just into Minneapolis, but all the way home.

It turned out that he knew my neighborhood fairly well; his brother and sister-in-law lived there, and he’d seen me around there.

***Tried the artichoke-garlic sausage.  It had enough garlic that I couldn’t detect any artichoke taste.

***Recommended reading — about fencing, writing, and living:
Life as play

December 28, 2008

Saturday December 27, 2008 In my dream, Nate Bucklin died.  After that, things got REALLY depressing.

I did not sleep well.

***I got some writing done; the beginning of “The Antique’s Tale.”  Which could be considered revision rather than a new story. However, “The Day They Took Port Sharehold” started years later.

***No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in ‘Passive Houses’

December 10, 2008

Monday December 8, 2008 I’d been using up my old checks, which had my former address and phone number. I’d been crossing that out and writing the current information on my checks as I used them.

Last week, I ordered new checks with the new information. After I used the last two old checks, I would no longer have to cross out the old and write in the new.

The new checks arrived today — with the wrong phone number. Someone had gone to a bit of trouble to get it wrong; it was my housemate’s landline number.

I called my credit union, and it should get taken care of.

If the newer checks also have the same problem, I’ll go to the Minneapolis branch. Say that I feel like screaming, but I will refrain. And ask that something be done to STOP ANYONE AT THE CHECK PRINTING COMPANY FROM “CORRECTING” MY PHONE NUMBER, and ensure that the one I’ve given has been printed on the checks.

***Also in the mail: Xenofilkia #122.

Mention of the Richter Scale sparked:

Let me tell you the story of a dragon named Richter,
On a tragic and fateful day….

December 5, 2008

Thursday November 4, 2008 “Buy a toaster and get a free bank!”

***From the LiveJournal gutenbergupdate feed:
The Martian by George Du Maurier
Language: English

I have no idea whether the title is literal or metaphoric. I tried reading it to find out, and learned only that it’s a tedious 19th-century novel.

***My Adult Children Anonymous meeting meets in a church. Among the coffee mugs in the kitchen, one said:
“Do not place a period where God has placed a comma.” Gracie Allen.

I’m not used to seeing her cited in theological matters.

November 25, 2008

Monday November 24, 2008  The St. Paul Pioneer Press is offering unpaid leaves of absence to all employees.  This might affect me more if the Pioneer Press considered Minneapolis to be part of its area.

*** 2008-11-23
This might be Interesting — I’ve never heard of using anything but bread and cheese in grilled-cheese sandwiches (with the possible exception of a bit of butter or oil on the grill if “grill” is defined as a heated solid plane surface).

Personally, I’m fond of toasted cheese sandwiches, which differ from grilled in that what’s to become the interior sides of the bread are toasted on the grill (which is, for me, ideally a cast-iron skillet) before construction is begun. And, if no really sharp Cheddar is available, I’ll often shred some mild (or Swiss, or Jack) and add a sprinkling of shredded Blue, Stilton, or Gorgonzola.

I gather, by the way, that there’s difference between Vegetarian cheese (much like real cheese except not made with rennet) and Vegan cheese (generally a processed tofu, with no milk solids). The latter, in my experience, simply does not melt, even at temperatures up to the point of carbonization. And even though it’s a not-unpalatable food, I find it most enjoyable if I can avoid thinking of the word “cheese” when eating it.

dsgood 2008-11-24
For good cheese, I add basil.

For mediocre cheese, I use ketchup and onion.

Or, for either, I might use apple slices.

dsgood 2008-11-24
Like vegetarian cheese, kosher cheese is made without rennet. 2008-11-24
I, personally, only use cheese — a sharp cheddar is my favorite — and butter for the fry pan.

It will be interesting to see if the vegan cheese (which I think is a soy product) melts.

dsgood 2008-11-24
Most vegetarian cheeses are made of soy, I’m fairly sure. There are ones made of rice — useful to vegans who are allergic to soy. And some made from hemp. 2008-11-24
I like bacon or ham in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Review: Fantasy & Science Fiction, Oct/Nov 2008

September 30, 2008

9/30/08 Fantasy & Science Fiction, Oct/Nov 2008  60th Anniversary Issue

Disclaimer #1 If your tastes differ greatly from mine, you may love stories I hate and hate stories I love.
Disclaimer #2 I’m reviewing stories, not bodies of work.  I might love everything an author writes except this one story, or love one story here but find everything else by that author boring.
Disclaimer #3 I started reading sf magazines thirteen years before editor Gordon Van Gelder was born.  I’m probably at least a bit jaded.

Short stories: Nine.

I very much liked Michael Swanwick’s “The Scarecrow’s Boy.”  It’s an original story made up of familiar elements: a child in danger, the US under a dictatorship, a robot thinks and acts for himself much more than he was ever intended to.  I cared about the characters, and I liked what Swanwick did with those familiar elements.

M. Rickert’s “Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment:  One Daughter’s Personal Story” is also set in a dystopian future America.”  Unlike the Swanwick, this didn’t work for me.  One large reason:  the rulers belong to a political group (one kind of religious fanatic) which I don’t think is capable of taking power.  (Swanwick leaves his dictatorship’s ideology unspecified.)

Albert E. Cowdrey’s “Inside Story” is set in New Orleans; and I feel that Cowdrey knows the city well.  It’s a humorous story, and I don’t share Cowdrey’s sense of humor.

Steven Utley, “Sleepless Years.”  A horror story about involuntary immortality.  Well written, but not my cup of blood.

Stephen King, “The <i>New York Times</i> at Special Bargain Rates.”  Woman gets a phone call from her dead husband.  It’s reasonably good Stephen King.

Scott Bradfield, “Dazzle Joins the Screenwriter’s Guild.”  Dazzle is a dog with human-level intelligence (probably more intelligent than most of the humans he meets in this story.)  I found Dazzle interesting, but not the human characters.  Note:  If you would need to know how Dazzle’s intelligence was enhanced, this is not the story for you.  I suspect it’s explained in the 1988 story “Dazzle.”

Laurel Winter, “Going Back in Time.”  Amusing piece about quantum mechanics and love.

Terry Bisson, “Private Eye.”  I expected a hard-boiled detective story.  It does have that flavor, but Private Eye means something different here.  I liked this better than anything else Bisson’s written since <i>Talking Man</i>

Carol Emshwiller, “Whoever.”  The narrator has amnesia.  I didn’t detect any fantasy or science fiction elements.

Novelettes: Three.

Geoff Ryman, “Days of Wonder.”  A future with no pure humans — or, apparently, no pure mammal species of any kind.  There are only human-animal hybrids.  One person sets out to change the world.

The setting is good, the characters come to life, the plot is good.  Why didn’t I like the story?  I don’t know.

Robert Reed, “The Visionaries.”

“Everyone is an unmitigated failure.

“And then success comes, or it doesn’t.”

It’s about a way of seeing into the future, a man who’s part of this, and the people he sees.  It does some things very well; I particularly liked the ending.

Tim Sullivan, “Planetismal Dawn.”  Space opera and time opera.  Good background, good characters.

Pseudononfiction: One.

Paul Di Fillippo, “Plumage From Pegasus:  Till Human Voices Shake Us, and We Frown.”  Humorous piece which I found mildly amusing.

Nonfiction: Six.  Two book columns.  One film column.  Results of the latest competition, and rules for the next one.

Paul Doherty and Pat Murphy, “Science:  Rocks in Space.”  Worth reading, and at one time I would probably have loved this.  These days, I find more than enough science reading on the Web.

“Curiosities” is about odd books:  speculative fiction or nearly spec-fic.  This issue’s reviewer is Fred Chappell, describing <i>Rainbow on the Road</i> by Esther Forbes.

Poems:  One.  Sophie M. White, “December 22, 2012.”

Last Night I Saw the New Moon With the Old Moon in Her Arms

September 4, 2008

Wednesday September 3, 2008  Mail included flyers for several judicial primary candidates.  Oops — I hadn’t studied these people.

I looked them up online, decided on one.

***Downloaded Google Chrome browser to try it out.

Saw LiveJournal posts about Google’s agreement saying Google can use anything you say via their browser.  Deleted Google Chrome.

**Took the Hiawatha Line one stop to 46th St., and shopped at Walgreens.

As I came out, for the first time in a while I really looked at the sky.  Some of the clouds were a cheerful shade of pink, and there was a new Moon with the old moon in her arms.

Back home, saw on LiveJournal that Google had changed the offending Google Chrome legal wording.  Downloaded it again.

**Discussion in rec.arts.sf.composition on ways of recognizing people.

And it suddenly occurred to me that the simplest way for me to recognize people would be by their movements.

***Google News has several more local editions.  I’m fairly certain the Malaysia, Phillipines and Pakistan editions are new; not sure which others.