Had someone call from Steve Francis's (Louisville SF fan) house to my cell phone at 2 am; I can't remember the last time I spoke to either him ( or his wife), and I'm surprised as hell that he'd have the number, let alone call me.  Anyone have any idea as to this WTF moment?

The Annual Sidewise pile at Jim's bedside falls and kills three; details at the 10 o'clock news:

The end of May is traditionally the time when we Sidewise Judges have to go through and release our nominations cut of short stories and novels for the award - which means that dreadful dozen stories that you haven't gotten to that look like prime stinkers are mandatory reads - along with the other stuff that 'life its ownself' have caused to be backed up in your reading queue.  In my case, that backup is about to topple over on me.
One reviewer I know well is quite unfailingly *nice* in his thoughts on the stuff he reads; so much so that I have to choke a little on the flowers and bunnies and sunlight in his review prose.  Granted, something that starts out with 'this reeking bit of whoredung' won't be quoted by too many people, but I'm always easily tempted to the 'call a spade a freakin' shovel' side of the force and punchem inna face.  It's my mean streak in an otherwise sweet tempered nature, I guess.

In the case of any award, each judge has their internal tastes and values.  I deal well with military themes, with the extraordinary and the obscure, and choke over plotless meanderings.

A good sign this year is that the diversity of the plot lines is higher.  No ten thousand numbingly similar Steampunk extravaganzas, complete with trips over the Reichenbach Falls or Balmoral with half-clockwork bad men and duplicated detectives with deerstalker hats that play Rule Britannia at noon every day.  This is, indeed, progress.

On Vaxen! On Vixen! On Osborne and Zenith!

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

Garry Ward, an old pal, used to make a living at keeping antique mainframe-ish things going; I gasped that they’d *do* that and not get something newer and better, but…he was also the guy who was my introduction into PCs back around 1982; when I was going to law school, my utter lack of speed typing skills choked me when it came to preparing one brief or long report after another, and he did so for a fee…and I was utterly hooked on this thing called a Word Processor, and not having to do all sorts of retyping and hope it all came out error-free.  Not long after, with money from my first wedding, my then-wife and I bought an Osborne 1 CP/M PC, and not long after, a Kaypro 10.  Since then (1983) I have been essentially made my career by being good with PCs, switching from CP/M to DOS to Windows in 1991.


Hoof it, Maw!

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

Every so great often, I do a search for people that I’m curious about, 99.99% of them being people from my past.  This includes my mom, whose name (Dr. Jacquelinn A Randolph VMD) shows up in this and that from time to time.  The link above is to the University of Dayton 1947 yearbook, showing my very musical mother in a musical student play…which (even though they made a common error on how her name is spelled) is hilarious to me, because she never said a word to me about acting; I had the notion that she was a total grind in school.  I’ve done all sort of acting, but it was in high school – the college thespians were in it for a career, and were not interested in a non-theater major’s participation, so I gave it up way back when.



Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

From TV Line:

**Stephen Fry will play sidekick to fellow Brit Rupert Grint in Super Clyde, CBS’ single-camera comedy about a fast food worker who decides to become a super hero. Specifically, Fry will play a butler who is “the Alfred to Clyde’s Bruce Wayne.”**

This will either be fantastically good or god-awful; it’s weird on a stick, for sure!


Read all about yer latest Gandhi!

This is about what I had figured.

Interesting article in The Diplomat about the inability of the Congress Party of India to give up the idea of (wait-for-it) a decendant of Jawaharlal Nehru / Indira Gandhi to come along and be the Chosen-One Golden-Child to lead them.

Never mind that they don’t seem to avoid sudden violent death at an early age, or that they have to be dragged into being a political figure due to who their grandma was.

In the weird and goofy world of South Asian politics, dynastic followings seem to trump actual political ability a lot, which is silly.

I thought it was silly here in America with Tafts, Browns (c.f. Ohio politics), Kennedys, Bushes and whatnot, because regardless of connections, real political ability is vanishingly rare.

That, of course, goes as well for Monarchies and ruthless dictatorships that dance around with ‘democratic / republican’ trappings like North Korea, Syria, Duvalierist Haiti, und so weiter. (Only my Canadian friends can say if Justin Trudeau is any real bargain, or if the Liberals are just as desperate as they were last election to pull something or someone out of a leadership hat.)


Not dead yet:

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

Actually, doing relatively well, all things considered.  The Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments I’ve been taking since right after Thanksgiving ended three weeks ago, and it’s marvelous to not have to trot over there every weekday and kill 3-4 hours of my day with that.  The result is a tiny slit less than 1 millimeter in size; I can now take showers and wash my foot for the first time in a while.  But the treatments worked pretty well, and I should show how big things were and how small they are now.

Also in a new brace-shoe for my chopped up left foot that looks like it was designed by the house of Munster, but it works and it supports my foot well, so no complaints.

The residual myopia (nearsightedness) and tired-drowsy side effects of the treatment are supposed to go away within 2 months, but it can’t come fast enough for me.  My vision is slowly coming back – for a while I couldn’t see a PC monitor or drive a car.  The former is still a problem and the latter works better IF it’s a non-busy street and full daytime.

This has also screwed up my work, because it’s difficult to see my work laptop, and I have a note from the doctor to my boss about it, so I’m off for a bit more time with that.

Meredith and Susan seem to be out of the house all the time on training, errands, you name it, and that got old with my driving kiboshed,

Also got unhooked from my IV machine on Monday, and that means I’m free of worrying about water getting into bandages.   Very nice.


OK, didn't see that coming:

Liberal-Progressive leaving cable channel Current TV, which has been plagued with problems that the whole fuss with Olbermann's leaving the network brought to light (basicially, they were operating it on less than a shoestring, and oversold to Olbermann about how professional of a setup he'd be coming into, and refused to ante up to do better - whereupon he was fired for raising hell about it) has been sold off to Al Jazeera, who has wanted a hook into US Cable systems for a long time with their news programming, and will now create Al Jazeera America.

Whereupon, Time Warner, who wasn't happy with Current's ratings, decided that the new channel wasn't Amurrican enough, and dropped Current right here and now before the change-over. 

Having watched non-US news outfits for a long time, such as the BBC, RT, France 24, Deutsche Welle and CCTV 9 (Chinese TV in English for America), I have zero problems with having Al Jazeera in the cable mix, and have said so for years.  They have done a bang-up job with the Arab Spring stuff. and no, they don't lean towards Israel.  (Give me Israeli TV in English, and I'll watch that too.)  But I know in the news stuff, that only having one point of view for information is silly.  And leads to distortion.

I think the problem will be is that people will take the opposite view: (1) Not Amurrikan, (2) It's Ay-rab, and (3) Don't care about what all them Ay-rab terrierists haveta say.  I think that progressive sorts who were either working for Current or watched Current will leave in droves - either because they really liked Current As Is or because they don't want to be connected with Ay-rabs and be seen or labelled Traitors To The Realm.