October Rambling: artist Indigo Anderson; Arthur and Nigel get married


Amen, 39.
***
The Perfect Epitaph for Establishment Journalism: “In other words, if the government tells me I shouldn’t publish something, who I am as a journalist to disobey? Put that on the tombstone of western establishment journalism.”
***
I just don’t have the energy to blast the jerks responsible for the 16-day US federal government partial shutdown. Fortunately, Dan is both willing and able to do so.
***
Reader Wil: After our time as p.o.w.’s in Japanese concentration camps, we were liberated by the British. Two months after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we could escape a new danger.
***
Arthur and Nigel got married today. Or yesterday – that New Zealand time zone stuff always confounds me. Arthur’s observations before the big day. (I still think it’s because of the broken stemware.) Congratulations!
***
Amy’s Sharp Little Pencil wrote The Migraine Speaks (much to my dismay) and In the Palm of God’s Hand.
***
Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Childhood #3, which made me cry.
***
Leslie on setting boundaries as a teacher.
***
Steve ponders The Things We Say When Drunk.
***
Young Indigo Anderson is passionate about manga, anime, cosplay and making comics. “That is why when her tenth grade AP World History teacher asked for a paper about the relationship between North and South Korea, she requested to do it as a comic.
Continue reading

Halloween 2013

via Aaron Paul's Instagram

Each year, I just post seasonal links. I used to post them on the 31st, but then you wouldn’t have time to make use of those costume design ideas. Here’s a terrible joke I saw: A skeleton walks into a bar and says “I’d like a beer and a mop.”

Census: Halloween Facts for Features
***
IBISWorld:
Halloween Sales to Grow a Slow 3.0 Percent in 2013
***
All month, there are Pagan Scares from Postmodern Barney
***
The A to Z of Stephen King Cinema, a comic of greatness
***
Listing Toward Forty is Listing Toward Halloween
***
Stephen R. Bissette’s WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU!
***
The work of the devil…
***
11 Halloween Freebies: Where to Eat Free for Wearing Costumes
***
Transforming black-light Bride of Frankenstein makeup
***
Hauntbox: open-source hardware box for controlling your automated, electronic haunted house
***
This Family Wins All Costume Contests For Forever Continue reading

P is for Pope Francis I

As I have noted, I’m a Protestant with an odd fascination with Catholic popes. The accession, in March 2013, of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, 76, to become the 266th head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, especially when his predecessor, Benedict XVI is still alive, intrigued me.

I admit that I’ve enjoyed that he’s made some in the church hierarchy nervous, when he faults the church’s focus on gays and abortion, though that feels more like optics rather than actual change to me. He may be right, though, when he describes‘ideological Christians’ as a ‘serious illness’ within the Church.

More interesting to me is his suggestion, if it’s understood correctly in a secular press, that it’s OK not to believe in God if you have a clean conscience. Continue reading

Bad linkage, says the mighty Google

Does this ever happen to you? It happens to me roughly every 15 days, where someone will e-mail me a letter like this:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I hope you’re doing well. I’m writing to you because my domain RedactedDomain.com was struck by a unnatural links penalty from Google. You might be aware of how Google can penalize a site if they think that the site is or was using dishonest link building techniques. Well Continue reading

NALT Christians

Last month, my friend Dan sent me a link to this nifty page about Christians Openly Supporting LGBT Community In ‘We’re Not All Like That’ Campaign. I wrote back, “This will appear on my blog within the week! Thanks; I had not seen this.” I was particularly taken by Fred Clark’s video, maybe because how he self-identifies.

Obviously I didn’t post anything, and frankly it got lost in my e-mails. Then Arthur wrote about it, and I was going to let it go as a topic. Moreover, while I appreciate the sentiment of NALT, I never like things identified by what they are NOT. Quirky, I know.

But then I saw this story about a tea party leader and former Baptist pastor who is proposing to file a ‘class action lawsuit’ against ‘homosexuality.’ Oy.

So let me share with you Continue reading

The eldest niece is 35 (tomorrow)


The best part of Rebecca Jade’s early growing up was that she lived not that far away. I was in New Paltz or Albany (NY), and she and her parents (my sister Leslie and her now ex-husband) were living in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, a couple-hour bus ride away. So I saw her a month after she was born, and then several times the next couple years, including on her first and second birthdays.

Then they moved away, first to North Carolina, then to Puerto Rico for over six years, and I never made it it down there, much to my regret, since the photos made their place seem beautiful. I’ve noticed, though, that when I did get a chance to see her – at my grandmother’s funeral, visiting New York City – there is photographic evidence Continue reading

Avoiding conflict

Dan Van Riper, the Albany Weblog guy, first wrote to Ask Roger Anything:
Roger, I… I’m sorry, I can’t think of anything to ask. I really want to but… I can’t. Why not?

Because my life’s an open book? Because you’re having dental work done?

But then he came back, and asked:
Wait, I just thought of a question. It’s actually been in the back of my head for some time. You’ve said more than once that you don’t like conflict between people, that when it happens you tend to shy away from it. I know several people who are like that. My question is, why? Do you have any idea where that comes from? Or is that too personal?

To answer the last, easiest, question, no, it’s not too personal.

I suppose I need to define the terms. My daughter’s favorite Beatles song is “We Can Work It Out,” which features the line: “Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”

Watching the Sunday morning news shows, or Bill O’Reilly Continue reading

The value of the humanities

Last month, I attended a lecture by former US Supreme Court Justice David Souter about the importance of the humanities. There was a article in the Times Union that was factually accurate. Still, I’m going to muse on what I got out of the talk.

Justice Souter assumed everyone in the room was his ally in the fight to save the arts, music, civics and the like, so it was not his intention to persuade those of us who were already convinced of its efficacy. Instead, he spoke of poetry and its fundamental importance. Noting the famous poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, Souter said he got to see the poet recite without reading it; Souter did the same with this audience. The justice said that the cursory reading of the poem would suggest that we ought to take “the road less traveled by.” Yet, a study of the poem, its context, its history, would reveal Continue reading

O is for Oklahoma

JEOPARDY! category EVERYTHING’S OK
*This nickname for Oklahomans stems from those who jumped the homesteading starting gun in 1889
*It’s Oklahoma’s leading crop & is especially big in the north, near the Kansas border
*Tahlequah, Oklahoma is the tribal capital of this Native American nation
*This humorist & native son lends his name to Oklahoma City’s main airport
*The National Weather Service’s storm prediction center is in this city, also home to the University of Oklahoma
And here’s a Daily Double I got right when I was on the show:
PUT ‘EM IN ORDER: Oklahoma statehood, California statehood, Nebraska statehood
(Answers at the end)

I’ve long had an almost irrational affection for Oklahoma. Maybe it’s because, when I put together my states of the Union jigsaw puzzle when I was a kid, the piece for the state looked like a deformed sauce pan. Continue reading