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Greetings and felicitations fannish types and Bostonians.  Batya and I will be attending Boskone next month.  As I know many of you attend Arisia instead, I figured it would be a good idea to give you a head's up that we will at the other con.  If you like to meet up with us, regardless of whether you are attending the con, please give up a shout.  But be aware that Batya is slated to do a concert on Friday night, and you might want to attend..

Hope we get to see at least some of you soonish. 
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Let's welcome the new year with this classic poem no longer under copyright.

 Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
 
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
 
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
 
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
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Greetings.  If you haven't left Dreamwidth and are among my regular readers, glad to see you.  If you left DW and are returning as the Tumblexodus begins, welcome back.  As you may have noticed, I have been posting a lot less.  Some of that is because DW has been quiet overall.  But of late, it's because I broke my scapula.  Here's my story.

Out for a walk on November 11, as I often do on Sunday mornings.  Dunkin iced tea in one hand, the drug store two blocks away and ready for me to make a pickup.  I trip.  I fall.  I lose the iced tea.  I land on my hands, as one does.  I am in a lot of pain.  A lot more than from a routine trip.  I slowly stumble to a small park a block a way, land on a bench, and make phone calls to the volunteer ambulance service and to Batya.  Soon enough we are both at the nearest hospital, and I am in the devil's own pain.  It is incredibly hard just getting my shirt off for the x-ray.  It is not fun.

One x-ray later, and it's determined I broke my scapula (shoulder blade).  This is not an easy thing to do, as scapulas are well padded by surrounding muscles, tissue, etc.  I have no idea how I did it, but I did.  Go me.  I come home, make an appointment the next day with an orthopedist, and begin the long process of recovery.  Which meant two weeks out of work, three weeks of typing one handed, and six weeks of wearing a sling when I slept and a lot of time when I am awake.  Lots of Advil and icepacks.  Physical therapy twice a week.  And slowly starting to do all the things I suddenly couldn't do. 

Seven weeks later, I am at about 75 percent of "what I used to be able to do."  I can't reach out or up.  I can't lift anything beyond a certain weight.  I am still in pain a lot, albeit manageable pain.  I have only just begun to wash dishes again and use a knife.  And I am appreciating every little thing that I am once more able to do again.  I honestly missed doing the dishes.

There is a long road ahead yet.  But the doctor says I am where I should be at this point. And it's kind of amazing that bones can grow back, isn't it?

So that is one reason I have not been posting much. Longer stretches of typing are still a bit uncomfortable, and I need to save that for work.  But I am getting there.  And I totally recommend that you should avoid breaking your scapula.

PS: This is also why I didn't say anything about Stan Lee's death.  But by now, I doubt I have much to add.

 
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Came out of shabbos to hear about the passing of our filker friend Harold Stein, and the hideous attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh.  I have no words about the latter, only angry and grief.  I have words about the former, about Harold, but I will save them for now, perhaps till the memorial circle for Harold at Philcon.

 
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I rarely get political in my posts. But this is not politics. This is about human decency, and the lack of it.

Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence  
https://nyti.ms/2R9W1jB?smid=nytcore-ios-share 

Okay, it is also politics. For the love of human decency, vote!


Testing

Oct. 8th, 2018 09:05 pm
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 I almost never post anymore.  But Google Plus is going to go away soon, so I might start posting again. But is it even worth it?

Still, I have no interest in Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, or anything but Dreamwidth and Google Plus.  I fear that the social medial revolution is over for me, and my side lost.

Shana Tova

Sep. 9th, 2018 03:01 pm
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 Hey, I still have a blog.  I should use it on occasion.

Wishing all a shana tova as the Jewish New Year of 5779 starts.  May the old year and its curses leave.  May the new year and its blessings arrive.
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 Coming to you from open filk. Just came from the LARP, which Batya joined in and which was awesome. And to be continued next year.

I was a bard. Got to sing and tell a story I made up from scratch. That was awesome too.
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 Hullo out there!

There will be a housefilk on Sunday, May 6, in Kew Gardens Hills in
Queens, New York, at the home of Alex and Batya Wittenberg. The festivities will run from 1 pm to approximately 5 pm. The address is 144-32 71st Road, accessible from the LIE and GCP, and by subway and bus.

Interested? Reply to this post,
and let us know. And spread the word!
Need directions? Feel free to ask as well.
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 Here's to a man whose achievements in cosmology were matched by his perseverance in his long battle with ALS. 
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Today, SpaceX successfully test-launched the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket since Saturn V.  27 engines on a core and two boosters worked perfectly, as did a second stage rocket.  After which, the two boosters landed back at Cape Canaveral AT THE SAME TIME!  It was an awe inspiring sight, the stuff of science fiction made real.  (The main rocket's landing seems to have been the only failure of the day, but no word has come from SpaceX yet.)

And now there is a Tesla Roadster with a dummy dressed in a SpaceX spacesuit on its way into a Mars orbit.  And the car is sending back streaming video.

I daresay, today I feel like the future we have been waiting for has arrived.  Or is at least closer today that it was yesterday.

And as it happens, I had the day off and was able to watch the whole thing.  It was really nerve wracking, since there was always a good chance the 27 engines and the vibrations thereof could have done something untoward.  But everything went fine, and I got to watch history.  Yay! 
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 Neither Batya or I were in downtown Manhattan today.  Doesn't mean I am not freaked out some.  

Hoping everyone else I know is okay, but still sad, and scared, and angry, about this.

Hugs to all who need.
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 May the old years and its curses end.  May the new year and its blessings commence.

Best wishes for a joyous new year to everyone!
sdelmonte: (2014)
Hear ye, hear ye!
 
There will be a housefilk on Sunday, September 3 (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend) in Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, New York, at the home of [personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] batyatoon. The festivities will run from 1 pm to approximately 5 pm. The address is 144-32 71st Road, accessible from the LIE and GCP, and by subway and bus.
 
Interested? Reply to this post and let us know. And spread the word!
 
Need directions? E-mail me at simondelmonte @ gmail.com.
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i liked it.  It;s not a great film, it has its flaws, and it is a gloss on the books and totally not an adaptation.  But the acting, especially Matthew McConaughey, worked, and the story keeps moving and it certainly has the spirit of the novels to some degree.  I am not sure that non-DT fans will like it as much, but at the very least it made for a good afternoon at the theater.
 
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I don't remember when I first watched what's now called in fandom "Batman '66."  But it was a lot time ago.  When i was a kid.  I ate it up with a spoon.  I didn't know it was making fun of Batman.  I think most kids didn't.  We just watched the kinetic, frenetic actions and bought into the square jawed hero.

That was my first Batman, before I read a single comic, before I watched SuperFriends or any of the other cartoons, before Burton and Dini and Nolan.  If my love of Batman started anywhere, it started with the BIFF POW BAM and with "old chum" and with the Batusi.

Adam West embraced his place in pop culture history.  He had a lot of fun playing off being that Batman.  But he was also a pretty good actor, and for one season in the 80s he voiced Batman at the end of the SuperFriends era, and did it really well.  He was also The Gray Ghost in a memorable episode of the 90s animated series.

But above all else, he was Batman.  Not the best.  Just my first.  Thanks, old chum.
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No rest for the weary as we got home from Baltimore by 4 pm and were shopping for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot by 5 pm.  Lots to do to get ready, but as I tend to have too much vacation time, I am off tomorrow and can get ready a bit more properly.  Of course, this means a one day work week on Friday, and rushing to get ready for shabbos, and a week of altered sleep schedules.  But we knew this going into Balticon, and Balticon was just so enjoyable that it was worth it.

For me, for the fourth time, Balticon meant some filk here and there, and the weekend-long LARP.  This time around, the game consisted of equal parts characters from books come to life in the real world and original characters with some sort of superpower.  As a long time veteran of that pan-fandom online RPG called Milliways, this was nearly second nature to me, with the added bonus of people were allowed to recognized famous literary figures.  Such as Dr. Watson. my character for the LARP.  (Alas, no Holmes but there was a Moriarty so secret that  I had no idea he was in the game).  It was immensely fun trying to play a very meta Dr. Watson in both the setting of the game and in the 21st century.   I think it took a while to get exactly how to play him, but getting there was part of the fun.

And it's really hard not to have fun with a felllowship of Watson, Scheherazade, Molly Weasley, Allan Quatermain, and an original character with superpowers racing on the back of griffins to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom reborn in Scotland.  While a crazed MI6 agent who is secret a Hellspawn is trying to kill us.  (Spoiler: we won.  And that was nowhere near the end game.)

Some other time when I am less tired I might talk about the interesting dynamics of this LARP.  Suffice it to say, I came away wanting to reread some of the original Holmes canon.  

Anyway, time to steer away from the con and towards Shavuot.  More to come...

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Greetings all!

1. Next week is Balticon, and we expect to be there (though we are bugging out a bit earlier than usual Monday as Tuesday night is Shavuot).  I will once again be devoting much of my weekend to the LARP, though you will can also find me in the filk room/concerts from time to time, and maybe in the con suite early in the day.

2. Contata, the annual northeast floating filk convention, will be June 23-25 in Morristown, NJ.  There are several important updates about the con on its Facebook page, including news regarding hotel rooms.  I will be in the con suite most of the con.

Hope to see some of you at at least one of these cons.

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Today we note and mourn the passing of Bernie Wrightson. Wrightson was one of the great horror comics artists, the co-creator of Swamp Thing, frequent collaborator of Stephen King, and influence on two generations of comics artists and readers. He was only 68, and his presence will be missed.
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So someone is paying Elon Musk and SpaceX a lot of money to send two passengers around the Moon. Next year.

I really don't know if this is doable. The rocket has never been tested. The capsule is not human-rated. SpaceX was reported to be behind schedule on getting its first manned capsule to the space station. A week long trip around the Moon, out into deep space, is a lot harder. So I am skeptical this will happen.

And I don't love seeing space travel turned into something only the super-rich can afford.

But...we haven't been back to the Moon in too long. This could be the start of something big. The Moon awaits. Mars awaits. And Musk, for all his big talk, is a visionary. If anyone can really jumpstart the space program, it's him.

There are things brewing. NASA is pushing ahead with the SLS and Orion, though there is a sense that it's alternately going too slow and too fast. Other countries are getting in the act. And while this is a time when there is a lot to worry about, a time to wonder if we are going to get to the stars before we sink back into the mire, I still get a buzz any time I hear that people want to do the impossible.

So here's hoping that before too long, man will orbit the Moon again. And then set sail for the rest of the universe.
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At last, YouTube is complete! Come and hear me talk about Jack Kirby for my synagogue's website.

https://youtu.be/nw5hlTcEvts
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There was no way that I would let the death of John Glenn go unremarked. Though I suspect if you read this, you probably are looking at all the coverage and all the obits and that I can't tell you anything you haven't read.

But how can I not mark the end of an era? We lost a great man, a war hero, a brave astronaut, an accomplished politician, and someone whose life was full of achievement. We also lost the last of the seven men chosen to usher the US into the space age. We lost the first nearly fifty years ago, when Gus Grissom died in the terrible Apollo 1 fire. We lost the last today. The first age of space exploration recedes ever more rapidly into the past, even as we continue to hope that these seven men will inspire us to start the next age soon.

There is not much else to say but that one line uttered by Scott Carpenter and repeated ad infinitum today: Godspeed, John Glenn.
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It is harder to be thankful this year than it has been in a long while. But even with our worry, we cannot and should not let that stop for appreciating what and who we have. So I want to offer thanks to everyone online and off who commiserated with me the last two weeks, and for the safe spaces I have found to vent and to fret.

And also thank all the friends who have been there for us of late. And Barack Obama for being a pretty awesome president. And all the people who have been making entertainment that entertains me. And my family. And everyone who actually reads this blog.

May your Thanksgiving be a peaceful and happy one, with the right people and the moments needed to reflect and to recharge. May your "Black Friday" not leaving you screaming at fellow customers or at the people who demand your help. If you are going to ChessieCon, we hope to see you there!

Now, bring on WKRP, Arlo, and Joel Robinson!
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I am ashamed of my country today.

I am scared for the future.

I cannot understand how anyone anywhere would vote for Trump. I cannot understand how any women or minorities would vote for Trump.

I feel lost. And sad. And angry.

But mostly I am ashamed that so many millions of Americans actually think that this clod should be leader of anything.
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On the one hand, it's going to be epic. The two teams with the longest time since winning the title, both very good teams.

On the other hand, it is hard to root for either team. One has a questionable name and a definitely racist logo. The other traded for a player who was suspended for domestic abuse and who has shown no remorse. Real life does have a way these days to make me feel less good about being a sports fan.

Still, I am glad for the long suffering fans in the Cubs half of Chicago. I hope they enjoy it.
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