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I left this in mostly to make Dave happy. :-) Though it doesn't, because Pitas doesn't escape ampersands, and neither do I; the spec is broken on that point.
A Wish, From Me, To You
Please accept with no obligation, expressed or implied, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday celebrating our Independence from England--not that the English are such bad folks--practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all -- and...
(deep breath here)
A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the midpoint of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
(This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)
Oh, and that old flame who set me on fire for Valentine's Day? Wow. :-)
And, as usual, an old flame shows up, the day before, to set me alight again. We'll see. May you, too, live in interesting times. :-)
Journeyman is full of holes
Pam just subjected me to the pilot of Journeyman, which is basically Quantum Leap meats Tru Calling.
Alas, the major plot hook whereby the lead character's wife believes that he's time-jumping instead of stepping out on her is that in 1999 on a leap, he went to his house-to-be, and buried under the deck they hadn't built yet...
A then-two-year-old newspaper.
Why he didn't decide to bury something that hadn't been invented then like... oh, I dunno; the iPhone he'd been prominently carrying around all episode, I don't know.
On reflection, I guess "you know I've never ripped up the deck since this started" is *barely* acceptable, but...
We won 5 of the first 15 World Series, took 86 years off, and then came back and swept St. Louis in 2004, and this year we swept the Colorado Rockies -- who beat us all three interleague games they played us this year -- in 4, becoming the first team to win two Series in the 21st Century.
It's called Now & Then, and I think I bought it the day it premiered; 23 Oct. And I read it, and it's ok, though I think the ending sort of trailed off and got away from him.
I'll let you know what I think when I read it again.
But the interesting part is this: in one of the Jesse Stone novels, there's a scene where Jesse figures out whom an author/suspect's ex-wives are, to question them, by reading the dedications on his books.
This book is dedicated "This one is for Rose ... always."
Parker's been married to his wife Joan for 40 years; she's been the dedication on every one of his books. Did they get a divorce? No one seems to be saying anything on the web...
I'm not all that fond of T-mobile, a division of Deutsche Telekom, generally; their voice service is mediocre in my home market -- though, isn't everyone's? -- but when Alan and I were in KC in July, we signed up for their hotspot service in the Kansas City Hyatt (you remember; that's the hotel where the lobby collapsed in 1981?) and we signed up for the month, since the $40 was cheaper than $10 a day for 5 days.
Well, they're giving it away for free in the six California counties affected by the Fire. I guess we'll spot them points for that.
In 7 games, winning at home on a 3-run RBI double and a 2-run homer in the 8th and 3 fly outs by Cleveland in the 9th, they beat the Indians and they're going to open against the Colorado Rockies, I think at home, on Wednesday night.
I'm a wagon-rider, but I'm actually probably gonna break down and go find a sports bar to watch the series at.
It's time to believe again!
Alas, the whole Fox Sports "100 Years" music video thing won't work this time... ;-)
I've been slogging through the comments on the Slashdot thread about the new Radiohead album, which they're giving away for pay-us-what-you-think-it's-worth (and have apparently made somewhere between $6 and 10 million on), and picked up some interesting new sites, including Jamendo, which you might want to check out.
If you, y'know, are paying any attention to what I say at all. :-)
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, only 1 in 3 American teenagers report having been contacted online by a stranger, and only 11% of the female teens in that survey report that the experience made them uncomfortable.
So, are we clear on how to mislead people with statistics, now? :-)
Q. Can I buy glasses without a prescription in the lenses?
A. Yes, we call them plano lenses. You can get them with the same great options as prescription lenses, including hip tints and anti-reflective and scratch resistant coatings. Don't forego a great fashion accessory just because you have good vision.
Cause who *wouldn't* want to be a four-eyes, even though they don't have to. Adults do silly things, Darien; never grow up, ok?
My friend er, um, "Georgiana" is in the final run to release her first album (after being dicked around for about 4 years by various record labels) with her partner and producer Eran Taviv
... er, um "Tabib".
For some reason, I gather he thinks that changing the spelling of the name makes him sound less like an Arab (terrorist :-).. . but alas, it glosses pretty hard over his past career, which included a stint playing guitar for the Spin Doctors.
Faith Trent, herself, has some chops; she made number 2 on the Billboard Dance chart about 4 years ago, and her Widelife-produced "(This is the way) I Am" was the theme for the first two seasons of the ABC Family show "Knock First", a middle-school Trading Spaces.
So now, if you were googling around, you know more than you did before.
And I'm probably going to get yelled at. Owel. :-)
Their (current :-) band name is Bootleg Tonic; check 'em out. They've got Ivan Neville on keys...
I've been swapping in new PCs for Temple Beth-El in St Petersburg all week, and for no particularly good reason, I got to wondering where you search, on the intertubes, when you need gritty details about Judaica.
In this article, in which he claims to be no apologist for Microsoft even though he once worked on the Excel team, he explains that a recent bug in Excel 2007 -- an inability to properly render floating point numbers (12 of them) very near to 65535 and 65536, displaying them instead as 100,000 -- is not especially important because it only affects display, and not further calculations.
Joel is often wrong, but never uncertain, and according to commenters at the Microsoft Excel blog he links, he's wrong here too: they note that according to their tests, yes, that wrongly displayed number *can* indeed leak back into formulas and propagate.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 04:12 p.m. - Comment
I'm a programmer. I don't do it much anymore, but it's fun when I have the time and energy to get back into cutting code.
Today, it was debugging code. I'd modified some 10 year old QuickBasic(!) for a client, and suddenly this week, the versions I *hadn't* modified started throwing the undocumented (even by Google) "Unknown error number: 75".
Only on one machine.
I'll spare you all the "fun" along the way... but the problem turned out to be that in my new version, I'd turned up a lotta buncha extra logging... and the log files had grown past 4GB, and the libraries linked into the *old* QuickBasic versions of the code spit up on them, whereas my new version -- compiled with FreeBasic, a clone, which worked out pretty well, though I had to make a few changes -- had no problem with the oversized logfiles.
Kudos to the people on the FreeBasic forum, who had pretty quick answers to my stupid questions.
On an unrelated topic, when this guy says "Ultimate Boot CD", he ain't just whistlin' Dixie... Slithering Jeezus, there's a lot of stuff on there...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment
As strange as it is, you are one of my oldest friends. Even though there have been years where we haven't spoken. You are able to with just one phone call, or one email, to put a smile on my face and to remember all of the little things that can bring me joy. Like having a computer that runs, or guitar comedians. You also let me know that no matter how shitty I feel, at least someone still thinks I'm pretty.
As that's nearly exactly what I was aiming for... aww.... <kick>... <shuffle>...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 @ 01:47 p.m. - Comment
Ok, I have a *lot* of $50 books; I'm in the computer business.
Most of them, annoyingly enough, are out of date, and really only good anymore for, as Douglas would have put it, recycling as firelighters.
One of them is still good to keep around though, because it's by MIT's Philip Greenspun, who is a Class 1 photographer, and sprinkled the book with about 500 of his photographs, making it the first coffee-table computer science book. (I'm sure, if he follows the link here from the email I just sent him, he'll be pleased to know that his plan worked :-)
"I am really bloody sick of Microsoft's shoddy work. The spammers are arsonists, but Microsoft are the company that keeps building the houses out of gasoline-soaked balsa wood and flash paper." -- jcr@slashdot
I had to put a new DC converter board in mine this week -- it's reportedly the most common failure on this model, and we've had 3 out of slightly over a dozen go bad in the last 6 months, all on notebooks over a year out of *our* sale (we resell lease returns).
The pinch points on disassembly are few: the PDF manual (available from HP) miscalls a couple of screw counts, doesn't explain to you *quite* how to remove the switch cover (it has a lot of spring latches and you have to work it work it), forgets to tell you to unplug the modem cable from the modem card, and the last step in "remove the top cover": "put a straightblade screwdriver in the slot to unlatch it" is unclear: there's a plastic tab on the back of the cover facing parallel to the table, into a notch in the metal plate the IO ports are mounted on; your goal is to flex that metal plate slightly towards the front of the laptop so the panel will come unlatched. Half a millimeter will do it, but it's not clear from the instructions what you're *pushing on*. You're pushing on a metal bracket; kinda dig your straightblade screwdriver into it a bit at the side of the slot that's near the back, then shift towards the front.
Putting it back together, just make sure you properly aligned the DC board on the 2-row headers or it will block a screw tower, and *take the modem out* to plug its cable back into it. If you don't, you'll end up batshit insane.
for recently promoted Tropical Storm Dean. As usual, I'll try to keep that updated as NOAA NWS releases new advisories; even Republicans are allowed to read them, Senator Santorum (R-AccuWeather) notwithstanding.
Current best guess is up the East coast towards Nova Scotia; more when I know more. Seablogger is very good at this stuff, and I'm rather proud of the rest of my links as well.
[ Update: Wed AM -- well. maybe Texas or Mexico, which also seems to be where TD 5 is heading at the moment. Five's no factor, but we're keeping an eye on Dean. ]
> A key question is whether the child knows right from wrong.
No, a key question is whether we want to fuck up the heads of three (more) elementary school kids by making them into convicted felons for normal sex play. Idiots. And I note that the Times has turned off comments in their Breaking News blog. I expect they'll blame it on the SixApart outage Monday night, but I ain't buyin' it.
As of 1-Oct-2007, pharmacies will not be permitted to dispense any prescriptions to them if the scripts are not written on tamper-proof pads. And lots of people in all three constituencies aren't at all aware of it.
Though this station's cut of the AP story doesn't mention it, (the New York Times', behind a paywall, does), this was snuck into an Iraq War funding bill as an amendment -- it makes a wonderful example of why such off-topic rider amendments ought to be prohibited, in my oh-so-humble opinion.
I don't say this much, but please feel free to pass this along far and wee...
80's power-rock-hair-love-ballads, then you will almost *certainly* not enjoy A Process, A Gift, A Journey, a *really* cheezy example set to the lyrics from Paris Hilton's new "I was a Lesbian Love Slave in Prison" book. Or something like that.
Shame they cut it off so soon; I was looking forward to the bridge.
I was reminded today that not everyone is aware of the funniest imitation gameshow on radio. They have a podcast edition, which is sometimes easier to deal with than their primary off-air Real Audio broadcast.
To the Kansas City Aviation Department, via their webform:
On Monday, I flew back from your airport, returning home to Tampa from a vacation trip. Because I was flying non-rev with a friend on SWA, we'd gotten up at 0415 on 4 hours sleep to get to the airport the prescribed 2 hours prior to a 7:30 departure, from which we were bumped.
We were bumped three times, but that's not what's your problem.
What's your problem is that, at 20 minutes before our backup flight to Orlando, the *sole* mens' restroom stall near gate 32, inside the secure area, was *still* blocked.
More than 30 minutes after I'd reported it. Three separate times, to three separate people, including the Facilities department operator.
Luckily, I had company to babysit my bags while I went out into the hall in search of somewhere else to take a load off.
Unluckily, I took my boarding card, but not my drivers license.
Needless to say, I did *not* have a good flight back, and while everyone I talked to seemed to care, no one seemed to get it fixed.
I understand that the security theatre the FAA and TSA put us all through makes your life unpleasant, but that's really not my problem. 1900 people worth of segregated floor space almost *certainly* requires more than one bathroom stall a piece, and until you can find a way to provide more, you *certainly* need to make provisions to get stoppages cleared up in less than 5 minutes.
I've blogged the incident, and noted the problem on Wikipedia (which I will be monitoring); the KC Health Department tells me it's not within their jurisdiction; I'll be calling the mayor's action line again tomorrow.
After a really crappy wait at KCI, we finally caught SWA310, nonstop to Orlando International, and landed, about 15 minutes late, at 5pm. Much love to Marie for coming over and picking us up, and hauling us back to TIA to get our baggage, which *did* make it onto 1950 to Tampa.
Thanks also to the SWA baggage services people in Tampa for catching that our unaccompanied bags were non-rev, and holding them in the office, instead of putting them on the puppy pile.
Hi to the KAGS; Colin's home too; how are the rest of you?
Kansas City International: It's a Crime to Take a Crap
I'm in the Southwest terminal at KCI, where I've been since 0530, after getting up at 0415, after 4 hours sleep.
I need to use the men's room, to phrase it politely.
In this particular 'sanitary' (now, isn't *that* a great choice of term) section of the airport -- a section which has fire code signs for maybe 2000 people? -- there is *one* mens' restroom, with *one* stall.
This is apparently not the problem of the Kansas City Health Department, and finding someone whose problem it *is* is proving... difficult.
I would normally be inclined to make a loud screaming fuss. But this is an airport. I'd get arrested.
All I can tell you is that the Director of the KCAA is getting a new way to shit.
No, not last night... I never get invited to that sort of party :-)
This was a *panel* on sex as it appeared in Heinlein's stories. Robin Wayne Bailey (who, oddly, isn't a serial killer, even though his middle name is Wayne), Lee Martindale and Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts were joined by a writer named Diane <mumble> and they spoke for 45 minutes, and we couldn't understand a word that they said.
Oh, wait; that was Alice's Restaurant. :-)
Stranger was the book that opened Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts' eyes at 16. For Diane, it was Time Enough for Love. The ideas -- particularly the idea that you were entitled to your *own* ideas -- were the most remarkable part. Lee Martindale figured her mom was wrong about sex, but wasn't sure why until she, too, found Heinlein's works.
Robin notes that Heinlein is not above criticism, and that sex and relationships are the spot where he is weakest, being -- if not infantile, at least naive. Clearly, criticize he did, even though one audience member noted that he was "about due for a lynching". I'm not sure how serious he was...
Ben Caxton is, Robin notes, one of the only characters who ever brings a traditional view to relationships into one of Heinlein's books, providing an opportunity for exposition that's missing in the other works, which mostly take non-traditional relationships for granted.
Barbara talked about Heinlein's second marriage, an open one, to Leslyn, and noted that while he was living that kind of lifestyle, he didn't at the time consider it fit to write about. Lee agreed that Heinlein tended to gloss over things that everyone in a relationship knows... the rough spots... but makes my favorite points: that stuff often doesn't serve the story. And writing good sex is hard. Pun entirely intentional.
Robin asked why, then, would you write about that stuff. Lee replied "Money."
Jason asked about the Stranger group marriage whether it didn't help that the members of that group marriage had some level of telepathy; Robin disagreed.
Another question regarded whether Heinlein *really* disparaged homosexuality in a couple of spots; the questioner, like me, thinks not. (Robin clarified that the homosexual observation comes from David Gerrold, who is here in the building somewhere...)
Tom notes that while Heinlein's sex scenes may not be wet, as cash customers demand, he writes excellent pillow talk. Katie agreed. :-)
Diane mentioned a conversation about Timothy Zahn and sex scenes; she opined that Heinlein was merely being polite.
The session continued, but I got too distracted to continue blogging.
Administrator Griffin started off his talk by disclaiming most of the credit for the country's renewed interest in space exploration, giving it instead to the Gaiman Commission (?) and the President. He then admitted to not having become a space junkie because of Heinlein, to general aghastness.
He spoke of "A Children's Book Of Stars", which was the book which did interest him in space, passing through Ley and Von Braun, and Collier's Magazine and Chesley Bonestell's space paintings. Almost all of it, he notes, was wrong.
Griffin talked about the 50s and 60s as a Golden Age for aerospace, mentioning the X-15 and it's companions, and discussed the 'frontier' aspect of why that development was so popular at the time.
Was the growth in popularity of SF -- and particularly hard SF -- he asks, a cause, or an effect of this cultural matrix? Unsurprisingly, for someone keynoting a Heinlein convention, he thinks it was a cause.
Of the Big Three of SF of that era, Griffin likes Heinlein the best, not only because he "put you there", but because it did it in the Saturday Evening Post. Hard SF, he thinks, made it practical to talk about going to the moon without people questioning your sanity. Which is, I suppose, a good thing for someone in his job. He credits hard SF, and specifically, Heinlein, for making it believeable for Kennedy to challenge NASA and the country to make it possible to land man on the moon, and return him safely to the Earth by the end of the decade.
The part of Griffin's address that I found most interesting, though, was when he addressed the aspects of Heinlein's works that didn't directly address Griffin's particular patch. How did Heinlein's work explain, or advocate morals and ethics? His answers to those points prove that the man has actually read the source material... or has an excellent ghostwriter.
We have a NASA administrator who gets it, people.
"America was built on the questioning of leadership." Critical thinking, Griffin's third pillar of Heinleinian giftitude, is the underlying fundamental thereof.
Heinlein's ability to paint anyone, anyone at all, as a hero, was one of the strongest points of his storytelling skills, Griffin says (and I agree).
Questions to the Administrator included one about the current concern over radiation in deep space and what's being done about it. While Griffin didn't have any policy statements to make about the issue, he did demonstrate a clear understanding of the specifics of the issue, and noted that the issue is certainly not one which is going uninvestigated.
The next question was "what do we *do* about the future?" Griffin disclaimed the title of the program, to general laughter, but noted that seeing cool things happen is probably the thing most likely to motivate the next generations. He thinks that the US's refocus on LEO was a bad idea, but notes that the Administrator and NASA do what the politicians tell them to, and that he "takes umbrage" when people hang that on NASA's shoulder.
Another question got into some pretty deep technological geekery about reusable components and fuel depots. Griffin replied that he'd written "what attempted to be learned papers" on topics related to that including the economics of reusability. His answer amounted to "yes, we're working on that; we'll get there; we're just not there yet.
Whether interstellar distances made colonization of remote planets impractical and militated toward terraforming was the next question. Griffin said "he though that was kind of silly", though it wasn't *entirely* clear which option he was pooh-poohing. The remainder of his answer, though, amounted to "no interstellar travel isn't practical *now*"
Mission to Europa? Outer Planets mission.
Moon landings hoax; wrestling real. How do you speak? I don't.
Robert James, who was instrumental in locating the manuscript of this, perhaps
Heinlein's final published novel, began the session by introducing himself and
filling us in on his background. Well, actually, he begin by visiting the men's
room; he has a much harder job than we do.
He spoke of Forrest Ackerman, SF's favorite anthologizer, as well as his search
for materials for a biography, later written by Bill Patterson, and the small
contretemps he had with Ginny over the writing of that bio, quickly smoothed
He talks about the Buell letter, a 70 page treatise on Heinlein's naval
experience, and his correspondence with L. Sprague deCamp about some materials
from Texas as well as correspondence with Ted Sturgeon. deCamp was apparently
receiving death threats over his biographies of Lovecraft and some others. This
was the reason why access to those materials was restricted... materials which
included several chapters of a Leon Stover biography-in-process of Heinlein.
The now deceased Stover was a friend of Heinlein's, as well as a writer on H.G.
Wells; he has a gift of a copy of "When The Sleeper Wakes" which Wells had
autographed to Heinlein, which Heinlein then autographed for Stover.
Stover, in the process of preparing for the biography, received the ms of "For
Us, The Living", and not long after, committed suicide in the wake of his wife's
death. But he made one mistake. He did not make a friend of Ginny.
James spins the tale with consummate skill, born of his intimate involvement in
the process, and he's an excellent speaker.
Peter Scott welcomed everyone to the conference. I missed a bit of it, but it
was mostly housekeeping material after that until he introduced
James Gifford, who recounted the makeup of the guest and pro crowd, including
someone in from Japan. He handed off to
Tim Kyger, who brought in a cup of ocean water, standing in for RAH, whose ashes
were scattered in the ocean after his death. Tim did a wonderful job covering
what was to come and how it came to be, culminating with a mention of the NASA
probe which launches tomorrow at 3pm, the hour of Heinlein's birth, the first
probe to use an ion drive for main propulsion.
Mike Sheffield took the main stage next, to promote the Heinlein Blood Drive,
with some help from Kate Anson, dressed up (with a little help from me :-) as
Eunice Evans Branca from I Will Fear No Evil.
Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts was next, thanking us all for attending, and Peter
Scott returned to the stage to finish off the opening ceremonies by reading
aloud proclamations from the Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, Missouri's US
Senator, and the Mayor of Kansas City, Mark Funkhouser.
To an audience of approximately 80 or 90 early registrants, Bill Patterson,
Heinlein's official biographer, read from his upcoming two volume biography of
Heinlein, regaling the rapt listeners with the story of how Heinlein received
the Black N and 75 demerits at the Naval Academy for being Absent Without Leave.
While Patterson isn't the best reader on the planet, he's clearly an
excellent writer, and his biography -- cut in half from its original 700K words
plus, will likely sell well to its special audience.
"Knowing you are brilliant does not entirely compensate for knowing you are
odd." What an apt observation for this crowd, which chuckled quietly, but
Q&A after covered the Special Collections at UCSC Santa Cruz,
"Off The Main Sequence" (which includes, not quite for the first time, reprints
of the three "stinkeroos", including "My Object All Sublime"), the SFBC juve
collections, and more.
It was also noted that among the books reissued in uncut versions, were "The
Puppet Masters" and "Red Planet", which I hadn't myself realized. The "Puppet
Masters" version which is restored is the Delray 1994 paperback, which as a
drawing of Sam Cavanaugh hanging in the air from tendrils.
Further questions involved Amy Baxter, and Heinlein's time at the Philadephia
Navy Yard. Patterson noted that he was not involved in the Philadelphia
Experment, to general laughter.
Another popular story involved a military plan to spray Germany with poison ivy
during the war, since that plant is not indigenous to Europe.
Bill noted that he'd done a piece on Collecting Heinleiniana in last November's
He then read another section of the bio, which served as a lead-in to the Friday
session "From Socialist to Libertarian", describing Heinlein's political
campaigning in the mid-thirties, and how they led to his first stories, notably
"For Us, The Living--"
I'm sitting in Tampa Airport, Airside C, after having gotten up way too damned early, after going to bed way too damned late -- who knew *this* would be the year *two* of my neighbors decided to buy $500 worth of fireworks.
In any event, Alan and I are heading to KCMo for the Heinlein Centennial, and although Buzz Aldrin wimped out on us for no known good reason, it's still gonna be a rockin' time.
I gather you have to *pay* for the wifi in the conference areas, and I don't know if that covers both buildings or not, so I may be live-blogging, and maybe not.
[ Thanks, incidentally, to Tammi for the tripod, Marge for the shirt, cup, and brownies (and whatever else I'm missing), my sis and others for the great cards (scanshere), and Ed and Marie for the rose, et al. ]
Everyone I know so far got an alert on their MySpace homepage last night that they'd been 'phished'.
Phishing is when a miscreant (let's please not dignify those folks by calling them 'hackers', shall we?) in some fashion makes you think you're entering your username and password into the site you want to be at, when it's actually their fake site instead.
Things like www.my5pace.com and the like are pretty common, as is sending you an HTML email (see why I think HTML email is the spawn of the antiChrist?) that looks official, and contains a link that looks good, but instead points somewhere entirely different.
I don't actually think that this was a phishing event; I think either a) MySpace was testing a new anti-phishing protection thing and it got away from them (which is bad, because those of us who know better now have a false sense of insecurity :-) or b) someone decided that we all needed to change our passwords.
Marie, Ed and I went (all the way the fuck) up to Crystal River last night -- that's a 90 minute drive on a Friday evening as it turns out -- and got to the box office of Playhouse 19 to pick up our tickets for their production of Hair.
It's the second production of the show I've seen this year; I photographed the MAD Theatre of Tampa show at St Pete's Palladium back in January.
Now, with half the cast -- and no black actors -- it was pretty clear to me that they were gonna have to cut some stuff, and they did. And with at least two actors (Crissy and Claude) high-school juniors, it was pretty clear they were gonna cut the nude scene, too. But what can you do? :-)
Over all, though, I thought they did a pretty decent job with what they had to work with... though Jon Rosen, writing on Michael Butler's blog, likely would not agree. They did throw in at least one touch that MAD didn't: they used hand-rolled sage cigs for their ersatz joints, lighted and smoking. MAD didn't light theirs. Nice touch.
Still and all, we were happy, even after the long drive; cast picture below. We all wanted to bring home Katie, the pretty strawberry-blonde in the middle, but the drive back would have been killer...
The cast of Hair, at Playhouse 19 in Crystal River
[ Photo now edited for lightness and such; click through for the large version... and thanks to Jennifer at K&M Camera in New York; I got my replacement camera from them. ]
Hey, a little controversy's workin for Cathy... :-)
There's been a big fracas lately, about Isaiah Washington getting fired from Grey's Anatomy over an incident where, when Patrick Dempsey showed up late for a scene reading, Washington reportedly told him something along the lines of "show up and get the work done; I'm not gonna be your little faggot like [T.R.] Knight".
Now that Washington has come out of the closet about a plan he perceives by Knight to get him and Dempsey thrown off the show, I've realized something that even the LanguageLogpeople seem to have missed. Assuming he said it, it's akin to the instances where Bono and Cher said 'fuck' and 'shit', respectively, on the air at awards shows, which the federal courts have just decided that the FCC is being arbitratry and capricious in changing their policy on: Bono wasn't talking about sex, Cher wasn't talking about defecation, and Washington wasn't demeaning Knight.
He was indirectly demeaning gay people in general, by using "faggot" as a derogatory adjective, but it's more akin to a 10 year old boy on an elementary school playground saying "I'm not kissing her; that's so gay". He wasn't trying to imply that Knight and Dempsey were lovers, any more than that he and Dempsey were. Sex didn't really enter into it at all. It was just a convenient stereotypical handle for anger, as so many stereotypes are often used.
It's often all about anger, which is, as Spider Robinson is fond of pointing out, almost always fear in disguise.
[ UPDATE: Cathy replies:
FYI.... not that this may matter... but EVERY SINGLE gay man I know... and there are PUH-lenty... refer to themselves, from time to time, as faggots. And when we're all joking around and talking, I have no shame in doing so as well. I am aggressively hetero, and all my friends who happen to prefer penises although they have one of their own have no problem with me doing so. It's derogatory to say if you're saying something derogatory, and if you're saying something derogatory, you can say "gay" and be an asshole, the word faggot" means nothing worse. It's in the delivery.
Some people just like to be upset.
But then, some people are assholes and those around them just need a reason to call it.
I agree with her... mostly. It's not only in the delivery... it's in the mind of the recipient, too, where you can't go. I sing in a primarily-gay male chorus, and there are times when I can use the 'other' F-word... and times when I can't. It's a thorny problem, certainly. But Zero Tolerance isn't gonna solve it... in either direction. ]
I met Cathy Salustri when she was 15, and (I think we decided) I was 23. I liked her, among other things, because she was literate, not a condition one finds much in 15 year olds, even the girls. She was sorta snuggly, too, which didn't hurt either.
I don't think either of us expected her to end up on the front page of the St Pete Times. Nor would we have expected it to be for the reason it was. Nice that they picked the right hedline.
[ reads story ]
Unlike Alex Pickett's piece in Creative Loafing this week, Rodney did the work. Nice piece.
[ UPDATE: Here's a wonderfully literate comment on the Deggans piece from -- oh, it's from Sarasota's 'Roblimo' Miller, a long time Linux community maven, and a pretty decent guy, that I wish I could work with professionally on some level. ]
I'd forgotten that Tom Limoncelli (of The Practice of System And Network Administration fame -- if you do this, go buy this book. Full price. It's just that good. Second edition out this month.) -- has, along with Unix historian Peter Salus, published a coffee-table book of the April-Fools RFCs of the last 35 years.
My sis pointed out to me an article I heard about a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't read.
It is, of all things, a eulogy for Jerry Falwell, written by what some people would call his archenemy, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt.
To my amazement, we won. It wasn't until after I won the case and read the justices' unanimous decision in my favor that I realized fully the significance of what had happened. The justices held that a parody of a public figure was protected under the 1st Amendment even if it was outrageous, even if it was "doubtless gross and repugnant," as they put it, and even if it was designed to inflict emotional distress. In a unanimous decision — written by, of all people, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist — the court reasoned that if it supported Falwell's lower-court victory, no one would ever have to prove something was false and libelous to win a judgment. All anyone would have to prove is that "he upset me" or "she made me feel bad." The lawsuits would be endless, and that would be the end of free speech.
Everyone was shocked at our victory — and no one more so than Falwell, who on the day of the decision called me a "sleaze merchant" hiding behind the 1st Amendment. Still, over time, Falwell was forced to publicly come to grips with the reality that this is America, where you can make fun of anyone you want. That hadn't been absolutely clear before our case, but now it's being taught in law schools all over the country, and our case is being hailed as one of the most important free-speech cases of the 20th century.
No wonder that when he started hugging me and smooching me on television 10 years later, I was a bit confused. I hadn't seen him since we'd been in court together, and that night I didn't see him until I came out on the stage. I was expecting (and looking for) a fight, but instead he was putting his hands all over me. I remember thinking, "I spent $3 million taking that case to the Supreme Court, and now this guy wants to put his hand on my leg?"
I stepped across the hallway to the guest restroom and relieved myself. As I was zipping up, I heard over the loudspeaker "Dr. XX to LD8 STAT!!"
Holy crap… That’s DyAnn's room!
I opened the bathroom door and there were nurses and doctors heading into DyAnn's room. They were unceremoniously herding DyAnn's mother and niece out of the room. All I could see was that doctor, on top of DyAnn and her hand inside her… "I can't move. GET THESE PEOPLE OUT. Now!"
My heart rose into my throat. Something had gone wrong. Turns out, as she was examining DyAnn, the umbilical cord had descended below the baby's head. Had DyAnn had a full contraction, that could pinch the cord, impeding blood flow to the baby.
They rushed her to the O.R. for an emergency Caesarian Section. That doctor rode the short distance down the hallway, hands inside my wife, holding the baby in place. Heroic stuff. Very surreal, it was like watching an episode of “E.R.” it was really wild.
and everyone else who still cared, a link to a transcript of the pertinent parts of the Boston Legal episode from earlier this season when Denny described a new potential litigator, who was black, as "articulate".
The question, in short, is: is it racist to make factual observations about factual incidents involving actual black people? How? Why?
I get that acting on stereotypes is bad. But stereotypes, by and large, don't get made up whole cloth; they *come from somewhere*. Just because people derive stereotypes from data doesn't invalidate the data, does it?
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