Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I stand in awe of the utter chutzpah of Congress AND the Wall Street gang in perpetrating the armed robbery of the American citizenry. I stand taking great offense at Obama referring to the backbone of our republic as merely "the taxpayers". That is all we are to him and his ilk: varied sizes of wallets to plunder so that they may do Great Things in the Name of the Pee-pul. (I am offended at Bush and HIS ilk for treating us equivalently.)

I stand in shock that the pee-pul of our land have not stood and said NO MORE! The government assumes that we will accept things as usual, and keep mortgaging our kids and their kids out of fear of reprisal. It has been said elsewhen, but they can't arrest everyone.

I think I'll sit, now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Here we are, the Riatsila and I, in Huntington WV at TsubasaCon. This is a neat little relaxacon (old-school SF conspeak). Lord Zed is here from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Robert Axelrod. He is small, stooped and bearded, but still enthusistic to his fans.

We printed the con shirts as well as being dealers (such a soulless word; I'm a huckster!). The Big Sandy Convention venue is a perfectly-sized facility for Tsubasa. The Holiday Inn is next-door, and a better one I have never seen before. Clean is the operative word, so clean that there is a hospital note to the air in the halls. The cleaning staff actually wear scrubs. The rooms are equipped with a large mini-fridge (yes, and I also like jumbo shrimp), and a computer! A real usable computer hooked up to the IntarWebs...well, maybe I shouldn't say computer. It is after all a Gateway.

We breakfasted at Bob Evans this morning. It is like a Cracker Barrel without the cool (pauses a beat) and is decorated with country craft things. The cow sculptures looked at me the whole time. The mean age of the customers must be 83, and that's only because someone took a baby in once. It was geezerville in there. I expected to hear complaints about the oatmeal being too tough.

Nice place, though. The food is good.

Huntington is fun burg, with a great mixture of architectural styles. I'll try to put up some photos.

I have ONE issue with the convention center: when a salesmen offers you a GREAT DEAL on dysentery-scented bathroom deodoriser

DON"T TAKE IT !!!!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Uncanny, yes?

I will make you happy. If you remember this mid-90's turn-based strategy game, to quote Prof. Farnsworth: "Good news, everyone...".

I went to Abandonia to see if there was a better download of the game. (I have the original, but alas, I have no 3.5" floppy drive anymore. Previous downloads have been hinky, at best. Compatibility with Winders XP is a problem, with adequate gameplay, but quirky sound, and no music.) There was a notice that they had taken the game down because...because...

Goodbye, X-Com!

As of yesterday, the entire X-Com series is available for purchase through Steam, including the spin-offs X-COM: Interceptor and X-COM: Enforcer. The price is $5 per game or $15 for all five together.

As such, we have removed the downloads of UFO: enemy Unknown and X-Com: Apocalypse. :(


Steam deals with all run issues, as it is the environment in which the games run. It isn't just for Half-life anymore.

I may be quiet for awhile!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm watching FRINGE. It kind of hearkens back to the crazy days of the X-Files. One thing...

Do those establishing shots with the location names in BIG floating chrome letters annoy you, too? I understand the need not to look like the aforementioned X-files with its little green teletype captioning, but come ON !

I am not sticking my head in the sand, nor the donkey's mouth, nor the oliphaunt's bum.

I am terminally sick of the "Grea-a-a-a-at Depression" talk. There are major adjustments being made on Wall Street, and unConstitutional bailouts (when Shepherd Smith intoned that we have "nationalised AIG" I thought I would have the vapors. Then again, he's dreamy - household meme...sorry.). The US is not teetering on the monetary brink, unless...

The MSM revels in any downturn, and gleefully flogs it into a CRISIS ! Many of our economic woes stem from the populist panic induced by the gloom-sayers on ABCCBSNBC News, The Dread Dormomoo coined a term:

Optinomics. Maybe reporting on the good things in the economy. There are some.

The 4-chan / anonymous prank hacking Sarah Palin's personal email is pure dastardy. A lowest-common-denominator pop-culture internet meme generator, 4-chan revels in the obtuse. I recommend prosecution. The puppy needs its nose rubbed in its mess.

Oh, and for the media having the vapors over Palin's personal email having some official biz mixed in: nothing nefarious here...move along. I have a business email address. I also have a personal email address. Sometimes I do business on my personal email, not because I am hiding correspondence from future sub poenas, but because IT HAPPENS. Someone asks a question in a personal email, and I hit "reply".

ZOMG!!!! How unethical.

I am really worried that our political system has slipped irredeemably into mere dirty tricks and ad hominem attacks, becoming a tennis match with poop instead of tennis balls, high in fiber, but not much else.

In short,what this country needs is an enema.

Canada needs one, too. (Warning:an unpleasant woman saying unpleasant things disguised as journalism)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Original Cyberpunk

has an amusing experiment going here. Unbeknownst to me, it is an invite only. When I read the entries, I had a story spring fully formed, as from Zeus' brow. Vidad interceded, and it was put up.

I crashed the party here.

Be sure to read the other pieces first.
I wonder at the (self?) deceptive nature of politics. The Obamanites making accusations and excuses which are...questionable to any onlooker; the McCainoids shooting back, though with apparently more candor, at least as far as the Veep is concerned. (I say this as one dissatisfied with both candidates.) I recognise the foofooraw over Sarah Palin as a backhaded compliment to her. Barry-O and his posse are afraid that Hanoi John has made an astute tactical move in his choice of VP running-mate. I wonder especially at the Left's ability to speak lies, looking you in the eyes at high noon, and apparently all the while believing them as well.

Shortly after I got married, back when marriage licenses were carven on rocks, I was hired to do product photography for a small North Carolina variety store chain. One of my first tasks was to photograph a stack of washcloths. Thrilling. I folded them in quarters, and took the shot. My boss, Charlie S***s, took me back to the studio, and showed me How It Is Done.He proceeded to put two of the cloths together, fold them into quarters, arrange them so the fold faced the lens, stacked more of the same, then took the shot. Quite a difference. He caught the vibe of my ethical quandary, and then said "We're not trying to fool anyone. We just want them to look as good as they really are. Thick and thirsty." Here I learned a cardinal rule of photography: Terry cloth loses fifty percent of it's apparent weight when photographed. Shame that doesn't work for people.

I also learned that Niven and Pournelle's Inferno gave an apt asessment of the fate of ad men in Hell. They stand in piles of dung, excreted by themselves. Instead of mouths, they have a second anus. A cursory viewing of AMC's Mad Men will show the utter justice of this image. Likewise a perusal of punditry in the US.

I didn't last long in the job.

A friend of mine several years ago was pushing me to run for the State House. His strategery was of concern to me. He insisted that I should run as a Democrat, because that would be the only way to get elected in our State. That way I could Work for Change from the inside.

I opted out. Didn't much care for the idea of the alien probing my family and I would have to endure at the hands of the newsies, either. Hmmm...I may have more candidates for the ad-men's fate.

Lies upon lies, and the pols believe that we will swallow them like a tasty treat. Sadly, too often we do.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Dread Dormomoo and I took a couple of days off, and lo, the Earth did NOT spin off its axis, nor are dogs marrying cats, except maybe in old musical cartoons. It only took thirty years, and now I'm hooked. We left Thursday afternoon, met with Vidad, Rachel, and their younglings at Fuji outside Nashville. Sushi was the order of the evening, and we all had a good time. As I have become accustomed to driving late and long on the way to convention gigs, I opted to push on to our destination, Chattanooga, where we found lodgings at the La Quinta. We have stayed at far worse places. The loathesome practice of motels allowing pets in-room makes me nervous about anyplace anymore, but LQ is a clean and neat place, this one newly renovated. We awoke Friday morning, and breakfasted at the City Cafe Diner downtown. Their food is wonderful, and is also far better than their website.

Sated, we drove to the Tennessee Aquarium, where we spent at least six hours wishing we had brought a rice cooker. The DD has been to the Aquarium more than once before, on homeschool junkets, but it was my first experience there. I cannot recommend it more highly. It is fun, pretty, breathtaking, informative, and other adjectives I am too tired to access.I got to pet a shark, as well as a stingray. There was one ray that would come up the side of the tank, partway out of the water to be petted. It acted like a cat! The shark felt rough and peculiarly dry to the touch. The rays were smooth, almost slick, but not slimy. Really neat creatures. The Tennessee River Aquarium follows the habitats and creatures from the headwater streams down to the Gulf. I was in awe of the engineering required to duplicate those environments indoors. They did an outstanding job. I will leave the Aquarium website to tout itself, but allow me to encourage you all to GO. There are even year passes to the entire museum system - even family passes. You can get a major discount, and the chance to enjoy super-cool and groovy learnification at many and varied museums. (Ha! The spell checker couldn't even handle "learnification"!)

Speaking of coinages, on the way home on I-565 in Huntsville, we saw a highway sign pointing to the "Agribition". What is that, farmers Being Uppity in public? That is worse than the '50s elementary school portmanteau word "cafetorium".

Downtown Chattanooga has a circuit of electric buses that go from the Aquarium area to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and points between. And it is a free ride (though they do have a donation box by the exit. It's just good form to donate. You're saving the Earth, you know.

Saturday, we got up, and opted to go to Lake Winnepesauka, a MOST excellent family amusement park dating from the 1930s (View their website with Winders Explorer). It is a smaller, more laid-back park than the big names like Six Flags and Busch Gardens, and as such, is far more attractive to the likes of us. It is fully outfitted with higher-tech rides, but it also has a full complement of older rides, including a couple of truly unusual ones. The Fly-o-Plane pictured above dates from the 1940s, and is built like a battleship. The operator, who had all his teeth -this is not a "carnie" operation- told us that it was originally built for the Air Corps as a trainer. You can control altitude, and move the wings with the stick, and you can roll 360 degrees by shifting your weight. Most riders wind up upside-down for most of the ride. The planes are classic in their styling, but also have a little Flash Gordon action, with a cluster of rocket tubes in the tail. After Dubya-Dubya-Eye-Eye, the trainers were released and converted to amusement park rides. This is the only one running here in the States.

The Boat Chute was, well...let the site tell you:

The Boat Chute was designed and constructed by the founder of Lake Winnepesaukah, Carl O. Dixon. Built during the winter of 1926-1927, it was the first ride in the park and remains one of the most popular rides today. The Boat Chute is the oldest mill chute water ride in the United States according to the National Amusement Park Historical Association. No matter its age, a thrilling splash into the cool waters below awaits all guests!

It is a very long, dark tunnel (hmmmm, I wonder why it is so popular...) through which up to six people can ride in a boat. You can cuddle REAL close. So I'm told. We were in the front seat, as I observed it to be the safest. We bumped our way slowly through the very dark tunnel, and I shrieked "There's something moving in the floorboards!" to the amusement of all. We rounded a 180 degree turn, and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. We also saw a chain-driven hill, which pulled the boat up, and up, and over into a long free-fall hill which levels off at the lake surface and SPLASSSSSHHHH! We went through a fountain of feathered spray of our own making, funnily drenching us all. Except me. I got a little damp. Heh. It is a really great ride, slow, cool on a hot day, and crazy wet at the end.

I am not an amusement park freak, saving my pocket-change 'til I can afford the Next Big Coaster trip. I AM, however, sold on Lake Winnie! There are even places where the little ones can play without tickets!!!

Then we came home.

We DID succumb to curiosity, and stopped by WORLD FAMOUS UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE
in Scottsboro, AL, where we watched people buy other people's clothing. It is a colossal waste of time, because collectors and flea market and fleaBay geezers show up first thing in the morning and buy up the primo stuff.

OH! A commercial Word for Eidson Restaurant. It is the classic "Friday night out, after church on Sunday" restaurant. Excellent food, comfortable surroundings, swell tea, and cloth napkins, too. I had a Reuben sandwich with crisp shoestring fries, and the DD had broiled red snapper with green beans and marshmallow yams (which had a hint of orange in the flavor). The sweetened iced tea is endless, and not too sweet When you visit Chattanooga, check out Eidson. You will NOT be disappointed. It is the sort of restaurant you make excuses to be able to go to.

The DD and your Aardvark had a wonderful time away, and found that we can stand each other when no-one else is around. This is an important skill when the kids are growing up and going away.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Just under two million souls were moved out of New Orleans to Points More Safe in a couple of days.


In less than ten days, all the Illegal, undocumented workers could be merrily on their way home.

Just sayin'. And I didn't even have to bring up Germany.

It piques my curiosity whether-or-not the Left Blog-o-Versetm, those champions of one's sexual right to do anything with anyone, anytime, anywhere, will cut Susan Palin and her daughter some slack regarding Miss Palin's unmarried preggerosity.

Isn't it cute when I exhibit naive optimism?