Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Saw the > AIDS ad on telly. It is apparently not on YouTube. I'm glad they are Breaking the Silence, since no-one has talked about this at all for close-on to 35 years.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

io9 had a serious article on the Internet "Kill Switch" being proposed in Washington. I HAD to respond to a guy named "wopper" in the comments. We may hear more from Cyber Ben Franklin.

"So maybe I am alone on this but wouldn't a kill switch be a good idea in the event of a massive internet offensive?" --wopper
"Those who trade internet freedom for internet security deserve neither internet nor freedom." -- Cyborg Ben Franklin

Seriously, placing a kill switch in the hands of any one man (or party) is a recipe for major trouble. Ask yourself: "Would I want a President of The Other Party to have this power?"

The relative freedom of the Internet is an enormous blessing, and presents danger to the alleged defenders of Free Speech on the leftward end of the spectrum. (I admit that there is 'Net opposition in the Right as well, but that mainly involves moral turpitude.)

Were I you, I would find suspect and resist ANY legislation re: the Internet, period. Washington does not need to "protect" the Series of Tubes.


I should be coating screens, but I have oter stuff going on in my head. I keep hearing Dave Ramsey promos where he is talking about the New Sin on the Block: Financial Infidelity. It wearies me. Let's come up with yet ANOTHER reason to end a marriage. It's like the tiresome fussing about porn as a a reason for divorce. (I recognise that this is a ticklish subject, and that the "committing adultery in one's heart" issue is arguable at some levels - do you divorce your hubby for leafing through a Playboy, or are we talking hundreds of dollars a month in internet porn and cybersex?) My point is that the marriage covenant (who knows what THAT means anymore?) is potent, and requires overt breaking to annul. The modern attitude appears to be one of Humpty Dumptifying the concept of adultery ("when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean...") with all manner of sub-infractions so that I may wiggle out of my marriage for virtually any reason, just so I couch it in the proper terms.

Sound another death-knell for marriage.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

There is too much to write about. I cannot focus. Egypt is boiling, and our President-in-Chief is demanding (!) that Mubarak turn on the Intarwebs and let Democracy flow as rivers of water. I don't know what plagues our Moses-in-Chief will threaten the Egyptian leader with;;;perhaps a case of worms.


My good friend and NASA worker Mark got married to-day. The Dread Dormomoo and I went to the nuptials. Kasey Harbin officiated, even with a gamy leg. It was a huge blessing, even if it was an ALABAMA-themed reception. The groom's cake was a red-velvet cake with white fondant icing, with a black houndstooth pattern. Yep, it was a Bear Bryant's Hat cake. The food consisted of tailgating-style noshes: chili, sliced beef, ham, wings, the obligatory plates of veg and fruits. DEEE-lish.

Musn't forget the sausage balls, pigs-in-a-blanket, cocktail weenies wrapped-in-bacon-and-then-fried, and a tureen of stuffed baked potato soup.

Did I say that the ceremony was nice, too?

May Mark and Pam have an awesomely blessed marriage.

Here is the link to MobiCon, where I will be the Fan Guest-of-Honor. I have interesting company.

Your Aardvark began going to SF conventions in 1980. The Dread Dormomoo and I packed up shirts, paints, airbrushes other fannish oddments and her Craftsman air compressor (the one that sounded like a Harley) into our Monza station wagon, and headed to PhilCon, where she painted shirts ranging from unicorns to a portrait of Johnny Mathis.

Thus began 31 years of huckstering. (That is a story in itself. The dealers at SF cons originally sold books, fanzines, and doodads to pay their expenses at the con. They were called "hucksters". This changed to "dealers" sometime in the '80s, but with "Just Say No" and other cultural pressures, it became more acceptable to call them "merchants" or "vendors" or "exhibitors".)

I am a huckster.

31 years has yielded the Fan Guest of Honor. In May 2001, I had the pleasure of being Dealer Guest of Honor at Deep South Con 39/Tenacity 1 in Birmingham, AL. You have to understand that I understand that this honor plus $5 will yield me a really good coffee at Starbucks, but I am gonna play this up for all it's worth. I have asked the con chair for a Perrier fountain. (He's a friend, and knows I'm being a jerk.) The DD and I will be going to the con, and I will have a special Warhol-esque t-shirt of my phiz to throw out willy-nilly.
This is gonna be fun. I will get to participate in panel discussions, so YAAAAAY!, I will get to Talk to a Group.

More to come.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Cogent Quote

"(C)ivilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed." -- Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, January 15, 2011

For all the fuss about the Pedo Bear internet meme on regional news outlets, I should think that this front-page Christmas photo from our local paper should give someone pause.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The President was positively "pastoral" in his speech at the Tucson Funeral Pep Rally. He spread the unguents of healing as well as might any priest. Maybe he picked up something other than a hatred of historic America during his tenure as a member of Jeremiah Wright's congregation.

Or perhaps not, for he sets us on a national course to the United States of Lisa Frank.
Referring to nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, President Obama said:

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

Christina was born on 9/11/01, and has had the Burden of the New Normal on her small shoulders ever since. She has borne it well, being:

an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, "We are so blessed. We have the best life." And she'd pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.

Quite the achiever, but she was still only nine.Unless she was a former-day Helen America

It is a terrible thing to die so young, filled with such promise, such purpose. I can only assume that alongside the drive to excel, excel, was a nine-year-old little girl who liked unicorns and rainbows. That would best describe the course our President has charted for the nation ("I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it."). President Obama, who cannot get that our nation is a Republic (but then, neither can Hannity and his ilk), wishes to steer us to the vision of a nine-year-old, a vision of softball and unicorns and rainbows.

Perhaps, though, that is a better course than the one he has taken up 'til now. On the other hand, the Children's Crusade didn't fare too well. Then again, with the wide-eyed credulity of the Body Politic, buying into Bailouts and Democracy and The Fed, oh, my!, maybe the course has not veered much at all. America may well be becalmed in the doldrums of a nine-year-old's political fantasy.

Oooooooooooh...Lookit the Pegasus!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Art by Basil Wolverton

I just heard that phrase again, in the context of the terrible Arizona massacre: "the political conversation. I am amused beyond giggles at the idea of a "conversation" on the political scene, unless you consider two people shouting at each other simultaneously to be a conversation. One side is not listening to the other, period. One side is loudly reading a reasoned treatise, and the other is shouting LA-LA-LA-LA with fingers firmly in their ears. No communication, just blather.

The left-liberal-Progressive crowd are FUH-FUH-FUH-ing about the need to limit political debate and polemical opinion in the name of civility. Let's abridge God-granted civil rights in the name of Nice! While we are at it, let's limit gun ownership by the law-abiding because a sad, mind-twisted idealogue nut shot up a political rally. (His fondness for The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf places him firmly on the Left end of the political spectrum.) Never ones to let a good crisis go to waste, they reliably trot out the same old nostrums for problems that don't exist, and which would not solve them if they did.

The renewed bleating for the re-institution of the Fairness Doctrine is equally feckless. During the heyday of Fairness on the airways, assassins had their heyday as well: JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John Lennon, Lee Harvey Oswald, attempts on Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Fairness is not conducive to civility, as fairness is as elusive as the tooth fairy or Lucky the Leprechaun. Despite its being a liberal virtue, the enforcing of fairness no more solves differences of opinion than forced desegregation made white rednecks invite blacks to Sunday dinner. It is an old point here, but a law or regulation will not change my heart. It MAY affect my behavior, but maybe not. The kindergarten whining about Fairness is a dodge, an excuse to limit opposing points-of-view. If (true) conservatives gain ascendancy in 2012, may they take a strictly Constitutional view of speech and opinion. To do otherwise will give the lie to their ID.
The Dread Dormomoo made Dirty Snowcream. I guess it would be a favorite in Brooklyn with the slush and all.

Nawwww...it's made with some cold coffee. Tastes like an Italian gelato, only crunchy!

We start with a bowl, with milk in the bottom. We shall add snow from the bowl on the table.

But first, some magical crystalline heaven. Pure cane sugar.

We'll stir it all together with some vanilla extract.

Next you stir in snow, a cup at a time to get the mixture right.

How do you know? You just will.

Et voila! Snow cream!
You can almost taste the Cesium-137.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Welcome to winter in North Alabamastan! This is the Dread Dormomoo's little water feature out front of Chez 'Vark. We are enjoying an amazing snow here.

This is the Aardvan. The two dimples on top are are the two
uber-sized bowls that I put on top to catch snow. They have all-but-vanished, now. Why would we want to collect snow? To measure the effects of global warming? To better moisturise my face, and maintain its youthful glow?

No. We want to make:

We are going to make that venerable confection: SNOW CREAM. You know, milk, sugar, vanilla, stirred into snow. When I was a kid, they warned us not to eat snow. The color did not matter, Atomic fallout did. The atomic tests had spread fallout across the winds, and it apparently preferred to pinwheel down to ground level attached to snowflakes.

Well, it's been a LONG time since the last atomic tests (checks his watch), and it is time to do this, but after the sun rises. This is craziness outside. Beautiful, beautiful craziness. That you can make snow cream out of.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I dream of Vo-ox in the fuzzy re-ed suit.

I have indulged in blog-reading for too long. It is starting to take a toll on my "Zs".
Your Aardvark dreamed that he was invited to Vox Day's winter retreat for Christmas.
The feel of the dream was that it was in Switzerland, where I arrived at a down-at-the-heels chalet that looked more like a renovated double-wide, with unkempt trees very close to the house. Vox greeted me with joy, and and came across more like John Kricfalusi than the Italian-loafered imbiber of umbrella-festooned drinks. Spacebunny was slender and brunette, and there was an indeterminate number of children around. About this time, I began to get the impression that I was there less as a Christmas guest, and more as an extra, because I was introduced to his uncle, who was very clearly Ben Stein. This was having every appearance of being an economics holiday special, Rudolph's Red-Ink Christmas or summat. There was a fair amount of unmemorable homina-homina, but five things stand out: 1) Vox had a tendency to spontaneously break out in song. 2) Someone broke into the house, and Grinchily stole the Christmas tree, leaving a trail of ornaments down the front path. I got out of bed, went downstairs and looked out of the front window to see Vox, SB, and the indeterminate number of children hurriedly picking up the ornaments from the snow, and wearing Santa / Santa's elvish outfits. When they realized that someone was watching them, they scurried and hid under an evergreen. 3) While I was looking at painted wooden toys under the table, Vox popped up and asked if I wanted to call home with Skype. He rummaged through the toys and pulled out a cell phone apparently built from yellow and clear LEGOs, with an LCD display. 4) At no time did Ben Stein say "Wo-o-o-o-o-w" or "Buellllerrr". 5) There were no Viszlas in evidence.

Very odd, very memorable. Oh. Vox never broke out a flaming sword, either.